Thursday, December 30, 2004

A bit of light in the gloom.

Mutterings continued.

From Planet Ark:

Where Are All The Dead Animals? Sri Lanka Asks

SRI LANKA: December 30, 2004

COLOMBO - Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned -- the worst tsunami in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.

Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 3 km (2 miles) inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka's biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards.

"The strange thing is we haven't recorded any dead animals," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit," he added. "I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening."

At least 40 tourists, including nine Japanese, were drowned.

The tsunami was triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, which sent waves up to 5-metres (15-feet) high crashing onto Sri Lanka's southern, eastern and northern seaboard, flooding whole towns and villages, destroying hotels and causing widespread destruction.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Work tomorrow.

Mutterings continued.

My boss is off for the next couple of weeks which means some catching up time for me. He started tidying up his office but didn't quite finish....

I braved the post Xmas crowds at Carousel this morning. I was waiting in line at 8am for the doors to open - the crowd went left to K Mart, I went right to Coles. Some time over the weekend the electricity to Coles' freezers and fridges went off and didn't come back on so the staff were working at throwing out thousands of $ worth of ruined food, washing the floors and trying to rid the appliances of that horrible 'door closed, power off' fridge smell. Very unpleasant.

I wandered into K Mart after the initial rush and bought Dad an iron. Exciting.

Then came home and did a bit of housework.

I had a nice afternoon with Leece and Rob yesterday. We watched Storyteller (The Three Ravens), Muppet Show and MST3K (Gunslinger with Beverly Garland). It was an el cheapo Roger Corman effort that had a very sympathetic strong female lead. And Dr Forrester made TV Frank's head explode. And then we had bbq sausages and onions and pickles.

There was a rather wonderful thunderstorm - hot and steamy air, lightning, thunder and then rain. Unfortunately the rain didn't get too far inland but it was nice while it lasted.

As mentioned below, Ashley is making plans to come to Oz in 2006. This is very exciting.


Mutterings continued.

This was nicked from Lee Battersby's blog.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

Arranged a funeral for a parent.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No and no, I gave up making NY resolutions a looooong time ago.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of the directors I PA for had a bub in October.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Mother

5. What countries did you visit?
England, Scotland, Wales.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Security from jumping every time the phone rings in case it's the hospital informing me that a parent has been taken ill.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
19 October, the day mum died.
25 October, her funeral. I think the 'why' is pretty evident.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Driving to and from Stratford to Portmeirion in a day and actually seeing something of The Village.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not spending enough time in The Village.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the usual - asthma and high blood pressure.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mother's

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George Bush/John Howard, it's a tie.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Into my trip OS.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I don't tend to get really, really, etc excited over much, I'm afraid. Finally picking Manfred up and driving him home was cool. As was learning that my mate Ashley plans to visit in 2006 (there! It's in my blog so it MUST happen!)

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Hmmm, dunno about this year. In 2000 it was Robbie William's Millenium (heard it all over the UK while driving around) and in 2002 it was Black Coffee's Black Coffee (it's the bit I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else but here, heard while driving from Middlesbrough to Huddersfield, that summed up my mood exactly. Mark Knopfler's Why Aye Man also summed up 2002 for me.)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Def. sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter?
'bout the same, sadly.
iii. richer or poorer?
Def. poorer!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Not travelling.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With the family.

21. Who did you meet for the first time?
Simon and Grant.

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Little Britain, Green Wing, Mythbusters.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
Going Postal.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
None really.

28. What did you want and get?
To see Derek Jacobi on stage.

29. What did you want and not get?
To see Paris again.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter 3. Last year it was RotK.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
47, spent with friends.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Pretty obvious really.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
What's a fashion concept?

34. What kept you sane?
Friends (NOT the tv series).

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
David Suchet's Hercule Poirot - I want his tussie mussie. Ahem.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The ALP supporting the government's stand on same sex marriages. Wrote to head office and told them I wasn't voting Labor in the forthcoming election because of it. Not that I ended up voting.....

