Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spiders, Qantas, Disney World, and Stuffed Animals

1. Learned that Qantas is doing their part to help all the disgruntled workers and passengers.

What are they doing?

They're giving the Alan Joyce, the CEO a pay raise.


Sometimes the world doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I got an email about it this morning. And here's an article

Alan Joyce made 3.8 million last year.  This year he's probably going to be making more than 5 million.


2. Read a quote from Alan Joyce about the disgruntled workers.  He says, They want to be paid to do work that no longer exists due to new generation aircraft, they want to retain outdated work practices, they want to tell us what we can and can't change in our business.

If that's true, I want to know more details.  He's so vague.  What useless work do these workers want to do?  What input are they trying to give to management?  And why are they not allowed to have a say in management?

Now if they're having really dumb ideas, I don't blame Joyce for not wanting to give them management power.  But that doesn't explain other stuff in the article.  Qantas isn't doing well.  They're struggling. Why should the CEO get a raise?

3. Learned about the scary White-tailed spider from Fruitcake's blog post.

I thought I knew about all the dangerous Australian spiders.

But I didn't know about this one.

4. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says the White-tailed spider's bite usually just cause a red mark, local swelling, and a mosquito bite.  But sometimes the symptoms can be worse.   The victim may get headaches, nausea, etc.

Maybe it depends on the person—whether or not they have an intolerance to the venom. Or maybe it depends on how much venom the spider injects.

Lord Wiki says the White-tailed spider has been wrongly accused of causing Arachnogenic necrosis. I'm not sure what that is, but Lord Wiki has a photo, and it's not pretty.

It's actually quite gross and terrifying.

4. Considered Lord Wiki's defense of the White-tailed spider.  I don't know if I'm buying it.  What I'm getting is that there's no proof that the White-tailed spider has caused these problems.  No one with this awful necrosis thing has been able to say, Here you go.  Here's the white-tailed spider that bit me. 

But that doesn't prove the White-tailed spider doesn't cause these problems. Maybe it was a hit and run type bite.

I think the only way to know for sure is to have scientists get bitten by the spider; then see what happens.

Who'd want to do that?

I bet there would be people—ones really dedicated to their job.

Maybe they've already done it before.  

5. Reread Lord Wiki's information.

He says scientists DID study 130 confirmed White-tailed spider bites. None of them resulted in necrosis.

The scientist didn't say this proves the White-tailed spiders aren't super dangerous.  He says, though, that it's unlikely that they'll cause problems.

6. Went to the website of Geoff Isbister, a researcher at the University of Newcastle.  He's the scientist defender of the White-tailed spiders. He's the one who did the study.  

Dr. Isbister's expertise is in poison and venom. He'd totally be one of the characters in one of those awesome scary-animal horror movies.

We also might want to seek his help in the case of a zombie apocalypse. 

7. Learned that Dr. Isbister did the study that led to using hot water as first aid for blue bottle stings.

8. Learned that Dr. Isbister also does studies in drug toxicity, specifically ones with antidepressants involving serotonin.    

Lord Wiki says serotonin toxicity can be dangerous, and it can be caused by numerous things. These include opiates and anti-depressants.

They can also be caused by herbal medicines such as St. John's Wort and Nutmeg.  

9. Continued to read The Dragon Man by Garry Disher.  It's good, but confusing.  There are so many characters! I can't keep them all straight.

10. Found out Disney World has wireless internet now.  But I still think I'm going to stay away from blogging a lot.   

11. Remembered there was an Australian zombie film short. I wrote about it on my blog sometime in the past.  I wanted to watch it, but I didn't know how to find it.


I did some thinking, remembering, and searching; and figured out Mia Wasikowska is in it.

I'm going to watch it now.

12. Watched trailer for a full-length Australian zombie movie. It's called Undead, and was released in 2003.

13. Read James post about Spice I Am in Sydney.  It's a Thai restaurant.

We went there too!

I didn't eat much because we had eaten lunch too late.  By the time dinner came around, I wasn't that hungry.

Tim said his food was very spicy.

James says he went to the restaurant in 2008; then went back again recently. This recent time he found the food to be less spicy.  He doesn't know why.

James says,  Maybe my tastes have changed/become more used to spicy food? Maybe it was the careful removal of some of the more obvious pieces of chilli? Or maybe they’ve toned down the spices a little since 2008, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by the spicey-ness this time, as I was briefly last time. 

I don't know....

But now I'm hungry for spicy Asian food.

14. Had travel anxiety about Disney World, and also about Australia.

I'm feeling nervous, scared, and a little bit depressed.

I'm not wanting to go to Australia.

But it's not a big deal.

I often feel this way before a holiday, and I usually end up having a great time.

I felt this way before going to Australia in 2009.

It's weird.  I was excited about going to Disney World until today. Then suddenly it became this dark cloud in my life.  I kept having a bad feeling about the outside of our hotel at night.  Then I realized I'm feeling bad about night in general.

It's ironic, because this afternoon I told someone, in an email, how we had a great time seeing London attractions at night.  I said it was eerie.

Now it's all feeling scary.

Maybe I've been watching and reading too many scary things lately.

15. Felt I might not want to go to Australia if Tim's not feeling well. He's not going to have fun.  And if he's not having fun, it's going to be hard for me to have fun.

We'll see how it goes in Disney World. If he's feeling awful, it might be an indication of how he'll feel in Australia.

We might need to wait to buy the plane tickets. Maybe we'll get a better indication of how he's feeling in December.  Hopefully the prices won't go up too much by then.

