Sunday, 30 January 2011

The world is full of frauds

Let me ask you something. Do these car badges look new to you?

Back of a Ghia badge

Bent Fairmont badge with an anchor peg missing

Back of the Fairmont badge showing almost no rubber backing

It's not real clear but in the end bar of the letter M there is a crack where it was bent to fit into the box

Back of the Ford badge. Rubber is very patchy and obviously used.

We bought these badges from eBay, for the paltry sum of $25, with free postage. Bought them as Brand New in excellent condition.

Now, as any fool can see, these are so obviously used it's not funny. There is no rubber left on the back, no adhesive, and in some cases, the anchor pegs have snapped off. The Ford badge we bought also has obvious signs of being pried off a vehicle.

And to add insult to injury, when the box turned up, it was unsealed, the items were unwrapped and indeed the long Fairmont badge was bent to fit into the box, and I had to pay postage because the sender did not pay any at all.

When we confronted him about it he swore those badges were brand new. And that he has sent items free post before and never has anyone had to pay postage. I mean, how stupid is this guy? We had several nasty back and forth's, without resolution, so I took it further.

I opened a complaint in Paypal, and he was is so cocky he will win because these items are exactly how he bought them brand new. Well, I couldn't find a link anywhere to upload photos so I had to just tell Paypal that I had proof they were used and hope they ask to see them. I also told them that I had to pay postage when I picked up the box. Fingers crossed they find in our favour. It's not that we lost a lot of money, but charlatans like this should be made accountable. He's an obvious con artist.

Anyway, apart from that, this week has been fairly quiet. Boss was away all week so I have taken it slowly. Not rushing. It's been too hot. Well, I thought it was hot but this weekend has been a scorcher! Over 40. And next week will start off the same.

I had been getting continuous headaches all week, since Saturday night, so I took myself off to the Optometrist on Thursday night. I need two types of glasses apparently. One for distance, and one for close up. I chose to order just the close ups for now. Not real close, just for reading and computer. I don't read with the book under my nose, but on the desk anyway.

Wednesday was Australia Day public holiday. Ah, God Bless public holidays. Can't get enough of them. Dobby had a sleepover from lunch time, so Fluffy did some pruning and gardening in the morning, and I did washing and stuff. Then we took Dobby for her sleepover, and went for lunch together after. That was nice. Then when we got home we loaded up the ute and took the prunings off to the dump. Man, that's a rip off! It cost us $40. I hope the landlord will be nice and reimburse us. He is pretty good like that so fingers crossed.

After that we came home, flaked out in front of the telly, and watched The A Team video. Then I cooked bacon and eggs for dinner and we just veged. It was so quiet and pleasant.

Fluffy and I both had to go to work Thursday but it was so quiet getting ready without Dobby in the house. Fluffy picked her up after work while I was at the eye doc.

This weekend was nice. Saturday we all went to Marion to source a dinner set for the new van and some black sneakers for Dobby for school. In Big W we found a pair of black Cathy Freeman branded shoes for $40. Dobby didn't really like them but tried them and chose them anyway. When we got home she put them on and promptly spent the rest of the afternoon in them, declaring them quite comfortable after all!

We looked at Corelle dinner sets. These are expensive, but lightweight and designed for caravans and such. We found two possible patterns, then Fluffy looked at some of the other cheaper sets. He said we could choose any set so long as it was not one of those heavy porcelain sets. We also looked around at other items, and he chose me a brown teatowel set and a pot mit set. We had fun thinking of things we could put in the van.

We wandered up to another exclusive kitchen store just for a look and they had Maxwell dinnerware on sale for half price. We saw a set of white china with a small black and red cherry tree design for $48. Fluffy bought it for me for the van. Good price. Lovely dinner ware.

Back home and I hemmed a dress and a skirt for Dobby's school uniform.

Today, Sunday, we zipped back to Marion early because in some catalogues Fluffy saw a combo pack of 35 kitchen starter pieces for $29 and some cotton boxers. So a quick trip to KMart to grab a set and we chose 5 pairs of boxers ($5 each!) and two satin pairs for him.