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't meet new people, just tatty old ones, tee hee. Probably the friend of B and B owner in Stratford upon Avon.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
Never leave anything unsaid.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Nothing comes to mind that won't make me burst into tears.

So there you go.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Boxing Day

Mutterings continued.

Well, that's Christmas over and done with for another year. The shops will be gearing up to put the Easter eggs out.

The day at my brother's was nice. I picked Dad up and he had his first ride in Manfred. It was a hot, oppressively humid day and the air con certainly got a work out. Lots of thunder and lightning last night, it was also incredibly windy, but I'm not sure if there was any rain. Thundery showers and 35c forecast for today - not pleasant! Dad and I are going for a drive and a picnic along the coast today. I don't think we'll be getting out of the car.

And I'd like to call in on Steveg and Maureen later today. Tomorrow I'm visiting Leece and Rob and Tuesday it's SHOPPING! I have some gift vouchers that demand to be spent - I'm thinking car stuff for Manfred.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve

Mutterings continued.

Have a great Christmas everybody.

14:46 and I'm home already. The boss let me off early. I called into the Gull servo on Canning Hwy to get some petrol (91.5c/litre! Caltex is charging $1.03!!) and discovered that I'd parked on the wrong side of the bowser. I was sure the petrol tank was on my side of the car - it was in the UK!

I don't think the family is really looking forward to tomorrow as it will be the first Xmas without Mum. She loved Christmas. She would also be very annoyed if we sat around moping.

Checked the letterbox to find a postcard, some sales literature (aka junk mail) and a little parcel of goodies I'd ordered a few days ago. The receipt came with a $2 coin taped to it as they'd overcharged for postage. What a lovely honest little company they are! The goodies are going into a special parcel I'm doing up for a friend.

A very, very amusing interview with Alistair Sadgitt on the Prisoner Unmutual website.


AS: Ah yes. I'd intended to arrive in true Prisoner style.


AS: No, gassed and in the back of a hearse. Unfortunately, my Mum said I had to make do with three cups of Horlicks and a lift in my Uncle's ice cream van instead."

I've been watching bits and pieces of the cast commentary of RotK. Some great comments by Smeagol and Gollum. There are two easter eggs, both very funny. The second was done for the MTV Movie awards and involves Peter Jackson being interviewed by studio suits (one of them being Ben Stiller). They want him to turn LOTR into a 'quadrilogy' with the fourth movie assuming that the ring wasn't destroyed. PJ: "But it was." Suits: "But say it wasn't." "But it was." "But say it wasn't." "But it was." One of the films they suggested was a love story between Frodo and Sam.

Tonight I have a heap of presents to wrap. Seems a waste of time when the paper just gets ripped off and chucked away, dunnit?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

When I said I had done all of my Xmas shopping...revisted.

Mutterings continued.

Ok, TODAY I did the last of the Xmas pressie shopping. I wanted to get a plant for my sis in law and knew if I had bought it any earlier I would have killed it. Got a nice sconce for the patio that my brother is building. There's a lovely little nursery in South Perth that sells all sorts of goodies.

No mail at all in the letterbox today. Most odd. Not even last minute junk mail urging me to go out and spend tonight. As if!

I was showing the Fiesta brochure to Rob and he spotted a round thing on the front bumper in some of the photos. I hadn't noticed it on Manfred so I had a look this arvo and, sure enough, he's got one too. I've just had a look in the manual and it's the towing eye. Apparently there's one front and back. There's a screw in toggley thing that a tow rope is attached to. Cool, eh?

Now we know what happened to Beagle. It's been turned into a Dustbuster. " 'Something' cleaning Mars rovers.

AN unexplained phenomenon akin to a space-borne carwash has boosted the performance of one of the two US rovers probing the surface of Mars, New Scientist magazine said today.

It said something - or someone - had regularly cleaned layers of dust from the solar panels of the Mars Opportunity vehicle while it was closed down during the Martian night."

A visual history of spam (and virus) email Interesting....

