Sunday, December 26, 2004
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Our settlement on the unit has been pushed back a little by the other side. So instead of moving in on the 26th of November, we now look like going on 4th December (the day after I am scheduled to arrive back from a business trip to Bangkok) – that’s if settlement proceeds as planned on 29th November. (Oh the dates …) Sooz has insisted that she’s not changing any dates again (long story!) now until the settlement is done and in the bag. There will still be time then to arrange for the change in phone and electricity and other utilities.
Still, the biggest challenge (Sooz may not agree with this after the dates stuff) is packing things and working out what to purge and what to keep. I have cornered the market on lidded 60L plastic storage bins and have been able to assign a place to most of my things. I am not sure others would appreciate the labeling system eg “Bits and Pieces”, “K Sort 1”, “Filing Dr. 1”. It is now too late to make a list of what’s gone in, but the plastic is transparent so there is hope yet.
We have the Council arriving at 7am on Tuesday to take away “stuff” that is not destined to make the trip with us. We’re not sure how much that is going to cost yet – they are coming to give a quote but they usually give the quote and take the stuff in the same visit – but there will be a fair amount of “stuff”.
But we are traveling well I think. And it really is a wonderful opportunity to get rid of some things that we’ve been storing for years. It’s also a good excuse to renew memories by sorting through all this stuff again. Sooz has suggested, and I think it’s a good idea, that we do this sort of exercise once a year in our new place. Just to keep the hoarders away from our home (and that would be me!).
Monday, November 08, 2004
It's not the packing I mind so much as the purging - going through things to see what we haven't used for ever, and are not likely to use, and certainly don't want to keep storing in case we do one day need a 7th extension lead. And, of course, it's not made easier knowing that the day after we throw something out, we're going to need it (hence the staging area - where we're not throwing things out straight away! It's messy, but it will work!)
Now that we've started packing boxes, we know the cats know that something is up. Both had started behaving a little differently. The boy cat is now clingy and has taken to sleeping on our bed; the girl cat has taken to spending most of the time under the house, and has started sitting on the washing machine. And we've probably started displaying abnormal behaviour as well!
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
This is very exciting stuff and when the exchange happens in 6 weeks time (slightly less now), we will be home-owners for the first time. We spent the weekend looking at furniture and wondering how what we have and what we plan to get will fit into our new home. And thinking about what we currently have that won’t make the move with us and what the best thing to do with those pieces would be. We also have a considerable “cull” of clothes and other things in front of us. Sooz has already started and has filled a large bag with clothes to be donated to charity. I’ll start going through mine soon.
I have a feeling that the next 6 weeks or so is going to go by fairly quickly, probably too quickly.
At work, each month I receive a copy of 'Innovation Matters' which includes a conundrum for readers to solve. Luckily the solution is given at the end of each issue because it would be irritating to have to wait a month to find out the answer - or worse, to be able to confirm you'd been right! They remind me of the lateral thinking puzzles that were doing the rounds a few (15 - 20?) years back. I enjoyed those too - much more than I enjoy philosophy posers. I'll see if I can dig up one to post here.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thursday, October 07, 2004
A company has invented a product for use in urinals. The device, powered by two AA batteries, rests in the urinal and has a proximity alert which triggers an advertising message. The report didn’t mention if there had been a target printed on the device, but it did address concerns about whether using the device could lead to electrical shock. “”At three volts? I don’t think so” said a representative.
And for the girls … a noise-making device for bathrooms for girls has also been invented in Japan – but this one is designed to drown out the embarrassing noises of nature among women. The Sound Princess sold over 500,000 last year. When triggered, by passing a hand over a sensor, it gives the sound of running water.
And there’s even a product which can now marry the two – so girls will be able to use the urinals to trigger advertising babble to drown out other toilet noises. It’s called the P-mate and it’s been around for about 4 years. I first saw it on a morning TV show and someone was saying it was good for female skiers. Basically, it’s a disposable paper funnel which enables women to urinate while standing up. The product is now available in Australia and New Zealand.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
* PalmOne have skipped v4 – as they did in previous ranges – something to do with some cultures being averse to the number “4”.
What is more frightening - terrorism or the threat of terrorism - with the threat made by the government as it doesn't for a moment let us forget that the only thing standing between the general public and terrorism is it - specifically the current Liberal Federal Government. It's surprising that they haven't trotted out comments by the US President about how they would find it difficult to work with a Labor Government as part of the Liberal campaign for the forthcoming Federal election.
