Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Rainy Day? We'll See.

Mutterings continued.

The current radar picture looks very interesting at the moment. Looks like Tooday and Gingin are getting some nice downpours.

I went shopping this morning and bought the usual milk, cat food, meat, shiny things. This week's shiny thing was a battery charger. I gave something for the clerk to think about at DSE - I bought a charger thingie on special for $45, plus four batteries for $20, making a total of $65. Their charger + batteries pack was $70. The clerk looked at the prices, had a think, and realised buying them separately made more sense.

It's quite a speedy little charger - took about an hour to charge four brand new batteries from flat. And it's small and light enough to take travelling. And it takes AAA and AA batteries.

Well, sitting here won't make the steak and kidney pie! I've got onions to chop, spuds to peel, etc.

An example of Laws 3 and 16 Posted by Hello

Cat Physics

Mutterings continued.

Thanks to Flippy for this:
Cat Physics

  1. Law of Cat Inertia
    A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.
  2. Law of Cat Motion
    A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.
  3. Law of Cat Magnetism
    All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.
  4. Law of Cat Thermodynamics
    Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.
  5. Law of Cat Stretching
    A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.
  6. Law of Cat Sleeping
    All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved as is possible for the cat.
  7. Law of Cat Elongation
    A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.
  8. Law of Cat Acceleration
    A cat will accelerate at a constant rate, until he gets good and ready to stop.
  9. Law of Dinner Table Attendance
    Cats must attend all meals when anything good is served.
  10. Law of Rug Configuration
    No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.
  11. Law of Obedience Resistance
    A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.
  12. First Law of Energy Conservation
    Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.
  13. Second Law of Energy Conservation
    Cats also know that energy can only be stored by a lot of napping.
  14. Law of Refrigerator Observation
    If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.
  15. Law of Electric Blanket Attraction
    Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.
  16. Law of Random Comfort Seeking
    A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.
  17. Law of Bag / Box Occupancy
    All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.
  18. Law of Cat Embarrassment
    A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.
  19. Law of Milk Consumption
    A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.
  20. Law of Furniture Replacement
    A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.
  21. Law of Cat Landing
    A cat will always land in the softest place possible.
  22. Law of Fluid Displacement
    A cat immersed in milk will displace her own volume, minus the amount of milk consumed.
  23. Law of Cat Disinterest
    A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.
  24. Law of Pill Rejection
    Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.
  25. Law of Cat Composition
    A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.
  26. Law of Cat Washing
    A cat will wash itself at any time which is appropiate, which includes especially the moment after something has been jumped and escaped.
  27. Law of Cat Mass
    The mass of a cat is inversely proportional to its desire to be picked up.
  28. Law of Concentration of Mass
    A cat's mass increases in direct proportion to the comfort of the lap she occupies.
  29. Law of Cat Gravitation
    A cat's gravitational pull (i.e. weight) will vary upward in direct proportion to the desire of the human to move the cat.
  30. Law of Selective Listening
    Although a cat can hear a can of tuna being opened a mile away, she can't hear a simple command three feet away.
  31. Law of Equidistant Separation
    All cats in a given room will locate at points equidistant from each other, and equidistant from the center of the room.
  32. Law of Cat Invisibility
    Cats think that if they can't see you, then you can't see them.
  33. Law of Space-time Continuum
    Given enough time, a cat will land in just about any space.
  34. Law of Cat Probability (Uncertainty Principle)
    It is not possible to predict where a cat actually is, only the probability of where she might be.
  35. Law of Cat Obedience
    As yet undiscovered.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Day at the end of the (short) Working Week

Mutterings continued.

Looks like rain, but we've been promised it all week.

Rather nice day today. Called by the baboons to see the new bub - we only saw a little bit of black being cuddled by mum, so we assumed it was the young 'un. I had to interview one of the keepers for the magazine today at the echidna enclosure. The critters were all tucked up in their burrows (they are nocturnal), though Blue woke up, stuck her snout up, had a sniff and went back to sleep. Very cute.

L and R went to see HH last night and enjoyed it very much, if their reviews are anything to go by.

I hadn't called by for a while and have spent a bit of time catching up. There are some very funny things posted. The one for today is especially good. And this one.

It's my turn to cook tomorrow night and I think steak and kidney pie is on the menu.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Day of Bits and Pieces

Mutterings continued.

Did a bit of the magazine, finished off the Power Point thingie, did some updates on the website, attempted a bit of filing. And had lunch with Kim - sate chicken and rice. Mmm. And late in the afternoon I discovered I'd been putting the wrong date on everything.

TUS are off to HHGTTG, Glod Class, tonight. I had an appointment with the doctor. I'm still unsure as to whether I really want to see the film. I'll wait for L and R's review, I think. I was introduced to HH by a friend I was very close to. We were both Adams addicts, he gave me the radio tapes, I gave him a Don't Panic towel for his 42nd birthday. We drifted apart and in '93 I discovered he had died a couple of years before. It stunned me that I didn't know and I felt I should have. So, the original HH is very, very important to me and the thought of a glossy Hollywood treatment worries me.

