Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Qantas, Offers, Birds, and Myths

1. Dreamed about our Australian friends. It's the friends I dream about frequently.  The dream is hard to explain because I don't think it was very linear.  The basic idea was that my friend and her daughter came to visit.  But things didn't seem to happen in order.

I'll list a few things that happened.

I go into the bedroom where Tracey and Tara are supposed to sleep. Their sleeping space on the bed is surrounded by stuffed animals and cloth dolls.   It's like the dolls outline where their bodies should go.  There's an outline for Tara and an outline for Tracey.  

Tracey also has a son (that doesn't exist in real life). He has platinum blond hair. I've known him since he was a toddler. I go on a children's train with him that goes backwards.  

I think about how Tracey hasn't brought the son with her to visit us. I'm wondering why.

There was other stuff, but it's very vague. 

2. Dreamed about True Blood.   I watch a thing with the singing and dancing. It was filmed after a scene from the show.  The actors are in their costumes and on the set of the scene they just filmed.  They had the actors do a musical number, so they could turn it into an extra.  

I think that's actually a good idea. I wonder if any TV cast has that that before. Well, they probably have, and that's probably where my dream got the idea.  

3. Read article that says Qantas pilots think the CEO of Qantas (Alan Joyce) has gotten a pay raise.    If this is true, it's pretty embarrassing for Qantas. They just fired many pilots, and Alan Joyce talked about how they have to make changes because the company is in trouble.

Is it true?

I don't know.

Qantas' argument is that Joyce didn't get a pay raise. He actually has a lower pay raise, plus money from stock shares he received in 2010-2011.  I'm not sure why that's different; or whether or not the pilot's anger is righteous.

I'll try to remember to ask Tim about it later.

3. Decided to email Tim the article and he can explain it to me.   

I should do that more often when I don't understand things.

Or maybe not.  Tim tends to use a lot of acronyms and fancy words when he talks. I have to often interrupt by asking, what does that mean?

4. Had long talk with Tim about Qantas.  He's pretty much on the side of the pilots.  Although he said the management needs to put themselves in the worker's shoes and the workers need to put themselves in management's shoes.

In his email to me, Tim said, In all, I'd say the pilots are justified to be angry if they are facing cuts. Restricted stock, while it's not cash, is another way to pay executive mgmt. I'm all for it IF the company is doing well - but not sure how you can justify mgmt is doing well if job cuts and/or reductions are on the line.

Well, from what I've learned there have been job cuts and reductions. 

I don't think it's fair for the workers, and I don't think it's fair for the customers. We keep hearing about fuel cost increases, and how fare prices have to go up. Qantas acts like these problems are out of their control, and that we should all be understanding.    So then why does the CEO need to be making so much money? If the workers and customers have to make sacrifices, he should be making sacrifices as well.

5. Liked what Tim said about the pilots. He said if there's enough dissatisfied and/or fired ones, they should get together and create their own airline company.  Although then he warned that in the end, they'll probably do the same to their workers. They'll become management and they'll forget what it was like to be the worker.

6. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm going to read the continuation of Flash From the Past.   This is the storyline with the two reunited witches; Eudoxia Karras and Nicole Barkwith. They both have lost their husbands.

7. Started to read.  After Eudoxia reveals that her husband died, Nicole reveals that hers is missing.

8. Saw Eudoxia and Nicole reminiscing about the moving staircases at Hogwarts.

9. Thought about these lines from Eudoxia's post. ”That is my number, if you need anything.” She actually meant it this time, usually it was just a kind gesture.

It's hard to know when people mean those things or not.  If I tell someone to email me if they need to talk, I mean it.  But then I feel bad because I'm guessing they won't really believe me.   I'm not talking about people I'm close to.  I think then it goes without saying that they can talk to me, and sometimes they do.   I'm talking more about the times when I'm not yet close to someone.  Maybe they write a blog post or they say something sad on Facebook.  I might say, If you need to talk you can email me.

I can't think of a time where someone took me up on the offer.  It's nice to think they already had friends they could talk to, and I wasn't needed.  It makes me sad that they wanted to talk, but they didn't believe I was being genuine.

And if someone made me that offer, I would hesitate turning to them for comfort. Did they really mean it when they said I could talk to them? Or were they just being polite?  

10. Decided it's probably best to simply NOT make the offer; because even if we are genuine, it usually sounds fake.  

Instead of offering to be there. It's better to just be there.

I was once pointed in the direction of a blogger going through a very difficult time. I could have written that on her blog. Hi!  I see you're having a tough time.  Email me if you need someone to talk to.    But why should she trust me over other people in her life?  If she already has people, why does she need me?  If she doesn't have people, why would she hope I'd be different than all the other people in her world not giving her comfort?

I just continued to read her blog posts, and I commented on all of them. That was my way of being there for her. I listened. I responded. I didn't have to make a seemingly empty gesture. I could make numerous real gestures.

