Dec. 10th, 2013
We just bought a new mattress. As it turns out, mattresses are frighteningly expensive. However, our old one had two distinct hollows in it where we slept, and I was waking up every morning with lower back pain from sleeping in a hole.
Now, I'm waking up every morning with even worse lower back pain because I've developed a sleeping position to cope with being in a hole, and it doesn't work at all when on a supported flat surface. I am hoping I will adjust over a few days, but when I'm having to take voltaren and paracetamol just so I can get dressed, it's a bit beyond a joke. I just want to sleep well and have no pain in the morning. Especially when I have sheep to shear tonight* and I couldn't do adagio last night because my back didn't want to bend at all.
( My first job, you say?Collapse )
* For some reason shearing doesn't make it any worse. It just makes it hard.
** I ended up doing this job for many years, on and off. It got less boring once I understood what I was supposed to be doing and was able to strive for perfection in it.
*** Speaking of customer service, yesterday at Tony's Tyre Service I actually felt oppressed by it. The guy felt the need to repeat to me several times the list of 'extra' things they'd done for me while fitting two tyres and doing an alignment (free balancing for all wheels, tyre blacking), then got me to sign a form that basically said nothing but "The customer is always right". He insisted on swiping my card for me through the self-swipe eftpos machine, and giving me instructions on how to use it. And then walking with me to where my car was, asking me about my day. I was monosyllabic by this point because, they are tyres. A necessary evil that you buy, you pay for, then you leave. And for me, the best customer service in this situation is to let me get on with it, with minimum fuss. It was suffocating and I just wanted him to go away. Also, it took 15 minutes to do a 5 minute job.
Please, less customer service!
Dec. 9th, 2013
10:16 am - Late off the mark
Yesterday I was supposed to post for ghost_light, but I am crap at posting on the weekend because I always have so many other things to do - so this post goes out on the US 8th instead of the NZ one. And the one for today will be tomorrow. Sorry about that.
( And on a topic dear to our heartsCollapse )
NOM NOM NOM
I cannot have this stuff in the house. I would eat it all in one go, no matter how big the bar.
Chocolate has come a long way since I was a kid. My lack of self control around it hasn't changed, but now there are exponentially more flavours to try.
What's your local flavour?
* Only by a stretch of the imagination. They deliberately don't taste like real oranges even though the flavouring's improved over the years, in order to preserve the taste we all know and love.
Time taken: 8 hours
Materials: Expanded PVC foam board, hot glue, small amount of Wonderflex, Rub 'n' Buff in silver leaf, acrylic paints (graphite, mars black, burnt umber), 810 cap 12mm shank rivets.
Tools: Craft knife, heat gun, glue gun, paintbrushes, mallet, rivet setter and anvil.
Techniques: Plastic thermomoulding and fabrication, painting, riveting.
Difficulty level: Very straightforward, basically assembling stuff and painting it. Easier than the finished result would indicate.
( Chicks dig pauldrons!Collapse )
And since there was a burning question to be answered about what happens when Cullen lifts his arms, here is the answer:
Now I see why Bioware used magic on this bit. However, I think this situation will improve when he gets his lower body armour, which will stop this from happening. Also, the shoulders will slowly become more flexible over time, because that’s what leather does. At least, it had better..
Dec. 6th, 2013
10:00 am - God rest ye silent jingle bells
So there's a meme thing going round that's kind of like an advent calendar, only people on your friends list pick a date and a topic and you write about their topic on that date. I don't know where it started but it sounds like a bit of fun and so I'm throwing the floor open for that.
I didn't really know what an advent calendar was before the internet. My life has had pretty much zero religion in it and my family, while celebrating Christmas because that's what you do, only followed the traditions in a cursory way. For example, our Christmas dinner was always eggs, beans and chips. You see, my Mum - who was awesome, for those who didn't already know that - reckoned that it was ridiculous for a celebratory holiday to involve one person (usually a woman) spending the entire day working their arse off to produce a giant meal of fancy stuff that would only get half eaten. And then spend the entire evening washing dishes.
Nuts to that, was her opinion. So, eggs beans (the baked kind, from a can) and chips it was. And you know? I miss that. Nobody can make chips like my Mum did. Also, they are better with vinegar. Just saying.
So, um, yeah. I don't know where I was going with that. But please, give me a date and a topic and I will try to accommodate you. Top tip: weekdays work better because on the weekend I'm shearing and sewing and gluing and sometimes forget about the existence of the internet.
And, artfully yoinked from jvmatucha, have a thing. Guy takes kids' drawings of monsters and turns them into full illustrations.