On a happier note: The Cats' Bill of Rights

Humans shall make no law respecting an establishment of boundaries or prohibiting the free exercise therein, or abridging the freedom of access, or the right to peaceful assembly. In other words: The cat is entitled to go outside anytime she/he wants.

A well-carried provisional chamber, being necessary to the fulfillment of a feline's whims, shall not be infringed. In other words: The cat is entitled to EAT anytime s/he wants.

The right of the feline to be secure in their domain, and effects, against unreasonable discomposure, shall not be violated. In other words: The cat is entitled to SLEEP anytime s/he wants.

Humans shall issue no warrants or decrees or edicts as prescribed to the demarcation of possessions or property which are in direct conflict with right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of feline affirmation. In other words: The cat is entitled to sleep ANYWHERE s/he wants.

The feline shall be immune to all criminal accusations, indictments, and complaints. The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and impartial dismissal of any and all charges provided said feline's compulsory right to obtain any or all witnesses, including character witnesses, are obtained in his favor. In other words: Cats can do anything they want as long as they're cute.

Neither serfdom, vassalage, or involuntary servitude will be tolerated, except by said cats in proprietorship of their humans. In other words: What I say goes. (And I can sleep on your face...)

No Canis familiaris shall, in time of peace or at any other time, be quartered in any dwelling without the consent of the potentate, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by sovereign. In other words: No dogs in the house without my permission.

The right of the feline to be protected against unreasonable search and seizures shall not be breached or infringed upon at any time or any place. In other words: Don't disturb me when I am sleeping in a drawer.
Author Unknown

The doctor's appointment went well - my blood pressure was good (130/82), my resting pulse rate of 47 is perfectly normal (and it was up to 60 at the doc's, which is really normal. Apparently his RPR is also very low and drops to about 30 when he sleeps), my heart palpitations are nothing much to worry about, unless I worry about them (the occasional odd ectopic beat is probably down to stress and too much caffeine. "Too much" being defined as more than three cups of tea, coffee or chocolate a day), and I've stocked up on more scrips for sleeping pills and asthma medication.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Day Spent with Power Point

Mutterings continued.

I've been creating a PP presentation for the boss for the last couple of days. I'm having fun tracking down obscure photos.

I got the latest Foxtel magazine yesterday and was thrilled to see that Green Wing commences in June. Yay!

Grumpy Old Men was very funny last night - they grumped on about food, phones, banks, and all the other daily irritations in life.

I'm not going to Retro's tonight; I'm rather tired, my eyes hurt and I don't think I can face the Freeway traffic. And here's me with a lovely new Leece-designed cushion that I won't be able to show off. Bwahaha! Leece did suggest that I just send the cushion but I don't think its feet will reach the pedals. Come to think of it, I don't think cushions have feet...

The trailer for Serenity has gone up at It looks good. "It's worse than you know." "It usually is."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Day for Marveling at Critters

Mutterings continued.

Caroline and I took a stroll at lunch time and spent some time watching the lions, baboons and painted dogs. There's an enrichment device in the lion enclosure which has a very hard rubber ball and mat hanging from a pole. One of the females was having a wonderful time hitting it back and forth and hanging off it. Very kittenish behaviour.

Taye the bub baboon was showing off again. He is also very kittenish and, like kittens, sometimes can't seem to control his back legs. At one stage he was standing on his hands. He also does a damn good impression of Spider Man by crawling across vertical rock faces.

The letterbox was full of junk mail today - cattledogs for jewellery stores, department stores and local restaurants. I wonder if Mother's Day is coming?? And I got a letter from Nick in Huddersfield (which is in West Yorkshire - close to Manchester but far enough away to still be Yorkshire and NOT Lancashire). Hello Nick, I shall write back. I shall. I shall write back.

YKYHBWIAZFTLW* you read an article heading in New Scientist "Whatever Happened to AI" and you immediately think of Artificial Insemination (and say to yourself, that should be Assisted Reproduction, not AI).

I've received an email from The National Theatre advertising one of their productions and I think it could have been worded a little better. It's for the Vagina Monologues:


Cast includes:
Tues 5 April-Sat 14 May: Jenny Eclair
Tues 5-Sat 30 April: Diane Parish (Holby City, The Bill)
Mon 18-Sat 30 April: Alison Newman (Hazel in Footballers Wives)
Mon 2-Sat 7 May: Rula Lenska (Rock Follies, EastEnders)
Mon 2-Sat 14 May: Heather Small (M People)
Mon 9-Sat 14 May: Christine Hamilton

I wonder which three are amazing and do they consider the others to be rather ordinary...