Friday, October 01, 2004
A 4.5m female great white shark is currently the biggest fish in a small 'pond' in Massachussets. The shark moved in last week and shows no sign of wanting to leave. But scientists are fairly sure she will and have tagged her so they can gather information about her travels. The tag archives the data and will transmit it all at once when the tag pops off and floats to the surface in April 2005 - if all goes to plan. Failing that, if she's still swimming circles in the shallow water of the pool, they can scoop the tag out with a net!
So why is she there, and why isn't she leaving? It's a long shot, but could it be because it's the same general area in which the movie 'Jaws' was set?
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Australia remains in the throes of a Federal election campaign and the more I see of the jockeying and posturing for position, the more I think that some people have no idea what “democracy” actually means. Or maybe it’s just me that thought that in a democracy, a group of people votes in the person in the area they want, who then, together with people voted in by other areas, s/elect the person to lead them. It doesn’t seem to work that way in a two-party preferred system. Before you even have the chance of running for one of the major political parties, you have to gain “pre-selection” for a particular seat. Too bad if you wanted to run and you are not the party favourite. But you can always run as an independent. And sometimes, independents do seem to hold the balance of power in Parliament. That being said, I admit that I really don’t understand the whole political jag (although a friend has patiently tried to explain it to me on a number of occasions).
I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence or not, timed to run in the lead-up to the election, or as a result of the recent bombing of an Australian Embassy overseas, but ads have just started up here telling people to be “alert” for suspicious things as they go about their everyday lives – is someone taking photographs of a landmark building, has a car been parked for too long outside a building, is there an unattended package left on a bus or at a transport station? Of course, at the same time, if not in the same ad break, there are also the ads for the Liberal Coalition reminding us of how John Howard (current Prime Minister) has done and will continue to do whatever it takes to make and keep Australia safe – including pre-emptive strikes on territory belonging to our Asian neighbours.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
In an aside, apparently reviewers have to sign an agreement that they won't reveal the twists in "The Village". You'd think that would make for a fairly short review, especially if done in conjunction with that other adage "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
But make up your own mind. "The Village" is probably playing at a cinema near you.
And there’s the question of how difficult it must it be for the families of the victims to see it all again. Hopefully the program will focus only on crimes which have been solved so bad memories are not trawled up for naught (except the hope for television ratings).
The first episode, about multiple murders in Frankston, Victoria, in the early 1990’s didn’t seem to give that much of a CSI-approach to forensic investigation. It seemed that the big breakthrough in the case was provided by two constables, who had been called to investigate a suspicious car that, as it turned out, was parked across the road from where a murder was committed. Had the car not been reported, and had the police not investigated, it is hard to know how long it would have taken for the taskforce to catch the killer.
Monday, September 06, 2004
At primary school I wrote:
The time of day I like best … is just at dawn when I can rest …
At 44, I’ve lost my passion for mornings.
4.30am a paw caresses my cheek. Cat No. 1 cannot find crunchies in his bowl unless you show him. I stir them with a toe then crawl back into bed, not disturbing cat No. 2. I have become better at sleeping like a pretzel.
4.50am the newspaper crashes against the front wall of the house. Didn't hit a window. This time.
5.10am the alarm pips. It is set to lowest volume and not on 'Reveille' so as not to disturb my partner.
Stopping via the study to turn on the computer, I hurry to the kitchen to feed the cats and prepare No. 2’s insulin injection. Instead of buying a barbeque last Christmas, we had our cat diagnosed with diabetes.
Back to the computer and 30 minutes checking emails and downloading newspapers onto Palm.
On the treadmill for half an hour, 2km. I am careful about “hitting the wall”. Most elite athletes are happy to, but if I do it means I have crashed backwards off the machine.
Into the shower. Hopefully there's enough hot water. I have a shower routine. If I vary it, I end up doing most of me again. Sometimes I get interrupted and when I get out, I still have shampoo in my hair. Back I go.
What to wear? Albert Einstein had the right idea – was it Albert Einstein? He wore the same sets of clothes so he didn't waste time deciding. It’s easier to put black with black.
Breakfast. It’s hard not to have the same thing, or to find time to make microwave porridge. If my partner is having toast I want some too. (This is not without some concern, because we then need to make sure the toaster is off.)
