Meeting A Fellow Blogger, Ikea, Cameras, Insurance.

Yesterday we took a little trip to Sydney. Our camera lens was finally ready to pick up. Canon had called us earlier in the week and let us know.

I’ve been on the internet since 1992. Some of the best people I have ever met I originally got to know via the internet. I used to be a part of an IRC chat group in Adelaide and they had meets all the time. I met The Other Half that way. We have ICQ text logs of our early chats that go on for pages and pages.

One of the other people I met, Simon, became our house sitter. He is the most beautiful person, inside and out. He went on to meet himself a girl who is also just as beautiful inside and out. Then they would both house sit for us. When we left Adelaide, we left them a lot of our furniture – and our fish tank!

Internet VS “Real Life” –

Always whenever we moved, our internet friends were the ones who showed up to help while the “real life” friends had excellent excuses. I soon learned I would rather have an internet friend than a “real” one – especially when we went through the difficult times with the other half’s ex wife. My internet friends stuck by me, the real life friends were nowhere to be seen. Not a one of them, and I’m not joking about that.

Plane Crazy –

We also met a lot of plane spotter friends online, some of whom became very dear friends indeed. One of them was a mentor to many of the younger plane spotters and encouraged them to go after their dreams, whether it was being a pilot, whether it was photography, or working as a plane engineer. Many of his mentees now work for Qantas, Virgin Blue and other international airlines. On top of all that, he was just the best bloke, funny and great to be around. People gravitated towards him. He was a magnet.

He also had cancer but he never complained about it, in fact a lot of people had no idea. When he died, we drove all the way from Adelaide to Sydney in order to be at the funeral. We felt like we had to be there and I am so glad we made that effort. I still miss him very much. His absence is noticeable in the community. He kept the egos out of it and since he left us to go to the great airplane spotting mound in the sky complete with beer and comfortable recliners the egos have got a bit out of control, sadly.

Scambaiter = Paranoid –

Then in 2004 I became a scambaiter and I suddenly became a bit.. paranoid. Well not exactly paranoid, more like determined to be anonymous. I was happy to be friends with the internet people we knew but I became a lot less open to meeting new people, especially people who knew about the baiting. I did meet with some scambaiters here in Australia, one of whom I adore (yeah that’s you Dbest03, and when are you coming to visit us on the South Coast?) and have met again since. Since moving to New South Wales we had not met anyone from the internet at all.

But Not Anymore –

All that changed yesterday. Meg from Dipping Into The Blogpond had invited us to drop in when we went to pick up the camera so right after Canon called I sent her an email and arranged to visit on Friday. We had a lovely time and Meg and her Other Half are wonderful people. I am hopeful the visit will be returned soon – and perhaps some of the Canberra bloggers might venture over to join us as well. Facibus, that means you!

Mild Confusion Reigned At Canon –

There was one unhappy moment in the day – when we got to Canon, there was some confusion over who was supposed to pay for the lens repair. Canon had not sent an invoice to the insurance company – which the insurance company had requested in their fax when they approved the repairs to go ahead. I don’t know how they expected to get paid if they didn’t send the invoice! We had to find a couple of grand on the spot in order to take our lens home with us – I’ll take the receipt into the insurance agency on Monday to get reimbursed. Yes, you heard it right – the repair was just under $2,000 – which is why we have specified insurance for that lens, for accidental damage as well as theft. I can tell you an iron grip will be kept on that camera lens from now on. We don’t want to go through that again!

People, insure your stuff –

It’s worth it. Our policy covers us to go anywhere in Australia with that lens and be covered for any event that might happen with it. It costs us the grand total of .60 cents a day to have four items specified – two laptops, the camera and lens. On top of that our policy itself covers us for unspecified personal effects up to $2,000.