On Mythbusters last night Jamie and Adam revisited some of their previous busting, including the chicken gun. They concluded in a previous episode that it doesn't matter if the chicken is frozen or thawed, the body will impact with the same velocity and cause the same amount of damage. My knowledge of ballistics is nill and my grasp of physics on a par with that of a stick insect's, however I would have thought that a frozen chicken would cause more damage being more solid. It took the guys four different experiments but they finally had to conclude that, yes, a frozen chicken does more damage to panes of glass when fired from a canon than a thawed one.

Eek! I've just remembered Grumpy Old Men is on tonight.

*You Know You Have Been Working in a Zoo for Too Long When...

Well, what about here then... Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cockatoos, or perhaps not... Posted by Hello

A Day Spent Inside

Mutterings continued.

Public Hol today and I spent it with a load of mud on my head. I decided to henna my hair and natural henna is rather messy stuff. I looked like something that had crawled out of the jungle. Or a mud wrestler. I spent the day cleaning up, doing dishes and transferring more tapes to disk - more Poirots and a heap of David Troughtons.

Last night was fun; we had a bbq on the verandah (mmmm....sausages..), BSG (a very good ep), Stargate:Atlantis (the first of a two-parter and Rob doesn't have the second episode yet. Eeek!) and a funny, funny MST3K, Laserblast. What was Roddy McDowall thinking?? Lots of wonderful cheesy references to Star Trek and a brilliant 2001 ending. Here is Mystie's own review. The best bits, apart from the 2001 references? Mike Nelson as Captain Janeway and the turtle aliens in the movie. On the downside, it was Trace "Dr Forrester" Beaulieus' last appearance. First Frank, now Dr F.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunny Sunday Day

Mutterings continued.

Feels a little warmer than the 21c predicted, but it's rather nice.

We didn't end up going to Yanchep for lunch, we went to my brother's place instead. Good thing too as he had a visit from a huge flock of white-tailed black cockatoos. My car ended up covered in gum blossom but I didn't care. I think the rest of the family thought I was peculiar because I spent ages just staring up at them. Gotta love Calyptorhynchus! I tried to take some pics with the new digital camera, who has yet to be given a name but give me time, but the birds were so well camouflaged I think I just got a lot of leaves.

I've been doing a little more transferring of stuff from tapes to disk - last night it was Ted and Alice with Dawn French, Stephen Tompkinson and David Troughton as a rather evil alien bounty hunter (he hunted aliens, he wasn't one himself). It was a rather under-rated series that I found just lovely. But then I'm a great fan of Ms French too. And David Walliams from Little Britain was in it!

More intriguing spam - I've decided that the only way to cope with spam is to not get annoyed, just dump it, trash it and occasionally try to work out what the more obscure ones are trying to sell. Just received one in Japanese characters with a photo of a professional looking European lady in it. Judging by the headers, I think it was for bank loans but I could be wrong.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Happy St George's Day Day

Mutterings continued.

And in keeping with the English celebration, it's overcast and damp outside. Hurrah!

I have bought yet another toy - a digital camera. I'm probably the last person I know to actually own one (other than my father who still thinks digital watches are a pretty neat idea). It's similar to the one I use at work, which means I actually know how to operate the thing. On the plus side, the one at work needs a reader; mine has a much smaller card and a USB cable that plugs directly into the PC. On the down side, it means having to drag the tower out of its cubby hole in my desk so I can get at the back where the USB slot is. Why, oh why, oh why do all the bits you have to get at be placed where you can't get at them?? Why can't they put them in the top or the front?

No L and R tonight, they're off gaming, so tomorrow is a virtual Saturday. I'm doing dessert, something that involves waffles, apples and ice cream, I think.

I'm taking Dad for a drive up to Yanchep tomorrow for a picnic. Which reminds me, must do a Whereis destination search to see how long it will take. Hmmm.......1 hour 40 minutes? I think we can do better than that.

Friday, April 22, 2005

A Day of Elephant Snot

Mutterings continued.

Visited the eles again this afternoon - as I was patting Siput she turned and wiped the end of her trunk down my arm. Very nice.

Still no rain but there are clouds gathering, and some black cockatoos have just gone over, so it had better bloody rain!

I received an email from Qantas advising of an "Australia Wide Seat Sale". I didn't realise Qantas planes had any wide seats. I might see how much they cost so I can take my own next time I fly with them.

It's a long weekend here in Oz - it's ANZAC Day on Monday. Sort of the equivalent of Veterans' Day in the US. This is the Aust. War Memorial site which gives the history of the observance.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Day of Promised Rain

Mutterings continued.

that never came.

I was woken by some strange noises coming from Milo in the early hours. When I got up this morning I discovered what it was that was bothering him - I found the corpse of a large flying beetle in the lounge room. I don't know who killed it but I suspect it was Gus because Milo is rubbish at hunting bugs.

Had lunch with Caroline today at the Munch Box. She had combination Lhaksa and I had crispy noodles. V nice and not bad value at $8.