Before that, though, I found Millers. Again. They had dresses for $15 so I bought a green-patterned one, a pair of brown pants and a pair of blue denim shorts. Just for around the house.

A quick change back home into the dress and off to pick up my friend Marg. She's almost 80 but you'd never know. We took her to Fasta Pasta for lunch, Dobby and I. It was lovely. Wonderful way to pass the hot day.

Then back home, and this is what happened...

What is she doing? Yes, it's true - she's ..... IRONING! She wanted to iron her uniform ready for tomorrow. Actually, I had to iron the skirt and dress that I hemmed so was going to do it anyway, but she got out the ironing board and set it all up. After I had done the skirt and dress she did her blouse and two polo tops. Legend! She's all ready now, except she has to sort her socks. She has two pair of knee-high white socks, and they are different sizes. I noticed that she has two odd sizes together so is supposed to put them right...

And, on Australia day afternoon, while Fluffy was loading up the trailer, I pottered some more with my sculpture. What do you think now she has a bit more hair?

I rather like her, and Fluffy and Dobby just love teasing her about looking aboriginal....

Anyway, I'll let you know about the Paypal claim. Fingers crossed....

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Didn't know I could do it

Well, an interesting week this has been. I was at work alone most of the week. And, I finally got caught up. So I allowed myself a couple of hours dag time, and had a long lunch while reading my book on Friday. I had gone for a cuppa first with my friend Eve, and then went back to the office and ate my favourite salad very slowly.

This week also saw us buy a new car. Well, an old second hand car. See, the new van is heavier than our current van, and the Mitsubishi 380 won't pull any heavier. So we spent most of our savings on a good second hand car. It's a 2000 model Ford Fairmont. It has all the bells and whistles, and a woodgrain dash. Very spiffy. But we have already encountered a couple of hitches. I drove it home Thursday afternoon from south of Adelaide, and noticed that the digital readout for fuel range left, etc, was fading out, as was the climate control reading. When we took it out on Saturday we noticed that they had all but disappeared. A call to the car fellow sorted that out. He is going to replace the screen when he sources a new one. So he should.

Then, this morning, it wouldn't start. Just like it had a flat battery. I took it out of gear, then put it back in and it started okay. When I backed out I noticed a pool of fluid on the driveway... have to keep an eye on that. Perhaps it just hadn't slotted into park properly last night when I parked it, and it was trans mission fluid leaking?

Anyway, here it is.

Saturday, Fluffy had his stunt driving school morning. I think he enjoyed it. Here is one of the instructors, Luke.

It was an early start, as the track is about 45 minutes from here, and we had to be there by half past eight. We arrived quite early, then there was the obligatory wait around while everyone else arrived.

As there was water in the pedestrian tunnel we had to all get into our cars and drive around to the track. Once there, the participants were introduced to the vehicles.

There were two minis, one red and one blue, and one red mini with a weird contraption on the side. Turns out this is a kind of stabiliser. This vehicle does two wheel rides. I was under the impression that the participants got to drive that one, but no, they only get a ride in it.

Still, there was plenty to be done. They had three goes at each activity. First up was jumping the ramp:

Then, the two-wheel ride:

Then, there was the 180 degree handbrake turn....

And then the 360 degree slide turn. This was by far his favourite so I included a little more of it....

Then, after a brief stop at the shop it was home for a couple hours before heading off to a 40th birthday bash. Now, I have never been a party animal. Never one to go out, get drunk, make a fool of myself. So I don't really like parties. I like to go for awhile, but I am lousey at conversation and am usually home around 11.

This time, I took my camera. It was a fancy dress - come as your fave dead personality/celebrity. But as we had been busy every weekend since coming home I hadn't had time to organise anything so we didn't dress up. We were the only ones who didn't. But we didn't mind.

I had my camera and I wasn't afraid to use it. I won't include many photos as the people involved wouldn't mean anything to you. But we had two Cleopatras, Steve Irwin put in an appearance. As did these two:

Darth Vader and Padme. Padme was the birthday girl. It was supposed to be a joint party with her brother Paul, who was 5o, and herself. But he was stuck in Queensland and unable to attend. She was so disappointed she wanted to cancel, but a friend (who dressed as the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz) wouldn't have a bar of it.

