Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas, Dolphins, Pranks

I keep thinking of so many things I need to put on here, but then I've got that whole issue of, I'll get around to it, but then I get distracted with work, or I'm too tired, or just can't be bothered. Now I'm sitting here thinking - it's been a while, but what am I going to say?!

There's a few things that have been happening around here, but I'm not too keen on posting it up here until at least next Monday, then I can add a few photos to go with it. Until then, I'll leave you hanging!

We've been busy beavers, nothing unusual there. I could've kicked myself yesterday, had myself a nice long sleep during the day. We've had a few late nights, working into the evening with fencing and early starts for milking. So I jumped at the chance for a lazy Sunday sleep in between milkings - 3 and a half hours later....oops. Sleep during the day then I won't sleep at night, brilliant idea! So I went off to milk that afternoon, had a bit of fun there but I'll get to that in a minute. Came home, helped Nick finish off the battening at the neighbours' fencing job we've been doing. Got home after 9pm, had dinner (at this stage I was pretty wired) and then Dad drove off into the night to take Kermit (the tractor) off to the next fencing job, Mum and I left at 10:30pm to go pick him up, came across a house being carted (usually we see them early in the morning, not late at night!) and got home in time for bed at midnight. We lead crazy lives!
I thought, seeing as I had stayed up a heck of a lot later than I would normally prefer (usually in bed by 8:30, given the chance) that I would sleep like a log, huh, nope. Instead, tossing and turning for hours, trying to sleep, staring at my ceiling, staring at my alarm clock as the minutes clicked over, listening to Dad snoring across the hallway. I felt like stalking through the house in the dark, just to put myself to sleep, I couldn't cope with insomnia, I'd drive myself mad. Mental note, don't sleep for more than an hour or so during the day! Lol, I'm so not going to log that one to memory!

So, I've got a few things to mention here, try and keep up! Ok, so on Saturday we were part of a local Rural Expo, basically a heap of agricultural based advisers/salespeople/contractors etc got together at the local park, offering services and advice and what not. Basically to raise money for the Hospice, advertise the reps out there and give lifestylers and farmers a day out. It was kinda sad, there weren't many stall holders there but this was our first "event" so to speak, so it was a little bit exciting.
We had a couple competitions; a wire tie off competition, where you have to tie a termination knot, then tie on an end insulator, then a permanent strainer. Best time and best quality would win a Farmlands voucher. So we only had about 10 people give it a go, quite a few guys had a look, then nervously walked away saying they didn't want to embarrass themselves in front of a fencing contractor! But a few of the people we work for came over and gave it a good shot, actually Dad could do it in 1:27 seconds. The guy who won it, Hamish who I work with quite often did it in 1:30,  so we were like, shoot! He knows what he's doing. A few other farmers did some pretty odd tie-offs, so Dad was giving them some tips.

Then we had the typical "Guess the number of staples in the jar", these are pretty small staples but I won't tell you how many there are. I'm kinda keen to see if any of you can come close to guessing it yourselves. Some people were way, way off. One guy who won it, (another Farmlands voucher to him) was 6 staples out.

This weekend just gone was my second to last weekend at my favourite weekend farm. They're split calving, so are drying off half of the herd in time for Christmas, so they can have a break before calving in March. I don't think they'd usually dry off this early, but the ground has gotten very dry, very quickly. So there's no point in pushing them too hard, wasting food and only getting two or three litres per cow per milking, and then potentially causing them to lose condition prior to calving. So I finish up there next Sunday and start back again in March. It's gonna be a little odd, but hey. Anyway, so ever since I started there in May, I walk in every Friday or Saturday morning and tidy up the cowshed. I'm basically talking, the likes of sorting the high pressured hoses so they're not in the way and they don't get filthy from the cows walking all over them. It's a common thing, people just sort of dump them when they're finished with them. I see it as a "slips, trips and falls" issue, so I simply push them up against the pit walls and such forth so they're not in the way.
I've been getting laughed at for this ever since then, especially when I originally quoted, "it only takes three weeks to form a habit". But hey, it's not a big ask, to just keep the hoses out of everyone's way and I have to commend these two guys I'm working with, because they have been trying - even if only to amuse me. So as aforementioned, Hamish, decided to play a bit of a joke on me. He went off on his weekend off work and cable tied the hose up, so I couldn't use it. I basically walked in there on Saturday morning, and saw the hose was neatly pushed against the wall. Amused, I then noticed that the nozzle was hooked up on the metal hose elbow that is on the pit wall. Thinking to myself, that's odd, I'll pop that down before it falls I then discovered it was cable zip-tied on there, unable to be moved. Hmmmm.....
I instantly dismissed the thought that this was a stunt against me from Hamish, I thought it might be broken for some reason so just leave it. Later I asked Cam, and he just laughed saying that Hamish had been thinking of doing that to me for ages. Just a bit of a dig at my trying-to-keep-things-tidy-in-their-cowshed
 So, naturally, I had to get him back for Monday morning. I took along some tinsel on Sunday night and had some fun. Tying up the stick we use to push the cows forward, to the bars quite high above the pit....

Unfortunately, this is when Hamish turned up randomly, I was so gutted to have been snapped out. But, I did a few more things...