Grumpy Old Men was funny the other night. They all get pissed off by people talking loudly in confined spaces (eg on trains) on their phones. Rory McGrath likes to sing Tie a Yellow Ribbon very loudly, in the cabaret-style, to make them shut up. They also detest off road vehicles driven by people who's idea of off road is parking on the curb.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Middle of the Week Day

Mutterings continued.

I've just got back from dinner with TUS - nachos and a lime spider. That's what I had, not who TUS are. Poor Rob had to work back so Leece had to watch the rest of us scoffing while she waited for Rob. They returned the favour by eating stuff with bacon in it and wedges while we watched.

I was outbid on the art deco watch case; it eventually went for about $18. Ah well. I've just put a bid in for some rather tasty art deco buttons.

Milo just walked up to Gus and stuck his head in her face. It startled her, somewhat, but was amusing to watch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Elephant Day

Mutterings continued.

Spent some time this afternoon with one of the elephants - the keepers are doing desensitisation work with her and have asked for volunteers to walk around her, stand next to her, pat her, etc. The Ed staff I was with had never been that close to an ele before and were just blown away.

I'm an old hand and can boast that I've had my toes sucked by elephants.

Got home to a letterbox full of junk mail and a largish box on the doorstep - my latest toy has arrived, a portable DVD player. It comes complete with battery charger and more cables than I'll ever need. I had a play and it works really well.

Must remember that Grumpy Old Men is on tonight - have to get my fix of bitching about the younger generation.

This sounds interesting:




Harry the SIXTH & Edward 4

Based on Shakespeare's Henry VI Trilogy

Adapted and Directed by JOHN BELL

Friday 6 May - Saturday 14 May

It means you can work your way through four of the Histories without actually having to watch them.

Amusements from Dave School - Lego Batman!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Not bad for a Monday Day

Mutterings continued.

Leece and Rob came over last night to install the new DVD recorder. Rob wielded his magic and everything records everything else and it's all neat and tidy. Very cool.

The telemarketers are getting worse - now they're computers that refuse to hang up on you and tie your phone up. I had to wait until it got to the end of its speil (which I didn't listen to) before it finally cut the connection.

Just checked on Ebay and the Londo prop is up to US$2,024.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Albert Einstein - he was 76.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

An Overcast Sunday

Mutterings continued.

Just back from Dad's - we had devilled sausages for lunch. Mmm, nice.

The fish and chips and ice creams went down well last night. The shark I'd bought from the fishmonger's (are they called 'fishmongers' any more, I wonder) was very nice; I'd been hoping for fresh, however all they had was frozen. It was very tasty. nonetheless (do people still say 'nonetheless' I wonder).

We watched scenes from L and R's adventures in rocketry; the footage taken from the rockets themselves was very cool. The Mystie was a hoot, a real, certified hoot, featuring a host of Mexican wrestlers playing heroes, vampires, and wrestlers. It was also sad as it was TV Frank's last appearance. Torgo the White came to take him to Second Banana Heaven. *sniff* Who will Dr Forrester kill now?

I showed my new DVD recorder and all its various cables to Rob last night; I whimpered like a girlie and said that I couldn't work out how to plug it all in. Rob visibly paled, then ran screaming from the room (the poor lad has been through all this several times before - every time I buy a new piece of electronics he gets the job of trying to fit it into the existing configuration of boxes and cables). He and Leece are calling by later to connect it up for me. I'm looking forward to getting all my M:I and Poirot tapes on disk.

I've just placed a bid on Ebay for an art deco watch casing. Dunno why, I just like the look of it. My current bid is US$0.99, which is about A$1.30. Not sure what the reserve is but I have nothing to lose at that price!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Money Well Spent (I hope) Day

Mutterings continued.

It's Saturday, the weather is nice (25c with possibility of showers later) and I've got all my shopping done. I'll do a bit of blogging, bit of surfing, and then get stuck into the housework.

I'm doing a fish supper for dinner tonight - I found a nice recipe for fish and chips with a difference that I'm going to try. I bought some very nice looking shark pieces - lay them on a tray, cover with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard and herbs, bung in the oven and cook until the topping is brown. The spuds are cut into wedges, sprayed with olive oil and a dash of salt and also bunged in the oven. And to keep the 'by the seaside' flavour of the meal, we're having ice cream cornets (Peter's Flake Drumsticks [I know the name 'Drumstick' is now owned by Nestles but I don't care!]).

Time to admit that I have a mirror blog with.....gasp!.....MSN. I've whined about the unreliability of Blogspot and decided to do a mirror just in case Blogger loses my posts, as is it's wont. The MSN space is rather nice and has a scrollable picture gallery.

On to today's purchases: I was considering the 'miracle' being offered on Ebay, however as the seller couldn't guarantee that it was actually Jesus and the Pope in the pictures, I decided to pass. While strolling through the front entrance of K Mart, I saw a bin full of really cheap, really bad DVDs. Bad except for one - it was Michael Caine/Christopher Reeves's Deathtrap. I remember it as being a rather fun movie, and at $5, you can't really go wrong. I then mooched up to the DVD section, had a peer (that's a 'peer') in the boxed set cabinets and spotted Space:1999, the complete set of 6 (I think) disks for $24.99. Bargain! I'm a huge Martin Landau fan and I really must get around to seeing Ed Wood with Mr L and Mr Depp.

