Monday, April 29, 2002

someone told me there is a "Blakean" platypus poem. but all I could find was this

and with no poetry, this playtpus portal!

Saturday, April 27, 2002

well. what a weird day that was.
we went to the auction of the Yapeen pub. it's rather lovely in an 1860 with no toilet and sewage kind of way. It was clearly built in haphazard stages, leading to a complicated floor plan contained within a nice solid stone and brick box.
out the back there are divers broken down sheds and a 1/4 acre of paddock that would be excellent for fruit or olive trees.
there's a couple of small hills nearby, and a creek down past a back paddock that belongs to the neighbours (and there's the catch).
inside, the timber floors are rough and bitsy, but OK. the stone walls had been sealed and there was a new wiring system. no heating (two dodgy fireplaces), no hot water service.
and only 10 k south of Castlemaine and 30 north of Daylesford. Daylesford is in full yuppificaiton mode - almost more cafes than shops in the main street now - while Castlemaine is going that way, but has a stronger rural base. they're both about the same distance, time-wise (ifyouknowwhatImean) from Melbourne.

so we stood there at the auction. the auctioneer wasn't that good. he eventually opened with a bid at the bottom range of what they were quoting - $120k. we stood there. everyone stood there. it was passed in with no bids. 120 would be very very cheap, and I'd have bought it on the spot at that. of course we didn't bid. no one does when it's like that.

right. so we talked to the agent. she asked 142. we said what about 130? she said no. we said we'd think about it. we all hung around vaguely. most of the people there were just neighbours.

then, just before we left, I went to talk to the people digging a driveway on the block next door. my coffee's waiting so I'll keep this short. they own all the land around the pub (which was sold 6 yrs ago for only $30000). they want to put in a commercial nursery. they have issues with the greywater drainage and the fencing. they appeared to be trouble.

which is a total pain, because I really, really, really like the pub. it had all the elements of specialness, quiet location, garden space, nearness to a funky country town, etc that I want. since then I have been seesawing in what to do. if I could get it for 130 and put in a lot of trees etc, it might be OK. might. I've already drawn up the garden plan, dammit!

at least we got a nice drive in the country and a lunch in Daylesford.

and if i do buy it, I shall have to start another blog at

Thursday, April 25, 2002

best recent search string: symmetry of the platypus

along with the irregularity of the zebra, the randomness of the bluebird and the fluffiness of the Keeshond, the symmetry of the platypus is one of my favourite things.
Douglas Rushkoff has a blog.
I quite like Douglas. He came to Melbourne - we ran his column in our paper - and gave a talk on "why futurists suck" a few years back. we all went out to dinner, and I haven't held it against him that when I went to New York a year or two later he pretty much blew me off.
but it gives me a secret (well it was secret 'till I published it on the WWW) little feeling of being more with-it than him to note that his blog appears to be only a couple of months old, whereas mine has reached the venerable age of one year.
I am: a dog with a bone
an obsessive.
a harridan
an idiot.
have just made an appointment to see our lawyer on Monday re: taking our neighbours and the local council to the Supreme Court.
either it's my obsessiveness or I am a person who cannot stand to accept an injustice. the latter sounds more noble, doesn't it?
but as the bad decision was made because the person hearing the case was blind to the planning aspects (like amenity, neighbourhood character and overall effect), it appeals greatly to me to have it knocked over on planning grounds.
and then all we'd get is another hearing, which we could lose.
and it will be very expensive.
and mean more confrontation with our neighbours, including the woman who went into a fit at the last hearing.
but I go out into the garden and I look at that tree full of doves and I picture the 6.8-metre blank wall that will replace it, and I can't stand it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

(today's BlogOn column from Green Guide)

The journey of faith can take many turnings; what better way to share your insights with the world than an online diary? It beats teaming up in badly-dressed pairs to knock on doors at dinnertime.

