So what did happen in those last couple weeks since I posted anything personal?
I also had to transfer some money back to EUland so that I can keep paying alimony for Conny. Bandits, hoodlums and extortionists! Those banks... Of course the conversion rate was lousy (after it had been really good for almost half a year - when I didn't realise that I'd have to act RSN) and on top of that the fees and charges and bloodmoney you have to give is quite high: AU$22 here and EUR18 on the other side. Bastards.
More positive than the banking was the flying, but just so. After the tree-retrieval on 6.7. the weather turned not-so-suitable; The following weekend I had one short hop of a flight, out of utter desparation. The week after that was so-so and no good on the days I could have taken arvos off, but on friday evening the forecast looked good. I, however, decided to be stupid: had way too many homebrew beers friday evening, and subsequently spent of the following 24hrs 17hrs sleeping, sick, tired and drunk (a lovely combination). The weather was quite ok, but I didn't even leave the bed until 19:40 in the evening...
But I've discovered something new: namely that Paracetamol doesn't work well for me; Aspirin works a lot better for my occasional cold and head or tooth aches. A toast to the discoverers of acetylsalicylic acid! Three hoorays!
On Sunday I was sober, keen and the sun was out, too. But there was a bad storm-wind warning which stayed in effect until the following friday so there was no flying whatsoever (up to 40kts of wind may be good for seagulls but not for us).
Wednesday my heater packed it in (or I thought so); in fact it was only the temperature safety switch, but nevertheless I decided to use the late-winter-bargain opportunity to buy a small oil radiator ($29 for a 5-fin 1kW unit). These things work a lot better than all the fan or radiation heaters IMO. Fixing the old one I ran across these annoying things.
And as we're talking about hardware: my silly U1 HME occasionally decides to be deaf-mute for no apparent good reason (other than having to talk to a POS alcadreck on the other side of an Xover cable). heffalump was thus n/a for almost a whole workday, but a quick&dirty half-liner cronjob now takes care of minimising this problem.
Last Saturday I had at least a short flight again, at a site called Flying Fox (where one of the new students recently had an accident and broke her foot badly). The conditions were too light, though, so I ended up in the bombout very soon from where I took this picture of Jessica joining us in the bombout :-)
Sunday there was another short flight to be had: Tamborine, but in bumpy conditions. Andrew (who is currently ranked nr.4 worldwide!) had a full frontal collapse just above the trees, and scared everybody off pretty badly. I had just landed, after rough conditions with not exactly a lot of forward speed, so I hadn't stuck around the ridge any longer - fortunately! Andrew later told us that he and Richard weren't certain at some stage whether they would make it to the bombout - and them with performance gliders! In the arvo I got busy and did a lot of cleanup at home, fixed some stuff, did the laundry, did some programming, some repairs on the Fart Falcon and the 2003/4 tax declaration (which is a simple thing in AU anyway, minimal fuss and little paperwork to be sent in: you claim your claims, and keep the evidence in case they check on you. But initially the authorities trust you. A novel feeling for somebody coming from Austria.) feeling for somebody coming from
And finally in the evening I watched "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai": ah, what a cool film. It's time to read the Hagakure for myself.