Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day

Wednesday 29th February, 2012

Ooooh not very often you get to write the 29th is Leap Year Day.  What a day it was for rained ALL day.......consistent steady rain.   It was soooooo good.

Let me go back to Monday.  While the solar panel guy was talking to Tony the phone rang.  I answered it and it was one of his former bosses whom he worked with at Knight Frank years ago.  I told him that Tony was busy and would call him back.  When the solar guy left Tony rang and was asked how did he feel about doing some casual work for them.

Tony said that he might be interested, so he was told that he would get a phone call from their IP manager.  On Tuesday morning he got that phone call and a meeting was arranged for 10am Wednesday.  Last night was spent getting his resume up to date.

As we hadn't planned to do much yesterday Tony and I caught the bus into the city.  When we got in there we had some lunch in Hindmarsh Square (as we had some rolls that needed to be eaten I decided to make them up for our lunch).  While sitting there eating, there was tooting and horns blaring and sirens going off and when we looked around to see what the kaffuffle was about, it was a parade of cars, mainly old and older ones, going down the road to herald in the Clipsal 500.  Tony quickly grabbed the camera and got some shots.

That's right! We forgot.....Mad March is about to happen.  The Fringe kicked off about a week ago and their parade was last Friday night.  We didn't go in as it was so hot.  This weekend, (from Thursday to Sunday) is the Clipsal 500.  V8 cars of Holden and Ford racing each other through the streets of Adelaide.  Next year it has already been announced that Nissan is also going to join.  Tony has got tickets for the Sunday, each year he has gone as a guest of one of the contractors he used to use.  They were happy to have him along again this year.

Then the Adelaide Festival begins for two weeks and next weekend is a long weekend and on the Monday is the running of the Adelaide Cup.  That's a horse race but nowhere near as big as the Melbourne Cup.  I remember last year the authorities were talking of taking the Adelaide Cup back to May (when it used to be held) and running it on a Sunday which meant no public holiday.  Looks like that idea got knocked on the head.

Either, you leave town for the month if you don't like car races, horse racing or festivals or shut up and put up with the inconvenience of more people out and about, road closures and lots more traffic.

We noticed the extra traffic on the road this morning.  Usually it takes 30-35 minutes to get into the city from home but this morning it took us 50 minutes.  Tony went off for his interview while I waited in the car.  We managed to get a park in a 30 minute parking spot so I kept a lookout for the parking inspectors.  He was only gone for just over half an hour.  He said that the interview went well, but until he knows what they offer him he doesn't know whether he will take the job or not.  They said that they would get back to him.

As we didn't have breakfast before we left we ended up down at West Lakes shopping centre and had something to eat.  From here we had to take the car into City Mazda because we received a letter saying that we needed to have the computer in the car updated re something to do with the timing.  We had to be there for 1pm.

We dropped the car off and decided to wait for it.  They said it could take 15 minutes or at the most an hour.  Two and a half hours later we were still waiting when the service guy came out to tell us that they were having trouble getting the Istop to work.  He said we could either take the car now and come back at a later date for them to fix the Istop.   Istop is when you stop at the traffic lights or anywhere for that matter, and your foot is on the brake, the motor turns off.  As soon as you release pressure from the brake the motor cuts in again.  It is supposed to be a fuel saving thing.

Or, we could take a loan car home and come back tomorrow.  We opted for the loan car.  He said to give him 5 minutes while he got the paperwork sorted.  When we went in to see him he was on the phone and told us that our car was ready for us to take home.  The problem with the Istop had been fixed.

By now it was close to 4pm, still raining and so we headed towards home and went to do the shopping.  Leap Year Day wasn't that exciting for us, most of it was spent waiting around, but I did lurve the rain.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Solar Panels And A Showdown

Monday 27th February, 2012

Well this morning was overcast with the skies threatening rain, but guess rain here.  Apparently it fell in the north of the state.

Around 7.30am this morning the guys came to install our solar panels.  They thought that they would get an early start, before the rains came. We have got 12 panels on the roof so hopefully we put enough energy back into the grid which will cut down on the cost of our eletricity.  We're not that interested in making money by putting more energy back than what we use, we just want to reduce the costs as they keep going up and up.

It doesn't actually get connected to our meter box until next Tuesday.  We have to wait for ETSA to come.  We can't even watch the meter going backwards as the electrician had to disconnect the inverter because we do not have a main switch in our meter box.  He has to come back when ETSA are here so that he can connect it.  Not even he is allowed to tap into the ETSA cables to connect it.

