Saturday, November 30, 2002

my goldfish is sick.
a couple of weeks ago I found him stuck in a rock and got him out.
now he's got black spots on his back and gulps helplessly at his food.
he's going to die. I could try all the ph things mentioned on this goldfish health site, but it's Sunday night, nothing is open, and I'm sure by the time I get home from work tomorrow, he'll be floating. I have already planned his funeral; he will be sent to the lake across the road to rejoin the environment.

Friday, November 29, 2002

the good news: WE HAVE A PHONE LINE!!!
the bad: we're on the Net at a whole 28.8

stingingly fast

but it's better than nothing, and now with most of our stuff in cupboards and what isn't put away at least hidden in the spare room, we feel like we have lives again. I hadn't realised how tense the moving was making me. I thought I liked being in different places, and I did on one level, but on another there was always an awareness of it not being for long, of setting things up temporarily. here, we have until we're ready to go back to our house. and it feels nice. mr B is getting many random walks and seems happy enough.

about to catch a train to the city to see a frivolous movie. have acquired my first Tindersticks album and am totally overwhelmed by how damn good it is. happy me.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

see how lack of a home net connection affects my life? how little I've been posting?
not about to start now. things to do. then I have to go home to my Web-less but dog-blessed home.
with luck, the phone man won't come until I get home in the morning. we've discovered that the only phone socket is connected to a cable that is cut off. it could be a painful process.
one of my bloggy great-grandchildren, via Hoopty and some of his offspring

Monday, November 25, 2002

segway. segway. segway.
I suppose an AU$ 10,000 Christmas present is a bit much to expect? will it help if I cry?

oooh looook. you can hire a lifesaver.
I have such a naughty mind...

and I wish I was at Cottesloe Beach. I bet they have lifesavers there.

cool. Sean is back. I thought he'd left the land of blog.
if I was a sociologist, I think this would be a good thesis topic: why women dress for other women.
we do, you know, except maybe on hot dates and boy-hunting expeditions.
men don't really notice whether what you're wearing is fashionable or a brand name or whatever. but women do. and in the end, it's the other women we dress for.

why is this? is it a status thing? a kind of "I'm top female here?" the sisterhood isn't all it's cracked up to be, you know.
or is it a bonding thing; we all dress the same and share a clothing code = we are part of the same tribe?
or a vestigal grooming behaviour.

this blogger says it's because we're basically bitches.
and this open-to-steal term paper quotes someone called Fuglesang who says it's about groupness: "The women who attend the wedding celebration “dress for each other” to obtain approval from other women but they also dress “for themselves” to express their individuality"

but it doesn't explain why that's how we get approval. oh well, I don't have four years to write a thesis on that. surprised it hasn't been done in more detail, at least not online.
well, we've moved.
into a flat with no phone line.
Telstra have deemed that an Internet application is not really an application, and reckon they have 7 days to connect me. it's not happening until Friday, and then only if I can get back home from my dr's appointment/prior commitments in time to meet the technician.
the law says they have five days. Friday will be six. I am SO claiming the $12 a day rebate for the extra day.
it's a total joke that if you apply over the Net it actually takes longer. luckily I have a job that allows me to write about this in the newspaper. I had a particularly smarmy complaints officer who didn't have time to talk to me. it would have course have been an abuse of my position to put his last name in the article; he's only a poor sap answering complaints from grumpy customers, after all. and I hope he stays that way for a very, very long time.

so I have no home Internet, and it's driving me crazy. it's like moving back to the dark ages.
Bilbo the fluff king, otoh, cares nought for electronic media. he's quite enjoying flat life, I think. he does have to spend 10 hours a day inside alone (with a glass door from which he can look out on the world), but as compensation he's averaging three-four decent walks a day and is getting to meet lots of dogs in the park over the road.
he seems to have got into the swing of it really quickly. he's always running to the cupboard where his lead lives, asking for "more, please!"

now all we have to do is keep that walk rate up and he'll be a happy fluffball. which is Good for Football.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

what, you expect me to just STOP in the middle of moving house (into a place that has no phone yet) and blog for your entertainment about the boxes, the rain (when we're in the middle of a drought), how the dog's finding the flat, the joy of actual wardrobes and a suburb where there are people on the street who are not in cars?

give me a break. why would I do that? I'm busy, dammit.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

another great Google app: Googlefight

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


(Canadian blogs)

Few words but lots of lovely images on this blog, subtitled, "Tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame".
This particular world now consists of close-ups of amazing plants and animals at the Museum of Ottowa, friends' birthday parties and the obligatory sunset.
Our photographer is a fan of the halo shot - look for the circles in clock faces, bursts of fireworks and the framing of a curved fairground ride.