17. Had bad dreams.  I was hoping to have good bring me out of this dark funk.  No such luck.

It was a dream within a dream type dream.

I've reading this scary book about a possessed man.  Then I dream that Tim comes to my side of the bed, stands over me, yells at me, and starts hitting me.  When I wake up (not for real) I'm thinking I should get rid of the book—that it's causing the nightmares.   But I'm worried if I stop the book before finishing it, my problems will be worse. I'm wondering if I need to get to the end.   If I leave the book open-ended, it might plague me more.   

Sometimes if I watch something with a cliffhanger, I'll have tons of dreams about it. It's like my mind is trying to work out an ending....or at least a continuation.

Anyway, in that dream there was something about the Queensland Floods.  I have no idea what. I just get a strong sense of the floods. And also there's a sense of Canada, near Niagara Falls. 

Then there was another dream involving an Australian map—cutting and pasting an area of Adelaide and/or Perth.

I think there was also something about moving an Island. Maybe it was like Lost. 

18. Saw crazy Qantas news on my iGoogle.

They're grounding all the planes?

I don't have time to read it now.

And I don't know if I want to spend my holiday studying the whole thing.

Hopefully it will work out.

It's all crazy.

19. Passed the Gaylord Palms Hotel on the way to Disney World. 

One of my memories of our time at that place is watching The Others with Tim.  

It's significant to me, because Jack was a baby the year we were there.  I watched very few movies in my first year of motherhood, so seeing a movie was a memorable experience. 

20. Delighted when Jack got excited over seeing Australia on a big globe at Disney Studios. He shouted out Australia!

Then he asked me if he had overreacted.

I said you can never overreact when it comes to Australia.

21. Signed petition about the shark cull in Western Australia.  

22. Had a nice laugh when reading this article.  

There's an American college student named Alan Joyce. He's been getting a lot of angry messages on his Twitter today.

As for the Alan Joyce that's REALLY causing all the anger, I hope he comes to his senses soon.

23. Read article about how the grounding of the Qantas fleet is causing so many problems.   It's not just hurting the passengers. It's hurting all the people who depend on tourism for their livelihood.   Lots of people won't be showing up for their hotel reservations...and other stuff.

There's worry that Qantas' reputation is going to be shattered around the world.

It's sad.

I used to think Qantas was awesome.

I saw it in such a positive light.

Now, that's not really the case anymore. 

24. Noticed for the first time, that in the Australian section of It's a Small World, they have Easter Island type statues. 

What's the deal with that?

As far as I know, there's no statues that look like that in Australia.


I could be wrong. 

25. Went on the Tomorrowland Speedway ride with Jack.   I noticed that some of the cars are on the left side of the road. And like in Australia (and other places) the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.

Jack and I ended up with one of those cars.

We had fun driving together.

26. Got excited over stuffed animals based on Australian characters.

They had Geoffrey Rush's Nigel. He was cute.

There was Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh.

My favorite though was Bruce the Shark.  He talked!  If you squeeze his fin, you get to hear Barry Humphries.

I wanted to buy him.  I'd take him back to the hotel and give him major cuddle. 

But in the end I decided to act responsible.  If I want to hear Barry Humphries, I can go to YouTube. 

27. Read another article about the Qantas thing.  

Alan Joyce is pretty much putting all the blame on the disgruntled workers.

I think it would be easier to take his side if he wasn't suddenly getting a raise in the midst of all of this. 

Anyway, Qantas says they'll be back in service soon.

The problem is they have a huge backlog. 

It reminds me of when you're sick and stay home from school. Then when you get back to school, you have all this make-up work, plus the work that's being assigned currently.  

It's so stressful.  

28. Reminded by Julia Gillard, in video embedded in article, that this is Melbourne Cup Weekend.

The grounding of the Qantas Fleet would be bad any week, but this makes it so much worse. 

I'm not sure what Gillard did to put the planes in the air.   I do get, though, that she didn't support what Joyce did—grounding the planes.   She said he had other options. 

29. Decided to consult Lord Wiki about the Qantas issue.

He says the workers are wanting better wages and job security.  

An entity called Fair Work Australian ordered an end to the grounding of the Qantas fleet.  

30. Looked at the Fair Work Australia website.

They're part of the government.  

I'm not sure of the whole story.  They ordered Qantas to get their asses back up in the air.   But has anything been decided about the workplace disputes?  Are the workers going to get what they want?   Are there going to be more negotiations? Are they going to continue to go on strike?

31. Skimmed over this article. They have information on what the sides of the disputes want. 

Well, they give both sides of the argument.

The various working groups want raises, job security, no outsourcing, and a few other things.    

Qantas is claiming that the workers want to be paid for jobs that are no longer needed.  There's new aircraft; and with this aircraft that type of work is not needed. 

Yeah.   I don't think people need to be paid for jobs that aren't needed.

They also claim no jobs will be lost due to the expansion to Asia.    Yeah....but jobs can be lost for "other reasons".  Then maybe they'll just SAY it's not due to the Asian expansion thing.   

Could they do that? 

I don't know....

Reading the article, I can kind of see the Qantas point of view.

Yet I don't know if they're being upfront about the whole thing.

Regardless of how much truth is in their claims, Joyce shouldn't have picked this time to get a raise.   And they shouldn't have grounded the planes.  He doesn't need to punish the whole Australian tourism industry.

Whether or not the workers deserve raises, and whether or not Qantas has a right to outsource.....

I have no idea.

I'm too tired to think about it.

I'm going to go back to my Disney Holiday.  

I need to get some sleep.