Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elderly Migrants, Coin Collecting, Bad Childhoods, and KayKBayZ

1. Found another old dream about Australia.  It's from December 31, 2006.  I'm getting the idea that by this time I was becoming more and obsessed with Australia.

I see a sweepstakes in a magazine. Al Roker is the spokesperson. It's to win a trip to Australia. Something to do with penguins. There are names of two winners. You scratch off to see the name and maybe it is yours. I look at front of magazine to see whose name is on the subscription. There is no name. I don't expect a name to be there when I scratch, but my name is there.   I think about how it is probably a scam and am surprised Al Roker is involved. I think about someone telling me some guy sued the sweepstakes lawyers and everything. A big hassle.

It's kind of a coincidence that I read this dream, because a few days ago I wanted to enter a contest to win a trip WITHIN Australia.   It involved penguins.  They wanted you to suggest a name for the penguin.

2. Read article that says a 96-year-old woman might be deported from Australia.  She called her family, from her home in England, and asked if she could come live with them.  She felt she needed more care.  Her other choice was to go to a nursing home where she didn't know anyone.

The woman did the year-long tourist visa option and then applied for a contributory parent visa.   I don't think I've heard of this one before.  The article says it's where elderly parents are allowed to join their children in Australia as long as they can support themselves.

I guess she didn't pass the requirements needed.  Her request for the visa was refused. Now the family is fighting the decision.

Hopefully they'll win.

I think I can understand why Australia doesn't want thousands of very old people migrating and draining the welfare system.  Australia has enough of their own old people they need to help. But if it someone's family member?

3. Went to the Australia migration page.  Here are the parent visa options.  

There's an aged parent visa.   With this there's no financial requirements. Well, you have to pay for the cost of the visa.  But you don't have to have a specific level of wealth.

The visa's not cheap though.  It's close to $5000.  

It also has a lot of requirements in terms of family issues.

In most cases, the family needs to have been citizens or lawful residents of Australia for two years.   The website says they'll sometimes make exceptions for compassionate reasons.

If Chris Bowen is in a good mood....

They also say the parents must have more children living in Australia or New Zealand than other countries.  So if mom and dad live in England, they have three kids in South Africa, and one child in Australia; they wouldn't be eligible for this visa. They'd probably need to try for South Africa.

4. Figured if the riots in England don't stop, the 96-year-old woman might soon be able to apply as an asylum seeker.

5. Saw that there are many contributory parent visas.  Some are for temporary stays and some are for permanent ones.

6. Realized I may be wrong.  It looks like all parental visas applicants need something called an AoS (Assurance of Support).   It sounds complicated and I don't understand much of it. But I think the general idea is that the family needs to show that they can pay for the elderly person's care, and that the government won't have to do it.

If I'm reading it right, the family needs to provide a $10,000 bond for the contributory parenting visa and $5000 for the other parenting visa. The 10,000 gets held for ten years and the 5000 is held for two years.  I guess that means they get the money back eventually? Or not?

So....why would the family pick the contributory parenting visa over the other one? 

Well, the immigration website says that although that one is more expensive, it's processed faster.

7. Read about James' not-so-pleasant journey home.   He had a pleasant trip TO Sweden, but things weren't so good  on the way back   He had some airport difficulties and some challenges in finding a shower.  I'm guessing also that the post-holiday blues played a part in his feeling grumpy.  

Reading his post reminds me that as much as I have it bad being an American who loves Australia, it's good I don't live in Europe. The flights from Europe to Australia are longer than the flights from America to Australia.

8. Went to the Qantas website.  It takes 22 hours and 35 minutes to get from Sydney to London, with a one hour stop in Singapore.

It takes 13 hours and 35 minutes to get from Sydney to Los Angeles.  On the way back, it's about 15 hours, because of the jet stream.

9. Saw that the Australian dollar is back up again.  It's worth 1.0342 American dollars.

I was half-joking to Tim yesterday at the Japanese restaurant.  I said when the Aussie dollar goes down we should go to the bank and buy a bunch of it.  Then Tim said people really DO that.   There's currency trading.  He also said this is one of the reasons currencies go up and down.   People invest in them.

I'm so ignorant about economics.

Now that I think of it; I guess it makes sense.

I think it would be a smart investment.

Even if a currency sinks and never comes up again, I would think later down the line it would be worth something just for historical reasons.  Or...well....I'm guessing people don't buy huge amounts of cash and then take it home with them. They probably invest in it via a bank.

I would get it in cash, or at least get some of it in cash.

