Sunday, August 31, 2003

Carnarvon Bananas 

Dad and I visited Andrew in Carnarvon last weekend and checked out Carnarvon's satellite dish (used during the Gemini and Apollo space missions), tall tomato plants, a wide and empty Gascoyne River, banana plantations, and a blowhole. The ocean beyond the blowhole looked calm but the force of the water through rock convinced me that the sign greeting us at the t-junction, 'King Waves Kill' could be true on any day. We visited Erin in Geraldton on the way home and stopped to look at the everlastings and goats along the highway. The dish at Carnarvon had me talking about the movie 'The Dish', which was shown on telly tonight. Right after the Fremantle Dockers beat the West Coast Eagles by 14 points at Subi.
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Friday, August 22, 2003

ReUSEIT 

Built for the Future's ReUSEIT competition invites people to redesign the front page of Jakob Nielsen's useit.com site. The design must meet current XHTML standards, be usable and accessible and use stylesheets for layout - no tables. While the design is unlikely to be taken up by useit.com, Jakob Nielsen is not opposed to the competition. I've always found the home of Alertbox to be rather uninviting and looking at it again tonight, I still find it uninviting. The site looks designed for people who derive little pleasure from looking, although that approach has obviously served Nielsen well. I hope lots of people give it a go and come up with some cool designs. I read about the competition at webgraphics.
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Androgynous Message in a Bottle 

Visiting Blogdex today I discovered the Gender Genie. By entering a sample text, you can have the Gender Genie deduce your gender based on the way you write (using more pronouns, for example, rather than with a keyboard). Using my last four blog entries, it seems I write like a man when talking about daffodils and themed weeks but more like the woman I am when blogging about photos of cities and anonymous book sharing. The genie claims to be 80% accurate, however according to a user poll, the genie might as well be tossing a coin. My last sample text entered (the post on letterboxing - it brought out the feminine) was correctly assessed and, according to the genie, 51.18% of results have also been correct. Glad to know I'm not the only one to have wrongly guessed a blogger's gender.
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Thursday, August 21, 2003

Daffodils 

Nannup is celebrating its Tulip and Daffodil Festival and we drove there on Sunday. I took a picture when the sun was shining on a box full of daffodils (150kB - look out!). We had a snag from the Lions stall and some Yahava Koffee (or hot chocolate, in my case... I think I missed out) as well as visiting the displays of fresh flowers in the hall. Friday is Daffodil Day throughout Australia.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Dreamscapes, Cityscapes 

Dreaming of far off cities lead me to check out the Cities and Building Database, which I recently read about in ResearchBuzz. The database has photos of buildings around the world (but not Australia), so I checked out a few buildings in Los Angeles and Prague. Inspired, I searched for more on Prague and enjoyed taking a look at Jerry Peek's photographs taken along the Vltava River in Prague. Jerry mentioned the free graphics manipulator called GIMP on his site, so I spent some time checking that out too...
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Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Book Crossing 

From letterboxing to bookcrossing, people are almost connecting in the real world with a little help from the Internet. A brief TV news item on bookcrossing in Manchester lead me to a BBC article called 'Book Crossing in Manchester' (updated August 13, 2003). Bookcrossing occurs when a reader 'frees' a book by leaving it in a public place for another reader to enjoy. Anyone releasing or capturing (or perhaps being captured by) books in public places is encouraged to enter journal entries at the main BookCrossing site. What a great story... secret delight, surprise encounters and generous strangers.
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Weekly Forecast 

This week is both Children's Book Week and Australian National Science Week. If I remember (and I probably won't), I'd like to take a Wager on the Weather for National Science Week - the 100 top scorers for each day of the competition are in the running to win a flight over Antarctica - imagine that.
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Saturday, August 16, 2003