Navigating AsciiRock is strangely like playing Pacman or perhaps Pong; the graphics are stripped down and funny little blocks of text and black background pop up as you move the cursor around.
This is an old-style Weblog, mostly pointing to interesting things on other sites. The links are pithy, intriguing and sometimes cruel; "jackass site", "thoughts on the Hitler moustache" and "another article about pizza¤".
Surf around enough and you'll find several references to artists and the whereabouts of a mysterious "Charles" - these are probably connected to a music publishing business listed under "info", but the blog seems to be the main reason to visit.

Canada has some great geography - mountains, pristine snowfields, lakes and rivers.
All the more reason for a Canadian to run this environmental blog, monitoring developments in areas such as sustainable fuels, young people's environmental awareness and international reports on how petrol is at the crux of Iraq's alleged weapons program.
It jumps around a little, linking to satirical articles on the effects of the Kyoto Protocol, and pointing out how the country's national anthem is really all about trees and clean water (O Canada!/Where pines and maples grow). The standard Canadian chip-on-the-shoulder concerns its giant neighbour, the US of A, and this shows in a list of research on the main page, explaining how that nation uses more than its share of fuel, while exporting cigarettes to Third World countries.
Toronto's a lovely city. A friendly place, gay even. is the perspective of a gay programmer, runner and cat lover named Mark Wickens as he goes about his life in the lakeside city.
He's been blogging for more than a year, and has developed a style that mixes respectful links on Remembrance Day (also November 11 in Canada) with arch advice to pretty-boy singer Justin Timberlake on how to respond more articulately to his large gay following ("Maybe singing it would help, Justin.")
That chip on the shoulder appears again but more moderately as Wickens muses on why Canada hates the US but is still willing to depend on it for defence and health-care assistance.
And he's not averse to posting the odd fun link. This is a blog with a depth that calls for regular visits.

sometimes I wish I worked in some anonymous office, not one where my fellow employees are semi-public and media-savvy enough to read this. for indeed, weird things go on sometimes, and I hear conversations of such surreallity that I'm dying to reproduce them.
the latest involved an earnest discussion on the correct length of shorts, while various other huddles formed around the office urgenlty whispering about God knows what. it was like a wave of pointlessness had swept in through the double glass doors and washed over us all.
and it would be way funnier if I could describe the people involved. but I can't. may not.
blogmeet was good.
only 8 people had rsvp'd but there were 20 crowded around the front table at Troika when I got there.
Meredith was easily identifiable by her red T-shirt. she already had a drink, so I thought I could avoid my obligation to buy her one. but that smart creature had another! young gels these days, I don't know...
it was a hoot. she told us all about her menagerie; pigeons, spiders, ants; I suggested she build a birdbox for the pigeon and perfectly straight-faced she said "we've got one. there's a possum in it."
also in attendance in my corner was Kylie , Marcus, who is a big fat liar (well, I didn't see any Coke), and Paul, whose last name and therefore URL I've forgotten, but who had very strong opinions on the usefulness of journalists.
also discussed were crocodiles, sugar highs, the politics of linking, and why people move away from blogger but never TO it.

did not get to speak to Natalie, who had snaffled someone's camera and has posted some cool pix, only some of which look like ads for Cascade, and Jen, but there's always a next time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I like Alice. so it's cute to see what happens when she talks to herself. via blogdex.
I've changed a few things around. not so's you'd notice. mainly removing my full name from the Miata webring link and going to "JS" as a signature.
no particular reason. not even any interesting stalking. just felt like it.
all kinds of good stuff there, actually.
the full text of A Room of One's Own, for instance.
while researching a small piece for an education yarn, I thought I'd see how long it would take to get from puritanical keep-the-Web-nice site NetAlert to something containing, say, the word c*nt - like Lady Chatterly's Lover.
five clicks. Yes!

