Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Dad's home after a spinal disc replacement. X-rays taken during the six and a half hour operation show vertebrae, hips, the two neat new disks and a few of the surgeon's tools. We're very glad to have him home again.

Nanna and Pop stayed at our place for the week or so Mum and Dad were in Perth. At lunchtime on the first day they dropped in two rounds of ham and gherkin sandwiches, two jam cakes, two pieces of raspberry slice, an apple, a mandarine and a banana. Each night I arrived home to the smell of my tea cooking!! A sausage stir fry with pasta and a little mashed potato won't be forgotten for awhile. Especially as the next day I had stir fry sandwiches. You'd be surprised how good they tasted. Well, not if you knew my Nanna. I've now learnt to play Rummy King and to make custard using powdered milk. I'm pretty much sold on this quick, no-lumps method but I think I'm still a whole milk kinda girl at heart.

Financial year's soon over and I spoke to the nicest customer service officer at the ATO yesterday. A Brisbane lass, very bubbly. I think you'd have to cultivate bubbliness if it didn't come naturally, to avoid the dead phone air while the computer system creaks along. Gill's spent a day and a half chasing three quotes per purchase so that she can spend the last of the money allocated to her unit in a government department. One of the items to be purchased is a pottiputki. She may have said,

Rang several companies on spec and its pretty easy to find out if they do or don't - "Hi, do you sell pottiputkis? Do we sell What?" or "Hi, do you sell pottiputkis? Yes, we have No 5's and No 6's in stock at the moment. Do you need a kidney tray?" Its a whole other world... Pottiputki turns out to be Finnish for 'transplanting tube' incidentally, and they are an ergonomic device that you jam in the ground to dig a mini-hole and slide a seedling down to plant in it.

Ripper's playing ball a lot. I'm using the racket to hit it over the back fence. He crouches down like a tennis player waiting for me to serve. I do think he raised his eyebrows today when I took a swing and missed. I've also tried to hit it to him while also bouncing on the in-ground trampoline. Kinda funny watching him bob his head up and to watch the ball.

Better go. We've been celebrating in chat because someone made a decision. I'm not very decisive but I have decided to drink to that. I've even made a date to go whalewatching. I just don't know the date yet. It's that kind of evening. Hope you're having a cruisy evening too.

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Don't Dream It, Just Eat It 

McDonalds' salads are given positive mentions by some of the AFL players presenting McDonalds-sponsored motivational talks to high school students. The program is called 'Do It, Don't Dream It' and involves ten AFL stars who visit government and private schools in Victoria. See The Age article 'AFL players promote McDonald's in schools' (June 24, 2004) for more details.

Thinking back, I don't think having the team of yoyoers visit my school influenced me to think more positively about Coke or Fanta. Watching eskies full of Coke drop out of the sky and into the ocean right beside a fantastic inflated pontoon probably did. I think faced with Spider Everitt and a few McDonalds logos, I think I'd be more inclined to remember the footballer's one-off appearance over just another yellow M on red.

Not all students are going to be impressed or inspired by footy players. Some students are likely to be far less than impressed. McDonalds' association with AFL players might not be as positive as people expect.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Can't Be Fragged 

300 words are a hundred too many for fragx. A frag is a piece of writing that is less than 200 words and has a title of three or less words. Members of fragx submit and critique frags, starting as apprentice crew and working up to craftsmen (or women, I guess).

Visited Adelaide University Library Guide to Creative Writing Resources and subscribed to Australian_Writers_Online at Yahoo! Groups. Added a link to The World of Writing by Sara Douglass, TrAce Online Writing Community, and

I badly need some discipline.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004


According to a piece on Queen Boadicea at Britain Unlimited, the celtic warrior's grave is Reputedly on the site under platform 12, Kings Cross Railway Station, London, England.

How did I come to be seeking out Boadicea? To answer one of Nanna's crossword clues. If you ever need to know, the answer is Iceni, they lived in East Anglia and they fought the Romans at present day Colchester (Camulodunum), London (Londinium) and St Albans (Verulamium) sometime after AD60. I think I'd be so much more inclined to visit London if it was called Londinium - I'd feel like I was tripping into a a very sophisticated and shiny future. Not that I'm not inclined to go now.

For more information, I read the Wikipedia entry on Queen Boadicea and discovered that Wikipedia is currently featuring an article on the London Underground.

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Mistress of Her Blog 

Recently I received a message from a woman studying for her Master of Letters (Creative Writing) through Central Queensland University. The course is offered to external students through several campuses and I thought I'd check out other creative writing courses available externally or online. As a result, I've compiled an incomplete list that includes a little of everything, from post-graduate tertiary courses to free courses for seniors. No, I'm not even a senior. Here it is -

If you want to search around a little more for yourself,
TEXT Vol 8 No 1 Creative Writing Courses and
My Future might be handy. My Future is an Australian site that can be searched for courses of interest. By choosing to do an advanced search you can find courses that are available online or externally and can narrow the search to institutions in your state or territory.

Everytime I think Master of Letters, I then have Metallica's Master of Puppets to sing along to in my head. Too scatty for my own good, I know.

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Outback Me 

Outback Jack, a show filmed at El Questro Wilderness Park in the Kimberley will screen on the US cable network TBS this Tuesday. Twelve American women will compete for Outback Jack's affections. Outback Jack's real name is Vadim Dale and according to the Outback Jack Web site, he's actually a mountaineer from East Melbourne.

