Friday, May 31, 2002

blogger's blogged this, but so will I: NYC blogs love that subway map.
I'm so confused. First this from Hoopty, then this from Batgrl , and Gawd knows what else.
obviously I have not been immersed enough in my personal blogging circle. clearly this may not be such a bad thing.
I can't really tell whether people are still speaking to each other or whether it's silver pistols at dawn. I'm sure Dawn prefers the former.

anyway, I've had a good day involving coffee, work interviews, op shops, haircuts, nephews, driving in the rain, and some work writing. and now I'm going to have some free drinks.

so confused...

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

today's BlogOn
The Google search engine is more than just a way to find stuff; for some Webphiles it's a source of fun and even spiritual guidance at these multi-user, Google-focused blogs.

Google released an API (application program interface) so that the computing industry could find really useful new things to do with the powerful search engine. This is what it got: Googlewhacking.
The game is custom-made for obsessive types. It involves finding pairs of dictionary words that return only one hit on Google; in other words, that pair of words occur only once together anywhere in cyberspace as defined by Google.
If you ever wondered just how focused and competitive your average geek could be, this site will open your eyes to the full, slightly frightening truth.
Users - anyone who wants to play - can record their "whack" and a short comment in the "whack stack". It's in the comments that the game really happens; boy geeks try to pick up the girl geeks, users barrack for their home towns, and the weird name combinations are given weirder punchlines.
A few examples from the 70,000 whacks so far: "matricidal chortling" brings the note "she won't think it's funny" from Nick and Derek; "mongolic cinematographer" brings the unkind comment, "PRC cameraperson" from Kit Carson; Alison Brown posts "exfoliated ixodid" asking, "did it have hair anyway?"; and Hess Effect downplays his or her success with "hairbrained frivolousness" by saying, "Got it! But it's unimportant..."
For serious time wasters only.

Google Press
Google's own directory to media mentions, the Google Press site averages about one new mention a day. Its archives stretch back to 1998, when it was launched to rave reviews.
Choice quotes extolling the search engine's virtues decorate the page. If you surf into the "Zeitgeist" area, you'll find a list of the most popular and fastest-growing search phrases of past years or the current month; the mums of German-speaking Web users will be pleased to know that "muttertag" was term number one last Mothers' Day.

The Google Blog

Not written by an employee of the Google Corporation, the Google Blog records everything from the release of new versions to the special logos Google puts on to mark such events as Halloween, Christmas and St Patrick's Day.
It can point you to new tricks for finding what you seek, and to sites where expert developers are discussing their Google projects.
Author Aaron Swartz has some credibility with the company; he recently got a tour of their offices, duly documented with his digital camera and posted on the blog.

Ask Google
How many angels will fit on the head of a pin? 40,400, according to Google.The aim of Ask Google is to phrase questions in a way that allows the magic search engine to give a strictly numerical answer.
By searching the millions of sites indexed by Google, this site has proved forever that love is more likely to be free (588,000 results) than expensive (44,700), and that Mark Twain (420) is more kitsch than Jack Kerouac (345).
a colour scheme selection page that may be useful for site redesigns. or deciding what colour to paint the shed in the backyard. and so on.
scratch that hotel. "The walls go up 7 feet on a 9 1/2 foot ceiling".
no way I'm leaving my computer/leather jacket/anything in there
there had to be a catch...
a startlingly honest set of reviews of New York flophouses
"The sorriest of over 250 hotels we have visited in New York. Management wouldn't show us rooms for reasons that became abundantly clear."
I don't know whether to be pleased or really p-d off.
my work computer can play CDs!
all this time I've been drowning out annoying work noises with annoying radio noises and online sites that crash my browser, when I could have been typing away to the sweet grooves of The Whitlams or some nice non-distracting instrumental thing.

another blow for offlineness to add to the fact that I've decided to buy my air ticket from a real travel agent instead of for only $40 more, in order to get some service, and that I really quite like the market over services like

still, it would be much harder to research places to stay in New York and rental houses without the lovely Web.
have I mentioned we have to move out so building can start? it's more like a four-week deadline now, which is positively relaxing after that two-week scare.
scary. I've just had a hit on "hoopty blog stalker"
is that what all the fuss was about?
note: john ralston saul, On Equilibrium
he's on the radio talking about whether we're citizens or consumers. must get & read.
did you exchange
a walk-on part in the war
for a lead role
in a cage?

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

if anyone out there has an opinion on the Bowery Whitehouse hotel, do let me know before I give them my money.
Sugar Hill hostel was good last time, but I'd kind of like a private room. and being in Harlem has both upsides and downsides.