How are you going, I ask – which we both know means I am running late as I check wallet, glasses, Palm, pen, bus ticket, back pack ...
Ready to go but first I have to check everything is off, toaster, stove, walking machine, computer - and the alarm is on, and the door snicked and closed properly.
Can you hear me? Toaster’s off, stove’s off. I try to work out systems like only turn the light out when everything in that room has been checked, re-checked, checked again.
The pressure isn’t as great on Wednesday’s when our cleaner comes. We know she’ll turn off things. Her house burnt down a couple of years ago.
I don’t mind going back to check things – as long as there’s enough time. I am so unsure of myself some days … most days. I can do the reporting – this is off, that is off – but when I’m asked if the stove was off, I can't answer with any degree of certainty. Back I go.
It’s worse in winter because then there's the heater to worry about. It’s not on my mental checklist (ditto the fan in summer) and I can forget about it until I am about to set foot on the bus – and then I agonise all the way to the next stop about whether to get off the bus, go home and check.
Our reception windows at work look out over the inner west – so if there’s a fire I will have some advance warning. Yes, that pall of smoke rising near Parramatta Road is because I didn’t turn the kettle or something off properly this morning.
All of this I can bear … what makes it difficult is that my partner of 14 years has caught some of my neuroses. The only thing worse than questioning myself is having both of us doing it.
No, these days the time of day that I like best … is the weekend.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Kevin has his own 1,000 sq ft playroom, a red (doll-sized) Chevrolet Corvette car, a pet dog, a full wardrobe and a £2,000 savings fund for when he goes to college. He also has the love of his 'parents' who say they prefer him to their real child, Vicky, now an adult .
Pat said: "With every kid that you adopt, you promise to love them and be a good parent and take care of this child. And that's what we did with Kevin."
(You just have to love the Ananova news site!)
Thursday, August 26, 2004
I am relieved to find out I am not the only adult I know that gets scared. But I am puzzled. Is it better or worse to be afraid of Frankenstein (well, actually Frankenstein's monster) ... or Frank? I have only recently found out about Frank - the horror rabbit - through a workmate. She admits needing the lights turned on, plus quickened pace, to stay well clear of the reportedly 6' of bad news bunny she became acquainted with through a review of Johnny Darko on The Movie Show. Of course, not all 6' rabbits are evil. Harvey, in the movie of the same name, starring James Stewart, was by all accounts, a reasonable rabbit. I think we should watch them both - during daylight hours, preferably first thing in the morning so there's plenty of time to forget the furry fiends before 'lights out'.
I don't know that I'll be nearly as brave with the new M. Night Shyamalan film, The Village. It looks pretty scary - and I've only seen a 15- or 30-second preview on television so far.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
1) (cognition) a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school. Synonyms: doctrine; school of thought; ism
2) (cognition) any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation
3) (cognition) the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics.
No. 3 comes closest ... questions about existence and knowledge and ethics. But surely these are dictated by the location, time and setting. Is the pursuit of philosophical thinking a modern Western construct or is it a universal consideration which has been with us for eons. Are there those who accept that ''this is the way things are" rather than ''why are things like this, and is this the way they should be"?
Ms Fraser had apparently been told her mother suffered a heart attack before the accident. It was only a few years ago, while working on her autobiography, that she learned the truth of her mother's death.
How strong must her defences have been to not have learned/seen/remembered the truth for so long? I can remember when her autobiography was released but not that there was mention of the circumstances/secrecy surrounding her mother's death. So why has this made the news now?
Friday, August 06, 2004
Thursday, August 05, 2004
There are many rumours and stories doing the rounds about the episode. Karen Brown had done an interview with a current affairs show for which she was reportedly paid $100,000 but now that she has been charged with murder, that money will be confiscated (I’m not sure if that is the right word) if it is paid to her.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
But there have been reasons. My sister and co. did visit and we had a wonderful time with them. We did some family things (visiting my brother and his family) and some tourist things, and lots of chatting and just catching up. What happened to the olden times when people would live and die in the same village. Did that make for a better relationship between people? And do all the modern communication methods we have make up for the distance in any real way? Life just seems to get faster, and more busy. Ah, if only I could SMS faster!
