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.