Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tobacco, Ordering Food, Tasmania and Kensignton25

1. Finished reading Syrup.

I liked it a lot.  I suggested to Tim that he try reading it.   I'm not sure if he'll like it.  He liked Jennifer Government much more than me.   I'm wondering if Jennifer Government is more his type of book and Syrup is more my type of book.  

2. Had a dream about Australia.   I think this one was influenced by my thinking about our fake trip to Australia.   Yesterday I had been thinking about what type of stuff I'd write.   I thought about how it might be fun making things up.  I asked Jack if he wanted to help me.

The dream:  I'm at a place with a very large bird cage.  There are many parakeets; and maybe they're labeled as being Australian (memory is vague about this). The cage also has The Wiggles dolls, or puppets.

Later I'm writing down the experience for my blog.  It's as if I can decide what has happened or not happened.  I simply make things up.  I'm trying to decide if we had a short trip to Australia and that's how we saw the bird cage; or should I say we saw it somewhere else.

I decide to say we went on a plane ride; then people can interpret it the way they want.  

3. Saw that America's Time Magazine has an article about Australia's plain cigarette packaging.   Maybe it will inspire Americans to want the same thing here.

It disgusts me that big tobacco companies are fighting against the packaging.

On this page of the Phillip Morris website, they claim that they understand smoking is bad for you.   And they say they support people quitting.  If that's true (which most of us assume is not) why would they be against the plain packaging?

Tobacco companies pretend to care about the health of the consumer.   In reality, they care about money.  Why should we believe otherwise?   And their being against the plain packaging makes it even more obvious that consumer health is not their top priority.

The Time Magazine article says that Phillip Morris is against the plain packaging because there's no proof that it will help reduce smoking.  Yeah, but I guess there IS indication that it will reduce the amount of smokers being picky about what cigarette they choose. Otherwise why would Phillip Morris be bothered by any of this?

4. Wondered if the plain packaging will reduce smoking rates. I have no idea. The one thing that makes me think it might is that the tobacco companies are fighting against it. It's obvious they feel threatened.

5. Went to Simply Australian to order more Australian food.

I've decided since we're not going to Australia in 2012, my consolation prize will be ordering a shipment of food every month.  We'll have to stop after April though because it will get too hot here, Our food will melt.  

6. Ordered 3 small little portions of Vegemite.  I asked Tim for requests yesterday and he suggested Vegemite.  The thing is it's expensive.   It's 10 dollars for a medium jar.   And we don't eat it that much, so it's kind of wasteful.

The little portions are 47 cents. It's expensive, but probably a better option for people who like Vegemite just a little bit. 

I don't think any of us like a ton of Vegemite on our toast. I think all three of us can share the single serving.

7. Ordered more Shapes for Jack, and some almost-expired chocolate bars. You get a good deal on chocolate if you're willing to eat things that are close to being past their "best by" date.  

8. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Crawl Home.

There's been one more post added since I last read.  

9. Learned that Ro Dean has been chain smoking since the age of twelve.

I wonder what kind of cigarette packaging is available in the wizarding world.

Does Ro smoke Muggle cigarettes or Wizarding ones?

10. Looked on Statcounter and saw that someone came to my blog from Iceland.

That's exciting to me.

I guess I see Iceland as being exotic.  

11. Learned that my Australian of the day is Sir Stanley Seymour Argyle.

He was a Premier; but I'm not sure of which state.  He was born in Victoria, so I'll guess it was that one.

12. Saw that Argyle was also a doctor.

He attended the University of Melbourne.

In his last year he participated in a protest and got himself expelled.

Argyle was a bit of a rebel.

13. Saw that Argyle started a milk company.

14. Saw that Argyle worked in Kew as a general practitioner.

He also became director of radiology.

15. Saw that Argyle did radiology work for the military during World War I.    

16. Saw that Argyle was pretty big on religion.  In government, he supported kids being taught scripture in school.  He also advocated having places to pray in hospitals.

17. Saw from Lord Wiki that Stanley Argyle was Premier from 1932-1935.

18. Decided I will probably do separate posts for our fake Australia trip.

I'm excited about it.  I'll pick out accommodations, restaurants, places we see, people we visit, mishaps that we have, etc.

It will be a combination of research and imagination.

I think I'll have a great time with it.

19. Started to look at Fredweng's day Eight in Australia Flickr set. 

20. Liked the dragon in this photo.

The photo is taken from a place in Tasmania called St. Helens. Lord Wiki says St. Helens is the largest city on the north-east coast.

21. Learned from Lord Wiki that St. Helens was a shipping port for nearby tin mines.

22. Learned from Lord Wiki that the rainiest month for St. Helens is June.  The driest month is February.

23. Saw that it rained when Fredweng was in Binalong Bay.

Binalong Bay is a small town near St. Helens.

