Friday, November 30, 2012

November's More Than Different!

Okay, this month has been a weird month... really weird.  It started out okay.  We had a belated birthday party for Riley and the Melbourne Cup.  Both events were wonderful, full of food, great times and I was around people I loved.
I got back into my gardening again and bought a few plants at a sale at a house a few streets away.  I was darned proud of myself when I figured out that I was short-changed and went back; because I scored 2 more plants!  Only planned on having two main plants and ended up bringing home 4 plants instead.  How cool is that?  Fortunately, the weather changed and we got a bit of rain and our lawns greened up and our plants were fed too.
But then my health took a turn and I got freaked out.  I took a mini-stroke - better known in technical terms as a TIA - and the doctors narrowed it down to the Pill as the cause.  So, I'm off that now and we have to figure out what to do about an ovarian cyst that keeps making my cycle irregular.
We had a dear, sweet family friend pass away.  Ted Lane and his family had known us since I was around 6 years old; and now all these years later, I'm sad to see him gone.  He was a wonderfully kind and lovely man and his family were great too.  His service was just wonderful; but his grandchildren found if difficult to speak at it.
Then, Dad and I were back at the Apple Store at Carindale.  But this time the guy at the Genius Bar was patronising and wouldn't help us in any way.  He reminded me of Sheldon off 'The Big Bang Theory' where he only gave me the information he thought was important to me; instead of telling me what I wanted to know.  And when I asked for another person to talk to, he refused to go and get them.  How frustrating is that?  I did get further than this place though.  I made a complaint to the Apple Support online and the person who replied to my complaint took it to a high authority.  And so, it is being dealt with.
But after that, I have been fiddling with the iPod a lot lately.  I put the apps I wanted back onto it and found out that they were all free - well, except the language ones I was using - and they weren't for release last year (as I had gotten them then) but they were for release this year.  So, I downloaded the ones I wanted/needed and now I'm happy with what I have.
However, now, in the last week, it's been very busy.  Christmas is coming up, I've been on the Logan Art Gallery's Christmas Party on 25th, November and the next day, I was down the coast with Mum and Dad helping them set up the van; only to come back the next day (which made it Tuesday afternoon return to Brisbane).  On Wednesday afternoon, Mum and I went out and did a lot of errands in 3 hours and beat a lot of rain home in peak hour traffic.  But yesterday, we were both a little burnt out, with a lot of stuff happening all in one week.  So, we stayed home.  Today, I'm off to the neurologist to have to read my scans and to have a chat with her to see where we go from here with the pill.  
Yep, this month has had its ups and downs.  From the races, to birthdays, to an unfortunate loss of a wonderful friend, to electronics company support team not having the best people behind it... this month has most certainly been a weird old one... and I haven't even mention that weekend where I used my Olivetti Lettera32 typewriter for the whole weekend because we had storms hit for the whole two days.  Yeah, we did.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.      

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lookin' A Little Like....

Summer is on its way here in Australia and it's also storm season.  I've been preparing my house for a few things as well.  You see, when Summer comes around, this also means Christmas, school holidays and other hot weather things too.  So, I've been doing my bit lately.
My garden has been getting a bit of a face lift.  My lawn got a treatment with some Feed'n'Weed and I soaked that in.  I've trimmed the hedge at the back, have pulled out more weeds than I care to count and have bought some plants to liven up the place.  I've asked for large pots and potting mix and some granite too for Christmas from my parents (and I hope to get that from them).  I have also shaped the two jades outside my place into two Christmas-shaped trees so I can wrap tinsel around them.  I did that this morning; and they look good.

Over the last few weeks, I've been writing up Christmas cards, posting them off, figuring out what to buy who for Christmas - and buying those gifts and wrapping them to put under the tree - and then, bit by bit, I'm decorating the house.  Usually I do that in one day.  However, so much has been going on, I've been doing a little at a time.  Strange how this has happened this year.
The last two weeks have been very busy.  I haven't been in the best of health and have had quite a few tests done.  Then, I went to a Christmas party on Sunday just gone, and the very next day, was off to the coast to help my folks set up their caravan.  That was a full-day trip and another two hours or so work.  Once we had the air mattress pumped up and we had showers, we were all asleep in minutes - but that doesn't mean we slept well.
We returned home on Tuesday afternoon.  That night, I slept really well and the next day, I was out and about with Mum at Stones Corner and Garden City.  We got a lot done in 3 hours.  We picked out our new watches (my original one had stopped completely about 5 years ago and so Mum offered to buy me a new one this year - and after my first one being given to me when I was 12, I'd say it was time for a new one anyway). And Mum just wanted to update hers.  Then, at Garden City, we spotted the storm we were supposed to get nearby.  So, we rushed through that place.  I bought tinsel for my jades and a VS Sassoon curling wand (with 5 extra wands) for $38.00!  And Mum went to Medicare and K-Mart.  We came outside to find the storm had gone around Logan City and Mt Gravatt... how good is that?  Well, we left and found ourselves in peak hour traffic.  It took us about 45 minutes to get back to my place - and that included a drop-in at her Nutrmetics lady.  Before long, I was at home making dinner.

