Thursday, June 29, 2006

Overhearing Things 

Overheard in the fruit and veg section of the supermarket yesterday:
Do you have eggplants? Am I blind?

Overheard in the Murray St Mall yesterday:
Yeah, but they don't do genitalia...

Yesterday I bought new bathers (yay!) and two singlet tops on sale. I realised that I've become the sort of person who reads in cafes and at bus stops / train stations too. How did I get this relaxed? Once upon a time, I couldn't help looking around and listening in, now it seems I don't have to try.

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Urban Exploration and Stencil Blogs From Freo 

Casper from Fremantle's just started two blogs, one with pics of stencil art around Freo and the other on urban exploration in Freo. I like Freo and I like exploring, so I'll check back again soon. Good luck Casper!

The urban exploration blog includes a link to The Derelict Sensation, which: "invites contributions from anyone interested in derelict buildings or abandoned spaces." Now there's a reason to sign up for an online dating service - I'd love to say I have an interest in derelict buildings. Bushwalking be damned. Worth checking out if you're into stuff like this.

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Wednesday Night Meme 

CW shared this meme -

I AM: Leaving my blog till the second last possible minute (the last minute is reserved for the dishes tonight - oops, update: the dishes are done and I'm still blogging).

I SAID: In these shoes?

I WANT: All there is.

I WISH: Because wish is such a cool word.

I HATE: Ahem. I'm not actually allowed to say hate.

I MISS: Not riding my bike. (Yes, and the family!

I FEAR: Getting stuck.

I WONDER: If I'll ever be straightforward.

I REGRET: Being scared.

I AM NOT: Shy (see, I didn't think about this answer and I'm often shy - my first responses aren't always accurate).

I DANCE: Every day.

I SING: Because I can't help myself.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: In another world.

I MADE: My Web pages (I'm not very practical, so I really had to scratch around for something I made myself).

I WRITE: Or else I stop.

I CONFUSE: Myself.

I NEED: Love.

I SHOULD: Be decisive.

I START: And then I stop.

I FINISH: With a rush.

I BELIEVE: In now.

I KNOW: I'm much happier than I was ten years ago.

I CAN'T: Fly without a plane.

I SEE: Differently.

I BLOG: Because I love the idea.

I READ: Slowly and because I can.

I AM AROUSED BY: Early evening traffic.

IT PISSES ME OFF: That people shit on each other to get what they want.

I FIND: Pleasure in very small things.

I LIKE: The beach, the night, to laugh.

I LOVE: My family and friends.

I TAG: Megan and anyone else who wants to play. You're it.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Random Trouser Suits 

Hey-er. Judith's in town, so we caught up with Gill on Saturday night to see Caterpillar Wish in Freo. Lots of dialogue, so I could follow easily. I didn't even feel embarrassed asking Gill afterwards about the photos I hadn't seen in the girl's photo album. Yet to find a decent friand. Gill came back for the last of the Tim Tams I bought for Scott's visit. The birthday lunch in Belmont went well, I'm surprised how comfortable Sharlini looked in the arms of almost strangers and I noticed quite a few guys looking totally at home with her too. Of course, when it came to my turn, she wanted to lie flat and look over her head backwards. Not unhappy, just suddenly less conventional.

On Sunday I went on a mission to buy a smoke detector (which I'm still not sure where or how to install without using screws), a door mat, a cheap brush and shovel for outside, and some gardening gloves. Why do ladies gardening gloves come in light colours with flowers on them? I want flowers in my pots, not flowers on my gloves.

I've popped in to see a friend in hospital a couple of times too. Everyone at Charlie's is friendly and ready to offer directions. Actually, the lady in Rockmans is friendly too (she recognised me) and so are the transit guards on the trains, so maybe it's a friendly time of year. A lady at my bus stop said she'd worn a trouser suit, even though she usually wore jeans on weekends, because she didn't want to look out of place at a lunch do in the city on Saturday. A guy who's just moved into our flats said he liked my hair, do you do something to it, or does it just come out like that? No, it just comes out like this. I'm too friendly by far sometimes.

