Sunday, October 23, 2011

Envy, Charities, Zombies, and Jean Béliveau

1. Saw that Tim was watching a movie with Simon Baker.

It's called Not Forgotten.

Here's the trailer. 

It looks quite mysterious.

I'm mystified.

I shall have to read Lord Wiki's spoilers.

2. Consulted Lord Wiki.  Not Forgotten sounds very confusing.

It deals with a real life Mexican cult derived from Catholicism called Santa Muerte.

The cult seems a bit dark; and it tends to be associated with criminals and people who are disadvantaged.

3. Went to bed and dreamed about Cole from Charmed.  He has his demon face back, and people are wondering if he's turned bad or not.  Has he turned back into a demon? Or he is just wearing some type of mask?

I also dreamed about one of the Australian bloggers that was hateful towards me a few years ago.  But I don't remember anything about the dream.   It's just I was lying in bed, in the morning; and knew I dreamed about her.

It's hard to explain.  

4. Felt envious when I read Miss Sparkles post about living near the beach.  She says when it's warm, she goes to the beach on most days.

If I lived near the beach, I hope I'd be like her.  I hope I wouldn't take it for granted.

I probably would, though, if we had to drive there. If we could walk to the beach, I imagine I'd go frequently.  

5. Read article about plans to kill a shark that killed an American near Rottnest Island.

There's been an unusual increase in great white shark attacks near Western Australia.  There's been three deaths in less than two months. Usually, there's only about one shark-induced death a year.

How are they going to know what shark is the one doing the killing? Is it one shark? Did one rogue shark kill three people?

6. Watched video that came with the shark article.

It sounds like the Jaws movie. There's supposedly one shark hanging about killing tourists.

I thought there were a lot of great white sharks in Australia.  But I guess mostly they stay away from humans and eat fish and sea lions.  

7. Read disturbing article about charities.   

Actually, it's good news and bad news.

The bad news is some charities are spending too much money on fundraising and administration costs.

The good news is they're being exposed.

There's going to be a website that shows these things. 

The article has a table of charities.They show which ones spend a lot on administration costs, and which ones spend a low amount.

The one on the chart that spends the least on administration costs is the charity I talked about yesterday—Diabetes Australia.  Only 2% of their fundraising money goes back to fundraising and other administration costs. 

The charity that spends the highest percentage of their funds on administration costs is the Surf Life Saving Foundation, Inc.  They're the ones that save people from drowning. I feel weird complaining about them, so I won't.

8. Decided I will be nice and concentrate on the positive.


Another charity that don't spend a large percentage on fundraising is the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.  They spend 3% on administration costs.

I see them as being a bit like the Surf life saving people—a bunch of heroes running around saving people. Why does one charity utilize their money better than the other? 

Maybe the Royal Flying Doctor Service needs to use more of that money for their actual mission.   They have to pay for airplanes and fuel. That's expensive.

What does the Surf Life Saving Foundation need?

I guess they need boats, rafts, chairs, first aid equipment, communication devices, etc.   It costs money, but it probably costs less money than what the Royal Flying Doctor Service needs. Maybe they get more money than the charity needs, so then they put it back into administration and fundraising. 

9. Looked at the gross fundraising revenue differences on the chart.

The charity that has the highest fundraising revenue is World Vision Australia.   Their revenue is $271,605,156.  And they're on the good side of the chart. Only 14% of their revenue goes back to fundraising and administration costs. 

The charity with the highest revenue on the bad side of the chart is sadly The Australian Red Cross.   Their revenue is $66,449,000; and 27% goes back to fundraising and administration costs.

10. Read article about a charity event that sounds REALLY fun to me.

It was a zombie walk in Brisbane. 

I want to go to a zombie walk...especially one in Australia!

This zombie walk in Brisbane had two goals.   One was to raise money for the Brain Foundation.   The other was to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest zombie gathering.

Brisbane beat the record with over 8000 zombies.  

