Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the litmusphere; an online version of a print magazine I was in a while back. go and surf around; lots of slightly odd writers and illustrators from Melbourne and beyond.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

seeing as it's now compulsory, I finally went and looked at YouTube. and I'm sure there are gems in there. but so far I've watched three foolish-dancing videos, one commercial but sexy rock video, one incomprehensible video, and one video of a dog of the same breed as mine playing soccer. there was also one of a dog "doing his business" but I can see that for free at home. the "channels" seem dominated by what used to be called webcamgirls. I know, I should get in there and try to Understand. and I can see what a great time-waster the whole thing could be. when I find a compelling use for YouTube, I'll let you know. citizen journalists? bring it on. global slide nights? I don't think so.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

from the department of environment's PR machine:

The world could achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gases simply by changing the ‘standby’ power standards for household appliances like TVs and computers, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, told an international forum in Zurich today -- media release attached.

Senator Campbell is at an international Ministerial climate change summit in Zurich this week to informally discuss ways to address climate change and help set the agenda for the annual meeting of the United Nation’s Climate Change Convention in Nairobi in November.


hahahahahaha! or you could RATIFY KYOTO!!!

excuse me while I go turn on the electric fan. I must have got overexcited at the good news, and I'm feeling a bit warm.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

the big issue seller at the market is called Jim. I know this because he wears a name tag, and because people there greet him as Jim. he's not particularly endearing, or clean; he smokes continually and never smiles. but he's been selling at the market for years.

yesterday he came up to me and said, as usual "copy of the big issue, ma'am?". sometimes I say yes, but yesterday I said "not today, thank you," looking him in his watery old eyes. the man's skin is like crocodile leather.

tthen I watched him go over to two women, possibly a mother and daughter, with a baby in a pram. the older woman - maybe 50 - looked up at him and then went on fishing in her bag. he stood his ground. after a second I heard him repeat the pitch to the younger woman. he must have got some response then, probably a rude one, because he then said "I didn't get an answer", meaning that the first woman had simply ignored him. and I felt like slapping them, and obliquely proud of Jim for standing up for himself. he's not begging. He's politely selling on his pitch. he never insists (though sometimes he inadvertently asks twice as he does the rounds). and like anyone else, he's entitled to a polite response to a polite question in a public place.

funny where the moral high ground can be found sometimes...

Monday, August 21, 2006

i have a strange weakness for dilapidated old houses: this is the latest target of my obsession. the lack of a photograph of the bathroom probably indicates that it is not worth laying eyes on. it's a two-hour drive from Melbourne, in the middle of nowhere. and I already have a crappy money pit

but I want it anyway.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

some more of my favourite spam sender names:
Obedient E. Dendrite
Coolness B. Shrink
Reminisced V. Pampas

I've been trying to find a gig or album by the maddeningly elusive band The Exotics since I heard them on PBS a while back: now they have a show on Saturday night, but we're having friends over and I can't go. Is it old-fashioned of me to expect that they'd have a web site or something?

seeing as I've just bought my first set of tickets to part of a symphony orchestra season - three shows, cheap seats - maybe it is. maybe these days it's cool not to be online, and I'm just too over-40 to know that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

from the website of my uni writing course: read closely

-be able to demonstate research and analytical skills;
-be able to demonstrate attention to detail;

Friday, May 12, 2006

may Jim Martell and his ilk rot in hell.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

this is my response to this
Dear Growing Esteem people,

Thanks for your letter of May 8, signed by Glyn Davis. In line with my commitment to not receiving unnecessary paper, could you please remove me from your mailing list for this project? While doing so, could you please correct your records; I'm surprised that a progressive university would automatically address anyone as Miss. Ms is fine, thanks.

