Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bad Reading Skills, George, Churches, and Fantastic Ideas

1. Learned from Kevin Rudd's Twitter that he's lost his voice a bit.

2. Learned about Hiroo Onoda in Sorry.  

I also learned a bit about him from Lord Wiki.

Onado was part of the Japanese army in World War II.

He refused to surrender after the war was over, and hid in the Philippines until 1974.

A college drop out from Japan went searching for him, and found him. They became friends, and he eventually returned to Japan.

I'm not sure why he did what he did.

He seems a bit stubborn.

3. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of We'll All Be Portions For Foxes. It's the story with Jason Miller and Eudoxia Karras.

4. Learned that Jason likes sandwiches.

5. Surprised by something in Eudoxia's post.  It says that Tommy had told her he loved her. I must have missed that.

I know he tried to undermine her confidence in Jason's feelings because of his own feelings. But I didn't realize he had been honest about that.

6. Went back and read the first post in the story.

I don't know HOW I missed it before.   It's right there....very obvious.

Tommy had followed her into the kitchen and she spun around as she heard him at the door and sighed. ”Did you not hear me? I said I love you.” She looked at him her jaw set, he yelled it at her, he had hurled it at her in hopes of hurting her, in hopes of making things worse, he was using it against her. He didn’t love her. 

What's wrong with me?

Was I not reading carefully enough?  Was I distracted that day?

Maybe I did know he said he loved her, and then forgot?  I don't think that's the case, though.   I forget a lot of things, but I think I'd remember that.  

7. Learned that Eudoxia and Jason both love peanut butter.  They're like Clair on Lost!

8. Saw that my Australian of the day was Alister Archer. 

He was a cattleman.

9. Learned that Archer was born in June 1890, in Norway.

It sounds like he wasn't Norwegian, though. The Australian Dictionary of Biography says his father was a Scottish station owner in Queensland.

Maybe they were just visiting Norway when little Alister was born.

10. Saw that Archer wasn't just born in Norway. He spent his growing-up years there.

I guess his family had emigrated.

Then, when Archer was a young adult, he moved to Queensland.

He returned to Norway though around the time of the World War.   His parents were still there.

Then he went back to Australia to participate in the war.

11. Wondered why Archer's parents decided to move to Norway.

12. Found a Flickr account to stalk.

It belongs to Faustus909. 

There's actually only one Australian album, and it has only 36 photos. So it will be a one-day stalking event.

13.  Went to the website of Faustus909.  They sell some type of hangover remedy.

Their blog talks about their product now being sold in Australia and Asia. So I'm guessing that's why they took the trip.

14.  Started to look at the Australia photo set.

15. Thought this tree looks pretty cool. 

16. Liked that Faustus909 has captions on her photos.

I feel bad saying that since I rarely put captions on our photos.

I did on Ofoto, but do it less now that I've switched over to Flickr.

17.  Thought this photo was really beautiful. From the tags I see it's from Otways.  

I think I read about that on Andrew's blog.

18. Played around with Google Maps, and ended up finding an Otways Tourist Park.

It seems like they're kind out of out of the way. They list attractions, and everything seems to be over 20 minutes away.

I guess it's a good place to stay if you're wanting some seclusion.

19. Looked at their prices.  It's not bad—at least not on the surface.  It's $120 for a one bedroom cabin.   But what's kind of annoying to me is they charge $15 for an extra person and then $10 for extra linen.


I would think the extra person charge would be FOR the linen.

Why else do they charge you for the extra person?    

20.  Loved this hippo sign at the Melbourne Zoo.

I was doubting I wanted us to go to the zoo, but this sign is making me rethink that. 

21. Thought about how the hippo sign probably wouldn't be that funny to young James Henry Trotter.

22.  Looked at the Australian Monopoly Board

My street for today is George Street in Sydney.

I remember that street. It has the Passionflower ice-cream place.  The food's delicious, but we found the staff to be a bit rude there.

I think George Street is also where I visited the police station to ask about our lost camera.

23. Found George Street on Google Maps.  It starts up in The Rocks near Circular Quay. It ends in Ultimo near the Sydney University of Technology.

24. Saw that there's a lot of American fast food places near the south part of George Street.

25. Saw that there's a tattoo place on George Street. It's called Tattoo World.

They say they have a numbing spray that makes the tattoo process painless.

I never heard of that. It's interesting,

26. Saw that there's a hostel on George Street. It's called 790 On George

They pride themselves on being friendly.

27. Thought this was cool.  790 on George has electrical outlets in lockers. That way people can charge things when they're asleep or roaming about; and they don't have to worry about their stuff being stolen.

I wonder if the lockers are free.

28. Saw Chinatown around George Street.  

It's around Hay Street.

I remember being in that area.

I'm going to try to find the Paddy's Market. Isn't that around there too?

