January 2007 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

Of Moonkin and Massage
Monday, 29 January 2007 12:32 am
(DJ (Lian))

It was a good weekend. Having Friday off made it feel so much longer. We were able to basically take it easy for two days and not worry about the housework until Sunday.

We managed to level our World of Warcraft characters to 62 which was my goal for the weekend (Yes, sad but true!)

Friday we had breakfast down at the cafe strip and then home for a little Warcraft fun and games.

Saturday was out to look at some cars and then onto my first real massage. It was great, my back felt awesome when it was finished although it could be a few degrees cooler. When we left the massage room the wall of heat outside of the nice air-conditioned room was amazing!!! I felt sorry for the staff.

Sunday was domestic day with a thorough vacuum, mop and mow around the house. All up though it was a very nice weekend.



OMFG! We didn't buy a house...
Tuesday, 23 January 2007 11:48 pm
(DJ)

Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger!

Well, I can tell you now I have become the biggest fan of building inspections and want to put these guys Australian Building Inspection Services on my permanent Christmas card list.

We had the house inspected yesterday and all was going well. There was an issue with the downstairs shower but I figured I could live with it in the short term and get it fixed later on.

Then the inspector started telling us about the roof and the quality of the workmanship outside. Let me put it this way, if you have Foxtel you may have seen this guy Holmes on Homes. He is a great big burly builder who goes into peoples houses after another builder has made a complete mess and fixes all the problems. In the last episode we saw he ended up gutting the entire basement renovation in order to fix all the issues. Well our inspector, who is an ex-builder himself, just kept saying things like 'Why would you do that', 'That is not how you should do this' and 'The supervisor or foreman clearly didn't keep an eye on his tradesmen'.

Basically the roof needs replacing, the external cladding was installed by a blind man and the rear deck is joined to the house with caulking compound. And that is the minor stuff.

So we have cancelled the contract under the 'Subject to building inspection' clause and are now thinking really really hard whether to knock a ton off the price and re-offer subject to getting the works completed, sighting all the building inspection reports and having our time recompensed.

All up it was a very very disappointing, but very very luck finding. We could have ended up with a lemon.

Wayne
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 12:01 am

Do not knock a heap off the price and buy it. You'd be asking for trouble. Beware.

JT
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 1:36 am

I agree with Wayne. Stay away from this 'lemon'. Start afresh and look for something else. This house is bad karma!

Wayne
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 4:30 am

Sure it can be fixed, but imagine it like a car. The mechanic quotes you a price, starts the job and rings you on the second day and says "sorry mate, but your injectors are stuffed as well, it's gonna be another $???....When this happens to a house, and carpenters are worth $80/$100 an hour, you end up in trouble. There's more fish in the sea. Take your time.

Deb
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 6:38 pm

This is my fear...it could be endless. It's such a shame because it wouldn't have cost them much more to do it properly. Even if we could live with it, we'd have to fix it to sell it because of the damning report. And you'd want to hope their electrical contractor was better than their carpenter =(.

It's scary to think that despite not being to code, all the work was passed by council, and the overall report considered the house to be in 'average' condition. I suppose the inspectors don't want to be sued.

At least it didn't have termites.


Whoa! We bought a house.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 4:50 pm
(DJ)

Welcome to Casa de Alvers. Yes, in our eternal desire to relocate house AGAIN we have purchased a place just around the corner. The scary part is that the settlement is only 30 days so we have to break the lease on our current place and move in only a month. Oh my Lord!



I have put a some of the realestate photos into the Photo Album for you to check out: 46 Baldwin Street

Libbette
Sunday, 21 January 2007 6:17 am

Whoa indeed! Things are never boring with you guys, huh?

Deb
Tuesday, 23 January 2007 6:18 am

Don't get too excited, looks like we might not be buying it after all....

Libbette
Tuesday, 23 January 2007 7:23 pm

Problems?


Sharing the love...
Tuesday, 16 January 2007 5:12 am
(DJ)

Along with my newly hosted site on Awardspace I am now able to provide space to Wayne and JT to host their own content.

Wayne is the first off the rank with a new Wayne's World. It is actually a very quick rip of this site and uses all the same code but I really enjoyed the opportunity to share something that I created with Wayne and JT. We should see http://jjs.alvers.info coming up soon.


