Monday, January 30, 2006

SUNDAY, HOT, STEAMY.

Forget the title it was just to get your attention to read this. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has put the cost of implementing the National Identity Card at $15 Billion.
That amount would build a Synchrotron in Perth, another in Brisbane and get our almost finished Monash one, on line that much sooner. Synchrotrons benefit people not government and benefitting people is a low priority for Howard. $15 Billion put into research in this country would put our scientists, already in the forefront, way ahead in scientific achievement in the world.
I hereby request that my $750 identity card cost be given to the Monash Synchrotron for research into whether Liberal party members have brains.
Cue Robert Doyle. He wants students to be legally required to sing the National Anthem and fly the flag to enhance respect in the community. 'God save the Queen' didn't leave much room for word replacing but 'Advance Australia Fair' is ripe for our budding hip hop rap teens to go to town on. Mr Doyle said under his plan, children would learn respect for authority. HaHaHaHa, not if they read newspapers reporting on Parliament, dear boy.

Enter stage left, Barmy Joyce is at again. Following up his remarks about RU486, he now criticises the HPV vaccine because it might promote promiscuity. This man should not be allowed out without a muzzle. He said that he would be "personally very circumspect about giving such a vaccine to girls who were too young to cope with the potential consequences of sexual activity". Attention Barmy, it's not an aphrodesiac, its a vaccine that could potentially save the lives of your four daughters. This is the same argument used by Muslim and Christian fundamentalists more concerned with virginity than women's lives.


Now we go straight to my other favourite thing, reality TV, not. One program I will not be watching is The Biggest Loser'. One of the contestants said his son was so embarrassed by his weight that he asked him to drop him around the corner at school so no one sees him. Personally I'd have dropped the brat on his head around the corner. A missed opportunity to teach the kid about looking past superficial appearances. The delicious prize is a lousy $200,000 and a home fitness studio.

I want follow up shows, The Biggest Re-gainer or The Biggest Removal of Empty Skin by Plastic Surgery After the Fat's Gone.

And no, the diet is not going well and no, I'm not getting back on the scales anytime soon. I looked in the mirror this morning and that was enough trauma for the week.

I think I have cockroaches in the airconditioner. I had one on the kitchen door which fell on me this morning, notice he was on the door not in the kitchen, even roaches have their limits it seems. It appears my sister is having her battles with Nature's wildlife in the form of giant slugs coming under the door and snacking on the cat food. She's tried putting down a layer of salt which didn't do a lot for the cat and didn't slow the slugs down one bit.
So I am regaling her with tales of cockroaches and spiders and she gasps, "There's a slug in the freezer!", which leaves me with visions of gravity defying slimers. Turns out she wandered into the kitchen sans clothing, to find one enjoying a four course at the cat's dish. She picked it up in a tissue and put it in the freezer. I can follow the reasoning, it's a bit hard to nip out to the garden in one's nakedness to chuck away a slug but it was a week ago and she'd just remembered. It's okay, she doesn't keep food in the freezer, just the vodka.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

PIGS IN SPACE

Good old earthlings, there’s no doubt about our ability to stuff up. Not content with making a mess of the planet, we have branched into space.

There is more than 9,000 pieces of space debris totalling nearly 5,500 tons orbiting above us. NASA scientists say the debris will grow as items in orbit collide and break into more pieces.

Much of the debris results from explosions of satellites, especially old upper stages left in orbit with left over fuel and high pressure fluids.

The worst area is between 550 miles and 625 miles above the Earth. The International Space Station operates at about 250 miles and the Space Shuttle flights range between 250 and 375 miles so the biggest risk is to commercial, research flights and other space activities.

At the moment there is no viable solution to removing any of the existing large objects before they collide and make more debris. Ideas put forward so far include tethers to slow down orbiters to cause them to fall back to Earth, engines in satellites and booster rockets to direct them down or ground based lasers to disturb satellite orbits but all are costly or impractical.

The European Space Agency launched the first test satellite for its Galileo navigation system on December 28. The Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites orbiting 24,000 kilometres above Earth.

That’s another 30 satellites and the hardware to get them there and while there is an advantage to having a system that’s not controlled by the military it adds to an environmental problem with no immediate hope of being cleared up.

Our first alien visitors may well be intergalactic inspectors on a mission to Planet Garbage.




While I’m talking about pigs ex-husbands, it seems I may have done him a slight injustice. According to New Scientist this week, sex before stressful events keeps you calm (Hi, Warnie). The Blight was in Toastmasters when he met the Blonde so it may all have been an innocent attempt to alleviate stress during those speech contests.

Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley, UK, compared the impact of different sexual activities on blood pressure when a person later experiences acute stress. For a fortnight, 24 women and 22 men kept diaries of how often they engaged in penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) (got to love those initials), masturbation or partnered sexual activity excluding intercourse (boy am I going to get some google hits with this). After, the volunteers (volunteers! I know some blokes who would have paid to do this) underwent a stress test involving public speaking and mental arithmetic out loud.

Brody also made psychological measurements of neuroticism and anxiety (keeping a diary like that would stress me) in the volunteers, as well as work stress and partnership satisfaction. (24 women but only 22 men, right)
Differences in sexual behaviour provided the best explanation for the range of stress responses. He speculates that release of the “pair-bonding” hormone oxytocin between partners might account for the calming effect.

I was going to be more witty on this subject but my stress levels went soaring as a giant huntsman came over the top of my monitor. Thank goodness my chair has wheels and can they go fast. I thought he was down behind the bookcase eating silverfish, stupid prat. He has been humanely stuffed in a plastic bag and dumped outside and I can’t even use that to see if it’s right about them predicting rain since it’s been pissing all day. Now I’ve totally gone off the subject of sex. Spiders and talking about the Blight will do that.


THE COCKTAIL HOUR

This gorgeous dress, made of pink silk gazar with matching pink feathers, was designed by Christobel Balenciaga who was a master at this type of hemline. He often used it in coats and short jackets, the inspiration coming from the bullfighters cloaks of his native Spain. It’s a cocktail dress and made for the cocktail hour. You didn’t rush in this dress it was made for gliding although it’s a bit like watching a swan on water, all the hard work is going on underneath.
You had to start off with a rigid boned strapless bra, girdle to hold up the stockings and no light weight lycra either. Then layer upon layer of petticoats, pulled tight at the waist. You had to be elegant to wear this, while juggling a cocktail glass, cigarette, sometimes with a holder and evening bag. All this while engaging in a witty conversation without falling over the furniture. If you could afford the couture, you could afford the lady’s maid or two that was needed to hook you into the undergarments and the dress.

Now we’re into the 21st Century and the cocktail hour as an elegant engagement has morphed into boozed up binge over the course of many hours or as long as it takes to get off your face.