Today, I've checked the mail, washed up, did some hand-washing and made pancakes for breakfast and put the tinsel on the jades out the front.  All this before 10am... not a bad morning if you ask me. It's only 11am and Mum and I have yet to go out shoe shopping again.  Tomorrow, we have to go and see my Neurologist about some MRI scans I had done last week.  Yep, it's a full week, it's lookin' a bit like Christmas, it's lookin' like a very busy couple of weeks before the New Year begins... so, what does your next few weeks look like?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Busy Days Out

As Christmas nears everyone will be working on finding gifts for their family and friends.  Christmas cards are going to be sent out in the mail, carols are going to be heard everywhere - in every style - and each time we enter a friend's house, they will have a tree up and decorations.  

I've already begun getting into the busy Christmas Spirit of things.  So far, all my Christmas cards have been posted, I've picked a card off the K-Mart Wishing Tree to give to a person who has less than I do.  I have two presents already picked out and wrapped for the Big Day and I'm planning on doing something big and special for my front garden to make it look festive as well.
However, this week has been a busy one for me as well.  On Sunday, I was out and about very early and driven to the Logan Art Gallery.  Us volunteers were going on their annual Christmas Party that the Logan Logan City Council pays for.  We had a pink bus show up and were loaded on board and driven to Mt Warning first off.  There's a little cafe not far from it called 'The Rainforest Cafe'.  It's a lovely little retreat of a place - a little expensive - but very pretty, quiet and restful.  There's massively tall trees which have paths winding through them and a brook nearby under some shady trees - just in case you don't feel like walking around.  The owner's dog - Tia - wanders around and loves to have a pat; she so wishes it (otherwise she'll yap and bark at you if she gets spooked by a skirt or anything too weird that looks like a skirt) and there's chickens walking around too.  
But too soon, we had to leave; swapping the coolness of the shaded trees for the air-conditioning of the bus.  We were on the bus for a little while and we were driven to the Murwillumbah Visitor's Centre.  Here, we walked around, enjoyed the art made by the local artists and had a chance to stretch our legs more before lunch at the Murwillumbah Services Memorial Club, where we were given a banquet room of our own and served up a delicious lunch!  There was choice between roast pork or roast turkey (both with all the fixin's) and then there was a vegetarian selection too, of a wonderful salad!  This salad had English Spinach, roasted Eggplant, capsicum, chickpea and herbs, with pepper and salt and some thick soy sauce.  However the more we ate, the more there seemed to be of this salad; it was the funniest thing!  Oh well.  I ate as much as I could and left it.  Dessert was a choice between sticky date pudding or pavlova... both wonderful and very filling.  Then, we could all sit back, filled with great food and have a cup of tea or coffee and chat to each other. 
After a little while, we were off again to our last place:  The Tweed Rivers Art Gallery.  I do love this place, as it's just so wonderful and has the best views and a cafe.  This is where I also bought Mum's Christmas presesnt too.  I also wild released a sci-fi book while I was there in memory of on my dear friends who passed away recently on Bookcrossing.  Online we had all agreed to wild release one of these books (or as many as we wanted) in memory of Tom Mailloux.  I managed to release it without anyone calling out that I had left my book behind... or the people who ran the cafe telling me not to litter. 
Before long, it was time to go.  However, we also got our group photo taken and the pink bus, which we had nicknamed 'Priscilla', with all of us on board was taking us back to the Logan Art Gallery.  We arrived back home in the car park where our adventures had begun.  Dad picked me up and I told him what I bought Mum for Christmas; and he said it was good of me because it's useful and she can take it down the coast.

Then, on Monday, I was packed to go to the coast to help them both set up the caravan.  With Mum unable to hold the poles of the annex or pull anything heavy, Dad needed me to help him with all of the heavy-lifting whereas Mum would be sitting down a lot and waiting to be able to unpack the van.  Once the annex was up, along with the walls of it, Mum was able to work on unpacking the other things.  Soon, though, it was time for dinner.  We had fishh'n'chips from the only place still open after 8pm at night.  We went to bed early, a,  after a nice hot shower, and we all had problems sleeping.  At around 3am, a Char (a small bird with a really loud song) sang for about 2 hours and I was woken up by it.  Dad and I both wanted to shoot it because it wouldn't shut up until the next trawler came in from fishing.  Then, an hour and a half later, my alarm went off.  Not a full-nights' sleep at all.  
So, last night, when I went to bed at around 10 pm, I was asleep in seconds.  It was bliss!  I woke to my alarm and feel I still need another early night, but I'm better than I was yesterday.  Until my next post, take care keep safe and warm, and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Rotten Apple - An Update

Today, I was online and thought to recharge my iPod and see what apps were online for it - seeing I didn't have the ones I thought I had.  But instead of buying new ones, I looked up the old ones I wanted back.  And I found out something...

