Sunday, August 7, 2011

Malasyia, Thatcher Hyland, Travelers, and Beautiful Photos

1. Had a dream that an Australian family is angry with their son.  They tell me he's being antagonistic.   I ask what he does, and they say every time they get in an argument, he goes off and studies for his charms class.  I get their point. It's like he's giving them a subtle threat and reminder that he has magical abilities.

I'm guessing this was a case of Tallygarunga influencing my dreams.   

2. Found this old (rather disturbing) dream about Australia.  It's from December 22 2006.

Something with Jack swimming in water that is referred to as Australian. But he's not exactly Jack. A woman is fretting about him drowning. I go to save him...not worried. But then when he gets back, his body seems weird. Like his head is on backwards. And there's something about the messiah?

The funny thing is, exactly a year later we'd be in Australia; and we'd be at the beach. We were in Port Stephens for the week of Christmas in 2007.

Fortunately, Jack didn't almost drown. Nor did his head look like it was put on backwards.

3. Relieved to see that the missing girl scout in Victoria was found alive.  It's so NICE to hear good news!!!!!!!   I'm happy for her. I'm happy for her family. I'm happy for her friends.

4. Saw article that says the High Court of Australia has put a suspension on the Asylum Seeker trade.  That's pretty interesting.   I didn't know they could do something like that. I'm ignorant when it comes to government and court power.  

I'm still not convinced the Malaysian swap plan is the evil of all evils.  But I don't support sending accompanied children there.   

The article quotes Sarah Hanson-Young.  She says,  Now this is a really appalling state of affairs when we see a government willing to put the lives and welfare of vulnerable children at risk simply to make a political point.   

Yeah.  I agree with that.

5. Read James' post about the Stockholm Pride Parade.   I'm so dumb. I thought it was about people being proud of their Swedish heritage.

It's not.

It's a gay pride thing.  

James gave me goosebump feelings when he described one of the floats.   He says, There’s recognition that people in some parts of the world don’t enjoy the freedoms enjoyed by gays and lesbians living in Sweden. My favourite “float” is the group which features people with gaffer tape over their mouths marching with the sign “Marching for those who can’t”.

In Sweden, same-sex marriage is legal.  I thought it would be; but I checked with Lord Wiki just in case.

6. Read James' post about the concert at the Stockholm Pride Party.  Anthony Callea from the Aussie Wicked was there.  James says, “Has anyone been to Australia?”, he asked the crowd at Stockholm Pride, closely followed by “Is anyone from here FROM Australia”. There was a slight look of surprise on his face when he looked down into the crowd and saw two old blokes standing in the second row putting up their hands.   

I wonder why he was surprised.

7. Consulted Lord Wiki about Callea and Wicked. I forgot who he played in it.

It was Boq, the Munchkin.

8. Watched video about Australia's Wicked

9. Read Fruitcake's post.  She talks about the asylum seeker issues. She talks about two articles she read that make her feel like the Malaysia swap is a good idea.

In one, a happy family is showcased.  They've been waiting in Malaysia for seven years. Now finally they get to come to Australia.

In the other, they talk about how a family paid $55,000 dollars to get on a people smuggler's boat.    Fruitcake says,  While I can’t imagine having $55,000 let alone losing it so cruelly in search of basic human rights, it’s reasonable to assume that with $55,000 at their disposal they could have had a far more pleasant 7 year wait than the family in the picture above. 

I would think $55,000 would go a long way in Malaysia.

Would they have been able to keep that money?  I'm guessing some of it would have gone to buying flight tickets. Then maybe some would have to be used for bribery purposes in Malaysia. Maybe?

I don't know.

I honestly don't get it.

The only thing I can think of is that the family didn't have the money.  Maybe they borrowed it, and now they're in debt.  That was part of the scenario in the Go Back To Where You Came From RPG game.   I didn't have enough money, and I had to go into debt with the people smugglers. Then once in Australia I had to keep sending my family money so they could pay off the debt collectors.  

10. Found article about the $55,000.  The family is devastated because they thought they could stay in Australia. The article says,

The woman had paid $55,000 for the Hazara family's passage to Christmas Island, sources inside the Christmas Island detention centre said.

