Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Saying hello to baboons

Mutterings continued.

Elizabeth, my replacement at work, and I got to meet the baboon troop up close this morning. Their keeper was cleaning the enclosure as we walked past and invited us into the nightquarters to meet the gang. I got to feed a couple of peanuts to Guni, Taye and the bub's mum, before James and Taye scared her off.

And then this afternoon we did some desensitisation work with a Black-footed Rock Wallaby and her joey. Rockette is very cute, indeed. And the little head sticking out of her pouch even cuter.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sandal Day

Mutterings continued.

Another warmish, albeit overcast, day. Def. sandal-wearing day.

I'm going back to my old/changed job next Tuesday and today I spent the day with my replacement. I was losing my voice by this afternoon.

I went walkies this morning and just KNEW I should have taken my camera. Popped in on the lions and watched Alistair playing with the enrichment device - he had sunk his teeth into the hessian bag and wasn't letting go. Strolled by the baboons and watched the baby jumping around and generally enjoying itself. Taye was being his usual utter loon and spinning around in circles with a stick in his hand.

This afternoon, one of the spider monkeys was hanging from lord-knows-what on a palm tree by the very tip of his tale. He was playing with a branch of eucalypt that had been put into the enclosure for enrichment.

The mirror site for the very funny Foamy cartoons. I love the coffee shop rant.

I've been doing some more '40s research. I found a couple of pages with English bank notes of the time - I'm not sure of the dimensions. I think they were larger than notes today. And Director Pat sent me a graphic of a ration book.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Summer's Last Gasp

Mutterings continued.

Winter starts next week; today, however, it was 28c. No wonder I had to turn on the air con in the car.

Had lunch at Dad's - we ate with the rest of the residents and had a most wonderful roast pork meal. Crackling, apple sauce, spuds, peas, pumpkin, cauliflower cheese, followed by bread and butter pudding - all for $5 for me.

Then Dad and I took a trip to the local garden centre for some potting mix. He found a large bag of the good stuff on a shelf that was marked $6.95. Bargain, we thought. Turns out it was actually $12.95 but the assistant gave it to him for $6.95. And she carried it to the car for us.

On the was home I called into a Collectors' Fair at the Sth Perth Civic Centre. I was looking for props but didn't find anything useful. I've ordered some stuff from a memorabilia shop in the UK -- rations books, ID papers, that sort of thing.

Last night's MST3K had us in tears of laughter. I don't know what it was about the glasses cleaning scene but it really hit a chord - Leece nearly choked on her choc cake, and Rob and I just howled.

My pasta dish turned out quite well - the yoghurt and garlic topping was most yum. And the pear and chocolate cake and choc custard horns were very nice. More than nice, actually.

I very much enjoyed Ticket To Ride. I held of saying, "Been there" for as long as I could, much to Leece's distress. She said she was waiting for me to say it and I was putting her off her game. If only!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Cloudy Saturday

Mutterings continued.

Supposed to be 25c today - it's about 20c at the moment and doesn't feel like it's getting any warmer.

Today's shiny thing purchase was a surge protector power board thingie. Protects against lightning strikes and telephone line surges, apparently. After having two mother boards/HDDs zapped by lightning I thought it was about time I got a decent surge protector.

Also bought some socks. And a pastry brush and rather cool-looking vegie peeler.

I'm cooking dins tonight and I'm trying another recipe from The Pasta Bible - Farfalle with Meat Sauce and Yoghurt. The meat sauce is a combination of beef and pork mince, celery, capsicum, paprika, onions and mint and the yoghurt has garlic and mint in it. Looks nice, quick to make, hope it tastes ok.

Off army surplus and op shop shopping in a little while.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Mutterings continued.

Nothing very exciting in the post today; just a reminder that Manfred's insurance is due.

Channel Ten was in to film the Painted Dog puppies today - the piece should be on tonight after the weather. A couple of newspapers were also in to see the kiddies.

The baby Baboon is very independent now - I was watching him wander around on his own (though not too far from Mum).

Amusing: How to Photograph a Cat

Put the cat on a pillow.

Set up your camera.

Put the cat back on the pillow.

Get a bowl of food and put it next to the pillow.

Put the cat back on the pillow.

Grab the food bowl and follow the cat. As you run, hold the bowl in our cat's face, tempting her to eat.

See if the neighbors will come over and pick up the sofa while you snap a picture of the cat underneath.

Cross the names of your neighbors off the list for your next party.

Put the cat back on the pillow.

Place a catnip-stuffed mouse in front of your cat and wait for your cat to go crazy.