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cool day Wednesday.

Mutterings continued.

Nice breeze wafting through the curtains.

We took a walk through the Zoo at lunch time to have a look at the various holes in the ground which promise to resolve into exciting new enclosures. The elephant pool is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE and will allow them to submerge themselves entirely.

I parked Manfred at the front of the office today and offered to take people on paid guided tours of him, however nobody took me up on it. Several did peer through the windows and made "Oooh, nice!" noises. I was asked what the size of the engine was; my response was a girly, "Huh?"

From The Telegraph:

"The next installment of Harry Potter mania will strike on July 16 - the date announced yesterday for the release of J K Rowling's sixth fantasy novel. Children may (or may not) be pleased to learn that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be "a bit shorter" than the last book, which weighed in at 768 pages."

Also from The Tele: "Spoof letter-writer Robin Cooper managed to take in everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the National Federation of Fish Fryers." I especially like the letter he wrote to "the National Association of Aerial Photographic Libraries, asking if it would like to see his collection of photographs of television aerials".

I heard on Sky UK News that a chap in England has spent the last 25 years aiming to be the best player of Galaxia, a game I understand nobody else plays anymore.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy now

Mutterings continued.

Called into Centre Ford after work and finally picked Manfred up. The dealer insisted on me taking it for a run around the block so he could point out the different bits and pieces. Then took Manfred for a run up to Dad's to show him off. Was it my imagination or did he get a lot of admiring looks. Ok, it's my imagination!

I was going to get some petrol on the way to Dad's but realised that I had no idea which side the petrol tank was on. The Fiesta I hired in the UK had the tank on the passenger side, ditto this one.

It looks as though Christmas day is going to be hot - 35c is forecast. Only 25c today and 24c forecast for tomorrow, which isn't too bad.

A very nice review of Ian McKellen's Widow Twankey in the
Guardian. "His Twankey, although resident in Peking, audibly hails from Wigan where she was a leading light in amdram and was used to giving her all to the student prince. But, appearing first in what looks like a pink and orange wigwam, she is also a decidedly frisky dame: as she cheerfully tells a visitor, "I've got something cheesy bubbling in my oven." "

Oooerr missus!

Monday, December 20, 2004

More sulking.

Mutterings continued.

Parked poor superannuated Freddie out in the street last night in preparation for Manfred taking over the car port. Caught the bus to work, was given a lift to the Credit Union, spent ages signing I don't know how many bits of paper, caught a cab to Centre Ford to be told that the car wasn't ready. Seems the cleaner had discovered a scratch on Manfred's bum and he's in getting it fixed. Manfred, not the cleaner.


They did give me a loaner, which is a new Ford Focus, bigger than the Fiesta and about $5000 dearer. It doesn't have power windows, however. The dealer who sold me the car kept apologising and said he would buy me a present to try to make it up to me. We'll see.

I took Freddie out to Dad tonight and caught the train and bus home. It's been a real day for public transport. I had a lovely bus driver on the way home - there were a couple of young Japanese girls on board and he was very worried that they didn't know where they were going. He got out of his seat at one point to ask them if they had an address. Seems they were ok; another Japanese woman who was sitting in the back of the bus came up and sorted things out.

As I was getting off, he explained that he once got caught in Paris and couldn't find anyone who spoke English, so he knew how intimidating it could be.

Parcel on the doorstep when I got home - the SE of LOTR:RotK has arrived.

I saw the first episode of a great looking series on the ABC last night - Carnivale. From the IMBD (SPOILER ALERT!!): "1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand."

Harper healed a lame little girl who lived on a farm; the following scene showed her running towards her house and all the crops in fields dying and turning black as she ran past.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Mutterings continued.

Nice sea breeze coming through the window, but. I've put a fan on the table to try and encourage more of it inside. I'd love to throw the window open but Milo's too quick an escape artist.

I've just come back from Dad's - he cooked us chilli con carne for lunch. Very nice. He hasn't been eating enough and has lost weight and has decided to get Meals on Wheels in. He reasons that he eats what other people cook for him and it might encourage him to eat more. A three course lunch for $4.50 sounds like a bargain to me!

