Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I Wonder... Maybe..... I Doubt It........

If you are wondering what I am wondering about, it is whether or not I will have an Internet Connection or not this afternoon. I seriously doubt it, but if this post is posted today, Monday the 27 Feb, then by some small miracle, I did have Neotel coverage at home today. On Saturday, I had coverage in the morning, then we had a huge rainstorm and there was no longer any coverage. Sunday was a lovely clear sunny day, all day, but still no coverage. Today the little light is flickering green, which means there is coverage, but it is slower than the old dial up modems and very intermittent, so we will see how long it lasts. To say I am totally unimpressed with Neotel is an understatement. A few people have seen my little modem and have asked about it and I have told them what my honest opinion of Neotel is. Don't get it!!!! One thing about living in South Africa, you always have to have a back up for a back up for a back up......... I forgot to mention in my previous post about Unlucky Friday The 10th, that the whole morning I also had no MTN coverage. I was using Mark's MTN modem and the whole morning there was no coverage. I was really looking forward to having my Neotel modem delivered the following week, because a) I would not have to keep using Mark's modem and b) if MTN was having problems with coverage, I would have a back up. Ha Ha Ha!!!!

Well Mark and Chad went down to Ballito, the business is finally opening down there and they had to take stuff down. John went with. It ended up taking them 12 hours to get down there, because the trailer kept swaying badly if they went over 75Km's. They did not pack the trailer properly and the weight was all on one side. They went down with two bakkies and a car. Keith has moved down and finally we have our home to ourselves. I hate people invading my space and now if I want to sit in the garden in my nightie I can or hang up washing before getting dressed etc. I must say Keith is extremely rude. He stayed at our house rent free for 8 months or longer, ate the food I cooked, but left without even saying good bye or thank you. According to Mark, it is because I was "sleeping". I may have been "sleeping" when they left at 4am, but I certainly was not sleeping when he came in to get his supper and nor was I sleeping when he packed my duvet set, which was on the bed in the room he stayed in. Yes, he packed up our linen with his stuff. Mark does not see the problem with it and says we can get it back, but it is the principal. How do you take something that does not belong to you. He also took the towels, not that I want them back after he has used them, but in my opinion that is theft. You don't strip a bed and take the linen by mistake!! The reason why he moved up to Johannesburg and stayed with us, was because his girlfriend kicked him out and then he still cannot say thank you for letting him stay here. He might have thanked Mark, which I doubt, but he did not thank me. Mark and his choice of friends and people who take advantage of him and use him will always be a bone of contention between us.

Phineas, one of our staff members went down with them, because they had to take a second bakkie. It is the first time that Phineas has been down to the coast and has never seen the sea ever. Apparently, he was blown away and so shocked when he saw the sea. As they were driving towards the beach, Mark pointed out the sea to him and he said it was the sky and not water and as they got closer he was just dumb struck at the amount of water. It is actually very sad that the average South African does not ever get to see the rest of the country or ever get to do the things the minority of us take for granted. OK, I have never seen snow, but that is by choice, plus the ocean is part of the land and sky and not a season or weather condition. In winter we could get in the car and drive a few hours and see snow, it just has not been at the top of my list to see. But for a grown man to see the sea for the first time and be so in awe of the magnificence of the ocean is really sad. Chad says he was so excited to see it and that for himself, Chad, it is nothing and he can't even remember what it was like seeing it for the first time and I said that is because he saw it from a baby and obviously going on holiday, there is always the excitement and the game of "who spots the sea first", but it is not the same as seeing it for the first time ever. They went down to the beach for a bit, because it was late and eventually Phineas was swimming in the sea with Chad and John. He now wants to take his family down so they can also see what it is like. He has a son a year younger than Chad, but is divorced from the mother and is hoping his son will be allowed to go down with him if he goes down again. It was a very ugly divorce and his ex-wife's family try to keep his son away from him. He has since remarried and has a baby daughter who was born in December and he wants to take them all down to see the ocean.
Chad, John, Phineas - Ballito 

Aha, I had to retype the last paragraph six times. I guess technology dislikes me as much as I dislike it. My laptop overheated and crashed four times whilst typing this post yesterday and then when it started working again, Neotel stopped working. The photo that I have posted above of John; Chad and Phineas in the sea is not a good photo at all, Mark took it with his phone and sent it to me. He has a Samsung Android phone, but won't use it, he uses a cheap R100.00 Nokia phone and every time he is due for an upgrade he gets the latest phone, which stays in the box, until one day when he gives it away and buys a cheap phone which he then uses. Does not make sense at all, but that is Mark. Anyway, the photo will have so many memories for Chad one day, reminding him of a fun time him and John had and the simple pleasure they had experiencing the sea with Phineas.

