Archive for February, 2008

Claws unsheathed

It’s the Talon! My new home made Carbon Frame Recumbent Lowracer.

I’m not going to blather on about it here. Read more on my other web site here as I add information.

I’m pleased. I’ve only got 40km on it so far, but nothing’s fallen off yet, and no ominous cracking sounds.


I hate the grackle bird.

I live in my personal quarter acre of forest in the middle of manicured suburbia – in a wooden shack. (OK, it’s not a shack, it’s a fairly run down old house.)

Much as I like having my trees, they are high maintenance. Roots love to strangle plumbing, and those leaves that don’t clog my rainpipes have to be raked and cleared All The Time.

But trees bring other creatures with them. Possums who bound and thump in the heights of passion on the roof at night, multitudinous fat spiders, and the birds that eat them. Oh, I have an enthusiastic morning chorus.

That wouldn’t be so bad except for one bird in particular. I call it the Grackle Bird* and I have no idea what it is – some kind of Starling, Jay or Mynah is my guess. It’s a dirty brown bird with a dirty brown voice. In short, it Grackles. Every morning. At 6 am. And I hate it.

I have one other bird that’s annoying me right now. My neighbour’s pear tree is fruiting. It’s too high to pick the fruit, and every year the rosellas arrive in February to reap the spoils for about 2-3 weeks. They spend the day fighting over the bounty. It’s a colourful noisy riot. This year though, there is a rosella in the flock that seems to be ill. It’s moulting, scruffy and it has a foul temper. It doesn’t have a melodic tweet. It hisses and squarks at the other birds – sort of like that alpha seagull you always encounter at the beach that keeps the others away from you to get the best cold chips. I’d throw a rock and try to drive it away but I don’t have the heart.

The pears will be gone soon. I hope.

* yes, I know there is another bird called the Grackle, but I only found this out later and I’m sticking with my name for this one.

Spreading her wings

A week or so ago, my daughter leapt from the family nest and moved into a student house with friends.

It’s heart-wrenching to see her go. But she’s now an adult by Australian law – and it’s her choice. I remind myself that I left home at 16 to come to University in the big city, so she’s surely ready at 20 to take responsibility for her life. I have every confidence in her. We raised her and her brother right, I think.

With her she takes “her” car, her furniture, computer and of course, her ferrets. This last was a problem. The landlord had to be sounded out on the issue. In the end, he re-wrote the rental agreement to allow them – as long as they were kept outside.

There’s not a lot of room out the back of the house – and it’s shared with the tenant of the shop downstairs who has three small dogs present during the day. This meant that a new ferret cage was needed. Which I built over a couple of weekends. (while ill!)

Here’s a fuzzy picture of the almost complete result:

It wasn’t cheap – about $130 in materials – and took a solid couple of days to build. On the plus side, it’s strong, weatherproof, and according to the lady with the dogs, would cost many hundreds if you had to buy it from a pet shop.

The fuzzies are now moved in and seem to enjoy racing up and down the ramp changing levels.

In which an explanation is tendered.

OK, while I don’t owe anyone an explanation, here’s what’s been up over the last 3-4 weeks and why this blog’s been so quiet.

Mostly it’s because I’ve been ill. A real mystery illness, starting off with chills, nausea, earache. One my doctor decided was an infection that required antibiotics. A week of those and I was feeling a little bit better. Well enough, anyway, to force myself to start the week-long training for a part time job. Unfortunately, the first 3 days gave me severe eye strain and resultant pain. To do the job I was going to need multifocal glasses. The next 2 days was motorcycle training for the job. This gave me a slight neck ache thanks to some rough terrain. And to top it off, I came a cropper on my recumbent bicycle at the velodrome that Saturday night. My bad, as they say. I shouldn’t have been riding at all, but you have to have a life.

Sunday morning and I was in a world of major pain. A really sore neck, a continuous splitting headache and dizziness if I moved my head much – continuous “seasickness” meant the dry retches.

While the neck pain subsided over a couple of days, the headaches and nausea did not, and ibufrofen+codeine was hardly helping.

Off to the doctor again. Who sent me for a CT brain scan. It was a tense weekend waiting for the results- a weekend in which the worst of the symptoms except dizziness subsided slowly. The scan was clear. No tumours, lesions or stuff. The doc said “wait and see”.

Now the dizziness is gone and I’m baaaack.  A couple of kilos lighter.

Did I get the job? No. I couldn’t work for 2 weeks or until I got new glasses, and there was a probationary period that had already started ticking. No allowance for lost time through illness or waiting for the glasses.

But What The Hey. I’m well. That, in the end, is all that really matters.

P123: 5 sentences

Because it’s easy, here’s my response to being
Tagged by Dean

Men in the Air – The last flight of the R-101 by John G Fuller

M. Maillet, manager of the Poix airfield, heard the engines and peered through the thick rain and mist to look for it. Finally he saw something – a strip of white lights in a row. He could barely make out the hull of the ship. She was moving slowly, along the railway line.

She appeared to be strugging hard against the wind.

The tragic end of the British “public” airship.

But I’m not tagging, sorry.

Oh, the pain, the pain….

This  blogger  has not been well for  a couple of weeks… definitely not in a condition to impress you all with witty observations on anything at all.

I promise to update soon as I wean myself off the painkillers….