There was a knock on the door about 10ish this morning and when I went to answer it I found a baby in a basket. No it wasn't, it was a parcel. My latest Ebay purchase had arrived - Art Deco cup, saucer, plate and creamer.

The Iinet news server is back however the majority of messages posted around the 15th - 17th have disappeared.

32c and humid tomorrow, just the kind of weather one likes to go trekking around town in. First to the credit union and then to car yard to, hopefully, pick up Manfred. I'd take a cab however I suspect they may be as rare as the proverbials, given that this is Xmas week and all the office workers will be deserting their posts for long Xmas lunches and taxiing home.

I saw unleaded petrol for 92.9c a litre this morning - this is flabbergasting as it was up to 1.13 a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Mutterings continued.

I went shopping this morning and escaped before all the really horrible families arrived and then spent an hour or so cleaning Freddie ready to give to Dad on Monday (provided I get Manfred, of course). I can't believe the stuff I've been carting around in the boot all these years. It's a good thing I've never had a flat tyre otherwise it would be very embarrassing having to toss it all out so the repairman could get to the spare. What? ME change the tyre?? I don't think so.

I've made Dad a member of the RAC in case anything goes wrong.

The Iinet news server has been stuffed for three days now. The last posting on iinet.netstatus advised that the technicians had worked out the problem and it should be fixed later that day. That was three days ago. There's nothing on the Iinet netstatus page and the email I sent yesterday to Support appears to have been ignored. Appalling customer service.

And now this. SHHH, or the Society for Hand Held Hushing. And this: The Museum of Online Museums. I've always wanted to visit the Icelandic Postcard Collection. Actually, some are pretty spectacular. The Gallery of Birth Control Packaging, on the other hand.....

The Museum of Coathangers is just plain wrong.

Friday, December 17, 2004


Mutterings continued.

Well, Manfred has been registered (with the amusing number plate 1BUS) but it was too late for the credit union to do up a cheque. So I'll have to pick him up on Monday. I'm thinking of changing his name to Einey. 1BUS = ein Bus in German. Einey for short. Einey was my favourite character in Cowboy Beebop. Maybe not. It's Friday again. Already. I'd forgotten to report on this. The chippie in Dunkeld in Scotland had a rather interesting menu board. One of the items that I was tempted to buy but just couldn't bring myself to do it was deep fried pizza. "The Mediterranean diet is penetrating into Scotland, "albeit in the form of deep-fried pizza," say Morrison and Pettigrew.

Pizza is one of several items that customers have asked shops to deep-fry, along with bananas, pineapple rings and creme eggs, a highly sweet confectionery." Urgh.

And speaking of chocolate: " A DAILY meal of seven ingredients including wine and chocolate could cut heart disease by 76 per cent, Australian researchers have found.

The diet comprising wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruit, vegetables, almonds and garlic, would also increase life expectancy by more than six years in men and five years in women." Yay!!!

<>On my Shrek2 DVD is a trailer for Lemony Snicket which looks interesting. Don't think The Guardian agrees. "It all stops and starts with those three novels joined end to end: three dodgy situations, three cliff-hangers, three opportunities for Carrey to dress up in wacky disguises and funny voices, while we are all supposed to howl with grateful laughter. Between the joins, the plot swings along in a reasonably lively way, but everything is strangely contrived and soulless."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Fingers crossed

Mutterings continued.

I've done the deed, signed on the dotted line and just have to get the cheque out of Statewest and Manfred Fiesta is mine!! I'm hoping to pick him up tomorrow; it depends on whether the car yard can get the paperwork/licensing done in time for Statewest to be able to process the paperwork. Otherwise it will be Monday. *sulk*

Ink Blue metallic paint, aircon, etc etc. I'm a little worried about the registration number - the plates are up to 1BU* and I'm a little concerned I'll end up with 1BUM.