Today also saw the showdown between Labor's Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard both wanting the position of Prime Minister. Back in 2007 Kevin Rudd was elected as Prime Minister.  Because his popularity was flailing, the backroom boys did a few deals and Julia Gillard was promoted to PM.  She took the country to another election, but didn't win it in her own right, so she had to solicit the help of the Greens and Independants.  She made Kevin Rudd the Foreign Minister.  He resigned that position last Wednesday.

Since she has been PM her popularity has plummeted mainly due to her lies, saying she won't bring in a Carbon Tax and then doing it, promising one thing to one of the Independants and then doing a backflip, policies failing and the list goes on. 

All the polls over the weekend wanted Rudd to be reinstated as PM.  Reading the comments on various websites most people believe that he would be the only one that could take it to Tony Abott (the leader of the Liberals, in Opposition) when it comes time for the next general election.  Some polls had more than 80% support for him.

Well, the politicians either don't read websites or listen to their constituents as this morning Julia Gillard was voted back in by Caucus, 71 votes to Rudd's 31 votes.  Come the next election goodbye Labor.  It will be quite a while for the dust to settle on this.  Gillard has been touted as the country's worst ever Prime Minister.

If she doesn't go to an early election, which I very much doubt, we will have to put up with her for at least another 18 months.  Wonder what other mess she can get us into in the meantime!

                                                    taken from Adelaide Now website

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Last Of The Hot Weather.....Maybe

Sunday 26th February, 2012

We have had some pretty hot weather the last few days with the temperatures soaring into the 40's.  Could this be the last of our hot weather for the summer?

On Thursday I had my phone appointment with Centrelink.  Waste of time doing it over the phone as I still have to go in and see them.  They did make an appointment for me to go to a Job Search place though and so on Friday morning I had to attend there.

Hmmmmm I wonder what they will do for me?  They gave me some forms to fill in, which I did, and when they were perused by the consultant she had no idea what my previous occupations entailed.  I had to put down my High School qualifications.  I put Leaving.  She looked at that quizzically and then asked what does that mean. 

I told her that was how far I got in High School, in those days you could leave school either after Intermediate or Leaving or go on to do Matriculation but that was usually if you wanted to go to University.  I said that Leaving would be equivalent to Year 11 today.

Then I had to explain what sort of jobs I did, like when I worked at the winery it was mainly bookkeeping and ledger machinist.  When I worked for the PMG Department it was in telephone accounts and she couldn't comprehend that in those days you didn't make long distance calls yourself, you had to ring an operator and they dialled the number for you and connected you to whoever you wanted to speak to.
Each morning all the notices would come down and I would have to log them against the phone numbers so that they could be billed accordingly.  Any overdue accounts I authorised for the disconnection of their phone.

I last worked in 1977, way before the computer age.  Yes, I can surf the net and send an email but that is about all.  I have no idea how to use business programs and even though Tony has tried to get me to use a spreadsheet I have no interest in it.  She had a hard time in trying to think what I could be suitable for, maybe a job in Admin, receptionist or retail she thought.  Anyway they are going to set up another appointment for me in about a fortnight.

On Saturday we went down to Port Adelaide to see the "Endeavour" sail.  It was supposed to leave at 11am but it was closer to 11.30am before it left the wharf.  The "One and All" also sailed with it.  After it went through the bridge we headed off down Semaphore way as they said it might have its sails raised by the time it got to there.  We ended up going down to Outer Harbour to see it.  It took nearly 2 hours for it to get from Port Adelaide to Outer Harbour.

Fired the cannon

It was pretty hot sitting there waiting but this time I did remember to take the sunburn cream and hats.  It didn't raise its sails which was disappointing, maybe the breeze wasn't strong enough.

Fired the cannon again and "One and All" sailed back to Port Adelaide

We ended up having some lunch at Largs Bay and then took a drive down to Hallet Cove.  The temperature in the car said it was 40 degrees outside.  At least we were cool.

Today has been a quiet day.  We did go out and tidy up at the back.  It was mostly overcast and not too bad outside.  We had a sprinkling of rain late this afternoon, hardly enough to wet the ground.  They are forecasting more for tomorrow, let's hope we get a decent drop.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monster Trucks, Bikes And Fireworks

Monday 20th February, 2012

We had another great weekend with Katie.  Kahra and Darrin dropped her off on Saturday morning as Friday night was the first Movie/Disco night at the Noarlunga Cinemas for the year and she wanted to go to it.  That was fine with us.