Muslim blogs
Go to the Muslim Webring site, click on some links and you might be surprised at what comes up; the sites are as likely to mention Marky Mark's pecs as Jihad. Teenagers will be teenagers, and Saima of Saima Says seems like a nice English "gel", via her homeland of Pakistan. Classes, friends and song recommendations dot her blog. Her friend Ammar posts from time to time, too.
Down the more self-consciously Muslim end of things is Think Halal, where you'll find discussion of the history of terms in the Koran and their transliteration into English. This is a group blog, with a correspondingly wide range of views.
There are links to sites about the Israel-Palestinian conflict (including blogs of people in the occupied zones) and commentary on the way Islam is interpreted and practised in various countries.

Christian blogs
Orthopraxis.What a word! It means "rightness of action" in matters of religious faith, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (offline version.) It's also the name of the blog of American (Christian) Orthdoxy, where blogger Eben Trebino assesses the significance of religious child abuse scandals, has links to articles in the religious magazine Touchstone about conversions to Christianity, and discusses what makes a Bible version heretical. He lightens up the mix with a photo of a soldier kissing an Orthodox priest's hand.
Can you work at a Christian bookstore and still like Survivor? Of course you can! Infectious , a blog run by a Californian girl called Val, roams from favourite football caps to reality TV to the correct lyrics for Easter hymns with startling ease.
Val's links take you to similar sites, like one where the accessibility information reads: "You need: love for Jesus/ love for Plus One/ 800 x 600 res/ PNG support/." (Plus One is an American band composed of attractive young men, and PNG is a standard called Portable Network Graphics.)

Jewish blogs
This Woman's Work is the blog of an American writer and mother who has recently converted to Judaism.
Her religion is only one theme of her blog; she also muses on home schooling, struggles with her efforts to have a brother or sister for son Noah, and discusses her writing - some of which seems to be about the world of conservative Christianity.
Over in Israel, the teenage author of< a href="">A World of My Own is balancing happiness at passing her driving test with the emotions brought up by a Holocaust anniversary. On the anniversary of Israel's foundation, she posts a virtual birthday banner.
"Cupid Girl", as she calls herself, seems like a pretty normal teenage girl, but it's hard to imagine a young Australian writing this as she contemplates the end of school: "I will have a lot of free time before I go to the army (we have to go in Israel and I really want to go.)"
She is a member of the Jewish Weblogs ring, a collection of blogs united by their writers' religion.

Buddhist blogs
The government of Tibet is in exile, but at least it has a home on the Internet. Unfortunately the official Tibet site isn't written by the Dalai Lama himself, but it does post regular news about events in China and what Tibetan exiles are doing.
Speaking of exile, Dervala of is an expatriate Irishwoman living in New York and dabbling with Buddhism; but it's hard to focus on the Om when your meditation retreat is downstairs from an apartment where the occupants are getting some (loud) action.
then again, his victims seem to enjoy it.
I am never going to feel bad about making fun of blogs in my column again. now this is criticism:
'Blog' is AOL idiot speak for 'web log', meaning a shitty online journal that teenagers who are too busy sniffing their nail polish to pass remedial English put up because they can't figure out how the hell GeoCities websites work.-This is a 'blog' devoted to attacking vapid teenagers and their evil piece of shit 'blogs' and shitty excuses for websites. Because we're mean, and yes, we really do hate you.-This is also for posting ranting when we're too lazy to post a real article.

Monday, April 22, 2002

around the corner from my work there's a puveyor of saucy goods -and I don't mean ketchup.

usually its displays are kind of funny - at Easter it featured fluffy bunnies. and today's is kind of funny too. If you like blow-up dolls of sheep and goats with appropriate orifices.

