By now, you’d think that people would realise that I’m on a break, and don’t want to be fricken disturbed. They’re trying to stress me out, but I ain’t taking it. I brought out the big guns – just stopped taking calls. And the voice mail they hear, says I’m not checking voice mails. At such times, simple works. Emails are another stress avenue, however I’ve set up a robot auto reply, saying I’m not checking emails either. Despite what people say about robots taking our jobs, women and toilet paper, they don’t really care about social niceties or offending anyone. That’s the spirit needed right now, a complete and utter lack of care. And the robot is doing a fine job keeping folks at bay, just like the robot ED-209 from the Robocop film did.
Do not call or email, you have 30 seconds to comply…
So good to get some quiet time. Work isn’t what it used to be. Before mobile phones, you didn’t hear from the boss on weekends or at nights, because it just couldn’t happen. Weekend work problems waited for Monday mornings. Always exciting. Who can forget the time my work colleague smashed the work car whilst paddock bashing in it with his drunken mates over the weekend? That problem only came to light on the following Monday morning. Very possibly the time interval between the accident, and the explanation soothed raw nerves and explained why he wasn’t sacked.
Yep, everything on a work front has now become a 2023 problem. And I don’t care for the next few weeks. Might care later – not sure about that yet. Check in with the robot.
For those who don’t know, smoko is a reference to taking a break to relax during work. Possibly it’s stretching the definition to extend the break out for a couple of weeks, but no matter, that’s someone else’s problem. I’m on smoko…
Never smoked. My two older sisters used to smoke. Thought they were pretty cool too, they did. School holidays, they’d smoke inside the house and play Midnight Oil full volume on the stereo. The neighbours probably hated us. About 4pm every day, the older sisters would go into full-on panic mode and try and air out the house, even in the middle of winter. Made no sense to me, and refusing to help them with that stupid activity, was satisfying. I was on smoko…
Back in the day though, things were different and people did smoke indoors. It wasn’t unusual for people to smoke whilst sitting at their office desks. The butts used to accumulate in ashtrays which sat on the desk next to piles of paper. Sometimes the ashtrays used to get so full, they’d send mysterious smoke trails drifting to the ceiling. Something unnatural was clearly taking place inside the ashtray. Will the thing spontaneously combust and burn down the office? Always exciting to contemplate the possible couple of days off work resulting from the office burning down. That would definitely be a smoko.
Work sure has changed over the years. Recently read a couple of fiction books set in the mid 1960’s in California with the protagonist, Sheriff Joe Bain. The books were a great read, and it was always amusing to read that the crafty, but often hassled Sheriff, enjoyed a beer on the job whilst solving murder mysteries. In these enlightened times, the beer is out, but the hassling continues.
A few days ago at the local general store, a group of loud older ladies first hassled Sandra, then proceeded to hassle the staff. Sandra was able to tell one of the ladies who brought herself to our attention, in the most polite terms of course, to f#$k off. The staff unfortunately did not have such a free hand. It doesn’t surprise me that businesses have difficulties sourcing staff these days when such experiences become common place.
Yep, work sure ain’t what it once was. The minimum wage is $21.38 per hour down under, and the median house price for Melbourne is $993,000. A bit of back of the envelope maths suggests that for a couple earning the minimum wage, if they paid no taxes, and spent nothing on anything, it would take them over 11 years to accumulate enough mad cash to pay for a median priced house. My thinking is that before the 11 years are out, the hard working minimum wage folks would die of starvation, not being able to buy food being something of a problem. So how about for Christmas, stop hassling working people and let them take their smoko in peace.
It was another sunny and cool week, with the occasional monsoonal storm. Love a good storm.
For a few days there this week, the weather was rain free. At this summer time of the year, the orbit of the Earth around the sun brings the planet closer to the sun than what you’d experience in a northern hemisphere summer. The ultraviolet radiation is stronger here at such times regardless of the weather, and the extra energy is enough to dry out the firewood left seasoning in a big pile in the paddock even in a wet year like this. The seasoning process is where the sugars in the timber break down, which means the firewood will burn easier and hotter. We took advantage of the now drier seasoned firewood, to haul and store about a quarter of the years supply.
The garden terraces as a project are now almost finished. The final cement step was poured in the staircase begun last week. And the path was rock lined and provided with a coating of crushed rock with lime. All that need be done now is to complete the fencing.
A new project was begun this week. Long term readers will recall that last year we completed a low gradient ramp leading down into the lower orchards. With three wet years in a row, the low gradient ramp has earned it’s keep. That ramp faces east, and we’ve decided to construct another low gradient ramp, but heading in a westerly direction. The first layer of large rocks were put in place. These will eventually retain lots of soil. In order for the heavy and hard work to be sustainable, we limit ourselves to moving and placing six large rocks per day.
Some of the rocks are as big as we’ve ever moved and the biggerer new yellow power wheelbarrow has impressed us. We weren’t even sure we could move the monster rocks, but we gave it a go and it turned out fine.
A six foot steel house wrecking bar was used to manoeuvre the rocks into position on the downhill side of the path. The rocks have to be big and heavy because they’ll eventually be retaining a lot of soil.
We could probably get or hire in a much larger machine to speed along the project. The thing is, the machines won’t get the rocks into place with a similar level of precision and fit, and as the volume of work goes up, so does the speed and risk of injury. It’s just not worth the risk, so we’re doing slow landscaping.
We put two work days into that new project and went about 8 meters / 24 feet in distance.
The spring and early summer weather have been so cold and wet that there is no stone fruit in any of the orchards. However, the conditions have favoured apples and pears. If the parrots don’t take too much fruit, it will be a bumper crop.
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 9pm is 20’C (68’F). So far this year there has been 1,414.4mm (55.7 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 1,408.6mm (55.5 inches)