Go back to the pet store and demand a refund.

Decide on a family portrait with the cat instead.

To stop the argument over which child gets to pose with the cat, agree to take pictures of each child holding the cat on her lap.

Tell each child that it doesn't matter who holds the cat first because you'll shuffle the pictures after they're developed and look at them in a different order than the order they were taken.

Get more cats, one for each child, and go back to step one.

Copyright © Jack Fleming

Speaking of amusing, I was watching a show on VH1 the other night and the lovely Mike Nelson popped up a couple of times to comment on horror movies.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Day Before the Day Before the Weekend

Mutterings continued.

Rather warm today; walking to the Thai restaurant at lunchtime was most pleasant. I had crispy chicken and rice. Mmmm, crispy chicken. I did the right thing and had steamed rice, which was quite bland really. The crispy chicken was just that, no sauce or anything.

I am really taken with the coffee pot and sugar bowl I won on Ebay. I'd love to get some more but it's raaather expensive. Oooh, there's a rather nice vase going on Ebay in the US... Only US$9.99. Shipping would be the killer, I suspect.

It seems that Dad's move back to the Village has been a good one. He's put on 9kg (he dropped down to 63kg) and is enjoying the socialising. And he's been asked to do whatever he wants with the garden next to his unit and the Village will pay for the plants.

I hurtied my foot today. I couldn't understand why my next to little toe on the left foot was hurting so much; took my shoe and sock off to discover lots of blood (when I say 'lots' I mean some). Seems my little toe toenail had been cutting into its next door neighbour. Ouch.

Anybody want a 17" monitor? The damn thing is taking up half my kitchen table! It has speakers if anyone's interested.

Much amusements in the Blak Yak Theatre newsletter. Here's an ad for their forthcoming production:

"More importantly, Blak Yak’s next production looms larger than Amanda Vandstone’s dismissal (and you thought I was going to say her belly). Picasso at the Lapin Agile is an hilarious comedy by Steve Martin yes, that Steve Martin. Yes, the actor. He also writes plays. What, you didn’t know that? And you thought there could be nothing educational in another smutty Blak Yak newsletter.

How many times have you heard hyperbole like “an hilarious comedy”? Well this time it’s true. I saw a production of Picasso… a few years ago and nearly wet myself. Granted, that’s not an uncommon occurrence, but for a change I wasn’t alone. (Now there’s a disturbing mental image.) It’s exceedingly clever, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny. I’m so sure you’ll love the show that if you don’t I guarantee to refund your money - and that’s a Krusty promise.*

“But what’s it about,” You say? “Who cares, as long as it’s got sex, violence, partial nudity, recreational drug use and gratuitous bad language,” answers director, Tim Edwards. “The script itself doesn’t have any of those things, but the President is pressuring me to throw them in to get some more ticket sales. Anyway, here’s the official description:”
Paris 1904. Or to be exact, Montmartre, that haven of the artist and the bohemian. A world of art, a world of ideas, a world of passion. A world fuelled by wine and absinthe.

On the corner of rue Saint Vincent and rue des Saules still stands today that famous bar, Le Lapin Agile.

Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile explores the idea of what would happen if two geniuses - Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso - heady with wine and inspiration, were to meet just as each was about to turn the world on its head. Einstein with his Special Theory of Relativity and Picasso with Cubism.
A witty and comic look at the birth of the modern age, Einstein and Picasso with a bar full of wacky patrons ruminate on what the next 100 years will bring.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a funny, fascinating and occasionally thought-provoking exploration of the century just ended from the point of view of characters for whom it is only just beginning.

The show will be staged at The Sun Room, corner of Sixth Ave & Whatley Cres, Maylands (where we presented Red Dwarf II Kryten in 2004), on June 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18 at 8pm. The venue and seating will be arranged in the style of a Parisian café, and the venue will be licensed. Tickets are $15 and $12 concession, and reservations can be made on 0500 52 52 59 (seating is limited so early bookings are encouraged). "

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'm Glad I Don't Work in Town!

Mutterings continued.

Had to drive into Wellington St in the city this arvo to get my new speaker system looked at (I couldn't get the cable into the input socket. Guy looked at it, took it away, came back a few seconds later and said, "Here you go."). This meant having to drive in peak hour traffic (peak hour seems to be any time between 4pm and 7pm). Bumper to bumper on the Freeway, idiots weaving in and out and nearly taking others with them, dodging the road works and holes in the ground... Glad I don't have to do it every day.