Monday, May 27, 2002

and my coming across this site on keeping your teenage children "pure" straight afterwards is a complete coincidence.
don't ask how I found this: a site in praise of spanking, paddling and flogging. I think they're serious.
hey, mr/ms/sir your royal highness at how about a birthday email? you've been dropping by a lot lately. secret admirers are no fun if they don't send you virtual flowers sometimes.
even on your birthday, a sock crisis can strike. and a sock crisis can literally colour your whole day - lack of black socks means red socks means red shirt, and I didn't want to wear a red shirt because I want to wear the purple leather jacket Andrew bought me in Dublin.

apart from that, 36 is going OK, so far.
my dreams last night incorporated black and white photos of myself as a child, and my Dad trying to do too many things at once, while I warned him that he should concentrate on one thing at a time. which is nothing to do with my father, you understand. when I woke up (to the really loud radio news, too early - I may have the day off but Andrew didn't), the names of people - children - I went to school with were in my head. and not the ones I was friends with. random smelly boys and shy or snobby girls whom I never really "got".

it's a lovely day. stretches, a bike ride, a big brushing of a squirming fluffy dog, and now I'm off to try to book my BlogCon trip.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

my workplace is annoyingly noisy on Monday mornings; it makes it hard to get the gears grinding again.
so went looking for some blockout noise. I thought Virgin Radio might be funky. no. it was exactly like the sad baby-boomer talky-talky FM stations we have over here, but with a British accent.
you don't need a link. feel free to suggest a decent online station, though. Heavy is good, but it keeps crashing my browser.
another fabulous blog belonga a Jenny.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Friday: a day of funerals.
First thing in the morning - and by that I mean 5 am - I was up out of bed, or at least my body was, showering.
At 5.30 I was in the car, moving at a consistent 10 per cent above the relevant speed limit, heading north with my nephew in the passenger seat.
The first 1 1/2 hours were strange - there was a fog across the road and very few other cars on the highway, and I felt more like I'd been driving all night than that I'd just got out of bed.
By 8.00 we were driving through the valley around Myrtleford, a lowlands-of-the-high-country place that is probably actually heaven - fertile soil, a broad river, snowy mountains around it. At 8.30 we were in Myrtleford (300 ks from Melbourne) having coffee, and by 9.15 we'd discovered that the charge against my nephew (the result of a small teenage incident at the local pub) was in fact so minor that it had been dismissed automatically and we needn't have come at all.
Driving back, we found that every channel on the radio seemed to have been taken over by the funeral of Alec Campbell, probably the last Gallipoli soldier to die anywhere in the world. Eventually I found some doof-doof music somewhere and we made it home. That was 600 ks before lunch.
I had a cup of tea and a couple of bites of food, farewelled nephew, got back in the car and drove as fast as I could out into the hills, where I barely made it for the start of my husband's grandfather's funeral.
Pa - Herb to his mates - was almost 90 and died at home earlier this week. He was a lovely old thing, very kind and well-spoken and as an ex-engineer, awfully meticulous with everything. The church at Emerald, where he worshipped, was a lovely plainish white-painted weatherboard, and I stood next to an opaque window in a glow of sunlight through the service, squashed in beside Andrew.
The moment I'll remember is singing Psalm 68 - "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven" - one that I knew from childhoold church going - with maybe 80-100 people behind me singing it too. It wasn't the words or the music that got me - it was Andrew's aunt putting her full opera-singer oomph into the notes, lifting the whole mass of sound up a level. I remember thinking what a lovely celebration that was of the gifts Pa had left behind, one of which was his kids, and in this case the voice that Andrew's aunt has (opera singer is not a metaphor - it's what she does for a living.)
So all that was as OK as it could be; then we drove into town for a meal (total ks about 700 by now) and in the City Link tunnel Big Brother took over my radio to warn me of delays ahead, which in my dazed state I found very freaky.
Now, Sunday morning, I am still tired out from it all. we had a wonderful meal with some good friends last night - they have the kind of home that makes your body drop its tension when you walk in the door. I'm trying to do some work, thinking of a bike ride, trying not to think of the where-will-we-live question (yesterday = checking out rental places) and staying warm. Winter is coming.
'No doubt about it, mate," he affirms. "Definitely the Son of God." '

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Call them online appreciation sites, even Web shrines, or perhaps fanzines; just don't use the g-word.


Irish superband U2 has spawned a rash of fan sites; U2 Log is a good starting point, with links to the best of the rest, if you call a site where you can dress naked caricatures of band members the best.
The log itself is full of outrage against anyone who dares diss lead singer Bono, and updates on the smallest details of photo shoots and concerts around the world.
This blog's been going for almost two years, fuelled by the energies of three writers from three countries (Australia included), several contributors, and a generous interpretation of U2-ness in their selection of links.
So if you've ever wondered whether your biorhythms are compatible with Bono's, now's your chance to find out.