"He dropped the shirt and stood still looking towards her. The sun
through the low window sent in a beam that lit up his thighs and slim
belly and the erect phallos rising darkish and hot-looking from the
little cloud of vivid gold-red hair. She was startled and afraid."

meredith has sent me a cute gif of her T-shirt so I can find her. and Pixel Kitty has guilted me into actually rsvp'ing. blogmeet tonight.
"The Japanese-built tanker - which appears not to have been inspected since 1999..."

WHAT!?! the bloody thing is carrying enough oil to coat the entire friggin' Spanish coast, and it hasn't been CHECKED in THREE YEARS!!

my God, what a stupid, stupid world we live in. who the hell is in charge? not me, that's for sure. someone should find out who let this happen - all 300 of them, if it's just general inaction - and pile up dead, oil-soaked birds and fish on the their doorstep. no, tie 'em to their necks like albatrosses. they probably are albatrosses. I could just weep.
oh, and I got another survey call tonight.

usually I hate those things. tonight, I cheerfully answered all the questions. why? well, there's a state election in 10 days, and I correctly picked it for a voter-attitude survey. so I made sure I nominated the environment and there being too many cars as my main issue of concern, and threatened to vote Green. that should put the wind up whoever the survey was for. I bet they weren't expecting that in Mt Waverley!
too tired to be excited, but have signed a lease, got two old-fashioned bank cheques for the deposit and tomorrow I get the keys to the new flat.
this has of course set off a flurry of decisions, mail redirections, moving plans etc. I am SO looking forward to four months in one place.
the lounge room: (if you look closely you can see the bulge in the walls created by the ultra wide angle lenses they use to shoot these poky little places. it looks heaps bigger than it is)

the kitchen:

Sunday, November 17, 2002

colour me depressed: went down to Elwood to look at the grotty cheap house again, after applying by fax.
decided that it wasn't actually revolting, just basic, and that something could be done about the carpet.
also that Mr B would be very happy in the back yard and that the front garden, with grass and a silver birch, was actually lovely. and that St Kilda/Elwood were definitely where I wanted to be for summer. tired of moving, and just staying in Mt Waverley would suck. it's a nice, clean, well-equipped house, but I don't belong here.
so naturally the agent rang and said our four-month, dog-encumbered application had been trumped by a longer, dog-free one. these small, cheap houses go so fast, while expensive flats seem to sit on the market forever.

now it's November 18 and I still don't know where I'm going to be living. so don't feel like trotting around getting washing in, popping clean dishes back in cupboards and cooking my husband a nice dinner when he returns from his busy day at work. feel like getting drunk and leaving the empties in the middle of the lounge room floor, the dishes in the sink.

what did Courtney say? "I throw the dishes/in the crib"?
time taken to bring perfect order and cleanliness to the average uber-suburban house before a visit from its owners, one's parents-in-law, including removal of all dog hair and bringing a state of pristineness to the kitchen sink: 6.7 hrs

time taken after their departure to return it to disorder, dirt, a pile of dirty dishes and a big lump of fluff in the hallway (oops, no, that's the actual dog): 1.3 minutes
it may not be perfect, but it's done and in an hour or so I'll see off my final essay for the year.
there's still a freelance piece or two I should have done this weekend that I'll have to tackle later today. but for now I'm feeling at least a slight relief.
oh, and of course we're still househunting - trying to convince A. that a fairly grotty but CHEAP house with a yard for Mr B is a good idea. had hoped to sign up for something today, but it's never easy.

for relaxation, I think I'll look at some of the newspapers I've had to not read while essaying, maybe have a little nap, and later today ring my wonderful friend Sparky, who's coming down from Darwin soon. old friends are the comfy old shoes of the soul.
go hug Batty.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

tindersticks; of course, one is getting too old for crowded pub gigs where one's feet are stepped on, people hold their lit cigarettes 1/2 mm away from one's hands, the sound is dodgy and you stand up for 2 1/2 hours with only one beer because it's too much trouble to push past 50 people to get to the bar.

that said, I am most annoyed I have never come across this band before. apparently they are a 90's cult group, and therefore all good alternative types know of them.

