Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home and Away, The Great Gatsby, Sweets, and Scary Purple Rashes

1. Read Veronica's post about blogging guidelines. 

She's heard there are better times to post because it will bring you more traffic. And there are times where you'll get very little traffic.

Veronica doesn't want to follow all these rules to improve readership traffic.  She just wants to write.

I want more traffic, but since I publish every day, it really doesn't matter. I think if I did only a few posts a week, I'd maybe pay attention to optimum posting times.

No, actually I wouldn't. I would want to post at optimum posting times.  But I wouldn't have the patience to wait. I'd post when the post was ready.

I do question the posting time guidelines, though.  I don't think people get on the internet, and then read only new posts.

At least....I don't.

I usually do all my blog reading in the morning.  I read whatever I want to read that wasn't there the last time I checked.   Sometimes I end up reading things that are a day old. That's why I was late saying Happy Birthday to Andrew.  

I definitely notice that I get less traffic on Friday and Saturday which is Saturday and Sunday Australia time.  But I don't worry that my posts won't get read. I figure people will get done with their weekend stuff, and if they're interested in my weekend posts, they'll read them on Monday.  

Anyway, the truth is I get most of my traffic from old posts—the biography ones.  Sometimes I'm tempted to go back to doing those, just so I can increase my traffic.  But I don't want to. I like the way I do my posts now, even though I get less traffic.

2. Wanted to say that most people come to my blog to see Rachel Carpani naked. 

They don't stick around once they realize I don't have naked photos of her.  

3. Read article about a human cage breaking in a crocodile tank. 

It's this thing where you go in the middle of the water in a glass cage. Then a crocodile might swim near you.

It doesn't seem that much different from standing outside a crocodile enclosure.

I guess there's water on all sides of you, so it makes the experience more exciting.

Apparently the cage breaking was not a big deal and the tourists weren't really in danger. The crocodile didn't have access to the humans.

It wasn't a horror movie adventure.

4. Started reading Summerland by Malcolm Knox.

So far, I don't like it.

But I've only read one page.

I think I'll reread it.

I'm confused about what's going on.

I think this is going to be one of those books in which I really need to concentrate.

5. Went to sleep and dreamed about Australia.

I'm at someone's house. There's several people there. We're planning to go out to dinner. I have a restaurant picked out.

Some older men are there. (They kind of remind me of the type that are in The Sopranos; but these guys weren't criminals. They just kind of had that tough-guy persona).  They go to do research on my chosen restaurant. They come back to me and tell me it's too complicated. They said instead we'll go to this Italian restaurant they know about. I say that's totally fine.   

I'm embarrassed and feel bad.  I realize I should have done this in the first place—let the locals choose the restaurant, rather than arbitrarily picking something with research. 

6. Thought about the dream and it's message.

Is it best to let the locals pick the restaurant?  In most cases I'd say yes.  Sometimes, though, we get in a rut and don't do a lot of exploring of our own city.  There might be a restaurant in town we haven't heard of yet.  Having tourists visit might give us the excuse to explore more.  

7. Read a little more of Summerland.  And I reread the page I already read.

I like it a little bit.

It's about two rich couples in Sydney.

They do a holiday together each year at Palm Beach. That's where Home and Away takes place, I think. 

8. Consulted Lord Wiki.

Some of Home and Away is filmed in Palm Beach, but it doesn't take place in Palm Beach.  

It takes place in Summer Bay.

9. Started to watch Julian McMahon on Home and Away.   I checked a long time ago to see if there were videos of this, but I couldn't find any.  Now they're here.  So that's cool.



Ben has joined the army.

His girlfriend isn't so happy about that.  And she's also not so pleased to see him returned.  She's mad because he left her a single mother. Ben's defense is she should have told him she was pregnant.

I'm kind of on his side....so far.

Someone named Pepper is marrying Michael. Or maybe it's Piper?

10. Thought the girl at 3:11 looked a bit like Sandra Bullock...a younger version.

11. Continued to watch.  Ben told his girlfriend that he got military leave.  But now the military police have shown up at the wedding. I bet he sneaked out, and now he'll be in huge trouble.  

12. Finished watching and saw that I was right. Ben was under arrest for leaving without permission.

Yikes. 

13. Read something interesting in my new Australia travel book.

They talked about the Australian colonies becoming a Federation; and the book said New Zealand decided not to join.

I never knew that was on the table.

So at one time, New Zealand considered being part of Australia?

14. Consulted Lord Wiki about the whole thing.

He says in Sydney in 1891 there was a Constitutional Convention where the colonies discussed the Federation idea.  New Zealand was there, but they said they probably wouldn't join the Federation.   They said though that they might join in the future. 

15.  Found it hard to speak in an American accent after watching Home and Away.

16. Found a link via Alyssa Milano's Twitter page. It's letters that celebrities wrote to their past selves. There's one from Hugh Jackman.  

It's very poignant.

All the letters are similar in that the celebrity tells their young self that things will work out, and they'll end up being very successful.

It's nice that they can write these letters.   It's nice to know that things work out very well for some people.  

I'm thinking though that....

Some people don't have much good news to pass on to their young selves.

  I hate to tell you this, but enjoy your life as much as you can now.  Things will be hell for you in the future.   You'll have three miscarriages.   Your husband will leave you for your best friend.    You'll deal with chronic pain and doctors will be unable to come up with a diagnosis.  You're friends will say it's all in your head. You'll get depressed and be put on drugs that make you obese.   You won't get enough money in the divorce settlement.  You'll be miserable and  eventually end up homeless.   You'll beg on the streets, but no one will help you because they figure from your body size that you're getting enough to eat.  

17. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Beginner/Intermediate Broom Flying.

This is the class taught by Sergei.

There're two student posts added to the thread. One's from Noah Cresswell, a first year Bourke student; and the other is by Stuart Hosking, a third year Flinders student.

18. Started to read.

I'm confused.

Noah is disappointed to be in the beginner class rather than the intermediate class.  He's been accepted for the Bourke Quidditch team and thought that meant he'd be in a more advanced class.

The title of the class though says it's beginner and intermediate. Or maybe it's in-between beginner and intermediate?

19. Saw that Stuart's excited to be in the class. He likes flying, and he's good at it.  He's also glad to have a professor that's taller than him.  I guess Stuart is insecure about his height.

20. Went to the biography of Noah Cresswell.

His face claim is Australian!!!

I get very excited when I find Australian faces on Tallygarunga.

The face claim celebrity is Callan McAuliffe.

Lord Wiki says McAuliffe played Quick as a child in Cloudstreet.  And he's going to be in the new Baz Luhrmann version of The Great Gatsby.  He's going to be Gatsby as a child.


The Great Gatsby is mentioned in Summerland.  

I'm sort of having Gatsby synchronicity today.  

21. Went to YouTube to find Callan McAuliffe videos.  I'm seeing a lot of stuff for something called I Am Number Four.   I guess that's what he's most known for.

Lord Wiki says it's an American film, and McAuliffe played a conspiracy theorist named Sam Goode.

22. Watched interview with McAuliffe.



He has a peculiar accent.

23. Learned more about Sam Goode from Lord Wiki.  He sounds a lot like Fox Mulder.   He believes in aliens and alien abduction, and believes they're the cause of his missing family member.

24. Went back to reading about Noah.

He was born in Melbourne.

He slouches.

He doesn't put much effort into his appearance.

He's outgoing and friendly.

He avoids arguments and debates.

He doesn't like making decisions and is happy to follow the crowd.

I guess he's not much of a free-thinker.

25. Started to read about Noah's history.

His mother is a witch.

His dad is a Muggle and an army officer. Because of this, Noah and his family often move around a lot.  Noah gets to see a lot of Australia.  

Noah's mother had a bad time when she was a student at Tallygarunga.  She didn't have many friends.  She ended up cutting ties with the magical world.  She lived a Muggle life.  She didn't tell her husband and son about her magical heritage until Noah started showing signs that he was a wizard.

Noah's dad had a hard time believing, but when he saw the evidence, he opened his mind. It sounds like he was pretty supportive.

26. Wondered about Weis Bars. They're mentioned in Summerland.  

I think they're an ice-cream, maybe?  

27. Found a Weis website.  It's taking a long time to load.  

Okay...finally.   I can see.

They make ice-cream.  It's Australia owned and Australia made.  That's good.

They have these bars. I'm not sure if they're ice-cream or not. They look more like snack bars.

28. Did some more investigating.  They ARE ice-cream bars.  They're ice-cream bars without the stick.

We have a few of those in America.    There are ice-cream versions of candy bars. I think they're stickless. 

We'll have to try a Weis bar when we're in Australia.   They look good.  Jack will probably like them because they have some fun exotic fruit flavors.

I'm guessing he'll want passionfruit.

29. Read the Weis FAQ page.  

They're best-selling flavor is Mango and cream.

You can find Weis bars in Australia, and also Japan and Singapore.

The company was started by Les and Val Weis in 1957.

30. Saw that my Australian of the day is Charles William Anton

He was born in Austria in November 1916.

31. Noticed you have to add only two letters to Austria to get Australia.

32. Saw that Anton's father was Jewish, but later he became Christian.   I wonder if he converted for his wife.  I don't think she was Jewish.

33. Learned that Anton was in the army.

Then later he was forced to leave Austria. It had something to do with something called Anscluss.

34. Consulted Lord Wiki.  Anscluss was when Germany took over Austria.  

35. Learned that Anton sailed to Sydney and arrived in December 1938.

He changed his name.  His last name had been Schwarz.  Then it became Anton. I'm guessing that was done to hide his Jewish background. Or he could have had other reasons, I suppose.  

36. Saw that Anton had two marriages that didn't last.

37. Learned that Anton built a ski lodge in the Snowy Mountains.

That became his thing— his claim to fame. Or at least it's his claim to an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  He built and owned ski lodges.

He also skied. 

38. Learned that Anton died when he was only fifty. His death was from Meningococcal septicaemia.  

Here's a website about that.   It has me absolutely terrified.  

It's the bacteria that causes Meningitis; but in this case it effects the blood rather than the brain.  The website says the blood one is more dangerous.  That's very bad because I've heard the Meningitis one is very dangerous.  It's scary to think there's something even worse.  

39. Learned that the people most at risk of getting the disease are kids under five and fifteen to twenty-four year-olds.

I think Jack gets a vaccine for it when he's eleven.

40. Read on this page why teens are more likely to get it. I thought it was something to do with their biological stage of life.  It's more about their lifestyle. Apparently teens do things like share drinks and cigarettes.  

I'm guessing sharing more innocent stuff would cause problems to—like sipping from the same can of soda and borrowing someone's lipstick.   

41. Saw from this page that the vaccine protects against some strains of the bacteria, but not all of them.

I didn't realize it until now, but the website is actually Australian.

Anyway, they say since 2003 the government has offered free vaccinations against the disease.    That's good.

One of the things the website pushes is getting help as soon as symptoms appear. It's a HUGE emergency, and the disease can kill people within hours after the first symptoms.

They say antibiotics should be given before the lab tests come back.

The name of the organization with the website is the Stephen Sanig Foundation. It's named after a child who died fourteen hours after showing symptoms.

One of the big symptoms is a purple rash.  It's a rash caused by the body hemorrhaging. 

I once had a rash, and someone (maybe a doctor) told me to press on the rash. If it blanched (turned white) that meant it wasn't a huge horrible thing.  I wondered what IS the big horrible thing. Maybe it's the hemorrhage rash.  

42. Saw information on the BBC about the rash. And it turns out, I'm right.

They talk about the very scary bad rash and say, It may start as a tiny rash that looks like small pin pricks. The marks do not fade if you press them. You can tell if they fade by pressing a glass on the rash and if you can still see the rash, it has not faded (or blanched).

So if you or someone you're with has a rash, press on it. If it doesn't disappear, call the doctor...fast.

If they tell you not to worry about it, call another doctor.

Although if the person is feeling fine, before calling the doctor, I'd try wiping away the rash with a washcloth.  It could be from a marker, or something like that.

43. Amused...in a dark way, because my friend and I were recently discussing people being over- enthusiastic in their quest to raise awareness about specific diseases.  Now I'm doing that here.

And I'm sort of tempted to scream out to everyone I know.  WATCH OUT FOR PURPLE RASHES.

44. Felt a little better after Lord Wiki reassured me a bit.

He says the disease in developed countries usually effects only 1-5 in 100,000.   That's pretty rare.   But when there's an epidemic, the rate will go up to about 100 out of 100,000...which equals 1/1000.

The fatality rate is about 10-20%.  

That didn't sound too bad until I read further.  That 10% applies to people receiving antibiotic treatment.  And for those who do survive, many of them lose a limb, become deaf, or suffer brain damage.

It's all very scary.   

45. Went to Ben Baird's YouTube channel.  He's a Christian-singer from Australia.

Here he sings a religious song.



I think he has a nice voice, and it's a pretty song.

When I heard Harry Potter inspired music for the first time I didn't like it. I said it reminded me of Christian Rock.  But now I'm thinking I might actually prefer Christian music.  

There's probably SOME wizard music I'd like.  Maybe I just haven't heard the right stuff.  

Here's an example of Wizard Rock.



I just can't get into it.

46.  Listened to Ben Baird do a cover of Missy Higgin's "Forgive Me"




I don't think I've heard the song before.

The theme seems similar to Missy Higgin's other song.



47. Started to listen to Missy Higgins sing "Forgive Me"



I was thinking, I HAVE heard that song before. But then I realized it's because I just heard Ben Baird sing it.

48. Annoyed because my internet is being slow.

49. Followed an American news story about someone buying El Paso. I thought they might be talking about the city, but they were talking about a company.

Anyway, the website was on the US version of Reuters. And on the same page, they had a link to an article about the Australian dollar.

The link, though, goes to a British video.

It's something about the Yen and the Aussie dollar.  I don't really understand it.

50.  Saw that the Australian dollar is now worth 1.02 American dollars.

It's worth .65 British pounds, 6.78 Swedish kroner, and 78.12 Japanese yen. 

From the last time I checked, it's gone up a bit in Sweden and has stayed close to the same in the other places. 

51. Found my internet problem and fixed it.  I had the Firefox history window open, and that was slowing things down. 

52. Started to look at John Lampard's Anzac Day Flickr set.  It's a collection of photos he's taken through the years.

53. Thought this picture was beautiful and sad.

Although it's really only sad if you think about why the flowers are there. 

It's not that sad for me if I imagine someone's grandfather or great grandfather dying in Gallipoli.   It was so long ago.  But if I let my imagination go back in time and see a woman waiting for her boyfriend to return, or a mother having to tell her children that their father is never coming home....

That's all very depressing.  

54. Wondered what happened to Ben on Home and Away...after the military police caught up with him.

55. Went to a Home and Away website to get some answers. 

56. Read the information and I tried to understand it; but for the most part I'm lost.

Actually, it just doesn't match up with what I watched today. I think stuff is missing in the description. 

It says Ben wanted children and Carly didn't. But it doesn't say anything about Carly being pregnant while Ben was at war.

Anyway, it does say what happened in the end.  The military police forced Ben to go back to the military.  Carly was furious at first, then she eventually decided to follow him to Perth.

57. Saw from Lord Wiki that although the character of Carly Morris left in 1991, she's come back every so often as a recurring character.

That happens on Days of our Lives.   Ex-cast members will come back for weddings, funerals, etc.  Then most characters also come back as main stars....even if they've died.

Dead people don't stay dead on that soap opera. 

58. Wondered if Thaao Penghlis has returned to Days of our Lives yet.

I'm sure if he hasn't, he will soon. 

59. Saw that Thaao Penghlis has a Twitter account.  

He seems to be on a lot....mostly responding to things that other people have said. 

In one response he says, Doing a movie now.  Miss Days but best to move on.  Best to you.  

I've moved on one from Days too. I can't say I miss it too much. 

That show had it's good moments, but I think 95% of it is crap. 

60. Wondered what movie Thaao Penghlis is doing. I don't see anything on IMDb

Maybe the project hasn't been publicized yet.  

61. Decided Tallygarunga has replaced Days of our Lives in my heart.  

The Tally writing is much better than the DOOL writing.

62. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.    

Today's street for me is Rundle Mall.  It's a street, and also a shopping center. 

Here's the street on Google Maps

Lord Wiki says it's the most expensive retail areas in Adelaide.

64. Learned there's a place in Rundle Mall called Regent Arcade. It's supposedly the oldest retail centre in Australia, and it's rumored to be haunted. 

65. Learned from Lord Wiki that Rundle Mall has pig statues.

I think I saw them in someone's Flickr pictures.

66. Found article about the ghost of Regent Arcade. 

It includes a video with a ghost.

In most ghost videos, the ghost looks creepy to me.

In this one, the ghost looks cool and friendly...like a high tech type of ghost.  

The ghost glows in a futuristic style. 

67. Read the article.

The ghost is supposed to be the former caretaker—a guy named Francis Cluney.

Isn't there a Francis ghost in Melbourne? 

68. Went to this website.

It turns out I was remembering things wrong.  There's not a ghost named Francis in Melbourne.   But there's a Francis hotel, and some people think it's haunted.  

69. Went to the Rundle Mall website. 

70. Saw that Rundle Mall has a candy shop called Blackeby's Old Sweet Shop.

It sounds good to me.

I like candy stores.  

71. Went to Blackeby's website.

They have British candy, American candy, and New Zealand candy. I'm sure they also have Aussie candy.

72. Saw that they have a very impressive collection of American candy.  I'm betting it's expensive, though.

They have a ton of Pop Tarts.