My interest in the cocktail du jour is finally finding out what a jelly shot or Jello shot, if you’re American, is. I only heard about this a month or so back when an acquaintance told me she was getting ready to party but had forgotten the jelly crystals for her jelly shots.

When I finally get around to googling I’m amazed at how much is out there but I chose the DrinkStreet.com site. Mystery solved. The jelly crystals are dissolved in boiling water, cold water added and vodka or other and the mixture poured into shot glasses. Some prefer it in cupcake papers which can be easily torn away leaving the jelly shot to be slid down the throat in one action. Some prefer to leave out the cold water and use iced vodka instead.

I’m reading through the comments at this site and the whole reason for jelly shots is to get the maximum amount of alcohol in the shortest time. Depending on the type and amount of liquor involved, four to six shots should have you off your face very quickly. The jelly, of course, is to disguise the taste of the alcohol and being jelly they’re easy to make and store in the fridge to waste no time starting the party.

It’s not about enjoying a cocktail, it’s about getting smashed. No elegant cocktail dresses needed, a pair of low rider jeans, fluorescent thong knickers peeping over the top and a t-shirt and it’s, “goodbye, liver”. I’ve seen some weird party drinks over the years but this beats them all. Except for one. Does anyone remember the Bubblegum? That was Ouzo and raspberry lemonade and my stomach turns just thinking about it. I preferred Pernod in a long glass full of ice, one glass only. That was my rule, one glass only. Does anyone remember Cold Duck, sparkling burgundy? The Blight had some spectacular hangovers with that. Then there was Bacardi and coke, bourbon and coke and all the other “and coke”. It was all about disguising the taste of the alcohol with something sweet because it was never for the pleasure of drink, it was always to get smashed. The only thing that’s changed these days is the age of the smashee.

That was the thing about a proper cocktail, it was slow drinking and just like elegant dressing, it’s way too old fashioned. Brandy Alexander, anyone.


Sorry fashion addicts, the blog ate the dress but it was beautiful.

Friday, January 27, 2006

CATS

I wanted to be like everyone else in blogland and post a photo of my one remaining cat but he's camera-phobic. Like a rock star caught with his pants down, this infuriating animal can detect the opening of a camera bag at 2 kms. Even if I get close enough, at the last minute he will put his paws over his face.

I have found a new website http://carnival.isfullofcrap.com/ that hosts a carnival of cats and they are gorgeous.

I will capture him in the end and I'm starting to sneak up on him with the zoom lens.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CHARACTER BUILDING


This beautiful Padparadscha and yellow sapphire pendant is by Brigitte Perreault Jewellery.

This sapphire is a red-orange colour. It's from Sri Lanka, well faceted and about 80 per cent brilliant.

It is one of the rarest and most-prized of the coloured corundums in the world.

The orange can be mixed with pink or violet to give the colour of the lotus blossom called by Sri Lankans, Padparadscha.

Padparadscha sapphires tend to be cleaner to the eye than rubies.

According to crystal lore, this stone improves the character of the selfish and encourages its wearer to think before they act.

It's on my wish list because I'm greedy and I need to address this in my character.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

MY NEW MEME WITH A TWIST

FOUR JOBS I’VE HAD IN MY LIFE
Lady’s maid on the Titanic
Spitfire test pilot
Designer at Tiffany’s
Opal miner

FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Random Harvest
Star Wars
Arsenic and Old Lace
Harry Potter

FOUR PLACES I’VE LIVED
Glastonbury
Malmaison
Shanghai
Melbourne

FOUR TV SHOWS I WATCH
Everything science fiction
Rocky and Bullwinkle
Everything historical
Count Duckula

FOUR PLACES I’VE BEEN ON VACATION
Tristan da Cunha
Vienna
Port Fairy
Camelot

FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY
The Girls
The Penguin
The Pikachu
The Mountain
(they’re just the heartstarters)


FOUR OF MY FAVOURITE FOODS
Chocolate
Potatoes anything
Rasberries buried in vanilla ice-cream
(with chocolate on top)
Fresh baked wholegrain and honey bread
(Hence the fatness, I am a carb junkie)

FOUR PLACES I’D RATHER BE
VIP Suite on the QE11, sipping Vintage Moet
At the Windsor having Champagne cocktails
Shopping at Van Cleef & Arpels with glass of Vintage Moet
Swimming nude with a bottle of Vintage Moet

You can’t yell foul, Link. I looked up the Meme rules, there aren’t any that says it has to be this life which is pauperish and boring. So now there’s a meme within a meme, how many of these are true?
Because I can’t afford to alienate anyone, I won’t tag you except OutofControl who has hit me twice. Although if you would like to indulge by meme-ing (?) around in your fantasy life, be my guest.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

AN ANSWER OF SORTS



I finally received a letter from Senator Fielding, thanking me for my letter, (not emails) and for taking the time to write and share my views. No answer to the questions I’ve been asking for six months or perhaps he just doesn’t do emails. He also sent his very glossy newsletter which I suppose our taxes are paying for.

From this newsletter I quote…..
“Spending half my time in Canberra – and most of that in Parliament House – makes it hard to keep track of real life and the issue concerning real people”. The back page of the newsletter is all about helping pregnant women.
His proposals are:

l. Women considering abortions should have independent counselling from a GP before making their decisions.

2. As part of the counselling, women should receive details of agencies that offer practical support – such as financial assistance, legal advice and parenting classes – to those who wish to continue with their pregnancy.

3. The Federal Government should fund this independent counselling by GPs by allowing women to recover the cost from a new Medicare item.

He says that research shows that at least 64 percent of Australians think that the abortion rate is too high and 87 percent believe it should be reduced.
But people did not want restricted access to abortion.
He believes as a society we have an obligation to support women faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to have an abortion.

His proposals look good but they’re meant for women who would go through with pregnancy if they had support. GPs who push this counselling are most likely going to be pro-life (anti-abortion – tell the truth) and if counselling by Agencies involves putting pressure on young girls to have their babies for adoption then I find that more evil than termination.
Given the state of medicare finances at the moment, he’s got no chance of the Federal government funding this suggestion.

At no time does he address the Medical benefits gap that penalises Rainbow families. He makes no mention of women who want to get pregnant by accessing IVF or ART.
He doesn’t make any suggestions about a decent sex education program for our schools to cut the pregnancy rate for teens. He’d never consider the installation of condom vending machines at High Schools which would not only cut the pregnancy rate but STIs as well.
He’s not concerned about cutting the rate of abortions by reducing the rate of pregnancy.

We all know Family First opposes abortion and so does Senator Fielding and now this man is sitting on a Senate committee to decide about Mifepristone. I don’t believe this man can be objective about this which he sees as an abortion issue and not about whether the TGA should decide on releasing the drug or the Health Minister having the final say.

