Monday, June 13, 2011

Security Cameras, Morals, Half-Siblings, and YouTube

1. Cried a little when reading some back story stuff on Tallygarunga.  It's a great emotional scene with Tamarah Blair telling her father and sister that she's gay.  Some of the stuff reminds me of my family; not the gay part really, but the righteous anger bit.  

2. Started Listening to Elliot Freeman perform Get Together by the Beatles.  So far, it's not my favorite Elliot Freeman performance.  Since I usually love his singing, I'll blame the song.   Or maybe he and the song aren't a good match?  Of course, it's just my opinion. Other people might love it.

3. Wanted to say that if Australians think they're more into sports than Americans, they should see my Facebook news feed and the emails going back and forth in my family.

4. Started to read article about PETA offering to pay for video monitoring in all foreign abattoirs.   My viewpoint on PETA is really starting to change.  I thought of them as a bunch of fanatics who think somehow they can get all people to stop using animal products.  But maybe I misjudged them.   Or maybe they're realizing that they're goals were too lofty, and they're making more realistic ones.    I think it's a reasonable request and a generous offer.  I need to read more though to get the full picture.

PETA wrote to Julia Gillard. They thanked her for helping to stop transport to Indonesia.  But they said it needs to go beyond that.  Indonesia isn't unique.  There's likely to be abuse in other countries as well.  I totally agree with them there. I think it's foolish to assume that abuse is happening only in Indonesia.

PETA says they will raise the funds for the cameras to go all over the world. I was wondering if they'd have enough money to pay for all that. How much would it cost?

Is this a genuine offer they're making, or is it one of those empty offers?  It could be some kind of message.  They might be trying to say that there's much more abuse out there than what happens to be caught on film.  Abuse has been revealed in Indonesia recently.  A few years back, there was evidence of horrific abuse in the Middle East.

Maybe what PETA is really pushing for is the end of live transport.  But they're saying if you won't do that, we'll need to video tape every abattoir to make sure the animals are treated okay. It's like they're offering something unrealistic in hopes that the government takes the banning-live-transport route instead.

5. Struggled to think of an analogy for the PETA thing.  I think I have one.  Every so often Jack will complain about brushing his teeth.  He's okay with doing it once a day, but is resistant to having to do it twice.  Or sometimes he'll complain about walking when we want to take a walk.   If I'm in a bad mood, I'll start to threaten him.   Well, if you don't want to exercise, then you can't be eating treats.  We're going to have to stop eating ice-cream and candy.  You can't eat that stuff if you're not going to be active.  We'll stop buying it all together!

I love treats and would hate to have us give them up.   So I'm always hoping (and counting on) the fact that Jack will give in, walk with us, and stop complaining.

In the same way, I think PETA would prefer that the government just do away with the live transport.  Otherwise, it's going to cost PETA a lot of money to get all those cameras installed.

6.  Read article that says Julia Gillard won't be meeting with the Dalai Lama when he visits Canberra.   Why?  Is she too busy? Is she afraid he's going to lecture her on gay rights, animal cruelty, and asylum seekers?   

People in the comment section have various ideas.  Kay thinks it's because Gillard's an atheist.   Why should she meet a spiritual leader.  Okay, but this is a woman who bragged about knowing scripture.   Also, just because she's an atheist; it doesn't mean she should ignore leaders who are religious.

Deany thinks Gillard is avoiding a meeting because she doesn't want to anger China. I wonder if there's any truth to that.  

7. Started to read an editorial by Lynn White from Animals Australia.  It's harsh and disturbing.  It's a major lashing for Meat and Livestock Australia and Livecorp.  She's saying they knew what was going on for a long time, and did nothing. Now there's a public outcry and it seems they're still trying to avoid responsibility.

I love this line from White.  I am regularly asked how workers in Egypt and Indonesia could succumb to such depravity. The more pertinent question is how Australia's live export industry could knowingly be a party to it.

Unless we're vegan or have a 100% guarantee that the food we're eating is cruelty free, we're ALL guilty of the abuse that happens to animals.  We can't use the defense of ignorance, because the information is out there.  It's up to us to seek it out. If you're a farmer and you sell your cows, it's up to you to know where they're going and what's happening to them.  If you buy a package of chicken from your grocery store, it's up to you to find out where and how that chicken was raised.  

The abuse of farm animals is not a secret that's just been recently revealed. It's been out there for years.  But most of us ignore it as much as possible.   

8. Downloaded episodes of Offspring so I can watch them in in New Jersey and New York.   I can watch them while we're flying and driving.  I'll need to remember to bring earphones.  