I should be going to see Team America tonight but I'm tired and my shoulders hurt and I'm stressing about Dad so I don't think I'd be very good company.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

There are some records you don't wanna break

Mutterings continued.

And sweltering through the hottest December day in 30 years is one of them. 41.5c is a tad over the odds if you ask me. It's almost 7pm and it's still about 30c. Down to 20c at 4am tomorrow and then up to 30c again. Bleurgh.

Dad was in hospital but is now out again after having absolutely nothing done for or to him except a couple of blood tests. Hollywood Hospital forgot to send the taxi to pick him up yesterday; they forgot to give him his dinner last night and then forgot to give him his lunch today. The specialist who was supposed to being seeing him today, and who wanted him in hospital in a hurry, was working at Royal Perth Hospital and had no intention of going to Hollywood. Dad is royally pissed off and refusing to go back.

On a lighter note, looks as though I may have a car. My brother did some ringing around and found the model I want in the colour I want for $17,990. The base price is $15,990 plus $2000 for aircon plus lord knows how much for the licence, stamp duty, etc etc, plus $250 for metallic paint. I have to ring the dealer tomorrow and shore up the deal.

I caught the Derek Jacobi episode of Frasier last night. He must have had a ball hamming it up and chewing the scenery.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hug a pug!

Mutterings continued.

We had a lot of fun at the panto last night. More adults than kids but I think we all enjoyed ourselves. There was no Dame but Sinbad was played by a girl so that's alright. The Island of Lost Things in the Underworld, to where Sinbad was sent, was very amusing, as was the set, which featured such things as Ansett, odd socks and thongs, tv remotes, a certain blood sample of a certain legal person, Melbourne, the Titanic, Gilligan's Island, etc etc.

Leece and Rob's Rambling Review can be found Here.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Does a duck's quack echo?

Mutterings continued.

I think I may have mentioned "Mythbusters" before - SFX guys from San Francisco who attempt to determine the validity, or otherwise, of urban myths. Today's episode was very funny - two grown men trying to make two ducks, named Bob and Roy, quack on cue to determine if there is an echo. Turns out a duck's quack does echo, sort of.

A cooler day today, hurray! There was a nice westerly breeze coming through the lounge room window. And I nearly got blown away at the service station while trying to put petrol in Freddie.

The face in the sandwich phenomenon has got very silly. And funny.

I hope my friend Ash is getting credit for this idea. She reckoned that Lakeland should have a corral for husbands to sit in while their cardigan clad wives ooh and aah over the bake ware.

" M&S creches for men
11/12/2004 04:19

LONDON (Reuters) - Husbands fed up with their wives’ Christmas shopping frenzies will be able to watch football in creches set up specially for men, Marks and Spencer has announced.

The creches are equipped with everything to keep men entertained while their other halves are punishing the plastic. "The first day of our creche was very successful and there was a large demand from men ... and also from relieved women!" an M&S spokeswoman said on Thursday. "Men can enjoy a drink, watch a film or a football match or even play like children with remote-control quad bikes," she added. The creches -- which are for Christmas only -- opened on Thursday in M&S stores in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, the Metro Centre in Gateshead, Cardiff, Marble Arch in London and Meadowhall in Sheffield."

Meadowhall, BTW, is huge. Ash and I passed it enough times on our several attempts to get into stupid Sheffield. Stupid Sheffield. Stupid Park roundabout. Stupid tram tracks.

Off to the panto tonight - an excellent excuse to heckle the actors.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Real luxury!

Mutterings continued.

I had a phone call from the GG this morning to say that the air con will be delivered some time between 10.30 and 1.30, with the promise that the delivery person would give me half an hour's warning that they were on their way. Mobile rang at around 12ish - it was the delivery chappie advising he was in Kensington and headed my way. The half hour warning was actually 10 minutes. Good thing I live so close to work. The beast was left in its box in the kitchen awaiting mantling (the opposite of dismantling).