 I should probably add that I live in the future so I'll be posting on what is potentially the day before the one you choose, depending where you live.
Dec. 5th, 2013
I like to look at nice bodies. All nice bodies, but I have a preference for men. I'm not above perving at a nice shirtless man pic, and I'm not ashamed to admit that some of the pics I perv at are of fictional characters.
I also admit that my desktop background at home is a slideshow selection of my favourite pictures of fictional men, some of whom are depicted shirtless or near-naked. I'm not all that keen on looking at cocks so there's none of that. YMMV.
( So, am I a hypocrite?Collapse )
I guess the bottom line is that there's no harm in my perving on fictional and non-fictional characters with their shirts off, just the same as there's no harm in a man liking to look at boobs. But we need to be careful that we don't allow that to become harmful by assuming that 'sex object' is the most important label we can apply to a whole gender.
Or am I just rationalising so I can get away with applying a double standard?
Dec. 4th, 2013
Right, so I feel the need to apologise to those who have replied to my posts from Friday and Monday for being kind of crappy at replying to comments. I could make a bunch of excuses but the fact is I'm embarrassed.
( WTF Tats? I thought you were shamelessCollapse )
These sheep are also embarrassed:
This is because they are naked. Yep. 3 x Perendales, 1 x Coopworth, 1 x Dorper, 4 x Gotlands (told you they'd be Trendy Breed Of The Year) and 1 x Mongrelly-looking Brown-fleeced No Clue. Oddly enough, No Clue was the healthiest. Also, Ms Flystrike from last mainshear is looking healthy this year and has raised a lamb. Yay for successes!
Dec. 2nd, 2013
10:21 am - Thank you
Thank you to everyone who responded to my post on Friday. You've given me a lot to think about, not least of which is that there are way more people still here than is evident from comments or posts.
And I realised that I still do hope that those who haven't posted in forever are among those still here, and that's why I still have people on my list that I haven't heard from in years. Heh. ;-) I am like a faithful old Labrador, holding your slippers for you till you get home.
Or some other, more flattering metaphor.
Time taken: 13 hours
Materials: Cardboard, sellotape, expanded PVC foam board, air-dry modelling clay, 1.2mm dark brown leather, wool batting, 4 x stainless steel dog whistles, 4 x metal rectangles 38mm (long side), waxed thread, 810 cap 12mm shank rivets, hot glue, Rub 'n' Buff (silver leaf), paint (graphite, mars black, burnt umber), satin varnish.
Tools: Craft knife, heat gun, scissors, edge bevelling tool, dremel with cutting disc attached, speedy stitcher, mallet, rivet setter and anvil, paintbrushes.
Techniques: Pattern making, leatherwork, plastic heat moulding, basic metal cutting, painting.
Difficulty level: Getting the shape of the shoulder bits right was hard, the rest is about moderate difficulty.
( Collaring your Templar in 278 easy stepsCollapse )
And then it was time to put it all together:
So there you have it. 13 hours' work to create a base for Cullen's pauldrons. The pauldrons are also in process and I expect to have them finished this weekend. Then we can test Sirinne's theory!
* This business of trying it on the model every 5 minutes is one of the reasons commission work is so hard. Without a model of exactly the right shape who's there whenever you need them, it's almost impossible to get a custom fit. I take my hat off to those who can achieve this.
Nov. 29th, 2013
On the other side of the world, people are doing weird things to turkeys. Have fun with that, you lot.
( I am not sure what I'm trying to say hereCollapse )
So. Even if you didn't read that up there, please read this. If you're in the habit of scrolling past my posts on your list, please unfriend me. I won't be offended. I'm going to do a friends cut pretty soon, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings so if you enjoy my blog but just don't comment much, please let me know. Not that it really matters, my blog is public anyway. But I know the sting of an unexpected unfriending and I don't want to do that to you if I can avoid it.
There you go. Do with that what you will.
Nov. 25th, 2013
11:26 am - Because pics, apparently
So it seems my new handpiece with its 320 watts of raw power is going to change things a bit for my shearing. It doesn't get bogged in the wool when I try to go faster like the old one did, so I was able to go quite a lot faster and thus finished Saturday's lot by lunchtime.
This sheep wants me to put her wool back on:
( Well actuallyCollapse )
And they paid me double for Smudge because they reckon she makes two sheep really...
So, done by lunchtime and everything went very smoothly. It was just what the doctor ordered and now I'm not feeling quite so hoha about shearing any more, which is nice.
There you go, a sheep post with pictures.
Nov. 22nd, 2013
So my old handpiece is history. They called me this morning and said that the motor was full of oil and that it was basically fucked and I must have overoiled it.