some things I just don't need to know about. not on my way back from lunch on a lovely sunny day.
oops. we'd have to have made the appeal within 28 days. maybe. but if so, why does this morning's article say several years' worth of findings may all be open to appeal?
the relevant court finding
the paper this morning had a story about a court decision overturning a VCAT decision made by a panel member without planning experience.
this applies to our neighbour's flats, which were approved by an engineer.
our planning advocate said that if we'd had a planner hear it, we might have won.
now my stomach is churning and I'm wondering if we should be lodging a Supreme Court injuction against them starting work, pending a case of our own.
the government will move to change the law, but I don't know if they can do it retrospectively. most likely if we won a case, we'd get a new hearing. and who knows what might happen then.
lawyers cost money. a lot of money.
but I so deeply don't want to lose that tree and have a huge brick wall looming over my pretty garden.
angst, conflict and worry abound today.
Central Victoria.
I've been suffering, fighting, cravings for this.
For bare straw-coloured fields and hills.
For the sound of wind in cedars in the dark.
For magpies at apricot dawn.
For cold; for a chill that feels like starlight dew touching my bones.
For frosty tussocks of grass at 6.30 am, just before sunrise.
For pointless sheep dotted randomly.
For a meandering dark green line over there, where the creek is.
For collapsed untidy barbed-wire fences, backed up by a single steel strand of 12 volt electricity.
For silence.

This is where I'm from, so I fight it. I think I should be in New York City (and I should), or that my chosen retreat should be a cottage enfolded in the hills, or close to the soothing swish of the ocean. Such places have romance, meaning, drama. They are sites of interface: mountain meets stormy sky, waterfall cuts forest, sea meets sand.
This, Central Victoria, being where I grew up, is undesirable. To be here is a defeat; to go back. And I can't say I ever understood it, or felt I belonged.
It's quiet outside. The hills on the horizon - Mt Franklin, Springmount, Smeaton Hill - are mere lumps, land waves rising where the horizon was bored with flatness.

I'm sitting at the kitchen table writing. To my right, where the sun rose this morning, the black and white bird struts, rips food from the earth and sings a song of liquid joy.
well, the dream hovel has no toilet. and they want "$120-$140,000" for it, which is an EXTRAORDINARY amount. it's apparently in reasonable nick. apart from the thing about the toilet.
there's always composting loos!

Sunday, April 21, 2002

yeah, I've been away for a few days.which is one reason why, at 11pm at night, I'm on the Web looking at
broken-down old country pubs for sale
(the hovel in question, and I use the word advisedly, is at the end of their listings under Yapeen)
dream on...

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

today's blogon column:

There comes a time in every spectator’s life when they feel the urge to have
a go themselves.
When that happens to you, these metablogs – blogs about blogging – will
offer you resources, advice and most of all, will lead by example.

The starting place for many a young blogger, Blogger and its companion
hosting site, Blog*Spot, provide a free, no-fuss start in blogging.
Blogger also allows users to post to sites hosted elsewhere, and recently
launched its paid service, BloggerPro, for commercial and high-end users.
The central blog points out articles and debates on blogging, advertises
special offers and conferences and keeps users updated on what’s going on
behind the scenes at the service.
There’s also an active discussion area.
When you feel like checking out the competition, Blogger displays the most
recently updated blogs, has a list of “blogs of note” and carries a small
paid ad for members’ blogs.

The Peer to Peer Review Project
An offshoot of a regular blog, this site is devoted to posting reviews of
blogs by other bloggers.
Reviews – due to go up by this week – will include details of blogs’ writing
styles, topics and design.

Scripting News
Dave Winer has been a leader of the tech pack since way back; his blog,
Scripting News, is only the latest manifestation of his active mind.
And not just lately; archives go back to 1997. Before that, he ranted and
raved on his DaveNet email newsletter.
Winer must never sleep, as he seems to be constantly posting links and
comments about blogging and other Web-related events; news articles,
interesting posts on other blogs and technical developments.
An advocate of diversity and freedom of information, Winer throws out ideas
and lets his pack of readers chew over themthem. The latest: that we should
all let the Internet search engines have access to the masses of data on our
desktop machines.
He uses, and promotes, an alternative publishing software called Manila.

