Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The image above is the most detailed sent to Earth by NASA's Spirit rover which has just marked it's 1000th day on Mars (that's Martian day).
It took a total of 1449 individual images which is 500 megabytes of raw data to make up what is now called the McMurdo Panorama.
The little rover took the images over a month while waiting for the Martian winter to pass and the sun to come back to strength to power up the solar panels.
The image shows the view of a part of the Columbia Hills region and the tracks it made can be seen winding off to the left. Dark volcanic rocks litter the area.
In about a month the rover will start to drive to a formation called Home Plate which scientists are hoping will be the remains of an explosive volcanic eruption.

Meanwhile on the other side of the planet, Spirit's twin, Opportunity has reached the 800 metre wide Victoria Crater (image left corner). This crater is wider and deeper, at least 60 metres, than any studied on Mars and should give scientists a look at the much older rock layers at the bottom. The Eagle Crater gave geologists 0.5 metres of layered rock and Endurance Crater gave 7 metres of layers.

Opportunity beamed back the first colour images while overhead the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped pictures of the crater and the rover from an altitude of 275 kilometres. It has taken the little rover 21 months to cross the Martian plains to reach this crater. Scientists want Opportunity to descend into the crater so it will travel around the rim to look for a suitable way down. The full panoramic image is now being radioed back to Earth but that will be interrrupted as we orbit behind the sun.

The rovers have already run 10 times more than their expected mission time. Scientists thought the Martian dust would cover up the solar panels but now one theory is that the Martian winds have blown this away. The rovers are showing signs of wear with Opportunity having one of its four steering mechanisms jammed and a weakened instrument arm joint.

Call me an old romantic but I like to think the Martians are sneaking out at night to tighten up the rubber bands and give them a quick push start in the morning. And what is with the lame names, 'Duck Bay', 'Cape Verde' or 'Cabo Frio'. Doesn't anyone at mission control read Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke or Asimov? Anyhow the images are brilliant.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Well, that's me dressed for tomorrow night. Met you under the flaming pumpkin, Your Lordship, you be trick, I'm the treat.

Andrew, I think you're right, I'm just a drag queen at heart.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I am here to share my racing tips with you non racing types.

Don't back horses named after yourself or friends.

Red Dazzler came tenth in the Cox Plate with a starting price of $26.

Sedgewick did better by coming eighth in the Mornmoot Stud Stakes with a starting price of $71.

Sis says I couldn't pick my nose on a dark night under a klieg light let alone a winner.

Thank the Horse Goddess she can and did.


Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming have a new book, Speedcleaning which is their follow up to Spotless neither of which is on my 'absolutely must read' list.

They have a theory that if you spend 15 minutes speed-cleaning one room of the house each weekday and four rooms on Saturday, you'll have conquered the dirt demon.

Is there a catch? Of course there's a catch because speed cleaning comes on top of the usual daily cleaning jobs. I don't do daily, I do twice monthly or yearly or more recently, not at all.

Miss Lush even includes handy hints and practical advice for men. Men clean!!!!

She shared a few of her tips today..........

Assemble a clean kit, brooms, buckets and dusters. (brooms, plural, only when I'm flying and need a spare)

Declutter the room and empty bin. Are you mad, woman! Declutter and I'd never find anything.

Dust ceiling and light fittings. Light fittings, that's why God invented down lights and anyone looking at my ceilings is likely to fall over the clutter.

Dust walls and tops of cupboards/bookshelves/wardrobes. I will be not be involved in the genocide of millions of dust fairies.

Dust paintings, hangings and other wall features. The spiders aren't keen on being flicked with a rag and one of life's truisms is that if you rub too hard on a wall, you'll leave a clean spot which will then stick out like dog's balls. I suppose she gives tips on dusting dog's balls too.

Clean light switches, door jambs and window sills. One can avoid dirty light switches by using one's elbow and the door jambs have been clean since the boys stopped using them as gymnastic equipment. The window sills are different, that's where the blowflies go to die and I don't do graveyards.

Clean furniture. Only if you come and move the cat, the books I'm reading and last night's dishes.

Clean floors. I can't do that, there's a Uni student doing a PhD on the flora and fauna of my kitchen tiles. In the bathroom, I followed my mummy's advice, get white tiles, you'll never see the powder. Forget the carpet, there's a cat on it.

Do refills, arrange fresh flowers, add fragrance and other items such as doillies. Hahahahahaha!
Artificial leaves with a coating of dust glitter like hoarfrost when you turn fairy lights on them and do you know how much REAL flowers cost and then they die. I'll go with the fragrance, nothing like the scent of illicit substances in the morning. I'm good for doillies, they make pretty patterns in the dust.

Empty the clutter bucket and put away clean kit. More work after the work. My vaccum cleaner hasn't seen it's cupboard since last Easter, it's a vagabond, laying it's little feet where I fall in exhaustion.

You know what kills me, the tarts are making a fortune.


Governments will do everything to get re-elected.

