Spring Or Summer?

This crazy weather has done my head in again. It’s cycling between warm and hot, humid and gusty, scorching and stormy. Can’t the weather just be mild and sunny for once? Too much to ask for apparently.

Still anything is better than cold and freezing. I’m slowly emerging from my cocoon, shedding the layers of blankets and clothes, being able to feel my toes. Getting sunburnt – which I suppose would be one of the other cons of this time of year. But c’mon glorious vitamin D…

The stupid winds lately have been tearing up my balcony. That reed fencing won’t live another 12 months I don’t think. It’s randomly breaking in sections. The plants for the most part have been a bit hardier. Although now I know what happens when you try and plant sweet potatoes in flower pots.

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Haha mini sweet potatoes…  I haven’t quite worked out what to do with them yet. Maybe I’ll just bung them in the oven. I’m assuming they’re edible. Might have another go another time in a bigger container. Though the plants themselves are caterpillar magnets which is bloody annoying.

I’m going to re-attempt my windowsill herbs again. Last time they ended up all gangly and falling over which sucked. Hopefully this time if I remember to water them more frequently they might turn out ok. Here’s hoping… Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have some pretty photos of more green things…

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Vivosmart HR

So it was coming up to a year since I had my original Vivosmart and it was pissing me off as the band starting cracking. That and the LED display started losing pixels. I kept dealing with it since it still sort of worked, I could still make out my messages and all that, it just required scrolling back and forth to get it to land on the pixels that did work. But then chunks of the band started to fall off and I ended up with this.

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Definitely not useful. I was never sure when the band would just pop loose since it never struck me as that secure in the first place. So then I was umming and ahhing over what to replace it with as I really wanted something able to read emails and messages. I didn’t want a real smartwatch as most of them are just so big and bulky, not to mention poor battery life. In the end I ended up settling with the new Vivosmart HR.

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First impressions – the strap seems flimsy for a $200 device, it feels so much chunkier than the previous generation, the display is much easier to read. So far I’ve been using it a few weeks now. The display is awesome – no problems in sunlight. I was worried about it being so shiny. Within the first week I thought I had scratched it up when I swung my wrist and hit a doorway. I ended up with white marks on the edge of the display which at first I couldn’t remove. Over time I managed to rub it off and you would even pick that it had been banged up. Battery life does suck a little compared to the previous generation. Then again this little sucker has to power up a HR monitor. I should really turn that off since I don’t use it much. Apart from when I’m bored. And wonder how on earth it thinks I have  heart rate of around 50 when peddling on an exercise bike all puffed out.

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It does have this groovy weather notification thing going on. Again not really that useful and probably sucking up juice. Speaking of juice the charger sucks. Someone shrunk the cable in half. Who the hell thought that was a great idea? The clip in for the charger is also crap. Way too fiddly lining up the bits. Plus all that clicking in and out to charge is bound to crack something one of these days. Another annoying thing is I think it undercounts steps compared to the last one. Unless the previous one overcounted? I have noticed that when taken off and put in a pants pocket, the older Vivosmart would still count steps taken whereas the new one doesn’t. Not sure whether that on it own would account for the roughly 10% discrepancy.

Overall, I guess I’m pretty happy with it. Especially since I picked it up when 20% off. Not sure I would’ve paid full price for one. Then again since when have I ever paid full price for anything? Fingers crossed this one lasts me more than a year. Given the higher price it better otherwise I shall be mighty pissed.

Harvest

Is it still called a harvest when you get produce one at a time? The tomatoes are slow at ripening. And the plant I think is dying from the crazy high 30s temp we’ve had recently. I’m trying to remember to water often but hey who has time for all that? Obviously not me who keeps making excuses. But look…

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I did get something. And aren’t they so cute… Must say having better luck with the strawberries. They seem to cope better with some neglect. Even watering every few days I’m getting a whole heap of flowers sprouting up.

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The strawberries coming out aren’t huge. Nor are they super sweet. But they do pack a punch with flavour which is awesome.

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Check out that nice blush. It is a bit slow collecting as I’m getting one every few days. Definitely not at a rate fast enough to make anything out of it. Hopefully the next batch of flowers will fruit at the same time. Not that things ever do what I want. Take for instance the sweet potato I was going to bake.

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Umm ok then… sure go nuts sprouting. Figured I may as well take advantage and chuck a few eyes in a pot. Not quite sure how sweet potato grows in pots. I’m guessing not that well considering my pots ain’t that big but gotta be better than nothing I suppose. Apparently the leaves are edible so there’s always that.

For some reason I though herbs would be easy to grow. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or me forgetting to water but they don’t thrive. They sprout up for a bit, grow a few cms and then nothing. The basil is doing a bit better than the coriander and parsley but not by much. Sigh, I suppose on that note I should go and water something.

Growing Stuff

So since the last post I’ve been trying not to kill things. But I think the crazy heat fried the cucumber plant plus I had these little mite thingies that demolished all the leaves so yeah, I give up on cucumbers. On the plus side I have strawberry flowers!

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I guess time will tell if I get berries. I think I got a single berry last year. Though at least the plant made it through winter and it’s still alive. And I got it for something ridiculous like $2 because someone marked it as “potted colour” instead of strawberry plant.

The tomato plant is sprouting like crazy and then I spotted this.