I'd get some of it in coins because it might be worth something to coin collectors someday.  

10. Looked at website about Australian coin collecting.   It's making me think that my idea might not be the brightest one.   It seems in order for your coins to be worth something they need to be either very old or very rare.  You're probably not going to get much for a 50 cent coin. Although it might be worth something to your grandchildren someday.....

11. Saw Lord Wiki's list of commemorative coins.  Now THESE would probably be worth something.  

There are circulated and uncirculated coins.  To me, the circulated coins seem more meaningful.   They seem more real to me.  The uncirculated ones seem like a publicity stunt.

12. Learned from Lord Wiki that in 1995 there was a coin made with Weary Dunlop on it. That's pretty cool. This website has a photo of it.  

13. Wondered if any of my Australian coins are commemorative. I'll go check later.

14. Read Andrew's interesting post about Kiwis in Australia.  I often feel a bit jealous of Kiwis because it seems they get automatic residency in Australia.  It seems so easy for Kiwis to move to Australia.

Well, Andrew says things are actually not that wonderful for them.   If they came BEFORE 2001, they get lots of privileges.   If they came after 2001, then they have to stick around for at least ten years before getting certain rights.  These include free education and health benefits.  Andrew says this is the case even if they pay taxes.

15. Went back to the Australian immigration site.  

From what I'm reading, it seems kind of fair to me.   New Zealand citizens do get privileges that citizens of other countries do not.    They can work live and work in Australia without applying for residency or citizenship.  They can avoid the whole hassle.   If they want to get rights beyond that then they have to apply for residency or citizenship.  They have the choice.

Andrew talks about the recent floods.   Kiwis in Queensland are not entitled to government relief money.  I think it's sad, but fair.    If they already know they're not entitled to things such as free education and health care, wouldn't it be expected that they're not entitled to government relief money.  I'm not saying we should shrug our shoulders and say, Oh well.  You should have gone through the hassle of applying for residency.   Maybe a charitable fund (not related to the government) could be set up to help the New Zealand citizens who were effected by the flood.  

16. Read Adaptive Radiations post about London.  She says it reminds her of Lord of the Flies.  I agree with her there.  

17. Liked Fruitcake's quote about welfare in her recent blog post.  

Welfare in one form or another, and some income redistribution is a moral good. It is also a fair price to pay for living without fear of junkies trying to rob your house at night. It’s the price you pay so that those with less physical or mental opportunities are not asleep and blocking your path when you walk down the street. It’s the price you pay so there is not mindless gang warfare or rioting destroying the assets you have worked so hard for.

I like it, but I don't know if I agree with it at this point in time. I'm feeling so bitchy and unsympathetic towards the rioters.

I do believe in welfare. I think there are some who take advantage of it, but I think others truly need it.

I usually see welfare as being in the benefit of the have-nots.  But Fruitcake makes me see it's also for the benefit of the have-lots.   I guess the word I disagree with in her quote is FAIR.   I don't think it's fair that our tax money has to be used so people so don't rob our houses and burn down our neighborhood buildings.  But it seems maybe like a necessary evil. It's kind of like bribery money.

I'm totally okay with people stealing in order to feed themselves and/or their family.  If my child was starving, I wouldn't think twice of doing something illegal to get them fed.  But I don't support teenagers going on a joyful spree of glass-breaking, fire-starting, and stealing of non-essential goods. It's disgusting to me.   

18. Read article that says Tiger Airways is being given permission to fly again.   The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is being strict with them though.  The article lists conditions that have to be met.....additional training for pilots, improved pilot rostering and fatigue management systems and changes to Tiger’s safety management system.

Hopefully the airline will act in a way that doesn't make CASA regret lifting the suspension. 

19. Wondered if the serial killer in Tim Winton's Cloudstreet was based on a real person.

He is.

Lord Wiki says his name was Eric Edgar Cooke. 

He killed eight people between 1959-1963.

The guy had a rough childhood.  His father was an alcoholic and withheld affection from Edgar.    He was beaten and suffered head injuries from the attacks.

He had a hare lip and cleft palate; and he was bullied for those things.

None of that is an excuse for becoming a murderer.  But I do feel sad for the guy. Or at least I feel sad for his child-self.      

Lord Wiki says he was the last person executed by hanging in Western Australia.

20. Saw that Robert Drewe's book The Shark Net is about Eric Edgar Cooke.  I heard about the book when I read Drewe's book about stalking.

21. Looked at old photographs with Jack.  He's really into stuffed animals right now, and wanted to see the ones I loved as a child.

I found a picture of my beloved koala.