Letterboxing 

I'm not sure how I discover these odd hobbies involving wandering about but here's another one - letterboxing. Letterboxing involves finding waterproof containers (or letterboxes) with guestbooks and rubber stamps inside. People who plant and search for letterboxes are called letterboxers. Each letterboxer brings with them their own notebook and personalised rubber stamp, so that they can stamp their notebook with the rubber stamp found inside the letterbox and use their own stamp to mark the guestbook contained in the letterbox. Letterboxes are hidden and often clues are needed to find them. Letterboxing began at Dartmoor in England, where a club called the Letterbox 100 Club exists for people able to prove that they have visited 100 letterboxes on Dartmoor. 'Hitchhikers' are letterboxes that are planted with a stationery letterbox and may be taken to a new letterbox location. Letterboxing has crossed the Atlantic with letterboxers connecting through organisations like Letterboxing North America. Individual letterboxers, like Silent Doug also provide information about the letterboxes they've discovered or left for others to visit on the Internet.
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Friday, August 15, 2003

Boronia 

Yesterday I was lamenting about how nothing ever happens in August. Today August brought a change with the first breath of boronia.
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Counter-Googled Crustaceans 

Distracted at blogdex I read about Counter-Googling (at trendwatching.com) and so counter-googled myself by entering my name and the name of my state. Now I know all about me... without clicking away from the first page of results, I know that I like marron and that I live where I thought I did. Or do. Live. Not far from the marron.
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Thursday, August 14, 2003

Bruised and Hormonal 

Blundstone boots aren't just good for walking... one clumsily placed foot and they can also bounce bathroom doors into your face and leave a bruise. If I wasn't angry already...
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Her Ladyship's Titles Lost and Found 

Stoked to discover I could add titles to my posts and then realised that for them to display, I need to add the correct Blogger tag...
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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Room with a Stew 

Stew for tea tonight and strangely all of our bedrooms now smell like stew too. Insignificant coincidence of the day... overhearing Mum spelling 'emery' over the phone to Erin (Mum isn't sure why... maybe for a crossword?) and then checking in a woman with the surname Emery, which she also spelt out. The same word in a day, yeah, but hearing it said and then spelt out twice is kinda weird. I used the W3C Link Checker today on half of my RD pages - urk, it's horrible knowing how many dead or dying links litter each page but I like discovering that some sites have shifted and improved.
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RetGen 

I've created a new blog just for my RP-related thoughts and blogging called RetGen. Still working on doing a little re-design, perhaps using the Blogger template I chose. Lovely day here today - ate a spinach and fetta pastie overlooking the Southern Ocean this morning. Gill e-mailed (always welcome!) and I did the chat thing. Tuned in to enough rope to see Denton interviewing Russell Crowe, which was worth it. Otherwise not a great day for reasons to be left unexplained.
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Sunday, August 10, 2003

Freo, Freo! 

Freo, Way to Go! Defeated the Kangaroos 15.9 to 15.8 for (hopefully!) our first go at the finals.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Deriving Pleasure 

I may not be able to drive but I'm sure a dérive would be right up my alley. I discovered psychogeography (Wikipedia) after reading a message from a friend staying in East Putney, London and wondering where exactly East Putney might be. The same friend reported that Prague is a very friendly city for people who are vision impaired and so now I've just read about Psychogeography in Prague. A dérive, from what I've read, entails wandering an urban area without needing to be anywhere in particular and without having a destination in mind. Some people use an algorithm to determine where to go next, generating 'algorithmic noise', while one San Franciscan explains how to dice walk, choosing where to go by the roll of a die. Socialfiction.org provide background information and links to writing and projects related to Generative Psychogeography, including 'Pedestrian Culture Through the Ages.' I came across a lot of this stuff via psychogeography.org.uk. No mention of Australian dérives, despite the groups of urban explorers I've blogged about before.
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Gill and Caelan are visited Augusta for a few days and mostly we spent a lot of time on the trampoline. We drove to The Berry Farm for lunch, where I ate a warm boysenberry pie with delicious pastry, and from there I somehow directed us to Canebreak Pool, in forest east of Margaret River and Cowaramup. Gill spotted three different orchids growing in a gravel-filled stump by the side of the road. I tried a chocolate caramel shaped like a flower with my hot chocolate at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory too. We saw a rainbow over Flinders Bay after a visit to Cape Leeuwin, where we checked out the waterwheel and walked over the rocks in the wind. Caelan played at Colour Patch (so did I for a bit) and I walked the tracks through the vegetated dunes between Colour Patch and the river mouth.
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