Barnaby Joyce has already said that he’s worried that women walking around today could be dead if Mifepristone is released without more consideration.
These men are suffering from PMS - patronising mouth syndrome.

If they’re both so concerned about life, why aren’t they shouting from the Senate floor about the babies’ lives that war is taking.

If they asked for letters and petitions banning war, would all those pro-lifers who sent form letters to this inquiry, send any?

I might have more respect if they did but they can’t or won’t see past their own narrow minded agenda of denying women the decision of what to do with their own bodies.

Monday, January 23, 2006

AT IT ALREADY

This is letter from the SundayHeraldSun today.

SHAME ON YOU HEATH
Brokeback Mountain is not a film about love - it is a film about homosexual seduction and rape, deceit and heartbreak. It is not what I call entertainment - there is too much of those things in real life. The use of the Marlborough-man image to sell cigarettes caused damage to millions. To now use the same image to sell homosexuality will cause irreparable damage to many young men deceived by the false "love". Heath Ledger and everyone involved in the film should be ashamed of themselves.

Since the film hasn't been released in Melbourne yet, I presume this man hasn't seen it. Nor by his description has he read the story. The young men seeing it don't have to be sold anything, they already know. As for the Marlborough man, he not only came out as a smoker but gay as well.

Now for some really scary stuff. Don't go down to Federation Square on Thursday unless you love bagpipes. 250 of them are going to play in the Australia Day Voyages Concert. There'll be hundreds of other artists there for the concert but 250 bagpipers! Oh, please please make the nasty nightmares go away. I hope the Blight goes and gets a firecracker right up his.....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

DOUGHNUTS, HMMMMMMMMMM

It's Saturday night, the shops are shut and I don't have a car anyway but I'm still on the edge of a doughnut binge. Thank you Sam at Culturestrain. After weeks of pointedly ignoring Kirstie Alley's nasally, whining, grating voice spruiking Jenny Craig, I now automatically look up to watch that damn doughnut.

I used to hear the words 'chicken fettucine' and mutter, 'go vego, stupid fat tart' but like one of Pavlov's dogs I am drawn to that doughnut. I love doughnuts, iced, sugar, hot, cold it doesn't matter and now I have that yummy badness disappearing into that giant mouth and she's getting paid for it. She doesn't have to pay them the outrageous amounts for their crumby (joke) advice.

Doesn't Scientology teach manners, like it's not polite to speak with your mouth full, especially when it's full of a doughnut that I instantly start to crave. Come to think of it Sam, how much were you paid to get every fat person in the country to focus on that doughnut? Don't do it again or I'll hunt you down, put a doughnut in your hand and gnaw your arm off.


Seeing as I'm low on blood sugar (not even a biscuit stashed) I might as well have a go at TV showing every sport (that's free TV) under the sun without so much as a hint of anything leading up to the Winter Olympics. Winter - ice - skating - World Championships, U.S., Canada and last Thursday European Championships. Not a word about Irina Slutskaya winning her seventh European figure skating title, passing Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt. Is this just a jealousy thing because Melbourne has the Commonwealth games which I'm not going to watch unless they ice over the MCG?

I want an ice skating fix. I need it and so do the other three or five people who'll watch it. The games start on February 10 and I need to ease into the triple loops otherwise I'll spin out. Do something before Desperate Housewives take over again.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

FIFTEEN





The curls have gone and he's heading towards six feet tall and spending every Saturday at the races with his Grandfather. He had several outfits, all colour co-ordinated, all expensive as was the Givenchy aftershave. He had a habit of 'borrowing' the old boy's silk socks and usually the last word as they left was Dad saying "let me see your feet". He learned the art of talking to all ages, manners, race course etiquette and how to scam his way into the Members. They forged a bond not often seen these days between the generations.

We'll forget the sixteenth year. The year of the graffiti artist. The year of his first formal and his first and last hangover. He threw up all over his father's tux even managing to fill the pockets (don't ask) but missed the shoes, the only thing we had to hire. This was the year we bought him his first professional camera and the wild life photographer was born.

Friday, January 20, 2006

IN THE MEME TIME

Hit with two memes this week, both designed to let the world at large know what a nut job I am.
Here are my 5 wierdest habits.

I never step on ants. I'll stomp on anything else except bees, I always say hello to bees. I also talk to dogs and cats when I'm out walking. Unsociable creeps never answer.

My house is generally a pigsty except for my cupboards and wardrobes. My 'in case I ever get asked out' dresses have one wardrobe and their own dress bags. 'Going shopping' dresses and the house rags have another. I always change the minute I get home and hang my dresses up. That's the extent of my housework.

I never pee at parties unless it's in danger of running out of my ears. I try to make it home and leave the toilet door open when I go out. It's okay, I don't have a dog to drink out of the bowl.

I can't leave home without polish on my toenails. It draws attention away from the funny fat legs.

I can't sleep unless I have a shower at night and wear perfume. (which hasn't worked because it's 2.30 a.m. and it's hot)

I HAVE HEELS AGAIN

I am getting skin back on my heels at last but I won't be wearing shoes for another couple of weeks. I was concerned about it taking so long in case my circulation wasn't up to scratch and I never want to take another circulation test in my life.

I have two, well, four sensitive spots on my body, my feet and my fingertips. The latter is why I'm never going to develop Diabetes. The thought of jamming a needle into my fingers every day for a spot of blood isn't my idea of fun. With the feet, it's the memory of that test.

As my surgeon so quaintly put it, "We have to see what's going on inside your funny fat legs before we go putting expensive bits in there". I had to battle to get those expensive bits as it was because they said I was too young and they would wear out before I did. For this test I had to go to the Department of Nuclear Medicine where they would put God knows what into my legs and see if it went anywhere.

I got plonked on the most uncomfortable bed ever and shown a screen where I could watch the 'going up the legs' show. Even listening to them explaining everything I never considered where they were going to put the dye in. It's a good thing I was in the prone position when they did tell me or nothing short of a tank would have stopped me going through the door to freedom. The dodgy knees might have slowed me down but I'd have made it.

They uncovered a tray with SIX syringes with NEEDLES and said one between big toes, one on either side of the ankles. Ankles I could handle but between toes was a whole other world of nasty. I mean I have two feet, two needles between four toes and here they are telling me it would sting a bit. I have a high threshold of pain but not great for sting and on a scale of one to ten, it was way up in the low hundreds and they don't do one foot at a time. Toes first, gritted teeth, inside of ankles then bash the outside ankles to raise a nice vein by which time the teeth are being ground into dust and fingers are gouging holes into the steel sides of the bed of nails I was on.