Got home about 4.15pm to a very warm flat, put the beast together and am surprised how quickly the place has cooled down. The outlet hose out the window isn't all that secure. Well, it would be secure if I didn't have an inquisitive cat who is always looking for ways to escape and has a tendency to throw himself against windows when he gets a fit of the mads. I think I'll be disconnecting it when I'm not running the air con. Not very efficient but at least I won't lose Milo out the window (has happened twice before. The first time he was gone for about 10 days.).

We get some ridiculous email at work, but this one I don't understand at all! "Do you covet to sense great future day ?

Our latest sight displays that it requires usually of only 2.9
drunkenness to effect a hang-over. But my pills
helps you avoid katzenjammers and waken sensitive immense from caput
to belly and everyplace additional."

Now, either they've got someone who speaks English doing their translating and taking the piss, or they have some very dodgy translating software.

I've remembered one more good thing about this time of year - ice cream. I could live on ice cream. And chicken. But not together.

I've been getting a lot of pain in my shoulders and down into my right (mousing) arm at work. HR organised for a physio to have a look at my workstation etc and it seems I'm doing a lot wrong. Resting my wrists on the desk for a start - apparently I'm supposed to keep them up off the desk. Easier said than done. My monitor's too high and I should move my mouse over to the left hand side for a change. I asked if I could have regular shoulder massages but I don't think the Zoo will come at that. Shame.

Exciting news from "Coming Soon" - thanks Rob! "Babylon 5 Movie Starts Filming in April

Source: Production Weekly
December 8, 2004

Steven Beck will direct a big screen adaptation of the popular sci-fi TV series Babylon 5. The movie, titled The Memory of Shadows, is intended for theatrical release and was written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski. Production Weekly reports that the project starts filming this April in the UK.

In "Shadows," the technology of the ancient and extinct Shadow race is being unleashed upon the galaxy by an unknown force, and Earthforce intelligence officer Diane Baker, whose brother was recently killed in a mysterious explosion, it out to find out who is behind the intergalactic conspiracy.

Joining her is Galen, a techno-mage who has been charged with keeping the technology out of the hands of those who would abuse it." Leece and I are demanding that G'Kar be included in the cast.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Mutterings continued.

My new air con is being delivered tomorrow. Yay! Of course, it's going to be cooler tomorrow than it has been the last couple of days but what the hey.

I had to go out to Cannington tonight to pay for the beast and so missed out on going to see Team America and having dins at Hans. Still, it's a good night for the telly - Morcambe and Wise special on Parkinson and Creature Comforts and Little Britain on the ABC.

Oh dear. " For some Americans, it is the ultimate humiliation, yet hundreds of US citizens preparing to holiday abroad are buying a travel kit that helps them pretend to be Canadian.

The kit, which a US company is selling for $US24.95 ($32), includes a T-shirt with a Canadian flag; Canadian stickers for suitcases; and even a quick reference guide titled How to Speak Canadian, Eh?

Oh dear, oh dear! "In news that will surprise few of the travellers who cram onto its creaking rail network every day, London Underground admitted that some of its spare parts were sourced from Internet auction site eBay.

The dot matrix passenger information system used by Tube Lines, the part-private consortium which manages three major lines on the subway system, is so outdated that the firm has been forced to find computer cards, chips and other obsolete parts on eBay, London's Evening Standard newspaper said.

Company officials said that there was nowhere else to turn as the equipment was so old."

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Another warm 'un.

Mutterings continued.

I've only ventured outside a couple of times today and I didn't like what I found out there. It's hot! I've just put the fan on and it feels very nice.

Another parcel from the UK from myself was delivered today. I think that's all of them now. They were all dated October 8 but some how one was split from the other two. Today's had all the Portmeirion goodies in it, so L and R and S and M - look for rattley stuff in your Xmas parcel. ;-)

I've just received an email from Sendit advising that my SE LOTR:RotK DVD has been shipped. I know I'll get it later than if I went into a shop tomorrow and bought it but I did get for 17 quid, which is about $40. And I see that Hellboy has now been released on DVD so I'll have to pick that up on Saturday. It's been an expensive month for disks.

