21 May 2009

Garden landscaping research

Today's research project for Eric and me was to visit the local landscaping places to look at garden edging (decorative concrete blocks) and paving bricks.... and to collect business cards for people to do the heavy work. A relatively small area in front of the house is our responsibility. We have several idea for this area, some more practical than others. The easiest, and most practical for us, is pebbles and concrete animals, along with Eric's weather station and some little windmills. This type of garden is fairly popular among the residents of Carlyle Gardens. We also like the idea of a raised bed with a garden railway and rocks piled into mountains, but I'm getting away from that idea because it's too likely to be vandalised by someone from outside... despite the security force. We'll see.

20 May 2009

Driver's license

Went to the Dept of Transport today to change the address on my driver's license and car registration. Their website had refused to accept my new address; apparently it's not in some database. The Dept Transport woman had to override the system to get it accepted; apparently she has to do this a lot.

17 May 2009

Wrestling with technology

Need to get some Windows software on the Asus Eee PC. I have the software on CDs, but the Eee has no CD player. I tried to use an old external (USB) CD/camera card drive, but failed. Sometimes the computer sees the camera card part, but not the CD drive; sometimes it won't see either. Over to USB sticks: copy CD onto USB stick, install on Eee from that. So far that's been successful, if tedious.

14 May 2009

Australian federal budget

I'm relieved to note that eligibility for the only Australian government benefit I receive (Commonweath Seniors Health Card) was unchanged by Tuesday's Budget.

New book on technical editing

I have a chapter in a forthcoming book from Baywood, New Perspectives on Technical Editing. My chapter is titled "Copyediting and Beyond". I was allowed, even encouraged, to include some of my opinions on editing, which many editors find heretical—and others find liberating.

13 May 2009

Construction and gardening

Much construction and gardening work is going on beside the house: edging (not quite a curb) on a bit of road that goes nowhere; a path for walking, bicycles, and golf buggies; formwork for edging a large new garden bed; and laying of many truckloads of topsoil.

Awnings and blinds

Someone came to measure the windows of our new house for awnings and blinds (some external, some internal). We've decided about most, but not all, of the window coverings; the rest can be done later. Installation should be in mid-June, after we return from a trip to Adelaide.

12 May 2009


A multiple-choice health survey asked how many cups of tea I drink a day; the choices started at "none". The same survey asked how many cups of coffee I drink; choices started at "one". Bit of biased assumption there? (I don't drink coffee.)

10 May 2009

Smoke alarm

Used grill in oven for the first time in new house. Set off the smoke alarm. Alarm's turn-off button didn't. Eric had to rip it off ceiling and remove the battery. Not impressed. The chops tasted good, but.

06 May 2009

Progress on OpenOffice.org Calc Guide

First draft of OpenOffice.org Calc Guide is now complete, and some chapters have been reviewed once. I have more topics to add, including new features for OOo3.1. Then on to the indexing, my least favourite activity.

Front garden ideas

We're contemplating the delights and hassles of installing a model railway in our garden. Eric's been helping by feeding me URLs. This scheme started with rocks as low-maintenance garden plants, artistically arranged, and grew from there. (I've been wanting a train set for years. Never had one as a kid.)

01 May 2009

Instant lawn

Contractors arrived, assaulted me with obnoxious music, and departed, leaving badly-laid sod behind. Some of it has been sitting around in the sun too long and may have died. As soon as they were gone, the staff gardeners set to work running the watering system, which is not on automatic yet.

Pallets of sod arrive.

Sod has been laid.

Sod laid in back of house. Garden between houses also visible.