So we also had a visit from said Scarecrow, Dorothy, and the Tin Man (who does an excellent photo bomb....)

There was also Marc Antony, Tupac Shaker, Bon Scott from ACDC, Farrah Fawcett Majors, a few ghosts, a very young Annakin Skywalker, The Wicked Witch of the West (who looked fantastic), Arnie put in an appearance as did Kurt Curbain. Alli Baba also flew in on his magic carpet.

I ended up getting to bed at 1 am, a very unusual event for me. Dobby had a great night, and even Fluffy had a couple of beers, although the poor lad had to get up and go to work just after 5am. No wonder he crashed this afternoon. I don't know how he did it.

I crawled out of bed at 7.30 this morning as I also had a big day. I stripped the bed and did two loads of washing, then headed out to the WEA educational centre in the city to meet with Eve and a group of strangers. Six hours later I came home with this:

What do you think? I had trouble with the mouth so the tutor did that, and I tweaked it a bit. It's hard to do the hair, so I just stuck stuff on. As Fluffy and Dobby have been teasing me since Ceduna about having an aboriginal heritage, they just reckon it's an ancestor of mine (the hair makes her look like she has black origins apparently). And bless them, they want me to play with it till I am happy, then dry it out and get it fired. Which means they won't mind it sitting around the house for a few years. Aren't they lovely? It's Terracotta so it will go a lovely red when finished with. So long as I keep it wet I can play with it for as long as I like. When I am happy with it, I run a trace through the bottom to separate it from the board, then dry it out for 4 weeks. Then I arrange for it to be fired somewhere. Costs about $40 I think.

Well, apart from now taking such a bloody long time to upload videos onto this stupid blog, I am done for the day. I can't seem to get the clay from under my nails so I think I'll run a bath once I get all these videos up. Yep, sounds like a plan to me... cup of hot chocolate to go with that too, and a piece of cake from last night just to top it off... aaaaaah!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Back to the grindstone

Just a short post this week. Nothing terribly exciting has happened. Well, perhaps it has, but not as dramatic as most of my boring old posts :-)

This week saw Fluffy and I return to work after our epic peninsula adventures. It's hard going back. For most people they go back refreshed and ready to go. For me, I know I face the arduous job of catching up on everything that was not done in my absence. So there is that mild sense of dread of what may be waiting. As Dobby is home on holidays, I am free to come and go as I please so I have been getting to work earlier and leaving later to catch up. Make up for some of the time I had to take off I suppose, and will still have to take off.

She has another doctor's appointment on Monday, at 2.15 which means I will have to leave about 1.20. That means I won't go back to work after. If we finish at a reasonable hour I will take her to finish her uniform shopping just up the road from work. Boss flies to Sydney that afternoon so he'll be out for the week. I get lots done when he's not there so it's catch up time.

Fluffy seems to be settling into his new role of Acting Contract Manager. He'll feel it when the boss comes back in March I think. He has enjoyed having the perks that go with the job - meetings offsite, dinner now and then, plus he got taken to the cricket this week. That was fun. Do Not attempt to go anywhere near North Adelaide when the cricket is on. There are no provisions for parking or traffic and it took half an hour to go a few kms. Stupid. And I found the cause of it was people trying to do a left hand turn were blocking traffic and backing it up right back into the city. But he enjoyed the night anyway, in a corporate box, food, drink... someone even gave him a stubbie cooler with Mitsubishi 380 on it - a very rare item indeed. (for those who don't know, we drive one of those).

So, anyway, he has been obsessed with updating our caravan lately. We would need to take out finance to do this. But we do not have a mortgage, so this shouldn't be too much of a problem. We just never really gave it any thought.

Until this week. Sometime this week, not sure when, Fluffy took himself down to the caravan people. He brought me home a brochure to look at, and a quote the lass down there gave him. He was so excited. We were told they could give us a certain amount as trade in for our van, but if we sold privately we could get a couple grand more because everyone is looking for vans with bunks.