Blog You!
Set up by a couple of self-appointed critics, Blog You! lists and rates hundreds of blogs more or less randomly.
Their rating system consists not of stars, but of Donald Sutherlands; the
more Donalds you get, the better they say your blog is.
Part of a review of a blog called The Scratching Post:
“I could immediately dig my blade into the malfunctioning image links that
offer tragic Xs at every corner. But when I first loaded up the sign, the
latest entry had this header: “Where the hell were the dancing cats?” By
just about anyone’s assessment, this is a legitimate question.”
The pair seem to relish the idea of angry bloggers dissing their reviews.
The forum area, however, seems to be more a polite discussion of
blogging niceties and which blogs need reviewing right away.
The subtitle says it all: Recently Changed Weblogs.
But if you don’t believe that there are thousands of people posting to their
blogs right now, take a look at this site, which automatically lists
members’ blog as they update.
Any given minute – as in 3.05pm, 3.06 pm – there will typically be between
five and 15 new postings. Good for a browse.

things other people accomplished when they were your age
just came across Heather, who seems to be able to make decent mileage out of any morsel:

I called 411 the other day, After stumbling through the automated portions (I really can't get used to it being national rather than local), I was forwarded to the operator, who answered the line with, "This is Destiny, how may I help you?"

I sat silent for a few moments. When you've got Destiny on the line, how may they help you? What would you ask? Am I following mine? Can you tell me how much time I've got left so I can be sure not only to use it wisely, but to be wearing underwear when I kick it? Is there a REASON why I misplace all the spoons and every matching sock? Is my life following you, Destiny, or do I just have really rotten luck? How the hell did you get stuck working at the phone company, anyway?

But, just as Time waits for no one, apparently neither does Destiny, because she got rather impatient with my silence and insisted I make a request. So, pressed for time, all I asked for was a phone number. Boy, did I blow that.
my hairdryer died. it spat out one single spark and blew no more hot air.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

progress on my further-study musings has accelerated with the news that my employer will actually make a chunky contribution to me doing a master's degree.

now I need to decide if I 100 % definitely want to do it, if I have the commitment to go back to classes and studying in my free time; or if I want to do nothing, explore other options and generally behave like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Monday, April 15, 2002

darn it! the average visit is down to 1:00.

that means that I have logged 53 verifiable hours of eyeball time on this blog; say the real figure is double, that's about 106 hours, which is about two hours per week of its life.

which, spookily enough, is roughly the amout of time I've spent writing it.
been a while since I did a pointless quiz; I think that proper IQ test scared me off them.

which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?

this quiz was made by colleen

via ToxicLabRat, whom I thought was "toxy-cla-brat" until just now.
crunch time: tomorrow night the architect tells us how much the builders want to tear our house apart and rebuild it. why do I expect it to be ugly? (the cost, not the house)
the sad tale of Melly's lost blog:
go do your back ups; I do (at least every two months...)

Sunday, April 14, 2002

look, I don't want to come over all needy or anything, but because Sitemeter only records a visit length over 0:00 when more than one page is visited, my "average visit" is down to 1.01. this is a serious matter. clearly if it goes on, my average visitor will be recorded as staying only .0001 of a second.
so do me a favour: click on some archives or something. unless, of course, you only wish to stay for 0:01 seconds. I understand. don't mind me. I won't be too upset.

last Thursday's BlogOn from The Age's Green Guide, which really is printed on green paper:

Webcam Blogs

Not content with pouring their hearts out on their sites, these bloggers have incorporated the classic webcam so you can see them as they do exciting things, like sitting at their desks typing.

Erratic Frog

Kimberley's site is a stylishly designed portal to her life. Click on the lips to read her blog; click on an eye to see the webcam; click on various stars to see her "coffee sites" (sites to read while having that first coffee of the day), her favourite quotes and a link to her coven.
Yes, Kimberly is a witch, or as they prefer to be called these days, a holder of Wiccan beliefs. Her journal mostly eschews mundane daily events in favour of inspirational poems, descriptions of dreams and musings on what it's all about. She occasionally refers to robing up and going to special rituals, but none of it sounds much weirder than, say, a fanatical triathlete's routines.