Her relief at having arrived safely on Thursday gave way to disappointment and grief when told what would happen to them under the Gillard government's new Malaysia swap policy.

Relieved?   Why would she have been relieved?  Had she not heard that asylum seekers were put into detention centers?   Did she not know that these detention centers made people so angry that they started riots, starved themselves, sewed up their lips, etc?  

Are these asylum asylum seekers ignorant to what will happen to them in Australia?  Or do they hope an exception would be made for them?  I'm guessing it's the former.  In that case, the Australian government needs to work harder to spread the word.

I've heard they plan to do that.  

11. Realized the government is walking on a tightrope here.  On one hand, they want to scare the asylum seekers into not doing the people smuggler journey.  Don't get on the boat.  Bad things will happen to you. You'll be sent to Malaysia!  Then at the same time, they want to convince the Australian public that life won't be too bad for the asylum seekers being sent to Malaysia.  

12. Read article about transit centers in Malaysia.  The asylum seekers won't be immediately allowed to enter into the community. That will happen eventually.    Prior to that, the asylum seekers will spend 45 days in the centers.  If they get what's advertised, they'll have clean and air-conditioned rooms. They'll also have access to interpreters, social workers, and health professionals.

It doesn't sound bad at all.

But sometimes places look better in the brochures than they do in real life.

Hopefully that won't be the case here.

I also hope that if the transit centers ARE nice, the asylum seekers act appreciative and take advantage of the services offered. I hope they don't sulk and riot simply because they'd rather be in Australia than Malaysia.

13. Learned from Red Nomad Oz's blog that there's a Cane Toad World in Queensland.  It's there to educate people about how bad decisions can lead to ecological disasters.    So far it doesn't have rides and themed resorts. But it does have a playground and a mural describing the cane toad story.  

14. Wondered if there are any witches or wizards in Tallygarunga that have the cane toad as their Patronus.

15. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called A Serendipitous Sprawl.   It stars two first year students who are completely new to me; Ella Glenn and Thatcher Hyland.  Both characters joined Tally a few days ago.   I'm not sure though whether the role-players are new, or just the characters. The players might have other characters.

The story takes place in the basement corridor of the Eureka Underground Hallway. It's the same place where Emily Smith had her water balloon scene with Riley Lightfoot. 

16. Started reading the story.

It takes place on August 7.  That's today here, and yesterday in Australia.

Ella has been having problems with clumsiness. She's fallen twice in one week, and she's usually not clumsy.

Maybe she's been cursed in some way?

Thatcher comes along and is eager to play hero. He wants adventure. He wants to slay dragons.    But he'll settle for rescuing a damsel in distress.

17. Learned that Ella likes to read.

The name Ella reminds me of the All of a Kind Family books.   Ella was the eldest sister.

Let's see if I can name all of them....

There's Gertie, Charlotte, Sarah,  Henrieta (or something like that?), and Ella. Then I think Charlie was their little brother.

18. Decided to read the biography of Thatcher Hyland.   

I think he has a cool name.

His face claim is Asa Butterfield. I looked him up because I was hoping he might be Australian.   He's not. That's okay.

Asa is British, and was the star of that very sad movie; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

19. Learned that Thatcher is a half-blood wizard.

He was born in Melbourne.

He has a fear of haircuts.

He's very fearful, but wants to be brave and heroic.

I love these lines here.  However, this little boy sees himself in a fun-house mirror of sorts. Instead of a little scrawny first year, Thatcher sees a ten-foot-tall hero, who could brave any obstacle thrown his way. Dragons? No problem. Evil wizards? In his sleep!

This seems rather unlikely, though, as a person could scare him off with a pair of scissors.

20. Read Thatcher's history.  It's another story of a Muggle unknowingly marrying a wizard.  But from what I've read so far, it seems with this case, the Muggle didn't end up being anti-magic.

21. Loved what is said here about Thatcher's secrets.   Even if Thatch did have secrets, he wouldn't be able to keep them if he tried. His book is as open as they come.

He sounds sweet and adorable.

22. Found an Australian blogger in Fort Worth.  Well, actually Susan found me first.

She has a post about our heatwave.   I love what she says here.   At this point, everyone I know is hoping we break the record – although we’d love to have a drop in temperature and/or see some rain, we figure that we’ve hung on so far with these temperatures that it would be kind of cool to be able to say that we remember the 2011 record heatwave.