After a few days with our brother on the Central Coast, Wendy and co. head back to Toowoomba today. I hope they’ve had a great holiday – they’ve certainly done lots! And I’ve got some pics of what they did here in Sydney, which I’m working on posting to my photo site.
Friday, July 23, 2004
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Flemington was fantastic – so much to look at, so many smells, and so many people buying their cabbages and fish and nuts and … you name it, it was there.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Surprisingly, Ulla is only two steps removed from me. A friend had her photograph taken with Ulla at an equestrian event in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) last year – or perhaps the year before.
Go Rusty! Go Ulla!
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
We spent a lot of time at the beach that Summer as I recall. And it was, quite simply, a wonderful way to spend a month. Fare thee well Montego, and all those who were part of her!
Friday, July 09, 2004
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
65% psychology and 35% software. It was created to help teachers bring out creativity in children - and it certainly brought out some creativity in us. But you'd expect that from a knowledge creation tool. It's based on each participant being at the same location and having a computer link into the Zing system. The session is led by a certified facilitator who has questions they put to the group. The make-up of the questions is the most important aspect of the process … more important than the software. As each question is put to the group, participants discuss them before entering their individual answers through the console. The responses are then displayed, anonymously, on a screen – and are discussed, looking for common themes etc. It makes it a level playing field as no-one knows who made which response, and the most vociferous person doesn’t get to control the conversation.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Monday, June 28, 2004
Thursday, June 24, 2004
But Leslie is a survivor - although there were no details in the article I saw, there was reference to two other stories: Actress speaks of 'trout pout' ordeal; and Leslie Ash crushed by her own car. Good luck Leslie.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
realise that there are there to transport the public, but yesterday
morning the actions of one bus driver in Rozelle helped dispel some of
the bad publicity. We were running a little early as we approached
one of the stops, and two women had seen the bus and were running to
catch it. But instead of sailing past them, the driver pulled up the
bus 50m before the stop to let them on. Talk about service and
putting the public back into public transport!
visualise the activity and the expected outcome. Does it work with
dreaming? The last two nights I have dreamt I have stood up too and
told off someone I would like to tell off in real life. I can't
remember what I said - it was different in both instances - but it had
the desired effect. Now if only I could translate that to the real
world ... although will the dream domain negate having to do that?
Thursday, June 17, 2004
were: (a) attend a trial, (b) see a crane being put up, and (c) do a
first aid course. Well, following the course yesterday and today, I
now have my Senior First Aid Certificate ... yah!!! Three cheers for
me! So, since I did the trial last year, there's only one to go - now
where am I going to find me a crane?
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Monday, June 14, 2004
And no wonder the Church and State seem so aligned in this. According to a report by John L. Allen Jr in the National Catholic Reporter (Vol 3 No. 42), during his recent trip to Rome President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage.
The article also notes “Bush supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and has urged Congress to take swift action. Since polls show that in several battleground states in the fall election a majority of voters is opposed to gay marriage, some Bush analysts think an aggressive push on the issue will help the president’s prospects.”
Is it possible that there is a political motivation (or several) here?
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Of course, I wasn't at all impressed when within 15 minutes we had spotted petrol for $0.97+ per litre. D'oh. And this wasn't even at a discount chain. No wonder there had been no cars (and only a bicycle using the air pump) at the service station we'd gone to. Looks like I'll have to change stations - we've always gone to the same one because it's had a consistently lower price than others in town. Not any more. Maybe it's under new management.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Friday, June 11, 2004
shooting a standover man. The dead man is pictured in the Daily
Telegraph article, with the caption 'Murdered ... Anthony Hines in
prison in 1994'. Mr Hines is shown in a 3/4 shot, from the knees up,
wearing nought but a pair of togs, some wrist adornment (bracelet?),
and perhaps some oil on his 'six-pack'. Why this photo? Is this the
only one they could find? The only one on file? Or do they check with
loved ones 'which photo would he have wanted us to use?' 'Oh, he
always liked this one ...'
Thursday, June 10, 2004
One of the characters is Scabbers, Ron's rat. Scabbers was played by 2
rats, both of which were adopted at film end by the actor playing Ron.
Perhaps not so fortunate are the mice which may be the reason for
the RSPCA threatening to take a Queensland hotel to court. The hotel
ran a competition involving eating two live mice. Although it seems
two men took part, hoping to win a Gold Coast trip, it is not known if
they ate the mice, or thought them nice.
