Thursday, 23 July 2015

Just Cruising But Needing Chocolate!

On Monday we took my car to our BMW specialists for a bit of an operation. Basically, a couple months after I bought it we realised it was losing oil - somehow, and it stunk really bad (think burnt popcorn, not particularly nice early in the morning!)
Not using it, not overheating, not leaking, so to speak - it was just disappearing. We took it for an (early) 100K service and they found it was due to a leaking valve and possibly a couple other related things. I didn't know it at the time, and I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but yet again I had to buy the car with the different engine - that just happens to be just that harder to get into and requires special tools, therefore creating a bigger job. Clever, no?

We knew it had to get sorted, so we got the quote for everything they could possibly think may need doing to fix the issue, and it came back pretty close to $3000. Although they did admit that they've added extra onto the quote because they honestly weren't sure and they didn't want to under-quote us. Due to the lack of work I've had over the past few months, I was grimacing a bit. My parents wanted it fixed ASAP though, so they offered to pay whatever I couldn't and I'd just pay them back. Thankfully though, we heard yesterday that some of the parts they thought might need replacing, actually looked OK, however they did have to replace a couple other little things - o-rings and such - that were much cheaper than the other part would've been. So it's quite possible that it's knocked the price down a thousand - thank goodness.
Back in the beginning when I said I was getting a BMW so many people kinda freaked out and told me I was an idiot. Yeah, sure the parts are expensive, just as they said. But hey, at least they're easy to source and they're good vehicles when they're running well. It wouldn't have been a problem if I'd had more work in May and June, but hey.

So, because I haven't had my car, and still don't have it - I'm picking her up tomorrow - I've had to drive one of the utes to get places. And, because it's so old and beaten up already, I had to use our old fencing ute - because apparently I'm rough on the gears and not to be trusted. I'm not saying I'm stupid, but there are some things in this world that I just can't easily comprehend and one of those things is driving manual vehicles - although I'm a heck of a lot better than when I first began. Basically it's the listening to the engine to know when to change gears, and accidentally missing gears, or worse, putting it into reverse while going up a hill that I have issues with. Yeah yeah, I know, ridiculous, right?! I'm just not practical that way, and hey I'm admitting to it.

But I am going to say that I really am getting my head around it, after this week. There hasn't been any stalling or bunny-hopping happening. Yes, I did flick it into reverse when going up a hill and around a corner when changing down into 4th (oops), panicked a bit, had my feet on both the accelerator AND the clutch (hehe) and sent Dad into a frenzy in the passenger seat with cars behind me. But that was the first time I'd driven a manual in well over a year. Changing up gear is fine, it's changing back down that scares me a bit lol!

Yesterday seeing as Mum's back still isn't quite right (it's getting better though) I had to drive. Basically this ute was needed for the fencing gear, Nick's ute was needed to pick up more posts and battens and Dad was needing to drive Kermit (the tractor) between jobs. So it's possible, if you were in the area, which I highly doubt, that you might've come across me cruising along behind a tractor going about 40Km/h, radio up loud and tapping my hand to the beat of the music on the steering wheel while holding it with a couple fingers. Yep, she's relaxed. What can you say, I've been driving nearly 5 years, the fact it was a manual means nothing at all for this girl :D (sighs with relief)

My (our) calfies seem to be going really well, we've got 76 in the sheds currently - not including however many came in this morning. So tomorrow I'd imagine that our first group of replacement heifers will either already be in the half round haybarn, for their transition to going outside, or will be heading out there that day. There's a lot of sorting out to do, as we've got about 20-25 bull calves in there and we're not sure whether the farmer is going to be clever and choose to raise them all until weaning (which will be a really smart move this year) or send them to the sales next week. And there are also a couple of Angus heifers in there too, as we all forgot that the bull jumped in a couple days before AI began last year (hehe). There are quite a few smaller jerseys that Mum wants to hold back for the second mob, as they won't be able to compete with their big Friesian sisters all that well.