A Pit Stop @ Temporal Vortex –

That unhappy moment was soon forgotten when The Other Half announced he was taking me to Ikea. YAY! All I wanted was a timer which would sit on my desk and chime when 55 minutes was up – then I can reset it for my 10 minute break. I almost got sucked into the temporal vortex when a chandelier called my name and told me to buy it. I was drawn to it and found myself standing there, holding the price tag ($29AUD, how reasonable) looking up at its brilliance, going all deer in the headlights. The Other Half did not notice I was missing because he was looking at computer chairs. When he spotted me he knew what was going on and he rescued me quickly, gently leading me away from the brilliance I wanted to buy. Unfortunately they did not have any left to sell. :(

But he did find me a springform cake tin, and a set of in trays which I wanted. It was a cheap Ikea trip at just under $50 and it was superfast, too. We were there for less than an hour.

Music Played –

Before we left we quickly created two cds – one each. It was a lot of music we hadn’t heard in a while and we totally rocked it out in the car, singing along. Neither of us can hear each other singing in the car – now that is a sign of a good car stereo! At least I always thought it was because I used to have a friend who was totally tone deaf who liked to sing.. ;)

Happiness Reigns –

Since moving in here – both the house and the new blog – days have been joyous. I have a lot of organization going on and it feels wonderful. I’ve been cooking some great meals. We had a week of cheesecake last week. I also have some fantastic incense and new oils for my oil burner which are keeping the house smelling amazing. The chores have been cut down because I am keeping on top of them. The kitties are happy, I’m happy, the other half is happy. I know that me merely mentioning this may cause some to dislike me or be mad at me purely based on my being happy, but I figured I should share it. Those who are my real friends will be happy for me. ;)

Blog Friends, IKEA, Sydney

Not every post here..

has to be some kind of profound statement. ;) Today I would like to mention that Meg wrote a great Beginners Guide to StumbleUpon which is worth a read, and ya’all should seriously think about getting on the StumbleUpon train. It’s a lot of fun.

And, I have a couple of photos for you.


This is the mirror I got from Ikea, which we finally got the courage to hang.. ;)


I’m taking some time to work on art today, and I might have some pictures of that for you tomorrow. In the meantime, be good! ;)

blog housekeeping, IKEA

Sydney Trip Wrap Up – Ikea Goodness

I’ve been meaning to post these pics since Sunday, but other blogging got in the way. So finally here they are. ;)


This next pic shows one of my most prized items from the trip – the Rabalder.


See the little suction cups on the end of the dishwashers so you can stand them up on their end? I love these things, they’re brilliant.


The batteries, we found out, are made by Varta, which explains why they are so good. So we bought a lot of them. Shoot me, it’s environmentally unfriendly, but rechargeables have never worked out too well for me, and my mouse is cordless and I use it. A lot! The little alarm clocks in the pic, cost $1AUS and mine sits here on my desk, I love it.


The most expensive thing I bought was this mirror. It was $49. I love it!


One great thing about Ikea is there’s always something for the other half to build. These are fantastic laundry solutions for us. I wheel them down to the laundry when it’s time to wash.


These are the books I got from Borders.


And finally, the view on waking up on Saturday Morning.


I was so excited about the blue and yellow building, I didn’t even spot this part of the view until the other half pointed it out. ;) Yes, I am an Ikea addict.



This Boeing 747 may come to you as a surprise


The Sydney Harbor Bridge – view from my hotel room.

Hi ya’all! Sitting in my rather luxurious hotel room just having eaten a lovely dinner. :) :)

I woke up this morning in a different hotel – we chose to stay at two different places – at Olympic Park to a beautiful view from the window of the big blue and yellow building we all love. While the other half showered I looked out the window dreaming of Ikea shopping. When he got out of the shower he pointed out that also in the view was the city of Sydney, and the Harbor Bridge. I hadn’t even spotted it.