Aussie Music Fan
"I am Andrew Bowie. Excitement," reads the first post in this blog, run by - you guessed it - an Aussie music fan.
"This page is to be my soapbox for gig reviews, music rants and self gratification," 24-year-old Bowie goes on.
Mostly this takes the form of his writings about Melbourne shows, from sonicanimation at the Hi-Fi Bar to Gomez at the Palais.
But there's the odd left-fielder, like a link to a site proving that digital music can have visual images hidden in the sound files.
He even scores the odd e-mail interview with local acts, like Melbourne's Pre-Shrunk.
Bowie has his own band as well, with, of course, fans: "Big fleas have little fleas/Upon their back to bite 'em..."

Is there anyone out there in blogland who hasn't taken sides on the Legolas/Aragorn debate?
If so, get thee to Elenath, where you'll read more than enough about their respective merits, not to mention the radical Elijah Wood theory held by an active minority. You'll also learn not to call him Legolas: it's "Orli" (for actor Orlando Bloom).
Elenath serves as a kind of chat room for its 18 or so female members, who download their day's news, with obligatory passing references to their chosen character.
These blogs come not singly, but in sets, or in blog parlance, cliques, also known as Web rings, which you can follow around the many, many Lord of the Rings fan sites on the Internet.
There's one ring Tolkien didn't think of.

Black: Women of colour who love n'sync

Fans of the boy band n'sync come in all colours and both genders, it seems, but if you're not female, of colour and properly obsessed, you can't blog here.
There are (at last count) 41 members of this blog, with eight main writers, all happily nattering away about the images on their own sites, where Justin's singing right now, who's off to Mexico and what they think of each other's fan fiction.
Side topics include why gym class sucks, barracking for the African-American contestants on the TV show Survivor and whether they agree with interracial relationships. But it's pretty much all about the boys in the band.
Attack of the Clones yesterday; maybe I'm shallow, but I was really taken in by the fx and the good noises. the acting and script, well, Lucas himself says he likes silent movies. I liked the Blade Runner/Charlie Chaplin/Gladiator references. a bit of unashamed pinching of the good bits is commendable in an action movie.
dunno about Ewan's beard, though...

and no, I have not been blogging much lately. although a blog is a place to record one's exciting life, if it gets tooexciting, there's no time. we've had a sad event in my husband's family, I have a young relative with a small legal problem to sort out, and oh, the builders say we have three weeks to find somewhere else and move out.

to deal with all this, I have bought several boxes of coloured stickers. And written at least ten lists of things to do.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Monday night. asleep on my feet. it's dark. it's raining. the wind is howling. I'm so tired I'm having random thoughts like those thoughts you get just before you conk out.
perfect time for a swim!
I just love that cold water, the need to go fast or freeze to death; it's so hard to force myself in, but once I do, I know I'll come out feeling awake, alert and strong. and with a really aching neck.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

scary. a colleague has just told me that she was being quizzed about me at the weekend. not by a reader of the paper, but by a reader of my blog.
apparently this person was not, outwardly at least, an obsessive stalker type.
bet it's my friend at
that's inspired me; my next BlogOn column will be on google-related blogs
this isn't a blog. just a weird auto-search machine.
I've found another cool Google game: Ask Google the idea seem to be to code a question in a manner that gets you an answer: so I can now reveal that 40,400 is the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin.

another test question: how many Wallies are in Sydney? the answer: 428
Do you think Nabokov or Patrick White had to sit through 47-minute meetings on Monday morning listening to colleagues discuss the best place to buy a jarrah table?
admit it. you've always wanted to see the Death Valley Salt Flats in glorius colour on the Web, haven't you?

Saturday, May 18, 2002

making a new subhead over on the left for "writing".
750cc, cherry red, 6251 ks on the clock