They came around 11.00am on Saturday morning and left shortly afterwards as Kahra said Darrin was 'on call'.  After they left we went to the shops so that I could get some cold meat for sandwiches.  We were going to the Monster Trucks at the Showgrounds.

I didn't realise how hot it was outside..........35 degrees they were prediciting.  We came back home and I made sandwiches to take with us, plus we took some bananas and nibbles and drinks.  Food and drink is so expensive at these type of events.

The event didn't start until 6.00pm, the gates opened at 4.00pm and you had to get there early to get a decent spot.  We left home just after 3.00pm and then lined up until the gates opened.  It had well and truly got to 35 degrees, maybe a tad hotter.  The organisers were so slow in getting people inside the grounds.  All bags had to be checked, no alcohol was allowed, and only one person was doing this.  Grrrrrr!!!

Once inside we saw that a row of chairs had been placed along the front of the grandstand.  This is where the people who bring their own chairs usually sit.  We were told by security that only one row of chairs was allowed and no chairs were to be put up on the lower section close to the fence.  If we wanted to we could sit on the steps or the benches.  We saw where we could upgrade to seats in a makeshift grandstand for $10 each.  Tony said let's do that. 

So we bought tickets for the "grandstand" and Tony ended up taking the chairs back to the car.  As he left he was asked why he was leaving and he told the gate staff that we weren't allowed to put up our chairs.  They immediately got on the phone and we noticed shortly afterwards people with their chairs sitting on the lower course near the fence and also another row was made behind the original chairs that had been put out.

Needless to say we were a little peeved but where we sat we had a great view and no-one came and stood in front of us.  That was a bonus.  The only downside was it was HOT, there was no breeze, but it didn't deter the thousands of spectators that had come out.

It was a great night.  Katie loves the Monster Trucks with Scooby Doo being her favourite.  The night had a couple of spills, two of the Monster Trucks rolled over, Taz and Monster Patrol.  Both drivers were OK.  Devil's Taxi, after four attempts, broke the world record for a wheelie for a Monster Truck.  He had to travel at least 81 metres on 2 wheels, he went 98 metres.  I don't know if it will be validated as you can only have three attempts, he did it on his fourth.

The aerial motor bike riders were awesome to watch.  They could do some great manouvres on their bikes. We were also entertained by the four wheeler bikes, demolition derby and this year they had 3 jet engine cars, 2 vans and a ute.  One of the vans, not only had a giant flame coming from behind but it also made smoke which sent a cloud over the whole arena. 

Fireworks finished off the night.  It wasn't a late night, the show finished around 9.30pm.  We took a drive down to  Henley Beach, had a coffee and walked along the jetty.  It was such a lovely night down by the water.

Sunday wasn't as hot as Saturday.  Katie wanted to go swimming.  On the way down to Marion we called into Port Adelaide to show Katie Captain Cook's boat, "Endeavour".  I knew that last year she had learned about him at school and she said they were learning about him again this year.  She and Tony ended up going on the "One and All" for a look.  That boat was built in South Australia by volunteers and the government has withdrawn its funding and so it has not sailed since last July.  We signed the petition for it to be up and running again.  


"One and All"

She was impressed with the boat and also with Captain Cook's.  If we weren't going swimming she said she would have liked to have gone on board. It was open to the public.  We got to Marion and she was happy. She had about an hour of swimming before she left to go home.  Not as long as she normally has but nonetheless long enough for me.  I think the heat of the weekend had drained me.

As we had to go and do some shopping today plus a few other things, Tony decided to go back to Port Adelaide and take a tour of "Endeavour".    By the time we got down to Port Adelaide it was close to 4.00pm and as this was the time they took the last tour on board he was lucky to get into the final group.

He was so glad he did as he found it very interesting.  He said it would have been no good for me as in places you had to crawl, and you had to sit down to listen to the tour guide as you couldn't stand up.  He said it was very confined.  Also I could see it "moving".  He said he didn't feel it while on board, but I saw those gang planks going in and out.  We are going back again on Saturday to see it sail out.  Hopefully they will have the sails up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Is In The Air

Wednesday 15th February, 2012

Yesterday was the day for lovers.  I trust you all had a happy Valentine's Day!  Hope you were all inundated with flowers, cards, and chocolates.
I kept checking the front door to see if bunches of flowers were left there for me, the fridge for boxes of chocolate to magically appear, and eagerly awaited the postman hoping for a card.   Nothing!

