Friday, January 20, 2012

Rants, Islands, King's Canyon, and Comments

1. Finished reading Escape From Botany Bay: the true story of Mary Bryant.

It was adventurous and tragic, but it had a reasonably happy ending.

Well, happy might be too strong of a word.  Both of Mary's kids died, and also her husband.  I think it would be hard to find a lot of true happiness after that.  She did gain her freedom though...eventually.  She survived a nightmarish situation.

The next Kindle book I'm going to read is "Over There" With the Australians  by Reginald Hugh Knyvett.

I wonder if I'll like it.

2. Dreamed that Fruitcake left me a comment on my blog.  My post says something about not getting the gift you expected to get from people.   She writes that she thinks she understands.   She gives an example.  She says it's like if you're expecting one thing and instead the person gives you a costume.

3. Enjoyed reading more of Diane B.'s memoirs.  I've been reading a little bit each day.   She has excerpts from her mom's journals which talk about their ship ride from the UK to Australia.  It doesn't sound much different from the just-for-fun cruises people take today. There's food, dancing, new friends, bargain shopping, etc. 

4. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story called How Do I Rebel?  One of the stars of this one is Reade Ainsworth.  Maybe I'll learn why Arti is missing him.

The other character in the story is Zofia Call. She's new to me.

The story takes place in Melbourne's CBD.

5. Started to read.

Zofia is not getting along well with her mom. Her mom doesn't approve of her sense of fashion.

Zofia is wanting to rebel.

6. Learned from Reade's post that he and Arti have broken up. That's sad. I wonder if they'll get back together.

Reade's not doing well in life.   He's very depressed and has been put on anti-depressants.  

Aren't anti-depressants usually for people who are mentally ill or have a medical condition...like seizures?  

Reade is being bullied.  He's lost the love of his life. Isn't it NORMAL to be depressed during those occasions?  Why does he need to be drugged?

It's funny that it's legal for the doctors to drug him with such medications, yet it would be illegal for him to deal with his problems by smoking pot.  Is there really that much of a difference?  

7. Saw that Reade has introduced himself to Zofia. He writes down a message saying he's mute but can hear and understand her.

8. Looked at the biography of Zofia Call.  

9. Wanted to say that if Reade himself feels the need for drugs and that's how he personally wants to deal with his issues, I'm fine with it. I can't say I agree with his choice, but I respect that people make different choices than me.

What I wouldn't be okay with is other people pushing and pressuring Reade to go on the drugs. I wouldn't be okay with a doctor suggesting the drugs. But I would be okay with a doctor prescribing the drugs if requested by the patient.

10. Went back to reading about Zofia.  

Her face claim is Hailey Williams.

Lord Wiki says Hailey is an American singer.

I really wish there were more Australian face claims in Tallygarunga!

11.  Learned that Zofia was born in Greece, so she has the same national heritage as Eudoxia.

12.  Learned that Zofia is seventeen, and she's a university student.

13. Learned that Zofia feels her nose and ears are too large.

I've been thinking about those things lately.

In most cases, if a child or teenager was insecure about their nose, we'd give them pep talks about how everyone is beautiful in their own way.   I don't think many doctors and parents would push a nose job unless there was an actual craniofacial deformity.  

Yet if a child or teenager doesn't have perfectly straight teeth, the dental community will insist it's extremely important to get those teeth straightened.

Karing Dental in Illinois says on their website, Braces have many benefits. Braces can provide you with a higher self-esteem and self-confidence. You’ll notice a better appearance in your teeth and overall face. They also promote healthier, cleaner teeth because it will allow you to brush and floss your teeth better, which will prevent tooth decay and gum disease in the future.

If fixing our teeth can give us more self-confidence, shouldn't we just go ahead and get major plastic surgery all over our body?  What's the point of having straight teeth if our chin's too long, our boobs are too small, our butt's too big, and we're too short?

As for the clean teeth, When you have braces, it's more challenging to keep your teeth clean.