It was fascinating watching the screen, Nile Delta on the left, Mississippi Delta on the right (no wonder they put that in spelling bees). Right had it over left for speed but at least I did have working veins in there. After it went right up, they make you go walking for an hour to see what happens. If it's good, the veins start disappearing from the feet up. More fascination but not enough to make me go through it again. Never asked where the dye ended up either, probably still circulating but I did look to see if I glowed in the dark that night.

HEY LEFTY


Anonymous Lefty says he won't post photographs if and when he and Mrs Lefty have children
because they're not as cute as his kitten. We had better be prepared if they're as gorgeous as mine was. He never forgave me for the sailor suit or letting him look like Shirley Temple but that's what mothers do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NO NEWS AGAIN

After looking at the headlines, I decided I couldn't comment on the news without a bottle of Serepax so I'm being frivolous again. Can anyone tell me where these falls are, I believe it's the Blue Mountains but haven't a clue where?

"Mr. Bereavement" is still playing around with Miss Ginger Fluff. She has to be female because he beats up any male that comes into his territory. She wandered in yesterday afternoon, politely enquired of his whereabouts, wandered off when told the very old boy was sprawled on the couch and unlikely move until food appeared.
She came back around seven, inviting herself in and talked to me while waving her tail seductively in his direction. I have to say, on further acquaintance, she is not ginger but a soft apricot and cream. I suspect Dad was ginger and Mum was of the fluffy variety but she doesn't have the squashy face of a Persian. She does have a long fluffy tail of apricot and cream stripes which she waves like an ostrich feather. Her face is refined with large eyes, very pointed ears and she speaks in cat but every meaning is quite clear.
They cavorted in the garden until past midnight and I noticed his dish was licked very clean this morning, a romantic supper, perhaps. He's back on the couch sound asleep, getting ready for tonight. It is a strictly platonic relationship and I certainly hope he's told her that.

Great news on the diet front, I have lost 1kg. Okay so it's small news but I'm grabbing at straws here. Anything that keeps me having a breakfast of two slices of wholemeal wholegrain toast, one boiled egg (organic, from happy little chooks on Kangaroo Island), a litre of water and fresh grapefruit juice is good.
That is not my idea of breakfast. This is breakfast. Croissants with organic rasberry spread, not jam but spread, cups of freshly brewed coffee, peach and orange juice with fresh passionfruit floating on top. Consumed sitting on a balconey overlooking the ocean, alone, because the gorgeous bloke from the night before is still sleeping, exhausted.
If it ever happens pictures will be posted for the drooling over.

Now wasn't that better than reading the news.

MORE BITS

Memo to QueerPenguin! If you're going to renovate the blog, at least give your poor fans some kind of warning. Nothing like logging on and getting the eyeballs scorched with a heavy dose of radioactive pink. I thought I'd moved into the twilight zone. I love the Carmen Miranda Penguin, jealous of it actually, I want it.

I slept in again this morning. I didn't think I'd miss those golden eyes boring into my skull at 7 o'clock precisely and that includes adjusting for daylight saving. I'm not speaking to his Lordship's brother who, showing no respect, brought home a friend to play with. Miss Ginger Fluffy is new to the area but is not a stray, I hope. We always imagined we had an invisible cat sign on our gate that automatically flashed "vacancy" when one departed as we never seemed to go below three cats. For interested parties, I can recommend the Crystal Kitty Litter, practically have to mortgage the house to buy it but it's worthwhile.

While I'm on about expensive goodies. Passionfoods at 219 Ferars St., South Melbourne have Green & Black's organic vanilla chocolate but at $6.95 for a 100 gram block I'd have to think twice about breaking a diet for it.

I have a question for the Kraft Company. If you're going to make your food in China, where are the raw ingredients coming from? I spend half my time in the supermarket trying to buy only Australian or at a pinch, New Zealand so Kraft is out. Dick Smith has a new customer.

I have been trying to keep this post light to keep my mind off the obscene amount of money that the U.S. will probably spend on this immoral war but it's not working. The good that nearly two trillion dollars would do in this world for poverty and disease, to stop the suffering of children and make Americans respected is incalcuable. But instead a few will get disgustingly rich, millions will die and they wonder why people will spit at their flag. Can someone shove a photo of dying children in the snow of Pakistan under Bush's imbecile nose.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

BITS AND OTHER BITS

I came across this quote today and it reminded me of several of our politicians of both sides.

"He did not care in which direction the car was travelling, so long as he remained in the driving seat".
Lord Beaverbrook on Lloyd George.

Monash University researcher Mr. Luke Howie has found, as part of his PhD research that there is a growing level of discreet and covert discrimination amongst workers in Melbourne. He interviewed workers about their daily routines since llth September, 2001 and found that people were fearful and cautious of sitting with, or near, others on public transport who they deemed to be of foreign or middle-eastern appearance.

We haven't had a large-scale terrorism attack here but many Australians are almost obsessive about a perceived terrorist threat. Mr. Howie said, "This fear and dread has attached itself to our psyche and many people living and working in Melbourne have changed their personal and professional behaviour to reflect this."

According to Mr. Howie, many Australians identified September ll as a turning point in their lives. Since then, acts of terrorism have continued to occur around the globe and public anxiety about these events has heightened. This has not been overtly displayed but has occurred subtly. For example, people classed as foreigners are being treated differently by areas such as the retail sector, who fail to engage in customer service with them.

Even though a large scale terrorist atttack on Australian soil is highly unlikely, Mr. Howie said the perceived threat of terrorism was changing Australia to a society where people were fearful of one another.

One thing Mr. Howie hasn't said is whether the people he interviewed put their fears down to just the September ll and consequent terrorist acts or if it's been reinforced by this government's attitude and newspaper and television reporting. When I was travelling into the city a week ago, I was amazed by the numerous nationalities boarding the train. Call me naive but I thought this was marvellous, that people from all over the world could sit in a carriage, in peace. I catch a lot of taxis so I have had drivers of all nationalities and, there's no pc way to say this, of all colours. Because of my knees I usually sit in the front seat and I have never felt the slightest fear or discomfort with any of these men. It's a sad thing that Mr. Howie has uncovered but it's reinforced every day by this government just as they are reinforcing their views of gays and lesbians as second class Australians.

Mr. Howard remains in the driving seat.

Mr. Howie's research wasn't the only interesting thing I found wandering through Monash University. I have a name, I am a cyber-slacker. I have washing to put on the line, ironing up the ceiling, enough dust on the furniture to grow weed, er, weeds but because I am here on the internet, I am cyber-slacking. Cyber-slacking was a term first used in 2001 and refers to staff who use their work internet access for personal reasons while maintaining the appearance of working.

