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16 April 2019 @ 09:59 pm

You can get your own card here!


17 March 2019 @ 02:11 am
Scott McLaughlin is leading the V8 Supercars championship so far. On the out lap of tonight's race, he tangled with another competitor which resulted in neither of them being able to take the grid for the race.

Scott's comment, when interviewed shortly afterwards? "There are worse things happening in the world right now, I'm just getting on with things."

Scott's home town is Christchurch, New Zealand.

It's absolutely appalling, what happened over the ditch on Friday. I ache for the people caught up in it, those who have lost loved ones, those who are still in hospital, and those who are still reeling from the earthquakes only to have this happen in their home town. New Zealand is like an extra state to Australia; there is a large proportion of Kiwis who live here, and a huge number of Aussies have visited the Land of the Long White Cloud. Our Prime Minister (last time I looked it was Scott Morrison) commented on the close relationship between the two countries, calling the Kiwis our cousins, and I think you'd be hard pressed not to agree.
Current Mood: shockedshocked
13 February 2019 @ 09:39 pm
I saw this over on mfu_canteen and had to share.

Remember "Star Trek, The Motion Picture?"
Robert Short posted this pic over on Facebook, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Inner Circle.

"Over the years I have always tried to include U.N.C.L.E. references in my work, though much of time you would never know it. These photos from Lisa Morton Flikr page show you that had the Enterprise stopped to look more closely at the details of V'ger you would have seen this."


How cool is that?
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Current Mood: impressedimpressed
I am so done with being considered responsible for all the ills of modern society; one smartarse on Twitter today suggesting that all Baby Boomers should be saying a big "sorry" to the Millenials for making their lives so hard right now. What the absolute fuck.

One particular lass crapping on about how easy we had it - with nannies and cooks and cleaners from the day we were born, lifelong Medicare, free tertiary education, low interest rates which enabled all of us to buy lots of houses, a clean Earth etc etc etc.... I pointed out that Medicare was certainly not lifelong and she should do some research; that interest rates reached a peak of 17.25% in 1989, that tertiary education was free for 14 years only, between 1975 and 1989 - just in time for Gen X - and before that there was no government assistance for fees, that my generation was the first to campaign on environmental issues etc. And of course she arced right back up saying she's sick of my generation who had such an easy ride.

Yeah real easy. I started work in a bank in the mid 70s. Three years earlier, if I'd been working there and got married I would have had to quit. There was no maternity leave, no compulsory superannuation, no medicare, no child care subsidy... I had to quit work when I became pregnant, and it was five years before I was back in the workforce properly. I was in my first house for six months before I could afford curtains. Floor coverings took even longer; in fact when I sold it three years later I still only had carpet in the lounge and main bedroom as it was all I could afford to get done. And the reason we sold it? I was pregnant, and gave up my job, and we couldn't afford the mortgage on one wage so we downsized from our 11 sq brick home to an old fibro shack that was within our budget. Up until recently air travel was out-of-the-question expensive; my mother had never been on a plane when she died at 61, and I can recall paying $600 for a round trip from Coffs to Sydney, where the same flight now is around half that, and the same fare would get me to New Zealand and back, with spare change.

There is going to be a huge generational wealth transfer over the next two or three decades as the last of us Baby Boomers shuffles off this mortal coil. So many people inheriting wealth that they didn't work for. Does that mean we should despise the Gen Xers too? Or the Ys, if the transfer skips a generation?

And you know what? I refuse to apologise for working bloody hard, for channeling nearly every spare cent into the mortgage in order to pay it off, for taking cheap holidays close to home in order to save money (truth be told, for most of my life it was all I could afford), for buying shares a portion at a time to build a portfolio over many years. Hardly fits the image she's trying to portray.

