Thursday, December 28, 2006
The good news is that the expected 90 minute wait was about 20, and the wait while Vaughan (the previously unnamed patrol-man) procured a new battery for the car, was even shorter! The even better news is that the alternator is AOK, so it was just a dud battery - 3 years and 2 days after the last one - which tells you that their records are fairly wonderful because he was the one who told me!
And just so we can share the view from the vehicle, here's what it looked like in front of us. If you look at the bridge, you can see another wide load!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
And then ... the others - a house around the corner from theirs, then street decorations in Martin Plaza/Place (can never remember what it's called) and the illuminated facade of Sydney Town Hall.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
And speaking of lines ... there has been a rash of releases of new gaming consoles leading to long-ish lines of want-to-be buyers outside participating outlets. So imagine the surprise when one such line was held up by armed robbers!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Less is more ...
Dog's life ...
Some boats (actually the first two shots are the same boat ...)
and the rest ...
Saturday, November 18, 2006
A poll back in August in the US showed that more Americans could name the Three Stooges than their three branches of Government. 74% could correctly name Larry Moe and Curly, while only 42% could identify Executive, Judicial and Legislative. In the same poll, one quarter of Americans could name 2 members of the Supreme Court while three-quarters could name 2 of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs. (NPR 15/8/06)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
It's an interesting concept - for personal advertising and, well, personal advertising. If you've a mind to, visit the site and you'll see what I mean.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I was chatting with an acquaintance the other day about a past project- and she said, matter-of-factly, that it had been the reason for her daughter's birth. She fell pregnant rather than work on a project she knew was going to be horrendous ... and she hadn't been wrong! Apparently, years later they still. talk about how much that project failed. I wonder how many people do that - manage (manipulate is probably too strong a word) their way out of troublesome projects.
I decided to go gadget looking today - at an electronic outlet at Auburn, 30-40 minutes drive from home. Imagine my surprise then when l arrived to find that even though I was there, it no longer was. How could this have happened in the two years since I was last there? But I did have a look through two of the stores now on the site - office stationery - and electrical appliances. But it just wasn't the same - but it was substantially cheaper i.e. I didn't buy anything!
Friday, November 10, 2006
It seems that the stories we've been told about cell phones interfering with aircraft navigation equipment may not be entirely true. Otherwise, why would Emirates be looking to introduce calls on their planes in the new year? You won't be able to use your phone while the plane is landing, taking off, or ascending or descending during flight - but once above 6850m (or 20,000ft) and steady - you'll be good to go. But will they have a special section for people wishing to use their phones mid-flight and loudly proclaim "I'm on the plane …"? And will there be a rule about the type and volume of ringtones that are allowed in-flight? And - if you flush someone's mobile phone down an aircraft toilet - will it be able to be retrieved, and if so, will it still work. (This is assuming the stories of toilet waste from planes being ejected, frozen, is not true. If it is … looks like someone on the ground might get a big surprise ... and a phone!)
I read on the web (an odd news site somewhere) that in one of the seats recently contested in the American elections, a woman who had died two months before the ballot - too near it to be removed from the proceedings - actually polled better than the Republican candidate in that electorate. If it is true, no doubt there will be jokes doing the rounds about it in due course. If it's not true, some people will no doubt think that it should be. (Does the name Marie Steichen ring a bell?)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
And speaking of the Titanic, the year the movie was produced, one of the more popular Halloween costumes was "frozen victims". Which may or may not be more tasteful than one of the costumes doing the rounds this year - a bloody stingray barb attached to a khaki shirt - in memory of Steve Irwin. Not sure whether costumers or the folk at South Park thought of it first - because a recent episode of that show had Steve Irwin (complete with stingray) attending a party in Hell. Is it bad taste or a way of people to help people cope with grief? The jury may still be out on this one.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Eye lash transplants are also available now. But wouldn't it be awful if the surgeons mistakenly put eye BROW hairs in instead of eyelash hairs. And wouldn't it be worse if the donor were someone like Bob Menzies (owner of incredibly bushy eyebrows while he was alive).
I wonder how many times a week she visited. (My calculator suggests nearly 820 hours of service for his employer's $404k - hopefully it made him a happy person around the office!)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
(Not sure where I pulled this from - but it's got a date of 060514 in my notes.)
So, what are those phobic obsessions? Haskell said his survey found that most people were afraid of roughly the same 13 things, such as drowning, clowns, rats or cockroaches, as well as heights and closed-in spaces. Guess a visit the house is necessary to find out what the other seven are! But be warned, the added theatrical elements reportedly make this a more intense experience than your usual haunted house - making it too extreme for some - and I know if I went I'd be one of those that had a physical reaction - heralding a need for dry and/or clean underwear! I went to a haunted house at the Royal Easter Show a few years ago, and was absolutely terrified at the thought of walking 10 paces through a pitch black corridor. But we still do it don't we? It seems part of us loves a good scare - probably because it feels so good when it stops.
