the farmer and the musician

I wasn’t going to write a post today.

The 365 Project is over and I can relax and skip a few days, posting only when something that interests me happens, or when I want to talk about something.

But today had its moments so I wanted to share them.

Firstly, we have a huge yellow plum tree in our back yard, which has been sadly neglected and which we forget to prune every year, without fail.

It grows yellow plums – obviously – and Slabs turns them into plum jam and plum sauce. A few weeks ago they started dropping off the tree, and Junoirdwarf went around the yard picking them up and putting them in the back of his Tonka truck.

This was because, he said, he is now a farmer.

So this morning we found him standing on a chair picking the unripe plums from the tree and putting them into an empty pot.

All part of being a farmer.

Fast forward to this afternoon, when Juniordwarf and I had a little disagreement and he went outside. A bit later I went to look for him and found him in the vege garden pushing all the plums he’d picked this morning into the polystyrene box that his carrots are growing in.

He said he was planting the plums so they’d grow.

I really hope they don’t . . .

As well as being a farmer, Juniordwarf is also a musician. We make a lot of mix tapes (or whatever the CD equivalent is), and Slabs has made several for Junordwarf of his favourite songs of the moment.

The other day he announced that he would be making his own CD, with 16 songs on it, because that’s a good number. Not only does he name all the songs, but now he sets himself up a venue to perform, complete with drum and pedals, and sings the whole CD.

Here are some photos of today’s performance, in which the Tarja (former singer from Nightwish) song “Anteroom of Death” was followed by two of his own compositions: “Doodlebum” and “Race Your Feet so You’re the Bum”.

If you’re wondering about the outfit, so are we. 

Late this morning, Juniordwarf got changed. He said he wanted to dress up in green. Presumably no further explanation is necessary.


P365 – Day 157 poor neglected eMac, I haven’t seen you for a while

I worked from home again today, with the intention of turning what I’d written down last week into a document that made some kind of sense.

This meant a shift from my cosy reading chair to my ergonomic OH&S-approved-by-work computer desk, upon which my 2003 eMac sits forlornly, after having been upstaged by my MacBook last year.

I got it as part of an insurance settlement following a power surge that wiped out most of the electric and electronic equipment in our house. It took several months, and many phone calls to the insurance company (and possibly a couple of letters of complaint as well), before the electrical repairer that the insurance company had seemingly picked out of the phone book because it was the first one listed in our area admitted that he actually couldn’t repair my poor old fried Mac Performa, and the insurance company agreed to get me a new computer.

I can’t remember exactly which model of Mac Performa I had, but 580CD rings a bell. If that’s the one, according to, it

featured a 33 MHz 68LC040 processor, 5 MB or 8 MB of RAM, and either a 250 MB or 500 MB hard drive in a relatively-compact all-in-one case with a 14″ color display. The Performa 580CD was sold in Canada, Asia and Australia, and was discontinued in February 1996.

Yep, five MB of RAM and a hard drive measured in megabytes. A 33MHz processor.

I may well laugh now, but it was the first computer I ever owned, and I loved it. I was shattered when it was fried.

The replacement eMac has an 80 GB hard drive and came with 128 MB of RAM. As you can imagine, I was pretty over the moon with it eight years ago, and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever need anywhere near 80 GB of memory.

That was before I got a digital camera, a digital camcorder and had a child.

Say no more.

I don’t remember the last time I actually used it, and it felt weird to be using a desktop Mac again. I’m now so used to the MacBook trackpad that I kept reaching for the non-existent trackpad on the keyboard. (I don’t do that at work, mainly I think because I mouse with my left hand, whereas I trackpad and mouse at home with my right hand, so I don’t get confused at work.)

Apart from the fact that it had been so long since I’d used it (maybe we had a power outage since then) that it had reset itself to 1 January 1970, everything else was working fine, and I got a good amount of work done today.

And I took a couple of photos.