This may feel a little weird...
Saturday, 13 January 2007 11:16 pm
(DJ)

Well, I have survived my first week back at work. I must say that working from home is definitely a weird practice. Besides the fact that it is quite hot during the day I am still getting used to walking from the bedroom to my desk and then just starting to work.

I am also finding it a challenge to get into my new role and identify areas and initiatives that I can get my teeth into. In any case things are going pretty well. I now am setup for access to the Brisbane office and have booked myself a desk for Monday so I get to ride the ferry again. It is such a nice way to get to and from the office.

Oh, and Deb got a new contract that starts at the end of this month so that is really good news. She is worried about starting it but I am sure all the experience that she has developed from her current contract will mean that her new boss will love her.

On the domestic front we spent last night up the coast at Antonio's which was really great. Serena came over and cooked her signature pepper steak dish (She has promised the recipe to me) and Libbette is currently in town so she was able to join us. It was a really good night.

The only problem was that we left the cats in the house overnight and it looks like Furrgus tried to climb the rear window fly screen that then fell out and took him tumbling onto the back steps. He is now sporting a little lump on his hind leg but is otherwise none the worst for wear. He is an evil little cat sometimes. I have no idea what we will do next time we want to spend the night away.




Webcams Ahoy!
Tuesday, 9 January 2007 7:43 pm
(DJ)

For the terminally bored you may have noticed that I have reinstated the webcam page again. Working from home still feels rather weird but it is reassuring every time I hear the cam take a photo and upload that the world can see I am really here and working.

Deb has an inbuilt webcam on her laptop so last night, before going to bed, I set it up as well. You will now note the Debcam page is available in the bar to the left.

The funny part (I am still giggling) is that as I went to bed last night I thought, I must remember to tell Deb that the cam is active. Well, you wake up, one things leads to another, and I forgot to tell her about the cam. So it was mid morning when Deb was checking the website and found her little smiling face staring back.

Ooohhhh...am I in trouble or what!

Deb
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 6:29 pm

Will you for god's sake put a shirt on before we get accused of hosting porn?!


I'm ready for my holiday now...
Saturday, 6 January 2007 1:48 am
(DJ)

Ok, a few quiet hours to sit and finally relax after a massively busy few weeks. I simply cannot believe that only four weeks ago I was finishing up work in Melbourne and getting ready to go. The process of packing the house was pretty brutal. I must say that without Serena's help we would have NEVER got it done in time. As it was we were still stuffing boxes as the removalists arrived.

The removalist crew were pretty good but I did think they were a little rough on our new polished floors. With everything happening I didn't get a chance to mow the lawn either so the new owners arrived to a house needing a good mow.

Deb and Serena cleaned all the cupboards and stuff and Shirley, our cleaner, did the floors on the day of the settlement. So at least the inside of the house was nice.

We had been piling up stuff we were going to pack into the car in our empty bedroom. At one point I looked at it and just thought that we were never going to fit it all into the car. So a hurried repack and I was off to find some park bins to dump a couple of bags of discarded sauces, veg and bottles into.

The removalists packed the last of the container to the brim. They were holding the doors and stuffing things in behind them. I was really worried about what we would find when it arrived in Brisbane.

Serena then helped us with the car jigsaw puzzle that saw us actually get everything loaded in one go. Thank the lord it all fit.

Then we left Melbourne three times. The first time I had driven only a short distance when I heard a toy wand of Deb's go off in the back. Something had shifted in the back and pressed it's button. It has a flashing light and motor that spins it. The thought of it running for the whole trip to Brisbane was rather chilling. So we stopped and had to fish it out. Onwards we went. Then Deb thought she had left the heater on in the house, so back to check that. By the time we actually got on our way I was a little ball of nerves and stress and about to pop.

Serena had suggested spending the night in Melbourne at somewhere really nice so that we could relax but by this point I just wanted to get on the road. So that was the last sight of our old place at Arthur Street.


Here's a photo of Serena and Deb just before we drove out

We drove until about 7pm that night and made good distance. Stopping at a motel for the night we were able to get a room with a spa bath. Finding dinner at 8:30 at night is usually a problem in country towns but luckily we got the last orders at the local pub so got a decent dinner. Back to the room, air-conditioning and a spa bath to ease the aches from the road.

We hit the road early the next morning. I had had to take the mower fuel and gas bottle with us because they are not allowed to be transported. By this stage I had sort of got used to the feint smell of petrol wafting around the car.

