Well, apparently you don’t actually have to wait until the official test date.  If its urgent they will let you test early.  and it was a big fat no.

In other news, we now have a new suspect in the case of why I can’t get/stay pregnant.  Progesterone. When one is using the cottage cheese gel stuff, one’s period should NOT start until stopping it.  That is very clearly not the case with me.  And I am reminded that I also cannot do the put off your period with the Pill trick either (sad but true).  So I am guessing that I have either some progesterone resistance (i don’t even know if that is possible) or I don’t produce it correctly.

Possibly an easy fix.  If you can call being headachy, cranky, tired and very emotional an easy fix.  Possibly not.

And i have all these other ideas for blog posts, but by the time i get home to my computer, i don’t want to type.


It has been an interesting week.  A couple of days ago I was telling a co-worker about the lemon  juice bank robber.  Basically he got caught after robbing two banks in Philly in the mid 1990’s with absolutely no attempt to disguise himself.  So the police aired the security footage on the news and surprise surprise he was identified.  When they brought him in, he was surprised because he had “used the juice!”  Yep, he thought that rubbing lemon juice on his face would render him invisible to the cameras.  I don’t even know where to begin on that, but as it turns out he was told about the juice by someone else (of course) and had actually “tested” it.  I googled this to send to my co-worker, and found this New York Times series

It is interesting and raises one of my greatest fears- what if I am really really stupid and don’t realise it.  Or just really bad at my job as well as being really stupid.  It scares me, and I am a little nervous that there is a disorder where one can literally not recognise one’s incompetence.

I can remember reading the short story Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes in junior high (8th grade I think) in English, and I later read the novel he expanded it to.  This story also speaks to that fear.  The main character, Charlie, is a mentally disabled adult, who is vaguely aware that he isn’t smart (he takes adult education classes) but he is happy with his job and his life, or at least relatively so.  Then he is offered the chance to participate in a science experiment to improve his IQ, which he takes.  Algernon is a mouse who has had a similar procedure done just before Charlie, and he bonded with him.  At first the procedure is a success, he grows smarter and is happy, then he gets even smarter and begins to stick out.  He realises that the other men at his job made fun of him, and that he is now to smart to be ordinary.  On the plus side he starts a romance with his adult education teacher, that he had had a crush on.

Then Algernon begins to decline, and they realise that Charlie will too.  I don’t know what is worse, to vaguely understand that you aren’t as smart as others, but have no idea of the depth of the difference, or to be smart and KNOW that you will decline.  Anyway the second half of the story line is depressing, he tries everything to save Algernon, but cannot slow the decline especially as he himself starts to decline.  Then Algernon dies.

The story is told through his diary entries which start out as ungramtical and mispelled, improve and then decline. It is good, I remember it many years on, but oh it is sad and something I don’t like to think about.

Anyway, it is an interesting idea, that one can over, or under, estimate capabilities in such a way.

Complaints (again)

Today I learned, yet again, that things happen when you complain.  Customer service is dead.

So, we moved in about a month ago, discovered that there were a few flaws ( unsecured and unsecurable window, concrete steps crumbling beneath our feet).  We put in a request for repairs.  Nothing.  We received an incorrect notice that we hadn’t paid our rent.  We protested and received a bull dust response.  We put in another request.  Still nothing happened.  Today Greg emails the RE agent AGAIN, only to get an out of office reply.  WTF?!  This is the woman who last week said she would do something.  Apparently that something was take time off (although a later reply indicates she is ill).

So, I went on a local business site and joined the complaint queue about our rental agent.  And hey guess what, the operations manager (aka the complaints manager)HAS REPLIED TO MY COMPLAINT (sorry the caps were accidental, but appropriate).  SO this place can’t figure out how to contact a locksmith in a month but they do have a guy whose job it is to track down ransom online complaints and contact the complainants within hours.  hmmm.

I didn’t receive the reply until too late, but Greg will be talking him tomorrow.  To be honest I did expect this, because he has done it in the past (if only I had found the complaints prior to the move).  But am not entirely impressed by this.  So, i you own a rental property in Brisbane, or are thinking of renting one contact me to find out an agncy you don’t want to know.

That said, if there is not an immediate (read locksmith this week) there will be an official breach form being filed, as apparently we have demonstrated saintly levels of patience in RTA’s opinion.  Which would explain the prompt response.

I don’t want to spend my life as the squeaky wheel, but it works.  I prefer the sunshine and smile approach, which also works on occasion.

