Prepare ship for ludicrous speed!

"Prepare ship for ludicrous speed! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all animals in the zoo!" (title too long again)

We have just asked our ISP, Internode, to switch us over to a new ADSL plan. This will happen in five to ten days. It will mean servers being offline and/or slow for about a day while the switch is being made. It will also mean that all incoming and outgoing data will be much faster than before. You'd be wise to heed Colonel Sandurz's warning.

"I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse."

I just had the BEST eye exam I've ever had in my life.

Firstly, most of my previous visits to the optometrist included having a machine blow air in each eye and having drops put in to dilate my pupils, which makes your eyes feel like gravel and makes it impossible to focus on anything other than a television for several hours afterward. This time, this did not happen. I am very happy about this.

And secondly, the frames I have now have had one of the bows fall off twice in the last few months. I've had them glued back together both times, but it's time for new ones anyway. So I've wandered into a few shops to look at frames, not really finding anything great, just a few that'd be okay. So my plan after getting my eyes checked was to take my prescription to another shop, where I'd seen last year's frames advertised for FREE if you buy lenses. Well. I mentioned the fact that I'd been looking elsewhere to the optometrist, and he wrote my prescription & gave it to me. And we left the exam room and he talked to the lady at the desk (who turned out to be the manager of the shop) and told her I'd been looking other places. So she goes into sales mode (it wasn't THAT bad, really) and starts showing me frames. So I tried on a few and kinda liked a couple. And finally she says "Okay, if you pick one of these three I'll give you the frames and lenses for $100." This after she'd told me the cost of the polycarbonate lenses would be $190 something, and all the frames I'd seen were AT LEAST $100 (most of them more like $230). Hey, now who am I to argue with a deal like that? :-)

So I think I'll continue to go to this place, even if we do move to Mount Pleasant. I'd be crazy not to.

Mel's Long List of Pet Peeves, Part 1

There are a lot of things that bother me, and they say misery loves company. So join me in a rant.

1. Cats who land on the keyboard just as you're trying to type something important.

2. Cold toilet seats. Winter is on the way and I'll get to experience this yet again, since the toilet is one of the coldest rooms in the house.

3. People who say they'll do something and then don't.

4. Cats who walk back & forth in front of your screen when you're trying to type something important.

5. Cats who then jump up on the dresser and knock your brush on the floor, then jump down onto your desk again while you're typing something important.

6. Rain showers starting at 10 am when the weather bureau said "early afternoon," so the wet clothes you left outside overnight get wet again.

7. Insect bites on the bottom of the foot.

8. Oh, what the heck, insect bites ANYWHERE.

9. The IRS.

10. Finding kitty litter with bare feet.

11. Wet toilet seats. I thought it was a joke when Dave Barry once wrote a column about "spitting" toilets, but I've actually seen toilets spit water out when they flush. I've also felt little droplets on my legs when I'm wearing shorts and flush the toilet without shutting the lid first.

12. The employment market in Adelaide.

13. Lame news stories about the "dangers" of eating low carb, written or reported by people who obviously haven't read the research.

14. People who pass off bad behaviour as just that, rather than the symptom of something deeper.

15. Cats who keep coming back to beg for attention after you shoo them away while doing something important.

16. People who don't pay attention to their own bodies enough to know when they should change something, and just keep throwing drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, or otherwise) down their throats to make their bodies behave like THEY want them to.

17. Adelaide traffic. Give us some FREEWAYS, for crying out loud.

18. "Diet" foods made with Aspartame/NutraSweet/Equal. Not only does it taste terrible, it's actually a POISON. And the only reason it ever got approved for use in food in the US is because the guy who promoted it was a good friend of a president. Even then the research showed its damaging effects when heated above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Farenheit). "So it must be okay in cold drinks, right?" Wrong. Unless you're dead or seriously ill, your BODY TEMPERATURE is higher than that.

19. People who write, say, or do anything in the public view who can't spell, can't use proper grammar, can't support their claims with logic or evidence, and call people who disagree with them nine kinds of idiot. Most politicians fall in this category.

20. People who, when told what they did to annoy/offend/hurt you, brush it off (or blame YOU for being oversensitive) and keep on doing the same thing.

I think 20 is a good start. There will be more as I think of them.

"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways?"

I finished my US federal tax return this morning. I am getting about $57 back.

I'm not able at this time to figure out my Wisconsin tax return, since neither the forms nor the instructions mention anything about a spouse without a social security number (the federal instructions at least say we have to apply for an ITIN with the return), or what to enter in the tax/school district areas if you didn't live in Wisconsin at the end of the year. I have emailed the Department of Revenue to ask them about it, but of course, it's Friday night there now, so I won't hear anything from them till at least early Tuesday morning here. But when that one's finished, I'll be getting $11 from them as well.

And after this, I think I'll be filing my US returns by Australian fiscal year (July to June) because all my paperwork will be following that, and it'll just be easier. Although unless something really amazing happens, I won't be earning enough (at least this year) to be required to file anyway.

!#$!#$! power companies...

Our power was out from about 12:40 to 1:25 this afternoon. After this, possum (our router machine) refused to boot. This was not fixed till Darrin got home after 4:30 because it was too troublesome a problem for me to deal with. And everything's back to normal(ish) now.

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