I find this somewhat difficult to believe since I've used the same oiling pattern for the last four years and it was working fine right up until the moment that it sucked a piece of wool into the vent. Then I took the back off, pulled the wool out and screwed it back on. Either that is extremely coincidental, or they have seen oil inside the barrel and decided that's the problem without looking further. It's also possible that oil has run in there as part of shipping it, since usually it's held with the business end pointing more or less downwards when in use. But that's a stretch too, because it wasn't oiled before I sent it.
Anyway, they wanted $490 to put a new motor in it, and given that the bloody thing only cost me $300 to buy new and it has already given me 4 years' service, I told them to chuck it in a skip. I'll muddle through with the new one which is more powerful but probably not as quality, and see how we go. It only has to last 2 years to work economically, since I only paid $150 for it. But I might have to get a second one so I have a spare.
( *sigh*Collapse )
This happens every year. And this year I've been more efficient than usual with my booking in several people in the same area for the same day. But gear failure pisses me off, and I guess the pissed-offness is bleeding into other areas quite readily, and making me feel a bit hoha with the whole thing.
Of course when I'm driving home on Saturday with a friendly gathering to look forward to and a pocket full of cash and the knowledge that another 35 sheep will be OK for the summer, it'll all be fine. Until the next weekend.
On the upside, the sheep posts are popular.. ;-)
Nov. 21st, 2013
I see lots of people on my flist are doing Christmas card swaps right about now. I've decided not to participate this year. While I love the sentiment behind it, I have never known what to do with them afterwards when I'm left with a pile of dead trees that have no further purpose and just get thrown out or clutter up the house. It makes me feel vaguely guilty, so I've decided to avoid that and just tell you all I think you're fantastic all year round and please don't think any less of me for my weird foibles about Christmas cards.
( More licorice allsortsCollapse )
Meanwhile, I predict Gotlands as the Trendy Lifestyle Sheep of 2014. I'm doing more and more of them. This is fine by me - they're easy shearing and don't grow too big, and tend not to get daggy either. I totally blame The Hobbit.
Nov. 20th, 2013
The Herald has, of course, defended itself and Bob Jones. I'm not allowed to copy/paste their response, but here is a summary of the main arguments they make:
1. I misrepresented their previous response as "He didn't mean it, where's your sense of humour?"
2. Mr Jones is deliberately provocative and should be taken that way. The vast majority of readers did take it that way. (read: he didn't mean it)
3. He was only insulting some women, so obviously he didn't mean all of them. (he didn't mean it)
4. He was trying to be funny. (where's your sense of humour?)
5. The column does not condone violence against women. (he didn't mean it)
6. Freedom of speech is important.
( I stand correctedCollapse )
I do not expect that the Press Council will uphold my complaint. Part of this is because I was unable to address individual points in my response, despite the defence from the Herald being over 500 words. Part of it is because NZ's Human Rights laws and Press Council principles treat opinion pieces as if they are special. And partly because we live in a culture where a woman objecting to being insulted and denigrated by a rich old white guy in a paper is considered to be an uppity, militant man-hater who should probably just STFU and stop being oversensitive and get a sense of humour.
Nov. 19th, 2013
08:50 am - Tatjna's excellent adventure
Off to hopefully-sunny Mosgiel today to learn all about cornice.
Go on, tell me you are doing something more interesting!
Also, airports smell of tired.
Nov. 18th, 2013
Pet lambs. Everyone thinks they're cute - except people who've had them. Those people know them to be entitled little shits who will maraud you until you give up the goods - in this case, milk - and will not give up. Ever.
It's probably some evolutionary survival thing. They do the same to their mums if they have one - it's commonplace to see two lambs, almost as big as the ewe, one each side with their heads underneath, bunting away and almost lifting her back end off the ground as they try to get more milk from her while she wears this longsuffering look of resignation.
So imagine my distress when I saw this seemingly innocent little chap coming for me..
( Attack of the killer cutenessCollapse )
Also, my 10 year anniversary on LJ was on the 15th. As usual, I forgot. More importantly, my 5 year anniversary with Dr Wheel is coming up soon. *goes to look it up* OK so it was December the 7th. Here is my post from the following day. Funnily enough, it's also mostly about sheep.
So what should we do for our anniversary? Suggestions we have tossed around so far include:
- Going to the Bahamas, Fiji and Tutukaka (not all at once)
- Having an up close and personal chimpanzee experience at the zoo (sadly they only do cheetahs, lions, giraffes, red pandas and meerkats)
- Him making me dinner and me ironing his shirts (because we're that domestic and suburban these days)
- Having lots of Teh Sex
- All of the above?