Jim Finnis is a games programmer in Wales who has a second career as a comedian lined up if he ever wants it. He can use links to reframe a mundane news item into something that will have you ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing). He mainly blogs things he finds on the Web, only occasionally getting personal, and the webcam is a recent development.
You've got to love someone whose personal hero is Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
The blog runs back to March, 2000, and there's a hoot on every archive page.

I blog, ....
Twenty-one-year-old Singaporean student Kling does more with her webcam than just point it at herself. She photographs her friends, her favourite chocolate and assorted soft toys, making the blog a suitable adjunct to her tales of university life, the movies she's seen and her latest too-cute purchases.
Read a few posts to get a feel for life in Singapore, where it's surprising when the news doesn't censor images of naked bodies, and on a good day you can go kite flying at Marina Bay.

Nf0's Life:
When you're a San Franciscan Perl hacker, you call yourself things like Nf0. And you don't just have one webcam on your site; you have one for home, one for the office and one showing what's on your TV right now.
When BlogOn tuned in, the image on the TV cam was changing. The image on the home cam, a grainy, dark shadow of what may or may not have been Nf0, didn't seem to alter; perhaps he was just deep in geeky concentration.
His blog covers the cost of IBM Microdrives, the best stripped-down project management software and genuine technical insights, like proof that top search engine Google is powered by the pecking of thousands of smart pigeons. The post date to look for is April 1.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

graduation day: now I know how a bottle of beer on an assembly line feels.
First, you wait in a line for 15 minutes. someone crosses your name off a list, takes $50 from you and hands you a bit of paper, which you must not lose. then you show the bit of paper to someone else, who hands you a gown and silk trencher thing. then you go to another desk where they check your name and give you a bit of paper with a seat number on it. then someone dresses you in your gown like you were a supermodel between catwalks: you don't move and they use lots of pins.
then at the hall, someone rips your bit of paper with the number in half. then someone else checks it and puts you in a seat.
when it's your turn, the person at the end of the row says "Jenny?" (or relevant name) as you walk by to make sure you're the right person.
before you go up on stage, a woman adjusts your gown and propels you gently forward with a hand to the small of the back. up on stage, someone crosses your name off another list, just to be REALLY sure it's you. he hands you to a person whose job it is to ask you if you've had a good morning, remind you to smile and send you off when your name is called.
then you bow to the chancellor, who is an elderly lady in a gilt-edged robe, sitting in a big chair in a way slightly reminiscent of the Pope. she says "congratulations", shakes your hand and hands over yet another bit of paper, sheathed in plastic. you bow to the man who called your name and leave the stage, trying very hard not to fall down the stairs,. in the aisle is a man whose job it is to make sure you don't walk all the way down the aisle and out, and go back to your seat instead.
all that for that one Very Important Bit of Paper, which in my case took six years part-time to earn.
you have the honor of reading the blog of Me, BA (RMIT), 1990 and BLitt (University of Melbourne), 2002.

charmed, I'm sure.

Friday, April 12, 2002

yawn. blogger isn't posting. and it's happening on all my blogs and both my logins. so if you can't read this, let me know.

the miata webring is bringing me some hits, so I suppose I should mention that it (the new car) managed to take off almost like a motorbike this morning; you know, that sudden lurch from motionless to moving really fast? also that I can't remember enjoying a car this much since I got my first car. hehehehe

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

how to swear in Norwegian. (via a Norwegian blog I've lost)
what does it mean when you publish an email on your blog BEFORE you send it to the intended recipient?