On the way home this evening, I noticed some commotion (okay, it was
one camera flash) and crowd outside a theatre in town. If I hadn't
been running a bit late, I would have investigated - and had a photo
of something big and green and Shrek-like to post here. The ogre, and
glitterati, were out for the Australian launch of the sequel. Oh well
... perhaps next time. Sigh. I wonder if Princess Fiona was in
This week's mystery guest on Channel 10's Big Brother is Maria. Recent
regular 10 viewers may recognise her as Miriam - the not quite as
"she" as is made out in 'There's Something About Miriam' where men
compete for her affection, unaware they are being had. So 'had' did
they feel when they discovered Miriam is a 'HE' that they sued for
damages and, if I recall correctly, were awarded nearly $2million.
The house mates won't know Maria/Miriam's 'secret' ('Something About
....' started after they went into the house.)
When asked about the ethics of Maria/Miriam's placement, someone from
10 said: we've had no complaints. I was horrified. I had been so
sucked in by the manipulative nature of the exercise that I hadn't
thought to speak out against it. And who would have thought that any
one would be waiting for input. You can learn something every day ...
like the most recent evictee is comfortable 'wearing naked'.
Monday, June 07, 2004
sed to stop that, and surely the virus program should have kicked in at some point? Obviously I need to understand this "stuff" better - so I have a new project for the coming month. And were there really 340 instances of these investations (as the Adware program suggested). I guess so, but at least they're all safely quantined now.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
after angels -- Raphael, Michael and Gabriel. Raphael stores graphics
and navigation paths, Michael protects the site from hackers and
Gabriel interfaces between the other two computers and the outside
weeks without food (but only just). Well, that's in real life. In
the disaster movies it's quite a different scenario. We saw "The Day
After Tomorrow" last night (were they really pumping freezing air into
the cinema?) and noted that the main characters (those who were still
alive at the end of the film!) had survived on candy bars and potato
chips. I guess that doesn't really count as being "without food" but
it certainly wouldn't have made their dentists happy! It's amazing how
people see different things in movies, isn't it? I noticed that while
the NY library characters were busy burning books to stay warm (that
isn't much of a spoiler!), there seemed to be a few chairs lying
around that could also have been used for fuel - unless of course the
wood was chemically treated and they might have been killed by the
release of toxic fumes. My partner noticed that at one stage a
policeman's vest had letters obscured and now read, simply, "ice".
Nice touch. Of course, "The Day After Tomorrow" IS a disaster movie
so doesn't count as "quality entertainment" but it's worth a look -
the special effects are amazing! - and it does carry a message, as
long as people choose to listen. Maybe some governments who have so
far resisted could warm to the idea of the Kyoto Accord?
Friday, June 04, 2004
There is a move within the Australian Government to change the
definition of marriage so it excludes all but men and women ie
same-sex marriages will not be an option. Overseas marriages of
same-sex couples will not be recognised here. But ... what of the
rest of the definition? Will they change that as well if and when it
suits the Government of the day? For example, under section 46 of the
Marriage Act, civil celebrants are required to explain the nature of
the relationship before solemnising a marriage with words to the
effect that marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a
man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered
into for life. Hmmm. For life. Imagine if they enforced that!
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Sydney's "The Daily Telegraph" asked 1 June (pg 13) in a story about
Westpac customers who had been duped into visiting bogus internet
pages and revealing their account, security numbers and passwords.
According to the report, the bank is about to start reimbursing an
unknown number of its customers several million dollars. The scam was
apparently engineered by the Russian mafia. So why are the Russians
targetting Australia? Who are the "mules" - "individuals recruited
with offers of a 10 per cent cut" of the action - who withdrew the
money from the halfway accounts where the victims' funds had been
transferred and forwarded it to Russia. And have any been caught?
And if not, how could anyone know what their cut was? Or is 10% the
standard rate of commission?
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
And talking about PIN safety - did you hear about the inflatible boy who took a pin to his inflatible school, and his inflatible headmaster told him "you've not only let me down, you've let yourself down and you've let the whole school down!" (Boom boom - as Basil Brush - and nephew Patrick who told us this joke - would say.)
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Thanks to Lizzie for posting info on this on her blog.
