Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jumping Niece and Nephew

I am currently visiting family in Toowoomba, Queensland, and this afternoon at my sister's house, her children, Chris and Teagen, wanted to show off their jumping skills. Who knew they would have a trampoline and trail bikes in their back shed? But they were both pretty good!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas clothes

Did you get clothes for Xmas - and are you wearing all yours at once? This dashing person (face cropped to protect his identity) modelled his gear for us at a Boxing Day BBQ. It's not that we didn't like what we saw - just that we didn't want to see it all at once. His daughter declared the camoflague pants "not bad", but we are reserving judgement - and once again find ourselves asking - why is it that camoflague pants don't?

Friday, December 23, 2005

No progress yet

Well, the Christmas tree still isn't up, the cards haven't been sent and the gingerbread house is still in pieces but Sooz and I have both managed to do some Christmas shopping. On the way home last night, we saw this bus - destination: First Stop - North Pole. It's one of many decorated buses doing the rounds - one of the the many with Christmas decorations that is. There's apparently been something happening with public transport - not sure if it's buses or trains - where management have requested drivers to remove Australian flags - and the "Cronulla" destination - from their vehicles. I'm not sure that this will do anything to stem the growing tide of racist violence we have here!

Monday, December 19, 2005

HDD clean up

It is just as I feared - the more memory a device has for recording television programs, the more television programs I record. I'm just going through the hard drive of the DVD recorder seeing if there are any of the over 42 programs that I have recorded that I am likely not to watch - and can therefore get rid of to make sure there is room for this week's programs!

Tamagotchi Take 1

I decided to give taking care of Tamagotchi a try - and here, a mere 3 days later, it has turned into an angel. Probably it was not a good idea to try this on a Carolfest weekend, which is the same weekend friends arrived from interstate, and the weekend that Lizzie had her birthday picnic. Of course, none of these is an excuse - but at least I did manage to find it this morning (although it was hairy for a while there). I'll try again tomorrow.

A cool change

We are having ceiling fans installed in the flat today. Will make a change from having the box fan on in the bedroom at night (blowing up a gale). It's been reported over the last week that 2005 has been the hottest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere, and the second hottest in the Southern Hemisphere. We'll be ready for the next one!
On the subject of weather, someone was saying that if things continue as they have, the Gulf Stream may disappear. It's all sounding a bit like "The Day After Tomorrow".

Carolfest is done

Well, Carolfest is done for another year. This was the last with Ben McPherson as musical director. He has resigned (effective May 06) and the choir will be auditioning to fill the position. It's not going to be the same without Ben - he has been wonderful to work with. That being said, it was a good "season", and we did well with most of the pieces at both "performances". Very enjoyable, and a wonderful way to slide into the festive season.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Things unseen

Invisible ink was invented in 1775 by physician Sir James Jay. There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that it was another 20 years before he worked out how to show it to people!

Real estate

"In the Blue Mountains we're keen to boast about our cool summers," writes Leura's Beverley Cooper. But even she thinks this real estate ad is pushing it: 'Nestled on high side of quite colder sack'." SMH 6/12/05
The best we've seen is a house in Rozelle with a "sun-catchen courtyard".
We haven't managed to get the Christmas Tree up and decorated, or the gingerbread house (which won't be as grand as the gingerbread village at the Four Seasons Hotel) but one of the neighbours has started Xmas at the flats. Sooz noticed the Chrissie wreath on their door one day this week.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Pissarro

Our mate Annie from Scotland is currently in town and we met up with her and headed for the Art Gallery of NSW (a favourite visit while she is here). There are two major exhibitions on at the moment - Grace Cossington Smith, and Pissarro*(the first of the Impressionists). We went to the latter. (I realised yesterday that the only time I go to the Gallery usually is when Annie is visiting!) There's nothing like being in the room with works you know have been around for many years. Pissarro died in 1903 so all of his works are now over a century old. It's at times like this I wish I knew more about art but I'm learning a little more with each visit. I'm pleased to say that I think I could now tell an Impressionist work from a Neo-Impressionist piece.
I had only just had the thought about the impressionists maybe having eye problems and that was what had started the first impression movement - the artist/s was/were painting what they saw - when I turned the corner into a new room at the exhibit and read that in his later years, Pissarro was diagnosed with eye problems.
* If you visit the Gallery's Pissarro site you can see some of the works - and send an e-postcard. Good fun!

Did you know...

Caryn Johnson, aka Whoopi Goldberg, was born in New York City on 13 November 1955.
Roy Scherer Fitzgerald, aka Rock Hudson, was born 17 November 1925.
Broadcast of the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963 was delayed 1 day by news of President Kennedy's assassination.
(For more date trivia,visit The Daily Almanac - not sure of the URL since I read it from Avantgo which gathers various channels of my choosing and deposits them on my mobile device for reading at my convenience (but I read them other places as well).

Carolfest

We spent Saturday rehearsing for the annual Carolfest concerts. If you're in Sydney on the 14th (8pm) or 18th (6pm) December, come along to the Great Hall at Sydney University (Camperdown). Admission is $22 adult/$17 concession. Doors and box office open an hour before the concert/s. I'm not sure how long the program runs but it's usually around an hour and a half. Supper will then be served. (Mmmm, supper.)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Headphones

I think our lives could be made just a little simpler if the people who make MP3 and ipods and other portable media devices would work out a way to retract the headphone or earbud cords into the device - or market such a device as well. I waste so much time trying to unravel the cords (especially the really long one) and trying to work out ways to keep them in check - which does not include the do-it-yourself winder already on the market.

CPAP

CPAPWell on Friday night I went into St Luke's Hospital for a test with a CPAP machine - which is designed to help people with a sleep apnea problem. It was an odd experience - made simpler by the wonderful "Hi, I'm Lena and I'll be your sleep technologist this evening". The system is designed to maintain a regular pressure in your throat/airways to keep them open while you sleep - and alleviate the symptoms of apnea. Not sure if it made the snoring go away, but I certainly did wake up a little more refreshed - and this persisted throughout the day. I'm supposed to have an appointment with the specialist in 6 weeks - but I'll need to ring before then because I want one of those machines now (and to get one I need to know what pressure worked for me - that was the purpose of the night in hospital - so they could test various pressures and see which was best. I think they would determine this based on how many times I didn't stop breathing - as opposed to the 22 to 28 times an hour I stopped breathing for my original test). Of course, there is a slight issue about sleeping with the mask ... because what if your partner wants to wear it!
The other thing about sleep studies though is that if you don't take your nail polish remover or acetone to the hospital and then go out into the real world - you spend the day looking as though someone has sneezed on the back of your head (from where they attach electrodes to your head with superglue!).