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Monday, April 08, 2002

On Sunday we went all the way to Langwarrin to see the Rodin exhibition (no pix at that link, pix and full Rodin guff here) I could become obsessed with The Kiss When I saw my first version of it, in marble at the Rodin gallery in Paris, I spent an hour staring at it from different angles.

this show had a smaller, bronze, version that would fit nicely in our to-be-built back room. there's something about the way Rodin formed his stone and bronze muscles that makes them appear warm, about to move.

so that was good. not so good was the sight of numerous idiots tapping on The Thinker out the front. (there are 12 of these, but it's still an original Rodin). what is it about great sculpture that makes people TOUCH it? I mean, I'd like to, I can feel the impulse, but I wouldn't do it. acids from the human skin will tarnish and wear the works. I think some of them were just unable to deal with the difference between themselves and something so perfect, and had to bring it down by doing that. or they were just plain stupid.
some people I know (about whom I will remain deliberately vague, but we'll call A and B) were discussing someone else we know (person C) and this person's emails.
person A said to person B: "She sounded really good, like she was really enjoying herself."
person B replied: "Yes, it didn't sound like her at all."

sometimes I think person C is a little sad. this exchange between two people who know C much better than I do, confirmed that for me.

my comedy festival reviews, just because I'm getting a few hits for Chris Addison:

Chris Addison has returned, like General Macarthur, to pick over the remains of the British Empire.
A winner at last year's Comedy Festival with Cakes and Ale, he is drawing appreciative return audiences to his new show, Port In, Starboard Out (POSH).
(Overhead in the queue outside: "Last year I laughed so much I cried, so tonight I'm not wearing any mascara.")
Using a couple of maps of the world (with and without pink bits), Addison deconstructs what it means to be British, why the English keep on leaving England to invade other countries, and how terribly embarrassed they were when the Empire turned the tables and popped around to England for a cup of tea, and he does it all without stopping for breath.
If Addison were on TV, there are a few words the producers would bleep out, but they're used with such innocent sincerity that they don't offend as much as they could.
This is what Addison's schtick is all about; he clearly finds his own jokes pretty funny. In some comedians this can kill the humour, but Addison sweeps the audience along with quick delivery, a cheerful grin and an engaging physical presence.
Sometimes he seems to be sharing one half of an inner dialogue, answering unasked questions and following trains of thought to absurd but strictly logical conclusions: whether, for instance, hook-wielding, eyepatch-wearing pirates moored their ships in disabled mooring bays "closer to the pub".
At other times, it's not so much the jokes as Addison's performance that gets the laughs: the beanstalk comedian as grossly overweight, motionless DVT sufferer invokes the ghost of Monty Python, and he does a nice line in toffee-nosed and Strine accents as well.
Expect to wince once or twice, but to laugh constantly.


Tuesday-Sunday until April 21, Melbourne Town Hall, 8.15 pm.

Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
2-21 April, Preview 28-31 March
Tue-Sun 8:15pm
Ticketmaster7 1300 66 0013 and at the Door
Full Wed-Fri & Sun $22.50, Sat All Tix $24.50 Conc. Wed-Fri & Sun $18.00 Group ((8 or more) Wed-Fri & Sun) $19.90 Laugh Pack $19.90 Tightarse Tuesdays $16.00 Preview $16.00

Cream of Irish

Are Irish accents inherently funny? They're certainly easy on the ear, so three Irish comedians in one show can hardly fail.
Cream of Irish strings an assortment of Ireland's top standup talent.
Tara Flynn is a droll Irish lass with a lilting voice and well developed sense of irony, whose career highlights include being the voice of Ireland's mobile phone messaging system.
Ian Coppinger's segment is well structured, with recurring themes that mine the life of a regular Irish bloke for absurdities and almost-believable tales of drunken larks; his is a self-deprecating and likeable stage persona.
Brendan Dempsey's may be a familiar face to moviegoers (Waking Ned Devine) and fans of TV's Father Ted, which he appeared in recently. His humour is of the anthropological kind; funniest when he paints the picture then points out how daft it all it, but occasionally a bit obvious; Steve the Crocodile Hunter is almost too easy a target. Dempsey's T-Rex impersonation is priceless.
The energy level goes up a notch when the trio share the stage. They finish off the night with a few pieces of improvised theatre, making the most of Flynn's and Coppinger's solid singing voices in the process.
The improvisations are reliant on audience suggestions, so it helps if someone throws in a reference to sheep, as happened at last weekend's preview show.
(Cream of Irish's Saturday late show is an all-improv gig)

