Thursday, December 28, 2006

Some Days Are Good Days, and Some Aren't

Christmas day was delightful. BabyCakes and I swapped gifts early in the morning before we headed out for the day.

I had a great time watching my nieces and nephew open their presents and having fun. It was great to catch up with family. BabyCakes' mum was feeling a bit better and ate a bigger meal than she had in days. It was a nice day full of fun and family... and lots of food.

Today, well today is not the best day I've had. Perhaps a little too much alone time, perhaps too much thinking about others' comments.

Sometimes I wish a big hole would swallow me up and I wouldn't have to think any more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Pound of Flesh.....

My door is installed! Hazzah!

The installer turned up today to install it, and wouldn't you know, the poor guy was starting his first day installing doors for this company.

He was fabulous, I'm very happy with the service he gave me (I guess the corporate dogma hasn't had a chance to kick in yet), despite all the interesting problems my quirky little flat could throw at him.

It turns out my hinges are part of the door frame (all metal, all the time), and the door frame is kinda back filled with concrete. This meant lots of traipsing up and down stairs for him, to cut and fit the door properly, and the concrete bit made it more difficult for him to drill out a new hole for the deadbolt. I'm not sure how long they usually allow to fit a door, but I'm pretty sure it's not 2.5 to 3 hours! He even helped poke the hinge pins out through the layers of paint so I could take the door off to seal it underneath (which, curiously, he said builders in a lot of new places don't actually do which makes him (and me) cringe).

My new door is in, and I'm excited....

I'd been disillusioned by the project, the roller coaster of my week.

The first excitement was starting by deciding to strip and paint the door jamb before the new door was installed.

It was very closely followed by the frustration of underestimating/not allocating enough time to actually complete the project. So I did about half to three quarters of the job then.

The next day, I decided it would make things a lot easier if I took out the carpet under the door (as planned), and then I'd be able to get alllll the way down to the bottom of the frame.

It was hard work, but mostly fun, especially when I worked out that the best way to get the metal strip that keeps the carpet to the ground at the door up was not by trying to be delicate with it, but to get the claw of the hammer in there and get a bit physical!

The mess was strangely satisfying and very much made me feel that I owned the place, more so than anything else I'd done here.

The carpet was even more manky than I'd realised, and I was delighted to throw even a small piece of it in the bin!

In the process of pulling the carpet up though, I managed to damage the old door even more than it was!!

More of the veneer came off, and the bottom rail of the door kinda fell out...

It was together with masking tape for the last couple of days of it's life!

Anyway, with my powers of destruction having had a chance to stretch their dormant legs, I decided I should get the door jamb finished before the big day (new door installation), arrived.

So on I went, to discover why there were so many layers of paint on the door frame and stuff...

Stripping paint is an AWFUL job, and to make matters worse, I'm not convinced that I helped my cause by stripping it... I thought I'd stripped it pretty well, and sanded it OK... 'till I put some layers back on...

Then, to add insult to injury, after just one coat of the actual paint (on a base coat), I decided to let the cat out of the prison of the bedroom, to discover that the paint I'd put on was enough to make it really hard to shut the door (and it took off some of the paint!!!!!). I then noticed the horridly wonky cut, which explained all kinds of jams!

I left it at that point, and decided to wait for the new door cut by a person who sees the merits of a straight line.

Now, I have to seal and paint the door, finish of the door jamb, and hope that there is room enough in my gorgeously straight cut door to allow for all those layers of paint!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I worked out why my door frames are a funny colour....

Inside my flat, the door frames are painted teal green, the same as the front of my front door.

In preparation for my door being installed this week, I went out and bought paint for it. It's expensive!! The one litre minimum makes it even more so... enough paint for 16 square metres, to paint what will probably amount to just over one square metre once one makes allowances for all the glass.

I figure the previous owner (with their seeming reluctance to spend money), bought a can of paint and figured that they *had* to use it on more than just the door given its expense. So, now I have teal green paint to strip away, so that I can paint it white... vivid white.

I won't be sad to see the teal green (a colour I usually don't mind), go. Call me old fashioned, but cornices should be white, and so should door jambs... or at least neutral, or part of an explicit design feature...

I can't imagine why anyone would have wanted to draw attention to my unevenly fixed frames!

Friday, December 15, 2006

How do they get these results?

If you believe everything you read, star signs correlate to traffic statistics... Nifty.

However, What I don't understand is how they get the statistics...


So... we're assuming that we believe this at this point, that's interesting enough reading... they give the obligatory reasons why it is all so - that's fine. These figures are supposed to come from a combination of stats about accidents and tickets and then they go on to give the stats on tickets and accidents separately...

What I don't get, is how they get the main results they are spouting, to tout their book...

Lets take a look:

Their List
Worst Accidents Tickets Total of Rank
Libra 1 5 6
Aquarius 5 3 8
Aries 4 2 6
Pisces 7 1 8
Scorpio 2 7 9
Taurus 8 6 14
Sagittarius 6 11 17
Capricorn 3 4 7
Virgo 9 10 19
Cancer 11 9 20
Gemini 10 12 22
Leo 12 8 20

What I have done, is given a value for each sign as to how "dangerous" it is... 1 equalling the highest danger and 12 equalling the lowest danger. I then added them together, and in theory, the lower the number, the more dangerous the driver is.