And then it was on to Dick Smith's to buy myself a DVD recorder. It was $299 and is apparently easy to use (we'll see). I bought some el cheapo disks to practice on.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Working at Home Day

Mutterings continued.

I have a medical certificate for today, however I spent most of it researching and writing a few articles and a newsletter. I had the Foxtel light classical station on in the background and it was very pleasant indeed. And quiet!

The back of my right hand is bruised from the doctor's efforts yesterday to get a vein. Couldn't get one in the inner elbow either - he and the nurse had problems with both arms. It sort of hurt when the needle finally went in but at least he warned me it would.

I've been receiving phone calls from people with Indian accents trying to sell me alternative phone providers. It's getting easier to tell what the phone call is going to be about, even before they start talking, as there's a pause between me saying 'Hello' and them answering. The silence also sounds odd, if that makes sense - it's the silence you get when someone rings you on speakerphone and they turn it off before they reply to you. And this means it's easier to hang up on them without them trying to engage you in conversation.

Tomorrow Leece and Rob are spending the day shooting things at the sky (which, as far as I know, never did anything to them) at AstroFest.

Loony stuff up for sale on Ebay:
APPERITIONS CAPTURED / 8 march 2005 ONE chance

A snip at only $150,000.00 (plus $5 postage).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Medical Indignity Day

Mutterings continued.

I have a normal colon and I have the certificate to prove it. My memory of the procedure is somewhat Swiss cheesed - I remember a lot of it, but don't remember being wheeled back to the day room. I certainly do remember not feeling as euphoric and giggly as I did last time. And also the feel of the probe - it hurt but I didn't care.

The Wonderful Leece brought me home and we had coffee and evil hedgehogs, Tim Tams and Anzac biscuits.

And now an announcement from Bear Rescue:

"Hi Bear Rescue Members and Supporters
Jill Robinson, MBE and founder of the China Bear Rescue, will be visiting Perth in April as part of an Australia wide Roadshow. Jill will be updating guests on the progress of Animals Asia's animal welfare programmes in Asia. It is guaranteed to be a presentation full of exciting news!!

Bear Rescue are hosting a fundraising dinner for her on Thursday April 21 at the Tawarri Reception Centre in Dalkeith. Tickets are $70 per person and can be reserved by phoning Anne on 9319 9206 or Elizabeth on 9337 4225 or by emailing us here at Bear Rescue.

Other attractions will include a "grand auction" and raffles, so donation of items or gift vouchers will be gratefully received and will either be used at this event, or at our quiz later in the year. All sponsors will be acknowledged on the night. We have received news that The West Australian will be a major sponsor and have donated over $2,000 worth of free advertising.

Also at this event, will be the announcement that Bear Rescue will be ceasing to operate as an incorporated group and will, in future, be known as Animals Asia WA Support Group. This is a positive step forward for us as a group and will bring many benefits, including greater exposure for the name "Animals Asia Foundation".

More stuff from JMS's Ebay auction:

Real series jacket made by costumer for exec producer

RARE Contains 2 drafts plus supplementary material

Full storyboard for "Final Stand" episode

The Londo/G'kar figures are up to US$1550.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Day for Experimenting with Teas

Mutterings continued.

No food today, except for the occasional barley sugar and jelly. I went shopping this morning, resisting completely the donut shop, and brought home some rather strange Lipton's teas - cookies and cream (surprisingly nice), green tea with mint and raspberry, strawberry and something else. I have trouble drinking black tea and coffee unless they are very weak, but can manage a flavoured tea. I'll try the raspberry etc tea in a little while.

After watching a great new show on the ABC last night, I have come to the conclusion that I am a Grumpy Old Man. "Getting a handpicked collection of grumpy, world-weary blokes to gripe on given subjects may not sound like a very promising premise for a TV show but there was plenty to enjoy here. The show side-stepped political correctness and tapped a rich vein of sardonic, eloquent and well informed grumpiness that got right to the nub of each issue.

The grumpy old men included, amongst others, Arthur Smith, Will Self, John Peel, Rick Wakeman and Jeremy Clarkson. The subject matter up for discussion ranged from Pop Idol to Tony Blair to mobile phones to Christmas and beyond. Geoffrey Palmer provided a wry, understated narration which kept the pace even."

It's a hoot and judging by comments on and iinet.general, a lot of people my age agree with their comments.

On last night's ep of Home From Home, a show about holiday home swapping, one couple went from Perth to the UK via container ship. It took a month and it certainly wasn't luxurious but I think I'd like to try it. There was lots of booze, apparently, and no entertainment, but take a portable DVD player, lots of disks, books, etc, and I think it would be a cool way of getting from here to there. They went via Singapore and the Suez Canal.