Dr. James Phillips and Miss Kerryann Wyatt from Monash's School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, assessed the internet use of 83 participants. They looked at five personality traits - neuroticism, extraversion, openess to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness - and their potential for predicting internet use.
The study showed that cyber-slacking could seriously affect workplace productivity, with participants reporting they spent more than a quarter of their time on the internet on non-work related tasks.

I thought I was being lazy, procrastinating and googling for fun but I'm a cyber-slacker in a big way.

THE OTHER BOOT

This is Lord Greystoke who left me this morning at 8.30. He's spent the last 3 months sitting on his feather cushion by my computer desk, only wandering out to eat or use the kitty litter.
He'd only go outside if I carried him and walked around the garden with him. He was a grand old Victorian gentleman of a cat who used to sneak in our back door when it was cold and sleep in a corner, making off when he heard us get up. I finally caught and caged him in 1991 and after being de-sexed and vaccinated, he lost that thick- necked tomcat look, becoming refined and luxury loving. The vet estimated his age then at about 3 years so he's had a long and happy life. I thought his teeth, never the best, were the problem but my vet found a huge tumour in his mouth that was closing over his throat so the kindest decision was made. I've done this many times before and I always hold them til they go, that way they're never frightened.
Because I trust my vet completely I gave her permission to do a dissection of the tumour. This adds to her knowledge and may save another animal. She took him away wrapped in his pink blanket. It will take a week or two to stop putting down two bowls and I'll still automatically step over him when I turn off the computer.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH

Going back to one of my earlier posts about our government's rules about a celebrant having to say that in Australian Law, a union is between a man and a woman. Britain has gone in the opposite direction. There registry offices are dumping "marriage" and "wedding" and won't refer to marriage except where legally necessary. This is in the name of equality since civil partnerships became legal for gays. Good for them and I didn't hear that Britain has been struck by thunderbolts or disappeared under the waves.

The U.S. says it has no objection to Australia exporting uranium to China. The U.S. Energy Secretary expects the world to make nuclear power part of it's energy mix. Alex Downer says the world needed to debate the wider use of nuclear energy. They both say this will allow reductions in greenhouse emissions. Nobody said where they plan to store the waste. This waste is already piling up around the globe without future increases in nuclear power. And how can the U.S. say yes to nuclear energy for the world when it denounces Nth Korea and Iran for using their nuclear expertise to build bombs (I've no doubt they are). Today's friend can easily be tomorrow's enemy, a lesson the U.S. doesn't seem to be learning very well.

I tried to find words to describe the cruise ship that was docked in Melbourne, big, very big, bloody enourmously huge. The Diamond Princess even has a miniature golf course along with several swimming pools. I kept thinking it was going to tip over, it looked so top heavy but I suppose all those passengers will keep it steady. I don't fancy being locked into something with four thousand people none of whom I might like. Four thousand passengers heading for the life boats in an emergency is something else I don't want to think about. Protesters had a point about the Diamond Princess. If a ship that big could sail up the bay, why are we dredging a deeper channel?

It seems that everyone is talking about Brokeback Mountain and have been for the last 6 months so I can't understand why theatres in the U.S. booked it in and then banned it because of the story line. I liked the way Heath Ledger put it, "it's that a soul within a vessel falls in love with a soul within another vessel, in this case in the form of a man". I don't know if they're his own words or some publicist's but it's a great explanation of love not just gay love.

Still on America, makes a change from Australian stupidity. The Society of Adolescent Medicine has reviewed the goverment funded abstinence-only programs and have rejected them. "Based on our review of the evaluations of specific abstinence-only curricula and research on virginity pledges, user failure with abstinence appears to be very high. (gee, surprise) Thus, although theoretically completely effective in preventing pregnancy, in actual practice the efficacy of abstinence-only interventions may approach zero".
The authors of the report found that LGBT teens were ignored because abstinence-only programs focus on no sex until marriage.
"U.S. AIDS relief programs abroad spend at least 33 percent of prevention dollars on abstinence-only programs".
In other reports I've read, some overseas organizations decided to go it alone without these funds in order to provide condoms, contraceptive advice and terminations, all of which went against the U.S.'s dictates.
"The U.S. government has spent over $l.l billion of taxpayers money on programs that don't work". (How much did we send in aid after Katrina?)
Church groups have said if teens practice abstinence then they don't need sex education or health information on sexually transmited infections including HIV. They think that if teens look at their "What would Jesus do" bracelets every time they have a decision to make, they'll be just fine.
Well now someone has finally said what the abstinence programs really are, a great steaming pile of manure.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

SOMETHING'S CHANGED

I usually don't have a good time over Christmas and New Year or for the whole of January. I uncurl from the foetal position when February approaches. This year has been different. No floods of tears, a trickle here and there. No increase in chemical assistance to get through the jingle jangle of jolly ho ho ho's.

The Blight didn't annoy me by sending a Christmas card and I repaid the favour by not sending him a birthday card reminding him that he is officially OLD and I'm not.

I did not overload what's left of my credit card with goodies, not even for myself.

I did not buy a lot of chocolates for Christmas. I did that after when they were half price and I could get twice as many.

I restrained myself from buying Christmas ornaments in the sales. I haven't put the tree up for years but I can't resist ornaments.

Even New Year's Eve didn't bring on the usual depression. It's always been horrible. Even as a child I always thought, I've just survived one lousy year and now I've got to do it again. I would have been right at home with the Addams family.

I even managed to keep a secret. Not once did I lose control of my mouth and tell the family that the Brick Outhouse had a new car hidden at my place. I had no problem with this since he has actually bought a family friendly car instead of a VroomVroom. Even this is complicated. He has to sell his ute to pay for a new engine for this one and as soon as it's going, he can sell the VroomVroom which is single tankedly keeping the oil countries afloat. Only one problem, the new one is the same make and colour of the Blight's. After a week I stopped wanting to let the tyres down in a reflex action. It worried the neighbours until our resident toffee nose just had to ask if he was back.

Back on track about my happy happiness including my grogblogging adventure. Who'd have thought, me going out in the first week in January. Power to the Goddess in my soul. I knew it wouldn't last and it didn't. One step on the scales this morning and the balloon didn't burst, it went into orbit around Mars. Only 4kgs over which doesn't sound much if I say it fast but it's 4 added to the 5 I was aiming to get off by the first quarter of 2006.

I immediately took affirmative action and ate the piece of chocolate mudcake in the freezer (for emergency depression). I checked the pantry for illegal substances, clear, fridge, clear, chocolate stashes, clear. Salads, tofu and ice water all ready. Even saying it makes me feel righteous.

Exercise is next. Moving the chair away from the computer does not count. Thinking about vacuuming the floor does not count. Walking to the shop and having capuccino doesn't count even without the sugar crystals. Anyway walking is not an option at the moment until the feet heal. I might be able to spin another week of pathetic inactivity out of the possiblity of dangerous infection given the state of dog littered footpaths. I've seen you and your dogs, you might carry those little bags but you never pick up anything.