Wednesday was a schmozzle, with the exception of Blogger meetup, which somehow put a stop to my evil mood. I met Matt from Abstract Gourmet, who told me about his Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce recipe, Jimmy (Rachel's brother) who is involved in a business directory called Laton Industries, Viveca, who is a life coach, Tama from Ponderance, and Kay's friend Dave. CW from Ruminations came along, and so did BrownWren from WA Newshound, Bret and Nic. So it was all good. Ooops: After logging off I remembered that I met Simone from Enjoy Perth! too.

So this mixed up blog entry about my week shows that I'm still mixed up about why I bother to blog. Maybe it's enough that Janet has a way to let me know she's still in IRC and ready for a chat? :-)

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blogging and Talking About It 

I'm up so late again tonight (Tuesday night) that I have to say Perth Blogger Meetup is on tonight (Wednesday night). But it is, and I'm planning to go.
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Writing and Talking About It 

Elizabeth Bezant from Writing to Inspire is the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Society of Women Writers, WA tomorrow morning. I've attended two of Elizabeth's free workshops at the Gosnells Knowledge Centre, one on mistakes beginning writers should avoid and another on self-publishing. A third workshop will be held in Gosnells next Wednesday from 10am-11.30am on finding the time to write. I suspect most people who struggle to find the time might not have the time to attend. And then there's me.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Shade of Reality 

Even on cloudy days I often wear my sunnies. Even indoors, if I'm facing a window. I always hope noone will think me rude, or assume that I have bloodshot or bruised eyes to hide.

Of all the possible awkwardness, 'A Little Needling From Bush, and Then a Call of Regret' (The New York Times, 16 June 2006) isn't something I'd expect. Peter Wallsten, on the other hand, works for the LA Times and wore his sunglasses to a televised press briefing given by President Bush. Wallsten's sight is affected by Stargardt's Disease, a retinal condition affecting the macula. Bush asked the reporter,


"Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"

Mr. Wallsten offered to take them off, but the president said, "I'm interested in the shade look, seriously," and Mr. Wallsten did not.


The New York Times article doesn't mention it, but Bush also pointed out, "for the viewers, there's no sun."

Lol. From this report, I don't think Wallston is too phased, although perhaps surprised to receive a call on his mobile from the president.

If it were me, I'd be having one of those 'why can't life be normal?' moments but then, so long as you're comfortable, why shouldn't it be different?

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Ghostly Writing Competition 

My visits to Edit Zone. are infrequent at best. Suddenly the chat times clash with outside activities but I hope to get back into it soon. However, I did spot a member's post about her Tudor England Ghost Story Contest. Previous winning stories are available online too.
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Under One Sun 

Jonathan Davis is a 25-year-old American law student who is spending his summer working in the African nation of Liberia. By fluke I saw his blog title Liberian Journal in the recently updated list at Blogger and thought I'd check it out. Davis is staying in Monrovia, on the Atlantic Ocean, in a compound where the power is only on from about 6pm to 8am but during that time they have access to wireless Internet. A summer of beaches, big spiders and peacekeeping forces.

Meanwhile, Tim's excited about the possibility of a trip to South America. As a result, I've learnt a) that South American Explorers is a non-profit organisation that offers information and services to independent travellers, and b) that the unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Mould Free 

There's no exhaust fan here, so it didn't take long for mould to appear on my bathroom ceiling. The bathroom doesn't get too damp and I'm told the shower is the best place to hang clothes to dry. Weird. Usually I notice jobs to do, like, say, cleaning off mould, and feel guilty and think I must do that, but I'll have to think about it. Not anymore. I noticed it, did not feel guilt, waited till it was worth removing and then got up there today with the Orange Power and voila! it's gone. Erin painted a blue little table that my bamboo plant sits on and I stood on that to reach. Hardly took any time at all, hardly worth blogging... proof that guilt and overthinking are a waste of time. :-)
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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Her Transition to Recognition 

Megan has a blog! The Apple Isle Chronicles. Her big news is that Jenny Morris is playing at the Swansea Bark Mill Tavern next Saturday night. All went well with Tim Freedman and Co's visit and I hope lots of Taswegians get out there and see some of the bands playing in Swansea. I wish I lived a little closer but I'll be visiting for Christmas.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

An Afternoon at Belmont 

A woman approached me just as I went to pet a pane of glass today. Behind the glass, two puppies came over for some attention and I couldn't resist showing them some. The woman said she'd picked up a Jack Russell Red Kelpie cross, with Corgi ears, at the RSPCA in Malaga. For free! Excellent! I said before we both grinned and went our separate ways. I hope the pet shop owners didn't hear us. I'm sure they love people crowing about their charity in picking up pets for free.