1) the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitementSo what was the intention of the players? Was it the same as the person/s who posted the video to the web? And does the intent of the downloader figure in the equation. Can you be arrested for downloading pornography if you are not doing so for sexual gratification? I'm not sure what else you would be downloading this material for but there may be a set of circumstances which could prevail eg if you did not know what you were downloading or ... well, I don't know, okay ... but perhaps it could happen! So, to cut a long story short, in the end, I decided not to download "Mouse Orgy" and somehow I don't think my life is any the poor because of it.
2) material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3) the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.
Tiger slugs mate by hanging from threads in trees. While theyre hanging there, their sexual organs, which apparently are longer than they are, are released and mating takes place. Afterwards, one of the slugs bites off the other's reproductive organ and eats it - meaning they are well-placed to get on with the reproducton. The other slug probably just wanders off somewhere - not sure if their bits are going to grow back at all. It's interesting what the animal kingdom has worked out to keep some species going, isnt it?
First off, the chain is looking to impose dress and behaviour codes so they can return the parks to families - discouraging anti-social behaviour like people taking their shirts and shoes off, clothes bearing profanities, and rude and offensive behaviour. There was no mention of keeping character actors from doing pretend boinking.
While this may be good for their flagging business, I'm not sure how it fits in with the piece of news - around Friday 13th - where the Six Flags parks at Valencia was offering guests the opportunity to take themselves and three friends to the front of some ride queues if they ate a live cockroach. There was apparently no shortage of takers with four dozen consumed in an hour at one point.
When I first heard of this it was on a podcast and I thought it was that if you caught a cockroach you could jump to the front of the queue. It seemed like an interesting proposition - but curious - did they have a cockroach problem they were hoping to quell?
I can remember having only seen one person eat a live cockroach (no, haven't seen anyone eat a dead one - people don't seem to do they? Even on Fear Factor it's live ones). But back to the coackroach eater. His name was Mark Everingham and it was a big'un. I'm not sure if my revulsion was in any way lessened by his bravado in actually biting the cockroach in half (we heard the shell crack) and chewing thoroughly before swallowing.
The Six Flags park also had a cockroach eating competiton - with prizes available if you ate 13 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in 13 minutes.
Of course, I remain curious about from whence came the cockroaches for guest eating - and whether different species of cockroaches have different flavours.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Readers ... 450 words - hang on … what kind of inadequate non-rant producing limit is that? Why would I use this as a reason to put pen to paper to vent my spleen instead of merely going off at drivers cutting in on me, people walking too slowly, too long queues, people who push in, people with annoying, stupid mobile phone ring tones, people who put recycling in the rubbish bin and rubbish in the recycling, people who dump their rubbish near the bins, thugs who regularly smash the glass at the bus stop, and people who don't keep the security doors closed. And people who aren’t nice to each other – and don’t pick up after themselves, their kids or their pets. (What do you mean don't bang so hard on the keyboard … can't you see I'm busy here.) And don't push in front of me at the lift, the lights, getting onto the bus, getting off the bus, getting the newspaper, crossing at the lights (if the little man isn't green, I'm not going anywhere!) and certainly don't blow smoke into my face. There's a reason I stand downwind of you - and for all of our sakes, don't forget that you discovered deodorant last summer. And no, I don't want to listen to any of your conversations "on the bus" - who cares if you're on the bus - they know you're not home because they would have rung you there. And don't be the bus driver who sails past the stop where I've agreed to meet my partner and am carrying a backpack, two picnic chairs, and 10” x 12” photo enlargements in nothing more protective than a bubble-wrap envelope. And certainly after I catch an express bus to get in front of you - and then get on and ask you why you didn't stop - don't sit there and lie to me and tell me that you did stop - and then, don't tell me to lodge a complaint if I'm not happy - because you know that's exactly what I'm going to do.
[Draws breath] I guess 450 words isn't such a bad limit after all. They say you can't maintain rage for long - but it's been a few months now, and if my partner's right (and it is hormonal) it will be a while yet. Of course, it could be because of violent US TV shows - as suggested by a senior magistrate in a road rage case this week. If that’s the case, with my reliance on television for relaxation, I may never get out of this vicious cycle!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The Channel 9 television network in Sydney has just been sold for nearly $5 billion. I can't imagine how much money that is. Or what you could do with it - beside perhaps buy some art - although not Picasso's La Reve (The Dream) that owner Steve Wynne "elbowed" recently, putting a small hole in the canvas. The painting had apparently just been sold for $US139 million, but Mr Wynne (the one with the errant elbow - possibly due to poor peripheral vision) decided to release the buyer from the contract, and to have the painting repaired and keep it instead. Can't imagine what they must have felt when they heard the tear. The Age carried a report on the incident, and a pic of the painting.