Update: Well the plumber came out today- for the most minor of our complaints- the unworking hot water tap in the laundry. It’s only an issue because that is also where you wash your hands from the toilet. And it turned out to be not fixable, as it appears to be the ancient and corroded pipe. Sigh. Hopefully will get a a call about the window issues soon.

Random Crankies

I haven’t been blogging much lately, too much on I think, and a general feeling of meh. Anyway today on my way to touch footy I began composing this, although I have to admit that I feel much better after playing a game of touch.  Sport really is good for you!

Some random cranky thoughts from the last week.

On Saturday I saw three different people allowing their toddlers to ride on the front of their shopping cart (the bit where the groceries go.  WTF?  Do they want to break their noses?  Especially cranky about the woman with 3 in the cart, who tried to run me over.

Why do people in Brisbane take corners at 20 kph?  The speed limit is 60- it is perfectly possible to do a corner at 40.

The individuals responsible for the street signage in Brisbane need to be locked in a car with someone who doesn’t know the city and whose only navigational aid are those signs.  If they haven’t worked out the error of their ways after that they need to be fired.

And the people in Main Roads who create T intersections where the cars trying to turn a corner can only do so when  there is a walk signal to cross that road need to join the sign people.  There are at least 2 of those intersections in the City and they are irritating to pedestrians and drivers.

To the people who take their small child in a stroller in a competitive fun run.  Don’t.  Unless you are willing to run at the back, and acknowledge that you annoy the daylights out of everyone else on the road.  And even then I have my doubts.

Why do people always want more than you can give?

Rant over.

Reflections- or what I have learned this week

It has been a busy week this week, with something planned almost every day.  Tuesday was the dentist- a routine check up where everything seemed fine.  I even had the excitement of only paying $4 for the whole thing.  For non-Australian readers, the frustrating structure of our private health care is that almost no providers cover all dental fees- they mostly just cover about half.  This week, I got to use the “bonus” account to almost nil out my total bill.  It’s a good thing I didn’t spend that extra money though.

Wednesday was wine tasting night, and it was pretty good- mostly reds, with only a few whites. It was also time for my final early pregnancy appointment- the one where they confirm that I am definitely no longer pregnant, and have pregnancy hormones left.  Which I don’t.  It is actually a good thing, it means it is ok for me to get pregnant again.

Thursday was Ikea night- we went to get a couple of plates, and generally wander.  Somehow we came home with an extra lamp, which Greg promptly unpacked, so I think it can be referred to as his lamp.  Especially since it sits on his end of the sofa, next to the computer, in a place one would not otherwise put a lamp.

Today however, was not so good.  I was supposed to play soccer tonight, but that all disappeared when I ate my crispy chicken from Pamela’s Pantry and broke my tooth.  To be fair, it is a tooth the dentist has had flagged as a possible problem for the last 6  months, but still.  Why today.  So instead of getting to play soccer, I got to go have emergency root canal instead, with the brother of my dentist (also a dentist).  I refrained from telling him the filling in the problem tooth had been done in that very room (by the recently retired dentist, who used to run that practice) 10 years ago.  Anyway, much pain, not good.  I recouperated afterwards by buying a new (to me) Louis Vuitton handbag at Lifeline for $25.

I am also on some fairly hefty antibiotics which means no drinking alcohol for the next week.  We are supposed to go(I bought tickets!) to a beer festival on Sunday.

On the bright side, I also learned today that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Last week I received a reminder card for an overseas magazine I subscribe to.  But when I went to renew the subscription the website told me I had an invalid email, and an invalid subscriber number.  I sent them an email asking for help.  Nothing happened.  I sent another, outlining the problem.  Nothing happened.  I sent a third, explicitly stating complaint.  Nothing happened.  By this point I was pretty cranky.  Most places have a one day response time, and respond to the word complaint fairly well.

So tonight, around 6 ish I sent another email with a couple of paragraphs at the bottom telling them how unimpressed I was with the service, that I am involved in complaints handling and email response and responses this poor would certainly result in bad things.  i tacked on a paragraph basically saying if I didn’t get a response in 12 hours I would email their senior execs (yes, I did have email addresses), and although I knew said execs wouldn’t precisely be able to help, they generally don’t just sit on their hands either.  Strangely enough, I got a response.  Should have kicked up the fuss a week ago.  I wouldn’t recommend this tactic all the time, but if you have the names and can do it, it does work.

Electrical problems

We rent.  This is fine, and the place we are currently living in isn’t bad, except for the sneaking suspicion that the previous owner did some dodgy stuff.  The current owner only settled on the place the day before we moved in, and I think he was ripped off.