Given this basic statistical modelling of the data they have presented to the world, I see that the rank should look a little more like:

Worst Total of Rank
Libra 6
Aries 6
Capricorn 7
Aquarius 8
Pisces 8
Scorpio 9
Taurus 14
Sagittarius 17
Virgo 19
Cancer 20
Leo 20
Gemini 22

That moves the list around quite a bit. Unless there is some serious weighting to some of the figures which there could be... (there might be more accidents caused by Aquarians than Capricorns, so therefore they move up the list as "dangerous drivers")... but they don't mention this on the page, in fact they don't mention any figures on that page other than 100,000 drivers and the rankings. (I'm a Capricorn by the way, so my star sign looses by me bringing these figures to the world's attention ;))

Personally, I think the proportion of people to star sign would be an interesting stat to look at with or without the claim of month of birth to accident/ticket ratio... I doubt that people in a non-geographically diverse area are statistically born all year round (if you took a world wide sample, you're more likely to get closer to an "all round" birth rate)... there is a strong likelihood that there are three or four star signs that are more prevalent in the study - and therefore, surely by pure virtue of being more populace, statistically more likely to have accidents/get tickets?

I dunno, I just juggle numbers to get the answer my boss wants half the time ;)

I also heard that 77% of all statistics are made up on the spot....


Maybe I should troll the website for some figures on gender to accident/ticket ratios... they prolly have some somewhere, if they want to sell a book about it...

Oh, and one last thing, what the hell is the "My Name is Earl" reference got to do with the damn story, or book for that matter... he got hit by a car, and then tries to modify his behaviour - oooo his star sign must be a Libra, or Aquarius, or..... If the driver that had hit Earl had read the book, such "hilarity" like "My Name is Earl" might never had existed...

...on second thoughts, this book should be recommended reading for all fictional/Hollywood drivers!!

*rreooooowwwr* !

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Think My Boss Has Left The Country

I *think*.... He keeps changing his flight!

This means that I should hopefully be able to go 24 hours being able to plan my time myself. I do know that while he's on the plane he is planning to write another two proposals - we're not quite done yet, and for this work we get the added bonus of trying to work across significant time zone changes!!! yay!

On the up side, my boss wrote me a really nice Christmas card and gave me a generous bonus (over twice any bonus he'd given me before). BabyCakes wonders if he's trying to butter me up for not giving me the pay rise he promised for October... Ah well. I can't complain too much, there are plenty of people who would line up for my job, but I wonder how many of them could actually do it....

I'm just looking forward to a bit of a break.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All I Want For Christmas is My New Front Door

Today is the 53rd day after ordering my door.... I had to call them, because whilst the door is in the state, it's not unpacked yet, which means they can't call me (?).

The upside of my phone call this morning is that I have a fitting date!!!! Next Wednesday (61 days after ordering, but who is counting....) they did offer that I could get it installed next Friday, but I passed on that idea, I need to allow two business days to chase them up if they decide they can't fit it on the day they said they would. It would be a damn shame to have people turning up to our Christmas party giggling over our old door!

8 and a half weeks after order, my door should be fitted... YAY!

I heard a worse story though, my Dad ordered a new front grill door months and months ago, they finally had someone turn up to install it (having taken out the old one and making quite a considerable mess of the tiles etc.), and the door was too big by 40mm..... They sent 3 people out to measure the space before it was manufactured for the space.

They forgot to allow for the thickness of the frame... so, they took the brand new door back, to re-jig it all - probably taking a whole heap more time too, and they left the hole where the door was to go - my Dad had to put the old one back in so they had some sense of security!

At least my door is wood... if it is too big, they just keep cutting till it fits! If it is too small, I think I will cry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I want a Kitchen = Only the Chillens Get Christmas Presents This Year

Don't get me wrong, I have one, but it's just not a very good one.

In the mid-seventies (when my flat was built) people needed a sink, a stove, a fridge, some benches and some cupboards. They didn't have a microwave, a blender, a food processor, a rice cooker, a breadmaker, an electric frying pan, a wok... their kettle probably was on the stove top.... so the single fridge power point and one double point for the toaster and hand mixer when required by the good little hausfrau was plenty! The good little hausfrau seemingly was much tidier than I too, back in the days when a 45cm deep bench was big enough!

What this means for my little flat is the now standard 58-60cm deep cupboards and benches are going to make my kitchen feel like an aeroplane galley...

I'm going to need some serious thought to design and look into some space saving type gadgets, which I'm sure basically translates to "I'm going to need to spend a heap of money on a tiny space, and no one will realise quite how much will have been sunk into it".

Oh, and I think I've decided on plastering pretty much my entire flat... my ugly walls are driving me nuts, and I want to paint!

I have finally decided on colours too - I think. I needed/wanted to get colours sorted out before my door eventually gets delivered. It will need to be painted to protect it, and I'd rather paint it right the first time.

After some bad experiences with sample pots looking nothing like their chip colours on display, I now know what colours I want, but they are from all different paint companies! I plan on taking the samples to one of those colour matching mobs and get them made up with the same paint, but in the colours I want.

Basically it will be pretty much white (with a hint of blueish purple to it, but just a hint), then the master bedroom will have a very dark blue feature wall, the front door will be the same colour, and it will be the accent colour for the bathroom. The lounge room and second bedroom will have burgundy feature walls, and it will the accent colour for the kitchen. I think two strong colours are more than enough for such a small space. The doors, architraves and window sills will be in a very white white gloss.

So while I have a fair bit of work to do before I can seriously expect it, I really want a new kitchen....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Some people have too much time on their hands

My brother sent me the following in an email:

This has just about taken the top spot for my most favourite vid ever.
sound is a must.

I don't know which is more disturbing, the first bit, or the second bit.....

maybe I just don't get it!