The ones I had lost - all 4 pages of them - were all free-bies and they were programmed for this year... and I had gotten them last year!  So, when Dad and I were insulted on Thursday morning by the idiot in the Apple Store, we were basically called liars.  The guy didn't know anything about my iPod (another one who doesn't know anything about Apple products or their apps).  

My main question for Apple is this:  how in the hell did I get all those apps for my iPod last Christmas when they were all coming out this May, September, October and November?  And all but one was free?  Accusing the customer of being a liar by patronising them isn't the way to keeping on the good side of anyone.  So, acting holier than thou and playing mind games with somebody you're supposed to be helping (especially seeing I did ask to see another person after not getting anywhere with this first idiot and he refused to get anyone else for me to talk to) really ticked me off.

Also, today, I looked around on Apple's official sites and found that they are really distancing themselves from the public. 
Three weeks ago, I could phone a number on their website and get a real person talking to me.  Now, I have to go through a series of buttons on their site and e-mail them my complaint which will be looked at within 24 - 48 hours by a tech guy who will then e-mail me back.  And if I want to make an appointment at one of their very few Apple Stores, I have to do the same thing and click around on their site and make the appointment myself... it's so impersonal and cold.  Apple has become a place where I can't talk to anyone because the company doesn't want to talk to the public.  And if you write in to them or on their Facebook page, you don't hear a reply or hear back... you are ignored.  Sure, you get the automated reply, but you don't get personal service - unlike other computer companies that are around today.
This is not good enough for us.  We are people - the public - and should be treated like people, not like numbers.  If our devices malfunction, the company - not the retailer - should be held accountable.  And if the device needs to be set up in a particular way, the company which built it should have a way of telling the customer by adding a little booklet with the device instead of blaming a 'dodgy company' for the problems that come up in the future for somebody (which is what was blamed on my dilemma on Thursday). 

So, if you have an Apple device and it's stuffing up on you, don't take crap from it - or Apple - do something about it and make yourself heard.   

One Day to Scratch

Today is my one day to scratch for the next week or so; as I'm going to be run off my feet busyHowever, I have been busy today and this morning with chores.  I was up nice and early at 7:25am, dressed and pulling the sheets off the bed and gathering all the towels and clothes for the laundry.  By 9:30am, I had 3 loads of laundry out on the line and the sun was playing hide'n'seek (and still is!) but it's kept the rain away.
After that, I transferred some money across to my keycard account for tomorrow's big day out with the Logan Art Gallery people.  I'm also preparing for that today.  So, I made a list and went to the service station and bought myself a Breaka Ice Coffee and a bottle of lightly sparkling water and lithium batteries and pulled out $30; and was soon on my way home with my supplies for tomorrow.  Once home, I pulled out the little blue esky from the storage area and looked at it to see if I could fit everything I wanted inside it - and am happy to say I can.  So, I whacked an address label on it (which has my name on it) and it's ready to go.
I've been online here since around 10am.  I still have other house-keeping to do upstairs; like vacuuming, dusting, making up my bed, putting away laundry and packing for Monday.  While I've been online, I've been sussing out how much the damned apps cost to get them back onto my iPod... and you know, all but one are free and were developed for this year not last year.  So, I somehow had them all put onto my iPod by accident and didn't know I wasn't supposed to have them.  How come the dude at the bloody Apple Store at Carindale couldn't tell me that is beyond me.  Well, I've put them all on - and yes, I paid $4.00 for the Learn Spanish one (because I was in the middle of learning Spanish when it was deleted off my iPod; and I don't believe in doing things half-arsed). 

Anyway, I don't really have much to get done this afternoon.  Just to sweep out the carport and front door stoop, water the garden (once I pull in the laundry) and then, wash up, wash the kitchen floor, tidy up the lounge room and put away all the hand bags I'm not using.  I've figured out what I'm going to use tomorrow - but I've yet to figure out what bag I'm taking - but I'm hoping to have a lot of fun taking hundreds of photos while I'm out and am looking at buying a few Christmas presents too; seeing Mum's not going to be with me (yes, Mum, if you're reading this - which I'm sure you will - I'm looking out for a little something for you seeing you can't come this year).  

So, seeing you've all probably figured out that during most of my weekends, I get in and do my leftover housework, what do you get up to?  Partying?  BBQ's?  Hang out with mates?  Or do you just kick back and listen to music with a good book or a drink in hand?  Love to know how you all spend your weekends.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.