Keller Family Blog

Congrats Nic and Melissa (we saw what we could)

My neice got married an hour ago.  To that we say CONGRATULATIONS..

We were planning on “attending” via Skype to celebrate with them from 9000+ miles away. We wanted to hear my nephew sing and watch all of the beauty and stuff and in general just celebrate with them.  We had tested the connection on Tuesday Night (USA)/Wed Morn (Aus) and things looked good.  Friday night (USA) a storm blew through and knocked out the Internet connection at the church.  Ugggh.  No internet = no Skype.

My cousin comes to the rescue with his cell phone.  Unfortunately the USA cells are not 3.5G (especially in Berne). I think we were getting less that 50K connection. We missed all of the pre-service music and the first 20 minutes of the service.  BUT we did see three 8 minute or so blocks of the wedding and post wedding crowd dismissal from the sanctuary.  The first was the ring placement, then a bit of my nephew singing (no audio) and then the pronoucement of man and wife.

While we couldn’t be there, it was still worth staying up the night to see a glimpse. Now it is time to go back to sleep for a little bit. (6am)

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Old dog can learn new tricks

Well I did it.  I ate an entire meal with just Chopsticks. First time in my life.  We took Karlissa out for her birthday on Saturday to a musical with a friend and afterwards went out to eat at a Chinese Restaurant. I couldn’t let 2 – 11-12 year olds show me up too much. On Sunday Crystal bought us some chopsticks to use at home when we cook stir-fry as we did on Sunday.

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Jaden’s first “ice cream” cone

At AllergyBlock on Saturday, we bought some Jaden-safe Ice Cream cones made by Orgran.  Jaden had been asking for ice cream cones for some time and I just became aware of these a few weeks ago. The Gluten Free ones at the local grocery store still had some Soy in them. He hasJaden’s First “Ice Cream” cone. been asking for Jaden Safe Ice Cream every day since we got them. This Evening, 15 minutes before the oven incident below, I bought some Passion Fruit Sorbet made by Gelativo. After dinner I scooped some in his cone. He was so excited and happy. He ate it all up faster than I have ever seen him eat the Sorbet before.

I ate a cone too. They tasted as good as any other cake cone.  Wonderful.

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Oven catching fire.

Crystal just left to go out to dinner with several American women. I was home with the kids eating dinner while something was in the oven. We heard a pop and the lights dimmed. We heard another and the lights dimmed. And then a few more. I went to the oven and saw some flashes of white light when the popping happened. I opened the door to look at the roast that we are to eat tomorrow. Another pop or two. I could see around the side of the over that there was an orange glow like from a flame and there was several more flashes of light from whatever short was causing the fire. I told the kids what was happening and to stay in the dining room. I turned off the oven. The flames and the popping continued. I went outside and cut the power to the house.

I think the kids were a little frightened then. Anyway I could see that the orange glow was gone. I lit some candles for the girls and found a flashlight (torch) for me. I looked around and saw that the fire seemed to be gone, though there was smoke still coming from the sides of the mounted oven. I pulled out the fuse to the oven and restored power. I made a call to the property manager, and pulled out the oven from its place and pulled the plug. The flames and the short had been where the plug enters the oven.

Praise God we were home at the time and not having a roast cooking while we were at church or dance class or something like that. Or just Praise God it didn’t happen while I was at the store just 15-30 minutes earlier getting some more food for dinner while the oven was on and Crystal and the kids were home without me.

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Coolest Tech Tool: Bomgar

Wow. I used a Bomgar box this week to provide remote support to someone. This box is incredible. It is much more than simple remote control. I could not only see the persons screen but could delve into more technical details of their system. In one instance I was helping someone with a computer problem in Sydney with me in Melbourne. I was more effective and efficient. Got their problem solved in less than 30 minutes which could easily taken an hour without this tool. I have used different tools over the years to see someone’s screen. This by far was the best. If you do tech support you should check it out. (And no I receive no compensation for my opinion or words. It was just too cool to not share.)