I've been trying to find graphics of 1940's washing powder on line and came across a great photo archive site by Procter and Gamble. They had some odd names for detergents in them days - would you use Drene shampoo? What about Gay washing up liquid?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Dry Tuesday

Mutterings continued.

The wind's a little chill outside. I was on the verandah talking to Dad on the phone and I had to come inside. It got nippy! I did get to see a flock of Black Cockatoos fly over, which was nice.

From the "Well, if you're going to pay them peanuts..." file: "Monkey works for the government

A langur monkey has been employed by an Indian government minister - to scare away other monkeys."

From the "They Don't Make Actors Like They Used To" file: "Billie Piper quits Dr Who

Billie Piper is set to follow Christopher Eccleston by quitting Doctor Who, according to reports.

The 22-year-old, who plays the Doctor's sidekick Rose Tyler, is said to be leaving after three episodes of the second series." Apparently they were both knackered after filming a series. Diddums.

And finally the "My Career Obviously Hasn't Taken Off Like I Thought It Would" file: "Friends Stars Set To Reunite

Could it be that we haven't seen the last of Central Perk and those six impossibly glamorous New Yorkers - who call themselves Friends?

There's chat that they may reunite for one last project - which could bag them each £10 million."

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's Cloudy Out There

Mutterings continued.

Can't see any rain.

Busy day; the first proofs of the magazine are done so I spent the afternoon cross-checking spelling, punctuation, etc etc. I think I've gone cross-eyed with the cross-checking.

And after work I called into the op shop to pick up props; I found some white crockery that could pass for utility and some enamel bits and pieces.

I spoke to the tech who's looking after my old pc to see if anything is salvageable - his comment was, "I'll try but I think it's fubar." I do like my new flat screen monitor however I don't have anything to sit my possums on.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I'm Back

Mutterings continued.

After considerable expense and some inconvenience, here I am. I now have a flat screen monitor, which is very nice, and a brand new black tower. I'm going through all my old cds to see what I've got and what I have to reinstall. I'm hoping that some stuff can be salvaged from my old hard disk - I have a lot of photos and emails that I really don't want to lose.

I had a very nice night last night. Went to Cottesloe, which is closer to Como than I thought (only took about 20 minutes to get there) and met Leece, Rob and Ros. As I was early I had a mooch through Collins Bookstore and the newsagent. Resisted buying anything. Then we went to the Marco Polo restaurant and had some very, very, very nice food - lasagna and vegies and then tiramasu for moi. Leece and I drove home, right into a fabbo thunderstorm. We were watching the lightning and rain bucketing down while we were in the restaurant.

And then we watched Battlestar G; Rah Xephon, Atlantis and a great Mystie. No Frank but Mike was really cool and Pearl very funny.

Today Dad and I took another trip to Fremantle to watch the boats and eat sandwiches. It turned out quite warm. A very pleasant day all up.

I recorded Dr Who last night - this morning I checked the tape and the sound and vision were out of synch. I had a look at Channel 2 and it was still happening. Must be a digital Foxtel thing.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sitting in the Library

Mutterings continued.

It's sorta wet outside, my computer is still kaput, and I'm sitting the South Perth library using one of their rather fast machines. I have an hour and it's free!

Looks like my pc needs a new motherboard and HDD. Ah well.

No shiny thing shopping today, just cat food, etc. I did buy a couple of magazines, which sort of count as shiny things as they have nice shiny covers. One is on British history and I'm hoping it will have some inspiration for The Play (see below).

I had a meeting during the week with Pat (directory) and Shirley (wardrobe) re props etc for 'Nightingale'. Blimey! Anybody got a spare gas mask or two, C1940, they can lend me?? And a 40s radio??

Off to Cottesloe tonight for dins at the Marco Polo before the usual night's viewing at my place. Weather isn't looking too promising, however.

Better head off home and do a bit of housework. I don't have a robot vacuum cleaner, unlike some people.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Some lunchtime blogging

Mutterings continued.

My PC at home appears to have kicked the bucket - it's refusing to boot up. There's power but no hard disk activity. *sigh*

A devastating storm hit Perth yesterday; I didn't lose power in Como, however Dad had been without electricity since 6am and it was still off at 6.30 last night. My brother lives in Roleystone, a suburb in the hills that was particularly badly hit. They lost power and a tree took out their galah cage - the bird was ok and they found her wandering around the garden looking a little stunned. Power poles have been completely destroyed and a primary school in Bicton, south of the river, was flattened.

Just checked with Dad and their power was restored at about 10.30 this morning.

The weather bureau is predicting the following for tomorrow: Rain developing during the day with thunderstorms in the evening. Locally damaging wind squalls near thunderstorms. Light to moderate N to NW winds today freshening during tomorrow.