a fair bit of Nick Cave, but with a sadder voice (I know Nick is dark but these songs were sadder, more emotional, where Nick writes very cerebral stuff) a little Dave Graney, even a touch of something echoing Aaron Neville's vibrato at one point, some surprising Hawaiian style passages towards the end. really very affecting. one of the clearest, most controlled rock violinists I've ever heard. strong but not overwhelming drums. and the lead singer - who had those blank eyes that almost look blind - has such a sexy/pained voice. hard to describe; I thought at some stage that his singing was almost creating a counterpointing silence, if that makes sense. carving out a space for itself in the noisy room.

so I'll have to go and get some of their 17 or so albums (starting with the one with the song Sweet Release, which PBS played on Tuesday and led to us going to the show at all, though they didn't play it) and do some serious listening. it's a bit like finding a new writer who gets you in the places that matter - you want to rush out and soak up all their material straight away. it's nice to think of all those albums, waiting to unfold before me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


stupid flat. stupid ad said there was stupid offstreet parking, didn't it?
so when the contracts came through with no parking space mentioned, I called to check. agent has no idea. checks. seems there's three spaces for six flats and it's potluck if you get one. which effectively means there isn't one.
now Lucy, down there on the left, my little blue car, is the most expensive toy I've ever owned. and she has a soft top. and she is a vandal-magnet. husband is also concerned at what it could cost if someone keyed her or cut her roof open. so we never would have applied for a place with no OSP in the first place. 1

so we are probably not going to take it. it wasn't the ideal, perfect place, but it would have done just fine.

no time to worry about it now. dammit. stupid flat.
sometimes it pays to be a cow.

scene: this morning. brekky table.(edited version)
me: 'when are you leaving?'
him: 'in about seven minutes'
me: 'you know I'll clean the toilet? and probably lose my job?'

him: caves in and stays an extra half-hour to help me with the pre-mother-in-law-coming-for-the-weekend clean. it's her house, after all. and we are little piggies.
so I get to work only half an hour late, instead of an hour.

which is damn lucky, 'cos when I got here I find that the powers that be have upgraded a harmless little yarn of mine to the cover story and I have to run like hell and ring ministers' press secretaries to put the heavy on and interview people with titles like Major-General, and write about 1200 words and do it all by about 3.30 pm. it really should be Thursdays I get headaches, but it's not. it's Mondays.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

ooh, ooh! exciting!

I haven't been doing the blogrounds much lately. so I missed Looby Lu's baby coming.

everyone else noticed, though. she has 53 comments on her latest post. she's such a lovely blogger, and when she has time to post, her motherhood stories will be priceless.

aah, isn't Amelia a cutie?
you know those little people-finding device ideas that are popular in places like Japan? so when you're close to someone who also likes crocheting, or your best buddy is on the next block, you get a message on your mobile? kind of like real-world ICQ?

well, I have this GREAT idea. why not have one for when people you despise and never want to see again are nearby? so you can vamoose, goose, real quick?

had to remove myself and my good friend from a perfectly nice-looking coffee shop today when we were about to sit down and I spotted, lurking in the shadows, a person whom I would rather was actually dead, but whom I suspect works fairly close to my workplace, as this has happened before.

it's sort of like finding a spider in your breakfast cereal before you eat any. a close shave, but still leaves one with a horrid, yucky feeling all day.

brrhrhrh! (that's meant to be a shuddering sound)
not working, blogging

had a moment of Content Anxiety yesterday, like "what will My Readers think?"

then remembered that standards, style and consideration of an actual audience are for work.

and this is not-work. so I'm over that, and back to posting any old crap that comes into my head.

agents finally noticed we'd admitted dogness (rang saying "this pet, is it a cat or dog or goldfish or what?") but they're giving us the flat anyway. we sign up Friday, but I think moving will be deferred to after this weekend. because I'd really rather my brain didn't explode right now.

and tonight, we clean. m-i-law arrives tomorrow. and we've let our standards slip. not to mention the washing, dishes, dusting and vacuuming.