It was a warm, wild, windy Melbourne morning in earliest spring - a day that
called out motorcycles the way a cry of "surf's up" brings
boys in bright boardshorts running down the sand.
Up on the Boulevarde the snaking road, bend after bend, was a rolling
loop of fast wheels and screaming motors. Below and west, the city
stretched out and out.
Between the green hill and the silver city towers lie Fitzroy, Carlton,
Collingwood; low flat suburbs build on square blocks, neat as a surveyor's
tape measure.
Half past nine - why get out of bed so early?
Last night was Saturday night, and in some of these
houses, everything has changed.
27 Smithson Street: Yesterday morning, she rose alone, popped out for
fresh bread and the paper, hung out white shirts and knickers in the crisp
air, and breakfasted on buttered toast and decaf in those slanting winter
But today it's spring and the sun is glinting on her dirty blond hair in
quite a different way. Maybe it's the smile on her face, or maybe it's the
constrast with the head resting on hers; much darker, with straighter hair, parted down the middle.
She asks the hair: "How are you feeling?" and a long-fingered pianist's
hand slides under the silk of her dressing gown.
"Feeling not bad."
She smiles at her white cat, brilliant in the window frame.
"You want a coffee?"
"I want to go back to bed."
Her face hurts from smiling.
Last night, a brush against her arm in a crowded bookshop led to a glance
sideways. The book in his hand was the same as the book in hers, "The
Politics of Panic."
So they ended up having two coffees each next door, talking over each other
about the millennium, the President's penis and the way ideals
become corrupted by the processes of power, not to mention life in general.
Saying goodbye, she touched his elbow, sisterly-like; he placed an elegant hand on her
shoulder, felt her woolly-jumpered warmth.
And a quick closed-mouth kiss became an entwining of tongues, became a hand
running down her back like a waterfall, became their ribs pressing
togerher, became a joining at the hip like a three-legged racer as they
stumbled to her house, became a shedding of clothes, a throwing back of
Which led to negotiation of limbs and noses, redistribution of weight, a
long fierce stare into each other's eyes, a penetration, gasping,
inadvisable utterances and sweet drops of sweat falling on her breasts.
And now it's morning.
Up on the Boulevarde, a dark low Porsche is hassling the bikes, like a
swallow in a swarm of flies.
At 27 Smithson Street, he feels the sunshine on his face and says: "I have
to go. Can I have your number?"
She thinks: "You've already got my number," while she writes eight digits
and a name on a piece of orange paper.
He unfolds his long body from the wicker chair, leading with his head like
a cobra rising from a basket.
At the doorway, he leans to kiss her, and beyond the dark mass of his hair she
marvels at the red and blue light coming through the stained glass as if she
didn't see it every day.
It's only four blocks to his house. He could drop around to see her any
time, but he likes the idea of calling her - of her in the upstairs room
talking to him on the archaic telephone, with a dial instead of buttons.
On his sunny front verandah, the bike is a dot-to-dot picture made up of
gleaming points of chrome.
Boots, jacket, helmet, gloves. He mounts from the left like a horseman,
swinging his leg straight back and over the seat.
0-60 in five seconds, and he's rising up the hill at 65 ks an hour with
Fitzroy behind him, feeling energy charging up his spine.
Each corner on this road must be taken at precise speed, leaning into every
bend and bump just so. It's a meditation, a precise exercise that takes all his concentration, clearing his mind of the woman and her soft
desirable flesh. On each lap he goes a little faster, dipping his head a
millimetre or so to riders coming the other way.
If you were to die, you'd want to be feeling like this: strong, fast and
full of the power of motion.
There's a hairpin bend overlooking the freeway, a long smooth veering to
the right with just enough throttle to keep your speed up on the climb. No
more than 60 ks here, and watch the line you follow, cutting across
the sharpest angle of the bend, ready to straighten up when the road
straightens out. Focus.
And if there were a low black Porsche coming at you astride that white line
in the middle of the road, squeezing past a 17-year-old riding an old 250
on his L-plates who just wouldn't go fast enough, who was terrified that the bitumen beneath his wheels would somehow slide away, you'd have nowhere to go but over
the bonnet or off the hillside into the flowering gum trees and egg-yellow

On the first day of summer, in the courtyard of a Carlton pub walled in
with old brick and scented creepers, she says to her best friend: "I wonder
why Bookshop Boy never called me?"
And her friend says: "Oh, men are just bastards. Don't worry about it. Do
you want another beer?"

how annoying. I didn't even know this great online comic site was there. and now it's stopped producing.
another fine Jim production
from Daypop (oh, find it yourself!), The Case for the Empire - to go with tonight's home viewing of Return of the Jedi. we're seen the clone movie on Wednesday and I felt I really had to get up to speed with my Star Wars. I'm even going to see Episode 1 on Tuesday night. and yes, I KNOW it's crap. that's not the point, is it? on Wednesday I have to sit with geeky husband and 18 first-class geeks in a specially booked viewing theatre and watch the Clones, and I want to understand the conversation afterwards.
how DID 3CPO get into the Jawa's junk shop, George?
listening to: Garbage, Cup of Coffee
wondering: what it's all about
feeling: tired and accepting
planning: something subconsciously
repressing: a desire to shout the wrong thing at inappropriate times
missing: random things from my past: a car, the view from a fire escape outside a back door, a colourful dress I wore when I was 15
hoping: ...