An amusing website: Pretty Good Britain. Try the Pub Quiz, it's a hoot. And surprisingly accurate, especially the question about the raising of Tower Bridge.

From the Radio Times:

"The Goodies are going Down Under to appear in their first ever live stage show, 22 years after their TV series ended. Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie were coaxed into the reunion for Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival in March. But the plan is to then perform in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane too. The show promises insights, anecdotes, sketches and clips. Festival director John Pinder spent five months persuading the trio to do the show."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Hot day.

Mutterings continued.

Or so I've been told. I've been inside all day, didn't venture out until 4pm.

I did start a possblog for yesterday but managed to crash my computer and lost it all. Can't remember now what I was whittering on about. I think it had something to do with coming home to a lovely parcel from Oxfam, which took care of pressies for four people in one fell swoop.

And today there were two large envelopes I had sent to myself from the UK. I think I have another 2 to come. Lots of lovely postcards and my Don Carlos programme were in one. And calendars! My gods but I've bought myself some calendars.

Scary website time: Catprin: Tailors for Cats. It doesn't take an expert in animal behaviour to know what these cats are thinking to themselves.....

And a good site: MadSci Network. The Edible/Inedible Experiments page is a hoot - any experiment that starts with:

"How to do the experiment:
First, take a slice of cheese and pull on the edges. It should tear apart. Eat it. Get a new slice." is good science.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

When I said I've done all my Xmas shopping...

Mutterings continued.

I obviously didn't include the present I bought for one of my nieces today and other presents I have to buy for my sis-in-law just before Xmas so I don't kill them. Oh what a give away!

I watched some of the extras on the Harry Potter 3 DVD last night. There are some great interviews with the cast, including a very funny piece with David Thewlis and Gary Oldman. The interviews are conducted by Johnny Vaughan, a very talented Brit comedian, who is given a hand (only he ain't got any!) by the Shrunken Head from the Night Bus sequence (voiced again by Lenny Henry). Mr Vaughan asked the two actors what the other's animagus would be. David T said that Gary O would be some kind of bird. "What, a woman?" asks Mr Vaughan incredulously.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I like trains.

Mutterings continued.

Trains are quite my favourite form of public transport. If it were possible to get from Perth to London by train, provided there was a decent loo and a man with a trolley with coffee and unhealthy snacks, that's the way I'd go. I'd love to do the Orient Express (complete with murder and David Suchet as Poirot, but that's another story).

An article in the Guardian's Northener about the lousiness of train transport in the UK has sparked off this blog about choo-choos. When it works, the London Underground is great. You end up with a greatly distorted vision of what London actually looks like and how it's set out, but it's a good way of getting about. Above ground trains, however, make for very expensive travel. One way from London to Stratford, a journey of a couple of hours, costs 23 quid. That's about $55. A 15 minute trip on the Heathrow Express costs 13 quid, about $30.

I forgot to mention earlier that I bought a turntable from Dick Smith's this morning. I've attached it to the pc and have been playing and recording old records. I'd forgotten how nice Al Stewart's Year of the Cat is.

I also bought the latest Harry Potter DVD which I might look at later. I saw it about four times on the flight home from Paris, just not in any comprehensible order.

An expensive morning.

Mutterings continued.

But that's all the Xmas present shopping done. Yay!!! Well, I am waiting on stuff from OS and OE (Over East. Apparently there's a truck driver's strike which is slowing things down.) but the bulk of it is done. Unless the stuff from OE and OS doesn't arrive. Eeek.

Over on The Mausoleum Club we're playing Best and Worst TV of 2004. As someone put it, there isn't enough bandwidth to cope with the worst of tv - for me it's anything that the producers think has anything remotely to do with "reality", be it dancing, finding the next Pap, I mean Pop, Idol, and anything else that gives complete tossers their 15 minutes of 'fame'.

As for the best: Little Britain, Green Wing and New Tricks. A kid's show I caught in the UK was Shoebox Zoo. I only saw a couple of episodes but it looked lovely and got me in. Rik Mayall, Simon Callow, and Alan Cumming voice three of the characters.