And then I coiled one of the hoses so it WOULD get in their way, and chucked some tinsel on the nozzle for good measure....

Then, after getting the word of advice from Cam, I declared war on his overalls that he leaves hanging in the dairy. Tying up the sleeves together with tinsel, threading tinsel in the tag (nasty scratchy thing that tinsel can be) and I tied it off nice and short, so it would take a bit to get it off - especially if you're in a hurry. Then I grabbed some hand sized rocks, wrapped tinsel around them, looped the tinsel onto the hook and put the rocks in the pockets. Thinking about it now, I could've done so much more, but I just didn't have time. But, if he was in a hurry to grab his overalls on, it hopefully caused some drama. But I've got so much more up my sleeve for my last three days milking with him, but alas, I'm kinda worried that I'll get as much as I give....

Saturday night we took Nick's ute and Mum and Dad's ute out to the beach, one you can drive on with the vehicles as not many beaches around here have that access. Then the idea was to set the  lines and fish off the beach. As per most of the beaches on this east coast, you have to drive through a bit of bush and gravel roads to get there, there's a motocross thing through the bush, campgrounds and all that etc. A ranger lives on site and he's available to tow people out of the sand, if need be.

So anyway, life was great, the lines were all set. The sand was a little soft, but we managed to get onto the beach OK. We took two utes as since my cousin is still here, we didn't want to squeeze five of us up on such a hot night, all was going well. Randomly, we see a quite a large van on the beach, some sort of heavy looking, bulky minivan thing (that's a cliche sentence!) and they drive over to us to ask the best way off the beach. We pointed to the way we come in, a slight hill that you've got to take at a good speed, and there's a corner you have to get around too. Not for the faint-hearted, I could imagine it would be easy to flip a vehicle if you took the corner wrong at speed. So off they went, and got stuck. We sort of stood there sniggering away as their wheels spun, sending sand up and into the open windows.
I then took over the phone number for the ranger, so he could come and tow them. 10 minutes later, Nick took pity on them and towed them out himself. That was fine, they were back to back and he pulled them out, Nick stopped and suddenly the other driver put his foot down, ramming the back of his van straight into the back of Nick's ute. It was a very loud bang, Nick was gutted. The whole back tailgate needs replacing as it has a massive dent in it, and it's a well looked after, 8 year old well-side Triton so he was understandably peeved off.
But then it set off something in the sensor system, put the ute into a limp-mode, set off the engine light and suddenly it had no power to get off the beach. Our ute only just managed to, he got stuck. Another vehicle with people we knew turned up and eventually we managed to tow him out...then the other vehicle got stuck so it was quite entertaining if not stressful. Getting off the beach seems quite difficult....I wouldn't recommend we go there again - nor would I recommend helping out when someone gets stuck. Especially when they say "I feel a little stink..." tourists.... -_-

The best part? Seeing a pod of dolphins arrive on the shoreline after Nick's vehicle was hit. They were literally two or three metres off the edge of the water, just cruising. I've seen dolphins when we've been on boats and such, seen them from a distance and heard about them being in the area. But we've never seen them so up close, surfing through the waves in the incoming tide. It was super awesome to see! What did my cousin do? Strip off, and ran into the water to swim with them!

And we've got the Christmas tree up, much to Pippa's delight! I love seeing them see the tree for the first time, it's so neat :)

Oh yeah, and if you get the NZ Dairy newspaper, you'll see there's an article of us in there. It arrived in our mailbox today, so most rural areas should get it. :)


  1. Fake tree horrid things ;-)

    1. Hmm we've never had a real one..two many allergies in our family...we'd all be sneezing, sniffing wrecks!!

  2. Okay, with the staples... I'm guessing those are 30mm batten staples in a coffee jar. if so, then... I still give up. :P Okay, random-as guess, I'm going for... 643. How close is that?

    And the wire tying, that is pretty fast. Did it have to be tidy too? Because 1:27, that's pretty fast even with a total mess for some people!!! :P

    Lol, I can see why its your favorite shed to milk in. You might be Hamish's least favorite worker soon!!! :P

    1. Yep they're batten staples. Dunno what size, not suggesting a number until some others have commented!!

      Yep, it has to be of good quality, mimicking our standards which is best practice. You know, number of times you cool the wire round etc. it had to look good. So Dad and Hamish got the same score for quality and Dad was three seconds faster. The tie-offs looked pretty good too :)

      Haha! I think they're gonna miss me!!

    2. *coil the wire...cellphones honestly

    3. Okay, well, how's that for guessing far too high? :P

      Oh right. Yeah, that would be pretty difficult then. Did you have a go?

    4. Lol some guessed over 1000...

      Yep. I can do a termination knot, quite tidy too if I do say myself...
      And tried the end insulator and permanent strainer ties, but that wasn't too easy for a first attempt.

  3. Right, if I have to take a stab at the number of staples...I'mma go about 325?

  4. Ok, I don't know whether Bee has seen it, but I'll tell you anyway... 417 staples :) nicely done Xj, the guy who won guessed 411, unfortunately we don't have any prizes for you though...

  5. Boo-yah! :D well, almost...