Thursday, May 16, 2002

some cute animated pieces here
don't know if I invented this or not, but it seems like a good idea: Six Degrees of Bloggeration: go to either an A-list site or a random site on Blogger's recently posted list, and see how many clicks it takes you to find your way back to your own site. variations: using blog links only, or using links in the text.
yes, I am procrastinating. how ever could you tell?

stolen from hoopty. let's see him get his au$192 out of me

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

but look! BlogOn is finally on the Web as an official part of The Age! thanks, Sam!
see, I wasn't making it up, I really do have a newspaper column!
bribes for inclusion gratefully accepted.
blogon, educational blogs, haven't you got something better to do?

When teachers see something kids actually like to do, they're not slow to catch on to ways to make it educational as well.
These school blogs show how even the newest writing form can get all pedagogical.

Class 6F
Welcome to Class 6F!
Yes, it's Mr Ford and his cyber-gang of sixth-graders: Jasmine, Ben, Alex C, Alex B and the rest!
There are poetry assignments, materials to complement the class's art excursion and reminders to bring your PE kit for sport tomorrow, not to mention the dreaded Homework Schedule. Mr Ford and the kids are at the British School in Amsterdam.
Each student has his or her own blog, named after things like chocolate and football teams, where they write about school camp, post their book reviews - and, of course, complain about the horrors of homework.
A few entries: "That night I cooked the troop burgers but they got very badly burned. Then we played a small game of Spotlight before we went to bed." (Chris)
"In extension maths lessons, we do investigations such as how to make three equal squares with four straws and four half straws. For homework on 3-12-01 we have to make our own investigations, I can hardly wait!" (Patrick)
"Inspired by writing and photos by Lloyd Nebres, I have written my own creative response called `Where are the gulls'." (Florence)
If the idea is to get the kids writing and thinking, it seems to be working, even if sometimes the spelling isn't so good.
Watch out for the undoubtedly sixth-grade-style tendency to choose the brightest, most annoying, flashing graphics available anywhere on the Web.
And there's more: 6F teacher Peter Ford runs this site, which is the mother of all school blogs, or aiming to be.
He has subtitled his site "unleashing the power of weblogs in education" and devoted it to providing resources and discussion of the blogging phenomenon.
He links to information about blogging software, new articles and explains in some detail how blogging has affected his teaching.

TAFE Frontiers.
Also on the Schoolblogs site, RMIT University's TAFE division has launched its own investigation into the educational possibilities of blogs.
Not strictly a blog itself, it covers issues of school-based blogging including security, how blogs can be used to teach, and a general discussion area.

Electronic Learning Journal
Another RMIT site devoted to weblogs-as-education, this blog links to a number of journals maintained by journalism students.
Here you can read all about learning to operate a radio desk, what wannabe journalists think of advertising, and the "Rules of news wrighting" (which we will assume is a deliberate pun).
They must be learning something: "Until today I thought an interview just involved asking people questions and getting answers," posts one student.

Shoreham Fifth Grade
Shoreham Primary's fifth grade use this blog to post homework material, record the results of mock trials and communicate with parents who are online.
Read all about the school concert and the kids' behaviour on excursions; in fact, this site will probably only be of interest to parents of Shoreham fifth graders.
But if you happen to like it, there are also links to the fourth and sixth grades' blogs.
for some reason I have thoughts when I'm walking back to work after my afternoon coffee.
ewww, thoughts!

quick notes: autumn leaves, but the tree does not die. could we see death that way? even if we are childless?

most of the time, my 35-year-old self gets about unnoticed. but sometimes (and today was one) I have the power to make men walk into bookshop displays. OK, it was in the geek section where no woman is ever seen, and I was wearing my knee-high boots. and it was the same all down Lonsdale St and back up Bourke St. some days one has it, others not.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

well, my little red Nissan hatchback is gone, exactly six years to the day after I got it.
I am really quite sorry; sure, I have a sexy blue MX-5 now, like I always wanted.
but the Nissan sat out in the street so I could drive off in a hurry if I liked - no prissy garaging for that car.
it was easy to chuck my bike/things I found in the hard rubbish collection in the back.
it could be serviced by a dodgy but friendly mechanic, not a high-tech expensive service centre.
it didn't matter if my dog got in the back seat with wet paws
it had a back seat.

it was also getting older and had no abs or air bags. but in my twisted, love-of-clunky-old-things way, I'll miss it. I hope the old lady at Black Rock takes good care of it.
there's a rumour that Crikey is also reporting, on its sealed subscriber update, that a certain national Australian newspaper is about to close its monday-friday operations.

they can't be losing that much money, surely?
what, an Australian alternative news site, thinks of the Leunig cartoon below and the general controversy.
feeding my architecture habit
an informative liver cancer site
in my head: Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond.
Song sung blue/everybody knows one
Song sung blue/every garden grows one

can anyone tell me how to get it out of there? it's driving me crazy.