Looks like I might have to add a weight report to my monthy earthquake report and shame myself into losing the seasonal blubber before Greenpeace takes out a protection order on me.
I weigh 135kgs.

Still a good start to 2006. No major depression. Same level of crushing debt as 2005. Getting back to my natural food diet (chocolate is not food, it's medication). I'm thinking exercise. I've stopped being polite and hung up on four telemarketers in two days, although one doesn't count since it was a machine offering me a holiday in Florida but I swore at it anyway for practise. My mother's not annoying me, yet. I have another day out in February booked.

I'm happy. I wonder when the other boot will fall.

1984 IS LATE

I read this article at Rodney Croome's blog, saw it again at the Australian Coalition for Equality website, went to the original news article and finally printed it out to make sure I had it right. Most, if not all, couples who choose a celebrant to marry them do so because they aren't religious, don't want it in a church and want to write their own very personal vows. They want words that relate to them and how they want to live their life together. Now this stickybeak government is making sure that heterosexual marriages conform to their traditional idea of husband and wife.

I quote, "In a series of edicts to civil celebrants that overturn at least 30 years of accepted practice, the Attorney-General's Department insists couples must exchance vows only as "husband" and "wife". Celebrants must also remind everyone that "marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman". Attorney-General Philip Rubbish, er, sorry, Ruddock just wants to make sure civil celebrants understand their legal obligations.

Kim Power, a celebrant and lecturer in civil ceremonies at Monash University says it's about shaping the cultural imagination. It means that every time you go to a marriage ceremony, from the time you're a flower girl to the time you're a grandmother, it will be re-inforcing the message that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.

Under the Marriage Act, each party must take the other "to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband) or words to that effect. "Partner" could be subsituted once but not anymore. "Spouse is acceptable but partner does not necessarily signify marriage. This is according to guidelines issued in November, 2005.

Celebrants are toeing the government line in case the marriages they perform are declared invalid. They must also remind the bride and groom that "marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman". The words " people" or "persons" in place of "man" and "woman" cannot be used " as this could signify two people of the same sex".
The vow "I take you as my partner in marriage" is no longer acceptable. If I was daft enough to marry again, I would be saying "I take you as my partner in life" and damn the illegality.

This goes with the government's thinking about compulsory courses before getting a marriage licence. Their thoughts of legislating compulsory counselling sessions before the 'no fault' (how long before they touch that) divorce which can only add to the trauma.

This is not just re-inforcing the idea of marriage between a man and a woman. It's the government and it's religious backers thumbing their noses at the gay community. Rubbing it in that they're 2nd class citizens again. Putting across their message that gays and lesbians can't have long lasting relationships so why bother letting them have a legal ceremony.

Once again the government is making laws, guidelines and decrees in my name without asking me. It looks like another round of letters going out and this time I hope someone has the manners to reply to this now swinging voter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

PAIN RELIEF


My head hurts because I'm trying to write three different posts and a letter to a politician.

My feet are hurting but getting better.

I need some pain relief and there's nothing better than a photo of Henry. If I put this up as wallpaper, his eyes are green not blue. I'm feeling better already.

Serious blogging will resume when I stop drooling.

Monday, January 09, 2006

WISH I'D SAID THAT

Every now and then while meandering through the blogs I come across a post that is so good that I wish I'd said that. "Terribly terribly tired of the abortion debate" is one of those posts and you can find it at http://silentspeaking.blogspot.com so go and have a read.


No mention of the cockroach plague but we have a plague of flies, gnats, midges, mossies and it's the worst in years. According to the CSIRO, good spring and early summer rains provided perfect breeding and hatching habitats. Years of drought have led to fewer dung beetles and therefore more dung and flies. (Why does Parliament spring to mind?)

But we're saved. The spiders that eat them are also growing in numbers. Top of the list is our favourite, the red-back followed by the white-tail, black house, wolf, Victorian funnel web and the trapdoor, a fang waving sweetheart that can live up to 20 years. Now if the cockroaches are going to eat the spiders then I might be a bit more friendly. I told you it was the weather.

Even the polar bears are copping it from nature. The ice cap formed late this year and the bears starved because they use the sea ice to hunt seals. Not only starved but drowned as they had to swim longer distances from ice floe to ice floe. As if this wasn't enough hunters are paying $40,000 to hunt and shoot them as trophies. Let's make it a real sport, $40,000 gets them 4 Innuit spears, a hunting knife, snow shoes and a head start over the bear. The bear gets to play for free. Now that's sport.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

MY BIG NIGHT OUT

In the last five years since the Blight left, I have been out a total of 7 times at night. I have been to the city once in 9 years and that was last year for the marriage equality rally. I've been to Monash Uni. twice, once by bus. So going out to grogblogging night is a big deal even if technically it's not grogblogging when I don't drink. And it's not as though we are really strangers either.

I put on my best dress and found the cockroach from the other night. The swine is now hiding in the wardrobe. I get out my shoes and there's a faded note, 'use bandaids, these hurt'. My handbag has a spider in it and I'm starting to feel a little Cinderellery. By the time I spackle the face and wrestle the hair into submission, I'm glad I've taken vows of spinsterhood. I change the necklace after I slam the drawer on the first one which snapped before I strangle myself and start to think that I'm too old for this. Being old means I came from a distant galaxy far, far, away where going out meant getting dressed up and not throwing on stretch pants and a T-shirt, (think Jabba the Hut wearing Target).

Then it's feed the cats, remember to leave the lights on and check knickers before shutting the front door. Don't laugh I've made it to the front gate before rushing back to grab them. Well, there's no point in having them on in the house, they wear out and they're expensive.

The train is on time but confuses me by going through Flinders Street before the loop so trying not to look like a tourist, I hop out, check the board and hop back. Then it's Melbourne Central, which was Museum the last time I used it. I walk out and feel like Alice in Chunderland. There are lights, shops, escalators that go up and up, flashing signs and a supermarket (?). The only word is garish, only word without the swearing. Signs are hidden or non-existant and I negotiate the multiple levels knowing that the sun is above, somewhere. My feet are hurting. By the time I stagger to QV square, they're more than hurting and I keep saying, 'If Ingrid Bergman could do it in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, I can make it across the square.

I hit the restaurant, sit down and discreetly check for blisters, having plenty of bandaids. The feet have decided to by-pass blisters and go directly to flaying and three layers of skin are floating off the back of my heels. Women are the masters (mistresses?) of invention so I simple slipped off the shoes, bashed the backs down and wore them as slides. After a soda/lime/bitters and a handful of panadol, I started resembling a human again.

