Sunday, October 4, 2009

All Facebooked out

Sorry to anyone who has been waiting for some news - I've been sucked into the Facebook world. Try looking me up on Facebook and you will find out what I am up to.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

All alone (except 7 cats)

Its Monday and Vik is taking the girls back to University. this is something I normally do, but he has to go into the city anyway.

This gives me about 10 days advantage on the Wii Fit to try to get to the top of more of the high scores before they come home again and known me down.

I currently have surgery scheduled for the 25th June for a Hiatus Hernia repair. I have to do 4 weeks of a special liquid fasting diet before the surgery (a horrible concoction called Optifast) to shrink the liver as it covers the stomach. This makes the surgery safer. I am not looking forward to it. I'll be on a liquid diet for 3-6 weeks afterward as well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two weeks since the kids went to Uni

Its not been two weeks since the girls moved out and in to University accommodation. Generally things seem to be going well for them, there's been an armed defender's squad shootout across the road from them, a suicide from a 17 floor build just down the road and they hate their flatmates. All seems par for the course.

As well as the seedier side of city life they have been enjoying the Auckland street festival; Tamara has discovered goat curry and Kate deep fried garlic bread.

Vik and I seem to be getting into a routine. He cleans the kitchen and changes the litter tray for first kitty of the apocalypse (i.e. Mitre) and I do every thing else.

I not longer have any protection from RSI and both of my wrist rests are being used as a kitten mattress as this was the only way of stopping Mitre from sleeping on my keyboard (while I'm trying to use it).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Iced Tea

We are all melting. For the last couple of weeks its been incredibly hot, usually into the 30s C. Until this week it was blue skies and sunshine, now it is drizzle and humidity that has hit 100%.

While the kids and Vik were in Queenstown I decided to figure out how to make iced tea. I first was introduced to the stuff in the US of A at the tender age of 14 and the instant iced tea I was given was so disgusting I didn't try it again for 25 years. I then discovered that the Asians know much better than the Yanks how to make the stuff and started drinking Chinese and Japanese versions.

Some web surfing showed it was pretty easy. To my surprise, when the rest returned, Vik and Kate took to the stuff as well and we are drinking it by the jugful.

So here is my iced tea recipe. Makes 3 litres (that's about 12 cups for those of you still using the old measurements).

Boil a kettle full of water and make a big pot full of tea. Leave to brew for a good 10 minutes. I use leaf tea from Tea Total and often used fruit flavoured teas (blackcurrant is especially popular).

While the tea is brewing, place about 1/4 cup of sugar (or to taste) in a large jug and add some of the freshly boiled water (just enough to dissolve) and stir until clear.

When tea is brewed, half fill the jug up with ice and pour tea on top. Stir and chill.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm sure you have all given reading this by now

But here I am again.

The reason this blog stopped for a while was really a series of unfortunate circumstances which took most of my time and energy and hopefully have passed for a while.

In November I got shingles. If you've had this the enough said. If you haven't, may you not, and if you have children, get them immunised against chickenpox which is a minor children's illness so they can never get shingles which is a very nasty and extremely painful affliction for adults.

December went to worst, starting with Vik having another kidney stone and followed a few days later by Kate being hospatilised with severe abdominal pain. They discovered a number of things but they think the main source of the issue is a food intolerance, probably gluten. As we already have one daughter officially diagnosed with a gluten and dairy intolerance this wasn't a surprise and had already noticed that a lot of Kate's symptoms were similar to those for Crohn's disease.

With Christmas approaching, Tamara got Norovirus which she had over the festive period recovering enough by the 27th to nurse the rest of us while we had it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

They're breeding I tell you

I know I know, 2 weeks is an unacceptably long time between blog entries.

Spring has definitely sprung and we have started spring cleaning. Daylight savings starts this weekend. The trees are full of blossom and the weather is getting warmer.

On Friday I drove to Hamilton with Tamara and Rebecca (a friend of the family) to see Mum who is in Waikato hospital and to attend a meeting with her support team.

They told us that there is no way she can go home nohow as she can't look after herself without assistance and she needs to go into a Rest Home until she has recovered enough to go home. At that I have to admit I thought that this simply isn't something that would happen, as once she was in a rest home, it was unlikely she would ever escape.

Mum is quite sure she does want to go home. She is fully in possession of all of her marbles and Peter and I agree that as she is a grown woman it is her decision if she is prepared to take the risk and we are quite sure she fully understands the situation. I understand that what she wants is quality of life rather than quantity and what she wants is her TV, her own remote control, to eat what she likes and to be able to do her jigsaw puzzle.

So it is up to us to figure out a way to make it possible. We are looking at having a full time carer live in and respite care provided by a private service for when her carer needs to go out/take a break. There is a private local hospital just a couple of streets down that she can stay at when her carer has a longer holiday.

We've been told she will be released on the 8th October.

Vik has been sick with the man flu and Kate and Tamara have the milder version of the same thing that is caught by women. So far I've managed to hold it off and hopefully will at least escape it until everyone else has recovered so they can nurse me in return. The girls are still going to Uni but are feeling pretty knackered.

Until a couple of hours ago there were three RepRaps fully or nearly fully assembled and a fourth still in kit form in the house. we are temporarily down to 3 as Vik has flown off to Wellington today with Darwin as tonight it the Open Source awards and he has been asked to show Darwin off.

Phoenix (the child RepRap) is now fully reassembled with the exception of one crimp which we are waiting in Jaycar for. It is a very different beast then the RepRap child we took to US and was trashed by the TSA, about 50% of the parts have been redesigned to be tougher and replaced.

Shiny is taking form and now looks like a RepRap. There's still a fair bit of work to do until its running though.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I think its fair to say that any novelty associated with air travel has well and truly worn off for Vik and myself.

Last week we both flew to Wellington so Vik could be interviewed by radio New Zealand about the RepRap. Despite it being a radio show, they wanted the RepRap there in person so we lugged Darwin along. This involved arranging a lot of shuttle vans as usual taxi cabs can't fit the RepRap box in their boot.

I'm glad to say that Darwin behaved itself perfectly and happily printed a ring while we were at the studio. As usual Air New Zealand looked after it well and it arrived pretty much in one piece (Vik forgot to fold down the opto flag before shipping but you can't blame the airline for that). We came back with QANTAS which were a little rougher and it needed about 20 minutes of care and attention before working again after coming home.

I think we are both becoming pretty familiar with Wellington City Central, but this time it appeared to be on a go slow and service at most places we went to was poor. The same can't be said of the General Practitioner (a pub) which was excellent.

when we got back there was the laser cut kit for the new RepRap which will be made out of Perspex. Vik and I individually named it Shiny so Shiny it is. The Perspex was cut by Ponoko who did a great job but to protect the finish each piece was covered on both sides by sticky paper and it was a mind numbing 2 hour job to peel all the pieces.

As this is a new design, some bits aren't quite right and have needed alteration, or will need to come from a new cut.

On Sunday we went to see Mum at Waikato hospital. She is now in the Rehabilitation ward (Kate found it very funny that her Grandma was in Rehab) and as a result is getting some great physiotherapy. She looked really well and her new Parkinson's meds have completely eliminated her tremor.