As Karing dental says on this page, With braces, food can easily get stuck inside the brackets, which can lead to plaque buildup. For this reason, it’s important to brush properly after meals and keep your teeth extra clean. Your orthodontist might give you a special type of floss that will allow you to floss in and around your braces. You can also ask to floss your teeth before your orthodontist changes your wires because it’s easier to floss between teeth without the wires. 

Are teeth so easy to clean after braces that it totally makes up for the time, during braces, when they were very hard to clean?   

14. Decided I should get stop ranting and get back to Zofia.  Although maybe I'm in a ranting mood today. I'll probably soon find something else to rant about.

15. Started to read Zofia's history.  

If I'm reading this right, she and her family moved to Australia when she was eight. Her father stayed behind though, because of work.  I wonder then, why did the rest of them move?   Was it for her mother's job?

16. Learned that Zofia's father cheated on her mother.  Her mother became depressed because of this.

The woman he cheated with sounded pretty awful.   She pushed Zofia's dad to distance himself from his family.   This made Zofia very mad, and she ended up disowning him.   Then later her mother remarried, and they produced a baby sister for Zofia. 

17. Proud of myself for  reading the rest of the biography and not finding something else to rant about.

Although who knows what the rest of the day will bring....

18.  Saw that my Australian of the day is Richard Ramsay Armstrong.  He was a naval officer.

Maybe he's the grandfather of the Armstrong naval officer that I wrote about the other day.

I'll go check.

19. Went to check.  Richard Ramsay Armstrong IS the grandfather of Jock Armstrong

20. Learned that Jock's Grandpa Richard died when Jock was about ten.

21. Learned that Richard Armstrong was born in Jersey, but not New Jersey.

22. Learned that before coming to Australia, Armstrong spent some time living in New Zealand.

In Australia, he was sent by the government to check up on Lord Howe island.   Armstrong ended up living there.  At one point, he became a Lord Howe hero by rescuing a sinking ship.

23. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Armstrong was the administrator of the island; but later he lost the job. It seems there were ill feelings between him and the government.

24.  Learned from Lord Wiki that Lord Howe island is considered part of New South Wales.    It's included in the electoral district of Port Macquarie.

25. Wondered about what went on with Armstrong and this island.

In one paragraph, the Australian Dictionary of Biography says he was a hero. In the very next paragraph they say the islanders petitioned the government to have him removed.

26. Figured it out. Maybe.

I'm thinking perhaps Armstrong was a hero to those on the ship, but NOT a hero to the locals. Did they not like him personally, or did they not want ANY person from the Australian government interfering with their lives?

27.  Learned that the government ignored the petition, at first. But then Armstrong started getting other complaints about himself. These complaints included embezzling and illegal liqueur trading. 

All this led to him losing his island job.

28. Learned that Armstrong fought hard to try and save his reputation.

29. Saw that the Australian Dictionary of Biography answers my question in their last paragraph on Armstrong.  They say, His friends sought to protect his memory; Armstrong's party sought to assert his right to natural justice; the island beachcombers sought only the removal of interfering authority and succeeded.

30. Started to look at Fredweng's day Eighteen in Australia Flickr set.   

This set has two pages. I'll probably look at one page today and then one page tomorrow.

31.  Saw a photo of a bushfire.  For something so destructive, it's really beautiful.  

Then again, I think a lot of destructive things are beautiful...tornadoes, hurricanes, explosions, etc. 

32.  Saw that Fredweng took a tour to King's Canyon.  

33. Saw from Google Maps that King's Canyon is six hours west of Alice Springs.

I didn't realize Fredweng was going such a long distance.

I'm guessing he's going to stay the night at King's Canyon. Will he return to Alice Springs, or he is done with that town?

34.  Thought the shadows, in this photo, were kind of cool.  

35. Thought it was interesting that Fredweng took a picture of this woman.   Or maybe she was just in the way of the scenery.

If he did purposely take her picture, did he know her?  Is she a friend?   Or maybe he had a crush on her and snuck a photo?   I think it's interesting that her back is turned from the camera.