Yesterday afternoon a bird fell down our chimney into the lounge, but I will blog about that later. I need to do some work now.

Till next time, if technology is kind to me

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Unlucky Friday The 10th

No I did not mean Friday the 13th, but the question remains, why do we all worry about Friday the 13th being an unlucky day or bad day. I was one of those very superstitious people, believing in the bad luck of Friday the 13th, until Thursday the 15th and Friday the 16th, became the worst days ever for me. The day Clinty died. The 16th of any month is just terrible for me, I hate the 16th and somehow psychologically and mentally, I do not even acknowledge the date of the 16th ever, only on the 16 March, do I actually take note of the date the 16th. The rest of the months, for some strange phenomenon, I get through the day without even noticing that the date is the 16th.

Back to my post heading. On Friday the 10th, I woke up at the normal time to a wet miserable rainy day. I hate that kind of weather, when you know the clouds are heavy with rain and it won't clear up for the rest of the day. Traffic becomes hectic, where not only the normal traffic criminals are out in full force, but everyone else tends to go crazy on the roads,more traffic lights are out than normal and the roads are just a recipe for disaster. I hate it!! So my day was already looking bleak and weary, in tune with the weather.

My hairdryer kept overheating and I had to wait and wait forever for it to turn on again, that made me late, not that drying hair mattered in the rainy weather. Spending hours to dry your hair, just to get it all damp again in the rain. We left for school and work, stuck in traffic, driving with caution amongst all the idiots, actually not idiots, but potential murderers. Then at work everything that could go wrong with cars and spares, went wrong, so it was not only me that was having a bad day, but Mark as well and working when it is raining for them is not fun either.

I went to fetch Chad from school and just before he got to the car, I realized that I had left my lights on whilst waiting for him. I had not even parked outside the school for 10 minutes and my battery was flat. Fortunately it was not too flat and we could push start it - push starting your car outside a private high school not so favourable :). Why the battery went flat after only 10 minutes can only be put down to unlucky Friday the 10th, the reason we would have put it down to if it happened on Friday the 13th. After the really hectic morning and everything going wrong, I left late to fetch Chad, I had not done the wages yet, so I left my laptop at work, planning to go back after dropping Chad off at home. When we arrived home, I remembered that Sheila had told me when I phoned her earlier, that the kitchen sink drain was blocked. My plan to drop Chad off and go straight back to work was not about to happen. All I had at home to unblock the drain was Bicarbonate of Soda, which normally works well. It did not. I tried and tried with a whole box of Bicarb and boiling kettle water to no avail. We had to scoop most of the water out into a bucket and then I had to leave for work again. The afternoon was no better and I eventually managed to do the wages at 4pm.

Luckily Chad stayed at home and could let Sheila and Rabie, our gardener out, but his friend's father was coming to pick him up at 4.30pm and I still had to stop off at the shops to buy drain cleaner. What did I do, I left my lights on AGAIN and my battery went flat again!!! I was panicking, because Chad was alone at home and although he is old enough to stay alone at home, there is always the reminder that our house was burgled in broad daylight around 5pm in the afternoon. I also did not want to inconvenience his friend's father. Chad phoned them to say I was running late, so they came a bit later. Needless to say the drain cleaner did not unblock the drain and I used the whole bottle and boiling kettle water and the next morning both sinks were still full of water. I have a thing about blocked drains, it is almost an obsession and even if I think the drains are blocking up, I buy drain unblock. I could not sleep that night, because the kitchen drain was blocked and had nightmares about it. Stupid I know, when there are far more serious things to worry about. Mark had to go to work and the whole morning the drain was bugging me, so I took off all the rubber pipes looking for the blockage  and the last one which connects to the metal pipe was too difficult to disconnect, so I left it for Mark to do. The blockage was further down the metal pipe and we had to flush it out with the hose pipe. We have had to do that about four times since, so I guess the pipes are old and need to be replaced and concrete dug up and and and............