Monday, November 11, 2002

I'm sure I must know Momo from somewhere. I suspect I met her at Blogmeet. and may again. she loves cats and red pantsuits. funky.

she also has secret dreams of retail. maybe she can put her funky clothes on one side, and I can put my junkshop bits on the other.
very exciting. think we have a flat! it's a five-month lease - we said four, they said six, yada yada.
it's the one really close to the big park. it's a bit 70s - tiny balcony, polished floors, laundry, two carpeted bedrooms with built-in wardrobes. plenty of cupboards. it will look good once it's got some furniture in it.

the rent is $295, which is highish for a flat in that condition, but it's close to a funky eating/shopping zone, a cinema and the tram to work. funny how several places knocked us back on the shorter lease, even though they'd been vacant for weeks already. rent is rent, surely?

we even admitted the existence of dog. I think on that form we said "one" under "pets". other forms asked what kind of pet, and I wrote "keeshond, similar to pomeranian". which is fairly true. they're related, and both fluffy. he's just a tiny bit bigger.

of course this means I have to move the same weekend my Giant Essay is due. it's largely done, and I think will have to suffer the consequences. incredibly busy, and now I'm already writing moving lists in my head. supposed to be going to a nephew's birthday party in Ballarat on Saturday. really want to, but is there time?

plus I want to go and see this band that I can't believe I've never heard before.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

I think I'll have to cancel Mondays. Yes, another headache. and it was already coming on before I did a one-hour site meeting with the architect and builder in the burning sun.
coming back I went to pick up some vitamins and saw a thing called a Migrastick, and bought it.
It's a kind of roll-on peppermint oil thing. I guess it's meant to work by cooling your blood vessels, a bit like ice.
so far, all it's done is make me smell like a giant Mintie. think I'll sneak up to my secret napping location in 1/2 an hour. and for once, I actually have an appointment with my lovely physio tomorrow. hooray.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

three hours intensive essay writing on a Sunday morning. funny how having a task to do makes lots of other things seem terribly attractive.
will apply for three flats on Monday. one is near a big park, 70's style, ground floor. that's the one I want. the others will do, in a temporary kind of way.
really don't have time to move again next weekend. important business, like essays and nephew's 4th birthday parties, will take precedence. am warming to the idea of going back to my little flat (the one I own) for a few months. it's in a good spot, and the "rent" is cheaper there than any place we've looked at. and the landlord will simply LOVE my dog! this is all independent of my utter annoyance with the current tenant, you understand.

have to watch the 2nd half of Black Hawk Down tonight. had to agree to that after already nixing one of his video choices (I have never and will never, unless stuck in a bus or similar with it, watched/will watch Queen of the Damned).
it (BHD) seems to be full of men who all look the same, firing guns. there was some token character stuff early on, after the token written background on why they were in Somalia. I can't see the point of it as a movie, really. maybe the 2nd half is better.

Friday, November 08, 2002

this is outrageous! there's a blog called "bloggedy blog"!
no relation.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

see, this kind of rubbish is why organised religion sucks.
instead of trying to solve the problem, this person is Islam- bashing. so much for love and understanding. Christ would be spinning in his grave.
if you're in Australia and getting annoying telemarketing calls, this company is the cause. they sell the Australia On Disc CD-ROM with phone listings.

they claim they have a removal service. I've emailed them asking how to get off their disc. of course it will take ages for it to stop the $**&% calls, but it's a start.

dependable database

their email is

why not drop them a line?
Hi Michelle.
something I'd like the word for: to accidentally hit a combination of keys on the laptop and activate a random function. why do they put ctrl right next to shift?
for some reason I'm looking at today's Web history. no idea how it got there.
embarassing confession: I am sitting inside with the curtains drawn, hiding.
for the mother-in-law asked the gardener person to come around and "do" the garden, it seems.
this requires access to the backyard. of course I volunteered, as I knew I'd be here studying.
but I was planning a small nap after a hard morning's dilettantism study. and I really couldn't be bothered chatting to some unknown gardener person who is fairly interested in us right now (when Andrew saw him the day we moved in I overheard him ask various unnecessary questions). and it would be rude not to offer him a cup of tea, etc, but I'm studying
solution: put a note on the door claiming to be out, lock the dog inside and hide.

those lawnmowers of suburbia really are out to get me...
supposed to be studying.
trying. really.

the pub at Yapeen is still for sale. but the agent says they really do want $139,000 for it. and I can't afford that. and it has no sewerage. she's a new agent and will no doubt sell it this week. restraining myself from making an offer. fantasising about finding a winning roulette system (there is no such thing, of course), knowing that fantasy is only based on my run of luck in Vegas. fortunately I despise Crown Casino and will not go there.