36.  Thought this rock looked like he was laying down and smiling.  

37. Lost my internet connection.   Yikes.

38. Interested in the bit of turquoise in this photo.   It's towards the right, slightly above one of the mountain things.

I wonder what that is.  Maybe it has something to do with lighting?   

39. Frustrated.   Now the batteries in my mouse have run out!

40.  Went to Funtrivia to take an Australia quiz.

Today I'm going to take a quiz about Christmas Island.

The only thing I know about Christmas Island is that it has red crabs and a detention centre.   

41. Got question #3 wrong, but I'm confused by the answer.

The question was about the date that Christmas Island was discovered.

It was Christmas. But what year?

The quiz says the answer was 1643.  But then further down, in the explanation, it mentions 1688.

42. Consulted Lord Wiki.   He says I'm the one with the problem, not the quiz maker. I don't read carefully enough.

Both the years play a part in Christmas Island's history.

In 1643, Captain William Mynors sailed past the island on Christmas Day.  That's when the island got its name.  More than forty years later, William Dampier visited the island. If I'm understanding things right, they were the first recorded humans to set foot on the island.  I guess there were no natives?

43. Got question #5 wrong and learned about the Christmas Island flag. It's blue and green and has a bird on it.

44. Looked at Lord Wiki's picture of the flag.   I forgot to mention that it also has the Southern Cross.
45. Got question #6 wrong and learned that 70% of the inhabitants of Christmas Island are Chinese.

46. Got question # 9 wrong and learned that the first elections held for the Shire of Christmas Island were in 1993.

What did they do before that?

47. Got question #10 wrong and learned the highest point on Christmas Island is Murray Hill.

There's a Murray Hill in NYC. There's a lot of Indian restaurants there, and has earned the nickname Curry Hill.    

48.  Finished the quiz.

There was not one question about the crabs.

What's the deal with that?

49. Felt conflicted.   I got an email notification saying that I got a comment on one of my old posts...a very old post.   The comment was opinionated, kind of like one of my rants. I feel an obligation to respond because I feel I should respond to all comments. But I don't want to.   I don't know what to say.

Is it okay not to respond to old comments?  I know some people don't even respond to new comments.

50. Felt I probably should respond....just because in life I've had such bad luck with not getting responses from people.   I feel so often that I'm talking to a wall. I shouldn't be the wall to someone else.

51. Thought about how I don't always respond to responses to comments.   I mean if someone comments on my blog, I respond and then they respond; I often don't respond after that.   The conversation has to end SOMEWHERE.   I don't always have to be the person with the last word.

I also have a bad habit of commenting on people's blogs and then neglecting to see their responses.   Sometimes I remember to check, but often I don't. 

I should probably get back into the habit of subscribing to comments.   I do it once in awhile; but I should probably do it more....especially if I've asked someone a question.

Oh shit.  Now I'm realizing I do, to other people, what is done to me...and I hate it.   It's when people ask me a question.   I spill my guts.   Then they give no indication that they heard my answer.   I hate that!   And I've probably done that to other bloggers.   I've probably asked questions about their post, then never returned to read their response.

52. Decided I'm really going to make an effort to subscribe to comments. The exception will be people who get fifty zillion comments. I don't want my mailbox flooded.   I'll just avoid asking those people questions.  Plus, I usually end up asking stupid questions that can be easily answered by myself if I opened my eyes and read more carefully.  

53. Realized for for the blogs that get excessive comments, I can subscribe if I'm one of the later commenters. Then I won't get as many emails.

54. Thought about how I hardly ever get email anyway.   I'm not on Facebook anymore, so I don't get bombarded by that.  Thankfully!  It might be fun to get blog-comment emails.

55. Decided that despite my decision to subscribe to comments, it probably won't happen.   I'll probably forget to subscribe.  I'm so scatterbrained.

And living a double life has probably made my brain even more scattered.

56. Continued to feel unsure about whether or not I want to respond to the comment on the old post.

I'll think about it......