Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Social Pickiness, Mining, European Settlers, and Reincarnation

1. Found an old dream about Australia.  It's from January 23, 2007.  

I'm in some place/movie/story with people obsessed with Australia. I'm kind of embarrassed of them and embarrassed to be associated with them. Melissa Gilbert is there and Bill Paxton. He sits behind me at one point. Maybe on a bus?

When I read that first I was amused.  Why would I ever be embarrassed of people obsessed with Australia?  

Then I thought about how I can be passionate about something.  Then I meet a person who's a fanatic compared to me, and I'm embarrassed about it.   For example, what if there was a person who wore an Australian flag t-shirt everyday with Australian-themed face-paint; and they also always wore Australian flag thongs even when it was cold outside?   What if they carried a jar of Vegemite wherever they went and the only dessert they ate was Tim Tams, Lamingtons, and Pavlova?

I'd probably think they were a bit wacky and had gone too far.

Although if they just wore the costume and ate the food, but could still carry on a variety of rational conversations.; I'd probably think they were just fun and quirky. It would especially be okay if they had a sense of humor about it.

2. Saw how the Internet can be wonderful when I read Tinkertines' post about moving to Australia.    She says;

I have been welcomed with open arms not only by family and friends but also the wonderful online community that I have been sharing this process with for the past year. I was so pleased to see all the welcome "home" messages from my Australian twitter friends upon our arrival, I was DM'd phone numbers and offered to be picked up from the airport from people who I've never met but hope to one day. I've had the pleasure of meeting 2 of my favorite Aussie tweeps already and have plans to see them again and meet others soon.

It's neat that people can find each other via the internet.   It makes me think about my own social life in Fort Worth.  I sometimes make attempts to meet new friends.   Last year we had a disaster of a party at our house.  And well...the people did come from the internet. I advertised online about our homeschooling party.  But I think maybe the trick is to get to know local people on the internet; then if you find you get along well, THEN meet in real life.

3. Tried to find Fort Worth bloggers. It's a bit disheartening. I'm not finding people who I feel would be good friends for us.

There seems to be a lot of very religious people.  I don't have a problem with someone having a religion. But if they put it as a top interest, it makes me think that religion is a huge thing for them.

Then again I have an online friend.  Religion plays a big part in her life and she's cool.

Maybe I'd be okay with religious people if they had something quirky on their profile.   For example: I love role-playing, studying insects, playing the ukulele, glow in the dark condoms, and God.    That might be interesting. But I'm tired of the usual I love God, scrapbooking, knitting, collecting antiques, and hanging out with the girls!

I sound judgmental.   I know.  

I don't think there's anything wrong with people who like all that. It's just I feel we wouldn't have enough in common. 

4. Annoyed that I already know people online who'd make great friends for my family. But most of them live in Australia!

5. Decided to give up on finding Fort Worth people. We're not lonely. We're fairly satisfied with the friends we already have.

I think I'll just leave it up to fate. If someone in Fort Worth is meant to be in our lives, we'll run into them somehow.

6. Read Fruitcake's blog.  She talks about the recent tragic dog attack. A four-year-old child was killed.

I just went to read the article for myself. It's extremely awful.  

I went to the article, because I was wondering why Fruitcake said, But as a dog owner it’s my job to do the teaching – people who don’t have dogs should not need a dog training certificate to live in their own homes.

I wanted to know what she meant. Why would a dog be at the house of someone who doesn't own a dog?  Was it a playdate? Were they babysitting?  Well, in that case, I think the family should learn a bit about dogs before taking on the temporary responsibility.

But that wasn't the case. A pitbull escaped one neighbor's yard and entered the house of another family. There he killed the child and injured others. I guess they had a door or window open?  Or maybe they had a doggy door for their own pet.

Fruitcake says, I’ve lost count of the times people have been walking dogs, off lead, and when their dog has attacked another they’ve said “He doesn’t normally do that!

I remember walking with Jack when he was young and having dogs run up to us. It's scary.   We don't know if they're going to attack or be friendly. I think people should use leashes.If they want their dog to be off a leash, then go to a dog park.     

As for dogs in their own backyard.  If someone has a mean and scary one, people should make sure they can't escape.    

I've dealt with a few dog escapes since we've lived in Fort Worth.    It's really not safe for the dog, because they could get hit by a car.   It also might not be safe for humans, depending on the dog's personality.  I understand that accidents happen sometimes, but I think people should work hard to prevent it from happening.

