Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Refugee Convention, Texas, January, and Parrots

1. Watched two episodes of True Blood.

I think I'm getting back into it.  I'm rarely willing to watch two episodes of something back to back.   And I even had an urge to watch a third episode.  But I want to go to bed soon, so we didn't.

2. Went to bed and had Australia related dreams.  I am in a room talking to an Asian girl.  My older sister is there too, but I seem to be ignoring her.  It's like I forget she's there; or pretend she's not there. I start telling the girl about how I'm annoyed at my mom about something. My sister speaks up and scolds me for saying this. She also threatens to tell our mom what I said.  I fight back, saying she often tells me me stuff about other people. If she reveals what I said, I will reveal what she has said.

I then try to explain to my sister why I'm annoyed with my mom.  I try to help my sister put herself in my shoes.  My sister says she's heard enough.  This makes me furious.  I say I rarely share my life with my sister.  The conversations always revolve around her.  I just listen.  She writes long emails giving details upon details about her life.  I read and respond. Now the one time I talk about my life, she wants me to shut up. I say she can no longer send me emails about her life.  My sister seems upset about this.  I say I will talk about myself and send long emails.  If she responds well, she can go back to sending me emails about her life.  

I begin to realize this is an empty threat.  I won't want to open up that much to her.

Then it ends up the WHOLE family is in Australia.  We walk towards the beach together.  I see some boutique shops.  I think of going in, just because they're Australian.  But I decide I'm really not into boutique clothing stores, even if they are Australian.  I continue on with my family to this multiple story beach house where you can get beach chairs. Then suddenly, I'm embarrassed of my family because they're so loud and pushy.  I worry they fit the stereotype of the obnoxious American tourist. 

3. Had more dreams, including a short lucid one.  Then I had a sequel to the dream above.  We're all in Sydney.  My parents keep talking among themselves about this building near the beach.  It has shops and restaurants; but the only people who can go to the shops and restaurants are those that own property in the building. My parents seem interested in buying some property.  I'm excited about the idea of us having a place to stay in Australia.

I start to think I shouldn't write my dream (the one above) in my blog.  My parents rarely go to my blog, but what if they do this time?  What if the dream makes them angry and they decide to punish me by not buying property in Australia?

Later...I think about how I should write on my blog that we're in Sydney for the afternoon.  Maybe I can get together with Gina, and/or other people. Then I think she might not read the blog in time.  I should probably call or email her.  But I worry she might already have plans. This is so last minute.

In another part: I decide I will write down my dream on my blog.  I start taking notes— first on little pieces of paper.  I write too big and get only one word on the paper.  I decide to write smaller on the next pages.   My dad sits there and looks over my shoulder.  I ask him to stop,  and I also tell him not to read my blog.  I then figure why worry?  They rarely read my blog. Yeah, okay. But now that I mention it, they probably will.   I don't want them to read the part about me being mad at my mom.  Because, although the reasons are based on something that has happened in real life, I'm not truly mad about it.  I then realize I can leave out that part; keep it vague.   

4. Realized that the dream took up a lot of space; and some of it makes me sound very awful.   I wanted to share it anyway. I hope no one disinterested felt obligated to read it.  I'm so happy that I have people visiting my blog. I especially love that I have people who come on a regular basis. But I definitely don't expect anyone to read every single bit of all my overly long posts.

5. Compelled by Andrew to consult Lord Wiki about the Tasman Bridge disaster. It happened on January 5, 1975.   A ship crashed into the bridge, and part of the bridge fell onto the ship. Scary!

Twelve people died—seven crew members of the ship and five people in cars on the bridge.

The broken bridge isolated people in eastern Hobart. It used to take them 3 minutes to get to the other part of the city. Now it suddenly took 90 minutes.

Andrew suggested I read Lord Wiki's paragraph entitled Social Effects. It's quite fascinating.

The bridge collapse caused all kinds of psychological and social problems. Well, first of all people were probably freaked out. I'm sure a lot of bridge phobias developed.  

The other problem is that for some reason the nature of the event made it hard for people in the community to help out with disaster relief.   I'm not sure why, but Lord Wiki says this had a negative effect.  Well, no. I mean I can understand why it had a negative effect. But I don't really understand why it was hard for people to help in this particular disaster.

Anyway, I can understand why community involvement is important in disaster recovery. I think people have a need to feel needed. When there's not much for them to do, then they might feel powerless and helpless.   It's not a good feeling. And I imagine if you're a victim of the disaster, it helps to know that there are people in the community ready to help.

The other problem the bridge collapse caused was social isolation of people in eastern Hobart.

6. Thought this was interesting.  Lord Wiki says that a study done six months after the disaster showed that crime in Eastern Hobart rose while the rate on the west fell.

That makes me think maybe there were more criminals in the east. Now that they didn't have a bridge, they kept their crime closer to home. 

I don't know......

7. Read article about the Malaysian situation.  The High Court did what I expected. They ruled that sending asylum seekers there, from Christmas Island, is not okay.  It doesn't fit in with Australian law.

The Labor Party is thinking of changing the law. The Green Party is saying they will fight against the the Labor Party changing the law.

The article mentions something called the United Nations Refugee Convention. It's something that was signed by various countries to help protect the welfare of refugees. Malaysia didn't sign it.   That's why some people are reluctant to send asylum seekers there.

Okay.  Well, that clears some things up to me. I couldn't figure out why the asylum seekers seem to despise Australian detention centers, yet they were so against going to Malaysia.  

Should I assume then that Malaysia is even worse?  Is there any chance they could be okay even though they didn't sign what was supposed to be signed?

8. Consulted Lord Wiki about the refugee convention thing.  I don't really understand it. He has a map that shows which countries signed it and which didn't sign it.   The United States and Venezuela signed one thing, but not another.  Several countries signed both things. Then there's a few that signed neither.  These include most of South East Asia, Mongolia, India, North Korea, some countries in the Middle East, etc.

9. Started to understand the convention thing more.  The first one was in 1951. The purpose was to protect refugees of World War II.   Then, in 1967, a new thing was drafted to expand outside World War II refugees.  Let's be nice to refugees all over the world! The United States didn't sign that one.    Why?

Lord Wiki says though that America DOES take in a lot of refugees.  From about 1980, we've taken in about 2 million refugees.

10. Confused. Here Lord Wiki says that the United States did do the 1967 thingie.

Maybe he just drew his map wrong?


Nope.  Wait.  I'm so brainless this morning. Lord Wiki didn't get it wrong.  I got it wrong.

America signed the 1967 one and NOT the 1951 one. Or maybe the map is wrong AND I was wrong. Maybe America did sign both?

11. Downloaded PDF file from United Nations website that lists the signed-in countries and when they signed.  A lot of them didn't sign right away.

Australia signed fairly early, in 1954. They signed the 1967 one in 1973.

Germany signed in 1953, which is nice since they're the ones that caused the problems which inspired the whole thing.

It seems the United States ignored the first one (1951) and then signed the 1967 one in 1968.  

As far as I can see, no one signed the 1951 thing in 1951.  Was everyone a bit reluctant?  Or were countries not allowed to sign right away? Maybe it took time to process? 
12. Loved Fruitcake's post about economics. It's brilliant. I'll talk about it in a minute.

First, though, Fruitcake has a video clip of Michelle Bachman saying the earthquake and hurricane were signs from God.  I had read that she said that, but I hadn't actually seen it...until now.

I think it's so ridiculous.  First of all, one of my pet peeves is when people speak for God.   Who the hell are they to assume they know what a god wants or doesn't want?  Personally, I don't believe in this so-called God. But if I did, I'd hope he'd not be like Jacob from Lost. If you're a god and you have something to say, just say it.  Don't give us vague hints about what we should do.  If you send an earthquake and hurricane, how do we know what you're trying to say? Are you mad at the Republicans?  Democrats?  Maybe you're pissed about homosexuality?   Or maybe you're not a bigot anymore, and think all states and countries should legalize gay marriage?  Are you mad that we're eating too much meat?  Is this about factory-farming? Abortion?  Were you like me and overly disappointed with the finale of Medium?

