Schools, Rats, and Parents

December 5, 2005 – 7:00 pm

It’s been hard to balance life and work here on the other side of the
world. Some days the work consumes me and I ignore family (bad Dad!)
and other days I’m burnt out and can’t face the keyboard. I dug in a
garden last weekend with my uncle Les and that made me feel like I was
doing something constructive, with a purpose. Thinking in timescales
longer than a week or a month is oddly reassuring, and I’m slowly
realizing that I didn’t do this at the other places I’ve lived.

Our battle with the rats is over. The last rat succumbed not to
traps but to the four bricks worth of poison that he ate before he
died under the bed in the games room. We discovered this after he
stank to all hell. I had the joy of removing the rat, and Jenine had
the pleasure of vacuuming up the maggots left behind. I say “joy” and
pleasure” because if I used the phrase “afraid I would vomit into my
own mouth” you’d think I was a big girl’s blouse.

Speaking of the failing of my masculinity, I found a weta on the
back of my calf while I was chopping the wood. To say I screamed like
a little girl would do a disservice to all the brave little girls I
know. Suffice it to say that any neighbours who weren’t aware we’d
returned were brought up to speed when I squealed “oh fuuuuuuuck!” and
quivered my way inside to recover. My uncle said, “a weta is just a
big cricket”, which is fine for the brain but doesn’t stop the gut
saying “open the bowels and run like fuck!”

Between the house and the job, I haven’t had a lot of time for my
kids, which makes me feel like a bad parent. So much work to do on
the house, but the boy will only be six for one year and if I don’t
play with him and do fun things with him, his memory of six will be
all Grandpa and school and no doing fun things with his Dad. So
tonight we walked down to the wharf and went fishing. Or, rather, I
went fishing while he ran about the hills with one of his mates from
school who happened to be down there as well. I caught a tny
mackerel, eye-hooked. Not really a credit to my fishing skills, but
he came home in my bag and is now in the freezer being prepared as
bait for the next trip.

I’m getting ideas for cool tech hacks but nothing that screams “I
wll make you a shitload of money!” I’m starting to get unnerved by
the pressure and the constant feeling like “sure, I could do that, but
its a wee thing and would never be sold for a million.” Then I think
of and think, “if a web calendar can do it, surely I
can!” (I look forward to being smacked by Andy for saying that 🙂
Marc Hedlund had some good advice: find the idea that you could take
to the mall and 2/3 of the people there would write you a check for
the service/product in your idea.

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