Snipped from a post by JMS on the moderated ng: "So starting sometime probably next week, the week of the 11th, and from time to time over the next month or so, keep an eye on Ebay. (I'm playing with the idea of doing this chronologically, from the earliest stuff to the latter stuff, but I don't know if I'm disciplined enough for that.) I likely won't put this stuff up every day, only when and as I think of it. So you may have days pass with nothing, then a day when four or five items go up. The Ebay user ID is babylon5auctions. Once I've cleared out enough room to actually see the floor again, the auctions will stop and that user ID will go away."

And the goodies will include: "There are the actual script books I used during production, into which
I shoved the script I was working on, the breakdowns, shooting
schedules, any storyboards that were needed...the whole thing, in one
book per episode, some of which still have my original notations.

There are episodic dailies tapes, with takes and bits not previously
seen anywhere, posters, publicity material, a ton of stuff.

Props from the show, from my personal collection, where I have doubles
or just no place for them anymore."

Woo!! Up for sale is the actual, orginal, one and only, Londo Mollari action figure that was used in There All Honour Lies. And it has a companion G'Kar figure. The bids are up to US$405; lord knows what they will get to!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Bland Day - Food-Wise

Mutterings continued.

Tomorrow it's no food at all, today it was exciting stuff like tea and coffee with no milk, no fruit, no vegies, nothing with grains in it, no red meat. Sigh. Breakfast was a couple of slices of white toast with Vegemite, lunch was some crackers with tuna. I found some camomile tea bags in a container so I've been drinking that. The last time I had a colonoscopy I od'd on ginger and lemon tea - never want to touch it again!

I've just ordered a throw pillow from the Leece Collection - the design is her fabulous alphabet bestiary.

The more I read of the Planet Magrathea review of HHGttG, the more depressed I get. Here he lists things not in the film, ie the funny things.

Today I wrote a story about the Zoo carousel and another about spiders. Ick. It's very hard to sound enthusiastic about something when they make your skin crawl and your toes turn under. But some people like them.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Back to Work Day.

Mutterings continued.

A nice day, weather-wise, and I got a fair bit of writing done. I'm still writing six stories all at once but at least I'm getting to the end of all of them. I still have four or five others to write, however.

Spoiler alert: HHGttG test screening reviews. Some good some not. I'm still in two minds as to whether I really want to see this.

Soupy twist! There's been some discussion on The Mausoleum Club forum about new Fry and Laurie episodes. One poster replied, "As for whether they'd do it again, Hugh's currently a bit busy in America in Fox's medical drama House. Which is at present beating all opposition, including (I had to laugh) NBC's version of The Office. So if it continues to do so, that's ten months of every year filled up for him." Pity.

My first and only comment on the wedding of Charles and Camilla Park and Ride - she's a slapper, he's an arsehole, they deserve each other and will they please go away. One further thing - Richard III was the last decent royal and that's only because he tried to do away with the rest of the family. Well, in Shakespeare's universe he did. A lot of odd things happened in Will's universe.

I heard a great item about Ravi Shankar on Newsradio on Sat. morning. I love sitar music and he is damn good. His daughter, Norah Jones, isn't bad either.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Nice Day for a Picnic by the Lake

Mutterings continued.

Dad and I took a drive to Lake Leschenaultia today - it's been about 60 years since he's been there and it's changed somewhat! He was very impressed with the facilities - camping grounds, picnic tables, BBQs, etc. And lovely green parrots with black rings around their necks. Leece and Rob will be able to tell me what species they are. I forgot to take my camera but I did manage to get a couple of shots using my phone. A bit out of focus as I couldn't really see what I was looking at, but they're not too bad.


My experimental Chinese pork dish last night wasn't too bad, though it could have had more chilli, and I think it would have been nicer with real fermented black beans. But I've had the go ahead to cook it again in the future, so that's ok.

We watched Stargate, BSG and a Coleman Francis shocker called the Beast of Yucca Flats. The Mystie came with a short about Puerto Rico, which had a rather apocryphal comment about fun times at Guantanamo.

Iinet's news server is stuffed again. According to their netstatus page, it will be off line for 10 minutes - that was 15 minutes ago. And I'm suspecting there is something wrong with email as well because a message I send to myself almost half an hour ago hasn't turned up. And Eudora keeps timing out. After 10 years I'm beginning to think it's time to move on; the service for their dial-up customers is appalling.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

An Improvement on the Weather Front Day

Mutterings continued.

Once again, Perth has the lowest max. temp for any Oz capital city. Yay! Go our meterology!

I watched VH1's 40 Most awesomely Bad #1 songs and boy! were there some shockers. #1 was Macarena, of course, and #2 was Ice Ice Baby. The Beach Boys dud, Kokomo, was at #8 (should have been higher); however one of my all time favourite Yes songs, Owner of a Lonely Heart, was at 24, between a song by Hanson and The Look by Roxette.