11. Saw that my Australian of the day is Edward William Andrews.  He was a newspaper guy.

The Australian dictionary of biography has a long entry on him; so I think he may have been extra important.

I feel bad saying that.  Who's to say who's more important and who's less important?

Maybe I should say Edward William Andrews was more famous.  Or I could say his accomplishments and influence on Australian history are substantial.

12. Learned that Edward William was born in England in 1812.

His father and paternal grandfather were ministers. His maternal grandfather was a wealthy merchant.

So there was money in the family.

13. Learned that Edward William was homeschooled. His father was his teacher.

After his school years,  Edward William took the law profession path.  He worked for his uncle in London.  But something went wrong there. They had some kind of disagreement. Edward William left and sought other career opportunities.

Meanwhile he got married and had a baby daughter.

Then when Edward William was in his late twenties, he and his family sailed to South Australia.

14. Learned that Edward William did work in insurance; and he was hired by a statistics group to seek data about South Australia.

He was also a merchant.  I guess that means he sold stuff?

15. Learned from Lord Wiki that a merchant is someone who sells stuff made by others. So most stores we go to these days are merchants.  They don't make the stuff they sell.   

16. Learned that Edward William started doing newspaper work in his late 30's.

A few years later, he and some colleagues bought the South Australian Register.  

17. Consulted Lord Wiki about the South Australian Register.  He said it was born in 1836.  It was seventeen years old when Edward William and his friends took it over.

The newspaper died in 1931.

18. Learned that Edward William lived at the newspaper office during the week. He had a bedroom and bathroom there.  He'd get there Monday and leave Saturday.

I wonder if his wife missed him.

19. Learned that Edward William was big on freedom of religion.  I wonder if that was more freedom OF Christianity—as in you're free to choose how you worship Jesus. Or was it freedom from the pressure to be Christian and/or religious?

20. Learned that Edward William was into the whole gardening thing.

And he was a Freemason.

21. Started looking at more of Arthur Chapman's Australian birds photo set.

22. Liked the colors on this parrot.  Chapman says it has two names; Australian Ringneck or Twenty-eight Parrot.   Those are interesting names.  

23. Consulted Lord Wiki about the Australian Ringneck/Twenty-eight Parrot.   He says the Twenty-eight name comes from it's call.   It sounds like the parrot is saying twenty-eight.

24. Watched video of a Twenty-eight parrot.

I was hoping I could hear the twenty-eight sounds, but I didn't hear it.  The parrot does make a sound, though.  I guess if I stretch my imagination enough it might sound like twenty-eight.

25. Thought this sulphur-crested Cockatoo kind of reminded me of one of my St. Louis childhood friends.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the mouth?  

26. Thought it was neat seeing all these Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in the trees.  

27. Liked this Australian Wood Duck photo.  

28. Listened to Grace Sanders sing a cover of Israel Kamakawiwo'ele's cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  

She does a very nice job with it.

29. Started to look at more of Arthur Chapman's bird set.   

This Blue-winged Kookaburra looks interesting.  I didn't know there were different types of Kookaburras.  

Lord Wiki says it's smaller than the Laughing Kookaburra.

Does the Blue-winged Kookaburra not laugh?

30. Watched video of Blue-winged Kookaburra.

It makes an interesting sound. Unlike the other Kookaburra, it doesn't sound like an insane ghost laughing.  

31.  Thought this Black-necked Stork looked interesting.  

32. Wondered why parents tell their kids that storks deliver babies.  Where did that come from?

33.  Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says it comes from English folk mythology.

The Straight Dope website believes differently.  They believe the mythology originated in Germany a few hundred years ago. 

They're not sure how the idea got started, but they have a good guess.

June 21 is Midsummer Day.  It's a celebration for Pagans.  By coincidence, nine months later is the time that storks would show up in the area from their migration practices.

Festivals often involve happy people, romance, and sex.  Babies show up nine months later. Storks show up nine months later.

I can't imagine the adults actually believed the storks caused the babies to appear. But maybe they decided to tell that story to the kids.

34. Watched some of the movie Rio.  It features a cockatoo as a villian.

35. Watched the teaser trailer for The Hunger Games.

It doesn't show much.

Today, I finally finished the first book.   Jack, Tim, and I had been slowly reading it together the last few weeks.  Then finally we realized the shared-reading experience wasn't working for us.   Jack and I went our own ways.

I'm not sure what went wrong, because we enjoyed reading Harry Potter together.  It could have been the frustration of working with three people.   It's hard enough waiting for one other person to finish reading the page, so you can turn it.   It's even more annoying to wait for two people.

I think Harry Potter was easier for me because I had already read the books.  I wasn't too frustrated if Jack wanted to stop for the night.   With The Hunger Games, I'd be dying to know what happens next and Jack would say, Can we stop for tonight?

It wasn't so bad in the beginning because I wasn't really into the book yet.  But in the last few days I started getting really into it.

Now I'm reading the second one.