If you're placed to see it - don't look directly at the sun! You'll do yourself a damage. And the transit has been responsible for enough:
The Transit Of 1769: James Cook - The most celebrated transit of Venus is that of June 1769, The voyage to observe the 1769 transit is especially significant to Australians for, after successfully completing the observations, Cook opened sealed orders from the Admiralty to search for the unknown southern continent. He did not find this mythical land, but did claim New Zealand and New South Wales for the British Crown.
procedures, or the other products that spam usually offers?
Oh ... If you're thinking about signing up for GMail if you get the chance - it seems you can only access your mail via their web page at the moment; you can't yet set up your email client to access it.
But the brew is getting better, especially as I am now using a new batch of coffee (Columbia - still full-flavoured, but mild) from the local coffee emporium, ground to the right consistency for the coffee machine. (And no, I was told, don't keep the coffee in the fridge - just an airtight container at room temperature will maintain it for a few weeks ... Oh, and 200gm is the smallest quantity you can buy at a time.)
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Google initiative, via an offer through Blogger. Gmail offers
1gigabyte of storage, which seems to be funded by targetted
advertising. It will be an interesting exercise - and at least I
didn't have to buy an account off eBay. I read last week that some
people in the original testing could invite a friend to join, and they
were selling the invitations. Enterprising solutions (all round).
Saturday, May 29, 2004
1) (food) a flour mixture stiff enough to knead or roll
2) (possession) informal terms for money
Synonyms: shekels; gelt; bread; dinero; lucre; loot; pelf; moolah; cabbage; kale. (SlovoEd 4.13 - dictionary for Palm)
Krispy Kreme (finally!) opened it's first store in the Central Business District in Sydney on Wednesday. The first customer was to receive a year's supply of doughnuts. As it was raining the night before the store's opened, chances are they were looking forward to a hot cup of coffee and a warm shower as well!)
My partner's boss dutifully joined the queue yesterday to buy a half dozen original glazed doughnuts - only to find they were selling for $1.90 each - or $11.40 for 6; he decided the 12 for $11 was a better deal.
What are the ethics of marketing, effectively, via bigger portions? There's a documentary just doing the rounds here ("Super Size Me") about a guy who, for a month, lived on McDonalds. I'm not sure whether this was before Maccas introduced their healthy menu items - or if he chose them if they were available - but the result is not something that's likely to have people eating there on a regular basis. It's also not likely to increase Maccas -or Krispy Kreme's -turnover unless they change their fare.
Krispy Kreme reported Tuesday that it lost $24.4 million in the first quarter, its first quarterly loss since going public in 2000.
Part of the loss was attributed to people deciding a more balanced lifestye (read: diet) is appropriate for them. Strategies to adopt to this changed and changing consumer environment include the company's doughnut shops selling a low-sugar doughnut, mini doughnuts and doughnut holes (!!!).
Scott Livengood, Chief Executive of the doughnut-maker said: "And we make our plans and do things in a, call it a worst case scenario. I think there is always a real possibility that people are going to decide a balanced lifestyle is appropriate for them ....
"But on the other hands we're not going to take anything for granted."
Thursday, May 27, 2004
I am sitting in rehearsal as I write this - a bit tricky as I try not to miss the next Soprano entry. It looks like we're doing a run through ofthe whole piece - which means I'll know what little (hopefully) sections need independent revision.
But it will be good fun. I've sung this piece before and it's a bit like meeting up with an old friend after a long absence.
If you're near the Great Hall, Sydney Uni when we're due to perform, feel free to come along (with money for your ticket) and support the choir. Otherwise, how will you be able to tell your friends about the amazing tenor cooking swan solo?
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Looking for a gift idea? For her father's 80th, Suzanne assembled a "this is your life ... so far" photo album. It looked at all the key points in his life - using the roles he's play - baby, brother, husband, father, grandfather, fisherman, sailor, veteran ... to name a few. It's a great way to capture a glimpse of times past and it was a way of showing Bill how much of an influence he's had on those around him.
For those who haven't yet caught up with a review of Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary movie, you can read about it here.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Saturday, April 10, 2004
What a difference a moment makes - we have a decision. We have decided to go to the local church where a friend worships. Co-incidentally this is the Christmas one. ... and the first place to accommodate the fledgling Leichhardt Espesso Chorus many years ago. (LEC's next gig seems to involve Randwick Race Course and the AJC. I have no more details but they do have a web site which may provide information.)