And, if we don't manage to sell, they will still take it at the price they quoted. Good to have that choice, isn't it? How many places take that!

So, we went down for a look yesterday. Indeed, the layout of the one I like is rather nice. Single beds, middle kitchen like ours but bigger, and a front dinette. Dobby found she could lie on the longer seat relatively comfortably. Not as long as a bunk, and she would have to bend her knees slightly, but no different to her sleeping on the couch at home really.

So, we put down a deposit and ordered one....

I can't download any picures from their site, but here's the website: Jayco.

If you look at Poptops, Sterling, floor plan 1755-6, that's ours. Fabric and laminex will show you the laminex we chose of Quartz Gloss, but the fabric we chose (well, Dobby and I chose) is not on there. It's an unusual one. Chocolate corduroy type fabric for the seats and the back is a cream colour with black felt sketch style straight flower stems with leaves. Not sure if there are actual flowers, but they have the odd red and yellow-ish leaves. The others are either brown or unfilled. I call it "happy fabric". It's kind of uplifting. Fluffy chose a blue one, which I must add, was lovely. In fact, I always wanted a blue interior. But for some reason I kept coming back to this other.

We have yet to see what it looks like made up because it's so new, but I have been assured that toward the end of the month they will start getting a few sample vans through the yard and we are welcome to go down and see. If we don't like it we can change. The colours are neutral type colours, and as it comes with beige curtains and bedding (yes, it comes with two single bed quilts and pillows), we thought this one would match. When I can find a pic of it I'll put one up.

If you want to take a virtual tour, you'll find our model is not there. But if you look at the 1755-7, it's the same except ours had single beds.

So, there you go. We spoke to the finance guy yesterday and should know something later this week. He didn't seem to think there would be a problem... Now we just have to tackle the task of cleaning out this one and putting it up for sale.

Then, after that little stint, we had to make a dash to KMart for Dobby. Recently she "won" (I say that because everyone who enters the draw wins) a free photo session at Studio 2000. I had this done years ago, and it was expensive then. But she wanted to do it, totally against her father's wishes though.

So, we went down there for something to wear. She just doesn't have anything. I found a few bargains, and off we went.

Now, as these are terribly expensive photos, I guess we won't be able to afford to buy any, so when we got home, we took some photos of each other just so we knew what we looked like on the day... what do you think? I think Dobby's make up is lovely, but not sure about it on her. It's what she wanted, and she did some sweet rock chick photos. I didn't think the photographer did quite what she could though. She didn't encourage Dobby to let loose, just posed her how she wanted her to look.

Same with mine. We were posed some ways, but I thought there would have been more seated shots. However, some were with that new technology that really brings out the colours. I know we won't be able to afford to buy them but I am really looking forward to seeing them.

Sigh. Well, never mind. It was a fun afternoon. I think the highlight for Dobby was, while we were standing outside waiting for Fluffy to pick us up, still in full make up, a taxi drove past staring at us with a huge grin on his Indian face. I wondered what that was about then I realised, we must look like a couple of hookers! All dolled up like that, loitering outside on the streets on a quiet Saturday afternoon! Dobby roared with laughter! So after that I decided we had better hold our stuff while waiting.... just to make sure....

Stupid Blogger. It has been taking close to ten minutes to upload two photos. I just did some more, and it said "Done" but the photos didn't come though. Now I have to start all over again!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Toowoomba Floods

A little note of condolence for the people of Southern Queensland.

Please take a minute to check out the total ferocity of this flood.

Thoughts and prayers to Queensland.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A pictorial view of our holiday...

After many, many hours, and two photos at a time, I have finally managed to upload some holiday snaps for you to see.

First of all, this one was taken Christmas Eve at Point Turtin. Lovely, isn't she?

This one is of my bestest ever Christmas present. It even came with an 8-week photography course! *Loves my man!* It also came with a 200ml zoom lens. He is looking at buying me a 500ml too.

