524. Sunday 18th December 2016. Rats, Dyson, Noosa and Star Wars…

Tuesday 13th December.

Woke at 5.30am and staggered out of bed but not yet ready to take on the world. I saw something on the floor in the laundry and my foggy brain did not at first realise what it was. I thought it was insulation from the ceiling. Nooo. Brain begins to focus as I reach for the object. It was a Christmas gift of a cookie in the shape of a reindeer with an icing face sealed inside two layers of closed plastic wrapping. It was on my dining table last night. Sealed and intact. Today it was partly eaten.

We have a RAT!

Or RATS!

I bought two rat traps and placed one at the bottom of the laundry stairs under which there is a small opening to the underside of the house. The other trap I placed at the scene of the crime, on the floor under the dining table. In the afternoon while in my LaZ Y Boy recliner reading a Terry Pratchett book, The Colour of Magic, I fell asleep. I was woken by a clattering on the floor. A big RAT was in the trap, not happy and jumping around trying to get free. In its antics the rat and the trap slid under the lounge and all went quiet. I went to the kitchen to get a bucket and broom to sweep the rat into the bucket. On hands and knees I looked under the lounge. There was the empty trap, but the rat had scampered.

Where to? Inside the house in a dark corner somewhere to slowly die of a broken neck and turn the house into a smelly grave? I searched the house with torch into all nooks and crannies.

Darn darn darn. Where would an injured rat go?

Home? Where is its home?

I am going away for three days in the morning. What will I find on my return? Just in case, I reset the traps. Who knows, perhaps another rat family member will try to abscond with the trap tonight.

Wednesday 14th December

In the morning I found a dead rat in one of the two traps. Before leaving the house I reset both traps inside the house and closed the laundry door to prevent any further ingress from the garage. If there are no rats in traps when I return I can be fairly certain there are no rats in the house and they are entering through the garage and laundry entrance door.

Regular readers may recall  three weeks ago we left our Dyson DC22 Vacuum cleaner with Dyson in Brisbane for repair. It was returned, with comment that the motorhead attachment must have caused a short. They suggested we throw away the motorhead and buy a new one. WTF! The vacuum arrived in pieces and could not be put back together. It was shipped back, “fixed” and returned to us a second time. This time the on off switch would not switch on. This morning I delivered the whole package, including the motorhead, back to Dyson. Later I received a call to say the fault was a PCB – whatever that is – Power Control Board perhaps – which has now been replaced and all is working as it should. Oh, BTW the Powerhead was not faulty. Hmmm! Fancy assuming the motorhead was faulty without testing it. My opinion of Dyson has gone to rock bottom these past few weeks.

Ken and I went to Noosa River for a couple of drinks and nibblies at sunset. So did hundreds of other familes. Naturally I left the camera back at the house. Too bad. A picture of hundreds of families on the river bank would have been interesting.

Back home we had dinner on the terrace and watched a Garden Orb Spider build its web.

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Garden Orb spider building its web. The web covers an area of at least a square metre and is enough to trap a small bird. Double click and double click the image again to see just how hairy these spiders are.
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Busy busy busy Garden Orb spider.
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Almost finished, final touches before settling down to await dinner.
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Web finished. The spider tucks itself into a head down legs folded position.

There a huge number of Orb spiders with over 100 known species in Australia. These spiders build their “ORB” web every night after sunset and “eat” the web at sunrise, thereby re-cycling the protein rich material. During the day the spider hides somewhere nearby leaving only the main horizontal and vertical strands in place. They can and do bite, although producing a swelling and uncomfortable bite site, they do not have a fatal venom. In the time it took to eat our meal, the web was complete.

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While watching the spider spin its web this fruit bat got annoyed at our torchlight. Typically of a bat it would not hold still for a nice sharp clear photo.Note the sharp hook on the leg.

Thursday 15th December

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Weyba Creek
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I went for a walk before breakfast. I saw a number of canoes and boats along Weyba Creek. This interesting specimen has an outrigger made out of Poly Pipe. Look carefully and you can see an electric outboard motor mount on the stern on the same side as the outrigger Ama.
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An old “tinnie”,

Ken and I joined the usual Hastings Street Noosa traffic for an hour at the beach. No surf! However the water temp was 23° so it was worth a quick dip. Even without surf, sand somehow finds its way into swimming costumes. After a fresh water shower sand still resides where it ought not.

We then drove along the coast to Coolum Beach just for a look around.

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After our swim at Noosa Beach we drove to Coolum Beach for a look at all the development going on there.
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While at Coolum we watched a surf competition for the Under 16 Girls.

Sister Enid arrived home from Mackay so we celebrated at a Thai Restaurant around the corner.

Friday 16th December

Joined the traffic heading south to Brisbane where the traffic to the Gold Coast got worse.

Sunday 18th December

Went to the movies to see the latest Star Wars franchise. Rogue One in 3D and in the Titan XC theatre with the exciting 360° explosive sound system. Waiting for the movie I saw families arrive with a big buckets of popcorn, choc coated ice creams and a large 1.25 litre Coca Cola drinks. For each family member! Apart from costing $7.50, that food package is full of sugar and fat and is no wonder Australian children are following the USA into obesity.

The movie? Hmmm! 3D big sound lots of special effects and a story line almost impossible to follow and at times the good guys and the bad guys are indistinguishable. I must be stuck in a time bubble because the first released movie is still the best. Oh and the surprise appearance of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) for two seconds at the very end of the movie made me pause. Hmmm! The makeup department did a good job as she looks no older than she did in 1977 in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

One week to Christmas Day and local prawns at the beach for lunch.

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