24. Thought this food looked really good.  It might be pancakes.  I'm not sure.  They look thicker than the pancakes I'm used to.  

25. Liked this photo.  Fredweng took it on his way to Launceston.

Tim and I were immediately amazed at Launceston's beauty.  Just by looking out the plane window, upon our arrival, we were impressed.

26. Saw that Fredweng stayed at Launceston Backpackers.  

Here's their website.  

I'm looking at their rates.   I'm unsure of the differences between the room types. 

What's the difference between a twin, single, and double room?

27. Saw that Launceston Backpackers has a cat.   It's very cute.

If I stayed in a hostel, I'd like one that has a cat.  That would be cool.  

28. Went to Funtrivia to take another Australia quiz.

Today I'm going to take a quiz about Melbourne.  

29. Got question #2 wrong and learned that Melbourne has a tennis tournament in a place called Rod Laver Arena.

30. Learned from Lord Wiki that there was a tennis player named Rod Laver.

He's still alive; but I don't think he plays much tennis anymore.  He's 73.

31. Reminded by Lord Wiki (and link colorings) that I've read about Rod Laver before.  He was the one that had a stroke while being interviewed on ESPN.

32. Got question #4 wrong and learned that the Melbourne Museum has the hide of Phar Lap.

33. Mortified that I got question #5 wrong. It's about the Melbourne Cup.   When is it?

I wanted to say November, but then started thinking maybe it was October.

It wasn't October.

34. Got question #6 wrong and learned Melbourne's oldest hotel is the Duke of Wellington.

35. Got question #8 wrong and learned exterior shots for Neighbours is filmed on Pin Oak Court.  

On the show, the street is called Ramsay Street.

36. Watched video of a tourist's visit to Ramsay Street.



The enthusiasm of the guy in the video is really sweet.

I think he's British; and he's been watching Neighbours since he was a little boy.   

37. Enjoyed hearing the fan sing the Neighbours theme.  

He sort of reminds me of Jimmy Kimmel. 

38. Looked at the YouTube channel of the Neighbours fan.   His name is William.   His channel is called Kensington25.   He's originally from London, but has been living in Sydney.

He loves biographies.

His favorite movie is Looking For Alibrandi.  

39. Went back to taking the trivia quiz.  I got the 9th question wrong and learned that Melbourne's Rugby team is called Melbourne Storm.

40. Got question #10 wrong and was reminded that Cate Blanchett was born in Melbourne.

41. Finished the quiz.   I did MUCH worse than average.   I got a 3/10.   The average is 7/10.

Yikes.

42. Decided to watch Kensington25's video about not being a drinker.  I figure maybe I'll be able to relate to some of it. 



So far, I'm loving the video.

He talks about how most people are okay with him not drinking; but other people give him a hard time. They assume he's unable to have fun.

At one point Kensington25 says, I get off on the atmosphere.

I love that.

I think you can feel drunk...in a good way, without drinking.

It's about feeling happy, silly, unrestrained, etc.

The one benefit of drinking I imagine is that it will make you feel loose when you're not already feeling that way.    If you're not drinking you have to depend on other things—your mood, other people's mood, what's happened that day, the music that's playing, etc.  

43. Started to watch Kensington25's video about Perth.



It has a lot of wind noise.

44. Thought about how I strongly associate Perth with Heath Ledger.   When I think of Perth, Heath Ledger usually comes to my mind.

I also associate it with black swans, one of the Tally role-players, and the London building place. 

45. Saw memorial to Holocaust victims at 2:14 in the video.  It's a triangle.  Wasn't that the homosexual sign during the Holocaust?  The Jews got the stars, and I think the gay people got the pink triangle. 

46. Found a website about the memorial.  The site says the memorial is not specifically for gay victims of the Holocaust. 

It's for all the victims.

47. Loved the kangaroo statues at 2:33 in the video.  Kensington25 calls them "cute".   I agree.

48. Liked Kensington25's corny joke at 3:04.

49. Saw a statue of an upside down man named Percy Buttons at 3:54. 

The website that had the Holocaust memorial also has a page about Percy Buttons. 

Percy Buttons was popular from the 1920's to 1950's.   He was an acrobat. Like Kensington25, Buttons was originally from London. 

In Perth, Buttons was homeless. 

He made a little money performing.  The webpage says that sometimes the police would arrest him so they could get him a bed and meal for the night.   I guess they didn't have homeless shelters back then?   Or maybe prison was better than the shelters.

50. Saw that London Court is in the video.   I wonder if Kensington25 felt homesick when he visited there.