13. Started to read Fruitcake's post again. There's so much brilliant stuff I want to remember.  If I read it twice, maybe I will.

I'm going to copy and paste my favorite quotes.  I HIGHLY suggest going to her post and reading the rest.

Here's the first.   Some socialist goody-goodies [e.g. any person more than one micron to the left of Genghis Kahn] only demand government intervention in markets because they want to guarantee equal outcomes, according to Friedman. That is, not only should every person be ensured a start in every race in life’s Olympics, but they should also be guaranteed an equal-first place prize.

I like this because it helps me understand the mindset of one of my friends.  She's horrified by the idea of making the rich pay higher taxes. She thinks if we do this, the hard-working wealthy people will want to stop working.  What will be their incentive? Why work hard for your millions when the government is going to take it away and give it to the lazy people who'd rather drink and watch TV than work?

I'm seeing now that my friend must assume that all of us on the left are wishing for equal outcomes.  There might be some far far left people who want this.  I don't!  No way. I don't have any problems with wealthy people; not even super wealthy people.  And I agree with her. If you don't allow people to have the chance to work themselves towards wealth, I think motivation to work WILL drop.

But I don't think the majority of people on the left are suggesting that the wealthy should lose most of their money.  

14. Agreed with Fruitcake when she says In some countries more than in others, the right is also synonymous with religious conservatism.    I always wondered why this is so.   Fruitcakes gives some pretty good guesses.  One of them is, Fundamentalists resent paying taxes to a government full of godless people.   And the other is, Fundamentalists resent subsidising godless lifestyles [e.g. supporting single mums and therefore encouraging careless promiscuity.

Fruitcake may be wrong.   I don't know.  But her theories makes a lot of sense to me.  What if the government promised no money would go to single-mother families or gay families...or anyone who had an abortion?   What if the government gave more money to families that proclaimed their allegiance to Jesus Christ?  How would the religious right feel about welfare then?  

15. Tried to wrap my mind around the newest Julian Assange Wikileaks thing.  He leaked a list of people that the Australian government gave to America. They're people who are on a watch-list and no-fly list because there's suspicions that they may be tied to radical Islam and/or terrorism.

A lawyer named Stephen Hopper thinks the list is wrong. He believes all these people on the list are not worrisome.

I don't know what to think.

I can believe they're all innocent at this point. But is there good evidence to suggest they might be planning bad things, or have connections to people who are doing bad things?

Is it okay to put people on a watch list?  I sort of think it is, as long as there's some troubling evidence against that person.

If I go to the library and check out a bunch of books about bomb making and guns, I think it would make sense for people to be concerned.  I could be totally innocent.  Maybe I'm just...curious.   Maybe I'm writing a novel about these things. But I don't think it hurts to question me, or be a bit weary.

The no-fly list thing is concerning.  If people are on the list, it's not fair for them not to be able to fly.   I would settle for having stricter security for those people. But I wouldn't give a flat-out no.    

16. Consulted Lord Wiki about the no-fly list.  He says many people have been forbidden to fly simply because they had the name of someone on the list.  I've heard of that before. Modern Family had a thing about it.

It's really ridiculous.

17. Learned there were wildfires not too far from we live.  That's a bit scary, and sad for the people who've lost their home.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  We have a major drought going on, and it's very hot here.

18. Checked the weather.  There's no rain in our 15 day forecast. We haven't had a decent rain in a long time.

Maybe God is trying to punish me.  Is it because I'm using too much artificial sweetener? Or maybe he's mad that I haven't redone my toe nail polish? 

19. Went to Tallygarunga.  I'm glad to see that people have finally posted in the new Whitlam Bilby section.   It's been quiet the past few days.  I started to feel tempted to create my own young wizard.  

20. Found the Tally story I'm going to read today.  It's called Getting It All Set Up.

The story takes place in the Wandless Magic classroom in the Eureka Underground Hallway.

It's noon on August 31. That's today for me and yesterday for Australians.

There's only one character in the story so far—the professor.  His name is Sean Dempsy.

21. Started to read.

Professor Dempsey seems to be a Star Wars fan.  He turned on the Jedi theme song by pointing his hand at the radio. Is that a Muggle radio, or a special wizarding one?

22. Wondered if the Jedi theme song is the main Star Wars song; or something else?

23. Found a YouTube video for the Jedi theme.  

It sounds a little bit like the main song.

24. Finished reading the story.  I like the idea of wandless magic. It seems like an important thing to learn.  I think it would be a handicap to be overly wand-dependent.

25. Started to read the biography of Sean Dempsy. 

His face claim is an Irish singer named Ryan Kelly.

26. Learned that Sean was born in Waco, Texas. That's not too far from us.  

Like many people, I associate Waco with the Branch Davidian disaster.

27. Learned that Sean is 33. He's a halfblood, and his Patronus is a Jack Russell Terrier.

He's in good shape because he exercises.

He likes wearing button up shirts and slacks, usually in dark colors.

A piece of his ear is missing from a Quidditch accident.


28. Wondered about this line. Being born and raised in Texas he is known to have a short temper at times, exploding if he thinks he is right.

Do Texans have a reputation for having a short temper? I didn't know that.

I don't consider myself a Texan, by the way. I've been here for only about 30% of my life. I like Texas, but I don't feel connected to it or committed to it.

 29. Learned that Sean's dad is a Muggle and his mom is a witch. She told him the big secret a year into the relationship.He was fine with it, and they got married.

30. Learned that there's a magical school in Texas called Southwestern Magical Academy. I guess it's in Waco? Sean's mother taught there; and then when he was old enough, he attended the school.

31. Learned that Sean is one of those guys who's proud to be a bachelor. His friends, of course, take that as a challenge and try to set him up with someone.

Is it so wrong to remain a bachelor?

Is there someone out there for everyone; or are some people better off alone?

32. Learned that my Australian of the day was a sculptor.  His name was William Wallace Anderson.

He was born six days before the 100th anniversary of the First Fleet's arrival in Australia.

33. Learned from Lord Wiki that I'm wrong.

He says although Australia Day is celebrated on January 26, the First Fleet ships started arriving on January 19 and 20.

They went to Botany Bay. They weren't satisfied with that.

The 26th of January is when the First Fleet people sailed to Port Jackson.

I knew all that, really. I just forgot it.  

34. Decided I should get back to the sculptor.

He was born in Dean, Victoria.

Google Maps shows Dean as being about 30 minutes north of Ballarat.  

In his late teen years, William studied engineering and also modeling classes. I'm assuming that's more along the lines of model airplanes than catwalk modeling.

35. Learned that William joined the army.  He was a soldier, and then later he became an artist for the army.  He made models of the landscape. I guess that would help the army by letting them study the terrain.

After the war, William continued to do war-sculpting work for museums.

36. Learned that William is responsible for some war-related memorials.

Lord Wiki has a photo of one of William' sculptures. It's The Spirit of Anzac in Geelong.  

One of his most famous sculptures is of the guy with the donkey; John Simpson. This website has a picture of it at the bottom of the page.

37. Returned to Peter Lindenburg's Flickr account.   I received a nice email from him this morning.   And I'm guessing he mentioned my blog post on Facebook. On Statcounter, I've seen a lot of Netherlands traffic today. They're going to yesterday's post via Facebook.

That's really cool.

I'm thinking Peter is pretty popular and influential. If I post a link on Facebook, I think it's usually ignored.

Or maybe people do follow the link, but they don't comment or click Like. 

I don't think I considered that before.   

38. Started looking at Peter's Parrots of Australia set

39. Wondered what this Rainbow Lorikeet is eating.

What's usually on their menu?