By that night we were in Albany Creek with Dad. Leaving early worked out really well because it meant that we had Friday to pick up the keys to our house and do the inspection report. Again Serena to the rescue with cold drinks and cushions for the floor. We had to wait for our gear to arrive in a weeks time.

The next day we picked Deb's Mum and Brother up from the airport and headed to Coolum. On the drive up we were in one of the roughest storms that has hit the area for a while. It was a strange introduction for Deb's Mum Majorie to be driving up in the pitch black with the wipers going full pelt.

On the upside the unit in Coolum that Deb had booked was awesome. It was brand new and very well appointed. Each bedroom had a 42 inch LCD TV as I was in heaven.

The location was really good as well with the beach and shopping strip just down the road. I was really starting to enjoy a morning swim at the beach and then a light breakfast. Unfortunately the thought of our contents delivery was constantly eating at the edge of my mind.

Thursday of that week we dropped Deb's family at the Maroochydore shopping centre and then made a bee-line for Brisbane and our delivery. It arrived on time and Deb, Serena and me all jumped in to help get the truck unloaded. The only casualties were our already broken glass table and a motor oil spill that was my fault.

I thought the delivery crew were going to die trying to carry our dinning table upstairs. I am seriously not looking forward to moving it back out again when we finally buy a place.

We did some preliminary unpacking and then locked up and headed back up to Coolum. We had hoped to have it all turned around by mid-afternoon but we didn't end up picking up Majorie and Chris until 6:00pm.

One more day on the coast and then back to Brisbane. We dropped Deb's family at a motor inn that was pretty close to our new place and then came home to spend our first night in the house. We spent Saturday picking up stuff for Christmas Day and then drove over to Jaquelines to spend the night. She had a few friends over who were great company and it looked like their friend Justin was set for a big one but we were exhausted so headed off to bed.

The next morning was Christmas day. I woke up and managed to talk Deb into letting me have a couple of my presents. After that it was showers and prep for the Christmas lunch.

Mid morning we headed over to the motor inn to pick up Majorie and Chris.

My Uncle Ray and Aunt Jane, who Mum is living with, came over and it was pretty good. I felt terrible when I realized they had got Deb and I a gift and we had forgotten. I'll have to make it up to them later. Lunch went off really well, especially the prawns that we served both cold and BBQ-ed. Unfortunately you could shoe a horse with the steak we had but you can't win then all.

It all seemed to end very quickly and suddenly we were heading back to drop off Deb's family and then back to Bulimba for a little more unpacking.

Next day it was raining hard when we dropped Deb's family off at the airport. Of all the airports Brisbane airport is not well designed, in terms of parking, and dropping people off. You either have to park miles from the terminal and walk in the rain or just do a drop and run.

From there it was back to home at Bulimba. We were supposed to go up to the Woodford Folk Festival that night but I simply couldn't do it. The running around was really starting to get to me and I was becoming manic about just being able to stay in one place for a while. So we spend the night in Brisbane and then drove up to Woodford on the 27th of December.

Serena had already setup this fantastic tent for us in a cluster with her other friends and family so we had our own little tent suburb all to ourselves. It was really well located to the front entrance and the showers so that was pretty cool.

The Festival itself was great fun and something that I really enjoyed. I loved the mix of activities and the wealth of things that you can do rather than just passively listening to music. (Which we did a great deal of.) The acts were almost universally excellent with a couple being really outstanding. Deb, Serena and me would just split up and come back together depending no what each of us wanted to do.

The only negatives of any type were cold showers which were definitely a shock in the mornings and I was starting to crave home cooking by the end of the week. We had spent so much time traveling and eating out that I was finding myself craving simple home cooking. You need to understand that for a foodie like me that is a big deal and requires a MASSIVE amount of eating out before I get to that point. Even now after a month I have probably only cooked 6 times needless to say I am currently cooking very very simple stuff and loving it.

The Woodford Folk Festival officially finishes with a 'Fire Event' on the night of the 1st of January. But I was pretty worn out by New Years day and suggested to Deb that we bail out early and spend the night in Brisbane so that we had a little extra time before she officially started work on the 3rd.

Back home the unpacking continued, the HTPC was assembled and the Internet got connected. The best part was when the cats were delivered. I really missed having Furrg and Cleo around with their little neurotic personalities. We kept them in for a day and then let them out of the second day for a wander. Furrgus prompty jumped off the second story balcony instead of using the little cat walkway I had constructed for him. Typical really.