He was one of my favorites.

22. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm reading a short story thread.   It has only one post.  It's a class session story called Advanced Dada Lesson 1: Boggarts and Ridikulus

In the third Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Lupin teaches that same lesson to Harry, Hermione, Ron, and their fellow Gryffindor students. 

In Tallygarunga, Defense Against the Dark Arts is taught in the Tarnagulla Centre.  This is the same area in which Professor Adrian Tallenery teaches the Charms class.

Defense Against the Dark Arts is taught by Professor Anna Maria Rodrigez. She also teaches.....

What does she teach?  I forgot. Was it Muggle history?  History of Magic?

23. Did some research.  Professor Rodrigez teachers History of Magic.  

24. Started reading the story thread.  It takes place on August 11.  For me, that's the future. I'm still on August 10 over here.   

Well, as I said....the story is short.  Professor Rodrigez is simply waiting for her students to arrive.

And there's a reminder in the story that she's a werewolf. I remembered that.

Once in awhile my memory doesn't fail me.

25. Started to read the biography for Anna Maria Rodrigez.

Her face claim is Michelle Rodriguez.  I know her from Lost.  

26. Learned that Anna was born in Mexico.    She has yellow eyes and people often assume this is due to her werewolf condition.   It's not.  The eyes are a genetic thing she inherited from her mother.

27. Learned that Anna tries to make history fun for the students.  The example given here is that she will have a student write a play to describe a historical event.  That's pretty cool. A lot of kids would probably learn more from doing that than writing a paper or studying for a test.

28. Learned that as Anna gets older, some of her werewolf traits have slipped into her human form.   When she gets angry, she'll bare her teeth and growl.

29. Started to read Anna's history.  Her parents were both Mexican wizards.  At some point they moved to The United States.  Then later they moved to England.  Like most wizards, she got a letter inviting her to school at the age of eleven.

I'm guessing she went to Hogwarts.

30. Saw that Anna was born in 1985.  Harry Potter was born in 1980, so that means Anna was probably five years behind him in school. I'm guessing she started when Harry was in year six.

After Harry Potter defeated Voldemort and graduated from Hogwarts, Anna continued on with her education.   In her fourth year, she got bitten by a werewolf.  And well....that was that.

31. Learned that Anna was ostracized for her condition.  Unlike Eric Edgar Cooke, she did not become a serial killer as a result of abuse and bullying.

32. Felt sad for Anna.  Even her own parents were afraid of her.  In reaction to this, Anna tried to commit suicide.

33. Learned that my Australian of the day was Sir Kenneth McColl Anderson.  He was a Member of Parliament; but I'm not sure if he was in Federal or a state parliament.  I guess I shall find out.....

Like many people with the last name Anderson, Ken (the Australian Dictionary of Biography says this was his nickname) had Scottish roots. He was born at sea, near Adelaide; but his father was born in Scotland.

34. Saw the answer to my question.  Ken was part of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.   That was from 1920-1930.   Really?   There must be some mistake here.    Ken was born in 1909.   This would mean he was an MP at the age of eleven.

35. Read the paragraph again.

Ken's FATHER was the Member of Parliament.


36. Learned that Ken did insurance work and real estate work.

He also fought in World War II.  He became a prisoner of war and worked on the infamous Burma-Thailand Railroad.

37. Learned that Ken was the Mayor of Ryde from 1949-1950. Then he became the Liberal MP for Ryde.  

Later he joined the Senate.

Oh...and I think they mean the Federal Senate.

Is there a state Senate?   I don't know.

38. Went to the Parliament of New South Wales website.   There are two houses, but they don't call them the Senate and House of Representatives.    They're called Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.  

39. Saw that Ken played a role in the Ministries of  Robert Menzies, John McEwen, John Gorton, and William McMahon.  

40. Went to Mousie's magical Aussie music datebase.   

Today's song for me is "Helping Hand" by the Screaming Jets.

I think I heard a song by them way back when I was doing the biography posts. It was a video in honor of some heroic person.   Maybe Fred Hollows?  

41. Looked at my old Fred Hollows post to see if it's there.  

42. Saw that I'm right....well, sort of.  That post had the video I was thinking about.  But it's not the Screaming Jets. It's the Jets.

So there's plain jet and screaming jets.

43. Listened to the Screaming Jets song.

44. Started to watch cover of "Helping Hand" by KayKBayZ.

I like it.   His voice sort of reminds me of Elliot Freeman.  

45.Listened to KayKBayZ sing one of the same songs that Elliot Freeman sang in the above video.