A friend is celebrating his birthday soon at Han's Cafe in the Reading's Cinema complex, and so I found myself doing a recce of the Belmont shops. At lunch time I was standing outside the cinemas and noticed that Griff's Restaurant next door advertises a steak, chips and gravy meal. Mmm, I haven't eaten red meat in a fortnight and I'm not vegetarian. I still haven't eaten any because the steak, chips and gravy meal is on the kid's menu. D'oh. So I ate bruschetta and chicken parmigiana and drank a coffee instead. Fact: A jug of pina colada costs $26.

The Sunday Times and Belmont Forum sponsored a photography competition for West Australian secondary students and the works are on display at the shopping centre. Sunlight through trees, kids at the beach with their arms outstretched, kids in the desert, old cars on a dune, grass trees and forest represented what it means to be West Australian. I always look out for work from country students (hey, someone has to do it) and I noticed a few from Manji and Broome, one each from Margs, Gero and Fitzroy Crossing and quite a few from Luurnpa Catholic School, which I now know is somewhere in the vicinity of Halls Creek. Who says a shopping trip can't be educational? The bilingual dingo wouldn't have missed out on his steak and gravy.


On the way to the cinemas, I passed A&R but nothing jumped out at me. On my second pass, I went a bit mental at the novels-for-$4.99-or-five-for-$20 sales bin. Damn bookshops. Once I found two novels, I had to buy five. They are:



I'd like to enter the Scarlet Stiletto Award competition this year, so I'm hoping all this crime reading will be beneficial.

Interesting that each author has a Web site that ranks number one at Google when searching for his or her name. Maybe that's something would-be authors should check before deciding if they need a pseudonym and, if so, what it should be?

At the bus stop I started chatting to a lady by the timetable sign. We exchanged pleasantries about the fine weather, how it's lovely in the sun and cold in the shadows. Then she commented on how the prices go up so much from year to year. Case in point: haemorrhoid cream. Specifically: Rectinol. Up from $12 last September to $16.

So that was Belmont and I'll be back next weekend!

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Almost There 

Mum sent me a scarf from South Australia and it arrived today. A thin blue woollen scarf that looks great and fills the space between my hair and my shoulders. Tonight they're sleeping on the Spirit of Tasmania and tomorrow morning they'll almost be home.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Community Writers Australia 

A few weeks back I bought a Writers Diary from Flat Chat Press in Melbourne (my first Internet purchase and half-price due to the time of year!). Today I opened it up and read about the Australian Community Writers. The group started in regional Victoria, in the hope that regional writers might gain access to the types of writing resources available in Melbourne. The group's expanded and now has members Australia-wide. The site includes articles about writing and details of events.
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Googlification 

Blogger's showing a graphic that reads 'Visual Verification' where the wavy letters used for word verification should be. I thought I'd sneak around it by using Writely. Now I'm here I notice that Writely is now part of Google and won't be accepting new registrations until it's swapped to Google's systems. Ooh, can't wait. Ahhh, Blogger's word verification is working again. I can stop complaining before someone suggests I use WordPress.

Postscript: Writely couldn't publish to my blog. The error message included the suggestion that I have my blog reviewed. After carefully typing out the address given (it couldn't be selected and copied), I received an error message from Blogger. They apologise for the inconvenience and they have engineers working on it.

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Off The Map 

ZoomIn is an Australian street map site that I discovered after visiting Enjoy Perth!. Enjoy Perth saves me buying the papers in search of interesting stuff to do. I like ZoomIn too, it gives you the option of commenting and joining groups that comment on everything from bicycle parking to waste disposal. I noticed a ZoomIn group for bloggers started only yesterday by MNLY: The Manly Blog. I'd like it just a bit more if it included traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. When I'm not familiar with an area, it's good to know where I can safely cross the roads. I've now added links to both sites in my Reference section to the right.