These pics are edited in Camera+ and put together in another nifty little app called PicFrame, which lets you make picture montages on your phone in different sizes and layouts. I like it a lot except for an annoying habit it has, of whenever you try and move a picture around in its frame, the Rotate/Mirror menu keeps popping up.

P365 – Day 151 sending an email

Juniordwarf hasn’t played with a lot of technology. He can operate his little CD player and the DVD player (with a nervous parent or two supervising).
I gave him a old computer keyboard that he does his ‘work’ on. (He doesn’t say what his work actually is; it’s just ‘work’ and he is sometimes very busy doing it.)
A couple of days ago he set the keyboard up on his dressing table, put the computer shaped squeezy stress toy that I gave him next to it and set up two chairs. He sat on one and Blue Teddy sat on the other and they both did some work on their computers.
He’s started very slowly typing words on his keyboard – mainly his name, ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’ and other words he remembers how to spell. He’s also had a few times typing on a real computer and seeing the words come up on the screen.
Today I was doing some stuff on my computer and I asked Juniordwarf if he wanted to send his aunt an email. So I helped him type it out. This was the result:


Subject:        hhhhhelloooooooooooo

Date:           31 May 2011 2:02:54 PM AEST


dear aunty lilsisssss





i 41112111111111111111111111ijjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Before he deleted the last 14 or so rows, each line following this was a number from 1 to about 14.
As he was typing each number he said, ‘when I was little I was 1.’ ‘When I was little I was 2.’ . . . ‘After my 4 I’m gonna be 5.’ ‘After my 5 I’m gonna be 6.’
And so on.
After we sent the email, he got his alphabet book and started typing out the words in that book. He got up to G for giraffe before he got bored, and that was the end of that.
It was fun helping him.

P365 – Day 59 i’m tired

In an attempt to juggle child care, school drop-offs and pickups and have the most possible time with Juniordwarf, while still working the same number of hours as I used to when I worked three days a week, Monday has become my ‘long day’ at work, at least temporarily.

This means that I am lucky enough to get up at 5.20 am, catch the 6.30 am bus and get into work a bit before 8.00 am. I still haven’t mastered the art of going to bed early, and if I get woken in the middle of the night, which I did last night, I find it very difficult to get back to sleep.
So this morning I felt pretty ordinary. 
You can imagine my delight then, this morning, when I arrived at work to see the building in darkness, people standing around the front door and murmuring ‘no power’.
Thoughts of having been able to stay in bed a bit longer swept through my mind as I sat on the front step clutching my coffee (in my funky red cup), willing the caffeine to energise my still-stupefied-with-tiredness brain. (I’d had a snooze on the bus, but as it got closer to town, had to force myself to stay awake, as I was worried I was going to sleep past my stop and end up who knows where. Maybe back home again, with a bit of luck.)
After a few minutes, power to the building had been restored and we were allowed in. Not convinced that the lift wouldn’t lose power on the way up, and put off a bit by the large number of people waiting, I took the plunge and decided to walk up the more than several flights of stairs to my floor. I figured that death by over-exertion would be preferable to death in a confined space.
When I made it up to the office, it became apparent that while the lights were on, the computers weren’t, so even having arrived, there wasn’t a lot I could actually do.
My next concern was whether the hot water was on. I was going to need more than one coffee this morning. Notwithstanding the fact that the office hadn’t actually started to function at this point, you could say that the public service would, er, grind to a halt without coffee.
Fortunately it was only the computers that were down, so more coffee was to be had.
While I was waiting – and what better time to organise my work for the coming week and catch up on some reading – the thought occurred to me that maybe a quick snooze under the desk might not be out of the question. But it really doesn’t look that comfortable. And even if I could sleep under there without being seen, the actual act of crawling under the desk would be sure to attract attention. In an open plan office, nothing is secret.
So I continue to consume vast quantities of coffee, while telling myself that next week will be different. I will go to bed early and I won’t be a tired mess.