There's been a bit of press in the last few days about enforcing dress conditions - but it's not at a club or something semi-sensible - it's on religious lines. An airline worker has been told she has to wear her crucifix (cross) under her clothes - and Muslim women are under pressure not to wear their head gear. As a woman being interviewed on the BBC World Today Select program reasoned - really what does it matter what anybody wears as long as it isn't a bomb strapped to their chest.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A 13-year-old student wearing a mask and a long, black (or green) trenchcoat fired a Mac-90 (replica of an AK-47) into the ceiling at his school earlier this week. When confronted by other students and administrators he told them "please don't make me do this." The action happened about 10 minutes before school was due to start - and as well as the weapon, he had a note saying he had planted a bomb in the school - as well as detailed plans for an explosive device, and of the school. The lad was arrested, and no device was found.
The question is - where did he get the gun? Apparently from his parents, who kept the weapon in a safe at home. How big must that safe be - and I guess you can't really call it a "safe" anymore since the lad now has the combination. And why did his parents have the Mac-90? Well, according to one local official "it is not uncommon for people in the area to own assault weapons".
Hmmm - makes you wonder doesn’t it - but certainly not about the number of shootings at US schools - which may or may not be on the increase if the reaction to the latest shootings is to have the US Government consider adding more security - rather than looking at gun control laws.
But at least there is a major distraction now … where did North Korea manage to get nuclear technology? And how do you stop them testing it (again) or using it should they ever be invaded - or if they get bolshi!
Not sure if this is true or not - but listening to Dr Karl's program on podcast the other day, he said that of the two recorded stingray barbs to people's bodies in Australia, both had hit their victims in the heart. Dr Karl posited that this could be something to do with electricity in the body - almost as if the stingray detected and aimed for the electrical field. He cited the cases of a swimmer at Coogee - and Steve Irwin.
A model of the StarShip Enterprise, possibly used in the title sequences of StarTrek: The Next Generation or possibly the Original Series (reports vary), sold at auction for $774,000 (AUD) the other day. In fact, there seemed to be more money than sense at the Christie's auction of StarTrek memorabilia with the lots going for many more times the reserves. Good thing I wasn't there - I might have wanted to walk away with Captain Kirk's chair, or a scale model of something from the show - maybe even Mr Chekov's plastic console.
I'll just have to make do with the "Verses" - episodes fans make themselves because they cannot bear to be without the series in one of its incarnations (and there have been a few). So sit down with the computer, and a broadband connection and check out what's on offer (links courtesy of the NY Times): the Scottish production at www.ussintrepid.org.uk; the Los Angeles based, exploring gay themes as well as the Universe www.hiddenfrontier.com, the Texan www.starshipexeter.com, or perhaps the "online community theater" offering www.starshipfarragut.com. Or maybe you’d like to follow the other 30 million downloads at www.newvoyages.com - which is now so popular it has scored Mr Chekov (Walter Koenig) as a guest star. Live long and prosper!
Have you ever had the feeling that you should or shouldn't do something - and then regret that you didn't act on your original impulse? Or is this the universe's way of preparing us for when less-than-good-things happen. I remember feeling like that before our house was broken into a few years back. It was almost a relief when it finally happened - and it certainly wasn't the shock it could have been - awful yes, but not a shock.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
According to the Bangkok Post, Koke Sa-nga is Thailand's only known village where most of the 140 households breed or keep cobras as a pastime or a means of making a living. The village has previously become a tourist stopover following documentaries which showed snakes coiling around the residents during their leisure time. Which should have been good news - except the fortune this should have afforded the previously impoverished area was constricted by the division of the village into two factions - each claiming to be the original Koke Sa-nga snake charmers. Eventually the government stepped in to patch the rift - seeing that it was possible to increase income in the area - from 3 million baht from donations and souvenir sales for each of the factions - to over 20 million baht a year. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has commissioned Khon Kaen University's faculty of architecture to design a larger stage for the snake show and king cobra exhibition centre under one roof. The village (47 km from Khon Kaen) may also be developed into Asia's largest living king cobra museum and study centre, which will also include the cultivation of indigenous herbs used to cure snake bites.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Not that you'd ever need to do it, but if you had to disarm an atomic bomb, wouldn't you like to be prepared? By Patrick Di Justo from Wired magazine.The article takes you through the key steps: disconnecting the battery; removing the neutron trigger; removing the conventional explosive; and separating the U-235 masses (that would be the uranium) - in slightly more detail than this.