40. Learned from Lord Wiki that Rainbow Lorikeets are pollinators.   

That's very interesting to me.  The only bird I knew of as a pollinator was the hummingbird.   I wonder if other parrots are pollinators as well.

Rainbow Lorikeets don't just eat pollen. They also eat fruit and nectar.

Lord Wiki says that for some people the Rainbow Lorikeet is a pest. They eat fruit from people's trees.  Yeah.  That would be a bummer. But if I had the choice, I'd give up all the fruit on my trees for a visit from Rainbow Lorikeets. Well, that's if I wasn't actually depending on that fruit to stay nourished. If I was starving and stranded on an island, I wouldn't want my tree bothered by any animal...even bright colorful ones.

41. Thought this parrot deserved a better name than Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.  It sounds diseased—like something that needs a mastectomy and radiation therapy. 

While we're on the subject of bad names, there's this wonderful bird. They're probably my favorite Australia bird. They won that honor when one stood on top of my head at the Royal Botanical Garden.  But why do they have to be called the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo? Sulphur reminds me of the smell of rotten eggs.

I think these majestic birds deserve a much better name. Why not Lemon-crested Cockatoo? Or Saffron-Crested Cockatoo.  That would be cool...and exotic.   

Banana-crested Cockatoo might work.

42. Loved this Rainbow Lorikeet photo.  

43. Saw that Peter's girlfriend was as happy as me about having a parrot on her head.

Why is it so wonderful to have a parrot on our heads?

Or maybe it's not wonderful for everyone.

That might be a good question on one of those psychological tests. Do you like it when parrots stand on your head?

I guess they'd have to figure out what yes means.

Well, at the very least it would weed out people with a bird phobia.

44. Thought these Long-billed corellas were kind of ugly.  But they're ugly in an appealing way.   They remind me of something.  I don't know what.  

Maybe fish?

45. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Long-billed Corella is a popular pet in Australia. They're very good at talking.

46. Watched video of Roy the Long-billed Corella.

The people who posted the video say he's talking gibberish.  But what if he's not?   Maybe the family is being visited by aliens, and Roy is repeating what THEY say. He could be relaying a conversation about anal probing. 

47. Couldn't find the parrot in this picture at first. It's pretty well-camouflaged.  

48. Started to look at Peter's Birds in Brisbane photo set.

49. Wondered if the Magpie-Lark is the same as the Magpie.

It's not.

Lord Wiki says the Magpie is from the Artamidae family. The Magpie-lark is from the Monarchidae family.  

Lord Wiki says the Magpie-lark is neither a Magpie nor a lark. 

50. Thought this Bush Stone-Curlew looked kind of sad. 

Oh...and here's another picture of him looking sad.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lucid Dreams, Ages, Teenagers, and Peter Lindenburg

1. Glad that my lucid dreams had a little bit of Australia in them, so I have an excuse to talk about them here.

There was a lot of stuff, and it's all mixed up in my head (out of order) so I won't talk about all of it.

In the dream: It's 3 in the morning. Tim, Jack, and I are in a house.   (not our real life house). I keep having the ability to leave the house through the window and fly off to lucid-dreaming worlds.

Note: In my lucid dreams, there's often NOT a sense that I'm in an imaginary dreaming world; and now that I'm aware of it, I can have lucid dreams. It's more like my mind thinks the dreams are real-life; but I've suddenly been blessed with the power to float through windows and go off on magical adventures.  

Back to the dream. At one point, a window leads to an airport runway.  I want to go out and maybe see a Qantas plane.  I float out the window, but don't find the plane. There are airport employees working outside. I'm hoping I'm invisible, but worried that I'm not.

At another point, I talk about going on more adventures. Tim forbids me to go.  He says I've had enough and now I need to stay home.  I'm disappointed. I want to fly out the window more.    

But then I decide to fight back.  I say he goes out all the time. It's not fair for him to get to go out, and not me.  He doesn't really fight back, and I go out again.  I take Jack with me.   I show him how I can bend window glass by pushing on it. I'm wondering if he has this power too. He doesn't seem to.   We're thinking of flying out this high window; but I worry about misjudging my flying powers at this time. What if we both fall to our deaths?

We decide to go out a low window, or door. We travel to this field that is full of rabbits and some other animal.  Maybe ducks?  I love rabbits, so I'm very excited to see them.  

Each rabbit seems to be in a pair with another rabbit.   

People are there too; and some of them are touching the rabbits—petting them.

There's a body of water in the scene.  Many people have gathered there. Jack and I join them.

Suddenly, scary music starts to play. I get a little  nervous and suggest we get the hell out of there.   I'm predicting a shark will appear and attack those close to the water's edge. Jack and I take quick steps backwards. Then we see a giant squid appear.

Later in the dream, the squid and rabbit thing was some kind of popular tourist attraction in Sydney.  

2. Related to some stuff in James' blog post about the restless years.

James says,

In your twenties you think you’re so much brighter and smarter than anyone who has lived before you. You think people in their forties and fifties are people who don’t understand “the real issues” and who have lost touch with reality. Or at least that’s my recollection of the twenties.

When I was in my late twenties/early thirties, this is exactly how I saw people in their early twenties.  I definitely had a prejudice against them. At the same time, I felt people in their 40's and 50's looked down at me for not being smart enough and experienced enough.

Well....what I mean is I thought people in their early 20's were a bunch of naive know-it-alls.   I saw them in the same way I see pre-parenting women. They're full of judgement towards mothers and KNOW they're going do a better job of it.   By the way, here's a fantastic blog post about that. 

Anyway, the main point of James' post is about the restless years. He thinks it's in the 40's. He's 40 and is feeling restless.

I think of all the ages, I've always dreaded the 40's the most. I didn't mind turning 30.   I'm excited to be 50 and 60....70 if I'm still alive and in good health.  But 40.....ugh.  Maybe it's because I always sort of knew, that in my 40's, I'd be parenting a teenager.  (insert fearful scream here).  

I'm not terribly upset though about turning 40, mostly for the fact that it gets me closer to 50.

3. Misread the lower part of James' post. I thought he said he was suffering from post-holiday depression. I felt sad for him because I had a HORRIBLE case of post-holiday depression.

But that's not what James said.  He did mention post-holiday depression, so that's why I got confused. I read too fast and made assumptions.

What James really said is that he feels restless when returning home from a holiday. You go away, you have a wonderful time, and then you’re transported back into life as it was.  Instead of feeling depressed about this, James tries to reinvent his life in some small way.

When we returned from Australia in 2007, I wanted to reinvent my life by moving to Australia.  That didn't work out. I started this blog instead. It ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me.   

4. Read Jayne's post about compliments. She talks about how she praised people at work and that made them happy. Then in return she was happy.

Jayne says,  A genuine compliment is a powerful thing. I'm going to compliment someone every day.   

I have a friend who never/rarely gives compliments. I brought up the subject one day. She told me a story about a woman who gave lots of compliments.  I forgot the exact story. But the general idea was that she was really fake about it.  She complimented everyone on the same thing—maybe about their shirt?  She would tell people she liked their shirt, even if she really didn't like it. Or maybe it was hair.

It's awful to be so disingenuous. But I think it's also awful to be stingy with compliments.   There's so much fantastic stuff out there.   If someone can't think of at least one genuine compliment a day, I'd say they're definitely a glass half-empty type person. 

5. Read about Fruitcake's trip to Sydney for her father's birthday party.

I love her line here.  Sometimes it is hard to know when it is more useful to not try and be useful.

I think in most cases, there IS something that can be done to help.  One exception I can think of is with children (sometimes).  When I was a preschool teacher, there was that need to be busy and feel needed.  If I'm just standing here watching, why the hell am I getting paid?   But sometimes it's best to just stand back and let children do their own learning and socializing.  You watch and make sure nothing disastrous happens. That gets boring, though, and it would make me feel insecure. It was nice then if I could find some paint brushes to wash...or something like that.