Let me tell you about Ikea shopping on a Saturday. We’d only ever been during the week before. Apparently on a Saturday every man, woman and child in need of *something* turns up at Ikea. It was packed. And we discovered that people in the city in general (not counting any of you reading this who are in a city because obviously you’re much better behaved!) are rude, pushy, and even happy to walk smack bang into you if you don’t get out of their way. They’ll push their trolley into you, and it’s not because they didn’t see you. They did see you, they just don’t give a shit. They’re hoping to hit you and they hope it hurts because you shouldn’t be in their way, though they *might* say sorry if you catch them in the act. They drive just like that, too. It’s scary.

At one point I was looking for this little ufo shaped power board called something like a rabalder – it’s not on the website. I couldn’t see any but I really wanted it. I have a thing about plugs and Ikea were using these all through their lighting section, they are beautiful, I can’t really describe it. So I was walking around, calling its name, hoping I would find it somewhere. Then, like it was dropped out of the sky, I found one sitting in a basket. It was the only one available to buy. It must have been meant to be! And no, it didn’t seem weird to the city people that I was walking around calling an inanimate object.

I’d forgotten how crazy city people dress, too. There was a guy in Adelaide who used to get around town in just a black leotard. He was pretty tall and quite noticeable. It was raining a lot here today so I didn’t spot any leotards but I did see a few outfits worthy of an arrest by the Fashion Police.

So after Ikea and Lone Star, we drove down Parramatta Road into town. This is because we had heard rumours of many car yards on this road, and we want to get a look at the new model Corolla. However when we did find Toyota it wasn’t possible to park there, so we kept going. Into the city where we handed the car to Valet Parking and entered 5 star heaven. This place is so gorgeous it puts a smile on your face just to walk into it. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels but this must be the most pretty. No wonder my sister won’t stay in anything less than 5 star.. :)

At one point during the drive here, a 747 just appeared above us. It was nice to see something bigger than a pelican in the sky. :) Maybe some plane spotting and Krispy Kremes on the way home tomorrow.

This afternoon we remembered it was ages since we’d been to a proper bookstore so we went in search of Borders, and I got me a few nice books. One by Gene Kranz from Nasa during the early years, I’m looking forward to reading that. I’ve seen him interviewed many times and he’s such a lovely guy.

Late checkout tomorrow so we’re going to lounge around before heading home. No aquarium, it was too rainy and a bit far to walk after we’d already walked around half the city – we thought we’d eat room service and chill out a bit.

There were Americans in the lift – the first time I’ve seen friendly people since we got here. :) Other than the Hotel Staff.. lol slightly but I am actually serious. Sad but true.


Everybody Loves IKEA.

I’m counting down the minutes until this weekend because we’re going to Sydney for a little bit of a shopping spree at IKEA and a couple of days break. ;)

If you have never been to IKEA I am terribly sorry to hear that. My condolences. I don’t get to go very often but the memories keep me going until the next time I can get there.

What is it that I love about IKEA?

The Swedish names for things. None of which I can pronounce but it is so much fun to mis-pronounce them.

The temporal vortex created by so much mind blowing stuff all in one place at once.

The fact that a little money goes a long way there.

The beauty they put into in every day objects.

What’s on the shopping list for this trip?

A vegetable strainer (this one probably)
A candle snuffer (I have always wanted one and the other half says no but this time he can’t! I think this one might do the trick)
A new mixing bowl (I have my eye on this one but I might get these as well, they were out of stock last time.)

But IKEA is not the only thing we are doing. We’re still not sure exactly what we are doing yet but probably a visit to the Lone Star steakhouse will be on the list of things to do. If the weather is bad Sydney Aquarium will probably be one of the stops – they’re open till 10pm, wow! From my last trip to Darling Harbor, comfort is the number one important thing when it comes to shoes, this I have learned. ;) We might visit Chinatown or the busy city shopping mall. We might end up at the Imax theatre. The forecast is for showers, so inside is looking like the go.

