Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A presentation given at the Flinders Finale on natural history artist Ferdinand Bauer is now on line.
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Monday, July 28, 2003

The wire in my braces was replaced Friday and now a significant number of the muscles in my head are getting pretty tense about it. I missed a meeting of locals with vision impairments because I thought the note left for me read 28/7 instead of 23/7 and so rocked up for morning tea today instead of five days ago. Five days ago might even have been convenient. Today I have visitors and, so far, my four year old visitor is enjoying playing on the tramp and meeting the animals. Looks like my tomato sandwich could have a beneficial effect after all - an Italian study found that pizza and other tomato-rich foods may prevent some forms of cancer ('Pizza helps keep cancer away', AFP/iafrica.com, July 28, 2003).
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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Now that I've started to use HTML 4, I can't stop. Updating the Flinders Finale site this week, I changed everything over to style sheets. Down with font tags! I like deleting stuff. So now the site's updated, validated and checked for accessibility with Bobby. The guestbook doesn't check out on either count... I ran a page through Watchfire's WebXACT and, like A-Prompt, it warns me to supply a transcript for a non-existent audio file. The programs mistake my Australian e-mail address (ending in .au) for an audio file with the extension .au . I do my best to make my pages accessible and advocate for an accessible Web, so it's frustrating to see tools like these waste Web site authors/designers/maintainers' time. The user checks given in Bobby's reports (another Watchfire service) are less alarming and, I feel, encourage people to take another look at their pages rather than making it all look too difficult or time consuming. Anyway, I guess I better fix up the access issues on my main site before I go ranting about accessibility checkers...


Our dog, after sharing some apricot jam on toast, has made it clear that I'm obsessed with it all, left his spot by the heater, and gone to bed. How embarrassing, the dog knows best.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Life of Matthew Flinders, by Ernest Scott, was originally published by Angus and Robertson in 1914, one hundred years after Flinders' death. The use of the word Australia, prior to Flinders' designating the name to my island continent (everyone should have one), was of particular interest, as was a letter to Ann Flinders describing others aboard the Investigator.
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Words - Rudyard Kipling includes verse, short stories, non-fiction and novels. A friend referred to 'Gunga Din' in chat and so I found the poem and much more... Words is a compilation of work that is no longer copyright (in Australia, where copyright expires fifty years after the writer's death). Writers featured include Washington Irving and A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2003

A little tetchy tonight so I was glad to tune into Media Watch and catch the story 'Nincompoops at Sunrise' (ABC Online, July 21, 2003). I don't know why but it cracked me up. The story involved a woman from the Macquarie Dictionary being interviewed about what constitutes an insult. She spooked the presenters by matter-of-factly giving an example. It's always amused me that the word she used is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary - maybe because it's a word that doesn't seem to need defining if you know the (pardon the expression) root words. Only the Macquarie Concise Dictionary can be searched on line but their Book of Slang is able to be browsed and I've already learnt a term or two. Both the The West and Media Watch mentioned that the South West Times positioned a report of disturbed pioneer graves alongside an ad inviting car stereo owners to 'Bring Out Your Dead' (stereos and trade them in) - but only Media Watch mentioned my former Italian and religious education teacher, Sister Mary Cabrini... 'Bunbury bring out your dead.' Neither Media Watch or The West considered the possibility that the ad's inclusion may not have been a mistake.
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Sunday, July 20, 2003

Sunday today so we went for a Sunday drive. Saw lots of emu at Happy Valley and in paddocks along Longbottom Rd near Jalbarragup. Visited my brother's small cottage by the Blackwood River and then headed to Nannup for minestrone soup, a yummy marron (marron are fresh water crustaceans found here in the south west of Western Australia) roll with garlic sauce and a cup of tea at Crafter's Creations. Sat in a surprisingly comfortable wooden dining chair and saw a bicycle made of wood. The tulips are starting to bloom in the flower boxes along Nannup's main street. Drove to an old one room school house at Cundinup, across to Kirup and from there to the Fruit Barn in Donnybrook for some fruit and vege. Called in to see Nanna and Pop in Busselton on the way home - their garden is still growing! Meanwhile, Erin and Rod have been for a drive from their Geraldton home out to the Hutt River Province, where they were made most welcome.
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Saturday, July 19, 2003

'Stony silence as a defense: Masking strong emotions with a neutral expression may help diminish confrontation -- but at a cost.' (LA Times, June 9, 2003). Surprise. I'm remaining expressionless here. How about you? Did I say something wrong... you're not saying much.
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Friday, July 18, 2003