tenant in my flat sent me an astonishingly rude letter, which seemed designed to give him the last word about what he thought about our dispute, and to tell me how I should run my business, if you can call one rental flat a business. said he objected to my saying "this isn't about me being some bitch landlady", when in fact I'd said "bastard landlord". how freudian.
my letter to him was an attempt to explain my pov. maybe that's trying to have the last word too. but it was not rude. anyway, no more of that. have to draft a very short and businesslike letter requesting a correct invoice for the bits I'm happy to pay (materials etc), and offering him half what he's tried to charge me. as a final offer. no way I'm just paying the full amount because he says I should.

then, boringly, he will probably withhold rent or take me to some tribunal or other.

one thing is sure. the rent is either going up when the lease expires to recoup this money (it's now over $2,700 for a stove!), or we're moving in there ourselves, as we are entitled to do as homeless landlords. if he withholds rent, I'll enforce my right to terminate the lease, because the two matters are, in law, unrelated.

in a strange way I'm fascinated at how aggressive he's being, when he stands to lose the place he lives in, while all I have to do is find another tenant. odd.

oh, and I seem to have bought some more ramekins. oops

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

a new blog directory to steal blogon topics from. and I'm really running out of them. after knitting, it's all downhill.
via Meredith the ant lady.
our flat was already taken when we applied.
this is another branch of the same agents that had the house that mysteriously jumped $200 in rent when we applied.
they are very pleasant, but methinks not very professional.

so we have to keep on looking. yawn.

Empty Bottle
Until the Bali bombings on October 12, was simply a well-read and erudite blog with the unlikely tagline of "I, wonderchicken(zilla)" and a penchant for posting wacky photos with silly captions.
All that changed when the blogger's good friend Richard Gleason, Rick to his mates, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Gleason, a 38-year-old Canadian, was brought to Melbourne and treated at the Alfred Hospital, where he died.
The death, and emptybottle's recording of Gleason's battle, sent a small wave of sympathy around the world of blogging. Comments and messages attached to the post announcing Gleason's death numbered well in excess of 100 last week.
Some of the posts both before and after Gleason's death are almost too raw with emotion to read: "I want to drink and dance and sing, with my friends, Rick's friends; I want to burn wood and smell the smoke and piss in the sea, shout at the moon, cry at the beauty of this world and swear eternal opposition to those who would paint it with blood, again, I want to hold you my friends in my arms and circle around our wounded brother and sing and weep and shout..."
There are messages and e-mails from friends and family, and updates from people who were in Melbourne and able to check on Gleason.
As a story, it's as sad as they come, but the blog stands testimony to the love Gleason's circle had for him.

Milon's Memory

Sydney-based journalist Bernard Lane once had a friend called Milon, who died more than 20 years ago.
When Milon's family asked him to write about his old friend, Lane's response was to set up a kind of Web memorial in the form of a blog.
"Milon Buneta, 1961-1981. Begin with a simple fact. He lived just 20 years," reads the first post.
The story starts with description of a talented, intelligent only son whose death in a car crash shattered his family. But it quickly moves on from traditional obituary to the small details of a remembered life, which Lane uses as hyperlinks to the circumstances of Milon's life: a comment on his college professor, a description of the Bondi beach he loved, a story about how Milon got his unusual name.
In the process, Lane, the same age as Milon, reveals a little of himself and his own life.
Some details are sobering, such as the link to the cemetery where Milon is buried, giving the location of this promising young man's grave.

Births, Deaths and Marriages

Part of the so-called Plotka News Network (PNN, get it?), the births, deaths and marriages page is used by a group of science fiction fans to record important passages among their own and the writers and creators they admire.
So the death of sci-fi writer Damon Knight was noted with links to three obituaries, and the death of a leader of fandom was honoured with a special message board where his co-fans poured out their shock.

