Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disaster, Lake House, Hobart, and Fanatics

1. Decided the world is much better when it's NOT acting like a cheesy disaster film, disease-of-the-week movie, or psychological crime thriller.  I prefer chick-flick and buddy-film type days.    Romantic-comedy days are nice as well.

2. Dreamed we were in Australia.  It's the last week of our three week trip.   I realize we haven't seen our cousins; and we haven't seen anyone else either. I feel bad about that, but tell myself we still have a week left.  But then I think of how the first two weeks went by so fast; and I feel suddenly as if we've wasted that time.   

We end up seeing my cousins.  My cousin's husband doesn't seem too happy to see us.  It's not like he doesn't like us; more like he's stressed about having guests over. I play with the kid cousins.  We toss around some balloons.   

3. Found old Livejournal post from 2005, where I complain  We just bought a bunch of stuff to give to the local shelters for the whole Katrina thing.  They were collecting at a nearby church. We bought underpants, food, diapers, socks, etc. Now we get an email saying the people from the church had to drive to like 3 shelters to find someone to take all the stuff they had collected. They ended up having to take it to some Salvation Army warehouse.All these places say they have too much stuff now.  I don't really get it. How can they have too much stuff?

SO.....I guess, back in those day,s I was one of those people who didn't understand that charities can get too much stuff.  I wonder when I became enlightened.  

4. Read Andrew's post about Japan. He visited there fairly recently. He has posted a letter from a friend, and she talks about her day.  It's kind of reassuring because it shows that life hasn't gone completely to hell all over Japan.    

I think when there's a disaster in a country, I imagine the WHOLE country has come to a complete depressing halt.  When Christchurch had the earthquake, I pictured everyone in New Zealand crying, screaming, and suffering.  I picture everyone in Japan doing the same thing.  But when I think about it, my life went on as normal when we had Katrina.   I was sad for Louisiana, and we did a little something to try to help out.  But besides that, things went on as normal.

I guess the exception was 9/11.  That was different.  Despite being far away in Texas,  It felt like the world had ended, and nothing would ever be the same again.  But it IS different.  I mean that one event killed less people than Japan's earthquake, but it's ten years later and we're still lingering within that event.  I'm trying to imagine what life would be like if George W. Bush had NOT pushed us to go into a war.  Has the war had any benefits?  I can't imagine that it has, but maybe I'm missing part of the story?  If it has had benefits, I seriously doubt they outweigh the costs.  
5. Downloaded a free Hobart travel guide from this site.   I wonder if it will be any good.  I'm going to look at it at the lake house today.  See, this is the internet situation.  We have it in the main house.   But for our indoor time, Tim and Jack are in the cabin which doesn't have internet access.  I could go off alone to the main house, but then I feel a bit anti-social and lonely. I might go there a little bit.

Hopefully we'll spend a lot of time outside. 

6. Opened up a Lord Wiki window about Hobart.  I'll read it at the lake house cabin.

7. Had deep conversations in the car with Tim.  It started with us listening to a Muslim guy on the radio.  He talked about how Muslims need to create a narrative–share their story, because otherwise other people will do it for them.   And it might not be a nice story.

That eventually led to me talking about people who are fanatical about something.  They primarily talk about one thing, and it makes them seem like a cardboard character.  I gave the example of a Palestinian blogger who talked only about Palestinian/Israeli issues.  It made him seem like someone I could never relate to.  I think he would have painted a better picture of himself if he more often blogged about subjects that weren't related to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

All this led me to thinking about my blog. For some silly reason, I feel ashamed when I talk about something not Australia related.  I get this idea that this blog should be about Australia-ONLY.  But thinking all of the above made me realize that if I talk only about Australia, I will look like a fanatic.  I would seem to have no life outside of Australia.   And that's VERY much not true.  I often do things that are not Australia-related; and I have passions outside of Australia.

8. Started to read the Hobart travel guide PDF.  

Hobart is the second oldest capital city in Australia. I probably knew that already.

The major river in Hobart is the Derwent River. 

9.  Learned that Hobart is the closest Australian city to Antarctica.   That makes sense, since it's down south.

10. Learned there was a disaster on the Tasman bridge in 1975.  I guess some of the bridge collapsed?   Four cars were on the bridge, and the five people in the cars died.   Scary.

11.  Started reading what Lord Wiki has to say about Hobart. 

Learned that Melbourne and Hobart have the least hours of sunshine per day, compared with other major Australian cities.   

The coldest average month in Hobart is July.  The average is 4.5 degrees (40.1 F) 

The rainiest average month in Hobart is October. I think we'll avoid visiting during that time.  

12.  Learned that there are about 180 Jews in Hobart.  That doesn't seem like many.  But sometimes small groups are nice.   They can be more close-knit that way.   The downside is if you're Jewish and hoping to meet Jewish friends, there're less Jews to choose from.

This can apply to any ethnic group, or type of people.  

13.  Learned that Hobart has about 900 Mormons.   That seems like a small amount too, but not as small as the Jews.  I wonder how many Jews and Mormons are in Fort Worth. I can't check now, because I don't have any internet.

14. Ignored what Lord Wiki had to say regarding sports in Tasmania.

15. Read what Lord Wiki has to say about Hobart's public transportation.  It sounds a lot like Fort Worth.   There's buses, but it seems people rely mostly on driving.  In the past there were tram and ferry services, but those have pretty much died away.  There's a push to bring in a light rail. That would be cool.  

26. Read disturbing article about drunk driving in Adelaide.  I guess the police were out looking for drunk-drivers.  It sounds like they were doing a study, maybe?  I don't really get it.  

They tested 5596 people, and 96 of them were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.    Personally, I think anyone who gets caught drinking and driving should lose their driving license forever.  Maybe this will give a boost to public transportation.

27. Looked at South Australian government page on driving offenses.  If you drink and drive over a certain level, you DO lose your license. It's not forever though; just twelve months. I guess that would be a big enough hardship to deter some people.