Monday, May 13, 2002

I took some aspirin. I think it's helping.
a Brazilian photodiary
and something I want: a tiny microchip I can put in my sunglasses/watch/keys with my mobile phone number or some other central reference on it.
some permanent adhesive patch or burrowing nanobot would do; like the microchip in my dog, but for personal items.
things there should be a word for #whatever:
the impression that something lying on the ground in front of you is somehow valuable or worth picking up an looking at: a piece of jewellery, perhaps, or a folded paper note, or a dropped photograph.
but when you get closer, it turns out to be a bottletop, lolly wrapper or some other junk.
Jenny The Great has not only linked me, she's republished an entire entry.
think I'll rename my blog Jenny the OK (if you keep the coffee coming)
Stupid 7.30 am seminars. what is it about business people that they think they need to network over coffee at such an indecent hour?
still, it's amazing how many people are on the road, even coming out of the gym, at 7am.
and don't give me any rubbish about how nice it was for me to see the sun rise as I rode my bike down Canning St. 6.15 am is a dumb time to wake up.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

sometimes I come across sites where an author has declined to put up an email address or a bio.
I think this is silly. with Google, there is nowhere to hide.not if you've ever written anything under your real name.
that is all.
late blogon:

Cyber networks are improving in their efforts to keep us up to date with medical developments.
The Internet is a popular place in which to look for medical information; and you're probably not alone in your ailment, as these blogs show. But remember to take all online medical advice with the mandatory grain of salt.

Breast Cancer Blog
This blog brings together all the latest breast cancer research, using sources such as Reuters news agency, the BBC and the American ABC network.
With several posts a day, it offers frequent, wide-ranging and seemingly quack-free information.
Recent item headlines were "Herceptin Dangerous?", "Timing Breast Surgery to Menstrual Cycle?" and "More Mammograms, more Lawsuits?", alongside articles on the benefits of exercise, the effects of hormones and new methods of diagnosing the cancer.
The site is a branch of the Research Buzz site, which is devoted to finding the latest serious scientific research published on the Internet.

Reading Mee's blog is a fairly heart-wrenching business. Her partner, Derek, has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and is very unwell.
The result, for Mee, is a life full of small crises, a focus on Derek's medical results and many sleepless nights.
From time to time there are moments of normality, like job interviews, but mostly it's a chronicle of a life you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
Mee doesn't talk about why she blogs all this on the Web, but presumably it helps her cope with an ongoing and serious problem.
Instead of the usual "archive" link, this blog has a small calendar for navigating past posts. visions, madness, dreams
"Yesterday I imagined I saw an unnamed darkness within me. I felt as if I could succumb to it, to give into it, and leave myself with only bitterness. I didn't, though."
The writer of H13 has schizophrenia and manic depression, and his blog is a strange and rather lovely wander through the unusual frames of mind those conditions can create.
He posts images of drawings done during "episodes" and lucidly discusses what being schizophrenic means to him.
The man has a sense of humour, too: it amuses him that his TV once told him he would win the Oscar for best short film, and he notes that his delusions are getting less grandiose: he used to think he was God, but now he's just one of the prophets.
His blog suggests that schizophrenia is just another form of normality; wouldn't most normal people feel like this sometimes? : "Sanity is catching yourself before you go over the brink."

Heart disease blog

Another news-based blog, this site uses newsgathering software to create a digest of the latest news on heart disease. Topics include stress avoidance, what to ask your doctor, news on anti-smoking campaigns and a fair bit of coverage of United States hospital news.
Because the site is automated, the owners have been able to create a raft of similar blogs, covering everything from ebola to diabetes. Automation has its problems; the heart disease blog has an item on a dog with heart disease that escaped from an animal hospital.

Friday, May 10, 2002

one reason I've been posting less often is that I'm trying to get my act together. I have a chapter to write for a book on the international domain name system, I have a little freelance work to do and in July I have to give a speech to an English teachers' conference about blogs. none of which I've really started yet. so today was devoted to slowly getting the wheels grinding on that. once I get momentum up and lists of things to do written, these things seem to just do themselves. it's the starting I find hard.
every Friday my diary tells me to book my trip to BlogCon and every Friday going to the travel agent just seems too boring.
horrid-flats-next-door update: our lawyer says the case that inspired me to consider going back to court to stop them is being appealed next week.
if the case is upheld, the decision to allow the horrid flats may be automatically void - but then the government may legislate to reverse it. if it's not upheld, the point is moot, m'lud.
at least it will be cheaper than us going to court. it costs us money every time the lawyer even thinks about us.
Like Hoopty, I sometimes can't be bothered being clever.
Unlike him, I can't fill the gap by saying "boobies."

so I shall post a four-year-old piece of writing instead.