The company arrived and it was useless introducing ourselves by real name so it was blognames all round and instant recognition. Somebody please tell Tim Blair there wasn't a retard in sight.
After dinner and several video viewings of Mr. Lefty's new kitten, adorable, we wandered across the square to meet the rest of our bloggers for drinks. Big surprise, no retards here either.

I even managed to get a nice taxi driver home, an Ethiopian Coptic Christian who told me that today was their Christmas Day and described the celebrations. He was surprised I knew so much about his country although it was mostly the geology of the place. Mummy's little soldier was waiting by the gate to welcome me but managed to be at his food dish before I had the front door open. Cupboard love, I think they call it.

I'm glad I pushed and prodded myself to go. Going out alone to an unfamiliar place to meet, well not quite strangers takes a confidence I'm in short supply of. It was worth it to meet such an enjoyable and pleasant group of people but next time I'm wearing thongs.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I'M NOT FINISHED WITH THE ROACHES


I don't seem to be able to get away from horrible little animals. I open New Scientist for a relaxing read and I get the amount of wildlife running around an office and breeding on computer keyboards. According to NS. "the office is teeming with life: from silver fish infesting forgotten files, to dust mites feasting on showers of dead skin and cockroaches cleaning up the remains of lunch".
"The warm, possible moist conditions of the average office chair make it the perfect home for dust mites." Dust mites are globular, hairy arachnids related to ticks and spiders. They feed off dead skin infested with fungi. (Enjoying breakfast, Ron).
New Scientist suggests turning your keyboard upside down and giving it a good shake. Anything can fall out from dead skin, hair, crumbs, sugar and worse. (worse!!!) All perfect food for flies, maggots, mites and silverfish.

I gingerly picked up my keyboard and gave it a whack and I tell you it's the cleanest object in this house, nothing came out. So we're back to our favourite cockroaches, their dung and dead scales are highly allergenic and they have a hoard of pathogens from drains, faeces and carrion. (Breakfast still down, Ron) I'm really starting to lose it with cockroaches.

I haven't finished NS yet. "There are 400 times more bacteria on a desktop than on a toilet seat". "A half full coffee cup is an ideal breeding ground for furry fungi and bacteria". There was more but in the interests of my sanity I though I'd Google for old wives tales about roaches. Plenty of urban myths about where cockroaches can hatch or make a home in the human body, all of them disgusting.

Only one old wives tale for keeping them out of the house and that said to spread Catnip around and that will deter them. Well duh!! Considering how many cats would be rolling round in hallucinatory bliss in said Catnip, no roach in its right mind would come near.

What I couldn't find was a tale I remembered about giant cockroaches in copra cargoes that used to eat the toenails of drunken sailors or maybe that was copra beetles. I couldn't find it any way.

In my quest I did find this site http://www.helpingwildlife.com/cockroaches.asp. This site has everything you need to know about living in harmony with wildlife. In the section on humane cockroach control they say killing cockroaches is cruel and futile. They tell you how to trap and release the roaches humanely, *thinks how can I get to the White House?*

I also know now that the little sneaks can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Half a can of spray last night and the b*****d's holding his breath! They can run about 59 inches per second and actually could survive a thermonuclear explosion. And for the grand finale, they have found a species in Borneo whose bodies are four inches long (stay away from Borneo OoC) so lets add them to the 3,500 other known species.

And from WWW.nature.com, lady cockroaches prefer wimps and the Bear reckons I'm hard on men.

Friday, January 06, 2006

THE COCKROACH UPDATE

I nearly changed that title because my guttermind suddenly started laughing and you can figure it out for yourself.

I have a beautiful dreamcatcher hanging over my bed, in the window because I like to sleep in moonlight and nothing else. (insert any 'whale on the beach' jokes here) I made this myself from gold wire and feathers I've picked up in the park from native birds. None of those dyed rubbishy feathers from China, good 'fallen out of the bird naturally' pretty coloured feathers. I also added crystals which give me rainbows on the ceiling without any chemical assistance.

Dreamcatchers are supposed to catch the bad dreams and let the good ones through. Still haven't got the right tattslotto number yet. It is not supposed to be a resting place for a giant black cockroach. Whatever that ad is for the cockroach spray on tv at the moment, you know the one where the kid is in danger from a zillion cockroach germs until Mum splatts it with whatever. That must be some other country's cockroach, ours are not little brown things, ours are big, black and shiny, huge more than big.

So I have a dreamcaught cockroach and nightmares already about it falling into my hair in the middle of the night. The only way to get it is to hop on the bed, put a plastic bag over the roach and spray it. Slight problem, getting on the bed is a major thing with me. I have to climb on the blanket box, throw a leg over the cast iron bed-end and walk to the other end, carrying plastic bag and spray. Don't ask why I didn't put them at the top of the bed in the first place, I'm in kill mode, not think mode. And after all that and half a tin of spray, the critter shoots out of the plastic bag, drops to the floor and disappears. I have a queen size bed, it's not on wheels, I can't move it and the thing is under there.

We need the big guns. Surface spray around the carpet under the bed and hope it doesn't cross the barrier and starves to death. I, on the other hand will be breathing in carcinogens all night and won't last any longer than the roach. Memories of that X-files episode with the robot cockroaches springs to mind. Where is Muldar when I need him?

Totally away from cockies. I have been to see my M-I-L who is now totally confused because I went on the wrong day. Sitting at Frankston station and watching teenagers stroll past, I am asking myself the most fundamental question of the universe, 'What in hell is holding up their pants?' Girls have hips but the jeans don't go past them. Boys don't have hips and half don't have backsides either. They keep mobiles, money and keys in pockets but their pants don't fall down. The law of gravity is in question, which brings me to another question, 'Why don't their mouths fall open with the weight of all those steel piercings?' I tell you travelling on trains these days can really give you a headache.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

ADOPT MY WILDLIFE....PLEASE!

Can anybody out in blogland tell me how to get a cockroach out of a wall clock? My kitchen clock to be precise, where he relocated after being turfed out of the toaster. I'm quite nifty at trapping huntsman spiders in jars but cockroaches don't seem to be as clingy so the little bleeder whipped up the wall and into the clock. He's still there, as far as I know, unless he's the Michael Palin of roaches and managed to navigate to the linen cupboard at the other end of the house. That one didn't get away.

I've never known such an invasion of critters into the house. Silverfish are treating the bathroom and toilet like Disneyworld. Just lately I've taken to giving the toilet roll a bit of a bash, just in case. Supposedly sprinkling talcum powder on their antennae disorients them and they can't get back to the nest, hidey hole, whatever. I have enough powder on the bathroom floor (my mother's best advice, always have a white floor, you'll never notice the powder) to confuse the bejabbers out of them but they seem to be using it as a ski slope.