Fruitcake ended up being useful by peeling onions. That's a task I usually avoid.

6. Read article that says Melbourne was ranked, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, as being the most liveable city in the world.  It got a score of 97.5, and it got perfect scores for healthcare, infrastructure, and healthcare.

That's pretty awesome.

Sydney didn't do as good as Melbourne, but it did get 6th place. That's awesome too. Adelaide and Perth came in eighth place.

I'm very proud of my favorite country.

7. Went to the Economist Intelligence Unit to see the rankings for myself. such luck.  

They won't let you see it for free.

Would it be bad to pay $5-10 dollars for the list?  Probably not. Although I'd likely be too cheap to do it.

But it's not $5-10 dollars.   It's $3150 dollars! thank you.

I guess people from the media buy it.

Will any of them be generous enough to share the list with us cheap people?

8. Learned from the Wall Street Journal that the highest ranking American city is Honolulu. That came in at 26—not too impressive.   

Yet some Republican Americans continue to believe America is the best country in the world and that everyone else wishes they could live here. 

9. Hoped that I don't spend the rest of my life in Fort Worth.

Maybe one day we'll make it to Australia.

I'd also be happy with Hawaii.

10. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Economic Intelligence Unit and Mercer can't get themselves to agree on Melbourne.  While EIU sees Melbourne as #1, Mercer's 2010 survey put Melbourne down at #18.

Mercer and EIU do seem to agree that the United States is lacking in very livable cities; and they also agree that Honolulu deserves the highest ranking in the United States.

11. Read article about social media causing problems in relationships.

People can get annoyed with their special other for seeming less eager about talking to them than they are about talking to their internet friends.  

I think it's like anything else in a relationship.  If we begin to feel like we're very low on our partner's priority poll, we're likely to end up feeling jealous, unappreciated, and resentful.

I wonder if Tim ever feels neglected because of all my blogging. I sort of doubt it. I'm busy a lot; but he's busy too.  We have our together-lives and we have our separate lives.

The only time I get annoyed with him is when we're physically TOGETHER, at a time we could be talking/bonding, and he's talking to someone else who's not there. For example, we were waiting for our pizza to be ready at the Great Wolf Lodge.  We could have spent that time chatting.  Instead he used the time to email my dad about Jack's birthday party.  I understand that's important, but could it not have waited until we were all back in the hotel room? Then Jack and I could have been busy on our computers too.

I remember a trip to NYC where Tim spent copious time emailing his ex-stepsister about us all getting together.   He'd read and respond to emails as we moved about the city.

That being said.....

I've been guilty of it a few times.

I remember being in the car in Canberra and texting/talking to an internet Australian friend. Tim didn't complain...even though it was a guy I was talking to...and even though Tim knew I once had a crush on him.

Tim's much more tolerant than me when it comes to that stuff.  He doesn't get jealous. I do.  

12. Thought about how it's a struggle to know when it's okay to BE there physically and not mentally.  Personally, I think there's a big difference.

That's not saying there aren't nice moments where we sit with someone and do our own things. I love when the three of us are in a hotel room. Tim watches TV.  Jack and I play on our computers. We're together, but we're not interacting.

Still to me that's not enough.  If that's how are are all the time....I'd think we're failing as a family.

As a parent, I feel the need to interact with Jack; not just be next to him. This could include having a conversation, reading a book together, watching a show together, playing a game together, playing with stuffed animals together, etc.

I don't feel I'm bonding with him if I sit on the couch reading my book while he plays a video game.  My mind is on the book, not Jack.

The other day we watched some of The Great Muppet Caper while eating dinner.  I was a bit bored by the movie and asked Jack if he minded if I read my book.   He said not at all. I felt a little guilty, though.   My feeling is once we stop watching the movie together, the bonding moment has ended.   Our minds are on different things.  I told myself it was okay though, because we had many other bonding moments that day.  

I think if you have bonding moments, then it's okay to fill up other parts of the day with physically-but-not-mentally together moments.  If that was my only time with Jack though....Let's say we were one of those busy families who only got to see each other for about an hour each day.   Then I'd think it was wrong to spend that time reading while he watched a movie.   I'd either suck it up and watch the movie with him. Or I'd suggest we do something else together.

13. Figured when Jack becomes a teenager, all my theories about bonding may be thrown out the window.  Then I might feel lucky if we simply manage to be in the same room together.

14. Recognized that severe teenager/parent friction is a stereotype; and it doesn't happen in all families.  Maybe we'll be lucky and bypass it. But I try to do the old hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If I get cocky and say Jack loves me, that will never happen to us, SURELY the next several years will be disastrous for both of us. 

15. Went to Tallygarunga and saw that some of the wizards and witches have been welcomed into Pottermore.  Jack and I haven't gotten in yet.   

I do have my name though; and I love it.  DreamMagic121. I like dreaming, so it fits me well.  

16. Found the Tally story thread I'm going to read today. It's called Oh!  It's You.   Eudoxia Karras is one of the stars, but this time she's not with Jason Miller.  She's with another ministry worker named Thomas Sgouros.  

The story takes place in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It's early in the morning on August 9; and it's raining.

17. Started reading the story.

Eudoxia was drinking the night before and is now feeling the effects.

She hears a knock on the door, opens it, and finds Thomas.

18. Got the idea that Thomas and Eudoxia have some kind of history together.

It says here: The open mouthed stare turned into a smile, how long had it been? Probably her engagement party three years ago. It had been uncomfortable no one liked Malcolm and his mother and her father dropped several hints that he had stolen her out from under Thomas’ s nose. Which was impossible, Thomas spent his time mercilessly teasing her and she reacted the same way, only to a brattier and often more lethal degree

I'm guessing that Eudoxia and Thomas were friends, but Eudoxia's parents wanted there to be something more.

Will there be something more now?  Will Thomas get in the middle of Eudoxia and Jason? Do I sense a love triangle?

19. Learned that Thomas does have feelings for Eudoxia.

20.  Continued to read and wondered if Eudoxia is going to tell Thomas about Jason.

21. Wondered if Thomas and Eudoxia did have some romance in their past.  In one of Thomas' post it says, He already felt more comfortable with Eudoxia around than he felt in Greece for years, anyway, though. Perhaps it was a trade off; the comfort of home for the comfort of his first love.

Although the first love bit could have been unrequited love.

Then again he flirts with her.  He says things like, Is there even a second bedroom here, or do I get the joy of sharing your bed?

Friends might say that stuff to each other though...if they have a close enough relationship where they feel comfortable joking about such things.  

22. Wondered. Who is Petros?  Eudoxia and Thomas talk about him. He's some kid who was kicked out of Hogwarts for using an unforgivable curse; and is now at a South American school.

Maybe he was mentioned in Eudoxia's biography.  I'll go skim through that to refresh my memory.....

23. Found out that Petros is Eudoxia's younger brother.

24. Saw Thomas being told about Jason in a vague kind of way. It's not compelling him to back away. He plans to fight for Eudoxia.

Who will win?

25. Struggled to understand article about the mining boom.  An economic researching group called BIS Shrapnel is predicting the mining boom in Australia is going to end.  He's suggested Australia should have something to fall back on.   

26. Looked at the website of BIS Shrapnel.  

This page explains what they do.  It's basically what the article said.  They do research on industries, and they make business forecasts.

27. Went back to Tallygarunga.

I'm going to read about Thomas Sgouros.  

He's a pureblood wizard from Greece.

He works for the Ministry in the department of Magical Games and Sports.

28. Learned from Lord Wiki that Thomas's non-magical counterpart would be Mark Arbid. He's the Minister for Sport. Although that's for Federal, not Victoria.

Is there a Victorian Minister of Sport?