29. Saw that Paddy's Market is to the west of George Street

30. Saw that there's a Baptist church on George Street.   

It seems to be mostly for Chinese people. They have services in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Yesterday, Tim and I were impressed to see one of the Republican candidates speaking Mandarin on The Colbert Report.   I told Tim he's like Kevin Rudd.

The candidate is Jon Hunstman.  I first heard about him from HappyOrganist.

He actually sounds less awful to me than the other Republican candidates.  He has a good sense of humor, and he also seems somewhat supportive of gay rights.  

31. Saw that there's budget accommodations on George Street called The George.

If we'd be willing to share a bathroom, we'd only have to pay $101 for a night.

I don't think we're willing.

We're spoiled people.

32. Saw that their ensuite rooms are $115 dollars.

I'd definitely be willing to pay $14 extra dollars a day for a toilet. 


That room is for 2 people. The $101 dollar room was for 3.

33. Read that the common room at The George has air-conditioning.  Nothing is said about the rooms.  

They boast that they provide FREE luggage storage.

I've never been to a place where you had to pay for the storage.  Although we've never stayed at a hostel before.  Maybe in hostels you usually have to pay for the storage.  

34. Saw that World Square is on George Street.

We went there a few times.  

We ate at an Asian-bakery type place. I forgot the name...bread something.    I'm looking at the store directory.   I'm not seeing it. Maybe it went out of business. 

35. Saw that there's a Cheers bar on George Street.

Is it supposed to be like the TV show?  

36. Saw that there's an RSL club on George Street. 

Their website has messages about punting.  They say, Who Voted for a License to Punt? Then there's a link to a website called 

Who gets to decide what's Australian and what's not Australian?

37. Went to the anti-licensed punting website.   

I don't even know what punting is.

Their site says, Who voted for less freedom? 

What is this? A witch hunt?

38. Learned from Lord Wiki that punting is betting—like on horse-racing.

The website people are against Andrew Wilkie's gambling reform ideas.

I don't know much about that, but I shall read an article now.  


It's pretty much a fight between those who want their freedom and those who want to prevent people from gambling their lives away.

I honestly don't know where I stand on the issue.

It does kind of sound like a nanny state type idea—limiting people's gambling.  On the other hand, if I was in a family with a compulsive gambler, I might like that the government is preventing my family from going into poverty.

39. Consulted Lord Wiki about the issue.

He says that Wilkie's plan is to have things on betting machines that would require people to determine how much money they were willing to give up, before they started playing.  I'm guessing there'd be a limit. I'm doubting people could say, One trillion dollars!

I think the idea is fair.  The site I found via the RSL link was talking about people having to carry around a license. That seems a bit much to me.  And it would probably just lead to people using fake licenses.  

40. Looked at the website of the 3 Wise Monkeys on George Street. It's a pub.  

The building it's in is from 1886, so it's kind of historical.

They have live music there.  

On Friday they're going to have David White performing. That might be this guy.  

Yep.  This page on David White's site confirms that. 

41. Started to watch David White and a guy named Dan do a cover of U2's "With or Without You".

 David White's voice kind of reminds me of Adam Hills. I mean his talking voice, not his singing voice.

He actually hasn't started singing yet. The other guy's singing.

42. Saw that St. Andrew's Cathedral is on George Street. 

43. Started to read the church's history page

They say it's the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney.  I guess it's Catholic then.   Should the saint thing have given that away?  Do other types of churches have saints in their name? I thought they St. Georges that I saw yesterday.   I don't think that was Catholic.  

44. Continued to listen to the David White and Dan video.  It's a medley thing.  Now they're singing other stuff.

Some of the singing is a bit times.  But it's fun.

David White talks more. He totally sounds like Adam Hills to me.

45. Looked back at St. Georges website.

They're Presbyterian. 

46. Learned that St. Andrews was built in 1868.

47. Learned from Lord Wiki that St. Andrews is NOT Catholic.  It's Anglican.  I guess they have archbishops too.

48. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Catholic Bishop in Sydney is a guy named George Pell.

The Anglican Archbishop is Peter Jensen.

49. Saw from St. Andrew's website that the dean of the church (whatever that is) is Phillip Jenson.

Is that a coincidence? Or is he related to Peter?

50. Saw that one of the pastoral workers at St. Andrews is Alison Napier.

I wonder if she's related to Jessica Napier. 

51. Saw  Lord Wiki's photo of St. Andrews.  

It's beautiful.   I probably saw it when we were in Sydney.  I might have gone in it.   I went in some church.   I forgot which one, though.

52. Saw that the Sydney Town Hall is on George Street.  

People can hold functions there.

It has a big and important grand organ.   I'm betting HappyOrganist would appreciate that.  

On the Sydney Town Hall website, you can hear music samples from the organ.