I can think of three times we encountered an escaped dog.  In each of them, it was a matter of the dog escaping from the yard and the owner not even realizing it (until we informed them).  I think with two of the dogs, there were multiple escapes.  So it's probably just a matter of patching up a fence.

7. Read disturbing article about mining companies.  Certain ones are making broad promises about Aboriginal employment.  Yet, when the Aboriginal people come over to get the jobs, they're not being paid well and they're apparently not being given sleep accommodations.  

It reminds me of one of Fruitcake's recent posts.  She talks about how there's a push for people to get themselves employed. The problem is there's not always decent jobs out there that match the unemployed's qualifications.  

The article says a spokesperson from one of the mining companies said that....all of the trainees are adults and that they were fully aware of accommodation issues before they came to the Pilbara, were told they'd need to make their own travel arrangements, and that most training courses pay no wages at all.

I guess these workers were desperate enough to make a go of it. Or maybe they didn't read the fine print.  Maybe they weren't given clear information. I don't know.

My feeling is a training program like that shouldn't even be offered. To me, it sounds like exploitation.  I understand that there are many training programs out there that don't pay. I was in one of them when I went to graduate school to be a teacher. Not only was I not paid, I had to pay to be trained. It seems a bit unfair to me really.  But that's the world of education for you.

I think if a company or organization uses trainees in a way that provides service to the organization, the trainee should be paid or at least get benefits. They should have a place to sleep at least.

From what I understand from the article, it's not just the fact that the trainees aren't being GIVEN accommodations (free or at a reduced price). There's not enough places to stay...period.

8. Went to the website of Fortescue Metals.  They're the ones featured in the training article.

Here's their employment page and here's a page about the benefits of working in Pilbara (the place where trainees aren't finding accommodations).     

On the website they sound like a fantastic place to work.

Here's some of the stuff they promise.....

A. Housing and utilities subsidies and a Home Ownership Assistance Scheme for our employees based in the Pilbara. 

Well, I guess if there IS no housing, the company doesn't have to pay any subsidies. Hey yeah...if you manage to find a place to sleep at night, maybe we'll help you pay for it.   

B. Financial assistance for permanent employees wanting to undertake further education which adds value to their current role and/or Fortescue.

So why can't they give financial assistance to trainees who plan to become permanent employees?  

Anyway, no.   I don't see anything on this website that says, We'll train you, but we're not going to pay you and there's no housing available. Come at your own risk.  

I can't blame the Aboriginal trainees for seeking employment at Fortescue Metals. And if I was one of them, I'd be angry and disappointed too.  

9. Read article about Malaysia rejecting live animal imports from Australia. They're scared of the Hendra virus. 

So maybe that's how live transport will end in Australia. Maybe it won't be about compassion.   Maybe it will simply be about fewer countries wanting to take in the animals.

I know.  We're supposed to be sad for all the farmers out there who are left with an excess of product.  But isn't that the risk of any business?   You buy or make too much of something. It doesn't get sold, and you're left with excess.

How many warehouses out there are filled with things that never got sold?

If Australia gets rid of live transport, then there will probably need to be a reduction in animals bred and raised for slaughter. 

10.  Liked this part from Finnikin of the Rock.

I suggest you give your people words, not silence.  I suggest you all turn to your wife, to your husband, to your children and speak of those days. Of the little you did when your neighbors were taken from their houses and slaughtered.  Of the sorrow you have felt all these years.  And you suggest you forgive yourself. But more than anything, I suggest you beg the one true goddess to forgive the legacy that you have passed on to your children.  For they wear your coat of dissatisfaction and grief tightly over their bodies and this bloodless patch of grass you have chosen to live on will be where they die with nothing but rage in their hearts. I suggest sir that you find no joy in being an exile.  Do not make it a badge to wear with honor. 

I think there's many people in the world who choose misery and anger over self-determination and progress.  That's not to say people don't have a right to be angry. There's a lot of shit in the world.    But I feel we should do everything possible to make a great life for ourselves and our family. Then in your spare time, do some complaining.  Blog about it.  

It's sad when people actually AVOID happiness because they don't want to give up their badge of misery.

I've done that on a personal level.  I'll get very angry at someone and work it up in my head.   I gather evidence of my mistreatment. Then the person does something nice and I actually feel slightly disappointed. Shit.  Now I can't be mad at you anymore.  Or at least I have to be less mad.

11.  Went to Tallygarunga.

It looks like a story thread has been deleted. I've never seen that happen before.   It's the one about Korea.

Maybe it was just moved?