...and I could have added, why on earth did you send me a letter and a six-page glossy foldout brochure on the latest PR spin for the university? and when will the Old Arts building get extra chairs? every semester, people sit on floors for the first three classes. and the library could do with new carpet...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

this beggars belief. the cover of today's Age has a pic of a forklift delivering the wrong coffin at Tullamarine.

now, I am not a military-type person. but I have a nephew in the air force, and my grandfather served in WWII. and you do not send Australian servicemen home with "contractors". You do not leave their coffins on the tarmac, or even use a forklift. you use human beings to lift the coffin straight into an undertaker's van. in fact, even if that body was some unidentified person, that person deserves better too.

the whole thing just smacks of treating a person who volunteered to die for their country as a commodity, the waste of which is to be delivered home as cheaply as possible. there should have been a soldier or dedicated dept of defence person or diplomat with the body. all the way home. sheesh, the guy's not a delivery from amazon.com. come to think of it, amazon does a better job.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

dear City of Yarra planning dept, and one planner in particular: this is what you don't do.. you don't send me a letter telling me that under subsection x(y)z, I "must" provide more drawings of an unclear nature. you don't reply to my email asking why the photo I sent in isn't enough information with the phrase "it is noted that". you don't suggest, when my child starts crying in the background, that we talk later. I want to sort it out now, for good. you don't try to refer me to your email reply rather than giving me a straight answer. you don't tell me, when I ask how much longer this will take that you "have 60 days to decide", a veiled threat to drag it out if I ever heard one. you certainly don't go on to then try to tell me how many other reports you have to write; not, that is, unless you really want to hear the problems I have, which are a) greater than yours, believe me, given that you sound about 21 years old, and b) won't stop me sending this information back so fast it'll make your head spin.

in general, you wake up to the fact that you are a person, you're dealing with humans and you need to engage with them, not block them.

in fact, why the hell do I have to get a planning permit for a rollerdoor anyway? because our neighbours hate us and might report us if we did what EVERYONE else does and build the stupid thing regardless of Procedure.

angry? moi? never.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I want to know: who makes up the names that spammers email under? my spam box (Gmail does a great job of filtering, btw) currently includes correspondence from Tundra P. Hollyhock, Boadicea Jablonksi, Jehovah Darling and the fabulous Inhumane H. Idolaters.

This is more than someone with little English trawling the dictionary for words. this is humour that even Monty Python would appreciate.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

can't believe we're prepared to stop media coverage of an event in a public place (the Yarra River) in order to protect media profits for one organisation. if that's the price of funding these big events with sponsorship, we shouldn't have them at all. seriously.

Monday, March 06, 2006

the Commonwealth Games are fast approaching and oops, I forgot to buy tickets. the truth is that while I'll be vaguely interested in the whole production, I don't really care. not enough to use up a rare outing on watching people sweat around a track.

and given that the paper this morning had a photo of a flying tram, for goodness' sake, I'm not sorry I'm not going to the opening ceremony, either.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

the site won't let me pinch this photo, but it's just amazing: the Canberra bushfires of three years ago.
that's it: I am officially an old fogey. having decided not to try to get tix to the Rolling Stones, partly on principle and partly because I couldn't access the Web site, I took my son to childcare down the street.

On the way back, I saw a car driving very slowly and unsteadily. the driver, of course, was texting or dialling on her mobile phone. I considered running after her and bashing on the back of the car; instead, I took her number, came home and rang the police, where I had a very nice conversation with a very nice young man named Will, who coincidentally used to live in this street. he can't do much except maybe write to her and let her know there was a report - I think that would be a start anyway - but I'm not sorry I called. my son is two years and three months old - old enough to get out onto the street alone (not that he ever has or, I hope, ever will - too young to know it's dangerous, and too short to be easily seen by a drive who's busy rtig 2 hr frnds.

hope it scares the bejesus out of her.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

warning: idly typing an ancestor's unusual name into Google can make your head spin. this cached site appears to go back around 500 years; my great-great grandfather was one of them.

Friday, January 13, 2006

comment of the week, from the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay: "We will ensure a fair trial for the terrorists held here". those might not be the exact exact words, but he did say "terrorists". not suspects. not detainees. terrorists. yeah, looks like a fair trial from here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

you have to love the internet. without it, you'd never have been required to tell a computer the name of your dog and your baby before you could do a bank transaction. (security measures). talk about personalised service.