I Googled for 'ZoomIn Street Maps Australia' tonight and for some reason the New Zealand version of ZoomIn ranks first - followed by four other links - before the link to the Australian site. If I type the same search into Google Australia, it doesn't even rank in the first ten sixty? Surely I've missed it. I've checked again... till the eightieth returned site, but still no sign of ZoomIn. If I narrow the search to Australian sites, ZoomIn comes in at number 18. Maps giving the location of Medicare offices rank higher.

If Google doesn't want to list a competitor to Google Maps, why doesn't Google Maps show up? Even if I remove the reference to ZoomIn, Google Maps doesn't show up in the search returns. What am I missing?

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Monday, June 12, 2006

A Writers Diary for the Financial Year 

The Kapunda Writers in South Australia have produced a writer's diary for the next financial year. For more information about The Writers' Diary, visit http://www.irishcastles.net/html/writers_diary.html or http://hometown.aol.com/thewritersdiary/b.html. The second address gives more information about the group but you're able to order or make enquiries through both.
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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sandals 

Today I wore sandals and shorts for the second day in a row. For someone who feels weird without her boots on, I love wearing sandals. I like wearing them, and I like carrying them in my hand as I walk barefoot on the beach and most of the way home. I don't think I've recovered from going to high school and discovering we had to wear brown lace-up shoes and brown anklet socks all year round. I feel like a twelve-year-old with her own place.
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Poetic Freedom 

While I wandered about Albany at the Sprung Writers Festival last year, others must have attended a poetry festival in Perth. I didn't know poetry and festivities went together but apparently they do at WA Poets Inc and the WA Spring Poetry Festival 2006. Maybe I didn't know cos I'm such a crap poet. To prove this point:

To write a blog.
Can be a slog.
For people you don't know.

From out of the fog.
Come stories 'bout the dog.
But it's fun all the same, don't you know.

Ahem. The dog's well, by the way. He's having adventures on his way from WA to Tasmania. Lucky... dog.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dressed 

My birthday's in February and this year I received a $50 voucher from Rockmans. The gift came as a surprise and I've been carrying the voucher around for ages. My first visit or two turned up not much so I wandered in yesterday during the sales. I now have a pair of pants and two tops. So strange to go shopping, buy clothes and not to have spent any money.

I did plan to spend money. I even bought the Sunday Times for the sales brochure Nanna and Pop told me about. The headline 'Catch ISPs with pants down' caught my eye. Netserv have only removed reference to their 2004 footy tipping comp in the last few months, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to catch an ISP half-dressed.

The headline referred to Liam Bartlett's column, in which he argued that the government should put in place a national filtering system so that children aren't exposed to Internet pornography. The government says that such a system is possible but will only knock out 75% of pornography. Bartlett says that:

"Any sane internet user will argue that based on what's around right now, 75 per cent prevention rate sounds amazingly effective."

He later says that we can't rely on our own software to do the filtering, partly because, "PC-based filters do not always work."

I'd say, considering what's out there, some sane internet users might think they're amazingly effective. But then I didn't realise you needed "a working knowledge of English" to use Google.

Maybe I'm just cross because Bartlett suggests Stevie Wonder doesn't have good investigative skills... I don't think he meant because he's a musician. If I was better able to investigate, I'd have noticed the bikini-clad woman draped over the Google logo - used to draw attention to the column - well before now.

On the train home from the city, two men dressed in black sat across from me. They started talking about Liam Bartlett and one guy in particular reckoned the ABC lost Bartlett 110 000 country listeners when they cut the hours his show aired in regional areas.

A young guy with a shock of black hair and an instrument case sat next to them and opposite me. He talked into his mobile like his mates sat across a comfy lounge from him, using noises that must mean something to his friends but which startled me at first.

When the men in black alighted at Subi, the most outspoken of the two turned to the mobile muso and told him that he shouts when he's on the phone. Yep, and you listen to Liam Bartlett.

And I have cheap new pants! Thanks to the gift-giver!