I was typing away this morning when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye - stopped and saw a little mouse looking at me from next to the monitor. I said hello but he/she ran off.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Wet Sunday Afternoon.

Mutterings continued.

The kind of day to stay inside, drink tea or hot chocolate and write letters.

I've just come back from Dad's - we had a very nice roast beef and vegies lunch, followed by mango sponge and custard.

On a more serious note, there is NO justification for the hunting of whales, particularly the humpback species. From Sen. Bob Brown:

Humpback defence must be resolute – Greens

15th May 05

A resumption of humpback whaling by Japan would cause a huge public revulsion and revolt in Australia, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

"Governments on both sides of the Tasman will need to consider punitive action against Japan, including suspension of any talks on free trade agreements and a challenge in international courts. After all, killing humpbacks will impact on whale refuges as well as the tourism industry in the Southern Hemisphere", Senator Brown said.

"This great mammal was almost sent to extinction. We must not let it become a Japanese harpoon target again. But this will test the Howard Government which is set on a free trade agreement with Tokyo. No free trade agreement should be set in blood.

"The Greens in Australia and New Zealand will coordinate a trans-Tasman action plan if Japan succeeds in overturning Humpback protection", Senator Brown said after talks this morning with New Zealand Greens parliamentary co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.
Further information: Ben Oquist 0419704095

Did I mention that I won an art deco-style Villeroy and Bosh coffee pot and sugar bowl on Ebay? There was no indication in the auction as to what pattern it was, just a photo. Turns out it's V and B's Iris pattern. There's a coffeepot on offer at Ebay.com for US$109 and a sugar bowl for US$59.99. I paid $20 for both items. It's not real art deco, of course, but is rather gorgeous.

Had a good night last night - risotto (yum!), banana split with Vienetta ice cream, a badly dubbed Hercules (Frank AND Joel, hurrah! Tom's arms blew off!!), a very good Stargate:Atlantis, an also good Battlestar G and an intermittent Rah Xephon.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's come over all cloudy

Mutterings continued.

No shiny thing bought today, just a couple of rechargeable batteries.

Long, but amusing:
PC: Personal Cat Specifications

Standard input:
1. Bilateral frontal whisker array
2. Bilateral adjustable audio dishes (range 20-20,000Hz)
3. Stereoscopic scanning device, with night vision
4. Velcro(tm) flavor sampling device/energy collector
5. Twin front-mounted odor sampling devices

Standard output:
1. Internally mounted purrbox
2. Single speaker with separate growl mode
3. Rear-mounted, fully-jointed semaphore device

1. Parallel neuron array with Random Access Memory
2. Autonomic control of system software

Included Hardware:
1. Calcium-based skeletal structure
2. Byte-to-bit conversion array
3. Retractable document shredder/hole punch
4. Pawpad printer
5. Mouse (standard catnip)
Also included: natural fiber protective covering in various colors

System Software:
Your PC will come preloaded with one of the following:
* DOS (domestic shorthair)
* OS (other shorthair)
* MS (megasoft, installed in units with fuzzy covering)
- Conversion to EUNUCHS can be done by a simple operation. This is recommended to prevent the proliferation of cheap PC clones.
- Bundled software may include the following: Mortal Kombat, Acrobat, Explorer, and Stuffit Expander.
- Your PC will automatically convert from laptop to desktop as needed.
- There are no user-serviceable parts inside.

Operating Your PC
- To start up your PC, push the power button (on any electric can opener).
- Your PC has an energy-saving mode known as Sleep. Your PC will - Sleep automatically if unused for a short period of time, or you may invoke the Sleep mode by placing your PC in a soft, warm area.
- To wake your PC From Sleep, press the power button as in Start, shake the mouse, or tap any of the PC's input devices (see specs).

To perform a Warm Boot:
Remove your shoe, then tap the PC gently with your toes.

To perform a Cold Boot:
Same technique as for Warm Boot, but leave your shoe on.

To Reboot:
Repeat the Warm Boot.

Cleaning your PC:
Use only mild soap and water, no solvents. Surface wash only.
Total immersion is not recommended. If partial immersion is necessary, wear proper hand and face protection and make sure your PC is fully dry when finished.

Compatibility and Networking:
Your PC is designed to independently assess compatibility with other PCs. Running EUNUCHS will generally give your PC greater compatibility with other PCs. It may be necessary to install a firewall between incompatible PCs as each may attempt to breach the other's security systems. Compatible PCs may share thermal energy and cleaning tasks and may network for gaming purposes. Please note that your PC will be incompatible with units of type BIRD and FISH, unless appropriate security measures (such as a firewall) are installed. Your PC may tolerate one or more DOG units provided they occupy a subordinate position within the hierarchical structure.