I'm well supplied with huntsmans as well. I know about the one in the study. He's a cunning one, never gets on a flat surface where I can slap a glass on him so he's safe, for the moment. I didn't need his friend on the back of the toilet door though. Nothing like settling in for a bit of navel contemplating and looking into a pair of beady eyes and knowing you just missed touching him when you opened the door. My toilet door opens outwards so he was out of range, just. One of the advantages of being single is never having to shut the door otherwise one of us wouldn't have made it out alive. You may ask why the door opens outwards and I will only give the bare outline; Southern Cross Hotel, very snooty event, heavily pregnant, small toilet, door opening inwards, trapped, embarassment. Another spider soul saved by whacking it on the end of an incense stick and out the window.

Fast forward to yesterday's junk mail, a shake to dislodge cockroach and huntsman lands on ample bazookas. A screaming reflex flick lands him on the drive where he stands, fangs on view and dares me to go past while starting to inch forward. He's really lucky I didn't have shoes, maybe not shoes, hobnail boots, large heavy hobnail boots. I went round him, tiptoeing through the bindii.

Two nights back, in the shower, middle of the night, I missed my chance to hold a Daddy Long Legs and ask him where the cows were. I don't shower with my glasses on and I can't find the soap if I drop it so when something slides down my face and it's not water, I think I can be forgiven if I rip its legs off, accidently. I should have held it gently and asked questions, like hell. I mean if he'd swung a little more towards the taps he'd have been safe but not. landing. on. me.

Don't get me started on the size of the blowflies. They lumber through the house like B52's on a mission and flyspray doesn't help unless you actually hit them with the can. I shut the doors but they're big enough to open them, it's the only way I can think of for them to get in. I'd like to know what the birds are doing. Why aren't they eating these things? If they don't start doing their job properly, I'm not filling up the birdbaths and the seed feeding's getting cut.

Now about the cockroach in the clock...........

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ADDICTION

I was going through some sites that I haven't visited for a while and found a very interesting article. "When Religion is an Addiction" was written by Robert N. Minor PhD. He's a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas. His book, Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society: the Minor Details was listed as one of the "Top Gay Books of 2003".

This is a small extract: "You can't argue with an addict. Arguing religion to one so addicted plays into the addictive game. Arguing about the Bible or tradition is like arguing with the alcoholic about whether whiskey or tequila is better for them. It's useless and affirms the addiction."

The rest of it can be found herehttp://www.gaytoday.badpuppy.com/minordetails/.

The whole article is excellent and really gives an insight into why it is useless to argue religion or, I might add, politics with certain people.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS

The start of the new year and already two items in yesterday's SHS have made me mad.

"The PM has encouraged couples planning marriages to take pre-marriage classes to help cut the divorce rate. But he's wary of making completion of such courses a condition of getting a marriage licence."
Mr. Howard said high divorce rates were the result of a period of history in society in which "the value of life-long partnerships and commitments tended to be denigrated".
He said it was very interesting when you read research about the attitudes of young people. The thing they want most is a stable, happy family environment.

Yes, it is interesting PM, especially if, like me, you read some of the on line journals of young gay people because that is exactly what a lot of them want. And that is something you deprived them of. A gay couple is just as capable as a heterosexual couple of wanting a life-long partnership and commitment.

One in three marriages end in divorce and marriage relationship expert Howard wants to cut this. Simple solution, you simple little man, endorse civil unions and watch the long-life partnership and commitment rate soar.

The other item is about a plan to weigh pupils to fight obesity. Primary school heads believe monitoring students weight will help parents keep them healthy and reduce the cost to the community of raising unfit children. I was really hoping that at the end of this item would be a line saying 'HaHa, this was a joke'.

Do they have any idea what this monitoring could do to a child's self esteem? The stress of worrying every minute of the day if the next weigh-in would be up or down is not going to produce mentally healthy children. How would this help parents who allowed the children to become overweight in the first place?
Like Bulimia and anorexia, overeating is also an illness and not all overweight children get that way from sitting in front of a computer and playing video games. Not all children have access to parks or gardens for exercise.

So are the primary school heads going to sort the children into psychological groups as they weigh them?
Are the weigh-ins going to set the foundation for bulimia and anorexia in normal weight children or is it only going to be the fatties singled out?

Eating disorders are a symptom of deeper issues, of control and internalised anger no matter at what age they occur. Instead of keeping their weight under control, children with problems will give up because it's too hard, eat more because of the stress or go to the other extreme and not eat. Specialists in eating disorders constantly say how easily the balance can tip in children.
Are the primary school heads going to employ eating disorder specialists?

They'd be better off looking at the food in their tuckshops and educating children in a balanced diet. Encourage them to learn how to cook especially food from other cultures. Teach them to read the ingredients on labels, to be aware of what they are consuming. This is part of learning about life skills. Find out if the kids have underlying issues.

This is something I know about. I was chubby but not obese as a child and I was under enormous stress. My drug was food, my comfort was food and my hiding place was food. No-one, not parents nor teachers knew the kind of pain I was hiding and in those days they wouldn't have even thought about it. It was a habit that followed me into adult life so I know what a weekly, fornightly or monthly weigh-in at school would have done to me.

Get some commonsense, people, and find a better way, a more positive way to help overweight kids instead of a regime of humilation that wouldn't be out of place at Gitmo.

Monday, January 02, 2006

WELCOME 2006


This is the first day of the rest of your life and whose little head feels like this then?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

WHAT A YEAR IT'S BEEN

I have never know a year to go so quickly for the good bits but so slowly for the bad and such a lot of bad.

Further to the subject of gay unions is this extract from David Leeming's bio of Stephen Spender, A Life in Modernism.

Stephen Spender - Journal 313 "note about marriage"

Marriage was "an agreement - or conspiracy - between two people to treat each other as having the right to be loved absolutely."
If that understanding exists, he suggested, aspects of the relationship such as sex and children become "secondary".
Thus, it is quite possible for same sex marriages or marriages without children or even sex to be "immensely binding".


I haven't forgotten the earthquake report up to the 22nd December.
Seven earthquakes in Western Australia and Kalannie wins with two of them.
A 2.2, 14 kms underground and a 2.5, 3kms underground.


My New Year's resolutions are very simple;

Think about losing weight.

Weigh myself regularly but don't look at the scales.

Don't give in to depression which I won't if I don't look at the scales.

Stop using the computer long enough to find out how it works.

Stop spending money.

Get money.

Keep it out of Costello's pocket.

Fight for equal rights for everyone who lives in this country and pays Howard's salary.

Pray for the doves of peace to escape from the jaws of the dogs of war.

Hope that Australia re-discovers her fairness and commonsense.

Happy 2006 to all the bloggers who are spreading sedition and keeping 'them in charge' on their toes.