Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Might Lie Quiet For Awhile 

Thought I'd lay quiet today and maybe borrow Megan's bike, go for a ride.

Instead we went to Country Life Farm at Yallingup. We listened to a short spiel about how the animals love carrots, received a bucket full of carrot, and then headed for the bouncy castles. There was a warning to watch out for animals underfoot - chicks, rabbits, guinea pigs. I did well until I nearly caught a baby underfoot. The guinea pigs ran about in a big enclosure with the rabbits and some birds. I hope they're not really farming them. We patted kangaroos, goats, alpacas and two small horses. Then Callum and I walked back to the bouncy castle and I discovered that I'm a lot slower to run on inflated rubber than my nephew but take longer to slow down approaching the inflatable wall. Then we bought rolls at the Dunsborough bakery and drove down to Meelup beach for a swim. Better than lying quiet, for sure.

Peace to fellow Crowdies fans.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

CouchSurfing 

Erin read about CouchSurfing in The West today and has interrupted my net time to check it out. If I had a couch to offer, I'd be in it. I'm not sure how I'd feel camping out on a strangers couch but it'd be nice to have a local to meet when visiting a new place. Should I ever go somewhere new.
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter? 

Our first Easter without managing a caravan park full of holidaymakers and we didn't know what to do with ourselves. Yesterday Erin and Rod took Cal to the Molloy Island arts and craft fair, where he won a prize on the chocolate wheel. Mum and I bought booties at the Spinners and Weavers exhibition. Today we walked the dog, sat around, and I cooked cauliflower and corn risotto. Not from a recipe, you may have guessed. But people ate it! Happy Easter to you.
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Island Guide 

I've changed the name of my blog - again. Temporal islands are the islands of vision out to the side that some people with RP are fortunate to keep. For a while. So I have tunnel vision and a little peripheral and a diminishing right temporal island. Hopefully the rising ocean will lap gently at the edges. My temporal island is what keeps me wandering the streets without a cane. Mostly. Nothing is certain.
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Friday, March 25, 2005

Margs On The CitySearch Map 

Shared e-mail link of the day: CitySearch Perth - Settlers Tavern, Margaret River. No, I don't think it's weird that Margaret River is listed on a CitySearch site. Especially as it may have been a friend that placed it there.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Heart-Shaped Island In Need 

Recently I was chatting to someone about a trip to the Philippines on the QEII. Today I opened Oxfam Community Aid Abroad's Activist Newsletter (March 2005, Volume 2) to read about toxic waste left by the Marcopper mine on Marinduque Island in the Philippines.

Oxfam Community Aid Abroad believes that Canadian company Placer Dome, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has mining interests here in Western Australia (as well as in Tasmania and Queensland), should take responsibility and clean up the affected areas.

Please visit Oxfam Community Aid Abroad to read their article and consider writing to Placer Dome about their role and responsibiities on Marinduque Island.

More information about Placer Dome's interests in the Marcopper mine can be read at Ang Aking Pugad - Island of Marinduque. Oxfam Community Aid Abroad is working with other organisations including MiningWatch Canada.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Feeling Three Dimensional 

A friend of mine is studying the use of the Internet by people with disabilities. Last week I caught the bus out to Curtin University to catch up and while I was there was introduced to some people learning Cisco (networking stuff) through Curtin's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

This particular Cisco workshop was for people who are blind or vision impaired. The participants also act as testers for new assistive technologies being developed. To demonstrate what kind of work goes on, I was shown a device and program that allows concepts to be taught through touch rather than sight.

Strangely, I found myself moving a three dimensional dice on the screen using a device made by SensAble. The dice appeared on the screen along with a yellow dot much like a mouse pointer. Using the device I could feel the yellow ball moving over the dice and could 'grab' the dice and shift it. I could even feel the virtual weight of the dice - up to two kilograms! Very cool.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Group Guilt 

My family brought me the comics section of The West today. I don't usually read the comics. I like Zits and Beyond the Black Stump but the Phantom's long lost in his jungle of artwork.

A comic called Close To Home was labelled 'Book Club Guilt' and featured seven ladies sitting in a lounge room and mostly looking miserable. One of the ladies was thinking 'I've only read four pages!' and, for some reason, there was an arrow pointing to her head with 'Dee' written above it. Hmm. If my family would stop bringing me comics and keep their hands off my book group novels, maybe I'd have a chance to read them.

Not that I'll be experiencing book group guilt in April. I've already finished Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups (oh, for a man called Zebulon). I'm now onto Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl. Which will up my collection of blogger books from one to two. But now it's a collection and my purchase is justified.

And so on to writers group guilt. We meet for coffee at a local cafe on Tuesday. Let's see if I can come up with something other than 'oh, a bit of blogging' to discuss.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

In All Seriousness 

A new Australian magazine covering society, politics and the arts is to be published from early May. The magazine is to be called The Monthly. I don't think much of the name but I'm interested enough to sign up for a free copy. If you live in Australia and would like to do the same, visit The Monthly Free Issue Offer.

I read about the offer on Australian_Writers_Online, where I also discovered via Hal Spacejock that I am a Silver Nut.

Want to show you're nuts too?

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Gill's Blue Hair Day 

Gill with long hair dyed pink, iridescent blue and green

Gill's coloured her hair big time at work for the World's Greatest Shave - raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation. I love the blue. Gill says the texture is very witchy. Gill doesn't know that I haven't posted any pics of myself here yet. Ahem, better be coming soon, I guess.