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I really did not need presents. Especially not in the form of caterpillar poop. It does actually look kind of gross. This is coming from someone that normally extends out the 3 second rule to about half a minute and half the time can’t be bothered washing hands before eating. Well I washed my hands today.

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I spotted the cheeky bastard hoeing into my leaves. Well he was one of two. Both got to keep their stash of leaves as I snipped them off and threw them over the balcony. Go eat someone else’s tomatoes. But talk about perfect camouflage, took a while to find even though I knew it had be somewhere above the droppings. I suppose him moving around a nibbling on the leaves helped to give him away.

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They’re tiny and green at the moment. They haven’t really changed in size for a week. I wonder if I’m going to have a chance to eat them before something else does. Or the plant dies. Or god knows what. Meh I’ll just call it practice for when I eventually get it right. Trying for some more rocket and spinach as well. Since I kind of forgot to water the last batch enough. I’m hoping if I sink terracotta pots into a tray with a few cm of water it can kinda self water for a while. If not I’m buying a bag of rocket and spinach leaves from the shop.

So far 2016 is shaping up to be ok.

New Year

Time flies as they say. I have no idea where 2015 went. It feels like I haven’t done anything all year. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a holiday and gone anywhere. Maybe I’m just tired out from all the drama in the past 12 months.

Well new year and new start eh? Time for a whole pile of useless resolutions. You know what? Not gonna bother this year. I never follow through on plans anyway. Keeping the expectations low…

Like my attempt to plant food…

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Yep that retarded thing on the left is what happens when I attempt to grow my own cucumbers compared a normal looking one on the right. Like cmon… really?

Anyway we’ll see how the tomatoes turn out next. At least if they end up pint size then they can just be cherry tomatoes instead. See… low expectations.

So I’m all good if 2016 turns out rather quiet. Actually I would be glad for a  quiet year. I need a break from crazy. Here’s to the new year.

The Tap Situation

Jeez, so I’ve just hibernated for the last 3 months. Apparently so… well I am truly thankful for the warmer weather even if it does decide to randomly drop 10 degrees for no good reason other than the fact I put away my warm clothes. And once I pull them out we hit mid 30s again. Rinse, repeat. Still better than perpetual cold.

Also perpetual is/was the leaking kitchen tap for oh I don’t know, at least the past year and a half ongoing.

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The chux wipe and all its incarnations have been permanent fixtures draped around the base of the tap. Why? Well the tap was stiff and water was just starting to bead at the join where it turns. So sometime last year I decided to change the filter to fix it. And apart from the fun of tearing the tap apart that didn’t accomplish anything. With time, the beading just got worse to the point where water would pool at the base. At least the chux wipes redirected any extra water to flow back into the sink. Instead of floating around on the bench around the sink. And I could kind of pretend the wipe was just there drying after I cleaned the kitchen… constantly… Yeah, or not.

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Taadaa… new tap. Only took me about an hour to pull out the old one and install the new. Most of which was comprised of swearing at the goddamn sink and how much in the way it was. For some reason the shelf under the sink is non adjustable. Which means my head and shoulders have to squeeze through a tiny gap so I can bend my arms up to fix the bolts. Not easy when my arms don’t actually bend in that direction. Or when all my tools are big and bulky and the handles keep hitting the side of the sink. Coupled with the fact I can see jack all in the only position physically possible underneath the sink… well yeah… swearing. And dented heads. But hey, new pretty tap. Woohoo…

Now all that’s left to do this year would be putting some goddamn transition trim between the boards and carpet outside the bedrooms and getting the rest of the skirting in this area down. My excuse so far is wanting to find something 5cm wide due to the damn unhelpful doorway design so I don’t have to recut the boards to push the trim further into the rooms. Only problem is I’m not sure this stuff exists. Hence, it’s in the too hard basket at the moment. Meh, who needs trim. I’ve done without it for two years…

Also left on the list is attempting to make the balcony useful. I’m not sure how the growing things to eat in pots is going since I seem to have a bad track record with plants. In that… they die. So far random green things are sprouting. Fingers crossed for a harvest.

Hibernating With Onions

Hibernating… so hibernating… I would never survive anywhere that had temps in single digits longterm. Hell I can’t even stand it for the several weeks of really cold winter. I can barely stand “mild” winter. God, I’m hopeless. If I’m ever rich, I vote changing hemispheres every 6 months. Or just have in floor heating. Like I get how pretty snow is but oh my god, if I ever had to deal with a season of it, I’d rather literally hibernate. As it is, when I’m not working I’m spending almost 12hrs in bed. I have a massive pet peeve with not being able to feel my toes and fingers. So bed means from neck down I’m warm and toasty. At times when I feel like suffocating, my head is also warm and toasty.

So yeah, currently I either stay under a blanket, near the heater or keep the stove on. And since I ended up with a kilo of onions it seemed like the right time to huddle over the stove for about an hour.

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Who knew that a bunch of boring white onions could turn into something that smells and tastes so damn good?

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I guess all you have to do is add the word caramelized in front of anything and that makes it awesome. But it’s true. I may or may not have gone through half the jar in a week. Makes the kitchen smell real good too. At least now I know what to do the next time I find buying a bag of onions is cheaper than just buying two of them. Which is kind of the same problem I’m having with tomatoes as well. I suppose a pot of bolognese is in order. Maybe the next time I’m in need of warming my hands.