I'm a tiny bit obsessed with zombies right now.  I downloaded a zombie book for our Kindle. I'm going to read it on our Disney World trip.  I don't like being Kindle dependent for my reading pleasure, so I'll simultaneously read a book-book. 

Tonight is our zombie show. The Walking Dead.   Tim and I love that show; but spend the whole hour complaining.  Why is he doing that?  What the hell is she thinking?  Why isn't anyone on the look out?   

Yeah, yeah.  I know. Dealing with zombies is much easier when you're safe in your living room, and the zombies are only on the TV.

11. Went to the website of the Brisbane Zombie Walk.   

Their website is not connected to the Brain Foundation; so I'm guessing it's a bunch of zombie fans who simply decided to take something they love and make it for a good cause.

12. Saw that there's going to be a zombie walk in Sydney on October 29.  

They're upfront about their charitable plans.  They say half of the donations will go to the Brain Foundation and the other half will go towards running the event.

13. Watched the Sydney Zombie Walk video. It's so awesome. I especially love the Grim Reaper with the Aussie accent.

It seems like such a fun event.  

14. Saw that there was a zombie walk in Dallas a week or so ago.

Maybe we can do it next year.  

15. Went to the Facebook Page of the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle.

Their event is going to be October 30.

16. Watched video of a zombie walk in Hobart.  

I was wondering if I'd prefer to just SEE a zombie walk pass me by. But then I figured I'd feel like Cam in Modern Family when he had to stand there watching the flash mob dance.

He felt really left out...abandoned.  

17. Watched video of the Adelaide Zombie Walk.  

I like how they used spooky music in this video. It makes it all very eerie...and beautiful, in a zombie-like way.

I love seeing all the creative costumes.

18. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Intermediate Musiciary Class.  

There's been three new posts since I last read.  

The first one is from Reade.  I wonder how he's doing. The last I saw him he was visiting his very injured girlfriend in the hospital.  Would that be before this, or after?

19. Looked at dates.

The music class is happening on October 13.

The visit with Arti, in the hospital, took place on October 6. 

20. Started to read about the music class.

Reade's a little hurt because the mission of the class lesson is to learn how to mute things. He IS mute.

I can see how that would be a bit hurtful.  On the other hand, it gives him a way to neutralize things.   If he's tired of being the only mute person in the room, he can make everyone else mute.

Maybe that would be too mean?

I don't know.

It should be okay if he does it only temporarily.

It would be a way to show other people how he feels— give them a chance to walk in his shoes.  

21. Liked reading about Darren Donovan's flute.  His father had said if he wanted one he'd have to buy it with his own money. Darren was hurt by this, thinking his father didn't approve of the flute.   He thought maybe his father thought it was too feminine. 

But later Darren came to suspect his father simply wanted to give him a lesson in saving money up for something.  

We have Jack save up money for things he wants. And that kid wants a lot.  

We don't give him cash. We simply have a bank account in our head, and we add to it. I should write it down though, because at times I get confused.  For example...right now.  I forgot how much he has. 

The other day we had some moral and financial confusion.  Jack's been saving up to buy a video game for his Kinect. He has enough to buy it, but was waiting a bit.  It wasn't a rush, really, because he already had the same game for the Wii. The Kinect version has a few differences, though, and he wants both.

Anyway, he's been wanting to try the coin exchange thing at the grocery store.  He's been asking to do that for weeks.  And we have tons of coins laying about our house. We finally did it the other day....with just one of the bags of coins. I was quite surprised with the outcome. We ended up with a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

There was debate about how the money should be used.  Jack assumed he could have all the money to buy his game. That way he wouldn't have to use his allowance, and he could use his allowance for something else.

In a way, I felt that was fair.  Those coins have been sitting in our house for years. They wouldn't be used otherwise. It was Jack's idea to use the coin thing.

Tim felt the money should simply go into our general account—we share the gift certificate and we deduct the portion of the gift certificate from Jack's allowance.

We came up with a compromise. Jack got most of the game for free, but had to pay a small percentage.

The problem is I forgot what that was.  We originally thought the game would be $40, and I think Jack was going to pay 15 dollars. But then the game ended up costing less, so....