But I did get this.......

As you can tell, we aren't big on the Valentine's Day.  Way too over commercialised.  Just an "I love you" is all I need, rather than a bunch of flowers, chocolates or a card.  Oh, and Tony did cook a bar-b-que for dinner.

Once again we went and had a look at another boat.  This time it was the "Endeavour".  It is a replica of  Captain Cook's boat when he first came to Australia in 1788.  It is doing a sail around Australia and will be here for the next week.  You are able to go onboard to have a look around.  Tony said he would like to, so one day next week we are going to go back and do it.  The last time this boat was in Adelaide was in 2001.

I don't know what the sudden interest in boats is at the moment.  "Something" may be telling us that we might sail away.........

Today we went to Centrelink and Tony lodged his papers for him to receive the old age pension.  Reality has finally set in.
Even though we don't feel like we are senior citizens, we are.  Our age tells us we are. 

I am not eligible for a pension even if Tony is.  Instead, I have to go on a Newstart Allowance.  That means I have to go and look for a job.  Whaaaaaattttt!!!!!!!  The last time I worked full time was back in 1977. 

This is going to be fun.....NOT!  I have my interview with Centrelink next week.  Stay tuned!

From the Lens..............a rainbow exterior to a hotel in Port Adelaide

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ship Gazing

Sunday 12th February, 2012

Woke up this morning feeling really refreshed after a great nights sleep.  The day looked much nicer out too, clear blue skies and the sun was shining.  

After lunch we thought we would take a trip down to Outer Harbour and see the three ships that were in port.  There was Athena (the baby of them all), Crystal Serenity and Celebrity Century. 

We got down there just after 3pm.  Maybe there wasn't as many people as there were on Saturday when the Queen Mary2 was in, but there were still quite a few on the roads and down by the water.  We got talking to some of the people waiting and one of them said that one of the ships was due to sail out at 4.00pm.  We decided to stay and wait and watch it sail.

Next we heard it wouldn't be sailing until 5.00pm and another one would be sailing at 6.00pm.  OK, we'll hang around and see both sail out.  The largest of the three, Crystal Serenity, wasn't sailing until 11.00pm and we had decided to come back to watch that sail.  We thought it might look spectacular with all of it's lights blazing.  Then we heard that they had brought it forward and would now be sailing at 9.00pm.

Confusion reigned.  Nobody had any idea.  We got on the phone and Googled the ships but nothing really came up as to when the times of departure were.  Each new person that came down to the water had a different time.

So, we sat and waited and waited.  5.00pm came and went and there was no movement.  Around 5.15pm the Athena started to move away from the wharf.  She was a tiny ship compared to the other two.  She had spent the last couple of months sailing in the South Australian waters going from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln.  This trip she was going to Freemantle.  There were a lot of people on board.

By now we were getting terribly sunburnt.  This was not in our original plans to watch the ships leave.  I hadn't bought any sunburn cream with us and there wasn't any in the car.  Tony did bring his hat thank goodness.  Saved him from getting a burnt scalp, face, nose and ears.

After the Athena sailed we decided to wait for the Celebrity Century to leave.  It wasn't  too long to wait for 6.00pm.  While chatting to other people word came through that it wasn't sailing until 7.00pm now.  Oh well, seeing we are here we may as well stay.

With all three ships lined up along the wharf that one was the hardest to see because it was the last one in the line.  We decided to wait, we had nothing else to do.  Shortly after 7.00pm she left.  She was much larger than Athena but not as big as Crystal Serenity.  I thought she was a much nicer looking ship than Serenity, long and slender.

With only one ship left and most of the people saying she was going to leave at 11.00pm we left and went to get some dinner.  We decided to go and get a pizza from our favourite pizza shop at West Beach.  We ate it while watching the planes land and take off and then went back to Outer Harbour.

The boat (no, ship.....I gotta get used to calling it a ship) looked magnificent all lit up.  You could see it from miles away.  We sat and waited in the car, we had bought no jackets with us, and it was starting to feel cool, until around 10.30pm when we wandered off to the vantage point by the water.  It was quite surprising the number of people that had come out to see the ship sail, even people with babies in prams.

It left at 11.00pm, not with all of it's lights on though, so I was a little disappointed with that, but it still looked great as it moved through the water with barely a noise.

What a way to spend an afternoon and evening.  Who says nothing happens in Adelaide?