Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Goose is Getting Fat

Cripes, Christmas is coming faster than expected.

This year, Christmas will be hosted at SunnyO - it's a big enough place that we've successfully hosted up to 50 people in the past, and there's a motel 5 minutes walk away for people staying longer who can't be accommodated onsite.

Mrs Llew is from a big family... 7 kids (I think, at last count), there'll be 4 generations of her family on board. If you watch the series Brothers & Sisters you'll know the drill - the gay sibling, the addict, at least two of them not talking to each other at any given time, the brother who left his wife for Sienna Miller, and years & years of secrets, intrigue & grievance *.

I'm from a family whose numbers are fewer & dwindling... I offered to host because I thought it'd be nice for my mum to spend her first Christmas without her daughter among family. My brother was committed to another excursion & can't make it unfortunately. And to complicate matters, my Mum is determined to spend Christmas alone.

It's shaping up to be a goodie already.

* Not all of these apply in real life.

Apologies for the lack of photographs recently, it's a long & boring story, but I'll find a camera & make the effort soon - the garden is very photogenic in Spring, especially when the lawns are mowed.

New Toy Alert

Cheetah Plus
I'm not a huge fan of lawnmowing. Nor am I a huge fan of lawn mowers. Nor any machinery really.

Which is ironic, because I have nearly 2 acres of lawn & more small engined machines on the property than most people have in their lifetimes.

And in my defense, I inherited most of these machines when we bought the property.

I brought my own chainsaw and a linetrimmer, but in addition to that I now have:

Another chainsaw
Another bigger (you have to wheel it around) linetrimmer
A chipping machine
A cheap lawnmower
An ancient ride-on mower (Countax brand, although remove the "a", and move the "o" and you can guess how I pronounce it) which no longer picks up the clippings & mainly flattens the lawn rather than cuts it.
An old farm trike, which we've only managed to start twice because the pull start is so munted.

And there are sundry electric devices too - a yard blower, which is a waste of space, and a nut de-husking machine, which looks like junk thrown into a heap & bolted together, but it works real well.

The ride-on has caused the most trouble, it's estimated at 20 years old & has already cost us more than $1k getting the catcher fixed, which lasted nearly a year.

We've muddled through Autumn & Winter with the mowing, but the spring flush beat us this weekend.

It takes, they say, 5 hours to mow all of our lawn. I wouldn't know because I've never done the whole lot in one go. And the last few months have hardly seen 5 hours of sustained dry weather.

This weekend we bit the bullet & decided we needed a new mower - not just a mower actually, but something to tow the trailer around the property since we can't get the trike running.

So down to Borat we went (Note, he just looks like Borat & has an unidentifiable European accent). I was thinking a John Deere, because everyone tells me they're the Stihl or Husqvarna of the mower world - ie, reliable & long lasting. We've put this purchase off for a while because quite frankly, we could buy two relatively new model Japanese cars for what one of these things goes for.

But Borat recommended a Kiwicat Cheetah II, which looks like the sport version of the Cuntox (did I say that?). He said the things never break down & they're made from standard parts, and a Honda engine & they do a great job.

So we took him at his word, we could have bought 1.5 2nd hand japanese cars for the same price, but what the hey!

Anyway, bottom line is Mrs Llew is pleased with the croquet lawn for the first time in 2 years. It was worth it.

I still hate doing lawns, but this thing has twice the cutting width & should therefore get through the lot in 2.5 hours! We'll see.

Oh - and it is Kiwi made!!

Next week perhaps, adventures in selling old ride-on mowers & farm trikes on Trademe.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No grounds to censure Peters

Oh well... if you can't beat 'em....

No grounds to censure Peters - Cullen - Stuff.co.nz

Dr Cullen said the evidence had to be greater than MPs believing it to be true, because Mr Henry and Mr Peters denied it.

If I am ever up on charges in court, I sincerely hope that the judge subscribes to the same logic.

I mean seriously, What. The. Fuck?