9. Learned from Decoybetty's blog that Australians pronounce scone like "John". I didn't know that.  I think I like the American way better, but maybe it's just because I'm not used of the Australian way.   If I hear an Australian actually say it, I'll probably think it's adorable.

10. Read John's blog post about the Labor Party's moral compass...or lack of one.

He describes the difference between morals and ethics.  I never really knew the difference. I still don't know if I know because it's a bit confusing.

John explains that ethics is the study of what's right and wrong.  Sometimes it's absolute and sometimes it's not.  Morals are the shared beliefs of a society about behavior.  I think it would be hard to draw the line between those two.

John says, However, what is ethical, need not be moral, and neither might be legal. Extreme legislation such as that allowing slavery, or apartheid, made such actions legal, but almost everyone would say they were neither moral, nor ethical.    I think that's a good point, although I would say under John's definition, slavery would be moral then, at least in the time period in which it existed.    It was an accepted practice at one time.

Anyway, John concludes that political parties aren't concerned with morals or ethics. They're concerned about power and votes.

11. Wondered.. If the Labor Party is most concerned with votes, why do they make choices that are unpopular.   For example, the majority of Australians want to legalize gay marriage, and Julia Gillard refuses to budge.   Wouldn't she get more votes if she went the more popular way?   Or is there something that matters more then votes from the general population?

Is Gillard so personally against gay marriage that she would go against the popular viewpoint even if it costs her votes?  Or does she think the gay marriage issue won't be a huge factor for people when deciding which party to vote for?

12. Saw on Statcounter that my post on Bridie Carter is the most popular post on my blog right now.   Many of the seekers seem to be wanting information on her restaurant in Byron Bay.

13. Reminded by Jack that I managed to lose two cameras in Sydney. He suggested we don't bring cameras to Australia anymore.

I think he was joking.

14. Found out from the Australian Dictionary of Biography that my Australian of the day is Henry Allport

He was a lawyer born in Hobart. He collected books, paintings, and stuff like that. And he was a champion at golf.  

As a child he had rheumatic fever. My dad had that.  He was in the hospital for several weeks; or maybe a few months?

15. Went to Tallygarunga. 

16. Saw that Reade's sister Sally has joined the show.  I knew they were looking for someone to take over her part.  I'm glad they found someone.

There's a place in Tallygarunga with characters up for adoption.This would be good for people who want to participate, but don't want to come up with their own character.   

The people who put their characters up for adoption can decide if they want the adopters to ask permission or not before taking over the character.  That's cool.    

17. Saw that there's been updates to Find an Orbit Closer To The Ground. This is the family dinner story taking place on Calder Ave.

There's one post from Thomas and one post from Adrian.
Thomas took a bite of the gingerbread biscuit that Tam had given to Améa.

Adrian's scene is intense.  He sees he's supposed to sit next to his ex-wife.  He doesn't know if he can handle it.  He considers leaving. Then Meri (the ex-wife) trips and Adrian reaches out and catches her. They have one of those accidental awkward romantic encounters.

18. Decided to read Thomas Blair's biography.  He's the one who just ate Tam's gift to Améa.   Tam's his sister, if I recall correctly.  There's Tim, Tam, and Tom. They're triplets.

19. Intrigued by the fact that there's no celebrity photo for Thomas Blair. Yet, there is a person named for his face claim...Alex Meraz.   I wonder why there's no photo of Meraz then.

20.  Learned that Thomas and his womb buddies are all fraternal and not identical.

He's taller than Tam and shorter than Tim.

21. Learned that Thomas is friendly but somewhat manipulative. 

He's a lady's man.  He likes to get the girls.

He plays tricks on people.

22. Liked this line about Thomas.  What Tom would sooner choke than ever admit was that he had a bit of a romantic streak. It was a big one. And every girl he'd ever flirted with or dated however briefly, he always had a genuine affection for.

I think some serial daters just like the chase...the conquest. But I can imagine others are romantic.  Maybe they have the feelings, but the feelings don't last. Then they want to move onto to someone else.

23. Tried to figure out the family drama stuff in Thomas' family.  

A letter was found and Thomas learned his mother had betrayed the family. That would be Tanya Blair.  But what did she do? 

24. Learned that Thomas has a bit of a thing for Améa. I kind of got that from the story thread.  

Tam is Améa's sister.  At least I think she is.  And Thomas is also Tam's sister.  

Wait. No, that can't be right.  Can it?  Wouldn't that mean Thomas is a sibling to Améa?  