Someone on asked how long people have been posting to that particular newsgroup. I did a Google on myself and am astounded at some of the things I found - the earliest posting for (ahem) Possum Bits I can find is June 1996 in I used to be known as the Gumboot Goddess on So there.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Another week closer to Xmas.

Mutterings continued.

Every year I say I'll be prepared for next Xmas and every year I kid myself. I think I lose a couple of months going overseas when I don't think about Xmas at all and it ends up being closer than I realise.

A nice package arrived from CafePress today – a Leece zebra mug for me and a Leece numbat mug for a friend. And yesterday I got a parcel of goodies for Xmas for L and R and S and M. But I’m not saying what, hahahaha!

A rather annoying situation with Angus and Robertson books. In their recent catalogue they have the updated Complete Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio scripts for $9.99. Bargain! I ordered it online as I don’t have an A and R nearby and it came to $16.49 with postage. Still a bargain as the book’s RRP is $45. Got a confirmation of the order and a confirmation number. Received an email the next day saying that they had cancelled my order because of a problem with my credit card details. I went to the site to try to order the book again and the online price is $45, not the $9.99 originally cited. Hmmmm. I’ve now written to them, quoting my confirmation number and wanting to know what the problem is. Not sure how I stand legally but they have accepted my purchase of the book at $9.99 and given a confirmation. We shall see.

More silliness from Little Britain:
Exterior: A shop with Toy Shop on the siding. A well dressed man walks up to a bicycle leaning against the shop, gets on and rides off. A bike courier dressed in cycle gear and helmet comes out of the shop, looks around for bike.
VO (Tom Baker): When Britons want to buy a toy they go to a toy shop. This isn’t a toy shop, it’s a real one.

Also last night, the very, very funny Aardman’s Creature Comforts. I loved the interviews with the lioness with the trembling microphone. And the cockroaches who worked in hotels.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Some lunch time blogging

Mutterings continued.

Had dinner at Cafe Relish in Scarborough Beach Road last night. It was Maureen and Leece's birthday (they get one each) on Monday and last night was the ritual exchange of presents and overeating. Huge portions, no room for dessert. I was eyeing the lemon meringue pie but just couldn't fit it in.

Today is breezy and rather grey. It sort of looks like rain but I suspect nothing will come of it. I could be wrong, of course.

To the nitwit who paid over $1000 for a bit of cereal that sort of, but doesn't really, look like ET, this from the Daily Telegraph:

"Box of cereal 'worth $35,000'
December 2, 2004

ONE man got $1035 for a single Nutri-Grain resembling ET, yet yesterday we discovered 34 ETs in a box of the cereal we bought for $6.25.

The Daily Telegraph would like to state that at no stage were our Nutri-Grains altered to resemble the aforementioned celebrities (John Howard and Rove McManus).

Actually, in the right light, they all kind of look a little bit like ET. "

Never underestimate the stupidity of the public and there's one born every minute.

I want one of those in-car navigation thingies that tell you where to go, however...

"Car tells driver to do freeway U-turn
From correspondents in Nancy
December 1, 2004

AN elderly motorist driving along a 130km/h expressway in eastern France caused a crash when he followed the advice of his onboard GPS computer - and made a U-turn.

Police said the hapless 78-year-old driver, who was not named, and the occupants of the vehicle he ran into escaped unharmed from the collision on Sunday, but it could have been much worse.

The man told officers his car GPS had told him to "make a U-turn immediately" as he drove along lost near the town of Nancy in search of a hotel."

Having been driven in France I would have thought this was perfectly normal behaviour. Mind you, my companion did do some rather bizarre things himself, such as driving through a pedestrian island. As we passed through the hand rails on the island I asked him if he was sure he knew where he was going. It wasn't until after we had parked the car and walked back the way we had come that we confirmed that it was indeed a pedestrian island he drove across. No wonder we got startled looks from the passersby.