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Golfing with Roos

Chipping amidst the roosFlock of Sulfur Crested Cockatoos Roos down the fairway I went on a men’s retreat this past weekend and was able to play golf for the first time in Australia on Saturday. I had a wonderful round despite the use of rental clubs and no golf shoes. The best part was that there are over 300 kangaroos living on the Anglesea Golf Club. I didn’t take a regular camera.  Just caught a few pictures with my mobile phone. Still worth seeing. The shot of me hitting the ball from between kangaroos was not staged. That is where my ball was and where I needed to hit it from. Lots of Sulfur Crested Cockatoos were on the course. Fortunately the kookaburras which woke us up at the crack of dawn with their very loud laughing did not disturb our game.

In case you didn’t know, my father built a golf course in Indiana and I very much enjoy the game though don’t get to play very often. Also as I played I thought of my late father and wished he could be playing this course with me. It was his birthday.

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Charged twice for recent flight.

Somehow I was charged twice and issued two tickets for the exact same itinerary for a recent flight. Once by the travel agent and another time at check-in by the airline.  I of course only authorised the charge once and never signed anything the second time I was charged.  Though they say that the ticket used was the second not the first “non-refundable” ticket.  Pray that this all gets sorted out well.  I guess it is not really my money. This ticket comes from Campus Crusade operating funds instead of what I raise, but still I have no desire to see $2000 wasted. (Did I mention that travel in and out of Australia is in general very expensive.)

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Hard Drive crash before trip

Just before a trip I figured out that my new laptop hard drive was failing.  I received the replacement drive less than 12 hours before I was to leave for the airport. Now I have to reinstall everything on the road.  I have all of my documents on another drive to copy back, but it is still a pain. Fortunately I haven’t had it long.  The worst part is that I would rather have this joined to the Windows domain back in the office and I can’t really do that easily away from the office (especially when the VPN client won’t run on the reinstall of Windows.) I likely just need to download and reinstall, I just can’t download easily at the moment.

At least I know now that over the past few weeks my performance annoyances with Windows Vista was not Vista’s fault.  It was a failing drive.

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Onslaught of flies

I am sure you would like to hear other parts of our adventure in Australia, and we would rather write about them, but this is the most sensational of the events of the days. I keep thinking that every post I post about the rats/possums will be the last. Alas the saga continues. Hopefully all will be done before some family visits in a couple of weeks.

Basically while we can’t get to the dead rat, the flies can and then there must be a space big enough for them to crawl into the house. I have killed over 40 flies in the house just today. As an experiment, we have employed a venus fly trap near where the flies are congregating. We’ll check on it tomorrow to see if it gets any. We can’t identify where they are coming in or we would stop up the hole or crevice.

Also I will post some pictures of the house and things soon.

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End of the “good news”

We had referenced earlier that “good news of having rats” because it was better than possums. Well on Friday the man dealing with the rats for us found a dead possum. They had chewed their way back in and consumed all of the rat bait. Very likely the “rats” we heard and described in the last post was mother possum and a couple of young ones. As he was telling Crystal about it she could see he was a little nervous. If he had suspected that possums were also  in the ceiling then he would have been prohibited from using bait in the first place as it is illegal to try and kill a possum. So he removed all of the baits, sealed up the hole in the eaves and put in a one way door in the roof for the possums to come out.

On Saturday night returning from the Australia Day fireworks we saw a small bush-tailed possum on the top of the roof.  Likely one that had just come out of the house.

After yesterday’s inspection the door was reset as it had been used at least once. Today it hadn’t been used so the hope is that there are no more up there.

The good news of the day was if a bush tailed rat comes in the attic the rats are unlikely to enter the attic for a couple of months. Therefore we should have a couple of months of peace.

(If only the dead rat in the chimney area would stop stinking when the sun hits the brick in the late afternoon…)

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