Tuesday, June 28, 2005

More Palm

I finally decided to send my Tungsten T3 in for replacement. The plan was that once I had it back, I would be able to load my current data back onto it, and then take my time to try and work out why my Tungsten T5 crashes so often. I was sure it had to be one of the third party programs I use interfering with the Palm's operation. Of course, within 30 minutes (I'm absolutely serious and it's no exaggeration!) of the T3 being picked up by courier to be taken off to the Palm delivery point here in Australia, I found the article on the PalmInfoCenter - published that day - which said there had been a new software release for the T5 which, you guessed it, would fix all the memory and crashing issues I've been having with the T5. D'oh. So $185 later and several days I'm waiting for the T3 to come back - as good as new. Then I'll decide what to do with it.

Long fingernails

Wouldn't it be amazing to have long fingernails - I mean really long fingernails. Back in 2000, the record holder's longest nail measured 4.8 feet. HIs thumbnail was a giant coil with clear plastic tape wrapped around the root of the nail for added support. His index finger nail was 3.7 feet long and others ranged from 4 feet to 4.25 feet. This was the result of almost 50 years' effort, but he had decided he had had enough, and was going to auction them to the highest bidder and was looking for about $200k for all five nails (or so said the article on CNN.com in December 2000). I've just done a quick net search and can't see if he managed to get his asking price - or whether he's still trying to get a good night's sleep, and shielding his hand from accidenal bumps - fear the nails be damaged.
And who currently holds the record? The longest female fingernails in the world belong to Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. They measure a total length of 6 m 62.94 cm (21 ft 9 in).
Also with the Guiness Book of Records: Longest Female Beard. Vivian Wheeler of Wood River, Illinois, USA grew a full beard after the death of her mother in 1990. The longest strand from the follicle to the tip of hair was measured at 27.9 cm (11 in) in 2000.

Can't remember

What was the name of the film in which Nicole Kidman has a husband who dies and comes back as a child. It was quite controversial. So, how do you go about finding out - on the web? A Google search on: Nicole Kidman reincarnation turned up:
"Birth" (2004)
Into the life of a 35 year old woman, Anna, comes a 10 year old boy, David, who is in love with her and convinced he is the reincarnation of her dead husband. Drawn to remember her past, Anna begins to question the choices she's made, much to the concern and consternation of her fiancé and her family.
What we do without the web? Although as someone was pointing out today - it is mixed with good and bad (perhaps more of the latter).

Blogging for a Palm

In the style of savekaryn.com (a virtual begging site where a woman tried - successfully - to raise $US20,000 over the net) a site has now started for someone who has set their aspirations just a little lower and he's trying to raise enough for a Palm (PDA) - at http://bloggingforapalm.blogspot.com. Hope it works for him.
UPDATE: Tried to visit there today (July 3) but it appears the page is no longer in operation. Hope he got what he came for!

Could-be assassin

Here's a hypothetical for you. A man is captured and taken hostage in Iraq. Various attempts are made to recover him but then, seemingly by accident, he is found and rescued. He is welcomed home with much fanfare and is finally taken to meet the Prime Minister. The rescued hostage assassinates the Prime Minister. The rescued hostage had staged his own capture to be able to be "presented" to the Prime Minister. How's that for a hypothetical.

Lost & Found

On the way to the bus stop last Monday morning, we noticed a heap of loose papers on the footpath. Nearby was a wallet. All together there was enough to identify the owner of the wallet, who turned out to live a couple of streets from our place. His wallet had apparently been stolen the night before - and even though he had already left for work by the time we knocked at his door at 7am - we did phone him in time to let him know his wallet was found, with cards, licence, etc before he had time to cancel them all. When we dropped the wallet back to him that evening, he handed over a wonderful bunch of flowers and a card - which had a bunch of instant lottery tickets in it. What a lovely gesture!