29. Found the  Victorian government's sport page.  

30. Did more digging and found the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation.  His name is Hugh Delahunty.  

31. Decided to go back to learning about Thomas.

He's handsome.  He has nice eyes.

He likes to dress in a professional way. He's not the casual type.

32. Learned Thomas' family is often on the cover of tabloids.


33. Learned that not only is Thomas handsome, but he's also smart and has a good sense of humor.    He sounds like a Mr. Perfect.  I'd likely feel intimidated by him.

34. Started to read Thomas' history.

Thomas has parents that believe strongly in hard-work.

It sounds like Thomas had a very decent childhood.  Because of his parent's involvement in the Quidditch world, he mingled with celebrities. Yet he managed to not let it go to his head.  Life was great, until Thomas had a Quidditch injury that meant he'd be forever out of the game. He got a bit depressed about that, but a friend cheered him up.

35. Thought that from the biography alone, I'd say Thomas needs a few character flaws. But in the story itself, he seems less perfect.   He seems somewhat cocky.  I mean he's not extremely arrogant; but he's arrogant enough that he'd probably get on my nerves at times.  Well, that's if he was real and I knew him in real life.  He doesn't get on my nerves when I read about him.

36. Learned that my Australian of the day is William Hopton Anderson.   He was an air force officer.

William was born in Melbourne in 1891.

He was good at flying.

There's not much more to say.  I mean there is, obviously.  The Australian Dictionary of Biography has a whole entry on him.   But for me personally, there's not much that stands out. It's hard for me to get into military stories; unless there's something very dramatic.

Reading the entry is kind of like reading a resume. It's not overly interesting to me.

37. Consulted Lord Wiki about William Hopton Anderson.

I'm thinking maybe he'll describe things in a way that's more interesting to me. really.

38. Found the target of my next Flickr stalking adventure. The account belongs to a guy named Nigel Howe.  

Nigel is from Sydney.

I hope I like his photographs.

39. Started to look at Nigel's Northern Beaches photo set.   I've seen photos of the Northern Beaches before and I was overwhelmed by its beauty.  

40. Noticed a lot of Nigel's photos are panoramic. I'm not sure if I like that...mainly because they look smaller on Flickr.

I could just increase the size.  That would work. It's only one extra click for me.

41. Decided I don't really like the panorama stuff.


I'm going to look for another Flickr account.

42. Did not find a Flickr account.

I'll try again later.

43. Read article that says The High Court is going to soon announce whether or not its okay for asylum seekers to be sent to Malaysia.

I have a feeling the answers going to be no.  It's just that they put a stop to it. It's hard for me to imagine them saying, We thought it over and have decided it's okay after all.

44. Saw that there's been another dog attack in Australia.   Fortunately, the victim is still alive.

It wasn't a pitbull. It was a rottweiler. Those guys have a dangerous reputation as well.  

Found another Flickr stalking target. His name is Peter Lindenburg

I hesitated stalking his account because he doesn't allow you to download his photos.   I don't like that because I like to save stuff to my screensaver folder.  But he has really great animal photos, and I love that he takes the time to label them.

45. Saw Peter's first photo set was not labeled.   I think I'll skip that one.  I like the ones with labels.   If he allowed downloading, I might be okay with it.  I want one or the other at least.

46. Saw from the second photo set that Peter speaks another language besides English. There's a description in....

47. Went to Google Translate.

The language is Dutch!

This will be the third Dutch account I've stalked.

48. Looked at the photos from the second set. They're not all labeled, but I guess I'll deal with it.

49. Would love to be the girl in this picture.  

50. Thought this parrot photo was fantastic. 

51. Loved the kookaburra photo.   

52. Thought this frog picture was awesome.

Peter's very talented; and I think I like the same type of things that he likes—at least aesthetics-wise. 

53. Thought this picture was cool.  

54. Wished I could cuddle this lizard. He's too cute.  

55. Started looking at Peter's Mammals of Australia photo set

Here's a photo of a cute Western Grey Kangaroos in South Australia. 

56. Looked at website about the Western Grey Kangaroo.

They say the best place to see them is Gawler Ranges National Park in South Australia.

Here it is on Google Maps.  It's about 7 hours west of Adelaide.  

The kangaroo site says the Western Grey Kangaroo can also be found in western Victoria, western New South Wales, south-west Queensland, and  some parts of Western Australia. 

I'm sure it can also be found in other places in South Australia...besides the Gawler park.  

57. Liked this picture of the swamp Wallaby in Port Fairy.  He's very cute.  

Lord Wiki says these guys are found in eastern Australia, from the very top to the very bottom....maybe not including Tasmania.

58. Learned from Lord Wiki that people from Bunjalung nation avoid eating the Swamp Wallaby.   They think they taste bad. 

I'm not 100% sure that's true.  Lord Wiki may be making it up.

59. Thought this koala was very cute. 

60. Thought this wallaby looks a bit angry. 

61. Thought this animal was absolutely adorable.  It's called a Tasmanian Pademelon.  I don't think I've heard of that before.  

62. Decided Peter Lindenburg must be some type of animal whisperer. He gets such fantastic shots of them.  It's almost like the animals are posing.  

63. Consulted with Lord Wiki about pademelons. I wonder how they're related to the wallaby and kangaroo. I think they look like wallabies.

64. Learned that kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons are all part of the Macropod family. Lord Wiki says they're very much the same in terms of body structure.   The different labels refer to their size.  Kangaroos are the biggest, Wallabies are in the middle, and pademelons are the smallest.

65. Thought this Spot-tailed Quoll is cute.  It looks like he's smiling in the picture.

66. Thought this kangaroo looked very sweet. 

67. Bewildered by article that says a fire broke out at a detention centre in Darwin.  Apparently detainees are protesting.

Why would they do this near the time that the High Court MIGHT declare sending people off to Malaysia is wrong?

Or at they protesting something completely different?

Why can't they have a peaceful protest instead of a destructive one?  

68. Went back to Tallygarunga.

I suddenly remembered that I forgot to look at Thomas Sgouros' face claim.'s Michael Weatherly.

Lord Wiki says he's been on various TV shows, including an episode of Charmed.

He played a good warlock.   

I can't remember if I saw that episode or not.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Deafblind Alphabet, Writer's Block, Small Churches, and Mysterious Photos

1. Saw article that says the Labor Party isn't so popular in Queensland right now.  But they still like Kevin Rudd.

I probably feel the same way.

2.  Thought of Andrew when I started looking at Phunnyfoto's Railway Stations, Trains, Bridges, photo set.  

3. Intrigued by this photo.  People are having some type of lunch event on a bridge.  

4. Found information about the lunch event.  It was part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  The bridge with people eating is the Noojee Trestle Bridge.

5. Found Noojee on Google Maps.  It's about 2 hours east of Melbourne.  

I'm starting to get the feeling that Phunnyfotos lives somewhere in east Victoria.  Most of her photos seem to be from around there.

6. Wondered if Phunnyfoto ate at the Noojee lunch event. Or did she just come close enough for photos?

7. Saw that the Australian dollar is going up high again.  It's now equal to 1.061 American dollars.

8. Glad to see that the Victorian government is working to pass laws that will inflict harsher punishments on people who have dangerous dogs that kill.    

If someone has a dangerous breed of dog, and it kills someone, the owner can get up to 20 years in prison.

That makes sense to me.

The article, I read, says there's also going to be a hotline for people to call if they know of a dangerous animal in the neighborhood. I don't know what will happen once the call is made.  Will the dog be taken away from the owner? Or will neighbors have to wait for the dog to bite someone?

Will certain types of dogs be outlawed all together? Or will they be judged on their behavioral record?

Personally, I think they should just be outlawed. I think having a pit bull is like having a lion or tiger. They might be very friendly and lovable. Then suddenly they snap and attack.

If someone has such a huge desire for a pit bull, then they should have it well hidden. If the owner keeps the dog safely away from the neighbors, how would anyone know about it in the first place?