Today I'm going to read the continuation of A Serendipitous Sprawl.  This is the story thread with the two first years; Ella Glenn and Thatcher Hyland.  

Ella has a face claim now.   Oh! And Camryn Adiarte has joined the show.   She's the one with the awesome singing role-player.  

The kids have their own banner featuring the three of them. I guess they're going to be like Ron, Hermione, and Harry.—a cute little threesome. Although with this group, there's two girls and one boy, rather than two boys and one girl. 

12. Wondered who Ella is using for her face claim. I don't see a name.  

13. Tried to find where I left off lost in this story thread.

I think it was post #12, but I'm not positive.

Nope. I'm wrong.  I read all that.

I think I left off at post #17.

14. Could totally relate to Ella here.  

Ella wasn’t really good at hiding her feelings, and at the moment she was feeling conflicted, which was not an emotion she wanted Thatcher to see on her face. On the one hand, she really wanted to keep talking to Thatcher. On the other hand, the books in her bag were calling to her, as was her favorite spot in the common room, where the sunlight warmed a corner of the carpet that was perfect for reading. And there was that shy, reserved part of her that told her to run away before she did something really embarrassing.

That's me.   I sometimes want to socialize, but then I don't want to give up my reading time.   And if I read instead of socialize, I lessen the risk of embarrassing myself.

15. Started to read Camryn's post.  She says, She also discovered the library located there -- a big plus since she loved to read and had recently finished a book called "Where the Red Fern Grows". She'd loved it and cried over the two dogs in that story. She wondered if wizards and witches who grew up knowing about magic their whole lives read those types of stories, or if there were stories specifically written for such children by writers who also had magic.

I've wondered that myself.   I haven't heard much about wizarding world fiction, outside of The Tales of Beetle the Bard.   I wrote a post for my fictional blog talking about fiction written by wizards.   I think Alex read a book owned by her witchy sister.  I made up a very ridiculous plot.   Alex wasn't very impressed. I was hoping it would spark creativity in the other participants and that they'd make up their own wizard novels.  It didn't happen. I don't think that post got any comments.  

16. Saw that Camryn tripped on her shoelaces. The two others take this as an opportunity to play rescue heroes.

17. Liked that Camryn's American accent is mentioned and noticed.  I think Americans often don't understand that there's an American accent. I have Americans coming to my blog asking, Why doesn't Portia de Rossi have an accent? 

She DOES have an accent.  The question should be, why does Portia de Rossi have an American accent or why does Portia de Rossi not have an Australian accent?  

I don't think I realized there was an American accent until I was in college and a British guy imitated the American accent.

Our Australian friends have done American-accent imitations for us. They often strongly emphasize our R sound.  

18. Remembered that when we were in Port Stephens, a woman at the pool remarked that Jack didn't have a strong accent. I think it was because he couldn't say his American r's yet.  If an American child can't say the r's in the middle of the word, it won't sound exactly Australian. But they'll probably sound a bit less American.  

19. Saw that my Australian of the day is Samuel Anderson.  He was an agriculturalist and an explorer.

I'm guessing agriculturalist is a fancy way of saying "farmer". 

Samuel was born in Scotland in 1803  He was a twin. 

When he was in his early 30's, Samuel moved to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).

He went to Launceston.  There he learned about planned expeditions to Victoria.   These were the ones taken by the fathers of Victoria, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner. They had both led their settlement groups to the same place, but then decided to share the settlement.

If I'm understanding things correctly, Samuel Anderson found a different place in Victoria. I'm trying to figure out where it was....

He had an "agricultural settlement" (farm?) on the Bass River. 

20. Tried to map out the general area of the river on Google Maps.   Lord Wiki says it starts around Korumburra and flows to around a town called Bass.

21. Read that Samuel Anderson discovered the Anderson Inlet. I guess he found the inlet and then named it after himself.

There's an Anderson Inlet Road.  

22. Learned that Samuel Anderson found coal near a town called Wonthaggi.  Miners were brought to the area and it became a coalfield.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki about Wonthaggi.  He seems to disagree with the Australian Dictionary of Biography.   He says the coal was discovered by a guy named William Hovell.   And he says it was discovered in 1826. I didn't know there were settlers in Victoria at that time. 

In 1826, Samuel was still in Scotland. Or London. He spent some time in London as a journalist before heading to Australia.

24. Confused about Victorian history.

25. Consulted Lord Wiki about the history of Victoria.  I need a brief review.


The first settlement was in 1803 and led by David Collins.  They came from England.

