The inconvenience of remote central locking

•January 7, 2008 • 3 Comments

… especially when combined with an engine immobiliser and a remote that needs a new battery!

A few days ago I looked at my aging car remote and thought, “This is surely going to die soon”, because the soft plastic covering the button had worn completely through and the actual (less comfortable or ergonomic to press or something) button shows through.

Well, this evening after walking from my office to the car carrying the mail drop off for delivery to the mail room tomorrow on the way to work (easing the process by planning to do the task by car because I’d been advised, during this January time of reduced mail services, that there were a few boxes at the mailroom to be collected for staff in my department), I discovered that “soon” = sometime today after I arrived at work. So, not to be initially beaten, I unlocked the car in the traditional way, ie. with the key. I placed my box of mail and other bits and pieces on the back seat, and jumped in to start the car. “Oh yeah… that’s right… I’ve got an engine immobiliser.” When the security is active, the car won’t start without the remote being pressed first. After about a dozen tries of the button hoping that it just had one more press or emission of it’s little remote signal, I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to take the bus home and bring back the spare remote tomorrow…

As I wandered from the car (carpark three, for those of you who know my workplace) to the bus stop (near the DMB), I realised that I was carrying about 55c in my purse (an excuse for Peter picking up the bill for the past few days!) and needed to go to the ATM, which would probably make me miss the next bus, thus rendering me stranded for at least half an hour and considering a taxi instead. However, as I started the path towards the ATM, I came upon a folded piece of blue on the ground. Nobody in sight to claim ownership meant that I now had my bus fare, plus $6.50 change, and wouldn’t miss the next bus by having to visit the ATM!
Now I’m just not sure whether to go up the campus tonight with the spare remote to ensure that it works, or risk that it does, ride my bike to work tomorrow morning and check the remote then. I kinda did need an incentive to ride this week, and tomorrow was my possibilty because of the increasing temperatures later in the week, and so… I’ll confer with the man and see what happens.

And I might just drop the $6.50 on the ground near the bus stop for any others in a predicament such as mine!

Look at me!

•October 1, 2007 • 3 Comments

I’m the winner!

Now just have to decide where it will live for the next year…
On the mantlepiece? on top of the wardrobe? in my office? beside the telly with a nice display of fake flowers…? or, as L so rudely suggested, in the roof…?
Ooh, maybe it can take centre stage in P’s house renovations?! Once it has a place of it’s own, I may be inclined to take a photo and post it, mostly for the benefit of those involved in the comp, but don’t hold your breath… we all know I promised a post over a month ago that still hasn’t appeared … (It is half written, but I’ve just been distracted by things like work and Facebook… oh dear…)

Promise of a post…

•August 26, 2007 • 1 Comment

FYI … I will update post-neurologist visit. And I will write about the fact that my Nan passed this week (as an exercise in grief-writing, but I’m not really grieving all that much… and because my family history is interesting) and I hope to do it tonight.

Immune system = broken..?

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

So, the concern that keeps popping into my head as I lament the fact that I am sick, again, is to do with the workings of my immune system…
I have an auto-immune disease. That’s a disease which, according to and lifted from wikipedia, “…arise[s] from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.” So, my body attacks its own cells; namely, the myelin sheath around the nerves, or neurons, in my brain, causing scars or lesions on the nerves called ‘sclerosis’. More than one of those (six actually, I think, to get a clear diagnosis) and you’ve got the plural being scleroses, aka multiple sclerosis (couldn’t they be more creative with the collective noun, like when you have a pod of whales, a school of fish, a business of ferrets or a crash of hippopotami…?)
(I have also just learned that, in addition to being commonly abbreviated to MS, Multiple Sclerosis is also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata. So, I could be really cryptic and say that I have DS or ED when I get bored with MS…)
So, the question to be pondered and researched this fortnight, in advance of my next visit to my neurologist on the 10th of August, is whether my immune system is *bleep* because:
a) my immune system is so busy attacking my myelin, it forgets to fight actual foreign cells like colds and gastro bugs.
b) it is a side-effect of my ongoing medication, the one that sounds like a frog sneezing (“Rebif!”), in addition to possible adverse effects on my liver function and that my white blood cell levels are also effected.
c) I don’t eat Lean Cuisine and, “No, Dad, I’m not looking after myself”. 
d) rotten luck.

Weekend roundup…

•July 23, 2007 • 3 Comments

A quiet weekend filled with activies enjoyable and relaxing…

Friday night was takeaway pizza and a bottle of wine, whilst cosy on the couch next to my man watching one of the many DVDs that I brought back from China twelve months ago, but had not yet watched: Walk the Line. What a great movie!
This was after a long effort to find a pizza shop in Camberwell that didn’t charge the earth and wasn’t ‘Sofia’s’ [*blech*]. We found ‘Big Al’s’ on Toorak road; $7.50 large pizzas (well, it is Camberwell after all, not Mooroolbark) with an independant bottleshop just two or three doors down the road. How convenient! The verdict, after consumption, was that we will definitely return. No more being overcharged by our last pizza joint (even if they did happily swap the olives for capers on my vegetarian pizza!) Pizza should be a cheap meal!

Saturday night was ‘date’ night, after I declared to my man that we hadn’t had a date in a while… what with me being away, him being away, him being sick, me being sick, busy weekend last weekend… so, we had a lovely thai dinner and followed it with a long-overdue trip to the movies, to see Oceans Thirteen, and then went home and [I] fell asleep while watching Le Tour… go Cadel!