Buffalo Boy

The Sydney Film Festival is now over and I managed to make it to one film - courtesy of the Swissotel, one of the Festival sponsors. They had offered some complimentary tickets to our company - and luckily I was offered one. "Buffalo Boy" is a feature from Vietnam and tells the story of a young man's coming of age. I gave it an 8.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Google tips

David Pogue's blog this week talks about tips with Google - including using Google as a dictionary by typing "define:ersatz," or whatever. He suggests bookmarking the site with the full list http://www.googleguide.com/advanced_operators_reference.html and that's just what I'm going to do ... and play! And the question is, whose idea was it to have define:callipygian as an example on the tips page?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Busy busy busy

I am busier than I would like at the moment - which is why I find that when I go to my "Memos" to retrieve the blogs I am currently working on, I get:
14/6/05 Cost of healthcare
21/6/05 Lost & Found
21/6/05 Buffalo Boy
21/6/05 Would-be Assassin
Hopefully I will find more time to write soonish.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Apparently Tom Cruise's latest squeeze, Katie Holmes, has one thing not in common with ex's Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz. Katie has taken an interest in the Church of Scientology (Tom is a Scientologist) and is planning to convert to that religion. This very recent news would not have caught my attention except for that on the very same day I read that, I also came across an article in a magazine from June last year. In it, the question was posed (but not answered) as to whether Tom's previous partners not converting may have led to their break-ups with Tom. How's that for coincidence. (And yes, I was reading the magazine in a doctor's surgery!)

Storm in a D cup

The doctor has given me the all-clear following my recent lump/s scare - one a cyst, the other not a complex cyst (which could have been an issue) but a fibroadenoma aka a benign and movable and firm and not tender tumor of the breast; common in young women and caused by high levels of estrogen. (Definition courtesy of the SlovoEd dictionary on Palm.)
It was a bit of a flurry there, getting to the GP and then off for a mammogram, ultrasound and FNA (to allow them to drain the RB cyst and to biopsy the LB growth. Thank goodness it all turned out to be just a storm in a D cup. It's good that it's over and Sooz and I are thankful that that's it for the moment.
Spare a thought for all those women (and men) who haven't had such good news and/or are currently undergoing treatment. And help fund a mammogram today (and every day) by going to the BreastCancer site and clicking on the pink button. (Thanks for the reminder Deb!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


What mementoes do you keep? (Is that how you spell mementoes? Where's a dictionary when you need one?)
I was doing some filing yesterday and came across some old concert programs and tickets and wondered whether or not I should keep them as mementoes. And that got me to thinking about what mementoes other people keep. I've always been particular to photographs - especially since I moved to digital photography. But I also like physical, tactile mementoes. One of my favourites is a billiard cue ball - which serves to remind me that all things come to those who wait. Not that there was anything particularly brilliant about the circumstances of attaining it - a Monday morning on the way to work, and there it was sitting on the roadway (okay, it was actually in the gutter) outside the Telstra Building in Castlereagh Street. I have always liked billiard balls - they have a nice weight, and feel - and they probably remind me of something but I'm not sure what. So it sits in my middle drawer and from time to time I pick it up and play with it, and think wouldn't it be wonderful if I had another two of them - and I could juggle them (outside on grass and near nothing breakable!).

Recouping losses?

One of those loud "don't miss out on this sale" ads has just been on television. It was touting repossessed, stolen, liquidated and received items - including Harry Potter items. Per chance were any of these repossessed counterfeit items? Probably not. It doesn't make sense to take counterfeit goods off the market - and then put them back on. Although, it would be a way for the owners of the brand to recoup some of their losses - especially if people were aware they were buying non-genuine items.


There are various theories doing the rounds about the TV series "Lost" and what the secet is about these people who are trapped on a remote island following a plane crash. Also on the island is a large something (let's not brand it as a monster) which could be a dinosaur except as one of the characters said "dinosaurs don't exist" or was that "dinosaurs are extinct" - either way, we get the picture. But the identity of this thing, which attacked and killed the pilot in one of the earliest episodes - plucking him from the cockpit high in the air which suggests, together with the way the tops of trees move and it passes by in the distance, that it is quite large - well, that's not important right now.
So, back to the people and what their secret is - one of the theories that I like is the one that says that are caught in limbo - "somewhere between Heaven and Hell". If one takes a fairly literal approach to life, the universe and everything - would their being somewhere between Heaven and Hell put them right about here?