Listening to music this evening - Mahler's Second, the Resurrection Symphony. Fantastic piece for Easter. And as I listened I tried to remember it from when I had sung it with the Sydney University Musical Society (SUMS) many years ago. It was my first concert with SUMS. Meredith, who worked at the same office as I, was a SUMS member of long standing. Knowing I had just started singing in a choir, she asked if I would be interested in singing at the Opera House. I would only have to meet the rehearsal requirements - 8 in total. I was hooked.
And I've been a member of SUMS mostly since then. Under the musical direction of the wonderful, talented Ben McPherson AOM (now Meredith's hubby and father of their children, Harry and Anna).
Next concert - last weekend in May at the Great Hall, Sydney University - Carmina Burana, with the SBS Youth Orchestra providing the tamtam (aka gong ... not to be confused with a chocolate-coated biscuit).
Thursday, April 01, 2004
I made an observation the other day. My partner notices things but I notice when things have changed. This could be because I'm lucky enough to be a Pisces or because I'm hyper-vigilant. But it's an interesting difference, especially as I've always wanted to be observant. (I'm not sure if noticing this difference means I am more observant because nothing has changed.)
How does international publishing work? Jeanette Winteson's "Lighthousekeeping" has been released in paperback in Australia but has not yet been released in England and won't be until May apparently. Who decides what books are released where? And when? And do the same decisions apply to ePublishing?
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
I realise this isn't an issue for many people. They have no trouble with the concept of time. Not me. Ask my partner. She hates daylight savings more than I do. And it’s not just because I no longer know what time it is. I suffer lethagy akin to jetlag for the first two weeks and I get grouchy because my sleep patterns are thrown out. I resent the time spent changing the timer on the vcrs, televisions, 4 watches, microwave, stove clock, alarm clocks, camera, computer, PDA, the car, mobile phone etc - and knowing I'm going to have to change them all back again in a minute. I hate having to carry the newspaper with me from room to room to check the little picture of the clock showing which way the hands go.
And I hate that I don’t just "get it"? We go through the same thing every year. I cannot remember appliance to appliance which way time has moved, let alone from year to year. And it's been explained to me again and again, millions of times - and just when I think I have it, it’s gone. And I’m running out of people to ask. (You can only get someone to explain it to you so many times before they look at you oddly.)
And all for what? So we can go swimming after work? So it's still light when I try to go to sleep before 9pm? So I can spend the next month getting up in the dark? So I can send my partner mad by continually asking: if it's 7 o'clock here (when my mobile phone free time starts) what time is it in Queensland? And don’t even get me started on daylight savings in other countries and which goes which way. I’ve scheduled half a day on Monday to rework my time zone spreadsheet so I’ve got a fighting chance of not waking our South African colleagues at some more unthinkable hour!
It's not just daylight savings time that throws me. I never know whether a meeting is sooner or later if it's moved back or forward. Why can't people just say what they mean? It's earlier or it's later. Simple.
I know it's all a matter of interpretation. But that part of my brain is missing or just unable to deal with clocks with hands. I should have paid more attention to the rocket clock on Play School instead of worrying about what was through the window. If you wind back the hands of the clock, that makes it sooner. But if you put back a meeting, you're not doing that. Or are you?
And if I can’t get a time machine, I’ll settle for a digital revolution. Let’s do away with analog clocks. No more big hands and little hands. No more second hands. No more worrying about turning hands back or forwards on Sunday. Then maybe I could change over to daylight savings without being reminded, yet again, that I don’t “get” it and at this rate I never will. And it’s not as though people couldn’t still use their analogs. We’re nearly 40 years into decimal and people still talk inches and feet, pounds and ounces.
Or perhaps we could just abolish daylight savings. Flexitime anyone?
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Update - Lonhro won. The punter, based in Hong Kong, collected $1,550,000 when the biggest bet on an Australian horse race in years paid off (The Daily Telegraph, 9/3/04, pg 1).
What's a billion
It appears that a billion is different, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you are on. In the US it's a 1 followed by 9 zeros; in the UK it's a 1 followed by 12 zeros. I'm not sure what it is in Australia. And if I'm thinking of it in terms of my own assets, it's going to be a couple of millenia before I actually have to worry about it.