Saturday during the day – to switch back and be out of order in my recap – was a lovely outing to the city with housemate and dear friend M. We went to the Ken Duncan gallery shop at Southbank, which is a really nice place to pass time if you ever find yourself with a spare half an hour at Southbank by the way, and we found gifts for two more people than we had been hoping for (making a total of gifts for three people). We had brunch at the ‘Blue Train Café’ and then wandered Bourke St-ward to browse for “the” dress for me to wear to the upcoming “aeronerd” ball (= the Royal Victorian Aero Club [RVAC] annual charity aviators’ ball). I wasn’t committed to purchasing anything that day, or anyday, but was open to the possibility of finding “the” dress; the dress that every woman wants to have in her wardrobe for various special ocassions. We popped into a little shop off Collins st, called ‘La Bella Donna’, and, on a whim, I accepted the assitant’s suggestions and offers to try on a few frocks to get a better idea of what I was after… First dress was very nice, but not quite right. Certainly not for the price tag (right enough had it been on sale though). Second dress was stunning, and I couldn’t take my eyes off myself! M would concur, but I’ll say it myself: I looked hot! Best I’ve ever seen myself. (Even better than on your wedding day, T & F!) After trying a few different options for how to accessorise it (very useful for aeronerd balls and weddings in years to come!), I redressed in my boring street clothes, a la Targét, and stepped out of the store to consider the significant purchase that I was contemplating. We popped into a number of other stores where nothing caught my eye as much as “the” dress did. With M’s helpful wise questioning and advice, I had made my decision and returned to ‘La Bella Donna’ to make the purchase of my “investment”. A picture will follow after the aeronerd ball on the 11th August, because the dress is staying safely tucked away until then, and any description I would write would not do it justice… So curiosity will have to eat away at my readers until then!

And in true weekend roundup style, let me also report that i am on top of Tony’s Tipping Competition! Woo-hoo! I’m only a point ahead of the person coming second, but I am three points clear of Daniel and four points clear of Miss Marita! …yegads! Do I have a good chance of winning the perpetual ‘ugly’ trophy…? Better make sure I’m actually at the Grand Final BBQ this year then!

my antiquated preference for a razor remains

•July 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

… and is vindicated when one stumbles across stories like this one about the perils of waxing. But, as a person with a less-than perfect immune system (… like attacking my own myelin!), I am still concerned about shaving when I read the article further.
This is actually the second article I’ve read about shaving infections. The cause of the other was an old razor. I wonder if the same was the case here?
I’m not advocating eau naturale, but I will be reconsidering my move to epilation (which must be an as traumatic method of hair removal as waxing is?)

How much for a twiggy Hollywood star in her first four episodes?

•July 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Just $1. One dollar. One. Dollar.
I never was all that much of a big fan of Ally McBeal, but I watched it if it was on and I was sitting in front of the TV, and I looooved the episodes with Robert Downey Jr in them (although, they are not part of my bargain purchase)… so, to part with only one dollar for a DVD of the first four episodes? That I can do.

I also parted with $3.92 for Before Sunrise, which is actually, from memory, a not-so-bad chick flick of the mid-90s that they bothered to make a sequel to…

Gotta love the cheap DVD business. Thanks, China/Taiwan/India/wherever, for making them so cheaply…
… And that’s when my social conscience kicks in and I regret buying cheap DVDs that were packed by a child. Oh, dear…

It moved!

•July 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve just returned from having dinner with two of my nearest & dearest in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne (Mooroolbark, no less), and am absolutely buoyant about the fact that… I felt it move!


Their just-three-weeks-away-from-being-born first child!

It was brief; it was gentle; but, it was a definite sweep of a body part (foot? hand? elbow?) across the area where my hand was resting. My reaction was, I’m sure, one worth remembering: the exclamation “It moved!!”, followed by “There really is something in there!” (I had just been expressing frustration at having not felt the baby move at any other time, and had suggested that perhaps it was all just a trick and my friend has been wearing one of those pregnancy simulation suits…)

I can’t recall ever having felt an unborn baby move like this before… I’m sure, with a 12-year age difference between us, I would have felt my sister move when mum was pregnant with her, but I don’t remember it as a clear memory; I can only assume that it would have happened. When my best friend from high school was pregnant with my godson, a likely time for such an intimate experience, she was interstate and I saw the pregnancy develop through photos of her belly and the ultrasounds coming in the post.

I really think this is the first time that the pregnancy has been that of a friend close enough to me to not be bothered by my hands resting on her belly for a prolonged time as we chatted; and so, this is the first time I’ve felt an unborn baby move… How marvellous! I can’t wait to meet him/her in a few weeks time!

My guess in the betting pool is: girl, 7lb 10oz, Thursday 19th July (due date is 20th July). I’ll let you know how accurate my guessing is…

I’ll tell ya what I want, what I really, really want…

•June 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I was never a big fan, but I certainly can’t get their songs out of my head after hearing this news!

I’ve succumbed…

•June 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

… and got myself a Facebook account. Lured by bright lights [not] and the big internet city, and mostly the ability to show off my photos in a manner that I don’t have or don’t understand on this blog, I signed up before going on holidays last week.
However, I’ve just realised that a better place for me to show off holiday snaps and the like (when I get a bit more creative and borrow the nice Nikon digital SLR from work from time to time), is actually Flickr, which I already had a photoless account on… So, I sense that soon enough, I’ll have so many bits and places that I’ll develop multiple personalities called misstrish and variations of that.
One thing I did investigate on Facebook was the number of people who share my name. I’m contemplating a message to each of them to unite Patricia Austins worldwide…

P.S. Drought state to flood state… go figure! I reckon the apocalypse must be upon us…
P.P.S. Farewell Neale. You have served us well, no matter what they’ve said this season…