It was starting to feel a little more like home. With Deb's first official day back at work we discovered that the wireless card in her laptop sucks in terms of range so I ran out to MSY to buy a new ADSL2+ router. It helped a little bit but in the end I just installed an external wireless dongle on her machine instead and it is working a treat. When the local Morningside MSY reopens next week I'll swing past and pick up a faster dongle for Deb.

Oh and we moved all our wine into storage to save it from the heat of the house. I phoned around a few places and got quotes. In the end I settled on a place that could store 45 cartons 'upstairs'. Hmmm...I would call their description generous at the very least. Serena and I packed that locker to the roof and only just got it all stored. We left giggling about telling Deb she should pop over to the storage and grab some wine. The only stuff that is leaving the locker is what has been stacked at the front!


You would never believe that 500 bottle could fit.


Upstairs they said...


That sort of brings us up to now. We have spent the day doing the bed shuffle. We picked up a Queen size bed from Dad's, brought Serena's bed from Redcliffe to Bulimba and Serena is taking our double bed back to Redcliffe for when she needs to sleep at her parents place.

And that is about that. We are still getting used to the shopping hours here in Brisbane. In Melbourne our local supermarket was basically 24x7 so we could go shopping anytime we wanted. It does mean that the local convenience store gets some patronage but the quality of their stuff is not great.

Anyway, that is my monster New Years post. We have finished unpacking, I need to mow the lawn, vacuum the house and do something about our cats who have come back with a cold.

Welcome to Brisbane

I reserve the right to have listed stuff incorrectly or out of order. My brain is fried and I am really for a little sleep now.


A few select piccies
Wednesday, 3 January 2007 7:51 pm
(DJ)

Ok, with no idea of how to spell Piccies so that it sounds like the cute version of Pictures, I present two updates to the Photo Album

Some photos of our trip to Woodford Folk Festival. It was an awesome experience and one that I will definately be considering for next year. Then again I could just lay in a pallet of beer, 10kg of prawns and take it easy for two weeks. Hmmm....interesting.

Oh and Chris, Deb's brother, took a few shots during his trip to Brisvegas which I have shrunk and destroyed but they are here in the Christmas 2006 album for your enjoyment. Many are taken at Spirit House which we visited again for lunch. As always the food was awesome. Now that we are Brisveigans (?!?) again it is somewhere I just know we will be spending more time.


So it took me a little longer...
Wednesday, 3 January 2007 7:42 pm
(DJ)

Hello all and welcome to the fully hosted Alvers.Info site. In the past I have been using 'free' webspace provided by whichever ISP I have been using. This generally worked pretty well but means that every time I swap I needed to find someone that supports the scripts etc that I use. Well, on swapping to aaNet for my ADSL I discovered in the fine print, after I paid the setup costs, that they have 'safe' mode enabled. This is like having a car that you can't get into because they wouldn't want you to hurt yourself.

So, to cut a long story short I have signed up with Awardspace so I now have a REAL website that is fully hosted and doesn't have any redirections.

The only problem was that the Recipes and Feedback sections didn't work anymore. It has taken me a couple of days but I have migrated the Recipes to new code and shutdown the Feedback section which was redundant anyway. Please feel free to use the Show & Tell section instead.

I still need to go back through the archives and fix any old image links but other than that I am very excited about having the site finally fully hosted.

Now, onto what I did this summer...


Wayne
Friday, 5 January 2007 3:47 am

Hmm... you just told us something...but we don't know what.

Chris Bishop
Tuesday, 23 January 2007 7:11 am

Hooray, now the image gallery works in Firefox (1.5.0.7)! The images on the home page still don't work..

For the pic that Opera reports as being at
http://www.alvers.info/images/index/dand.gif

Firefox says the link is:
http://www.alvers.info/php/..%5Cimages%5Cindex%5Cdand.gif

Cheers
Chris

Danny
Tuesday, 23 January 2007 11:55 pm

Go on, give in to the darkside and install IE7, all the images seem to work for that browser.


Welcome to 2007!
Monday, 1 January 2007 5:46 pm
(D Brisvagas J)

Just a very quick post to help me archive Decembers entries and start a clean page. Deb and I are about to spend the day running around getting our Brisbane ToDo list shorter than one page.

We have had a fantastic, but hectic, time over the last few weeks and this is our first opportunity to start getting the house, and our lives in order.

I promise to come back to the site this afternoon and update you on everything that we have been up too over the last month.

Till later...