Road-rage driver burns to death

Another contender for the Darwin Awards.

Road-rage driver burns to death - Stuff.co.nz

And this reminds me of a story I read in one of the local (Kapiti) newspapers recently, I wish I'd kept it as I can't find it online.

Anyway, some young guy was burning rubber doing doughnuts in the street, he had a bit of an audience, so showing off, he opened the car door...

...and fell out of his moving car (WAY COOL & CLEVER), which narrowly missed running over & killing him. The car careened across the road & into a lampost. An injured man limped to it & shamefacedly drove away.

Police found him shortly afterwards, at home, bleeding profusely.

They did name the doofus, but I can't remember what it was.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Anger over demise of Kiwi lollies

I wonder how many of those angry at the end of these (in my view, horrible) confections, have actually bought them in the last few years?

You vote with your wallets if you want things to remain on the market.

Anger over demise of Kiwi lollies - Stuff.co.nz

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Mum, the Prize winning gardener

I popped out to see my mum yesterday, she's been laid low with a bout of bronchitis - the first time she's ever suffered that particular ailment. She's had a rough year, but she's pretty resilient.

Anyway, she looked & sounded better than I expected, the drugs must be working.

And she told me an amusing story (which, fingers crossed she doesn't check here...) is not always the case :)

Last Friday, while laid particularly low, she got a call from a friend urging her to enter her camellias in the Lower Hutt Horticultural Show on that weekend.

Mum is a bit of a gardener, but not hugely so, and she was sick at the time of the call & so she told her friend that she wouldn't be bothering, she didn't even know the show was on & she was not a particularly dedicated camellia grower - it is possible that the only attention these bushes have ever received was when they were planted a few decades ago.

Her friend persisted, and irritated, mum told her she was welcome to come & pick some flowers, but she herself wasn't at all interested.

And that's the last she thought of the matter, until she got another call on Sunday telling her she'd won 1st & 2nd prize in the "Novice" section of the competition.

camellias - Google Image Search

When I told this to Mrs Llew last night, she pointed out that it is conceivable that some decades ago I was called out to dig holes & plant the camellias in the first place.

I considered that for a moment & it dawned on me that I am the prize winning camellia grower!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Caribou Barbie

Absolutely priceless

College OTR OTR: Sarah Palin as "Caribou Barbie" Realized

Hat/tip to Kerry Weston

All competitions should be like this

I just won a Snapper card which has been pre-loaded with some amount of money that I can't quite recall.

Entry was via an email link from the e-magazine of a company I do business with. All I had to do was click the link & answer some (forgotten) skill question in the subject field & click send.

A second or two later the message bounced back with an error. A little sniffing around revealed that they'd made a typo in the email recipient's address.

I corrected it & sent it back.

I surmise I was the only one who bothered to rectify the error :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Torchwood - I have an issue

Been watching a couple of episodes of Torchwood - the one with the fairies at the bottom of the garden (liked it), and the one set in the Brecon Beacons (a desolate place that I've mentioned before on this blog someplace - it's the Welsh equivalent of the Desert Road, complete with army manoeuvres, and that episode was so-so.).

Anyway, here's my issue:

If Capt Jack is invulnerable & immortal, how come he lets Gwen crash through the farm door first, so that she collects a shotgun blast? Doesn't it make sense to send the unkillable one in?

Sheesh. It's little things like this that can ruin a show. Aside from that & the feeling that a couple of the cast at least can't do action to save themselves, I like it.

BBC - Torchwood - Homepage

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Meet the Governor.

Meat the Gov

Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska reclines on the carcass of a Kodiak bear she has just killed with her bare hands & dragged in from the backyard after the luckless beast wandered into the Gubernatorial mansion looking for salmon in the fish pond.

A weary but satisfied Gov Palin then tucked into a King Crab lunch prepared by her staff.

Next issue: Old Youtube footage of a bikini clad Gov. Palin machine-gunning elks.