Power Requirements:
- Alternating supply of canned cat food and dry cat food.
- Direct supply of water.
- Direct access to solar and thermal energy sources.

-PC has difficulty exiting: Perform a Warm Boot.
- PC shares files from dinner/table/plates without permission:
Boot your PC prior to running food-related software.
- PC hangs up phone during connection to ISP: Try invoking sleep mode Prior to connecting to ISP; otherwise, perform a Warm Boot.
- PC is frozen: PC is probably scanning for small life forms; reboot until it responds.
- Deleted material not going to trash or recycling bin: reprogram preferences in PC sys/litter_box/deposit/target.aim

Author Unknown

Friday, May 13, 2005

An Interesting Day


More rain!

Even more rain!

A dusky moorhen

It absolutely bucketed down this morning. It was rather fabulous and then the sun came out and the sky turned blue and then it rained again.

And then I met Eustace, the Squirrel Glider, who walked all over me. He whiffled in my ear and chewed on my hair and peed on my shoulder.

Well, I didn't get the animal figurines, knew I should have logged on just before the auction closed. Ah well. Got myself an art deco pencil case for $15, but. It's a tri-level, wooden one; something I've wanted for a looong time.

Really silly joke: Police arrested two kids yesterday.
One was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks.
They charged one and let the other one off.

As if the heavy rains didn't make it difficult enough for commuters, this happened: Burst water main causing traffic chaos

PERTH commuters are facing an afternoon of traffic chaos after a burst water main completely blocked three southbound lanes of the city's main freeway.

At 3pm, traffic was backed up around 5km, and a Main Roads spokeswoman said there was no prospect of a quick re-opening of the freeway.

A Water Corporation spokeswoman said the 1m-diameter main water pipe burst about 1pm near the Mill Point Road turn-off, just south of the CBD.

Around 15 kilolitres of water spilled from the burst pipe, the equivalent of seven Olympic-size swimming pools, and the road was reported to be covered to a depth of about a half a metre.

A semi-trailer was stuck in the water, further delaying repair efforts, and some businesses in the South Perth area were evacuated because of the risk of flooding.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Wet, Dry, Wet, Dry Day

Mutterings continued.

Nice drop of rain this morning and a short, sharp downpour this arvo. The sun came out at lunch time and it got rather warm. Had Thai noodles for lunch, BTW.

Pat, director of A Nightingale Sang (GRADS next production) dropped a script off for me yesterday. From what I've read it's pretty funny; Pat is great to work with so I'm looking forward to it.

Just placed an Ebay bid on some interesting white animal figurines - there's a lovely weasel, giraffe, penguin and a bull. I'm especially taken with the weasel. There's a couple of hours to go on the auction, so I'll see tomorrow if I got 'em.

Forgot to mention that I had a look at my new office yesterday. It's got books! Shelves and shelves of books! And journals. Just like a real library. And a walk-in stationery cupboard.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Touch of Flu Day

Mutterings continued.

Sniffly, headachey, queasy, hot. Could be a cold coming on. I had my flu shot this arvo but I don't think the two things are related.

I saw one of the Painted Dog pups. Talk about cute. There are 6 pups; four males, two females, which is a good ratio. In the wild, the males stay together and join an unrelated female to form a pack, while the females wander off and form their own harems.

In Monday's night's episode of Mythbusters, the guys set out to discover just what will stop a bullet from items fabled to have 'stopping' powers - a bible, pack of cards and a Zippo lighter. Jamie, the one with the walrus moustache, hit a Zippo lighter dead centre, from I don't know how far away. With a Dirty Harry magnum. He threw it at it. Not really. While thick books, such as bibles, may stop smaller calibre bullets, nothing stops the Magnum! Except the bullet resistant glass they hide behind each week when they make things go boom.

My work PC chucked a major wobbly this morning and decided to corrupt its profile files, which meant that it lost all my settings. IT had to redo it from scratch.

One of the Ed staff and I, while wandering back from having our flu shots, stood in the viewing bay of the elephant enclosure to watch the training regimen. We were nearly clocked by half a Bunya pine cone that hit the decking a few inches from us with a massive bang.

More reasons not to watch The Bill:

"Adam has to deal with the aftermath of his family’s fatal car crash and when things
couldn’t get any worse he gets more bad news.

Following Honey’s shock marriage to murderer Scott there are more surprises to come."