9. Read article about Melbourne's public transportation ticket inspectors.  Research shows that people see these officers as being rude and intimidating.

I went to the Metlink website to see what they have to say about their ticket inspectors (AKA Authorised Officers).  The site says these officers ARE there to reduce fare evasion. But they also say they're to provide good customer service and assist travelers.

Maybe the officers are doing more policing than supporting? Or is that just public perception?

The article says the officers are being accused of lacking interpersonal skills. I can imagine this means if you go up to one and ask a question, they respond in an unfriendly way.   If that's true; it's unfortunate.  Sometimes it takes courage to admit you're lost....confused. If you ask for help, it's nice if someone responds in a polite, kind, and helpful way.   

10. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm going to read a Reade and Arti story called Silence is Golden.  

It takes place in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, on the evening of August 26th.

11. Started to read the story.

Reade and Arti are learning a blind-deaf type sign language that is done by tapping on the body.  They're doing this so they can have secret conversations with each other.

12. Found a website about the deafblind alphabet.  I'm not sure if this is the version Arti and Reade are using.  This one talks about messaging letters on someone's hand.  Reade's post says the messages can be done on any part of the body. Maybe it's a different alphabet; or maybe they made their own adjustments to the one on the site.

13. Looked at various letters in the deafblind alphabet. They're pretty cool.

It's basically just touching someone's hand in various ways. For example, the letter R is done by bending the index finger and laying it on the other person's palm.

14. Noticed the website provides other blind-deaf communication methods. One is to just spell out the letters with your hand. I guess it's kind of like the game where you write a letter with your finger on someone's back; and they guess what it is.

There's also a form of braille that can be used.

15. Went back to reading the story.

I'm wondering if Reade and Arti have had sex yet.  It says here, After buying a book in Narragyambie on the topic they had spent the last two weeks absorbed in their project in almost every spare moment.

Other spare moments had been spent in more adult activities.

Maybe they're having sex; or maybe they're having almost-sex.

16.  Learned that Reade has a doctor's appointment coming up.  He's dreading it less than usual because Arti's staying at his house. He feels better having her around for support.

17. Concluded from more reading that Reade and Arti are having sex.

18. Found the story thread where the sex first happened.  What can I say?   I was curious. It's not very explicit, which is probably good.  The book I'm reading now is too explicit for my tastes.  I guess it's like vampire erotica.  It's probably not the explicit bit that bothers me, but more the idealism.   It's that romance novel fantasy of perfect love and mind-blowing sex. I think I've heard it too many times before, and it's gotten old.

19. Felt like I have writer's block today. Usually it's so easy for me to find things that make me blab on and on. It's different today.   I feel kind of blah. I read stuff and it doesn't inspire any deep thoughts.  Or if it does, I don't have the motivation and energy to write about it.

Hopefully this is just a short phase.

Maybe I'll be back to my old self later.

20. Saw that my Australian of the day is another William Anderson. This one is Sir William Hewson Anderson.   He was a business man and political organizer.  

21. Learned that William was born in Sydney in 1897. His father was a Minister and, because of that, the family moved around a bit.

William did some of his schooling at Fort Street Boy's High School. Then he went to the University of Sydney. He didn't stay long. He joined the armed forces.

War wasn't easy on William.  He was wounded, traumatized, and suffered hearing losses.

He left the fighting stuff and went back to school. He also started working for Shell.  

William got married. He and his wife had three kids.

22. Learned that William was a Liberal. He reminds me of American Republicans because he equated the left with communism.

23. Learned (if I'm reading this right) that William was part of the group that helped establish the Liberal Party.

He became the first President of the Victorian branch of the party.

24. Learned that William didn't like socialists, people on the left, and pacifists.  He did like patriotism and free enterprise.  He differed from some right-wing people, I've encountered, in that he supported social welfare. I guess he believed in some social welfare, but not to the point that it becomes socialism.  I think people on the right vary with that. I know of some who seem to be against social welfare all together. If you're life isn't doing well; it's probably your own fault for being lazy and lacking interest in work.  If it's not your fault for having a bad life, it's not the duty of taxpayers to help you.  I'm guessing other people, on the right, are more open to helping others.  But they might believe changes are needed in the system.

25. Perplexed by Americans who are so bothered by the idea of their taxes going towards universal health care and welfare; yet they have no complaints about their tax money being wasted in the war.

Why is that?

26. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's Hotel Flickr set.

I think it's hotels as in bar/restaurant, rather than the sleepover kind.

Or maybe I'm wrong.

This photo caption uses the term inn.  I'm thinking inn infers sleepover capabilities.  But I could be wrong. 

27. Went to this dictionary site. They say an inn is an establishment for the lodging and entertaining of travelers.    

So it does involve sleeping there rather than just eating and drinking.

28.  Looked at pictures of the the Royal Hotel in Drouin.    

The building doesn't look too inviting to me, probably because I'm not fond of that architectural style.
I think maybe it's art deco.

I don't hate art deco; but it's not one of my favorites.

29. Looked at the website for the Royal Hotel.

They do provide accommodations.  There's five ensuite rooms.  

30. Thought this hotel looked fairly nice. It's called Copper Mine Hotel at Coopers Creek.

I also like this Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo.  

31. Didn't love the photo set so much, because there seemed to be a lot of art deco buildings.   I don't mind a few,  but I get tired of them after awhile.

32. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's Church set.   Maybe I'll like this one better.   I don't think churches are that often art deco.  If the ones in this set are; then I'll assume Phunnyfoto prefers that type of building.   Then maybe it's best I find another Flickr account to stalk.  

33. Liked this small church.  It's yet another thing that reminds me of Little House on the Prairie.

34.  Pictured this church as something that would fit into the decor of Fort Worth. 

35. Felt unimpressed so far with what I'm seeing of south-eastern Victoria.   Is it a place I wouldn't like?  Or is it a matter of Phunnyfoto having different taste than me?   Maybe she's taking photos of things I wouldn't like; and someone else, with a camera, in south-eastern Victoria would take photos of things that would appeal to me.

I don't know. 

35. Noticed the sky was very blue in this picture.  

36. Thought this Catholic church was very unusual looking. 

37. Thought this church looks extremely tiny. How many people could you fit in there?

Well, maybe it's in a very rural area, with a very small population.

38. Looked up Yinnar South, Victoria.  That's where the church is located.  

Lord Wiki says it has a population of 1148. All those people couldn't fit into that church.   Although why am I assuming they all belong to the same congregation?  Some might not even be Christian.

Oh!  Lord Wiki talks about the church.   He says it's one of the smallest churches in Australia.  It's four metres by five metres.

I have to convert that.....

Google says one metre equals 3.28 feet.   So it would be about 13 by 16 feet.

That's small!

39. Impressed by the tall tree in this photo.  

40. Did not like this Catholic church.  Well, I mean I don't like the building.   It reminds me of synagogues I've seen and been to. It's just so unimpressive.

I know.  I'm a building snob.  

41. Did not like this church building either. It looks like a doctor's office.

42. Liked this church, at least compared to a lot of other churches I've seen in this photo set. 

43. Unimpressed with St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Brisbane.  

Really.  I'm starting to feel enlightened here. I thought Jews were the only ones who liked worshiping in ugly buildings.  

I'm joking.  We have some ugly churches in Fort Worth.  And I do know that there's pretty synagogues out there somewhere.  

44. Listened to "Charlie Hangs Around" from the Lost soundtrack.

I wondered why I had love for a character that died way back in the second season. By the 6th season, shouldn't I have stopped caring?  Then I remembered he died in the 3rd season, not the second one.

Lord Wiki helped me remember what happened on the third season finale.

Now I'm trying to remember what happened in the finale of the second.

I know Lord Wiki will give me all the details if I ask. But I want to remember on my own.