Tonight's dinner is somewhat experimental, made more difficult as I couldn't find some of the ingredients - fermented black beans have been substituted with black bean sauce made from fermented black beans.

Yesterday I officially became a 'housewife' - I bought my very first piece of ......gasp..... Tupperware! It's a rather cool lunchbox/bag thingie in black and grey and I'm rather impressed by it. It will probably be my last piece of Tupperware as I'm really an ice cream container and old Chinese takeaway box kind of girl when it comes to storage solutions.

Friday, April 08, 2005

A Soggy Day to End the Week.

Mutterings continued.

It's been raining on and off for most of the day, which is nice. I think it's nice, anyway.

The Fight the Bull site has announced its Manure Madness Shining Beacon of Business Idiocy Award. McKesson, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, was the outright winner because of statements such as these:
"A recent study by the Healthcare Distribution Management Association identified the important value provided ... through superior delivery logistics ... and phenomenal operating efficiencies combined with innovative valueadding services."
"As a result of our recent organizational changes, continued focus on operating efficiencies and expense controls, favorable market conditions, comprehensive solutions to address healthcare's need to improve quality and reduce cost, product innovation and strategic initiatives, we believe McKesson is well positioned for sustained growth."
"While we continue to leverage our cost structure through expense controls and productivity programs, Pharmaceutical Solutions operating margin rate and operating profit came under pressure as a result of reduced product sourcing opportunities and lower pricing to customers. To stabilize margins, we are executing proactive programs to address both the profit that we earn from the services we provide to our manufacturer partners and our pricing to customers."


I've just seen a preview of the American version of The Office. Hmmmm.

And I've just seen a preview for the movie, Bewitched. Seems it's a movie about the retooling of the series for 00's, where Samantha really is a witch. Or something.

I had lunch with school chum, Genette, today. Yiros with chicken and Secret Garden's evil chips. Mmm, still full.

And finally, you must, must, must go and have a look at Leece's alphabet bestiary - it's stunning!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Foggy (or Smoggy) Start to the Day

Mutterings continued.

Looked out the back door this morning to discover that the city had disappeared under a blanket of the grey stuff. I thought it fog, certainly felt damp enough, but the taxi driver who took me to work said that it was smog, and he should know, taxi drivers know everything.

Manfred had his first ever service this morning; the free 3,000km jobbie. Lord knows how much the next lot will cost. Not actually sure when the next one is due.

No run ins with animals today, though I did have a Dusky Moorhen peer through the window at me.

Looking for some excitement in the coming months? Why give these Brit extreme sports a try:

Cheese Rolling Festival
Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire; 30th May
Annual Nettle-Eating Contest
Marsham, Dorset; 18 June
World Pea Shooting Championships
Witcham, Cambridgeshire; 9th July
World Snail Racing Championships
King's Lynn; 16 July
International Bognor Birdman
Bognor Regis; 20-21 August
Bog Snorkling Championships
Powys, Wales; 29 August
World Conker Championships
Peterborough; 9 October

From the Radio Times: Blackadder goes fifth?

Rumours that Blackadder is to return for a new series have surfaced once again. Senior BBC executives discussed the idea at a recent meeting, says the Sunday Times. Tony Robinson, who played the hapless Baldrick in the first four series, said, "It would be lovely, like a reunion of mates."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Summer's Day

Mutterings continued.

36c. Enough Said.

I had another run in with James the Hamadryas Baboon this morning. I was watching his son, Taye, playing. He was doing the usual silly kiddy things - standing on his head, rolling around, etc, and he nearly fell off the rock into the water. He gave a frightened squeal and James came running to see what was up, looked up, saw me and bared his teeth. And baboons have very nasty teeth! I told him it wasn't my fault and it was Taye being silly but he didn't seem to believe me.

I've just got back from dinner (mmmmm, nachos and a lime spider) with TUS. I bought the first in the Dark Materials trilogy at the bookshop next door - the booksellers raved about it ("Better than Harry Potter" according to one), so I'm looking forward to reading it.

Irony time - Iinet have upgraded their Webaccelerator software to V.5. Unfortunately, my connection to them using V.4 is so slow I can't download it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Day for Whining About the Loss of Winter

Mutterings continued.

32c and people at the Zoo in shorts (and men who insist on taking their shirts off when they really, really shouldn't).

There's an interesting discussion going on on about the oldest video tapes of tv programs one owns. Some people have them going back to 1984. Must check out some of my old tapes and see what I've got stored away.

From my cat newslist:
The Creation Story

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.

On the second day, God created man to serve the cat.

On the third day, God created all the animals of the earth to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and the man broke.

On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but he had to scoop the litterbox.

Amen, says I.

Jamie and Adam had fun on last night's episode of Mythbusters blowing things up, sinking them and training them to go through hoops (goldfish, that is). They wanted to determine if a sinking boat will pull you under with it (it won't) and whether putting a firecracker in a trombone will blow the mute off the end, hit the conductor, and knock him into the stalls while the slide takes out the second violinist. It won't but they had a lot of fun trying!

