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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Friday, Sense of Humour, and More on Karaoke
BB Piano
Another bad night, just for a change. I suspect it was my fault for napping in the afternoon, as I lay in bed from around 10pm-midnight, partly reading. I gave up trying to sleep at midnight, and instead wasted time on the PC for a couple of hours, before I was tired enough to sleep properly.

And then Amélie woke up at 4:30am. Gibber! It seems that the blackout blind came unstuck, but curiously I didn't notice this until Lu pointed it out. So the blackout blind hasn't been properly tested. Amélie slept again once I sat with her, but she woke up again a while later and Lu fed her. Then she slept with us until around 7am. I remember very little of what happened so will need Lu to remind me to complete Amélie's sleep diary. So far Amélie seems to be surviving on 9-10 hours a day, including naps.

Lu reminded me that we were going to go swimming in Aldershot this morning, but I was really tired, and didn't feel like it. Lu was was super keen though, so I acquiesced and somehow we managed to get there by 9:30am. The learning pool was completely empty to begin with, and we had a lot of fun. Curiously Amélie seemed to have had enough after 40 minutes or so, as she walked Lu out of the pool and back in the direction of the changing room. Heh. The whole experience brought back very strong memories of swimming as a kid: the palaver of changing rooms, never being able to get completely dry, smelling of Chlorine, having a packet of monster munch after swimming etc. I learned to swim in Aldershot, but at the military swimming pool. I'd love to try Coral Reef at some point.

We stopped in Fleet on the way back so I could buy some super powerful drain cleaner, which I got for £5 at a small ironmongers, versus £10 for the exact same product in Dyas. We also ended up popping into Boots and Sainsbury's, and then back to Waitrose to see if we could get Blue Curaçao. Neither Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencers, or Waitrose had it. It probably didn't help that none of them are the large supermarket type. I was rather knackered by the time we got back to the car, and cranky as hell.

It was a rather rushed lunch, and I was as frustrated as heck when Lu wouldn't let me have the rubber gloves I needed, to in turn protect my hands while pouring sulphuric acid down the drain. I managed it in the end (and to get the right gloves), but I'm not convinced about the effect. I suspect the builders have done something wrong, or left the drain partially blocked. I tested with the bath, and it's still slow to drain. Ugh. This is in addition to our partly broken central heating.

Other jobs for today include cleaning the BBQ grill. We're most likely having a BBQ on Sunday with my parents and sister's family. We've also invited Ed & Ana over tomorrow, but they might already be going to a BBQ somewhere else. I hate cleaning the BBQ grill, with a passion. I did look at a bag cleaning system in Dyas, which you place the grill inside and leave to soak, but (a) it was £5 (b) it was really targeted for ovens and (c) it didn't look like it was going to be very effective. If I could buy a new BBQ grill each time I probably would, as environmentally unsound as that is. Or you could get a cleaned grill, and swap for the dirty grill? That's a service I'd pay for!

I'm cooking another spaghetti based meal tonight: pork and spaghetti (pork with peppers and tomato). This will mean lots of leftover sauce, including yesterday's, for next week. Yum! We'll need to make sure the blackout blind is fixed securely tonight, before I go mentile with lack of and interrupted sleep.

In other news...

I'm suffering particularly from sense of humour failures of late. Could be tiredness, could be job stress, who knows. I'm hardly innocent of making sarcastic comments on Twitter, Facebook etc. which may well make me a hypocrite. But when I receive them, there's a certain type that just really pisses me off, and I simply don't find funny. I've never had the most forgiving sense of humour in the world, and even used to find a certain type of sarcasm at school would get on my nerves, but in any event it's at a particularly low ebb at the moment. Of course there have been other comments which weren't sarcastic at all, and plain rude. Ordinarily I might have shrugged them off, but again of late I think "why should I?". And then in addition to that there have been status updates from other people which have just made me see red. Hum.

I was looking at some karaoke software last night. PCDJ do a light, moderate, and powerful set of programs. I downloaded the trial versions and the moderate program looks good, but there were still a couple of niggles with it. I probably need to go back to it and see if I can figure them out. Their super user (or super DJ) type program was just bewildering, with so many controls. I probably mentioned yesterday, but I just need some software which can (a) manage playlists (b) have a library (although that's not crucial) and (c) put backgrounds on CDG text. The latter might sound unimportant, but karaoke text on a plain background is surprisingly dull. I only noticed then when I used the Karafun player, which does a great job of adding a background (a moving background IIRC).

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I used that oven-cleaner-in-a-bag type stuff before for the racks in our oven. I was a bit dubious, but it worked really well considering ours were completely manky. Don't know how well it'd work with a bbq though.

Our BBQ grill is pretty much vile after every event. A lot worse than our oven grill currently. Cleaning the grill doesn't take that long in fairness, as I have this wire brush which is very good. But (a) it never gets super clean and (b) it makes such a mess. Maybe I'll give the bag a go after all :-)

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