And the production company is boasting that the series won Best Storyline and Best Dramatic Performance - British Soap Awards 2005.

It's raining - lovely! Forecast of hail tonight, though I would have thought a min. temp. of 16c too warm.

I've been spending more money at Amazon.uk - the scripts of the last three series of HHGTTG and the CD of the Quintessential Phase. Neither have yet been published so I'm getting in (very) early.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Another Looking at Critters Day

Mutterings continued.

The Painted Dog pups have been seen (not by me, but there is photographic evidence that they exist) and there appears to be 7 of them. Like all puppies they are incredibly cute.

I had lunch with Caroline and we went to visit the bub baboon (or is that buboon?) - it was sitting by itself for a while and had a bit of a crawl around in the dirt. Mum and aunties were very close by and Guni (mother) snatched him up when rumbunctious brother Taye got too close.

Good news from scifi.com:

Perlman Preps For Hellboy 2

Ron Perlman, who again plays the red-skinned title demon in Hellboy 2, told SCI FI Wire that the sequel will probably begin production in January 2006 under director Guillermo del Toro. "The Hellboy 2 script was turned in this month, but they do everything in their power to keep me as much in the dark as possible," Perlman said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles. "It was an amazing genesis of how that movie got made, and how the fans embraced it," he added, referring to last year's hit adaptation of Mike Mignola's comic series.

Perlman added that he'll need to get back into his Hellboy shape. "I'm going to definitely take off all the weight I've put on in between," he said. "I went back to being a character actor. I'll be thinner."

As for the sequel's story, Perlman said: "I know that they were looking to get more into the folklore of the character, you know, and less into the pyrotechnics. ... I guess I'll read it when I'm invited to. ... I couldn't even dream beyond what already has been a reality. I mean, you know, everything that's transpired with regard to the depiction, Guillermo's distillation of turning a two-dimensional guy into a three-dimensional guy was far beyond anything I could have dreamed possible. So I'll just defer to him. Happily."

Interesting web site - Terry Pratchett Books.

Another of my 'must watches' on Foxtel - Dead Like Me.

Rain's a'coming - a flock of Calyptorhynchus are heading this way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Another Monday

Mutterings continued.

Quiet day in which I got a bit done. The magazine articles are with my director for more editing; when they come back to me it's off to the Design Dept to make all pretty. Apart from the odd correction to what has already been written, I'm hoping that there are no more articles for me to write.

From the Oh Dear files: "
Record bid falls flat

A British team's bid to break the world speed record for an electric car was abandoned - because it wouldn't start."

"Bears fed chocolate

Bears in Romania are being fed chocolate to keep them away from local villages.

The bears wander into villages and raid bins where they eat leftover sweets and chocolate.

They also terrorise residents and attack livestock, reports Romanian daily Cotidianul.

The local hunters' association in the Covasna region has now started mixing chocolate into animal feed and distributing it in forests.

They hope the bears won't need to come into the villages if they can satisfy their cravings in the woods." I go anywhere for chocolate too.

"You love your cat. You hate his litter tray. If only you could have one without the other.

With the new Litter-KwitterTM Cat Toilet-Training System you can train your cat to use a normal toilet just like you. No more mess, no more germs, no more hassle." Yeah, but will the cat flush afterwards? I think not!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Mutterings continued.

First Mother's Day without Mum. Dad asked me if I was missing her today. I said yes, but then I miss her every day.

We decided not to go to Yanchep but to Fremantle instead. Much nicer. Dad hadn't been down to the port for many years and I think he was most impressed. We drove along South Mole and watched the boats for a while and then had a picnic on a very uncomfortable bench near the container terminal (see photos below). Saw some lovely power boats. It was a warm day and I think I've got a touch of the sun (my feet are pink).

Had a good night last night - L and R, and Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles and continental cakes and biccies (mmmmm, custard caneloni thing...) and BSG, SGA (Atlantis), Rah Xephon and a great Mystie (no TV's Frank or Dr Forrester) but a very, very big preying mantis. The acting, for the most part, was fairly naff, though I did enjoy the performance of the plucky young female magazine photographer (Hey! That's me!!), played by Alix Talton (who was, it appears, a Miss Georgia). She got a bit girly and screamy in the end, but for a '50's film, she was rather feisty.

I don't normally plug consultants' websites (believing instead that the consultants should be plugged), but I feel people have to know about this lot. "Welcome to the world's most dynamic e-business marketing, design and consulting agency. We provide distinct clients with groundbreaking business strategies and cutting-edge designs to aggressively and creatively compete in a changing economy." They Do Stuff (TM).