The Athenaeum Theatre , 188 Collins St, Melbourne
2-21 April, Preview 28-31 March, Late Show 30 March, 6-20 April
Tue-Sun 8:15pm, Late Show Sat 11:00pm
Ticketmaster7 1300 66 0013 Book at the venue 9650 1500 and at the Door
Full Tues $16.50, Wed, Thurs & Sun $19.50, Fri & Sat $26.50 Conc. Tues- Thurs, Sun $16.50, Fri & Sat $22.00 Group ((10 or more people)) 18.00 Laugh Pack $18.00 Tightarse Tuesdays $16.50 Saturday Late Show $15.00 Preview $16.00

one day back at work and I have sick-Jenny syndrome.
it consists of an aching neck, mild headache, sore eyes and a feeling of reluctance to do any work on some fairly banal pieces that are lying on my desk.

funny how when one is feeling chirpy, anything is possible; but at times like this, all one wants to do is sit in the garden with the dog. so I wonder about the way I seem to be constructing a complex edifice of work/study/renovations etc that will - is - chew up energy and leave not that much room for spontaneity.

all I can do is put the headphones on tuned to heavy radio, concentrate on crossing things off the list, and promise myself a walk in the park at lun
am about to send off applications for up to $14,000 in training dollars from my employer, some as back payment for course completed, some for potential future training.
do you like my chances?

Sunday, April 07, 2002

slightly late BlogOn for 4/4:

The Internet can seem like one giant messy library sometimes, so it's no surprise that actual librarians are online in droves. Learn a little about the secret life of the information specialist at these library blogs.

Library Stuff
Should libraries censor what people see on library Internet terminals? What would the fine be on a book overdue by 102 years? Is there now, and will there ever be, a threat to the Google search engine's supremacy? Library Stuff ranges freely over everything from information science to industrial relations stories related to libraries. New entries can run to more than 10 in a single day, but the simple headline system means you shouldn't suffer information overload.

Extra Net
This blog, where librarians and technology meet, is a fairly technical journal, with overviews of new software releases, support for old software and reviews. It also discusses the implications of obsolete technology for the librarian's archiving work, and provides a space for open discussion. It's a multi-user blog, and if you're a tech-head booky person, you can join and post your own library news.

Librarians Anonymous
"My name is Geoff, and I am a Librarian."
Can't get a hardcore enough keyword extraction tool for your database?
Secretly yearning for a filtering solution that allows in sexual material but not stuff that's offensively so? Get your fix at Librarians Anonymous, an opinionated blog that takes questions of privacy, information management and librarians' responsibility to protect heritage material seriously.
Blogger Geoffrey Harder is Canada-based but he has links to all over the place. He even has a swag of links to library funny stuff, such as a site proving that Batgirl was a librarian.

Gateshead Central Library
This English library blog is a matter-of-fact listing of new material available to locals, useful reference links and news about librarians' work in archiving the Internet. It links to the library's catalogue and other help services, and looks like a good model for any librarian thinking of ramping up their online presence.
Most bizarre recent link: a pointer to a site that has put the 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica up on the Web in searchable form.

well, aren't you the funky chicken?