As I said before, Mum's back is coming right, but it's still giving her grief. She's come down to the calves with me the last two mornings just to oversee what was going on (even though I've taken over chief calf rearer role!) and just to keep it somewhat moving. The idea though, is that she comes and watches - not do anything, or I'll make her walk home. Tough love in these parts! But I know exactly where my stubborn streak comes from mostly, because I've had to tell her off a few times today. Don't pick that up, don't do that. Stop helping me, you'll make it worse! Argh, she wants to help, but I wish she'd let herself get better properly first. Because honestly, if she doesn't get better I'll have to get one of the guys to help, and we all know that males have low tolerance/patience levels when it comes to calf rearing. (No offense intended to my readers!)
Not sure about feeding lambs, but calves, no leave that up to Mum and I, please.

Tomorrow night I'm catching up with Sam and Chantelle to watch a couple DVD's for what seems to be our monthly catch up. And currently I'm so jolly tired, for no reason whatsoever, all I'm really after is some chocolate :)


  1. Grief, Big Money Worries strikes again...
    My advice is to start dating a mechanic. Or at least make good friends with one. :P

    Haha, manuals are a case of "the touch", you have it or you don't. Just keep an eye on the revs too. And reverse *shouldn't* be a problem, unless you're going out of first or 6th... :P Haha, have fun with it anyway!

    lol, your Mum sounds like mine, tbh... :P
    Hehe, and lambs are a thousand times worse than calves, so if a male can hold their temper with lambs... :P

    1. Haha Ali won't strike again :P Start dating a mechanic, gosh no. That will never happen - so long as they know a bit then that's fine with me, but not doing it as a job....they would stink. lol.

      Haha ok, so how's your driving going then, if you don't mind me asking?! In that case I've got this "touch" I just don't use it very often!! I got a bit confused then, but then remembered that some gear sticks are our case, reverse is below 5th - there is no 6th gear in this old piece of metal! lol won't be needing it after tomorrow :D

      Haha yeah they probably are similar o.O
      Oh, probably cos they're so jolly little - how do you train them onto the feeders - get down on your hands and knees?! ;)

    2. Some people enjoy engines enough they'd tinker with them just for the fun of it. Why else would I want a career in aviation? :P

      Getting in practice has been going pretty poorly lately, I haven't been to town for months, what with feeding the cattle and all... But I stall it a lot less, so I'm learning something when I do get the chance. Anyway, I was just repeating what I've heard for the years my sisters learnt to drive... :P

      Haha, no. :P
      Most lambs have an instinctive sucking reaction upon finding a teat (Like a newborn lamb knowing to go straight to the milk, after only having been born for a few seconds...), those that don't you just argue with for awhile. Various methods work... The difficult ones, though are more difficult than calves, you can sit for 15 minutes with the teat in the mouth and they just sit there doing nothing. I've never met a calf quite that bad... :P

    3. Sorry no I didn't mean it in that regard's the people who work in those places where they service all sorts of things, nothing in particular and you can't go speak to them about your car without them wreaking of oil and grease. People who do it for the fun of it, or something more specialised, (such as aviation, as you say), nothing wrong with them :P

      How are you going to cope when you move to Palmy or Aucks in a couple years? You won't know what to do with yourself, being in "town" all the time! That's the great part about being the youngest, watch them do it and learn at the same time :D

      No? Ok. So they sound kinda fun - how many do you generally have to raise as orphans? No I've never met a calf that bad either, but some of them can be jolly stubborn. Argue with, yeah I can relate to that. "Oh, you don't like it? That's too bad. Like it or not, you're gonna have it....oh, you're happy to starve are you? Sure about that? *Keeps trying*, ok, fine, have it your way then." We can't really do that where we are now though, as they're only fed once a day.

    4. Lol, I'll be going bush every weekend, trust me... :P
      First few months in Blenheim will be awesome I hope, doing basic recruit course we should learn some decent bush skills, and to learn decent bush skills you have to be in the bush, y'know? But, yeah, in town so often, it'll take some adjusting. Hope I cope, actually, I don't particularly like towns much. You remember, you once asked what's one thing that your readers couldn't do without, and I said hills? Well, towns bulldoze the hills, they block the view with sky scrapers, they surround you with mountains of concrete. The old "Concrete Jungle". I am seriously going to have some adjusting to do... I'll learn to fly ASAP, then get to 2000ft and just stare out at all the hills, you know, longingly, face pressed up against the perspex windscreen, hands on it too, just staring out, in silent sadness... :P