Whatever we end up doing, I’m not going to leave you guys in the dark. With the help of Sephy photographs from my mobile phone will be coming to you as a surprise. :)

The next couple of days will be pretty busy with getting ready, so apologies if I’m not dropping by places. I am still reading you with google reader though. ;)

Other IKEA related posts –

Am I obsessed with Ikea?
You’ll never guess where I’ve been.

IKEA, Sydney, travel

Blog Keeping & Art Update

Wow, it’s been a busy week here. Just a few bits of housekeeping and an art update.

As far as the commenting goes, I’ve decided to take my time with it because after going through just 25 blogs, I’ve added 5 excellent ones to my google reader. These will be linked in the weekly wrap up.

So you might be wondering what makes me add a blog to my google reader? 95% of the time it is because the blogger has “it” – it being a mysterious thing that makes me want to know more about them and read more about them.

What are some of the annoying trends in the blogging world that I have picked up after just 25 blogs? There seems to be a new plug in where you hover over a link and it pops up a preview box. This sounds nice in theory but it makes everything go very slow here on my system, and to be honest is just really annoying. If I want to click on a link, I’m going to click, I don’t need a preview. :) It also seemed to make those blogs very slow in loading, to the tune of anywhere between 2-5 minutes. I think it’s called snap or snapshots. Say no to it, bloggers. It seems to be evil.

In other blogging trends, you may have noticed a trend towards “monetize your blog”. I’ve been to some blogs with more ads than blog content. That’s not going to happen here, however.. That money has gone toward an important new project which I can’t announce yet. ;) Believe me I am hanging out to launch it, so as soon as I can say anything I’ll let you know.

WordPress blogs look fantastic. Sephy and I have been considering setting one up for some time now to try it out and play with it, so we did. On closer inspection it seems to be some kind of elaborate scam to get people to pay money for things blogger does for free. I could be wrong about that and WordPress people don’t line up to hit me over the head with things, but it seems like everything costs money, even down to how much space you get for your blog unless you want to host a wordpress on your own space – which you also have to pay for. Blogger does this for free :) we’ve got it good blogger people. If you’re using WordPress can you take a moment to comment on how it all works?

I’m seriously considering a blog template change. I’m not in love with what I have now however it is functional and it works. If I can get a larger picture up there that might be enough to make me happy. I don’t like that the images have to be so thin.

While in keeping you up to date mode, I currently have many art works in progress. You can click on any of the photos for a bigger view. In this picture you can count 9 paintings in progress.


You can see 5 stacked on top of each other – the pink one completes the set of 5 which I am doing as cardboard dragging. I’m going to take some pics of how that’s done so that I can write a post about it. You guys out there might be inspired to do some works of your own. It is so simple. ;) Here’s a close up of the pink one, which I am seriously crazy about already and this is just the base coat.


The painting below is the final completed version of the painting for my nephew, which had just been freshly sealed when I took the shot so the flash reflected a little. There’s nothing white on the painting. I asked you guys for opinions on this 69 days ago, wow, how time flies!


So what am I up to for the rest of the day? I have to cook dinner, I am going to watch some West Wing, comment on a few blogs, and most important of all, look at some hotel packages in Sydney. This month is my Birthday month and Mum is going to pay for us to visit Sydney for a weekend (or midweek might be better value, because I am not my sister) and also IKEA. YAY! I’m seriously writing a huge list of things I want to get there. Laundry Baskets are number one on the list right now, followed closely by AA batteries. They had packs of 10 AA’s for $2 and they last for ages, and my cordless mouse chews up batteries and spits them out. Yes, I mouse too much.

I saw a hotel package which includes 30 minutes in a flotation tank. I’d love to try that. It’ll probably be somewhere in the CBD and I’ll take my camera and take heaps of pictures. We might get to the zoo but I’d like to hang out at Darling Harbor and go back to Sydney Aquarium myself – looking at fish without a snorkel. I don’t know if we’d have time for both. For those of you who have never been to Sydney, Darling Harbor is just incredible. There’s no describing it.

blogrolls, commenting on blogs, feed readers, IKEA, Snoskred Art

Is it true?

