Farting around


We had a partial eclipse this morning. It was cloudy in Fish Hoek, but at work the clouds pulled back just a bit, giving me a chance to take this photograph.

As you can see, this was taken after the maximum (about 40 minutes after).

Braaivleis, Rugby, Sunny Skies & Chevrolet

To tell you the truth, it rained yesterday evening. December isn’t what it used to be. But we’ve managed to braai a few times already, and more of the same is planned for the next week or so — life’s good as long as the beer holds out. And I’m really enjoying Marko not coping with his summertime decision to move to a snow zone.

In contrast with the fact that it’s high summer, SWMBO insists on turkey for Christmas. This is not your traditional boertjie Christmas fare, I grew up in a leg of lamb kind of house. I’ve managed to make a few decent turkeys in the past couple of years, and the leftovers get frozen and made into stock, and we end up making risotto in June after discovering more turkey in the bottom of the freezer. This year I’m brining the turkey in vinegar, which is a bit of an experiment, since our turkeys come pre-basted from Brazil, and one’s supposed to brine a non-pre-basted bird…

Turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts is [1] nowhere near in season. It’ll have to be frozen stuff.

Of course having a vegetarian teenager around is a new challenge. Did you know that packet gravy is vegetarian? Saves a whole lot of hassle, that does. So we started making a nut loaf for Jessica last night. It’s a bit like meatloaf, with nuts, of course, and it needs to be frozen before it goes into the oven. Will see how that goes. Then we got pizzas and watched Taken, a sort of a vindication feelgood movie for the paranoid.

(And for those of you who don’t recognise the title of this post, it’s a Chevrolet radio advert from toeka).

[1] I think it should be is. And if it’s not, y’all be sure to tell me and I’ll phone the queen and ask her, OK?

Filk in progress

On the first day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
A honking south eastern wind storm.

On the second day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the third day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Five broken windows,
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Six rooftiles flying,
Five broken windows,
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

(Work in progress, but lemme tell you, if you don’t like wind, Fish Hoek is not for you).

And you ask why my back is sore?

[SFx: Cannibals, Mark Knopfler]

I was on my way to Bellville when they phoned to say the shower door had arrived.

So we checked to see if it fits in a Golf 4 Estate.

It does… but the driving is… interesting (it’s 60km from Bellville to Fish Hoek).

Road trip hiatus

I’ve been quiet because we’ve been on the road. Tanya and I drove up to Gauteng on Wednesday, September 24th, spent two days there, then drove down to Port Elizabeth and from there to Knysna, where we spent the most of last week.

Wednesday : Bellville to Rustenburg. Departed 04:00, got there after 7 the night. Bit of a drive.
Thursday : Rustenburg to Krugersdorp to Centurion to Randburg to Benoni.
Friday : Benoni to Witbank and back to Benoni.
Saturday : Benoni to Standerton to Bloemfontein and down to Port Elizabeth
Sunday : PE to Knysna. Shortest leg of the lot.

And then the next Thursday we drove back home. A total of 4435km, seven tanks of diesel totalling 285 liters for a consumption of 6.4 l/100km (The VW Golf computer reported a consumption of around 5.5 l/100km on Caltex and Total, and 6.5 l/100km on the one tank of BP I put in. It lies by about 0.7 l/100km).

Why? Because I like driving up. (Really! I’d like to drive up twice a year or so if I could.) And because I had to collect stuff which is too heavy to fly down easily, and because there are people up there I like seeing now and then, and because we were on our way to Knysna anyway so what’s a short detour?

Tanya has the notebook, so you’ll have to read more about it on her blog.

When we got back I followed up on our kitchen countertops, they were ready, and I picked them up on Friday.

I fitted the long counter first — this involved power planing off about 5mm on the back corner on one side because of course the kitchen corners are not perfectly square.

I then joined these two bits after edging the 600mm deep one. The holes are cut using a cupboard hinge drill, which fits a standard electric drill, and the slots are routed. I was extremely nervous about going all the way through, so I went 20mm in (I could probably have pushed it to 30mm).

Perfect fit.

I tried matching the back of the counter to the (not so straight) wall, using a down-cutting jigsaw blade. My recommendation is, don’t bother. My result is slightly less in line with the plaster than the original straight cut was. Down-cutting jigsaw blades don’t work so well. Or maybe it’s my jigsaw.

While waiting for the glue to dry, I went around sorting out door handles and locks. Just about all the handles had stripped out screws, some lock mechanisms were missing etc. I bought two new locks for Jessica and Tamsyn’s rooms, and I had one lying around for Tanya’s room — the bathroom and toilet don’t need keys, sliders will do. Basically I filled the holes, pilot drilled new holes, and used the nicest screws I could find — brass, which is better than the chipboard screws they sell with locksets these days, but not as nice as the oval countersunk screws one used to get.

The holes for the bottom hinge on Tanya’s room’s door were completely stripped out, so I grabbed the 10mm dowel kit and modified a few dowels by chopping the one pointy end off.

Holes drilled out and dowels glued in. All fixed up.

On Monday I got the five cupboard and bookshelf units I ordered from Lansdowne Boards. This time I paid extra to have them individually wrapped — this will go far towards avoiding the confusion I had last time, although I’ve already identified two 2000×500 panels with edging all around which were nicely wrapped with the 2400 tall cupboard, but which don’t appear on my packing list).

Chipboard is heavy. I had help loading up, but to unload I had to unpack on top of the Land-Rover and carry it down bit-by-bit. Kept everything together, of course :-)

Another lack-of-progress report, with pics

Last week was hectic, since my company exhibited at the African Aerospace and Defence Expo. I had to be in Cape Town early to pick up some foreign visitors, and evenings got late too.

The mountain does make a nice backdrop for pictures.

This is Harvard #7293, used by the SA Air Force from 1942 to 1961. In another life, I want one.

Nice colour scheme.

This is the only flying Shackleton in the world, since they crashed the other one in the Sahara.

After finding some currywurst for breakfast, I managed to tear myself away from our exhibit at around 12:00 on Saturday, and went to the office to print a contract, since my brother found a buyer for my Fox. Went to Bellville, found other paperwork, buyer came around, I managed to still catch the liquor store open (16:55, they close at 5 on a Saturday) and then rushed back to Tanya’s place, because I had to pick her up and go back to Bellville for a braai… after which we went back to Kommetjie again. Covered about 250 km the day :-)

View from the N1.

Somewhere in the early hours of Sunday I woke to a dripping noise. Tanya’s geyser was leaking. Bear in mind that we’ve only just sold the place.

So Sunday I investigated, drained the geyser, removed the element, and came to the conclusion that it was probably the geyser itself that was at fault. Drove to the house, got the Land-Rover, and the electric gate wouldn’t close. Fscked played with that until it started working, drove to the hardware store. Got into a traffic jam because some unfortunate individual got under the train, and everyone wanted to rubberneck. Bought a new geyser, battled the same traffic jam going back, picked up the ladder from the house, removed the crud from the gutters at Tanya’s place, waited for Tanya to come home to help me with the geyser, fitted the geyser, hosed out the gutters, loaded the b0rken geyser into the Land-Rover, and had a well-deserved beer.

But no progress on the house side of things.

Meanwhile, Crystal continues to crack me up. I need a support group.