I'll talk to Jack and try to figure it out. I think he's pretty honest about such things.

22. Went back to reading about Darren.

He doesn't know what's happened to Arti, but he suspects something is wrong.   Reade isn't acting very cheerful lately.

23. Saw that Darren was very entranced by Reade's piano playing. And I think he kind of fell in love with him.

Did I know Darren was gay?

I probably did...and forgot.

24. Looked at the website of the Canadian walk-across-the-world guy. Jack and I looked at the map route together.  We saw that one of his milestone places was Yarram Australia.

Jack asked me if I've heard of it.  I said no. He suggested that I research it.

25. Looked at the walker's (Jean Béliveau's) route in Australia. He was there from October 7, 2009 to September 23, 2010. 

He was in Yarram on August 17. I'm not sure why that's considered a milestone.   

26. Found out why Yarram was significant.  

It's where Jean celebrated his 55th birthday.  And also on that day, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of the walk.  

27. Started to look at Jean's Australia photos from his trip. 

There's a lot of lovely ones.

It looks like different families hosted him for dinner.  They might have also let him sleep at their house?

28. Learned from Lord Wiki that Yarram  is a bit isolated.

He also says that there's this bakery in Yarram that has repeatedly won the Great Australian Meat Pie Competition.

But Lord Wiki is confused.  He says he doesn't know when that happened.

I'm looking at the contest website now.  

Maybe I'm not reading carefully enough, but I'm not seeing anything about Yarram winning.

I'm confused.

29. Learned that my Australian of the day is Arabanoo.

Oh...I think I remember him.

I can't say I recognized the name.  But I recognized his story from the first paragraph of his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  

Arabanoo was the man kidnapped by Arthur Phillip...before Bennelong.

Was he going in alphabetical order?

We'll try A, then B....if those don't work out, we'll find a man who's name starts with C. 

30. Learned that when Arabanoo was kidnapped, he liked the handcuff on his wrist because he saw it as an ornament.  When he realized it wasn't a piece of jewelry—that he was trapped, he became furious.

I can't blame him for that.

31. Reminded by the Australian Dictionary of Biography that Arabanoo died of smallpox.

He was buried in Arthur Phillip's garden.

32. Saw there's a Blue Mountains bed and breakfast named after Arabanoo.  

They seem a bit behind in updating their website. They have an offer for a 2010 special.

It's a pretty good one, though. You can stay two nights for $320; and it includes the breakfast.

It might be something we keep in mind.

There's a chance I might have to change the Australia plans. Tim is dealing with some health issues.  Hopefully it's not overly serious.  Hopefully it goes away.  But if it's mild enough that we can go to Australia, it still might not be mild enough for him to do lots of driving.

SO....I was thinking then that we stick around Melbourne and Sydney, and skip the Victorian driving trip.  Then we could maybe do a few overnight trips via train.

We could fly to a third city, but flying is so expensive.  

We'll see what happens.  

33. Continued reading Sorry by Gail Jones.

It's a beautiful book.

It shows both the sweet and very sour side of white and black relationships in Australia. 

There's some sad irony.

The main white character lives with her violent rapist father.  Her mother ends up in a mental hospital.  The family is highly dysfunctional.  Both her parents are cold and distant. So far, there's been no attempts from authorities to rescue this child from her sad home life.   

Meanwhile, the main black character was stolen from her loving mother and community at the age of six.

It's a fictional story, but I wouldn't be surprised if ironies like this happened in real life.

34. Went to the YouTube channel of IndieHindley.

He's a drummer.

He started playing drums four years ago.

I'm thinking of Modern Family again...the episode where Cam temporarily joins Dylan's band.

35. Watched IndieHindley play the drums to a Metallica song,"Die die my darling"

Today when we were playing Just Dance 3, I asked Jack if there's any type of music he doesn't like.

He said he doesn't really like slow music. I'm thinking he means corny love songs, but I'm not sure. And he said he doesn't really like heavy metal.