So, naturally, I had to test it out...

This was Dobby and I taken by another lady and her daughter. Can you see what's behind us on those rocks?

No? It's a seal! And not just any old seal, no, this one has a lovely blonde hair-do! He was quite happy to lay there and watch us watching him!

Anyway, when I got my camera, Dobby was a tad jealous. Not really, but she is always taking pictures with her little one. In the camera bag in the van is Fluffy's digital semi-SLR camera, which cost a small fortune, and I had been teaching myself to use previously. He asked her if she wanted a go. She has had a ball taking pictures with it. I fear if we were to go into competition she would beat me...

This is Dobby and her dad at Point Turton. Sweet photo, isn't it?

We have friends in Stansbury, so we took a drive over to see them. This is a shot of the foreshore. Pretty, hey?

Dobby made friends with a dead shark thing. I keep forgetting it's name, but Fluffy knows.

This is the Big Galah on the way between Port Augusta and Ceduna. We had been following a huge van since Port Augusta and they too pulled in here. Turns out they were going to Streaky Bay. We took a walk through the park and think we found them, but we weren't sure as no one was around. I'm not sure which is the big galah in this pic - the pink bird, the one under it, or the one off to the side... :-)

The caravan park at Ceduna was right across from the beach, and we managed to get a couple of lovely sunset photos on New Year's Eve.

On the way into Streaky Bay we encountered a wonderful storm. I have always said the clouds over here in SA are far prettier than the clouds in Queensland, and these did not disappoint.

These pelicans liked to hang around the fish cleaning areas (there were about 5 dotted along the foreshore) and people threw scraps at them.

In Coffin Bay, a local gent was wandering around with this juvenile Alexandrina Parrot on his shoulder. I overheard part of his conversation with our neighbours, and I believe he was from around the Central Queensland area, but I could be mistaken?

Coffin Bay is a lovely little area, although there are not many places to eat. We did get into the pub on one night, for Schnitzels. But it was terribly crowded and we had to eat outside. Nice though.

This is the foreshore. We had takeaway here on the last evening. Everyone comes to eat, play, socialise. Lovely spot.

In Port Lincoln, we were on the hunt for a comforter for Dobby, as her gran gave her money to buy one. She found one at KMart which took her fancy, and I found this at a little bedding place around the corner...

In the van it's huge, but on my bed at home it's not so big. Soft and warm though, too warm for summer!

Coffin Bay had a little lookout, but the trees had grown so tall it was almost impossible to see anything, so Dobby tried to get a better photo. Also, the camera she has been using has a better zoom than mine.

Last stop was Whyalla, and outside town had this museum. We didn't go and check it out, but it did look interesting.

And when we got home, Dodge was so affectionate, he kept following us around purring and meowing. Every room we went in he followed. I couldn't resist this pic...


Well, since my last post was New Year's Eve not much exciting has happened, but I'll see what I can come up with anyway.

Lets see. The washing machine, Joe, did not consume me, but after Ceduna I couldn't get back onto the internet. We found that Port Augusta was the last telephone reception I (on Vodafone) had, and Ceduna was the last Fluffy (on 3) had. We still had Telstra (Fluffy's work phone) at Streaky Bay, though, but it was patchy. Then nothing for any of us at Coffin Bay.

New Year's Eve started noisy, as there was a Yacht Club about 400m down the street, and the wind was blowing our way. A live band was playing too, which didn't help. But, as it had been terribly hot, I had a headache, so yay for pills! Slept like a log!

As mentioned, there was not a lot except for Aboriginals in Ceduna but we were unable to book into Streaky Bay any earlier as they were full. And when we got to Streaky Bay, we were just a little glad we didn't. The locals at Ceduna were friendly enough. Everyone waved at you, but you could hardly find the white people. They were the tourists. Interesting to sit at the beach and wave to the carloads of aboriginals driving by. Everyone waved. Black, white, no matter, they all waved! We made friends with the couple next door too, as they were from Mount Compass, just south of Adelaide, and had a little dog called Max. Lovely people. But we were still happy to continue our adventure to Streaky Bay.