And Zedna has been discovered ... the coldest most distant body to have been found orbiting the Sun ... a planetoid because it's not big enough to be a planet. And who knew that Pluto is a "questionable planet" - based on its size. But it was still big enough to be in the way of the astronomical society being able to see Zedna.
Dubbo is today suffering from a plague of locusts - similar to several other communities along the Australian East Coast (according to the news report I have just finished watching). It's been a while since we had a locust plague - although I remember that we've had plagues of mice, and also of bogong moths. But, as some people would say, at least you can eat bogong moths. They are something of a delicacy. I'm not sure that I could bring myself to eat one - for pleasure. If it was a matter of life and death - maybe ... probably. And what would you eat if it was a matter of life and death? Would you eat people? (Soylent Green is people.) Could you eat people? And how would you quell the demons within (assuming some ethical dilemmas might surface after the event - or perhaps that would just be me)?
Thursday, March 04, 2004
We have a friend with a birthday on 3 March. I had done an SMS to send to her today but then, in a moment of self-doubt, I checked the calendar on Palm. The next mention of her birthday was 2005. Oh no! I had missed it! I checked the date on my watch - sure enough - it was the 4th of March. I checked the newspaper I had downloaded that morning (via the Avantgo website) ... it said 3rd March. But I was sure it was "new" news when I looked at it this morning. My partner, sitting on the bus next to me, assured me it was the 3rd. But how? Then it struck me ... leap year was not recognised by my digitial watch. When it should have moved to the 29th of February, it moved to 1 March. The only thing I can't work out now is why it took me four days to notice.
Saturday, February 28, 2004
The car wash is situated on a major arterial road and it is also under the flight path so there is loads to look at. There is also another Hand Car Wash over the road. It is billed as "Sydney's Best" but I don't know if that's their name or claim. In any case, they don't seem to be as busy as this establishment.
I wonder if I should have told them about the huge spider that slipped into the car last night as we waited at the McDonald's drive-thru. I would like to say that it wasn't me who screamed but, alas, it was. My partner thought something dreadful had happened. Of course, she hadn't seen the spider scurry within cms of my hand and go behind the dash. Each time I get into the car now I expect it to be sitting on the steering wheel, daring me to get in. Hopefully the car wash (they're doing inside too) will encourage it to move on. Probably my greatest fear is not that it will be on the steering well, but that it will remain somewhere warm and cosy in the interior of the car, and that "it" will be a she, and will lay and hatch thousands of offspring in REY the wondercar. Then all of them will be sitting on the steering wheel, and the driver's seat, and all the passenger seats ...
Thursday, February 26, 2004
There have only been two reality shows that I've allowed myself to get sucked in to. "Big Brother" was one; the other was "Survivor", as won by Richard, the man who seemed to be forever stripping. Richard has made another appearance in "Survivor AllStars" with the familiar blur over his "misters" (apologies Friends)
I'm not quite sure what "The Resort" is about but it's dollars to doughnuts there's a cash prize there somewhere.
Who comes up with the ideas for these shows? What sells a reality show? … and this is about 12 people locked in a house, and we film them 24 hours a day, and it's cheap/inexpensive programming. Can they call it reality television, though, given it doesn't bear much resemblence to real life? We know that the raw footage must be edited to within an inch of itself as the producers try to "tell a story" with only people's real faults, foibles, traits and talents … and twenty-four hours of footage a day to choose from.
And what of documentaries? Are they the original reality shows? And if they are, why can I watch hours of reality television - and go to sleep the second a documentary comes on?
More "The Resort": Erik chaperones promo girls (whatever that means). Amanda walks away from arguments. Another one "cries when working with idiots". Don't we all.
And this would be me walking toward the television to turn it off - or to at least to change the channel. I want to experience a different reality.
I want to think about being a super hero. There used to be an animated cartoon show - I think it was Milton the Monster - and Milton would dress up and be "Super Ghoul" (ain't he cool, looking nice and neat in his polka dot vest, his purple cape and his ballet shoes and his yellow SG on his chest .... ooh, ooh, ooh, Super Ghoul ... etc.) If you could be a super hero, who would you be? What special talents would you bring to the world? Would you use your powers for good - or for evil (knowing you would have to give up the super "hero" title if you went the latter route). I think I would be ... Reality Television Person (ta da). My mission would be to boldly go where no ... Prachi knows she's irritating and arrogant.