Sunday, September 24, 2023

Unusually busy me

The past week or so has been unusually busy for me. These days, I mostly spend my days tinkering around the edges or projects, doing routine chores, blogging and podcasting, and occasionally having kitchen adventures or playing The Chase Game with Leo. Every once in awhile, though, things are very much busier, and last week was definitely one of those.

Last week was, as I’ve said, a reflective week, what with the Fourth Horrible Anniversary this past Wednesday, the Pride 48 weekend last weekend, and the 208 week mark the Friday before that. I can’t remember the last time I had that many triggers of reflection so close to each other. Still, it was fine, I was fine, and I got a lot done over that week.

I was so busy last week that I didn’t have a chance to record my weekly podcast episode—and I have to describe it that way because I’m kinda proud it’s finally weekly again—so I didn’t get that done until Friday. That evening, I went over to my cousin-in-law’s for dinner, and then took my mother-in-law back to her place on my way home. The weather was somewhat rainy that evening.

On Saturday, one of my sisters-in-law drove me and her mum (my mother-in-law) to Auckland where we were meeting up with family for dinner at the first Wahlburgers in New Zealand, which is located on Princes Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront. The wharf was officially opened on 12 May 1929 and was completely redeveloped in the late 1990s. I’m pretty sure that in 2013, Nigel bought our new iPhones (both 5c—mine was baby blue and his was light green…) from a guy who was living in an apartment on Princes Wharf.

The get-together was organised by a cousin-in-law. and it was great visiting with family we don’t see very often, especially some of the cousins from Nigel’s dad’s side of the family (including the one who organised the evening). For a few times, we met-up at a pizza place in Auckland, but in 2018 Nigel and I couldn’t go (I can’t remember why not), and between his death and Covid lockdowns and restrictions, we just didn’t get the chance again until now. A bit of trivia: The September Solstice arrived while we were there (at 6:59pm, to be precise). I can confirm that I didn’t notice anything at that time.

I’ve never eaten at Wahlburgers before, and it was nice. I’d say the prices were in the mid-high range: A bit more that mid-range prices, but somewhat below the high-price range. My burger was the “Chef Paul’s Choice” which was described as “beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American cheese, Paul’s signature Wahl Sauce”, but the version of it I had was the “Aotea Burger” which added “beetroot, pineapple & egg”, any or all three of which are common on a NZ burger. The only thing I didn’t care for was their “loaded side” called “Truffle Parmesan”, which was fries “tossed in truffle oil & served with truffle aioli”. For my tastes, it had an odd chemical-like taste.

When we left, it was raining steadily, not exactly driving or heavy rain, but enough of both to make driving more challenging than gentler rain would’ve been. I was back home to a very happy Leo shortly after 10pm. Leo apparently didn’t hold a grudge for me leaving him alone two nights in a row.

Overnight, New Zealand’s clocks “sprang ahead” to New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT). All my devices, including my watch, updated automatically, of course, but I also have four wall clocks to reset, something I talked about when we “autumned back” (because Kiwis don’t say “Fall” for that season…) this past April. Only one clock is done so far, but I tested my smoke alarms and they're good.

I realised today that back in April I said that I never change the oven and microwave clocks, but I didn’t say why not. The reason is simple: I don’t know how. I got out of the habit of changing the microwave at our last house because every time there was a bad storm, the power went out, and I got sick of resetting it all the time. I eventually forgot to do it, and Nigel was no more interested in figuring it out than I was.

There have also been several power failures since I moved into this house, and that’s meant that the oven and microwave clocks would need to be reset—but I moved the owner’s manual for the oven, and can’t remember where I put it (this was well before I created my “Somewhere Safe” listings). Also, both the microwave and the oven are under the kitchen benchtop, and that means I have really need to sit on the floor in order to be able to do it. That’s not the issue: Getting back up off the floor is the issue.

Even so, the reality is that I don’t need either clock for anything, so I don’t have any incentive to figure them out (or deal with getting back up off the floor…). Besides, in this case there are no consequences to my being lazy indifferent about those clocks, so I’m carpe-ing the heck out the diems by not wasting my time changing them twice a year.

Now, if only the law would change so I could stop having to change any clocks. At least I got to have a really nice weekend, despite the changing clocks. And rain. Seeing whānau more than made up for the weather—though I wouldn’t mind a quieter week this week.

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