Gah I'm so angry right now. It would be easy enough to call this chick a latte-sipping smashed-avo munching inner city hipster but that would be a shallow generalisation.
Current Mood: angryangry
03 February 2019 @ 09:38 pm
I planted my new palms today, after re-digging the holes my neighbour so thoughtfully filled in. I had the sprinkler on the spot for half an hour last night, making sure that the ground stayed moist and easy to dig, and then we had rain overnight and this morning as well so it was lovely and damp. I'm quite pleased with them, and am considering getting some more. They're Golden Can palms which grow in clumps and have lovely smooth trunks, unlike the mongrel Cocos Palms I had in Coffs and hated.

Speaking of rain, I've been watching the news from up north - the Townsville area has been declared a catastrophe now. Imagine having one and a half metres of rain in a week! And now they have to open the dam gates fully, so that the dam doesn't burst. Ingham had 150 ml of rain just in an hour today; that's over six inches in the old scale. There's no letup in sight with rain predicted for at least the rest of the week, along with a tornado warning. I just ... WTF? We get cyclones, not tornadoes. What is going on?

And now bushfires in Victoria as well as the ongoing Tasmanian fires.

On the opposite side of the world, people are battling extreme cold. This is a crazy world right now.
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Current Mood: hothot
30 January 2019 @ 09:06 pm
Bit late to this particular party. I read a few of Ursula Le Guin's books in my early 20s but this one escaped me. Better late than never! I love her writing; she's almost poetic in her word choices and can conjure up an atmosphere so easily. Looking forward to reading the rest in this series. There are so many squares where I could have saved this but for now it's my Part of a Series square.

Book Bingo 2019 3

In other news: I nearly killed myself on Monday morning, outside in the heat, digging out two large shrubs. Once they were removed and I'd dug out all the roots, I carefully squared off the resultant holes, making them deeper in the process. I had to keep taking a little rest in the shade, and once I'd finished, after I had a shower and then some lunch, I was too tired to go to Bunnings for the new plants I want. Instead I had a sleep - something I never do during the day normally! My back is sunburnt, and my triceps and thighs are aching, even my stomach muscles are complaining.

So yesterday I get home from work and discover that my neighbour had filled the holes in. Grrr.... He keeps my yard tidy and he thought I'd given up due to the heat, and he was helping me out. Which is lovely... but! I wish he'd ask first!
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
27 January 2019 @ 12:43 am
It's been over 30 degrees for over a week now, and according to the forecast we have another week of it to go. Of course my aircon chose last Thursday to die, and also of course I can't get a technician out to see it before next Thursday. *sigh* Luckily I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom, and a pedestal fan that I've dusted off and put in the loungeroom, but right now all they're doing is stirring up hot air. It's after midnight and still 28 degrees inside.

Last night I went to my sister's house instead of her coming here as she usually does on a Friday night, and on Sunday I'm going to the kids' place for dinner instead of them coming here, so I have a bit of a reprieve. But it's the cats I feel sorriest for. Downstairs cats are fine, temps don't get so bad down there but the upstairs cats are suffering. Bodie-cat nearly broke my heart earlier today; he'd been sprawled out in my bedroom, but when he heard the beep from the aircon remote, when I tried it again just in case it had magically fixed itself, he came stalking out to the loungeroom and sat himself on the floor in front of the aircon unit, staring up at it, waiting for the relief.

Bodie air (439 x 1002)

Poor boy! I went out and bought a tower fan to put in that spot just so he'd have something to sit in front of.

Right now I have a wet flannel around my neck and a plastic bag containing four frozen lamingtons on my head. Hey, it's Australia Day, so I'm pressing the national treat into service! Or setting a new hat trend.
Current Mood: hothot
23 January 2019 @ 09:18 pm
Just once it would be nice to go for a walk in the city at lunchtime and not be accosted by someone trying to sell me something.

No, I do not want Marley Spoon, Uber Eats or Uber for that matter. I already give to the Smith Family, thank you. I don't want to talk about Oxfam, or World for Animals, or any other charity. And please stop trying with the stupid comments used as hooks; I know my earrings are pretty and don't need to be told, and I don't care what you call an alligator wearing a vest.