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Missing in Deepspace (.org) 

I connected to chat tonight, ready to get the goss from Janet and Tim, and hoping to ask Tim about whatever's eating my geranium. The geranium leaves look like they've been nibbled on by snails, and there's silvery stuff on the leaves (much like snail trails...), so maybe I don't need to ask Tim. Which is just as well, because for an hour and a half I waited, all by myself. Then I wondered about netsplit and left myself connected in mIRC and came in again through Opera. Hmm, still only one of me. So I reconnected in mIRC and then there were two. So, it's very possible that Tim and/or Janet (maybe even Gina) came in tonight and I didn't get to say hello. D'oh. Janet, if you're reading this, I hope you had a good one. Catchya next week!
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Monday, June 05, 2006

Calm and Contented 

Sometimes I walk to the beach in the early evening, just as the sun's going down. IGA is open till 8, so if I need anything I can pop in before I walk home. A red double decker bus crossed the railway bridge as I came long the other night, and it's not uncommon for helicopters to pass overhead, following the coast. Late one night a chopper rattled the windows as it passed and a searchlight lit up the place. Utes with vocal drivers and taxis with vocal passengers aren't uncommon.

Tonight I needed eucalyptus oil. Usually I faff around for ages feeling silly, trying to find products and then struggling to find what I need to know on the packaging. Tonight wasn't very much different except that I didn't bother feeling messy and I asked where to find the eucalyptus oil. Cold Chisel's 'Flame Trees' played on the radio as I came out. I don't remember knowing this song, but I knew it when the children's choir sang it in Little Fish. Sometimes you don't know what makes you happy.

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Well Heeled 

Blue Heelers didn't let me down. An absolute pearler. :-) A near death, a death by natural causes, a death by blunt instrument - what more could you want? The Boss toilet papered a statue of Colonel Thomas (I'd never heard of him before) and Adam Cooper rocked up unshaven and murdered a bloke. No mention of Flat Gully Rd but Tom did offer to take a dying woman to watch the sunset at Lake Widjeri. There'd've been an exodus of criminals from Mt Thomas if the cop shop'd closed, so it's lucky Tom could tell Inspector Falcon-Price to stick his suspension up his jumper.

Just so you know, I'm not the only person blogging this. Mick appeared as a choirboy in an episode eleven years ago and Obsessed Teen credits Blue Heelers with bringing her and her best friend together in high school. Ben is kinda upset he missed it and wants to know if anyone taped it and can upload it to the net?

According to Wikipedia's Blue Heelers entry, Ben could wait until August 10 and buy it on DVD. I won't be buying DVDs or watching repeats but I will be looking out for new Australian drama.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Settling in on Saturday 

Ooh, it's not much of a Saturday night when Blue Heelers stands you up. The movie-length final episode screens on Sunday night.

I spent my Saturday afternoon cleaning out the Kitchen Cupboards. When I first prepared to do this, I swept them out and discovered mouse poo and poison. So I left them till I'd bought disposable gloves and cloths I could ditch and Domestos. I've copped some flack about wanting to clean with Domestos, or anything that isn't vinegar and lemon, so I've compromised and used Orange Power. And maybe some Domestos. Ick.

The beach called when I finished, even in the dark. Lucky for me, the beach is lit up at night. The sand is so white! I feel a bit of a git at the beach in my Blunnies, so I took them off and let my feet get wet. My jeans got wet too and then I saw a neighbour in the supermarket on the way home. I hope he guessed I'd been at the beach and hadn't stuck one leg in the toilet. I said I was settling in well.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Dancing, Cake and Car Chases 

Caelan's class danced to Everybody Needs Somebody and Shake Your Tail Feather today. They wore sunglasses and they did the monkey. Gill is one of the class liaisons, so we ate cake and did the dishes.

In preparation (such dedication), Gill bought The Blues Brothers on DVD. [Hidey, hidey, hidey hi. Hidey, hidey, hidey hi. Whooooaaaa - ye-eah...] Last night we could pick a musical highlight, watch the dancing and singing (or the car chase through the shopping mall - a musical highlight Caelan watched often and with particular interest) and then skip on before the age-inappropriate stuff. Damn Illinois nazis. Caelan thinks Jake might have learnt to swear in jail.

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