Last night some work related people were down from Sydney and they took my parents and the other half and I out to dinner. My mother made a comment that I was obsessed with Ikea. I was somewhat surprised. I offer to you now the conversation.

Me – So where do you live in Sydney?

Visitor – Dee Why

Me – Is that close to Ikea?

Visitor – No, it’s close to Manly.

Me – How far away is Manly from Ikea?

Visitor – It’s a bit of a drive.

Me – I’m sorry to hear that. You could always move closer?

Visitor – We’ve lived in the same house for 32 years.

Me – They have fantastic waterfront apartments at Rhodes (this is the suburb Ikea is in)

Visitor – I don’t really like putting things together, you know, like furniture?

Me – You could get someone to do it for you. And they sell lots of stuff that doesn’t need assembling.

The other half then mentions that he loves putting things together, and that he loves Ikea.

Me – Mum, when we go down to Sydney to drop off the rellies in a couple of weeks, can we go to Ikea?

Mum – She’s obsessed with Ikea.

Well let us take a look at the facts.

1. I pine for Ikea.
2. I dream of blonde Swedish Vikings naked in hottubs outside in the snow. Oh hang on.. that’s not relevant. ;) Or is it? ;)
3. When we are driving to Ikea, I have a big happy smile on my face.
4. When I spot Ikea looming in the distance, I clap, and make happy sounds.
5. The last time we went to Ikea, when we walked in a little girl was running around and making happy screaming sounds, and I said to the other half – that’s what I feel like doing. And truly, I did feel like doing that.
6. I do speak of Ikea reasonably often.
7. I dream of going to Ikea from time to time.
8. I love the things we got from Ikea a little too much, if that’s possible.
9. I love the names of things at Ikea. I have no idea how to pronounce them, but I like to try.
10. How can anyone not love Swedish things? Abba? Viking men with enormous.. horns on their helmets? And next door, Norway, with A-ha and also more Vikings. Let’s face it, if you were a band in Finland, you might want to make sure your band name has an A, it might increase your chances of world stardom.

On the other hand..

If I were obsessed with Ikea, a search for the word Ikea on this blog would surely return more than 3 results.

So, I will let you decide. Am I obsessed with Ikea, people?


Nuclear Missile Launch Codes

Yeah, I’ve had that in my head all day, for no good reason, so I thought it’d be a blog title.

Two days ago my Dad was asked by head office to do a stocktake in a store about 6 hours drive away. To get out of having to do it, he decided to take holidays. This will be the first extended time away from the store since they got here a year and some many months ago.

When my parents decide to do something they like to do it fast, so last night I found both of them here in my office room, where they (actually I, with their supervision) managed to get some frequent flyer tickets. That was the quick and easy part, it turns out. The longer part was finding accommodation. After one hour, I was beginning to crack under the pressure of trying to find something reasonably priced with air conditioning. My Mum was lying on the floor trying not to fall asleep, and Dad was at my shoulder, pointing, reading, and complaining that I scroll too fast for him and that things he wanted to read kept vanishing off the screen. I believe it was another half hour of hell before I found something but I can’t be sure, I blocked a lot of it out.. then the computer would not book, and I freaked out and had a meltdown. The Other Half had to come in and save the day.

They leave on Thursday for 6 nights. I am hoping I can talk the other half into driving them down there, and we can visit… the place I love and adore… actually two places I love and adore.. Lone Star, and Ikea. I might finally manage to drag my Mother into Ikea after at least six months of trying to get her to go there. If I achieve this feat I can truly be known as a miracle worker. She won’t have anything to do all day while Dad has a business meeting, so there’s a good chance I can swing it.. ;) It will cost them a mint to put the car into long term parking. They can catch the shuttle bus back here when they get back. All signs point to YES. And now she’s seen the catalog, she actually *wants* to go there.. yay!

family, IKEA