Lastly, the article notes: If these tips don't work, give us a call and let us know what we got wrong.
The main gist of today's media was that the Westboros had agreed not to picket the Amish funerals in exchange for airtime on national media. As one source said that it seemed an awful lot like negotating with terrorists!
I'm not sure if it is encouraging or not that there are groups out there - eg the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club in this instance - who were prepared to shield the Amish (and the world generally) from the Westboros - especially if the moves by various legislatures throughout the States, eg Indiana, to make it a felony to protest within 500 ft of a funeral are not successful. Somehow 500 ft doesn't seem like nearly far enough.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Update: Fixed link to art&about.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I visited OfficeWorks today and had a look through their clearance bin - following Michael's example of yesterday where he found a(n) 128MB XD card for $10. I scored too - a 1GB card for $38.72. It had been returned as it was labelled 2GB and when the previous purchaser tried to use it - it came up as 1GB - but it's big enough for me. (Well, now that I have 3 x 1GB cards, it is.)
Against my better judgment, I have allowed myself to be sucked into watching a new series - Jericho. It's on at 8.30pm on a Thursday evening - and it has been on two weeks now. But I haven't watched either of the tapings I've done - instead, I find that late at night, just as I'm about to go to turn off the television and go to bed, the "coming up next" announces an encore performance of … Jericho. So, I sit up for the next hour and watch it - and think - no, it's far too manipulative, turn it off and go to bed. But I am mesmerised, unable to move - and the next thing I know the closing credits are rolling - and I'm vowing not to get caught again. (That being said, I don't think it was any worse the second week - at least the escaped convicts seem to be out of the running now, and we know that there have been nuclear explosions in a number of US cities.)
Well, any of the mnemonics you've used to remember the names of the planets of our solar system are out of date. Pluto has now been relegated as "not a planet" and renamed as a number - 134340. And how is this so? Here's an except from the Wikipedia entry:
In August of 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term "planet", and classified Pluto, Ceres, and Eris as dwarf planets. Pluto is also classified as the prototype of a family of trans-Neptunian objects. After the reclassification, Pluto was added to the list of minor planets and given the number 134340.
Somehow, it's just not the same. (Not that it's likely to bother me given I didn't get it right in the title - where's Saturn?)
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Update: I decided to give some feedback to CNN about its video podcast "In Case You Missed It" which used to be a quite manageable about-2-minutes - and still is, except for the more-than-2-minutes sponsorship program about Ford - some at the beginning of the pod - and the full one at the end. The message suggests you can choose to view the full Ford program - which you can - except you've already downloaded it. It might have been okay if it was only over the course of a week or on alternate days but it seems to be constant. I've reached saturation point now - and am about to unsubscribe to what was otherwise a great podcast - but when the associated sponsorship is longer than the pod ... well, it might work in the US, but not for me. So I've sent them an email to let them know - cause I decided there was a good chance they don't read my blog.
According to a Wired report this is the second time the scooters have been recalled since they first went on sale in 2002. In 2003 the first 6,000 devices sold were recalled - again the problem was that riders were likely to fall off - but this time it was when the battery depleted.
Hopefully this won't affect those planning to take a Segway tour of San Francisco.
Monday, September 25, 2006
The process is supposed to go like this:
Well, I sent the Palm off on Monday afternoon - and I didn't hear a word until 10:15am on Wednesday morning when the replacement Palm arrived. A couple of hours later I received an email telling me it had been despatched, and the next day I received an email telling me they had received my old unit.
- Get the replacement number from Palm.
- Send in your Palm - with this number - to their drop-off centre.
- They will send you an email saying that the Palm has been received.
- Receipt of the Palm starts the process for a replacement to be couriered to you.
- You receive the Palm and rejoice in having it back.
Great work Palm!! I don't give a jot about the comms as long as I have the LifeDrive.
I did some quick research (read "google") on Petith and although he is mentioned on a couple of sites, it doesn't say what happened to him - just that his holidays had been cancelled and that was the last time his family saw him alive - and that his homecoming was sad.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
We took time out yesterday to take a walk up and down Marrickville Road to enjoy the Marrickville Festival. It was fun - and there were some great stalls for Sydney Council (thanks for the water bottle and squeezy ball) and MGM (Marrickville Galleries & Museums).
It was a lovely sunny day for the event - and it was nice seeing so many people out and about in the local community.