Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The current home- and foreign affairs

I expected myself to blog more often since our move to Elst... but the contrary has been proven

The House
Let's be honest. It's still just a camping tent disguised as a brick-house.
The water (and consequentially the heating system) hasn't been connected yet, because the water contains too much iron and lime. Filters are needed, but the installer-guy is taking his time to order and install it...
The toilets and outside-tap are working though, because they use the water from our rain-pit. (Which was nearly empty two weeks ago, but fortunately (yep, I'm happy when it rains now) some grand downpour was soaking our region last week)
The bedroom is nearly finished. I still need to finish-off some of the joins of the plasterboards (those up near the crest of the roof), and then it can be painted. After the paint, the laminate floor will be laid, and then finally we can move our bedroomfurniture and clothes upstairs and sleep in the bedroom!
The bathroom is also nearly finished, only the ceiling needs finishing, some lights need mounting, and the shower window needs putting up.
The kitchin is running at 40%. The microwave works, but the oven is (already) broken. The cooker is installed, but the cooker hood isn't. The fridge and freezer are working. The cabinets are installed very professionaly by the kitchenplace, but not 100% correct. (They need to come back to make corrections... weehoo).
And the rest... is for later... :-)
Yes, that's something we learned doing this house: one thing at a time... otherwise you don't finish anything at all... (well, i'm not sure if we really learned... we know it; that's a more accurate description)

The Garden
The 4 cats have a new hobby: "Find the mole".
And eventually kill it, but don't eat it.
We've had 6 (dead) moles on the patio at the back so far. Not bad.
As it turns out it seems like our whole garden is actually one big mole heap. Where we thought they were ratholes; they must be from moles... We haven't seen any rats, just a couple of mice, and loads of moles...
(Yes they are cute... but not in OUR garden! Thank you Musti, Joey, Louie and Malley.)

The grass in the garden has reached about 1m40 now. Poor Old Betsy died on us when we just moved in. (For those who don't know her, Betsy is an old Countax ride-on mower we bought in the UK last year) After trying to troubleshoot what was wrong (what do I know), the conclusion was 'it's probably the solenoid'. Great. What's a solenoid? Well, shortly said, it's a thingy between the battery and the starter engine. If it fails, the mower doesn't start.
As we were in the UK last week, we bought a new solenoid, and yesterday I replaced the old one with it. If I hadn't left my keys in the UK (what? typical? noooo), I could've tested the mower by now, and let you know if it really was the solenoid that wasn't working...

He's doing great. He has lots of fun in the new house, running from one side to the other, climbing on ladders and stairs, chasing the cats and playing in the garden. (well, the little piece I managed to mow with the other mower) His talking is improving (that is, he's talking more and more, expanding his vocabulary, but unfortunately he's turning out to speak Japanese, instead of Dutch or English...)
He also made a giant leap in doing his puzzles (you know, baby-jigsaw puzzles), looking at the shape of the piece and then neatly putting it in the right spot almost immediately. Looks like a click was made in his mind last weekend in the UK. (Aah, thàt's how you do it!)
He's still obsessed with cars ("auto auto!"), and Piet Piraat ("piwaaa"). But new interests are coming: Kabouter "Pok" Plop, Aunty "Aati" Aki, and poo ("kaka") (yes, the excreta).
He's 620 days old today (1 year, 8 months and 12 days), and I've enjoyed all 892800 seconds of them :-)

My dear munchy is under quite some stress. Mostly from her job (of which I cannot speak... I even signed a confidentiality document because as you know she is a secret agent for a secret crazy company with even more secret (and crazier) people), and a reasonable amount of stress caused by yours truly; I'm not doing the household things I should be doing (I seem to be preoccupied with sleeping, working, working more and then some sleeping), which makes the cleaning and tidying-up land on her shoulders alone... It's not fair, so that'll have to change; I'm gonna start tonight by cleaning up the house before she comes home, so she doesn't need to be bothered with that anymore. (And I intend to do that more often in the future as well)

I abandoned the Windows XP Operating System on my home pc, and installed a Linux OS (Ubuntu). Why? Because I wanted to try it.
It looks nice, it works faster, but you need to dedicate some time to it to make it work just the way you want it to... And that I lack at the moment, so I regularly switch back to Windows (it's a dual boot system) if necessary.

I also re-joined BOINC (Berkeley Open-Infrastructure for Network Computing), which uses the idle time on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research.
You might know the most popular project of BOINC: Seti@Home. (Search for extra terrestrial instelligence using telescopic data)
Why? Because it's fun (for a geek). You don't need to do anything at all, but you do help scientific studies. Really. I even intend to install a Linux system on my Playstation3 to do just that thing; use the power of the cell broadband processor of the PS3 for scientific research. (Later, when there's time, after finishing the house for example :-))

I stumbled upon a 'new' series on a new channel '8', which broadcasts mostly HBO series and shows... The best one so far (and it's really really brilliant I think) is Flight of the Conchords. If you don't know them, please check this and this YouTube video... That's the kind of humour.
(I'm sure my dad will love it as well :-))
Aki got me and Cate hooked up to The Wire as well, so we have a lot of screenwatching to do... when we find some time :-)

As I already mentionned, we went to the UK last week. I don't know if you had noticed, but it's full of British there... I hope they have a good foreigner-policy.
Cate's mum was delighted, of course, to see James again. I can imagine it's not easy for her, only seeing her only grandchild every 3 months... Maybe we should start using the webcam a little more often, or let James call her more often. (I'm not kidding, James has started to understand the concept of making a phonecall! He listens, and talks when a question is asked. Not that what he says makes any sense, but it's the idea! :-))
A country full of foreigners also has nice advantages: cheaper stuff than in Belgium. So we bought plenty of new trousers, tops, socks and underwear and a baby-slide for indoor and outdoor use, (yes, for James), and some other things.

Pictures... take time to process, and I know I've been lagging enormeously with posting new ones, but I'll try my best to do some updates this week. That's a promise.


Anonymous said...

Plezant om lezen. Heb terugwaarts verder gelezen. Goed dat die blog er is.

Tim Jungbluth said...

En wie ben je? :-)