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Augusta's Kings Park 

Trees, shrubs and kangaroo paw on Donovan St Augusta

Most Augusta residents are hoping that this piece of bushland, at the entrance to town, will not be developed into residential blocks. I'll post more photos taken on and around this land soon.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Blogging... Is Not A Dirty Word 

Consuela Headrick, opinion editor at San Diego State University's The Daily Aztec (Doing it daily since 1960, apparently) shows she can write a sensational opinion piece when she complains that weblogs are not much more than sensational opinion pieces ('Blogs infringe on true journalism,' 9 March 2005).

The problem with blogs, according to Ms Headrick, is that they are not written by trained journalists. Instead, they are written by "mere individual[s] with the need to unmask truth" and "regular, everyday Americans." Oh my gosh - I knew I shouldn't trust Americans.

But it gets better. Apparently I'm just one of many in a "sick, sad world of blogging." Excuse me while I slap myself for sharing ideas and information. Lucky I bothered to get that Grad. Dip. J. or my credibility would really suck. If you need me, I'll be hiding behind my computer screen (and my real name) until next week's Perth Blogger Meet Up in Freo.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Vibewire 

If you're an Australian between 15 and 30 years of age and enjoy writing and culture, you might like to contribute to Vibewire.net. If you're old like me, the fresh content, topical articles and reviews make Vibewire worth checking out. Thanks to savage joy for letting me know.
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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Jones Picture Theatre 

We drove past Jones Cinewest cinema on Albert Street in Busselton today. And it wasn't there. Where for my entire life has stood a picture theatre with candy bar I saw dirt. The cinema where I saw Crocodile Dundee, When Harry Met Sally and The Dog's Tale (got to love Footrot Flats) is gone. I nearly fell out of the car taking a second look. I hope they kept the big red cursive letter A from the top of the building.
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Monday, March 07, 2005

Opening Doors 

My most inept moment as a sighted guide occurred at West Leederville station. A woman with a white cane approached me and asked if I could help when the train arrived. When the train pulled in, I wasn't sure what she needed me to do. All I could think to do was tell her that the train was present (der Deanne, I think she could hear as much). She informed me that she needed to know where the doors were positioned.

Oh.

I told the lady whereabouts to board and wondered that I hadn't already thought of such an obvious impediment to catching a train. Quite apart from my insensitive blunder, what would I do in the future?

I lost track of the woman in the carriage and I worried that I should have helped her find a seat or to disembark. Thankfully, I'm a little more cluey about how to guide people now.

I thought about this incident today after reading about new directional tiles on San Francisco's BART platforms ('BART increases safety to aid blind and visually impaired riders', BART press release, 4 March 2005).

Perth's trains have audio announcements of the stops and each train's destination. They also have braille trails marking the edges of platforms. I've seen yellow markings on the platforms that let passengers using wheelchairs position themselves near the door before a train arrives but I haven't noticed any tactile indicators with the same purpose. Probably because I haven't been looking. I can see the doors, I just need to find the button that will open them. I have noticed that the doors don't always line up with the yellow markings. I'll check it out next visit (gotta do something while I wait!).

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SiteMeter Lady 

I'm wondering whether I should ditch my Web site, shift my Web site, change it all about or maybe just leave it as it is.

In the last few years I've received fewer e-mails from visitors. In addition, local organisations that aim to assist people with retinal degeneration now have Web sites of their own.

I'll be keeping my blog (this one, at least) regardless but I thought that if I shift my ISP-hosted site, it'd be handy to know how many people visit the blogs and how they rank. That way, I'll know if there's a possibility that people will find my currently well-ranked site in a new home via the blogs.

To help me decide what to do, I've added Sitemeter to my pages. I chose to go with an HTML rather than a JavaScript coded counter so that it hopefully won't affect people visiting using screen readers. The advantage of JavaScript counters is that they give information about how visitors arrived at my site. While that might be handy to know if I shift everything, I'm happy just to know if anyone's visiting in the first place. Hopefully I won't feel compelled to check my stats every five minutes.

If you have any hassles because of the counter, feel free to say so. Any suggestions regarding what to do with my site are welcome too.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Ghost of the Year 

Visited MusicAustralia after reading about it in ResearchBuzz ('Music in Australia,' 2 March 2005).

Searched for references to likely Australian musicians and with a few misgivings couldn't help clicking on a link to the Official Michael Hutchence Memorial Website. A bit freaky at first - especially when listening to the music chosen for the splash page. T'was all worth it when I discovered that the tracks from MaxQ can be listened to here. MaxQ is no longer available (how did I lose my tape?!) so this is probably as good as it gets.

Didn't realise that Michael Hutchence sang two songs called 'Tight' until today. How's that, a recurring theme.

I did enjoy listening to MaxQ again. I heard 'Rooms for the Memory' from the Dogs in Space soundtrack fairly recently while watching Rock Arena on rage with Gill. Or at least, I think I did, it was late.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Vote For Australian Films 

"Do you think the Australian film industry deserves greatly increased public and private investment?" Channel Nine's Sunday program's latest poll asks this question and so far 90% of voters have responded 'Yes'. The poll results don't say how many people have voted. The poll can be found in the right sidebar of last weekend's cover story, 'What's wrong with the Australian film industry?' (27 February 2005).

I read about this poll in an unexpected e-mail that arrived with the sender's resume attached. Which is a bit weird but you get that.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Slambook Message From Werribee Way 

Someone added to my Public Transport Slambook! In fact, Pete from Melbourne signed my Slambook. Nobody ever signs my Slambook, probably because nobody ever visits my public transport page and possibly because the Slambook site looks a little dubious. I don't know Pete from Melbourne and he didn't leave any contact details but I do know that he prefers to look out the window rather than look at other passengers and his favourite public transport ride is on the Werribee line. Thanks Pete!
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