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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Weekend

Lots of little things going on this last couple of weeks:
Last Friday (Good Friday in the UK) we had our new bedroom windows fitted, which required me to be ready to receive the workmen at 8am despite finishing my Thursday's work shift at midnight, though they did not actually appear until near nine. The windows went in within four hours with minimual fuss, and we now have two sash windows with bug screens to allow more air to circulate which will be a boon in hot weather. I had a short evening shift ending at 10:30pm.

On Saturday we had an ant exterminator visit at seven am, as we have had an influx of ants through various parts of the house. I had an afternoon/evening shift at work ending at 11pm, and it was quiet until around 9:30pm, when we had a sudden influx of customers. I had just one colleague keeping me company, so we were pretty rushed just at the time when things are normally quieting down and we start working the day's freight.

Easter Sunday was a chance for a lie in to catch up on sleep, but our cats woke us at 5:30am, hungry after a night's explorations and excitements. Sadly for any egg hunters it had started raining late Saturday night and carried on most of the morning. As I was working again that day (2:30-11:30pm), I totally forgot to eat a chocolate egg or bunny, and they still languish unattended.

On the way to work on Easter Sunday my engine warning light came on...  again. The engine light has first come on the previous Monday, prompting a visit to Oil Can Henry's to see what the problem was. After $160 of servicing, including a change of transmission fluid, the light turned out to be a warning about evaporation from the fuel tank, usually caused by the filler cap not being put on properly by the pump attendant. As you may recall we are not allowed to pump our own gas in Oregon, so I have little control over the filler cap. OCH reset the light and we unscrewed and rescrewed the filler cap, but the light came on again about 50 miles later. Thus I took the car in again on Wednesday, and they reset the light. If it comes on again I'll go to Autozone for their diagnosis.

Also on Wednesday I went to Bloomer's, a Garden Center that had been recommended to us by our neighbor Robert. The Center has a lovely view of the Cascade Mountains, but the peace is ruined by the traffic noise from the I5. It reminds me how lucky (or sensible) we are to live nowhere near any major roads. I bought an apple tree to replace the one we planted last year that expired in the hot June weather when we had a 10 day road trip. This new tree has multiple grafted branches and should grow four different apple varieties.

Robert had previously helped me trim our vines which had grown out of control, and with the space afforded by this trimming I was finally able to remove most of the biggest brambles from the bank, some branches turning out to be over 20 foot long and thicker at their base than my thumb. The cuttings from the vines and brambles are still piled in the garden, being reduced steadily as I feed the clippings into our garden waste bin, and also Robert's which he has lent me.

My laptop started acting up on Saturday but seems OK now. The USB ports failed to recognise my iPod, which can only have been plugged in 50-100 times previously so you can understand its confusion. Happily Beth was able to get it fixed while I was at work, so for now I am able to update my favorite podcasts. Microsoft have also messed about with Internet Explorer and I have had a new version foisted on me on the laptop. They have moved some of the regular buttons from the left to the right of the toolbar, which is like switching the accelerator and brake pedals in a car. Why they felt the need to do this is beyond me, and I wish I could switch back.

Yesterday President Obama released a copy of his long form birth certificate, which ought to finally shut up those people who have been trying to claim he is not legally qualified to be president, such as that sad clown Donald Trump. Of course it didn't, and they just moved onto their next whine, that he didn't get great school grades in 3rd Grade or something. It's all rather sad that the big issues of the day are sidelined for this pantomime.

Tomorrow is Royal Wedding Day, and I can't finish without giving it a mention. BBC America has been running Royal related stuff for a couple of weeks for hours every day, and tomorrow (starting at midnight tonight in fact) there will be many channels showing nothing else. I'll watch some of it (recorded), and would like to have been able to join my family in the UK who are having a viewing party, but time and funds did not allow. The Royal couple seem well suited from everything I've seen, and I wish them every happiness.

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