Just because

A Kangroo at Dawn

There hasn’t been many pictures on the blog lately, and in an effort to show off my sunny personality, as well as my meagre talent with a camera, here is a gratuitous picture of a kangaroo, enjoying an early morning sniff of the ocean air, and a munch on the grass overlooking one of my favourite beaches in the world.

For the World of Warcraft Widows

M-H linked to this on her blog today – and it’s a must read for gamers, and the people that share their lives. I will admit that I play World of Warcraft, but nowhere near as much as most people I know that play it. And I will admit that the game has been blamed for a lack of dishes being washed, and vacuuming being done, and possibly a little bit of marital disharmony.

The writer says that playing a game where 39 other people depend on you is a real priority for those players of Level 60+, as are the demands of real life – but sometimes priorities aren’t always examined in the cold light of day.

In other news, congratulations to Womens Weekly and Womens Day, who agreed to run advertisements about the cruelty of the intensive factory farmed pork industry. And a big boo to Marie Claire, Delicious, and the Good Weekend, who didn’t want to upset the meat industry by running the ads.

I don’t want to come over all feral animal rights activist (I wash, so you can’t really call me feral), but if you’re going to eat it, you might as well know where it comes from. There is a big push towards organics, many of us don’t want to eat genetically modified organisms, there is an increasing awareness of the issues of battery hens – and yet the meat industry is powerful enough to stop an education campaign in some of Australias big glossy magazines.

I don’t like it.

Being a grown up.

Mijal threatened to drag me off to the produce markets at Flemington at 7am this morning. Apparently it wasn’t a threat – and she arrived before 7am, and I was still in the shower. Off to the markets (I can heartily recommend the coffee at the Flower Market Cafe), we got loads of veggies (a green bag FULL of fresh herbs for $5 – very happy bunnies!), and 2 bunches of tulips for $4.

After that my parents picked me up for a swim – swam not quite twice as far as last time, but I’m calling it double because they had the wave machine on for part of my swim, and it was hard work.

Now I’m home, and have started to bake some veggies, make a frittata and I have 2 kilos of swiss brown mushrooms to get creative with.

Hmm… I wonder if I can find a recipe for mushroom pate?

And that thing about being grown up ? Well I’ve decided not to let my brother shit me any more. He won’t change, he won’t bend, and he won’t empathise. That is just the way it is, and I have fuck all control over it. What I can control is my reactions to things, and I can be a grown up and take control of the things I do have a hold on.

And my great aunt Patsy (Patricia) died this morning. She had been sick for a long time, and we had been expecting this news for a few weeks. She lived a full life, was the matriach of a big catholic family (grandchildren and great grandchildren up the wazoo), and a much loved sister to my grandfather George.

The picture above is George and his two sisters, Patsy and Maree (Patsy is in the middle) at our wedding in April 2004. He died less than six months after this picture was taken, two years ago today. Patsy followed him two years later, to the day.

I still miss George every day.

Fait Accompli

Apple have awards for resellers that excel in different areas. This quarter, there are trips to San Francisco on offer for a handful of Australian resellers that sell the most iPods, or Mac Pros, etc. Last quarter, we sold the most AppleCare in our “class”, and the boss was given a trip to Macworld.

But the boss has a pregnant wife, who will be unable to fly, and nearly ready to give birth around the time of the trip. He tried to change the dates, but he couldn’t, and he has decided to give the trip to the service manager.

Which is all well and good, aside from two key issues.

1. I sold the most AppleCare. I encouraged other staff members to sell AppleCare. I speak to many customers every day about the benefits of AppleCare, and I add it to every quote I do, and for every quote that I revise for another staff member. I hassled Apple into giving us training in how to sell AppleCare, and since I started doing all this, our AppleCare “attach rate” has been geting higher and higher. I don’t consider myself to be gods gift to sales, but AppleCare is a product I believe in (I buy it myself on every mac that I own), and I don’t feel that I am being immodest by claiming ownership of that award. I truly belive that we sold the most AppleCare because of ME.

2. The boss made the decision to give the trip to “not me”, acted on the decision, and then called me to let me know his decision. It is irreversible, and I had no say in it.

So I am pissed off. Not pissed off that I didn’t get a trip I never expected to get in the first place, but pissed off that I had everything to do with earning the award, but no say in the distribution of the award.

I have been slowly driving myself nuts working towards getting my brothers business out of difficulty, not because I expected financial rewards, but because I believed in my brother and in his business. I belived in myself enough to think that I could make a difference, that I could help turn things around, and that I could (and should) help my brother.

But now I’m left feeling like I’ve been shat on from a great height. It’s not about some stinking bloody conference, it’s about respect. I earned that damn trip, and I deserved to be told about the decision before it was made, and I deserved to be given a chance to give my side of the story.

Mark and I probably couldn’t have gone anyway – it would have cost us more than we have saved, and the savings are for the house (that looks further away than ever now), but I deserved better than a phone call that started of with, “you’re probably not going to like what I have to say”, and ended with “we can talk about this later, but the decision has been made”.

Kickin’ nupp butt…

So I did the extra 5 repeats of the first chart, and the first two “rest” lines of the Lily of the Valley Chart #1- then put the shawl down for a few days for two reasons.

Firstly, I wasn’t looking forward to finding an odd number of stitches, and having to do maths to make the larger shawl work.

And secondly, my first experience with nupps wasn’t a happy one.

But I found a great tip on the Swallowtail Shawl Knitalong. I have finally found the joy of shared experience while working on the same project. Apparently you can slip the first two wraps, purl the last three together, then pass the slipped wraps over. It’s MUCH easier than trying to purl all five together at once, and it seems to look exactly the same. Also, I am knitting this on addi turbos, that are notorious for their blunt tips.

So, thanks very much for the tip, and if you’re considering a project with nupps, don’t be discouraged, there is an easier way – and you’ll still get that spectacular look.

Nothing like a dinner party…

…. to make you feel loved. It’s been ages since Mark and I have entertained, and tonight we had some friends over for dinner. Nothing fancy (except Mijal’s amazing dessert), just a cleani(ish) house, good friends, a relaxed atmosphere, and I feel fine.

I spent this morning being waxed, plucked and manicured, got to Rubi + Lana’s for the S’nB about 5 minutes before they closed, and then spent all afternoon shopping/cleaning/cooking, but it was all worth it.

I’m now tucked up in bed with a 10kg kitten at my feet, and life seems a whole lot better than it did last week.