45. Gave up trying to remember.

I'm thinking it might have had something to do with Michael, Ana Lucia, and Libby—all that stuff. 

But I don't think all that happened in the finale.


Now I remember!

It was the big trade scene, and we learn about Ben's position with the Others.

46. Started to miss Lost again.

47. Decided not to quit Phunnyfoto; but I'll stop looking at her building-oriented sets. 

I don't think we have the same test in architecture.

48. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's Tasmania set.  

49. Saw a photo of Truganini's memorial. It's in Bruny. 

50. Liked this photo of Bruny Island.  It's beautiful. 

The boat in the picture makes me think of a movie I found the other day.  Throughout my adult years, I sometimes remembered this short film we watched at school.  It was about a little boat.   My memories were vague, but I decided to try and find it.

It's called Paddle To The Sea.  

I haven't watched much of it yet.

I watched 2-3 minutes, and to be honest I thought it was kind of boring. It was probably entertaining to me as a child because it meant we got a break from hearing the teacher blab on and on.

51. Listened to the movie while looking at Phunnyfoto's Tasmania pictures.

It's getting more interesting to me now.

52. Liked this photo of Cape Bruny.  

53. Liked seeing photos of the Lake St. Clare Visitor Centre in Cradle Mountain. It has a summer camp feel to it. 

54. Found the website of the architects who built the centre.  They're called Heffernan Button Voss Architects.  

I'm intrigued by this Trial Bay house they made. 

55. Amazed by the tulips in this photo.  

It's from a place called Table Cape, which is about 30 minutes north-west of Burnie.  

56. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's East Gippsland set.

57. Consulted Lord Wiki about East Gippsland.

It's not a town, but a region.  It's made up of towns.  The only one I've heard of (that I remember) is Lakes Entrance.  I think Lakes Entrance is on my pretend-Australia-trip itinerary. 

58. Checked my pretend-trip calendar.

Yep.  Lakes Entrance is there.

I have us pretending to go there on February 6.  

59. Liked this photo of Croajingalong National Park.

And I like this photo from there too. 

60. Enjoyed looking at photos of the Delvine Cemetery.    They're delightfully spooky.

Here's one in color.  The trees are great for the scene.

Then here's a picture using a negative effect.  It looks like a classic horror thing.

61. Decided to look at one more Phunnyfoto photo set. It's called My Faves, and is a collection of all her proudest photography moments.

I'm wondering. Will any of her favorites be my favorites?  

62. Wondered how this jumping rebel photo was made.  

Is it special effects?

Can people really jump that high?

I can't.

63. Liked this Ferris Wheel from Adelaide.  It's very unusual...and colorful. 

64. Consulted Lord Wiki about Glenelg, the suburb of Adelaide that has the Ferris Wheel.

He says it's a beach suburb.

In the 1930's, Glenelg had it's own Luna Park.  It lasted only four years. Then the rides were disassembled and sent to Luna Park in Sydney.  

That's very interesting.  

In 1982, a new park was opened in the area.  It was called Magic Mountain. Lord Wiki says this stayed open until 2004.    It was well-liked by some—especially young people. It was disliked by others. They thought it was ugly.

Now there's something in its place called The Beachhouse.

65. Thought The Beachhouse sounded fun.  It has the cool Ferris Wheel, a carousel, indoor water slides, and other stuff.

66. Looked at the Beachhouse website.

They have a variety of pricing plans.    It's expensive, but not shockingly expensive. The prices are comparable to American amusement prices.

Well...actually.  Maybe it's a little more expensive.

Maybe I'll try to compare.

Mini-golf there is $9.50.

At the mini-golf place we go to in Fort Worth, it's $7.50 per game. That's not too huge of a difference.  

67. Thought the Power Hour Max at the Beachhouse was ridiculously expensive.  It's $45 per person for 100 minutes. You get mini-golf, the carousel, water slides, bumper boats, train, arcade games, and a few other things.  You do NOT get the cool Ferris Wheel.

In comparison, one day at Disney World costs $85 dollars.  You can stay ALL day, and not just 100 minutes.  For that price, you can go to only one park (versus all four) but there's much more at that one park than there is at The Beachhouse.

68. Read article about dangerous dogs in Victoria.  People can keep their scary pets, but they have to register them.  This action includes getting them neutered and micro-chipped. And they need to be kept in a secure location.

If this is not done, then the state can take the dogs away and have them destroyed.

I'm not sure if registering the dogs will solve the whole problem; but maybe it will reduce the dangers.

I hope it does.

69. Went back to looking at Phunnyfoto's pictures.

I'm not liking too many of them; so I think we have different taste.

That's okay.

70. Loved the building in this picture.  It's fantastic.

The caption says it's from Harbourtown Melbourne.

71. Googled Harbourtown Melbourne and came up with an outlet shopping centre in the Docklands.  

I was really NOT expecting that.  

72. Consulted Lord Wiki about Harbourtown, and got the idea that I've mixed things up.

I think maybe it's some kind of trick?  Like this is an old classic European building and it's photo-shopped into Harbourtown?  It's not photo-shopped.  It's in a photo group called Illusions (NO photo-shop creations please)
73. Perplexed by the photo.   How was it done?

74. Searched through Flickr for other photos of Harbourtown Melbourne. So far, I'm not seeing anything like Phunnyfoto's picture.

There's no super fancy building.

75. Realized I'm probably making a huge fool of myself.  The fancy building is probably something famous that I should recognize from elsewhere.  

It looks like the type of thing you'd find in Prague...or somewhere like that.

76. Started looking at the wrong photo album.


I'm going to try to get back on track.

I ended up looking at the illusion photo group rather than Phunnyfoto's favorite photos set.  It took me a few photos to realize I was on the wrong path.

77. Thought this cloudy building photo was cool.  

78. Wondered....

What's the deal with Australia and their scary clowns?  

Are Australians missing the clown phobia gene?

I imagine when Australians saw Poltergeist they looked at the clown doll and thought, Oh, how darling!

79. Decided to admit I do like Fizbo the clown. But I like him better without his make-up. 

80. Thought this photo was really cool.  I wonder if it's natural; or did Phunnyfoto use effects? 

81. Thought the tree trunk in this photo looked very strange.

82. Loved this storm cloud photo.  

83. Saw a picture of a pink lake, and wondered if it was real.  

Someone in the Flickr comments says it's caused by algae.

Why have I not heard of this pink lake before?

It's near Dimboola, Victoria.

84. Found Dimboola on Google Maps.    It's four hours north-west of Melbourne, and only 1.5 hours north-west of Halls Gap.  I was planning on us going to Halls Gap for our REAL (but probably canceled) Australia trip.  If there's a pink lake, we'll drive that extra hour or so to see it.  

85. Looked at a website that talks about the lake.  It says the day has to be overcast for you to see the pink. 

What if end up going on a day that's sunny? That would be disappointing.  

86. Followed link that Phunnyfoto provided about the lake. 

It looks much less exciting on that website.

I'm guessing Phunnyfoto used some kind of coloring effect with her photo. 

I wish photographers were more revealing about what effects they used. I think it's frustrating looking at a photo and not knowing if you're seeing something real or manipulated.  

Or maybe it is real in her photo.  If it is, then the tourism sites should borrow it. 

87. Liked this snowy photo.  It's from Mount Hotham in Victoria. 

Lord Wiki says that's north-east of Melbourne.

There's a ski resort there.

I've never been to a ski resort.  

Do I ever want to go to a ski resort?

Probably not.

I don't like too much cold; and I'm scared of the ski lift thing. 

88. Decided it's foolish to talk about disliking the cold when it's so hot here; and we have another broken air-conditioner!  This one is worse than our last breakdown because it's the kitchen.   Now our food might melt.  And this is where we keep Max, our cat that pees a lot.  We're going to have to move him to the bathroom in the guest room. That's a total pain, and not fun for him because the bathroom is smaller than the laundry room.