I don't really like it either. But there's no musical genre I completely dislike.  I don't often like country music; but there's a few songs I can tolerate and a few songs I love.   I don't often like heavy metal; but I do like IndieHindley's drum playing.  I'm very impressed by it.

I think in the right context I could even like the whole song.

I don't think I like the lyrics though. It sounds like the anthem of a serial killer.

Don't cry to me oh baby
Your future's in an oblong box, yeah
Don't cry to me oh baby
Should have seen it a-comin' on

Then can take it on a more symbolic level.  It doesn't have to represent murder.  It could just be about extreme anger.

It's better to express anger in a song, then with a knife or gun.  

36. Started to watch video of IndieHindley doing a drum cover for Kesha's "Tik Tok". 

I'm wanting drums now.

If we win the lottery, I might buy a ukulele and some drums.  

Then again we had that Guitar Hero Wii game...or a sequel.  It came with drums. I never had any interest in playing it.

37. Started to look at more of John Lampard's Budgewoi photos on Flickr. 

38. Liked this twilight lake photo.

I love twilight. It has a dream-like feel to it.

39.  Thought this cafe looks fun.

It would be nice to get an ice-cream there.  

40. Liked this picture.

It would be a lovely setting for a wedding. 

41. Went to look at the Australia Monopoly Board even though I already know what's on the cards for me today. 

I'll read about Telstra.  I don't mind getting an overview of the company.

I guess I'm worried something is going to confuse me. Then I'll spend hours of my evening trying to understand something I barely care about.

I'm going to try not to do that.

If something confuses me, I'll just ignore it.

42. Consulted Lord Wiki about Telstra.

So far it's mildly interesting.

I learned that prior to 1975, telephone stuff and mail stuff was handled by the Postmaster-General's Department.

Then they split up into the Australia Post and The Australian Telecommunications Commission.    That somehow became Telstra.

43. Learned that the world Telstra is a combination of the words telecommunication and Australia.

That's cute.

It reminds me of what I learned today from my Australia travel guide.   They said at one point, people were suggesting the Australia capital be called Sydmeladperho.   It's a combination of the capital cities of the states.

It's too bad they went for Canberra.  Sydmeladperho would have been very funny.

44.  Read about Telstra being privatised.  I knew it happened, but didn't know the details.

Lord Wiki says it happened in stages.

In 1997, the government sold off 1/3 of the company.

In 1999 the government sold off more and was left with 51% of the company.

In 2006, the government sold off more and was left with only 17% of the company.

45. Bored by a lot of this.

I'm kind of skipping ahead to stuff that interests me.

46. Learned the CEO of Telstra is David Thodey. He's from Western Australia.

Wasn't the last guy American?  Or did I dream that?

47. Learned from Lord Wiki that I didn't dream it.

The last guy to be CEO was an American named Solomon Trujillo.  

He didn't like Australia. He felt it was racist. He felt he was given a hard time because of his Mexican heritage.

When he left, Kevin Rudd had one word for him. Adios

Solomon Trujillo thought that was racist.

It probably is that context.

But a one word good-bye, in that context, is probably more hurtful than racist.

I'm not saying that right.

How do I explain this?

I guess it's like Kevin Rudd's Adios was really a way of saying Good Riddance

That can't be pleasant to hear.

If Kevin Rudd liked Solomon Trujillo; if they had a warm relationship, would it have been racist to say Adios!?

No, I can't imagine that it would be.

It might have been really sweet.  

My feeling is people didn't like Solomon Trujillo for reasons behind his ethnicity, but they probably targeted his ethnicity.

It's like Sarah Kent in Tallygarunga. Would she go around picking on overweight people that weren't bothering her?

No, I doubt it.

But when an overweight person angers her, she targets his weight. 

48. Thought of Mel Gibson.

Does he usually hate Jews? Does he hate them all the time?

Or is he just anti-semitic when he's angry?

Can we suddenly become bigots in the heat of anger?

My guess is we have these prejudices. They lie dormant when we're at peace with the world.  Then when we get pissed off, mean things fly into our brain...and sometimes out of our mouth.  

49. Decided to take another Australia quiz.  This one is called Australian Alpabetics.    I think it's one of those in which there's an answer for each letter of the alphabet...or almost every letter. There're 25 questions, so they're missing something.

50. Got the A-E questions right.

I messed up on the F one. Why? It was about football.

I'm not good at sports thing.


I'm going to try to learn something here.

There's a team called the Melbourne Storm and it's in the National Rugby League.

Lord Wiki says that in 2009 they were voted Victoria's most popular sports team.  

51. Learned the colors of Melbourne Storm are purple, white, gold, and navy.  

52. Answered G and H correctly.

I missed I.

The question was about police on islands.

I've now learned that Stradbroke Island is part of Queensland and is therefore policed by the Queensland police.  Christmas Island, Cocos Island, and Norfolk Island are not part of any state, so they're policed by the Australian Federal Police.

I DID know that Christmas Island and Norfolk Island were not part of any state...just in case anyone was wondering.

53. Answered J and K correctly.

I messed up on L.

I now know there is no Cricket Caption with the name Lamington.

Yes, don't worry. I know Lamington is mostly known as a dessert.

54.  Got M correct.  I messed up on N.  It's about the Northern Territory.

It's annoying because I was going to pick the right answer.

It was one of those questions where you had to pick the statement that's NOT true.   

I figured Matthew Flinders didn't end up in Darwin after sailing the Gulf of Carpentaria.  But then there was an answer about Tracy that confused me.

It said the cyclone happened in 1974. For some reason I was thinking it happened in 1975.   I thought the quiz was trying to trick me.

55. Got O and P correct.

I messed up on Q.  Qantas.

Apparently Qantas never had a 727 plane.


56. Messed up on R for Reef.

Now I've learned that in the 1970's, the Great Barrier Reef had a problem with something called The Crown of Thorns Starfish. It was eating up the reef and the reef couldn't replenish itself fast enough.

57. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Crown of Thorns Starfish is venomous to humans. 

Scientists are trying to control the population of Crown of Thorns Starfish because they're not really good for the least not in large numbers.

58. Answered S,T and U correctly.

I messed up on V.

I now know U2 has a song called "Van Diemen's Land".

I had no idea.

59. Listened to U2 sing "Van Diemen's Land".

I don't think I've ever heard it before.

It's a pretty song.

60. Looked at the lyrics.

Some bits would be great as an anthem for the Occupy-Whatever protests.

Now kings will rule and the poor will toil
And tear their hands as they tear the soil
But a day will come in this dawning age
When an honest man sees an honest wage

61. Answered W correctly.   Got Y wrong.

Now I've learned that Yothu Yindi once did a song with Neil Finn from Crowded House.  

Here's the song.

It's quite awesome.

62. Wondered about the lyrics in this song.  

And waters edge goes on
Always rolling into the horizon
We'll go down where the octopus plays
Changing colour with the incoming day

Octopus?  What kind of octopus?

On the surface this song seems somewhat romantic.   But I'm thinking it might be an invitation to murder.  Maybe it's not so different from the Metallica song.

Hey, look at the beautiful octopus.  Let's go play with it. You pick it up first.  Oh yeah....look at the pretty blue color!

62. Learned from this video that other....less scary octopuses change color too.

It's pretty awesome.

Now I'm in an octopus mood.

I have to watch this video.

It's probably my favorite viral video.

63. Had a little tear.   

64. Got my score back from the I'm sitting here having sniffles over the octopus video.

I got a 17/25 which is not great, but it's better than the quiz score average (16/25).

65. Looked at the Australian dollar.

It's now worth 1.02 American dollars.

I THINK the last time I checked it was at 1.03 American dollars. It's gone down a little bit.

It's still worth about .65 British pounds.

It's worth 6.79 Swedish Kronor.   It's gone down a tiny there. The last time I checked it was worth 6.81 Kroner.

It's worth 78.41 yen. The last time I checked it was worth 79.1 yen.  So it's gone down a tiny bit there.

66. Hoped all of you had a great weekend.