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Monday

Mutterings continued.

A little warmer today; I needed to put the aircon on in the car for the homeward journey. I finally remembered to book Manfred in for a service on Thursday - it's his 3k freebie.

I've started writing articles for the next Zoo magazine. It's a bit like the Harbour Bridge this thing - finish one end and start again at the other.

A big 10 on the Eeew meter -
"Artist invents pierced glasses

A Dallas artist has had permanent glasses pierced through the bridge of his nose.

James Sooy, 22, came up with the idea because his specs were constantly slipping down his nose."

Channel 4 in the UK has done a viewers' poll of the greatest Brit comedy sketches of all time. The top ten:

  1. Lou and Andy (Swimming Pool) - Little Britain
  2. Petshop/Dead Parrot - Monty Python's Flying Circus
  3. Tubbs and Edward (Road Men) - The League of Gentlemen
  4. Vicky Pollard (Swimming Pool) - Little Britain
  5. Four Candles - The Two Ronnies
  6. Going For An English - Goodness Gracious Me
  7. Acorn Antiques � Victoria Wood, As Seen On TV
  8. Breakfast - The Morecambe and Wise Show
  9. Ted and Ralph (Drinking Game) - The Fast Show
  10. Good Aids/Bad Aids - Brass Eye
#8 features Eric and Ernie making breakfast to the tune of The Stripper and is very funny.

I've just been having a look at Rowling's official site, and it's pretty cool. The News section hasn't been updated since January but I guess she's been busy producing books and children.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Sunny Day

Mutterings continued.

Nice weather - cool night, blue skies, warm-ish.

Leece, Rob, stir fry chicken and noodles, panatoni, Goodies, Bill Bailey and MST3K last night. All very enjoyable. Rob had never seen The Movies ep of the Goodies; it's def. one of their best. Very cleverly put together and quite surreal.

And the Mystie was an Ed Wood - The Sinister Urge. Now, for an Ed Wood movie, it's rather good. It suffers from wooden acting (Leece's joke, not mine ) and lousy lighting, but it does have a plot. It also has a rather peculiar idea of what make 'smut' movies (women in swim suits, from what I can gather) and tries to make the point that 'smut' movies are worse than kidnapping and murder. Oh, and it has a policeman dressing up in women's clothes. Of course!

Went to Dad's for lunch (curry and noodles) and called into Bunnings on the way home for more plants - two petunias (red and red and white) and a lavender bush. Luuurve lavender.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

More an Autumn day

Mutterings continued.

Perth tends not to have four seasons a year (unlike Melbourne, which has all four in one day) - we go from summer to winter and back again without much in between. Certainly there's no acclimatisation. Last week it was 43, this week 15. Today, however, is quite Autumn-ish - rain in the morning, sun came out, bits of blue sky and a reasonable temperature. This is also like our spring.

Leece and Rob are coming to dinner tonight - stiry fry chicken and Mystie on the menu.

I had a great senior's moment this morning (not) - friend at work told me about a kitchen gizmo she bought from House that cost $19.95. I've wanted one for a long time and went into the shop this morning to get it. Damned if I could remember what it was I wanted. *sigh*

Are you worried that the Government is reading your thoughts and downloading instructions via microwaves into your brain? Get a Foil Hat!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Even more of a winter's day

Mutterings continued.

Temp only got to 15c, lots of lovely rain and I had to dig out my raincoat. I didn't have to dig too far - it was hanging on the back of the door. I had to go out in it a couple of times today; lots of puddle evading and fallen branch dodging.

When I got to work the Black-handed Spider Monkeys were huddled together on a platform above the main lake, looking decidedly put out. They're a rainforest species so they should be used to the wet stuff.

Google had a new product on their website -
Google Gulp (Beta). From the FAQ:

2. Wait – you're saying Auto-Drink™ changes my brain chemistry?

Um, yeah – but for the better.

3. Isn't that kind of dangerous?

Well, none of the lab rats who've been pounding this stuff for the past eight months have keeled over yet, which we find fairly reassuring. At any rate, you should be aware that by popping the seal on the twist-off Gulp cap, you send a wireless signal to Google's servers indicating your irrevocable acceptance of the Google Gulp Terms and Conditions, which do include the possibility, however remote, of hideous genetic mutation resulting from your consumption of this product. We're pretty sure you won't die, though.

According to Fuel Watch, the cheapest petrol in my area is $1.03 a litre! Good thing I don't need to fill up this week; I'm hoping it will be cheaper next week. Famous last words....

Nature journal has got a wonderful story about 'walking' octopus. "Two tiny species of tropical octopus have demonstrated a remarkable disappearing trick. They adopt a two-armed 'walk' that frees up their remaining six limbs to camouflage them as they slink away from trouble. " There are a couple of great videos on the webpage.