Photos from Freo

Rather nice apartments overlooking the Canning near the Fremantle Container Terminal.

A container ship in the Container Terminal.

The Captain Cook and Sunday lunchtime revellers.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Shiny Thing Day

Mutterings continued.

Today's shiny purchase was a wireless keyboard and mouse package. I got fed up with the keyboard and mouse falling off the desk every time I had to move the tower. And they're not USBed, but PS2, which means I get one of my USB ports back.

One of my 'must watch' tv series each week is Waking the Dead. It's a cold case detective series; very involving, very well acted.

I'm doing stir fry chicken from my diabetes cookbook for dins tonight. I also got the fixings for banana splits but we can have that another time as L and R are supplying sweeeets. Rob has a new Stargate Atlantis disk. Goodoh!

Vacuum elevator gives users a gentle lift

A one-person vacuum elevator that slots into buildings with a minimum of fuss has gone on sale in the US.

The tube-shaped transporter carries a person upwards at a steady speed of 15 centimetres per second using turbines to suck air out of a pressurised chamber above the passenger capsule. The capsule is lowered when the pressure in the upper section is returned to normal.

The Residential Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator was developed by Vacuum Elevators, a company based in Argentina and Florida, US. Two- or three-floor versions are currently available, and the company is now developing a four-floor system and another that can accommodate a wheelchair.
Panoramic view

The elevator is a metre in diameter and almost entirely transparent, providing the passenger with a panoramic view during their ride. It is made from lightweight aluminium and polycarbonate and can be installed with a minimum of construction work, says Dawn O'Connor at retailer Daytona Elevator, based in Florida, US.

"There are very little building costs," O'Connor told New Scientist. "You only need to bring in electricity at the top and cut a small hole in the ground."

The elevator has a 220-volt suction turbine at the top and can carry a maximum load of 204 kilograms. But O'Connor adds that a series of mechanical breaks will activate should there be a sudden loss of pressure, to prevent the capsule falling. The elevator costs between $20,000 and £22,000.

What fun!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another end of the week day.

Mutterings continued.

The weather was rather lovely today. It's going to be 26 tomorrow and 28 on Sunday. Dad and I are off to Yanchep for a picnic.

I'm currently listening to Don Carlos on BBC3. It's the Derek Jacobi Ash and I saw in Bloody Sheffield. It's at

Got the results back from my CT scan. According to my doctor, and I don't want to get too technical here, there's nothing sinister going on and it's just one of those things. It's interesting looking at one's innards sliced like that.

I forgot to work out with Leece and Rob who is doing what for dinner tomorrow night. Ah well, better be prepared for both mains and sweeets methinks.

From a ng on the demise of ST:Enterprise: "I found this paragraph particularly salient:
As Jolene Blalock, who played the Vulcan officer T'Pol on "Enterprise," explained: "The stories lacked intriguing content. They were boring." A lifelong "Star Trek" fan, Ms. Blalock said she was dismayed by early "Enterprise" scripts that seemed to ignore basic tenets of the franchise's chronology, and that offered revealing costumes instead of character development. "The audience isn't stupid," she said."

To which someone replied, "I wouldn't call the Star Trek audience stupid. Complacent, maybe. Tasteless, certainly. Dateless, most definitely." How rude.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Mutterings continued.

Cool, huh?

I had a CT scan today - interesting experience. I had to get to the clinic an hour early to drink a contrast fluid (makes the intestines sort of opaque so that the other organs can be determined). The actual scan only took a few minutes. I was injected with dye which I was told could leave a taste in my mouth (it didn't) and make me feel rather warm 'down there' (it did!). A couple of passes through the doughnut and it was over. The technician had a bit of trouble with the needle in my arm - it came out ok, he just couldn't stop the bleeding. So he stood there with a band-aidy thing on it and his thumb clamped over it for about a minute. Took the bandaidy thing off later and the padding was full of blood. Yikes. I get the results tomorrow afternoon.

5 Things your Cat knows about You

  1. You are bigger than they are:

    This they discovered the first time you accidentally stepped on them.

  2. You are a great source of food:

    And it must amaze cats, who no doubt see us as ponderous, clawless buffoons with a bowling ball's brain and a physique to match, yet every day we supply them with tasty cat food.

  3. You are easily manipulated:

    Walk a mile in your cat's collar and you'll see that you are the proverbial pushover. Your needs as far as your cat goes are simple: the desire to be loved; the desire to sleep undisturbed, and to figure out your taxes without meows, yelps, and howls from the help of a furry-footed paper-scattering critter.