I had a call this morning from my mother who wanted to know how she could get a copy of a program from SBS. She was trying to track down a copy of "Insight". She had heard about it from her brother who had heard about it from his son. It had apparently featured Mum's ex-brother-in-law and she was keen to track down a copy so they could know if he was truly contesting the paternity of all five of his and Sylvia's children. This would seem strange except that two of their five children were not Ian's - as he found out when he and Sylvia divorced a few years ago.
The "Insight" program was on paternity and DNA and it featured Ian and Vicky, one of his not biological daughters. (Is there a proper term for this relationship?) I'm not sure how long the transcript will remain on the site but it discussed Vicky's dismay at finding out that Ian was not her father, especially when he had worked so hard to care for and keep the family together. She did not tell him when she first found out, rather keeping it a secret between she and her mother.
Ian is apparently seeking compensation from the biological father given that all the children were disadvantaged because he didn't contribute to his children's rearing from the start.
The thought that Ian might require paternity tests on the three oldest children was something that, in my mother's words "would blow the family apart". However, that appears to have just been a mis-report on the program. The question is whether the rumours that that is what Ian said will outweigh what he actually said.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

War of the Words

If you've ever wanted a comeback when talking to cultural "know-it-alls", there's finally a website you can turn to for help. The Museum of Humour has a Talk Culture section. By clicking on the area you want - music, film, literature or even wine - you have the opportunity to generate a comment or two. The Music selection provided: The delicate tone of the ritualistic harmonies devolves into a series of intriguing but incoherent sounds. It's going to be easy to work that into a conversation!


One of the Sydney papers the other day carried a short one-paragraph piece about someone overseas finding three generations of a family dead. They estimated the mummified bodies had been in the house (or flat?) between 2 and 10 years. How could they have been there not long and not been discovered? Did no one come to check that they hadn't been at work or school or anywhere? The article suggested that the family were part of a religious sect and they had committed suicide. Were there no other sect members that might have checked on them - or did they all do the same thing at the same time - and could they still waiting to be discovered? And how come the family had finally been found?
And was it suicide? Were all those that perished of sufficient age to take their own life? Is that the definition of suicide? Or does it require the person deciding to, making the necessary plans and arrangements, and then carrying out the act? Otherwise, is it murder?
Some years ago there was a religious sect which I think originated in the US. They were involved in a mass suicide. I can't remember the details fully but the name Jim Jones comes to mind, and that everyone drank poisoned cordial. At the time I was in my late teens and I didn't question that it was called a mass suicide. But thinking about it now, I remember there were lots of children involved - and I wonder if they made a conscious decision to take their own lives. Or if, not knowing what would happen, they drank the poisoned cordial that was offered to them by someone they loved - "here dear, drink this. Be a good girl for Mummy" - how hard must that have been for someone to do to their own child, and how sure must they have been that they were doing the "right" thing for their child.
The world can be a strange and sad place.

Grrrr (at Palm)

I continue to be DISsatisfied from time to time with my (now not so) new Palm Tungsten T5. I have just spent the last little while doing a couple of blog spots - and had exited them (but not exited the program) when the system crashed - taking them with it. Aaarrggh. I never had this problem with previous models and I am getting more than a little jack of it.