Hopefully, we'll get it fixed soon.  

89. Decided to shut up and be thankful that we still have electricity. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Light, Songs, Disaster, and Phunnyfotos

1. Obsessed over The Tangled song.    "I See the Light".  

It reminds me so much of my Australia obsession.

I think, though, it's one of those songs that everyone can relate to in their own special way.

I think we all come to a point in our lives where we see the light.

2. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today (tonight, actually) I'm going to read a thread called Light Up The Sky.   

The stars are Juli Preston, the 2nd year student with the very mean mother; and Thatcher Hyland, the first year wizard who longs to be a hero.

I adore both of them.

3. Noticed the title of the story thread.   Light Up The Sky. It's such a great connection to the song I keep listening to tonight.  And no. I did not pick the thread on purpose.

I don't really choose the threads.  That would be too hard for me.  I'd be too indecisive.  What I do is read the thread most recently posted...unless it's the story I read the day before.

Anyway, I think it's a beautiful coincidence. It gives me a little tear in my eye. I hope there's nothing really sad in this story thread. I'll probably cry.

I'm in a crying mood.  

Anyway...back to the wizard and witch.

The story takes place on the grounds of Tallygarunga.

4. Started crying and I didn't even start reading yet.  When I wrote grounds of Tallygarunga, I thought of the grounds of Hogwarts. I was listening to the song and seeing this montage of Hogwarts, Harry, Hermione, and Ron in my mind.

5. Saw that the Tally story takes place on the evening of Friday, August 5.

6. Started reading.

Dinner has just ended. Juli sneaks to her favorite tree.  She plans to spend some hours alone in the dark.  Then an owl comes and scares her a bit.

7. Amused that Juli is listening to her iPod.  I like high-tech witches.

8. Continued to read.  Thatcher goes out after dinner to let off some steam.   He sees Juli trying to use the Lumos spell. She was struggling with it a bit, because magic isn't her strong suit.

9. Liked that Juli tried to find Sagittarius when looking at the stars.  That's one of my signs.

10. Felt sad when I read this. Who was he and why was he out here? It was rather selfish, but she liked to think that the tree was hers, and only hers. It was a haven where she could escape everything for an hour or two.

Sometimes it's really hard to share, especially when something is very special to us.

I think Juli deserves a haven.  On the other hand, maybe Thatcher will end up being her friend.  I think she also deserves a really good friend.

11. Loved these lines from Thatcher.

Yeah, I know whatcha mean. I don't ever feel that way, because my heart stays with me all the time. But yours goes somewhere else sometimes, right? It goes somewhere so you have to stop and slow down, because you can't be yourself with your heart somewhere else. Right? That's what happens to my mother. Do you know where your heart goes? She says she doesn't.

I think I know what he means. Maybe. And I think I'm one of those people. Sometimes my heart goes somewhere else.

12. Loved Thatcher's explanation of the lines I quoted above.  He says,

Uh... It's like this. When you wanna get away, you feel all jittery and every little thing can upset you. You get that way b'cause your heart isn't with you. When your heart isn't with you, happy feelings get lost, and bad feelings hit you harder than usual. So you get away, you send your mind somewhere else and just be, without thinking or feeling anything. Does that make sense? Guess it doesn't.

I have times like this.

13. Thought about how I love Tallygarunga.  I'm very thankful that we crossed paths.

14. Decided that while I'm on the get-very-emotional-about-Harry-Potter-Stuff path, I'll watch this video.

15. Decided to switch gears and watch my favorite Offspring video.

That's making me cry too.

16. Felt very sad when I read that Daniel Morcombe's bones have been identified.  I think I had this foolish hope it had all been a mistake, and he was still alive out there somewhere. 

17. Touched by Ann O'Dyne's comment on Andrew's blog post.  She says, Spare a thought for New York City highrisers today, and pray we never get a hurricane here.

I feel like 2011 is the year of disaster. The north-east is approaching the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and now they're having earthquakes and hurricanes.  It's not at all usual for these things to happen there.

We're having a MAJOR drought in Texas.

There were those disastrous earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan.

There were the floods and cyclones in Australia.

What else?

Wasn't there something in Brazil?

18. Found this blog entry. The blogger lists the disasters of 2011.  He or she started it in March, but they continue to add to it.  

Some examples on the list: earthquake in Burma, floods and landslides in Brazil, tornadoes in America, blizzards in America, volcanoes in Iceland and Chile.....

They also list the weird dead animal stories, like birds falling from the sky.

It does seem there's more shit than usual, but I could be wrong.

If there is more than usual....

It doesn't necessarily have to mean it's the beginning of the end or a message from the gods. It could just be a bad year.  People have bad years sometimes; why not the earth?

I do hope that 2012 is better for our planet.  

19. Saw that my Australian of the day if another William Anderson.  This one is William Acland Douglas Anderson.   He was an army officer.

William was born in 1820, in England.  Wasn't there something in Australia in 1829?   Maybe a financial crisis of some sort.  No, wait. I'm probably thinking of 1929.  That's when America had the stock market crash.

20. Consulted Lord Wiki about 1829 in Australia.  He doesn't say anything about a financial issue.

He does say Perth was founded in that year.

William wasn't even there though. He was in England.  Anything happening there in 1829?

Well, the University of Oxford won a boat race. That's exciting, I suppose.

21. Went back to reading about William.

He joined the military in his late teens.  He was eventually promoted to captain. I guess he was good at military stuff.

William's parents moved to Victoria, and he eventually followed them. He did work with gold; then he got into government stuff.   He was given a role in the royal commission.  His job was to look at the military and make sure things were going okay.

22. Excited to begin my stalking of phunnyfoto's Flickr account.   Her photo sets look interesting to me.  

I'm going to start with her War Memorial one

She has several photos from a memorial in Moe, Victoria.   I don't remember ever hearing of that town.   I'll look it up on Google Maps.

It's about 2 hours east of Melbourne.  

23. Thought this memorial was unusual looking.  It's from Bright, Victoria.  I looked that up on Google Maps.   It's about 4 hours north-east of Melbourne.  

24. Thought this memorial was simple, sad, and lovely.    It's from a town called Jidivick.   It has ten names on it. I guess they were the men from Jindivick town who were killed in the first world war.  

25. Looked up Jindivick on Google Maps.  It's about 1.5 hours east of Melbourne.

26. Thought this picture looked a bit eerie; kind of like the statue is a ghost in the sky. 

27. Saw many other memorials in the photo set, honoring people who died from the individual towns. 

28. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's Port Albert and Tarraville photo set.

29. Looked up Port Albert and Tarraville on Google Maps.   They're both in south-east Victoria

30. Liked this green and white shed

31. Thought this church looks interesting.  It seems to be very small. We have some massive churches in Fort Worth. 

32. Started looking at Phunnyfoto's Signs set.   This might be fun. 

33. Finished looking at the photo set. It was less entertaining to me than I expected.  


I just looked at the last photo more closely.   That one is KIND of funny, especially with the way Phunnyfotos interpreted it.  

34. Started to look at Phunnyfoto's School Buildings set.

This might be interesting. 

I haven't seen many photos of schools on Flickr.

35. Saw some one room school houses in the set.  They remind me of Little House of the Prairie.   So far, the photos are of schools no longer in use.  This one in Yarragon, Victoria is now a private residence.   It stopped being a school in 1971.

36. Saw a photo of a small school that might still be open. It's called Cloverlea Primary School.   It doesn't look deserted.  It has a garbage and recycling bin.  I can't find a website for it, though.   When I looked up Cloverlea Primary School, I got a school in the UK.

Maybe they're just not internet savvy yet. 

37. Went through more photos and saw another one of the Cloverlea Primary School. The caption says it's now a private residence.

I guess that makes sense.  Private residences have garbage/recycling too.