Yeah.   I think we should go for it. Although that's easy for me to say.   I have a nice house with air-conditioning. I'd probably be more eager for coolness if I was without adequate shelter.

My friend and I were joking the other day that when it gets to the LOW hundreds we're probably going to think it's cold.   

23. Went to Mousie's music database.  Today's song for me is Silverchair's "The Greatest View".   

I remember it, and I like it.

24. Went to Flickr to do some more Faun070 stalking.  I'm finished with his 2009 trip to Australia; but he went back in 2011.

I'm going to look at his first 2011 Australia album.  It's of Sydney.  They went in July 2011 which is interesting because in 2009, they went in July too. Maybe that's a good time for them to take a holiday?

Well, actually these guys do a ton of traveling.  I'm looking at their 2011 holidays

In February, they went to Madrid

In March, they went to the UK

In May, they went to Switzerland. 

In June, they went to Rome, Moscow, and some other places.

In July, they went to China, Japan (despite the recent earthquakes) New Zealand, and Australia.

Then after Australia, they still kept traveling.

What's the deal?

These guys travel more in one year than most people travel in a lifetime.  

24. Went back to looking at Faun070's Sydney album.

25. Saw that Faun070 and his partner returned to Elizabeth Bay House.    I guess it impressed them back in 2009.

26. Started to look at Faun070's Blue Mountains album.   

They did the crazy train!

Oh, wow. I think Faun070's partner has spotted a UFO.   Actually no.   I think he sees the Dark Mark....or maybe some Dementors. 

27. Wondered....if Faun070 was a wizard, what would his Patronus be?

Well, I think it would probably be a Cockatoo.  

28. Wondered if there was a wizarding school in the Netherlands. 

29. Found out about Lars Van Rijn.  He went to a small wizarding school in Amsterdam.  

30.  Started to look at Faun070's Featherdale album.  

Here's a Southern Cassowary.   I don't remember seeing one when we were in Featherdale; but I do remember the one at Sydney Wildlife World. 

Jack has a Southern Cassowary stuffed animal.

31. Liked this picture of a koala.   It reminds me of my new koala character.  Manly. I've pretty much given up doing fiction for my Harry Potter blog.  Now my new fiction-creating thing is playing stuffed animals with Jack.   You would think by now I might have outgrown that.   It turns out I haven't.

We have so much fun. 

Manly is a cute little child Koala.  His best friend is a yellow duck named Claire.   Then Jack's white bear (no name yet) insists he is allergic to all food except Koala.   He tries to be friends with Manly and Claire; then starts trying to eat Manly. Finally, we found him some artificial koala meat.   It's kind of like the True Blood premise. 

32. Thought these Bilbies were kind of cute.  

33.  Looked at Faun070 and his partner, enjoying their time with cockatoos, at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

34. Realized I forgot to do my Australian of the day. 

I'll do it now—maybe fast though because I'm tired.  

It's my last John Anderson.  He was a dairy farmer. 

And yes, like most John Andersons, He was from from Scotland. 

John owned lots of cows.

That's it for today!

35. Started to look at page 3 of Frans' Australia trip album.  

I like this picture from Silverton. 

36. Looked up Silverton on Google Maps.  

It's about 25 minutes west of Broken Hill.

37. Liked this picture.  It reminds me of something. I'm not sure what. Maybe a science fiction movie?  

38. Amazed by this baby eagle and the blueness of the sky. Although the colors in the photos might be enhanced. 

When colors in a photo are enhanced/saturated, do they make the photos match reality better?   Or do they provide an unrealistic view of the world? 

I'm guessing it's the latter, but I could be wrong. 

It could depend on what's in the photograph.

I've seen photos where people have amazing blue eyes.  But when I've been with these people in real life, their eye color wasn't too noticeable. 

39. Thought this photo was totally amazing.  

It looks like there's a beach in the background. 

The picture caption says they're traveling from Broken Hill to Pimba.  I plugged it into Google Maps.

It looks like they get near Port Augusta during they're route..  That's near the water.  

Maybe that's where the picture was taken. 

40. Confused about the location of this photo.   But I totally love it.

From the description, I'm getting that it's somewhere in South Australia probably.