I like that song...mostly because it reminds me of Elliot Freeman.

46. Decided it was time for my Flickr stalking. I'm still working on Frans de Wit's massive Australia set.

47. Decided to hold off on my stalking.  First I'm going to look at KayKBayZ's website.   When you go to the site, there's a song playing.   I kind of like it.   It's called "Make Me Want To Scream"  

48. Decided I'll listen to KayKBayZ's music page while I look at Fran de Wit's photographs.   I'll do that in a minute.   I want to explore the rest of the site first.

49. Joined KayKBayZ's Facebook Page.

I have one complaint about this guy.

I don't like his name.  It's hard to type it out. I don't like the switching back and forth from lower case to upper case letters.  

50. Started looking at the Flickr photographs.  I'm on page 8.   Meanwhile, I'm listening to the song "Back To Yesterday".  

51. Liked the ending to the song "Back to Yesterday."   It had an interesting twist.

Now I'm listening to "Take You There".   It reminds me of Michael Jackson.  KayKBayZ says Michael Jackson is one of his musical influences. The other one is the Beatles.  

52. Started to listen to "Bullshit I Do".    I like this song too.  

53. Saw a face in this weird plant.  It's kind of cute.  

54. Got the idea that Frans de Wit loves flowers.

55. Loved this picture.  It reminds me of science fiction type thing.   People would hide out from aliens or zombies here.

Maybe vampires as well?

OR maybe there'd be a werewolf pack that hangs out in the area. Anna Maria Rodrigez could be part of the group. 

56. Started listening to "Keep the Fight." It might be a good song for the morning after Anna Maria Rodrigez's attempted suicide.

57. Started to listen to "All I Call Mine".

58. Thought this was a cool plant.  I wonder if it would be of use to a wizard or werewolf.

59. Started listening to "Feels Wonderful".   It's a nice song. I can totally imagine Elliot Freeman singing it.

Hey...maybe KayKBayZ is Elliot Freeman's alter ego.  Or maybe they're long lost twins.  

60. Saw a picture of the Canberra War Memorial.

I don't think I've seen it before.  

It's beautiful.

61. Started listening to "Regret".  

62.  Saddened by this photo.   It makes me sick to think of the name of someone I love on that wall.  

63. Started listening to "We Live We Die". 

That one doesn't remind me of Elliot Freeman.  

64. Read more of Cloudstreet and some religion bits in it made me wonder whether Anne Rice has ever read it.   I guess maybe because it's about losing and gaining faith.  

65. Started to listen to "Where I'm Going".  And I'm going to look at page 9 of Frans de Wit's photo set.     

There's pictures of war diorama type things.  I like museum exhibits like that. 

66. Started to listen to "Close Your Eyes". 

67. Liked this photo.  

And I like this photo.  I can imagine sitting on the bench with people that I love.   

68. Decided this picture reminds me of a horror movie.

Or maybe it reminds me of Twilight.  

Yeah.   It has a Forks, Washington feel to it.

69. Saw a face in the fallen tree trunks here.   It looks like a wild boar, sort of...but a friendly one.  

70. Felt I was given a spiritual type message when I read this in Cloudstreet.

But it's not us and them anymore.  It's us and us and us.  It's always us.  That's what they never tell you....I just want to do right.  But there's no monsters, only people like us.  Funny, but it hurts. 

I think reading it was timely because lately I'm not feeling it.

I'm feeling that there are bad people in the world. I'm feeling they're at best...a waste of space.

I hate feeling that way.

71. Liked another quote on the same page.  The goals are full of blokes we swear are different to us.  Only difference is, they did things you and me just thought about.

Then another character replies, That's still a big difference.

I agree.

I'm sure a lot of people out there imagine it would be thrilling to break windows and burn down buildings.   It would be fun to be with a bunch of friends....grab stuff from shops.   It would be fun to shake up the establishment and scare the neighbors.

But decent people keep those plans in their imagination. They don't actually go through with it.

 72. Started to look at page 10 of Frans de Wit's Aussie photo set.  

73. Wondered about the black things in this picture.  Are they rocks?  Shells? 

74. Looked at my coins with Jack.   It ends up I do have one commemorative one. 

Which one?

The 50 cent coin with Weary Dunlop.   I think it's funny that today I looked at the long list of commemorative coins; and the one that got my attention was that one.


Is it....

A) Some kind of spiritual message
B) A pure coincidence
C) It caught my attention because subconsciously I already knew I had it.

I never looked at the coins far as I remember.  But maybe my subconscious picked up on it.

I don't know.