My friend tells me he’s in love. He says: “She’s just like Nicole Kidman, only prettier.”
I see coiled copper wire, cream sprinkled with cinnamon.
He says they’re getting married. I see white froth, a steeple inside a snow-dome with multicoloured snow.
We’re on the shore, walking side by side on a mosaic floor of oval pebbles. I scoop one up and throw: it skips and makes seven perfect circles and a splash in the grey lake. A personal best.
My neck won’t turn my head to look at him.
He used to say: “Marriage is a trap, a noose. No one can promise what they’ll do in ten years’ time.” And I’d nod vaguely behind my fringe and stir spirals in my steaming caffe latte.
He used to say: “Life is about progression. You move on, you take the best from every situation.To stand still is stagnation.” While I painted mental portraits of his blond hair, the golden bristles on his chin on an unshaven Sunday morning, stored away the the baroque music of his voice for future reference, thought about the seasons.
He drank tar-black coffee and rolled cigarettes the size of pencils in those days, inhaled long and exhaled so sharply I could see his chest fall.
“You’ve taught me a lot,” he says “I used to be so selfish, so self-obsessed. But now, with Andrea ...” And I know he’s looking at me but I prefer the blue distant sky to his blue eyes right now.
We walk straight on, side by side, a single step apart, circling deep water. The sun is setting, and its last rays turn him into a statue of bronze
I drive him home, passing the steering wheel through my hands like a sailor in a storm, all the crew depending on me. When we pull up at the white picket gate in the white picket fence outside his house, I smile manfully across the space between us. “You’re a good friend,” he says.
And the last thing I see of him is his hand as he closes the car door; on the third finger, a perfect golden circle.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

You are the Dragon. In medieval Europe, dragons were considered mostly evil and a generally bad omin. Christianity linked the dragon with Satan because of the dragon's snake-like apperance. However, to the Orient cultures the dragon was a symbol of widom and roalty. It was a benign animal and the fifth creature of the Chinese zodiac. It resided over the east and the sunsrise. It was also said to bring rain and the springtime. The dragon is interesting because it combines all four elements: air, earth, fire, and water. It could fly, had the horns of a ox, breathed fire, and resided over the moon.

What mythical beast best represents you?Take the quiz!

they also have a "what room in the house am I?" quiz, but I'm not putting photo of a toilet on my blog. and I'm NOT a bathroom... (maybe a bath)
Riding down Canning St this morning, I saw a blond woman, straight and thin in her standard-issue black suit, standing at a gate gazing into the dawn with tears in her eyes.
Seated on the step of the house in front of her was a man, about her age, unshaven, looking up at her like a sorry puppy.
She had the look of someone about to face the inevitable. Was he sending her away? Was she leaving him, regretfully? it was a moment of transition, of going into the day without an anchor.

I felt like I'd accidentally walked into the wrong hotel room and seen something I shouldn't have. I felt I had to look away.

Monday, May 06, 2002

this cartoon was censored by my paper. is it over the top? I don't think so. the little soldier looks so sad. and the cartoonist is someone I have huge respect for.
will NOT go into details. suffice to say that my nephew, 18 and out there in the big bad world by himself, has brought himself to the attention of the Law. nothing too serious. apart from the very fact of said attention, which has me worried/angry/wanting to save him/frustrated.
and I know you can't save kids. you can only love them, hug them whether they want it or not and yell at them when they need yelling at.
a funny flash animation via BWG(you won't laugh unless you know your kung fu from your feng shui)