I know the charities are all spruiking for a good cause, and I know it's the only work most of the kids can get, but just once, surely.... and you can't avoid them. Think you're smart by crossing the street when you see them up ahead, only to find you've walked up to a Unicef stand.

I use my lunchtime walk to clear my head, and to tease out knotty problems. I find I can think better when I'm just walking around, and it's annoying having my train of thought derailed by this bunch.
Current Mood: crankycranky
21 January 2019 @ 09:27 pm
So Saturday night I got to babysit while the kids went out by themselves for the first time since A was born. Well, I say "by themselves"; in truth it was a work function that my DIL had to attend as she had arranged it as part of her job. But they were able to go out and have a relaxing catchup together. And I got to play with the baby! For a couple of hours, anyway. By 7.30pm she was down for the night.

Once she was asleep I managed to finish another book for my LJ Bingo card. I have been dipping into this one whenever I had a few minutes spare, easy to do as it is a book of humorous essays, each of which only takes a few minutes to read. Just basic light reading, something to fill the time. And fill my autobiography / non fiction square as well.

Book Bingo 2019 2

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris.
Current Mood: busybusy
17 January 2019 @ 07:59 pm
My first bingo square, for a book set in your state / country or by a local author. This one fits both.

Book Bingo 2019 1

A Long Way From Home, by Peter Carey.

This is a story about not getting what you want, and learning to live with the consequences; of metamorphosis and adapting to the change in yourself and your circumstances.

It starts out lightly. Irene and Titch Bobs have moved to the (then) sleepy town of Bacchus Marsh, in an attempt to escape the shadow of Titch's famous, domineering father. Irene is determined that Titch will be his own man and this leads eventually to their entry in the Redex trial, a famous car rally that circumnavigated Australia. The author has drawn from history, here, and the rallies were actual events, and a lot of the characters he describes really were competitors. This added to the book, for me; in fact I ended up googling Irene Bobs just to see if she was real.

So off they set, with their neighbour Willie Bachhuber as navigator, a role that he turns out to be surprisingly good at. If you're at all interested in motor races and cars, as I am, this is one of the most enjoyable sections of the book. The author vividly brings to life the trials and dangers of the rally and the inhospitable country which they face. There's a bit of bush-mechanic-ing thrown in for good measure and added colour. The book doesn't shy away from the ugly side of Australia's history, either - in fact it becomes integral to the plot as the story progresses.

Broome is where events come to a head; the book to me stagnates a bit after then but soon picks up speed again as it follows these three on their individual paths.

The story is told via alternating viewpoints; one chapter Irene Bobs and the next Willie Bachhuber, up until the last few chapters where we lose Irene's voice. I felt Irene's story deserved a bit more time, as I don't think it was thoroughly resolved, but then it is Willie whose circumstances continued to change so I guess it's natural that the book should follow him to the end.

The other main characters are the inhabitants of an Aboriginal camp, and Australia itself - huge, desolate, sprawling, with a fringe of coastal green to keep the desert sand at bay. This is the country that Willie comes to know, rather more than he wants to!

I think this book especially spoke to me because I still remember the Australia that Carey writes about; the suburbs on the fringes of cities where the main street was tarred but everything running perpendicular were still hard-packed dirt; the highway no more than a goat track - oh and I can relate to their trip through the Snowy Mountains with no brakes! But even without that firsthand knowledge,it's still an amazing read. I was grabbed by the first sentence - For a girl to defeat one father is a challenge, but there were two standing between me and what I wanted, which was - not to fiddle-faddle - a lovely little fellow named Titch Bobs. And it kept me engrossed all the way.

Edited to add: not sure what went wrong but my LJ cut isn't working - retyped a couple of times and still the whole entry is showing. But I guess LJ is quiet enough now that I can get away with it.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished