Friday, October 7, 2011

Kids, Visionaries, Heights, and Karen Miller

1. Read an article about the 14-year-old Australian stuck in a Bali jail.

Julian McMahon is his lawyer.  I had a feeling he would be.  I remember him from another case.   I think maybe it was that Vietnamese-Australian guy?

2. Found my post on Van Tuong Nguyen.    

His incident happened in Singapore not Bali.

Anyway, McMahon was his lawyer.

I don't usually remember lawyer names, but in that case, it's hard for me to forget.

3. Hoped that things will work out for the child and his family.

I'm scared of places like Bali and Singapore.  

I don't do illegal drugs, but I have this fear that someone will plant drugs in my bag somehow.    Maybe it's unrealistic.  Maybe everyone arrested in those places really made the choice to take such a huge risk.   But what if some of them didn't? What if they were totally innocent?

4. Gained perspective when I read this part from K.E Mill's The Accidental Sorcerer.    

It's a scene between a good wizard and a very evil wizard.

The good wizard whispers.  Oh, Lionel. You really are insane.

The bad wizard replies.  All the great visionaries throughout history have been called so. We do not heed the gabbling of our inferiors. 

I thought of the video Alyssa Milano linked to yesterday on Twitter.  It was an inspiring message narrated by Steve Jobs.

The idea behind the video is that we should think differently and celebrate those who think differently.  Don't be afraid of being called weird, freaky, crazy, a misfit, a rebel, etc.

Weird and crazy people change the world.

I agree with that.

I'm proud to be weird and crazy...usually.

Sometimes I feel a bit too different and hearing Steve Job's message was really helpful and inspiring to me.

Then reading the passage in the book made me realize there CAN be a dark side to craziness. Not all visionaries do wonderful things.

Some are like Hitler and cause the death of millions.

5. Decided the video is still beautiful.

My feeling is it's great to be weird, as long as you're not murdering people, torturing people, holding people hostage, or leading people in mass suicides.   

We shouldn't look down on those who are different.  On the other hand, eccentric geniuses shouldn't allow themselves to become homicidal megalomaniacs.

6. Went to bed and had dreams. One of them was about some of my past experiences in blogging.

I'm in a classroom. People do demonstrations while the rest of us watch. One woman acts out a story about a girl being bullied. People are horrible to her and she becomes mentally unstable.  

I think of the time certain bloggers were very mean to me.  I hated the experience, and I think of how it would have been so much worse if the bloggers had been people I knew in real life (rather than just the internet).

I have a very hard time watching the demonstration.  I want to reach out and help the girl, even though it's just a story and not really happening.  I feel helpless. I feel like I'm not doing enough.  But I don't know what to do.  

Then the woman doing the demonstration asks us how we're feeling. I'm the only one that raises my hand.  They acknowledge me.  I say "Sad".  When I say it I start to cry, tears and everything. The people in the class seem amused at my reaction, but also kind of satisfied that the demonstration was so effective.  

7. Read another sad story about a child dying because a hospital didn't do enough to help him.  

This child was at Rockhampton Base Hospital in Queensland. He was in horrible pain, and a test was done to check for bacterial meningitis.  That came out clear.  What was supposed to happen after that is more testing to find out why the child was so ill. They were supposed to check for other bacterial infections and then give the child antibiotics.

The coroner found those procedures weren't done in a timely manner. Because of that, the child died.

The article says, The two-year-old's parents say hospital staff had an uncaring attitude, lack of urgency and there was confusing and poor communication.

It's terrifying to me.

I will say, from what I read in the article, this story seems to be more about inadequate resources and understaffing.   The last medical horror story I read dealt with a doctor who was incredibly arrogant.  He refused to accept diagnosis input from the parents and the child's general practitioner.

I'm not sure if arrogance played a part in this new story.  The uncaring attitude could point to that, or it could point to doctors and nurses being overwhelmed and lost.

Either way, it's tragic.

8. Read Andrew's post about the Manly ferry.  He says, Hands up who has been to Sydney and not caught the ferry to Manly? There you go, not one of you. 

I can't raise my hand.

We were pretty much obsessed with Manly on our 2007 trip.  I think we went at least 3 times. We loved the ferry ride.  We loved the beautiful scenery.  I took pictures of lovely rock scenes.

We loved that the beaches weren't too crowded. We loved the Royal Copenhagen ice-cream shop because they let you put on your own toppings. We loved that we could find cheaper souvenirs there.

In 2009, we loved Manly a little less.  But it was still fairly nice. I'm guessing I at least sort of still like it.  When I think of us going to Sydney in 2012, the Manly ferry ride is on the list of things we need to do. 

It's like a tradition for us.

9. Wondered how I learned about the Manly ferry in the first place.

I can't remember how much research I did before coming to Sydney.

Did I know about it before we arrived, or did I learn about it while we were there?

10. Read article about zombies in Queensland.

The Queensland police are testing the capacity abilities of their alert system website by setting up a zombie day.

Oh! I think it's today.  The article says zombie day is Saturday.

In Australia, it's already Saturday.  But it's the wee hours of the morning right now. Maybe the zombies won't attack until later.

I'll have to check.  

I just finished reading The Walking Dead comic book. It was pretty good, but I'm not sure if I'm a comic book person.

The one comic book I've loved was this old Daisy Duck one.  It contained multiple stories, and I read them over and over through the years.

One of them had a librarian that placed a lion in the library.  It didn't like noise, and it was used to keep the patrons quiet.

There was another where Daisy and her friends try to escape the world of men.  They had a flat tire, and then I forget what happens next.

Another story had a come-as-you-are party. This is where you get a phone call or invitation and have to rush to the party in the clothes you're wearing.  The party was done on a chore day, and people were supposed to be wearing rags.  But Daisy had received a dress...maybe in the mail?  She had tried that on when receiving the invitation.  She went to the party, and people were nasty to her.  They thought she had broken the rules of the party.

11. Decided I should probably stop reminiscing about Daisy the Duck, and start preparing for the zombie attack.

I really went off on a tangent there.

Then again, Queensland is far away from Fort Worth.  It will take a few days for the zombie virus to reach our little town.

I have time to talk about Daisy.

Although I don't have much else to say about her.  

12. Went to the Queensland alert page.

They have a disclaimer telling people there is no real zombie risk.

I guess they don't want a war of the world type incident on their hands.

These days we'd probably have the opposite problem. If there were a real zombie problem or alien invasion, most of us would probably assume it was a hoax.

13. Saw article about Australian Nickelodeon awards. We watched the American ones a few months ago.

Well, I'm not sure that I watched the whole thing, but I did watch at least part of it.

14. Saw that Cody Simpson was one of the big winners.

I'm not sure I've heard of him before. Maybe?

Lord Wiki says he's an Australian pop star.

Oh!  He started out as a YouTube singer.

I love that. I think it's awesome that people can jump start their own careers these days.

I think it's easier to be make it in a world in which the general public helps discover new stars. In the past, your only chance was to hope professionals/executives noticed you.

15. Started to watch Cody Simpson video.

I wonder if Americans know about him.

16. Learned from Lord Wiki that Cody Simpson did a tour in America. That was in April and May.

He was in Dallas on May 8.

This article says the Cody Simpson is becoming popular here.  

17. Went to the Australian Nickelodeon website. 

The website is visually overstimulating.  It makes me dizzy and confused.  

18. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Lost and Found.

It's with Nicole Barkwith and the guy I read about yesterday—Sergei Zhalobov-Bogaevsky.  

The title of the story sounds familiar; but I don't remember reading a story with them together.

19. Saw that the story takes place in the lobby of the Ministry of Magic.

20. Started to read.

It's the afternoon of Wednesday August 24.

Some of the story sounds familiar to me.

It might be my imagination.

21. Decided it can't hurt me to read something twice.

22.  Read the second post which is Sergei's. That didn't seem at all familiar to me.  

What I'm thinking is maybe I read this thread back when it had only one post in it—before Sergei came along.

Anyway, Sergei is planning to meet up with one of his sisters. He's at the Ministry of Magic.   Nicole is there too.  Sergei mistakes her for someone who knows where she's going, and asks for directions.   Nicole tells him she's lost too.

They have a friendly chat.

They're both expats in Australia.  They have that in common.

23. Saw that my Australian of the day is Francis George Anstey.

I wonder if he was related to the Anstey guy from yesterday.  

24. Looked at both Francis (Frank) Anstey and Edward Anstey.  I don't see an obvious connection.

They don't have the same father, so they're not brothers.

They're not father and son.

They could be uncle and nephew perhaps.

25. Learned that Frank Anstey was born in London in 1865.

His father died before he was born.

His mom remarried, and Frank gained a stepfather.

The stepfather was a kind man, but he had a bad temper. This cost him jobs, and the family struggled with financial issues.

26. Learned that when Frank was 11 he stowed away on a ship to Australia.

That's very exciting!

He did ten years of ship work.

By the time that phase of his life ended, Frank was against slave labour and liked the idea of White Australia.

So, did he not want island slaves because he thought slavery was wrong?   Or did he not want slaves because he didn't want nonwhite people in Australia?

Maybe it was a little bit of both?

27. Learned that Frank got married.  He and his family made their way to Melbourne.   Frank got into politics. His alliances were with the Labor Party.

28. Learned that Frank published a book called The Kingdom of Shylock. Apparently the book was anti-semitic.

A few years later, Frank published the book under a new name—Money Power.  He took out most of the anti-semitic parts.  

29. Saw that the Shylock version was reprinted in 2006.  

There's a man on the cover. He looks very much like a Jewish stereotype.

30. Consulted Lord Wiki about the word Shylock.

I was pretty sure it had some Jewish connotation.

Lord Wiki reminded me that the Jewish character in the Merchant of Venice had that name.  

31. Learned from Lord Wiki that Frank Anstey was a mentor to John Curtin.

That's an interesting connection.

From what I read of Anstey, he didn't seem to love Jews very much.  Then later, Curtin vetoed a plan to settle Jewish refugees in The Kimberley.  Did Anstey's anti-Jewish feelings rub off on Curtin?

Then again, it's not like anti-semitism was rare back then.   If Curtin was anti-semitic in anyway, he didn't necessarily gain those feelings from Anstey.  

32. Decided to watch the trailer for The Slap.

I'm not sure I'd want to see the miniseries.

I didn't really love the book.

33. Started to look at more of Baroo42's Perth to Melbourne Flickr set

The guys did some tree climbing thing.  Here's one photo from that.  

Wait.  Here's another one with a warning sign.  

I don't think it's like the Sydney bridge thing, where you're in a harness and all that.

This activity looks much more risky.

34. Thought of that Festival of Dangerous Ideas seminar at The Sydney Opera House.  There was that lecture about how society disapproves of drugs, but we're fine with people risking their lives with extreme sports and daring stunts.  

35. Loved this photo.

To me, it looks like it was taking at twilight.

I love that time of day.   

36. Loved this photo too.

I love the dirt road.  

37. Thought I would never pose in a picture like that.


That guy must not be afraid of heights.

38.  Thought this photo was scary too.

39. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.  

The next street is Davey Street. Lord Wiki says it's in Hobart.

The street is named after the second governor of Tasmania—Thomas Davey.

40. Learned Davey Street is a one way street and it has four lanes.

Is that usual?  I would think most four lane streets aren't one way.

Have I ever seen a one way street with four lanes?  I can't think of one.  Maybe I have though.

41. Found website of Davey Place Holiday Townhouses.  They're on Davey Street.  

They have four units available; each with two stories.

42. Looked at the rates.  For two people it would cost between $750-1590 a week.  That's a pretty big range.    I guess it depends on when you stay.

43. Went to Karen Miller's website.   She's the one who wrote The Accidental Sorcerer.   She used a pseudonym though. K.E Mills. 

I finished reading the book this morning.

I liked it a lot.

I'll probably try to get the other two books in the trilogy.  

24. Saw that the rest of the trilogy is available in Australia; but not in America.  

I went to the American version of the site first.  They had the first book only. Then I went to the Australian version of the site; and there're three books there.

Wait....never mind.

I just checked Amazon. The second and third books are there. 

I guess maybe the American site hasn't been updated in terms of the book. Or maybe I looked in the wrong place?

25. Went to Karen Miller's biography page.

She was born in Canada and moved to Australia when she was two.

She does a lot of work with horses. 

26. Could relate to Karen Miller when she says, I’m a story junkie. Books, film, tv ... you name it.

I love fiction.

27. Liked what Karen says here. In short, I’m an only child with an overactive imagination, 3 dogs, 2 cats and not enough hours in the day. I don’t drink, smoke, or do enough exercise. I make periodic stabs at eating properly. Chocolate is my besetting downfall.

Some of that stuff reminds me of me; well, probably everything except the 3 dogs and only child thing.  But I do HAVE an only child.   That might sort of count for something.