My luck has not improved since then and everything just keeps going wrong. I finally cancelled both my Mweb ADSL and my Telkom line and we took out a Neotel contract for 24 months after checking that the coverage at home was good and at work excellent. I decided to go with Neotel, because not only do they promote, market and advertise themselves as the best communication and internet company to hit South Africa, but also because it was a special they were promoting - a wireless router and a free Android Tablet. Chad wanted the tablet, so I signed up with them. Only to find out that there is NO COVERAGE at our house. So good means no coverage and excellent means OK coverage.  I am really mad about it and cannot understand how a company can market themselves as the new best thing to hit the country when they do not have coverage. I am told there is excellent coverage about three roads down from our house and all I will get is spillage. How on earth do they have coverage only in parts of a suburb and we do not live in some remote rural area, it does not make sense that a company that is competing with other companies only cover a small section of an area. So the day I started this post I had about 15 minutes of spillage and could access the internet. For the rest of the time I have no access. Will I recommend Neotel? NO and a big definite NO!!! After having a complete disaster with Telkom and Mweb, now Neotel, I think the universe is trying to tell me something - I must give up my online life, not that I am a full on internet junkie, but only access it when necessary!!! I should have just gone straight back to MTN 3G, but the idea was to have a wireless router so that we could all connect with our laptops and tablets and that Chad can also connect with his android phone and now the new tab. He hardly uses his laptop, but is loving the tab, which now costs extra in data bundles. I don't see the point of getting 7 MTN 3g modems when we have companies like Telkom and Neotel advertising and promoting all these wonderful wireless options connecting your whole company/household to one connection, yet they don't work.

So until such time that I figure out what to do, my blog posts will be few and far between as I can only update when I have time at work, where the silly little Neotel router works. I will be posting December posts next December or maybe the year after. Argh!!!

The Router That Is Causing Me So Much Stress, I Am Ready To Smash It

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Weekend

I started this post on Sunday and just has I started we had another huge storm. Sunday storms are as regular as clockwork. The lightning and thunder is just so bad all the time, even Spike is starting to get scared. Storms never bothered him and Miss Piggy. She is still OK. I don't know if it is because the storms are bad or he picks it up from Jingles, Pluto and Garfield. They hate the storms. I decided after my modem was hit by lightning that I will unplug everything during these really bad storms, although I am not even sure when my modem was hit, it definitely was not during a very bad storm, but now will rather be safe than sorry. I still do not have my own internet connection, still deciding which route to go and using Mark's never gives me much time to blog.

Last Saturday, the day after my birthday I suddenly felt very sick and nauseas in the afternoon. I thought perhaps the cake I made was too rich, but during the night I was up most of the night with stomach cramps and diarrhea. I spent the whole day in bed on Sunday and it just got worse and worse. Monday morning I got up to take Chad to school and started vomiting and still had a runny tummy. Mark took Chad to school and bought me valoid and Imodium, nothing helped and eventually on Tuesday I went to the doctor, because I was starting to dehydrate as I couldn't keep anything in and did not feel like eating or drinking. By Wednesday afternoon I started to feel better. I am so sick and tired of being sick. I am started to feel like a Medical Marvel. A name I used to give to people who always had the most outrageous illnesses and the worst case of every disease and the best doctors and specialists in the world. OK I don't go as far as "the best doctor" syndrome, but I am always sick and it always gets worse and worse.  Before Clint died if I went to the doctor once or twice a year it was a lot. Now I hate going to doctors and always end up getting sick and self medicating does not help. It just gets worse, so I am really feeling like a Medical Marvel right now.

On Friday night we went bowling again. I was still feeling very drained and washed out, but Chad wanted to go and we had not been for a couple of weeks, so we went. I had two free games for my birthday and we each had a free game for Valentine's day. I still have my free Valentine's day game, but it has to be used by the 14th or you forfeit it and I don't think we will be going this week. None of us really played very well, it was so hot and of course I was not feeling very well, which did not help. Mark won the first game and I think Keith won the second game. We had dinner at Brazza afterwards, its a new restaurant, part of the Ocean Basket Franchise. I had Baby Kingklip  and veggies, I was a bit disappointed in it, but everyone else enjoyed their food.

Chad and his friend, John went to movies on Saturday, they went to see Jack and Jill. apparently it is really funny. I want to see it, but will wait until it comes out on DVD. John slept over and Mark decided we should have a fondue instead of making supper.

Sunday was a very relaxed day of doing nothing. Mark bought Spike a new toy when he went to buy them food. He always only buys one toy for Spike and Miss Piggy to share. Jingles and Pluto don't play with toys ever, not even when they were younger. Jingles played with a ball now and again and to be honest I have never known a dog to love toys as much as Spike does. Piggy just plays for the sake of playing when Spike plays, but Spike simply goes crazy when he gets a new toy. He really appreciates his toys and just knows the toy is new and for him. He is like a little child and when he gets a new toy he even sleeps with it. They never last long, not even Kong's. This one looks like it might last awhile.

Well it is already Wednesday and will hopefully get to publish this post today. I have been so busy this week and have not had a chance to blog and it is almost time to go and play with Spike. He knows at 4 it is time to play and brings me his toy and barks until I go outside and play with him. He is such an intelligent dog.

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