  4. You are slower than they are:

    They can click on their power-booster jet rockets and fly into another room in a blur and hide in a spot in our house you don't know exists and can never find.

  5. You aren't particularly bright:

    A cat knows the true meaning of life, but he's not sharing the secret with us - he knows when he's got a good thing going.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Must Be Wednesday

Mutterings continued.

'cos I'm full of Nachos and lime spider. I played with my spider a little too much and the froth threatened to envelope the table. Judicious use of a straw and sucking noises put an end to that!

It was the final episode of Grumpy Old Men last night, dammit. Bob Geldof's rant against having to attend school assemblies was very funny. He's right - they are rubbish!

Visited the post office down the road this morning to see what two parcels were waiting for me - turns out it was two copies of a magazine I'd subscribed to; one addressed to me and the other to "Belinda" Smith of the same address. Obviously the person who took my complaint a month ago subscribed me (after not quite hearing my name correctly). I've only paid for one sub so it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

And the other card for the other post office was for my Oxfam goodies - two lovely Indian rugs and a cushion cover. The cattledog is here. I ordered the cotton cat and geometric design dhurries and a red raw silk cushion cover.

I spent a few minutes this morning watching baboon babies. The young 'un is very strong and quite independent even though he is only 7 days old. His 1 year old brother is being horrible, just like all kids who have been displaced in the pecking order.

More odd spam - Korean, I think, and it features a cartoon of a very strange looking girl in a balloon with a telescope to her ear. I think it's her ear, it certainly isn't her eye!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Wet, Then Dry, Then Humid Day

Mutterings continued.

More nice rain overnight, but the afternoon has turned out a mite muggy.

I got the date of my rent inspection wrong - it's Thursday, not today. *sigh* This means I'll have to keep the place tidy for two whole days!

Two cards from the Post Office in my letter box - from different agencies! I'm guessing it's the stuff from Oxfam (I put in two orders) but I can't figure out why the parcels have ended up at two different locations.

Watched the new baby baboon (as opposed to the old baby baboon) this morning. Very cute.

American Cities That Best Fit You:

65% New York City
65% Philadelphia
60% Chicago
60% Honolulu
60% San Francisco

Which American Cities Best Fit You?

So there you go. I quite liked Chicago.

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Wet, Wet Day

Mutterings continued.

Bucketed down, it did. Lovely thunderstorm last night. The plants on my balcony have picked up, they obviously like a nice drop of the stuff from the sky.

Had another trip to the doc's today. The leaflet that came with my cholesterol meds advises that, if you find you're suffering from odd muscle pain, go to your doctor. I did and he said there was really nothing to worry about, it's a common side effect. It felt like I'd had severe cramps in the calves. They feel much better now. I've got a referral for a CAT scan as the stomach pains are back and he wants to check again for gall stones.

Nothing interesting in the post - I was hoping the goodies I'd ordered from Oxfam would arrive so I can decorate the flat (rent inspection tomorrow) but no such luck. I've ordered some rugs and cushions and other stuff.

After paying off the credit card last week, I'd decided to leave it alone for a while. Famous last words and all that. I've bought the Primary and Secondary phases of the HHGTTG radio series and pre-ordered the Quandry Phase CD and scripts.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Warm Day

Mutterings continued.

Just back from Dad's new(ish) abode. He's moved back to Armadale, to the village that he and Mum didn't like. It's under new management and seems to have improved out of sight. We had roast beef with 5 vegies for lunch - it cost $5 for me. The people at his table seem nice, so it's good he's getting some company.

The steak and kidney pies turned out reasonable last night. Some of the meat was tender, some a bit chewy. I used two different cuts so I'm not sure which was which. I tried to separate the meat from the kidley for Leece but the odd bit of offal crept in. I have been given orders to create the dish again some time in the future. And for afters we had a very nice, very healthy fruit roll and unhealthy (but who cares?) after dinner mint choccie ice cream.

Mystie was a giggle (Frank and Joel, hurrah!) and Crow looked very fetching in a toga. He has the legs for it. And Mike Nelson does a very passable Steve Reeves. A great ep of BSG and the first ep of .... ummmm... anime.... called.....ummmmm....hmm. Got good music and things that look as though they turn into other things. Rah.....something. Xephon! That's it.

I have another bloody rent inspection on Tuesday, which means tackling the back room. Again. A play has come and gone since the last inspection and the room once again looks like backstage at the Dolphin has exploded. So this afternoon I shall be spending my time wondering where on earth to put all the fake flowers I've been entrusted with.