If I understand this correctly, they didn't stay long.  Collins didn't like the area.  He went off to Van Diemen's Land and helped establish the town of Hobart.

The next settlement project in Victoria was in 1935 led by John Batman and the Fawkner guy.  

Just as a reminder: I'm talking only about white people settlement here. There were plenty of black people already settled.

26. Managed to understand things better, thanks to Lord Wiki.

Although there were no European settlements in Victoria from 1804 to 1835 there WERE European explorers.  One of these explorers was William Hovell, the guy who found the coal. I guess he found some coal in that area and then later Samuel Anderson found more.

26. Started looking at page 8 of Stuart's Tasmania photos. 

Here's a photo of Salamanca. I've heard of the Salamanca Market.  It's in Salamanca.

27. Wondered about this photo.  It looks like those are cauldrons. It must be for the witches of Hobart.  

According to Mousie, there is a school for wizards and witches in Hobart—both a secondary and tertiary one. 

28. Saw that Mousie has created a page to describe the four houses of Tallygarunga! 

From the descriptions, I'd guess I'd be a Flinders student.  That means my color would be yellow.   I'd sleep in Kookynie Hall.  My animal would be the possum.  My plant would be the acacia.

Lord Wiki reminded me that the Golden Wattle is an acacia plant. That's the plant emblem of Australia.   So that's pretty cool. I'd feel special if I was in Flinders.  Hell what am I saying?  I'd feel special to be a Tallygarunga student, period.  Although maybe magical people feel more special before they go off to wizarding school.   If they live in the Muggle world, they'd feel like big fish.   Then when they got to school, with a bunch of other wizards, they'd probably feel like small fish.  

29. Went back to looking at Stuart's photos.

Here's another picture of the cauldron thing.   It has one of those historical plaques.   It must be important somehow.  

30. Started to look at page 9 of Stuart's Tasmania photo set.  

Here's a boat statue thing. It's pretty cool. 

And here's a platypus statue

The platypus is the animal mascot for Sturt House in Tallygarunga.  

31. Wondered if this was Stuart.  I think it is because he looks a little like Stuart's Flickr icon photo.  The icon photo is small though; so I can't tell for sure.

32. Liked this picture—especially the dog house. At least I think it's a dog house. 

33. Listened to this song.

 34. Started to look at page 10 of Stuart's photo set. 

This page has more Hobart photos.  

35. Wondered if this is a wombat.

Are there wombats in Tasmania?  

Maybe it's not a wombat.  It doesn't exactly look like one, but I can't figure out what else it could be. 

36. Looked at a wombat distribution map.  They are in Tasmania. 

37. Wanted to say that I'll be doing less blogging next week because of Jack's birthday. And we're going to be doing a little holiday together.   It's our tenth anniversary of being a family. 

38.  Read chapter four of Michael's Fuery's novel Dream Within a Dream.   

I totally love it.  It involves recurring dreams, reincarnation, and a mystical Aboriginal man. 

I also love the book because it has little things that go along with my own personal preferences and philosophies.  There's one scene where the doctor recommends that the character seek counseling.  She hesitates because she worries they'll try to prescribe psychiatric drugs.   That's the main thing that would make me hesitate too,  The doctor reassures her that it will be a psychologist and not a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrists are the ones who prescribe drugs.

I have to remind myself that not all people in the field of psychology (or psychiatry) are into the whole lets-drug-everyone mentality. 

I also often have the stereotype that psychologists are anti-spiritual. If you see experience something mystical, they'll automatically assume you're hallucinating and/or delusional.   But that's not true.

When I had my past life regression thing done it was by a psychologist.  And some of my favorite reincarnation books were written by a psychiatrist.  

39. Looked at Frederick McCubbin's painting "Lost". It's talked about in Michael's book.    

40. Called downstairs because Jack wanted to remind me about the Paddle Pops in Australia. We looked at the Streets website

I looked at this Bubble O'Bill ice-cream thing and it feels so familiar to me.  I joked with Jack that I must have eaten it in a past life.  He said,'s new. 

So I must have eaten something similar in my past life. Or it could have been this life. 

41. Consulted Lord Wiki about Bubble O'Bill. I don't know where Jack got the idea that it is new.  

Lord Wiki says it was born in America.   But it achieved more popularity in Australia.  

I probably ate it during my childhood.

42. Told Jack he was wrong about Bill.  He accepted that, but reminded me that I couldn't have had Bill in my past life because I was in this life in 1985.

Yep. Michael Fuery's book is filling my head with all kinds of wacky ideas.