Or maybe Améa and Tam aren't sisters.   I might have read that wrong.  

25. Went back to read the story thread.   It looks like maybe Thomas and Améa are siblings.    Well, maybe not.   In post #24, Thomas says to Améa, You're pretty much my half sister.   Pretty much?   That doesn't sound like a definite yes.  Maybe it's a relationship formed by a marriage? 

26. Saw in post 32, that Tam refers to Améa as her half-sister.  So maybe Tom and Améa are sisters; but since he's had romantic feelings for her, he's not ready to fully admit it. 

27. Decided to break my rule of reading one biography a day.  I want to find out about Améa.   I'll skip the biography tomorrow then. It's going to be a bit hectic because we need to get ready for our New York trip.  

Améa's full name is Améa du Contiaea.  

It's kind of a pain to type her name.  I keep messing up on the e accent thing.

28. Learned that Améa isn't human. She's a Sorceraic.  I've never heard of that before. Is the word related to sorcerer?  

29. Googled and was led to sites about sorcery. So I guess...yes. The words are related. 

30. Read more about Améa. She seems a bit uptight, at least in her clothing style.  She doesn't like to show a lot of skin.  Her sleeves don't go shorter than her wrists.  Her skirts don't go higher than her shins.  

She's very serious.

31. Tried to understand Améa's history.   It's very intense.   She was born on some island, and was an heir to the throne. The queen was Adele, the woman at the family dinner party. Adele is also Jezebel's mommy.    Okay, I'm starting to get things straight.   Améa and Jezebel are half-sisters then.   Is that maybe how Tam and Thom are related to her?   Maybe they're not literal sisters, biologically speaking.  Maybe they see her as a sister because they all have Jezebel in common.

32. Read more of the drama. Adele turned her back on Améa and Améa's father. She had another lover. At first Améa took the side of her father, but later she switched allegiances.  She felt guilty about it though.  

Améa lived with Adele and David. Then she left.  

When she returned, she found out Adele was clinically dead. With the help of her grandmother, Améa brought Adele back to life.  

There's more and more drama.  Améa becomes queen.  She goes back to the island.  The island people don't like her and they turn her into a child.  

She has a vampire boyfriend; or ex-boyfriend.  No wait.   He's still her boyfriend. The ex-part goes to the vampire bit. 

I wonder how he overcame the vampire bite.

33. Watched a promo for the 4th season of True Blood.   It's fun to see Ryan Kwanten speaking in his Aussie accent;  and it's interesting to see southern Bill being British.   

Here's another similar promo with just Ryan.   He looks much less like George W. Bush when he's being Australian.  

34. Learned from Joshua Radin's Facebook Page that he's going to Australia.  He'll be there next week.  

He's one of my favorite American singers.  

35. Found a website about the Joshua Radin tour dates.   It's pretty short; only four days.   On June 21 he'll be in Sydney; on the 22nd he'll be in Adelaide; on the 23rd he'll be in Melbourne; and on the 24th he'll be in Brisbane.  

36. Had one of those moments of blogging self-doubt.  Do I bore people when I talk about this?  Do I bore them when I talk about that?  Are they rolling their eyes when they read my blog?   If they don't like something, will they skip over that part or stop coming all together?

Yeah.   I worry about these things. But I just keep writing and hoping that most of the stuff I say is interesting to someone out there.   

I'm sure most bloggers have the same feelings. 

37. Sad a bit, because I can't find my new Australia shirt.   I guess I left it at the lake house.  Tim was very sweet and said he'd go to the lake house to get it.  I told him it wasn't necessary. I'll get it when we go back in a few weeks.  

Tim thought I'd want it for New York.  I did, but not so much that I'd want him to drive all that way to get it.  I have my other favorite Australia shirt.  I'll wear that instead.  

38. Went to IMDb to see what's been going on in Bridie Carter's career.  

It seems pretty quiet.   Maybe she's busy with the restaurant.

In 2010, she was in an Aussie comedy called I Love You Too.   She's not one of the five people on the movie poster, so I'm guessing she didn't have a huge part in the movie. 

This year, Carter was in a movie short called There's a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake.   That's a cute title. It sounds like a children's book.   

39. Skimmed through my old post on Bridie Carter. I wanted to know if I had found out the name of her restaurant.

I did.

It's called Bayside Dining Traditional Thai.  I didn't post a website for it back then.I wonder if there's one available now.  

I'm looking at Google......

It still doesn't seem to have it's own website.    On this site though, it's included in a list of top places to eat in Byron Bay.  