Saturday, May 04, 2002

and no, I didn't use those words in the last post to attract hits. that's what S*x and the City is about
is DNA the new name?
in the old days (whenever they were), your "true name" was a secret. it held power. a name is a form of ownership, in phallocentric linguistic theory (don't ask how I know this)
now they want to check the DNA of would-be refugees.
there's something about this I need to understand. why we don't want our DNA recorded everywhere. is the code to us a form of power over us?
(I feel like some kind of geeky Carrie Bradshaw, sitting on my couch typing this. "is DNA the new name? is sex the new kissing? are shoes the new chocolate?")
in Melbourne, 117,500 might buy you a one-bedroom flat in average condition. in Launceston, Tasmania, it would buy you this:
second anniversary tomorrow. so last night, naturally, we went out and drank lots of champagne and ate much food. I rather like good champagne; the hangovers are nicer.
we got married in the gardens, on a cloudy Saturday morning between showers. I had faith the rain would stop (it poured all the day before) and it did, for those few hours.
but this year we're getting the type of May weather I really wanted that day; chilly, bright mornings, warm mild days of gentle sunshine and glorious orange sunsets that make the autumn trees and persimmons simply glow; red light on reddish fruit.
if you think blogging/talking about the weather is a last resort, you clearly haven't been to Melbourne. we have the best weather, where best is "covering the full range; interesting; challenging and changeable" of anywhere I know. all we need is the odd snowfall, which doesn't quite happen except in the hills, and it would be perfect.
who could cope with constant dry, sunny, warm days? only Californians. and look what it's done to them. I like a bit of heterogenity, me.
the anniversary? last year I bought Andrew a (supposedly) 1000-year-old Chinese owl statue in Hong Kong and cradled it all the way home. he forgot to get me a present (he did get one after that). this year I'm going a bit less ott: a game of Scrabble. well, we both sometimes wander around the house saying "wish we had a Scrabble set so I could thrash you at it". so it's something we can do together.
and no, I don't talk about him much in my blog, except when relevant. when I was a teenager and in my 20s and constantly having boy trouble, I'd write them letters, write long musings on What To Do. but that's not writing. nor is it interesting to anyone else, and not even myself afterwards. I burned most of those, bar some letters from Europe that I confiscated and kept because they double as my Europe diary.
and even if he is my husband, the love of my life and several pet names you also don't need to know, there are some things one doesn't put up on the WWW. not me, anyway.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

song #2, which seems quite cruisy to me, makes my dog bark.
Hoopty has put some funny, funky mp3s up on his site. I like the song made up of tourist phrase book sayings "my knee hurts. I don't feel well."
I'd express my admiration in person, but I can never get his comments to work. maybe you'll have more luck.
it is far, far easier to sneak back into the office to grab your noodles from the fridge without your boss knowing you are there (and asking you annoying questions) than to sneak into the house and get your swim gear without your Keeshond detecting your presence from the back yard and setting up a piteous howling and wailing.
there endeth today's lesson

Wednesday, May 01, 2002


Thursday's blog is blogon day...

The family that blogs together ... blogs together? At least the keepers of these family blogs can't complain about their husbands/wives spending too much time on the Internet: they're right there with them.

Raising Hell
A new "online zine", Raising Hell, is written by five different parents from their own points of view. They tell of daily events and how they dealt with them - everything from how Miguel's (not his real name) four-year-old daughter locked him and his wife in the study and sat outside, taunting them, to the way Michelle enjoys "acting like an idiot in front of my friends for my own amusement", backing up her 12-year-old's belief that Michelle is the "stupidest" person on earth.
These are not the international Waltons:
"My wife left on a business trip yesterday and everything went all to hell," writes Miguel. "It's hard to imagine that I was once a house-husband for several years without once burning down the house."
But there's also plenty of humour:
"Monday's child is red and spotty
Tuesday's child won't use the potty
Wednesday's child won't go to bed
Thursday's child will not be fed" ...and so it goes.
If you like what you see, each of the writers, naturally, has a personal blog linked to Raising Hell.

At the risk of offending all LiveWire readers named Kutten, the Kutten family site seems like a bit of an overkill. It's a fairly unusual name, and you'd think all the Kuttens can find each other without an unofficial site: "If you are our relative, we shall be very glad to hear from you. Will you drop us a note at We have always been used to such a small family."
The blog is a new feature, where you can read the doings of all seven known Kuttens.
If you want more esoteric family doings, try the Quenneville Gazette, online home of an even rarer family.

Mother of a newborn baby and an eighth-grader, Sherry blogs about the small things of family life: school reports, meeting with babysitters and dealing with an idiot biological father of her oldest child.
She's a family-loving woman: "The sun brings me hope of a happy new day. Waking Kahea warms my heart. Hearing Kai coo makes me melt. My family makes me happy."
Only six weeks ago, the newborn formerly known as Honey Bun got his own little blog; now Sherry's already facing the wrench of going back to work.
"Yes, in just one more week I will be returning to work sans Kai. Phuey. I'm not looking forward to leaving my baby. Not with a sitter. Not for eight hours. Not at all. Sigh."

market day: a pigeon pecked me on the foot. I thought they were getting a big cheeky, the overfed things that they are. time for pigeon pie? (not really).
Ev has reopened the Blogger shop. I'm not going there. damn you, $US!!!

crazy, crazy at work. I hate: people who make a time to call me and then disappear, leaving me unable to make other calls.

memo to self: always have a pair of old bathers at work in case a desperate desire to swim sweeps over one.