      Haha, those conversations are accurate with the stubborn ones. Some lambs never learn to drink, you keep them alive only by dripping milk slowly down their throat, maybe 5 sucks per feed, and once they can eat grass that is their only real sustenance, and you just look at them, miserable little skeletons, and you're like, why do we bother keeping these things alive, but at the same time, you don't have the heart to just finish them. It has been suggested that too long without ever having fed they may actually lose that sucking instinct, but it's never really been proven.
      We can finish on 40-50, although this year we have a new system which may result in way less, who knows. We also have lambs that die on their own accord or are fostered, each year we may see through our pens around 100 lambs?

    5. Hmm, learning bush skills, in a bush. Wow, who would've thought?! ;) That'd be fun :)
      Yep, I do remember, now that you've reminded me. I agree though, everything is concrete and there aren't any hills to climb except for on and off ramps...It'll be a culture shock, but you'll get used to it eventually. It'll just make you appreciate your current lifestyle now even more so!
      What are you flying, planes or helicopters? I kinda see it as somewhat dangerous, you say you're gonna be flying, but then you also say you're gonna have your face and hands glued to the windscreen...just please make sure it's in autopilot first! haha

      Hmm, and I can imagine that a pen full of bleating lambs that just won't feed is enough to drive anyone to wonders whether lambs are in fact more noisy than calves?

    6. Lol, sorry, that's a bit of a joke you wouldn't know. In America, they've started running "outdoor safety" classes in places like New York, where no one even knows what the outdoors are. Its entirely classroom based, no practical whatsoever...
      Yeah, culture shock is right.

      I'll be starting with small aircraft, fixed wing, which aren't likely to have autopilot. So, having hands on the windscreen is an interesting concept, yes.
      I may have a go at a helo, but I doubt I'd go for a career in them. They'd be a lot of fun, but the organisations I am interested in don't use them, so it'd be mostly recreational, and recreations that cost $1000 an hour aren't that much fun... :P

      Calves have more volume, but lambs have more of a team effort to keep a solid wall of noise. You would be forgiven in thinking that they had an organised roster, 5 groups of 10, each group starts bleating every 5 seconds, and each bleat lasts 3 seconds. That's about what it sounds like at times... :P

    7. ah ok, really? Who wouldn't know?! I guess we've got it pretty sweet here...

      Hmmm Nick is saving up to learn to fly fixed wing microlite (?) soon...

      Haha yeah, sounds about right.

    8. Yeah, but, I guess some of their cities are so huge, people just don't see bush and forests, they are only taught how to survive in cities because that's all they're likely to meet...

      Haha, saving up. He'll be looking at about $50,000 just to get to a PPL... Microlights (According to American spellchecker. Which means its probably wrong. :P) are awesome, basically just a lawnmower with wings... :P

    9. True true, I guess that's why they all love coming to our "beautiful"

      PPL...private pilot license? Do I have it right? Nah, it's a lot cheaper than that to start, the club up this way has some deal, but it's definitely not that expensive. Not sure on the in's and out's though of it though :P He's flown one before, went up there just out of interest and the guy took him up and handed over the about trusting, lol. Haha I can imagine

    10. Haha, yeah...

      Yup, Private Pilot's License. CPL is a Commercial Pilot's License, if you ever come across it. You have to fly 50 hours before you can get one, and then pay for the license itself, also the medical for it, unless he can get some very cheap flying, it becomes pretty expensive... Although, aviation does work on who you know, unfortunately, so that might help... :P Lol, that's pretty much how they do it aye. You don't learn any faster... :P
      Actually, just a point of interest. Most microlites, lawnmowers, and Argos all have a B&S engine, although of varying sizes. But other than the size, they are pretty much identical... :P

    11. flying lawnmower images... lol

    12. lol, yeah. Use for mowing tall grass, I guess... :P

  2. Still working through my jelly tip choc stash ;-)

  3. Haha anon, I'm jealous - it's quite good, huh? I never bought a block of it, just had a couple pieces with some friends. Definitely different - better than the L&P one...