Among the items that I find irritating and wrong- the previous “renovator” replaced all light fixtures (and yes ALL of them) with down lights.  Not bad, except they just inserted ONE down light where the old fixture was.  We have a lot of lamps.  The owner commented on this.  I told him the lights were crap.

The telephone wiring is dodgy.  There is no entry point in the unit, but there is one downstairs which has miles of cabling, and then there is an outlet upstairs.

The kitchen.  When we moved in the kitchen had a dishwasher (smeg), a fridge, an oven and ceramic stovetop and a sink disposal unit.  of those, only the ceramic stovetop has not broken.  The fridge went within 6 months.  The dishwasher died early this year and the disposer was installed incorrectly.  All of these pale against the stove.  For starters it sits roughly in the center of the main room, as part of the divider between the kitchen and the living area.  There is no extractor fan, which I found out today is illegal. Given that the oven has been installed in the past 5 years or so, this is not good.

On Sunday, when Greg went to put the roast in, the oven didn’t work.  On inspection he found this.  The plug for the oven had fused into the outlet.  It turns out you aren’t supposed to plug an oven into a regular outlet. Then, today the electrician came out.  The whole thing has been wired incorrectly and illegally.  It turns out that there has been some dodgy wiring downstairs which also renders the oven unsafe because you cannot turn off the fuse for that area. It will be rewired tomorrow.

Yes, I am very glad we rent and do not own this place, and we are moving soon.  On the positive side, I have yet another inspection item to add to the hypothetical list- is the oven wired correctly?

Update –The electrician rang on the second day of repairs and asked if the oven had ever worked correctly, and had the little lights on front worked?  I gather from this question and his surprise that it had worked for two years, that something was monumentally wrong with the wiring and we are very lucky to be here with no fiery problems.  On the down lights- if you have some in your home, try covering all but one and seeing how much light there is.  Pretty bad.

The name change saga(part 1)

Ever since I got married (actually starting sometime before) people have been asking me if I am going to change my name.  Many of these were more toward the assumption I would than not- “hey, so what’s your new name?”.  This was a surprise to me, as I hadn’t considered it much, I had somewhat assumed that it was remaining the same.  Silly me.

See- we got married

I should have remembered my earlier opinion of Brisbane- living in the 50s as far as domestic life is concerned.  Anyway, as a result of subtle and not so subtle pressures I decided to change my name and become a hyphenate.  I thought this was a rather elegant solution, but it was not to be.

Signing the marriage certificate/register

For all that people assume that you can simply change your name upon marriage by waving that pretty little certificate around, you can’t.  I was already aware of some of the pitfalls, I do work in an industry that is subject to those nasty Anti-Money Laundering rules, and I do understand the need for proper certified documents.  But I had not anticipated the lengths to which I was required to go.

We even had witnesses!

We’ll start with the fact that I was married overseas.  Turns out that an awful lot of places (including the people who organise driver’s licences) don’t accept overseas marriage certificates- even the official ones. ( Hey NZ, Queensland’s Department of Transport thinks you are dodgy!) Then I went to change my passport, thinking if the Australian Government accepts who I am, Queensland will have to.

See- all married- and at the top of a mountain

Now if I change my passport within 12 months of marriage, it’s free.  My boss told me about that as his wife missed the deadline by 3 weeks.  Given that passports are around $200, I want the free one.  Enter my second mistake- being born overseas.

It turns out that because I only have a citizenship certificate, and not an Australian Birth certificate, I have to officially register my change of name.  This is getting a little complex. Not sure I understand precisely why, but what it all boils down to is identity theft and fraud.  There was some, and whoever was in charge decided the best way to slow people down when taking a new name was to impose this very painful process.

it was a little windy

How does one register a change of name?  By supplying an insanely long list of documents, completing a painfully repetitive form and handing over $135. Ouch, and we haven’t even started on the documents. My citizenship certificate, my birth certificate, my passport, my driver’s licence and a bank card or other government issued identification and a letter from my employer certifying I have been living in the state for the past 12 months.  They sit on all this documentation for 5 weeks and give me a change of name certificate, which I will then shove in the face of anybody so foolish as to question my name.

If I had known what a major pain this was going to be, I wouldn’t have changed.  My problem is, I have changed it already in a few places, and the process of unchanging is equally bad.  Generally they will require a decree nisi(which I don’t have because we aren’t divorced, nor are we planning to) or an official change of name certificate (see above for that process).

I do foresee a growing trend to retain names however, if my experience becomes the norm.

And I haven’t even started on my US and UK passports.