40. Saw on Facebook that the volcano ash from Chile is still causing flight delays in Australia and New Zealand.

41. Continued to read  Patricia Shaw's Cry of the Rain Bird.   This line here reminded me of what I was thinking during the Queensland floods.   Somewhere, sometime, he'd seen pictures of people caught in devastating floods, perched on rooftops, and had wondered how they'd got there. 

I remember wondering about that.  How do people get on their roofs?   I forgot if I got an answer or not.  Maybe someone said you poke a hole? 

42. Found this website about floods.   They say it's important to have an ax and ladder handy for getting up on top of the roof.  So...I suppose you do poke the hole through the ceiling.  

43. Realized that we could probably get onto our roof from the balcony.  It might be a terrifying climb though.

44. Went to my liked video page on YouTube to see if there's any Aussie stuff that I liked and then never went back to again.   That's the story of my life...or at least one of them.  

There's The Paper Scissors singing Lung Sum.  I still like it.  

45. Decided to try another song by The Paper Scissors.   

Here's Turn it To Gold At the Gate.   It's a nice video, and somewhat purple.  Sometime the sounds bother me though.  

It looks like they might be performing in their backyard or something.  

46. Read the little description under the video and saw that they ARE performing in a backyard.  It's a place in Sydney called The Gate. Oh.  You know what.   I think the song is called "Turn it to Gold", and it was performed at The Gate. It's not called "Turn it to Gold at the Gate"  Oops.  

47. Looked at The Gate's website.  It sounds really neat. They started out as a backyard thing in a suburb called Ryde. Then they expanded it.  

People in Sydney can sign up to have a concert in their own backyard.  

48. Thought that "Turn it to gold at the gate: might be a good line for a poem.  It seems to be full of symbolism.  

What does it symbolize? 

I don't know. 

49. Watched Siany sing Glory of Love.  I remember that song from the Beaches soundtrack.   I don't think I was a huge fan of the movie. I don't even know if I ever saw the whole thing.  Maybe?   But I had the soundtrack, and I liked it.  

I do remember seeing parts of the movie.  I think I liked what I saw.   I don't know why I didn't see the whole thing and/or why it was never one of my favorite movies.  It does seem like the type of thing I'd like.  

50. Listened to Elliot Freeman sing Use Somebody.   Have I heard this before?   I can't remember.  

The performance was done at Federation Square. That's where Arti and Reade were hanging out before they went to the hamburger restaurant.  

I like Freeman's performance with this song better than his performance with the Beatles song. 

51. Listened to Elliot Freeman sing the Over The Rainbow/I'm Yours song.   I think it's one of my favorite Elliot Freeman videos. 

52. Disagreed with a commenter on the video.   Corpse05 says,
Great voice, great at playing!
Only thing is that this song is about feeling and I dont feel it when I see you sing it.
Seems like reading.
Very well done tho, impressive skills!

I think Freeman has a LOT of feeling with this song.   Maybe the commenter didn't feel it because he's a corpse?   

I think Freeman totally gets into the song.  

53. Saw that I liked my own video on YouTube.  I guess that's okay.  There's probably nothing wrong with a little self-love. It might be a bit pathetic though. Well, yeah especially since I'm the only one who liked it.  

54. Watched video of man playing Lost soundtrack on his guitar.   That's pretty cool. 

55. Watched the famous Ben Linus video.   It's amazing. 

56. Watched one of the Lost tearful reunions at the beach scenes.  

57. Decided to go to my favorite video page on YouTube.   I guess this would be a step up above the like video....well, sometimes.  I don't think there's an exact science to it.   There's probably videos on my favorites page that I like less than some of the videos on my Like page.  

58. Started to listen to my newest favorited video; Sime Nugent and Alice Keath singing Parachutes

It's a lovely duet.  

59. Decided to read Sarah Hanson-Young's editorial about the Malaysia thing.  

She says this very important thing.  Australia signed and ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention because the government of the day agreed with the international community that it should never again turn away vulnerable people, as happened to Jews and others during the Second World War.

People look back at the Holocaust, and say never again.  But then they allow people to be persecuted and rejected over and over again.  The world still treats people like shit.   

60. Ate leftover pizza for dinner, and decided I will never again eat those huge NY style pizza slices.   hate myself for eating it.  It was such a mistake.   It's bad for the cows and bad for my stomach. I feel gross.   

I'm not going to give up dairy completely, but I'm going to at least give up eating dairy stuff that I don't even like that much. 

61. Listened to Sally Seltmann sing Heart That's Pounding.  It will make me feel better about the world.