53. Saw that the Queen Victoria Building is on George Street.  We've gone past it a lot, and I think we've stepped inside.  We haven't done much exploring.

I remember seeing the ABC store there. 

54. Saw that there's a shopping area on George Street called the Strand Arcade.

It sounds familiar, but I think I'm thinking of the bookstore in NYC.  

55. Saw that the Apple Store in Sydney is on George Street.

Is it new? Or was it there when we were there?

I don't remember it.  But it's not something I'd care that much about.

56.  Saw that there's a Mexican chain restaurant on George Street. It's called Guzman Y Gomez.

Their website plays awesome music.  

57. Saw that the chain is in Sydney only.  

58. Looked at their menu.   They have vegetarian options, and it looks good to me.

I'm really loving the music.

59. Looked at the website of The Russell.

It's a boutique hotel in the Rocks on George Street.

They have shared bathroom rooms and ensuite rooms.   

60. Read on this page that not all the rooms have air-conditioning.  That's very eco-friendly, but I'm not sure I can handle it.  

The rooms aren't cheap.  A room with a bathroom is $249.  But I think you're paying for location.

It's in a prime touristy area.

61. Did not see the Passionflower site when I was exploring George Street on Google Maps. So I went to their website.  

They're in Capital Square, which is somewhere on George Street. 

That MIGHT be the place I lost our camera.  That's one of my prime terms of location.  

My other suspect is the Lizard Lounge in Darling Harbour.  

62. Decided to take a D-related Australia quiz on the Funtrivia site.

It's another tough one.

I'll see how I do......

63. Got the second question wrong, and learned someone named Daddy Cool sang a song called "Eagle Rock".

64. Started to listen to "Eagle Rock".

I'm not sure I've heard the song before.

65.Learned from Lord Wiki that Ross Wilson was a singer in Daddy Cool. His wife is Pat Wilson, the one who sang "Bop Girl".

I know I've read about Ross Wilson before. I might have come across "Eagle Rock" at that time.

66. Got the third question wrong.

It turns out a company called Driza Bone Manufacturing makes clothing.

Here's their website.

They say they're authentic and rugged.

Their big thing is coats.    

67.  Got the fourth question wrong and learned that a dunnybudgie is a blow fly.  

To my credit, I know what a dunny is; and I know what a budgie is.

I knew it had something to do with outside toilets.

68.  Got the fifth question wrong, and learned that Sarah Durack was an Olympic swimmer.   Supposedly her nickname was "Fanny". 

The name Fanny wouldn't be so strange in America, but it's a bit crazy for Australia.

In Australia, fanny means vagina.

Although maybe it didn't have that meaning back then.

69. Got the sixth question wrong and learned that Dirk Hartog Island is off the coast of Western Australia.

Lord Wiki says the island is named after the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog.  He came to Western Australia in 1616. He inscribed his name on a plate and then nailed it to a tree. 

70. Confused by the seventh question.

They ask how many deserts there are in Australia.

I picked the lowest number which is 7.

The quiz says the answer is 10.  But then they list only 3 deserts.

71. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says there are 10 deserts. He names all of them.


I didn't scroll enough on the quiz.

The quiz lists the ten deserts.

72. Saw from Lord Wiki that the biggest desert in Australia is the Great Victoria Desert.

It's not in Victoria. It's in South Australia.

The smallest desert is in South Australia too.  It's called the Perdirka Desert.  

I'd like to go to an Australian desert one day.

73. Got question eight right!  It's a miracle.

I'm doing awful on this quiz.

74.  Got question nine wrong, and learned there's a tree in the Daintree Rainforest called the Idiot Tree.

75. Found an article about idiot fruit. 

The fruit from the tree is poisonous and kills cows.

On the bright side, it's an ancient tree.   So tree fans might get excited about that.  

76. Got the tenth question wrong and learned that a guy named William Dobell won the Archibald Prize three times. 

77. Looked at a William Dobell painting. It's called "Wangi Girl".

The girl has an interesting nose.

When I typed that I had a random dream memory flash.   I have that sometimes.  I'll suddenly have a flash of some dream I had months or years ago. This dream involved a daycare or preschool.  That's all I remember.

78. Got question twelve wrong, but I don't understand the answer.

It was asking if the Dingo fence was the longest in the world.

I couldn't remember if that was the longest; or if the rabbit one is the longest.

Or is there not a dingo fence?

79. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says there IS a dingo fence, and it is the longest fence in the world.

I'm not sure why I got the question wrong.  Maybe I missed the wording.

It was a true false question.  Maybe they said The dingo fence is NOT the longest in the world. Then if I said true, I'd be wrong.

80.  Got the thirteenth question wrong.  It's about the change to decimal currency

I thought it happened in the beginning of the 1970's, but the only 1970's answer they had there was 1976.

I chose that, and the quiz said I was wrong.

They said the change happened in 1966.

81. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says the quiz is right.

Crap.  I was hoping he would say they were wrong.

I wanted to be the right one.

I'm feeling dumb now.

82.  Got question 14 and 15 right.


I think the quiz was taking pity on me.

83. Got 16 and 17 right too!

84.  Got eighteen wrong.

I'll try, for now on, to remember that the river that goes through Queensland and South Australia is the Diamantina River.

85. Sad that I got the 19th question wrong.

The Dog on the Tucker Box is in Gundagai.

I knew about the dog. I just forgot where he was.

Is he mentioned in the Gundagai song?

86. Consulted Lord Wiki about the lyrics.

The dogs not mentioned.

I think there's a song about the dog though.

87. Consulted Lord Wiki.   There is a song about the dog.   It was written by Jack O'Hagan, the same guy who wrote "Along the Road to Gundagai".

88. Watched a video of the dog song.  Two guys play it on their accordions.

It's a bit shaky. Or maybe it's sped up?

It's strange.

89. Got the last question of the quiz wrong and learned some sport guy drank fifty-two beers on a plane.

I'm not sure how anyone could manage that.

90. Finished the quiz and went back to the dingo fence question.

I didn't read the fine print.

The false part was about the location of the fence. They said New South Wales and the answer is Western Australia.

I think I knew that.  I just wasn't paying good enough attention.

It's just like I didn't notice that Thomas shouted out his love for Eudoxia.

I'm not proud of myself right now.   


My score for that quiz was 7/20.   It's way below the average which is 12/20.

91. Read a  negative editorial about Australia.  It's written by David Whitley.  

It's not really that mean.

It's just explaining why Australians are preferring to go to Europe rather than Australia.

The basic idea is Europe has more diversity.  

Whitley says, It's 877km from Sydney to Melbourne, and it would be fair to say that there are no world class cities on the way. Within 300km of Prague, you can be in Berlin, Munich or Vienna. Extend it to 600km, and you've got Budapest, Venice and Krakow. Go the whole 877km, and it brings Amsterdam, Milan and Copenhagen into play.

You get more variety by going to Europe.  

The same probably goes for America.  There's less history and there's less variety.

Sometimes I'll get this idea that I want to travel more through out America.   I want to experience more in my own country.  Then I become skeptical. Is one small city going to be that much different from another? Is there going to be that much difference between a town in Alabama and a town in Louisiana?

Then I start to feel that way about Australia. There are so many towns I want to visit.  But then I ask. Will they be that much different from one another?

Are there that many differences between all the little coastal towns?

How about all the gold mining towns?   I've been looking through my new Australia travel guide.  There seems to be so many mining towns.  Are they that much different from one another?

I want to go on a LONG Australia trip when I'm 50.

I want to spend six months there.   For fun, I've already mapped out a journey.  We jump from place to place every few days.   We visit places all over Australia.

But a part of me wonders. Would it be better to go to Australia for six months and stick to only a few places.  What if we picked six places and stayed in each one for a whole month?

We could pick one big city, one coastal beach town, one mountain area, one mining town, one tropical place, and one outback town.

You know what, I'm kind of loving that idea.

It would be fantastic.

If we end up doing it, I'll have to thank David Whitley.  It's his editorial that made me think of the whole idea.  Although I don't think that was the point of his editorial.

What was his point?

I'm not sure.

I think maybe he was just explaining why things are the way they are.

I can't really blame Australians for wanting to travel outside Australia.   They get Australia all the time.   It's just like I want to travel outside America.  There's a few places I love.—like Disney World and NYC.   But if I'm going to visit small towns and cities, I'd rather do that in Australia.

92. Read Whitley's editorial again.

I probably should read EVERYTHING twice.

He says Australia shouldn't try to compete with Europe on things like history, culture, museums, art, buildings.   It should compete by talking about what Australia does better than Europe.

What does it do better?

The biggest thing I can think of is animals.

Australia has awesome animals. The birds alone are fantastic.

I'm not impressed with European animals. No offense.

The other thing is natural rock formation stuff.  Australia has a lot of cool things in that regard. I'm not sure if Europe does.

93. Amused by a comment on the editorial.

Waiter says,

It is high time we stopped telling people overseas that our food is good. It simply is not. Claiming it is good might fly with tourists from the US and UK where food is very poor... but for travellers from most of mainland Europe and most of Asia the claim is utter nonsense.

What is wrong with American food?

This is the third or fourth time I've heard from an Australian it's bad.

I like our food, thank you very much.

I also liked the food in the UK.   I didn't like it much when I first went in the 1990's, but I think it's improved since then. 

94. Finished reading Sorry

95. Started reading The Dragon Man by Garry Disher.

I don't usually choose to read that kind of thing, because it scares me.

But so far I'm liking this one. I read the prologue and it definitely caught my interest.

I'll probably get scared, though.