Green turbid fluid. That's how the medical report described what the doctor extracted from my cyst. I'm not sure I like the idea of having green fluid in me (is this a throwback to some alien heritage perhaps?) But it does make one wonder about what else might be lurking below the surface. As mate Trish mentioned, it's a good thing we have skin - to keep these things hidden from view! I'm not sure how far I would get in a world where people had transparent skin - which is probably another good reason we aren't imbued with x-ray vision. Yep, the world would be a different place if we had see-through skin.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mystery solved

So after all that we did guess the identity of the RegPost item - but we had discounted it. It was our pass to the Sydney Film Festival which starts at the end of this week - actually Sooz's pass (her birthday present!). When I bought the ticket a couple of weeks ago, I was told we would need to exchange the receipt for the more familiar festival pass when it started. Well - it seems Mr TicketFeller was wrong - which is not a bad thing considering how long the exchange line could have been!

Water saving

The level in the dams supplying water to Sydney continues to drop. Level 3 water restrictions have recently been announced, and we're all being encouraged to save water where we can. Here are a couple of ideas for helping.
* If you're having a drink of water, and you don't want to finish it - don't throw the rest out - throw it into the kettle. (If you're worried about any bugs - don't be - the boiling will take care of them.)
* If you use a hot water bottle, remember you can always recycle the water - either by using it for watering plants - or by reheating it for the next time.
Thanks for the tips Liz.

Mechanic's advice

When I took the car back to the mechanic this afternoon he reminded me of a saying he has: never have your car serviced before you go on a long trip. He was prompted to say this because my car was overheating severely and he thought this had much to do with the radiator cap he replaced in last week's service. He had suggested this could cause problems - the old radiator cap was not containing pressure - thereby allowing a relative state of stasis within the cooling system. However, once the cap was replaced, the stasis was upset. A quick look under the hood showed a hose damaged, and the radiator having less than a wonderful time. I've left the car with him - and hopefully he'll be able to get a replacement/rehabilitated radiator and install it (and whatever new hoses are needed) by COB tomorrow.

Appealing to a younger crowd?

Well, we know now that things are not always as they are made out to be. On Big Brother Uncut last week there was footage of what some pundits have called "sexual assault" with one of the male housemates taking out something he would have been better off keeping in his trousers, and waving it around in an inappropriate manner in the general vicinity of one of the female housemates. There was some comment about it in the press, especially in relation to the number of younger folk who saw the broadcast. Channel TEN, the broadcasters of Big Brother, have come out saying that they wouldn't encourage youngsters to view Uncut. So why was it, in last night's Sunday Eviction show (7.30pm - 8.40pm) that the host, when talking to the newly-ousted Michael (aka the waver), made reference to the incident - without going into details - and saying that they'd discuss this controversial event in tonight's Uncut. Now, if that isn't advertising, I'm not sure what is.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Life's little mystery #xx?

In the mailbox on Friday night came news that there was a registered post item for me at the Post Office. I have not received anything by Registered Post for - well, I can't remember the last time. It might have been my new passport 5 years ago - but I don't think so. And who uses Registered Post anymore anyway? I've decided it must be either valuable (and insured as one can with RegPost) or someone wants my signature (but you could do that with Certified Post) - but the card says that I can send an agent to sign if I want to - so it can't be a legal document requiring my signature (there was a box for that on the form too). It could be good news - or bad news - although I guess it could be neutral, but if that was the case, why would somebody bother sending it RegPost - cause you have to physically go to a Post Office to send a RegPost item - not just pop it into the mailbox on the corner.
Suffice to say I am intrigued. I fronted the Marrickville South Post Office at 9am yesterday morning (some Post Offices are open on a Saturday) only to be told that it was at the other Marrickville Post Office - and of course that one's not open on a Saturday. Monday morning 9am will be the earliest I can access it - whatever it is.
Whatever it is - I have had a moment to think about something Stephen King the writer says about his stories.: he puts his characters in a "what if" position - and sees what happens from there. It's funny but I don't think we do "what if's" a lot - or maybe that's a generalisation because I know I don't. But trying to think about what this RegPost item is - all the possibilities, and how it taps directly into my fears (what if it's something bad - and how bad could it be - and surely if the Tax Department were planning to do an audit they would contact me through my accountant!) or my hopes (what if we're won a competition - they'd probably send advice by RegPost) is exciting. Just hope the real thing isn't too much of an anti-climax (and that it's not bad news!).