Douglas Adams Tribute Site

When the author of The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy died, his official site's forum was flooded with thousands of messages of admiration and sorrow from his many and highly wired fans. The site has been maintained as a place to buy his material, contribute to his pet wildlife causes (gorillas and rhinos), and you can still read the mass eulogy in the forum space.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

it's official: I'm a left-leaning libertarian
Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.00

via Wendy
turned down an invite to a "marquee" of dubious nature at the Cup in order to stay home, study (yes I am that busy) and watch the race in my PJs. didn't win a penny, but didn't care, as it was Damien Oliver who won.
then went to Southbank and found a good table from which to judge the passing parade of dressed-up racegoers, who all seemed to be walking to the casino.
my favourite was a young woman who sat across the restaurant from us. she had long blond curls, a small grey hat with lots of twirly things hanging off it, the palest skin and reddest mouth, an elegant grey sleeveless dress and, this is the best bit, gloves!
she also allowed her boy to light her cigarette, showed no sign of being cold (although it was by then) and tilted her head when he spoke in a way that made it plain he had her full attention and more.
he had on a grey suit and grey silk tie. he too was quite young, with cropped light-coloured hair.
they could have come straight from a 1940's or 50's musical. except for the calf-length flat-heeled black leather boots she was wearing, which somehow worked. I wanted to go up to them and say "you know, you look great. you're fantastic." but didn't.
vale Zachary Smith.
used to love that show.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

have applied for a flat. hooray!
it's small, but bright, art deco, close to all the good stuff and has a dishwasher and washing machine.
and it's not in Mt Waverley.

oh well, at least I'm getting lots of exercise riding back and forth.

btw, if you know madflava, pop over there and give him some support. poor darling's being put in fear of his life by a madman. bad, bad madman.
there are two books on How to Blog in the local technical bookshop.
both have lots of stuff on greymatter, archives, etc. one has a chapter on blogging for money.
but as far as I could see, apart from a short mention of consistent style, neither addresses why, content, or what having a blog means to an individual.
these are the things I want to look at for my uni thesis. I doubt they will come out as a book.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

oh, and on my "way back" I did a 100-k diversion to look at the old pub I want to buy. it's looking sad and empty. snuck in through a back window and walked around the empty 140-year-old rooms.
the owners of the land around it don't seem to have progressed with their commercial nursery plans one bit. I suspect they don't have the resources in various ways to get it happening. would love to get just another 1/2 acre of buffer, then it might even be a realistic project. that, and getting about $40,000 off the current asking price. no sewerage, no toilet, no kitchen...
took a back road to the highway after that and got to a dirt road in my precious little blue car. I wasn't going fast, only 60 ks or so, but somehow managed to do an impressive skid in three different directions on a left hand bend. I know you're supposed to steer into skids, but I've just realised I don't know what direction "into" is when the car's pointing one way but moving another. funny how solid tree trunks look when you're heading straight for them.
eventually stopped, shaking, and drove much slower than necessary until I got my wheels back on bitumen.
no house yet.
various circumstances mean I will just about BURST if I don't get settled in one place soon, and put my clothes in a real wardrobe instead of hanging them on other people's cupboard doors.
big trip up to Ballarat Friday/Saturday to do the rounds of all the people I store up there.
the three-kids-under-four mob seem to be surviving, which is all one can expect. my sister in law says if she gets to the end of the day and the kids have been dressed and fed, she's doing well.
spent nearly an hour playing "cricket" and "golf" with Reg's six-year-old. he's a great kid, with the most precocious vocubulary and grown up yet cheeky attitude. neither of us managed to hit the ball into the basket in about 30 goes each and he said "that means we're not very good at golf. we'll have to try again next time."
possibly the thing that made the most impact on me, family-wise, was the one close relative I didn't see in the 24 hours; my 18-year-old nephew (not the one more often referred to, who's now 19).
he's gone off to be a flight engineer in the air force. his father had a photo - one of those colour printer ones, either a colour photocopy or a digital image. the photo looked kind of official. C is wearing his cap and uniform, with "Australia" on his shoulder, and there's an Australian flag draped from a pole over his right shoulder. he's giving a big goofy grin. I don't know him as well as I'd like (he lived with his mother the past 8-9 years), but you don't have to know him for long to tell what a solid, stable and self-aware kind of bloke he is. he always wanted to join the Air Force, always loved planes, was in the cadet program as soon as he could, and now there he is, a man in uniform.
18. it's so old, and so very, very young. but he looked like an airman, a soldier.