Thursday, April 04, 2002

right, this really sucks. Air New Zealand say there are "no flights" for $1305 that day but for $2086, they have flights. grrrr.
I've found a $1305 flight from Melbourne to Vegas. pity there are no actual flights. it's advertised on, but no matter what dates I put in, it says "no flights available". this doesn't mean "booked out", it means no flights. the idea I had was to snap that up, then try to get to NYC and back on my EastWest points, or pay for a flight, or catch a bus or something.
the next price up is $800 more.
I've been to the Church of the Nativity.
It's a lovely place. it's all divided up into bits for different branches of Christianity.
our tour guide spoke several languages and rabbited on happily with the Greek priest. I think that's who I just saw on TV begging to be saved from a massacre.
the square outside, where we ducked through a tiny door to enter the ancient, sacred space, is full of tanks and men shooting each other.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

until I get going, this will have to do: my latest eBay attempted purchase
have been busy on my uni blog researching possible courses of study, and more importantly, FUNDING!!

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

so Kylie's down from New Guinea, where she lives in a mining town.
she's 4 months pregnant. Husband is in PNG, so she invited me to the ultrasound. I don't think I was ready to see a squirming little person; it just didn't compute that there was her slightly enlarged belly, and up on the screen was an actual baby.
you could even see the inside of its skull.
she only comes back to Melbourne a few weeks before it's born. it's the same time as BlogCon and other possible US activities. I'm a bit torn; she'll be here by herself - of course she has family and other friends, but I'm one of only a few people she's emailing regularly.
it was so good to see her, have lunch, natter on and all that. people are good things, y'know?
aargh. don't you hate it when a carefully updated master file is mysteriously replaced by the older version??

proof of the great tomato glut of 2002:

Developments in the garden I planted last year (you can't see where the neighbours rip off the tops of the creeper when it goes even a millimetre into their airspace, which is actually our airspace for 10cm, but whatever)

and some gratuitous sheds, which I'm supposed to be painting right now.

and finally, I can't work out why there's only a picture of Andrew in the MX-5 and none of me yet, but here it is:

blogger's gone all weird. first it asked for an FTP password, so I just typed "password" and it posted happily. well, that's all it did, but isn't that weird?

I've just had to file to someone at work other than the person I was commissioned to do the story by . that someone is someone who in the past has omitted to contact me after a long and conversational job interview. so I wasn't expecting much in the way of feedback. but I had to call and leave a message to get that person to even reply to my email to confirm I had the right address. then I got this: "thanks".

just thanks. not even "thanks, Jenny". and this for work this person knows I did on my holiday!
I'm one of those people who actually cares who I work for. I like having bosses who appreciate me, who care about the project so in turn I feel I'm doing something meaningful. for such a boss, I will do many things beyond the call of duty.
the person to whom I filed this last piece is NOT such a person. If I had to work for that person, I would quit. I am serious.
thank God for Google and the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon. we'd be lost without them.
fairly perfect sunny autumn day today: breakfast with the paper, a bike ride, an hour or two's work, an excursion to the world (the bike shop), a little home maintenance (repairs to my bike panniers after seeing the prices of new ones), a nap, a swim, a dog walk with a side trip to the vegie store, and as I arrived home, Andrew pulled up on his pushbike.
now I'm doing a little more light work (writing a BlogOn column; how hard can that be?), then we'll have dinner and curl up in front of a video on cyberactivism that I need to review (sort of more work).
all based at my lovely house, with no office noise, aircon or compulsory meaningless chats about what we did over Easter.
very nice indeed. I'm on holidays, though; this is more like what I'd like a normal working day to be!

Monday, April 01, 2002

the woomera kids have had their protest, broken down some fences, let some refugees out and generally caused trouble.
not sure about the letting-out bit. it's an excuse to not let those people stay, if they're convicted. could it be that the Government didn't give the South Australian police permission to act until the fences were falling as a strategy? ie, to let there be as much trouble as possible? conspiracy theory, I know.

but there are some interviews with the escaped refugees here and you can see why they ran.
more at the main Melbourne IIndymedia site.

most of the main press reports don't differentiate between the fence-breakers and the kite-flyers. and they all say breathlessly "the group's Web site shows they planned to break the refugees out!" OF COURSE THEY DID! well of course some of them did. and some of them went with the full intent of cooking organic hummus and singing peace songs.

sort of wistful about not going up there now.