Early nights

Last night, we were in bed and fast approaching sleep at 7.15pm. Not that that lead to a restful and peaceful night - and that might have something to do with the aforementioned piece on Winter and the number of cats that are currently spending their nights on the bed. Funnily, they both seem to want to spend their nights on my side of the bed. Think Pretzel. That's me - can't spread out to my full 5'2" length because that would cause a cat to go flying off the bed. Can't stretch out sideways because that leads to numerous low-throated and frightening growls from the girl cat. Sooz assured me this morning though that they do move during the night - which is why she spent some of the time with foot cat's rump firmly planted in her ear. But we wouldn't be without them. Truly!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


You know it's winter when both cats start sleeping on the bed. I'm glad we invested in the king-size doona when we bought the new bed - means one of the cats can be in the middle and both humans have still got enough doona to snuggle into (or wrap around themselves as I am want to do). There's nothing worse than a freezing back on a freezing night. Of course, for Cat No. 2, who prefers to sleep draped around Sooz's head, bigger pillows might have been the go.

What's the word ...

... for fear of dentists? I was supposed to have a dental appointment this afternoon, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I just couldn't do it today. I don't like dentists at the best of times, and knowing that they were going to do a major, yet non-urgent job this afternoon made it worse. The closer it got, the more anxious and upset I felt. Not sure why that was, because this morning I was sure I was fully prepared for it (I guess that kind of says it all doesn't it?). In the end, I rescheduled - and breathed a great sigh of "self preservation" relief. I just knew today wasn't the day for it - which might be in some way related to the coughing fits I've been having all day. Oddly, they have now stopped - or they had - and I've now made an appointment with the respiratory/allergy specialist, as recommended by my doctor - and maybe she can recommend someone I can see about my dentophobia - which incidentally ties as equal 3rd on the list of common adult fears - right up there with going out alone at night, and death.

Health Update

Well, Billi has had her first lot of chemotherapy and it went well - except that she threw up in the car on the 1.5 hour drive home (not the whole time though!). If you knew Billi, you would know that she would be very embarrassed by this - but hopefully she will forget before it's time for the next treatment. She's scheduled for five treatments, 10 days apart.
Her owner's treatment is going to be a bit more intensive than this. The tests have been completed and treatments discussed - and she'll be fronting up for radiotherapy every day for 6 weeks. Hopefully this will shrink her 5 cm tumour. At this stage they're not talking surgery - and the tests revealed no other growths. Phew. Thank goodness (and her partner) that she had it checked out when she did.
I can't imagine what it has been like for she and her partner coming to terms with this - especially in the days when they were waiting for the tests to be done, and then for the results of those tests to be discussed. I guess it all could have been easier if they had already finished the house they're planning to move in to at the end of this month. All of this could seem like too big an incentive to get it done - especially waiting for the prognosis which (from the first doctor's appointment) had seemed like it would be much worse.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Each year, as part of the office's Occupational Health and Safety requirements, we have a trial evacuation of the building (usually done a couple of floors at a time). Today was the day (actually Monday). I spent part of the bus ride in to town this morning reviewing my warden procedures - and wondering how I would have gone if the evacuation had been unannounced - the way it will be for the rest of the non-warden staff. The question of why wardens receive advance notice was raised by a friend last week - and it is a good point ... and one that has me determined to be more familiar with my warden procedures on a day-to-day basis.
The evacuation went fine - we're not timed - which is just as well because we had to descend from Level 15 to Level 6. It's amazing how you can get slightly disoriented when you walk down a few flights of stairs though - but it's good practice. Our previous evacuation was only two floors worth - and it really isn't the same.
And it's amazing how tender one's legs can be the following day! I couldn't work out this morning why my legs were a bit on the sore side - I thought it might have had something to do with the exercise bike - and then I remembered the stairs, and it made total sense.