It was a tiny little coastal village, quite a pretty place, but the park was terribly crowded and only a few showers to go around all those people! Sand, water, toilet paper seemed to rule. And, as we were only there for two nights, we woke up both mornings to the lovely smell of sewerage. Don't know why, maybe it was the beach at low tide? It went out a long way there...

It was interesting to see that the pelicans knew to hang around the fish cleaning areas (there wer several along the beach front, at the back of the park). There were boats everywhere in the park, and it was hard to find the cars which were not 4wheel drives. Everyone on the Eyre Peninsual fishes. Nice spot though. For all our love of water, Dobby only went swimming once, at Point Turtin, and although we were on beachside caravan parks for the most part, we just didn't go in the water. And my dream of fishing got no further than the rods actaully being loaded in the van. Probably only then because they are always there. The reels weren't even attached! Strange how things work out, hey!

When we arrived in Streaky Bay, there was a storm on it's way. Now, being a dog, and a nervous dog at that, Oz didn't like that storm one little bit. He shook and panted all afternoon and didn't settle till the storm was well and truly passed. I think this holiday has made him a nervous wreck! Haha.

For entertainment we were forced to just go into the township and look at the couple of stores that were open over the holiday period, then drive around some of the neighbouring areas.

This trip, we seriously just did a heck of a lot of sitting and reading. And eating. I think I have added two or three more kilos to those five I already had! Sigh...

Anyway, after Streaky Bay, we moved about 250km south to Coffin Bay. That's a lovely part of the world. Again, the caravan park was full, and this time only 3 showers and 3 toilets for hundreds of people! It didn't matter what hour of the day or night you went up there, there was a queue for the amenities. Seriously strange. The site was a drive through, so plenty of room. Our neighbours were lovely too. They had a little Maltese Schitzu cross named Billy and he spent all his time playing with Oz. Lovely! We were at Coffin Bay for 3 nights, so one day we drove into Port Lincoln for the day. We seemed to get smaller as our trip progressed.... Port Augusta was small, Streaky Bay was tiny, and Coffin Bay was minuscule! Mind you, at Port Lincoln I did have phone reception! But still no Vodafone store so I can get my phone set up properly... bummer.

There were two take away shops at Coffin Bay, one of which closed about 3 minutes before our arrival, and the other was jam packed with hungry people. We ate out a lot, so we were used to waiting... They had a mini fair thing going outside, with live music and a few stores of local crafts. I didn't buy anything.

Actually this trip, I didn't buy too much at all. A couple of stubbie coolers, two shirts, Dobby got new skate shoes as the pair of shoes she had with her, had worn holes in the soles, and then at Port Lincoln, we found a tiny little jeweler, and bought two lovely necklaces, an anklet, a little frog on a stone, all for about $100. The old man behind the counter, who did a great job of talking up his little store and handmade jewelery, also gave me a little gold frog trinket thing, which I keep in my purse for luck.

The last night of the trip was at Whyalla. Finally, phone service and civilisation! Yippee! Not a bad little spot really. Tidy. There was a mix up with the bookings though. Fluffy booked the trip way back in July and paid deposits. We were booked into one park at Whyalla, and missed the turn. So when we were outside the other, we phoned and got directions back to the proper one.

Only to find out we were not booked in there, but in fact the first one we had parked outside! Duh! Funny. While there, Fluffy did what he always does, and wandered off to find someone to speak to. The people behind and one over from us, had Queensland plates on their Jeep. He asked where they were from.

Well, they were from Gayndah and around that area. Oh, then you'd know my father-in-law, says Fluffy. Yes, in fact, she was my dad's cousin! Tiny, tiny world! They were lovely people and quite happy to swap addresses. Pop was happy to know they were around as well.

Just goes to show, you have to be careful! You never know who you will meet!

Got home today safe and sound, and my darling little Dodgy has been so attentive, purring and meowing all over us! Very unlike him... and I think the dog is happy he is back on stable familiar ground too!

I'll put up some pictures separate for your perusal too. Hope I didn't bore you!