Less chocolate for me but 'Masturbation promoted as prostate cancer preventative' (The World Today transcript, ABC Online, July 17, 2003). Is there something fun women can do to prevent breast cancer? Anyone willing to research that?
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After a day full of milky cups of tea and Milo, awful frozen lasagne and a cheese and pickle sandwich, I've eaten a tomato sandwich with multigrain bread to try and even out the amount of animal fats in my diet. Why? Because 'Too much meat, dairy raises breast cancer risk' (ABC Online/Reuters, July 16, 2003). Sigh. I love cheese. And milk. And someone keeps feeding my broccoli to the goat... but at least I'm aware of what needs to change and can slowly make the changes so that hopefully I'll avoid a few hassles later. Although there's fat chance of my tomato sandwich making much of a difference today.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Wow! An ad for Transperth appeared at the top of my blog just now... an ad for a service I actually use (albeit for free if I choose to use my vision impaired persons' travel pass). Now if only Transperth's site would load properly (either IE or Opera would be fine...). Can't believe I read the ads... I just love it when they're relevant - kinda spooky.
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Home from Perth last night after buying two books, receiving a third book free, and having my glasses fall apart on Sunday evening. Caught up with a friend visiting from Melbourne, caught enough of the Fremantle v Collingwood game at the Newport in Freo to know that we weren't going to win and moved off to a food court for some Thai food. Went shopping with Gillian and, with the help of a friendly sales guy at the Stockade on Wellington St, bought a comfy pair of Blundstone boots. We first checked out a different store but received no assistance and felt we didn't quite fit the staff's idea of customers. I finally discovered what the cotton tags on elasticised boots are for but I still couldn't pull them on - thankfully I didn't strain a muscle in the shop. Campbell stayed over last night and although he didn't want to go to bed (wouldn't want to miss anything) we all enjoyed his company. Twice during the night I discovered that pressure-activated Bob the Builder's kindly voice isn't enough to stir a sleeping two-year-old.
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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Campbell celebrated his second birthday with a party on Saturday (his birthday was a few days before) and lots of Bob the Builder paraphernalia. Andrew's back in Carnarvon after a week in the cold and wet down south. A friend is visiting Perth from Melbourne so I'll be heading to Perth soon to say hello. I'll probably have trouble resisting the latest Stephanie Plum novel 'To the Nines' while I'm there... and I'll be hanging out with Gill in Freo on Friday. Ahhh, Freo - I don't always watch the football but I had a feeling I should stay tuned for Saturday's game against Brisbane at Subi and I was well-rewarded!
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Wow, haven't blogged for awhile but my entire Web site (apart from the blog) is now written in valid HTML 4, linked to external Cascading Style Sheets and pretty much accessible (one or two pages aren't checking out with Bobby).
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Thursday, July 03, 2003

On my last visit to Sydney, several years ago, I was amused (and just a little startled) to hear the driver of my train sing along to a Skyhooks song on the radio as we headed out to Newtown. But at least he wasn't reading the paper - or at least, as far as I know. 'Blind to danger' (Daily Telegraph, June 30, 2003) tells of drivers of Sydney trains who appear not to be paying attention even when the trains are moving. Thanks to my vision loss, I often have to rely on people such as these to take me safely where I want to go and I don't find it comforting to know that some drivers choose not to look where they're going despite their responsibilities. Having heard about two serious accidents involving passengers on trains last year, this information makes me hope that driver attitudes will change very soon.
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Checking my links, I kinda found myself 'checking' a link to the Age and then browsing their My Melbourne feature where I found a cool photo taken in The Maze, a drain under Hawthorn. The photographer, Dsankt, mentioned belonging to 'the now legendary Cave Clan.' Probably kinda legendary in Melbourne... but I was intrigued and so visited Cave Clan Australia. Wow, these people check out all sorts of stuff (stormwater drains, train tunnels, bridges, towers, derelict buildings) and have contacts all over Australia, in Canada and in the US. They're careful to point out that the stormwater system in Australia is separate to our sewer system and that they don't check out sewers. They also mentioned that they don't explore stormwater drains when it looks like rain. Explored a lot of tunnels (and two former oil resevoirs) in Sydney via articles written by members of the Sydney Cave Clan. Brushed up on some of the theory behind urban exploration at Canadian zine Infiltration. Wow, there's even an Urban Exploration Web Ring. Very cool, in a nerd safari kinda way...
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Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Wow, I can use Blogger in Opera! Lots and lots of work is going into my site update and re-design. Probably not much of it will be noticed.... I've learnt enough about Cascading Style Sheets and HTML for at least one page to validate and for a computer to deem it accessible. Now I'm just checking a lot of links to make sure they don't send my lovely visitors to dodgy Web directories listing casinos and places to buy cigarettes.
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