Time taken: 19 hours, making a total of 41 hours for the breastplate construction.
Materials: 1/2 inch stainless 18g jump rings, red drill fabric, charcoal linen, gold acetate satin, waxed thread, cotton thread, small pieces of 1-1.2mm leather, 4 x square full buckles 38mm to 40mm*, 2 leather straps 38mm to 40mm (each approximately 80cm long - measure your model), 810 cap 10-12mm shank rivets, paint – mars black and burnt umber, finishing varnish (mod podge works).
Tools: Craft knife, scissors, 2 pairs pliers, pins, edge bevelling tool, sewing machine, iron, speedy stitcher, mallet, rivet setter and anvil, paintbrushes.
Techniques: Leatherwork, basic sewing, maille making, applique, painting.
Difficulty level: Hard on the hands, a bit tedious and measuring is important, otherwise straightforward.
( Do all the crafts!Collapse )
And then I carted it outside and took pictures, because well, you have to:
Next bit: pauldrons!
If you’re a person who measures your creations by media, this was one season of Vikings and four of Skins. Just so you know.
*If I were smart I’d have left these gaps instead of having to unpick them, but what can I say? My foresight is limited apparently.
Nov. 15th, 2013
10:49 am - Friday randoms
Here is a link to a thing someone did, in which a reasonably good artist took LSD and then drew 11 self-portraits in coloured pencil over the course of her trip:
11 autoportraits drawn on LSD.
Meanwhile, today I am getting a haircut. My first in 6 months.
I have finished making maille for Cullen and I'm glad because my hands could do with a rest from that sort of thing.
I have discovered that I am good at military presses, handstands and reverse Arnolds*, and my back is strong. We won't talk about my pushups or pullups, ok?
24 sheep to shear this weekend, in 4 mobs, one of which has to be shorn Sunday. I am slowly training my clients to understand that if they want me to prioritise shearing their sheep, they have to prioritise it too, which means making themselves available on the days that I am available**, and planning ahead for this. This weekend is a one-time-only charity event, since I normally only shear Sundays if it rained on Saturday. Next year if they say they will be away on the Saturday, I will say "You should have planned ahead" and book them in for the following Saturday.
* Arnold has a lot to answer for.
** I do this because otherwise people tend to assume I'm always available, and I end up getting no weekend at all in the shearing season. I need one day a week for myself in which I don't have to think about work, and I'm quite staunch about that.
Nov. 14th, 2013
10:29 am - As requested, baby horse pictures.
I just got off the phone to a lady from the York Sub Aqua Club, who'd called me specifically to ask me more questions about Dad and his days of early SCUBA. I've sent her a bunch more photos and in turn, yesterday my copy of the BSAC 60th anniversary commemorative magazine arrived, resplendent with Dad and Prince Charles on the cover.
My Dad was better looking.
Also this morning, my copy of Until We Sleep arrived, freshly signed by the dude who voices Varric. Someone from DeviantArt was going to the Auckland Armageddon, and he offered to do it for me. That was awesome. ;-)
Now, to the cute pics!
( This horse has a really long nameCollapse )
Speaking of studs and breeding, last night Dr Wheel and I watched The Genius Sperm Bank, a BBC documentary about Robert Graham. Robert, in a form of arse-backwards eugenics, thought that making it possible to select sperm from men with high IQs and great conformation would help 'save the human race'. The film was unintentionally hilarious and contained many many phrases that really ought to be sampled and played at raves. I thoroughly recommend it
Nov. 13th, 2013
As seen on some fic this morning:
"Cullen kicked his pants off and came across the room."
I really hope they mean that he walked across the room.
Oh and in other news, for those of you who know her, Sally's Clydesdale mare just had her foal. I have no info other than that but WHEE BABY CLYDESDALES!
( The cake was a lieCollapse )
But Hekia is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker, and I can see how she gets away with pushing distasteful agendas because she made it sound like the best thing since sliced bread. Or, her speech writer did. There were no questions at the end, because I couldn't think of anything to ask that I could say while representing my organisation. *ahem*
Now I have to go write a report. I am allowed to let my cynicism show through. Another reason I like my job. ;-)
PS turns out my post about the Roast Busters thing got linked at The Ruminator. They called it a 'searing and smart rebuke'. I'm flattered, even if I think that's a little over the top. Gosh.
Nov. 12th, 2013
HELD PRISONER IN INDUSTRY FORUM STOP DRESSED IN CORPORATE MONKEY SUIT STOP SEND HELP STOP MAYBE CAKE WITH FILE STOP
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