The Sydney Morning Herald's column Spike reported that even some of the wildlife wasn't from the Kimberley - a crocodile was flown in from Darwin. Read what they had to say as quoted in G'day Mate! on June 14, 2004.

I learnt about Outback Jack through the Western Australian Tourism Commission's newsletter In Touch. Another recent issue of In Touch included a link to the Savannah Way, a new route between Cairns and Broome. The Kimberley is next on my list of places I must go.

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Saturday, June 19, 2004

In His Element 

I like the title with subtitle of Chris Heilman's blog p e r i o d i c postings about the periodic table. The blog accompanies The Pictorial Periodic Table. I'm re-acquainting myself with the elements one at a time.

Most entries in the pictorial include photos and some historical information, as well as all the figures. Some descriptions assume more knowledge than I have, for example "There is, of course, no astatine in our lab. Discovered by Corson, etal., in 1940." But why not? I thought. Because it's radioactive, there's only about 28g in the earth's crust, and it can only be produced in a nuclear reactor. Very rare and very unstable. Shy too, is my guess.
You can read more about Astatine (At) at Wikipedia.

How did I come to be reading a blog about the periodic table of elements? The Writers Free Reference by Charley Brindley linked to it. And now I link to the Writers Free Reference on my writing links page.

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Friday, June 18, 2004

Dance Before You Drop 

We're preparing for Dad's operation by going for long trips to do shopping. Mum now has an arty umbrella and I have a clock radio that doesn't go off at 3am when set for 7am. Nanna and Pop are visiting next week and we thought they might like there to be a little food in the pantry, so we also went to Margaret River on Wednesday to do grocery shopping. [Note: Mum says we are not eating at all this weekend.]

Last weekend I bought Dad The Footy Show DVD to watch while he recovers. The back cover advertises at least two of the most painful moments of Australian television that I can remember. I think the woman in Westco knew the DVD wasn't for me, even though I do watch the show.

Last weekend I shopped all Saturday afternoon, displaying more focus than I thought possible. Not once did I find myself in Dymocks, A&R or Boffins. Well, once in the entrance to Boffins, checking out their refurbishments. Instead I tried on jumpers with big necks and jeans without waists. I'm yet to learn that telling a sales assistant that I do not want really low hipster jeans does not mean I won't find myself looking at the top of my hipster briefs under the jeans she gives me to try on. The five pairs of jeans she gives me to try on.

Caelan and I ate nachos for tea and hung out Friday night while Gillian attended a pre-school parents pizza night. Much like babysitting, but more like we both just happened to be there and I just happened to be the person to decide when we'd stop playing pirates.

I bought Shane Maloney's second Murray Whelan novel The Brush-off after seeing the ads for the telemovie on TV. I chose The Brush-off because for twenty two dollars it has more pages than the first novel Stiff. So now I've read the third novel Nice Try, am halfway through the second novel and by Sunday night (8.30pm on Seven) I will have seen the small screen adaptation of the first novel before I've read it.

Gill and I went out to see Tim Rogers & The Temperance Union at the Rosemount on Saturday night. We arrived too late to see Nick Barker but enjoyed listening to Tim Rogers. Mostly a blokey crowd, with women who didn't look like they'd choose to be there if not for their partners. Well, that was Gill's observation. I did spot one woman not dancing, just accompanying. Not sure how she did it, if I can't dance just a little bit I need to sit down or I pass out.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Tomorrow For Kids 

A friend sent me an e-mail about events to be held tomorrow to highlight the situations experienced by children in detention. Chilout and
Rural Australians For Refugees are organising events in Sydney and Port Macquarie.

Through Chilout's site I found Nauru Wire, a site giving news about refugees living in Nauru.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Terminal, Or Not 

Belle de jour described an exchange with a fellow tube passenger on jeudi 3 juin. I love that she describes these moments that are almost not worth reporting to friends but which make such a difference to your walk home. The possibilities.

Public transport was the subject of an interview conducted by a PhD student with myself two years ago. Today I received the transcript of that interview. The transcript clearly shows that a) I'm an enthusiastic user of public transport, and b) I'm not very articulate, especially when talking about public transport. At least when blogging I can stop, go back, and throw in a full stop or two. In conversation I just keep going and going like and just not really

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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Nauru Nature 

What do I know about Nauru? Less than I should and a little more than I did fifteen minutes ago.

Christopher Robbins at Four describes hunting noddy birds and his acceptance by locals in 'Noddy in Naura' (5 April, 2004).

I read about this piece at 300 Words. Read about 300 Words at me, my life + infrastructure.

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Popstars of the Sea 

While I've been reading my BookTalk group's latest novel and following Popstars Live, whale watching's on again in Augusta. Maybe this year I'll finally take a tour with Naturaliste Charters. Or maybe I'll save on ginger tablets and just hang out at the beach a bit. I'm kind of an eco-stay-at-home.

Eco-tourist Gill however toured Fraser Island off Queensland last week-ish.

A friend of hers is researching community awareness of revolving land funds. My awareness was zilch, so I've checked out Tasmanian Land Conservancy: Revolving Fund and Trust For Nature (Vic). Revolving land funds work to keep native flora and fauna protected on private land.

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