The Federal Government is going to give schools $20,000 a year to employ chaplains to encourage core values instudents. $90 million over three years to develop the ethical and spiritual health of students. These chaplains don't necessarily have to have a religious background but would be required to provide religious aid and personal advice to students. They would assist full-time school counsellors.

I can think of better ways to spend 90 million dollars on school children, first off giving them a place to have a decent lunch which could be provided free. That might get the obesity wankers off the kids' backs. I assume that this would be 'Christian' core values so what happens to all the children of all the other faiths in this country.

Would they help gay teens who are being bullied and tormented? Money directed to the Pride and Prejudice program which tackles homophobic abuse and bullying in high schools or the Ally Program which trains people to help gay university students would help cut the suicide rate by making schools safer for teenagers of diverse sexualities.

According to the article I read, it's hoped that Howard's program might prevent another DVD-type incident of the Werribee kind. Well sorry, Howard but that kind of attack happens to a gay student every day of the week and you haven't cared about them but the religious nutters you associate with don't care either.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Before we get to the Gingerbread recipe for Mindy, I watched a program on SBS last night about the town of Grafton and it's Jacaranda Festival. The Jacaranda Queen is chosen from the local girls and they were interviewed on what it was like to be the Queen for a year. There was a lot of old film footage as the Festival has been going since the early 1930s and the one thing I noticed most was the lack of coloured and asian faces. Nowhere and I looked very hard.

(sorry, but it's so old it's teaspoons & cups)
4 ounces Butter
1 cup golden syrup
21/2 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons bicarb soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup of hot water
1 egg
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves

Melt butter, combine with hot water, syrup and beaten egg.
Sift dry ingredients into basin, make well in centre, add liquid gradually.
Beat until mixture is smooth.
Pour into greased, grease-proof paper lined 9 inch slab tin.
Bake in moderately slow oven for 40 minutes.
When cold, top with lemon icing.

Sift 1 cup of soft icing sugar, (use pure icing suger and you'll need a jackhammer to slice it) add 1/2 teaspoon of butter and enough lemon juice to make a stiff paste.
Stand the bowl over hot water, beat icing until of spreading consistancy.

The cake and icing is perfect for freezing. If you cut it into slices, it only takes about ten minutes to thaw out. If you can't wait then you can be like Ron and me and eat it frozen.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is Curtin University of Technology in Perth and that is the Rainbow flag flying. For the rest of this story and the launch of the Ally Program by the Vice Chancellor go to http://themuriels.blogspot.com.

Also read their posts on the campaigns of the Christian Democratic Party and the Salt Shakers to influence politicians about removing discrimination against same sex couples. These 'christians' readily admit that same sex couples are a very small minority in the community but they are still determined not to allow them the same equality as any other tax paying Australian citizen.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Scientists and Engineers for America have decided to campaign for particular candidates to bring notice to the fact that the Bush administration systematically ignore scientific evidence and analysis. Nearly 2500 people have signed up as members including two of Bill Clinton's former science advisers - John Gibbons and Neal Lane - and eight Nobel laureates.

Researchers have scanned the brains of seven obese people. The scans revealed that the same areas of a brain region called the hippocampus were activated in the obese people as in drug addicts craving their next fix. So another appetite-suppressing drug, MK-0557 has failed because it's not the stomach that wants to be filled, it's the brain. I could have told them that for a lot less money.

This is my favourite happy for today. In Reykjavik, they turned off the street lights and dimmed most households so that people in the city could star gaze. I love this idea for children and even if it's just for half an hour, think of how much they could learn. It would be easy to co-ordinate with a meteor shower, a satellite flyover or a particular arrangements of the planets. A much better idea than wasting money on fireworks that obscure the stars.


This is from an interview in New Scientist with E. O. Wilson, an author with a PhD. in entomology, whose books include, 'Sociobiology', Biophilia, The Ants, Consilience and the latest, The Creation.

Q. If the love of nature is innate, why is nature in such crisis and why is it so difficult to communicate the importance of conservation?

A. You've put your finger on it. There appears to be a hierarchy of drives in humans. The biggest concern is always survival and reproduction, and protection of clan and family.
For most of human history, humans have had to struggle against nature to survive.
Then with the Neolithic revolution we learned how to break nature by cultivating plants, clearing land and building surpluses of resources and developing technologies. But along the way, there has been this deep connection to having a natural environment, even if it's just to exploit it.

It took a few thousand years of adoring gardens, loving exploring, expanding into unspoilt environments and so on to bring us up short with the recognition that we've gone too far.
We broke nature and now we're smashing it and getting rid of humanity's biggest heritage.

A full version of this interview can be downloaded from the podcast website http://www.newscientist.com/podcast.

I think those three words, 'we broke nature' is exactly what is wrong with our world and now we have to fix it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


My sister the horse genius backed Tawqeet yesterday. Boo to everyone who wouldn't listen to her just because of her appalling lack of winners lately. Being slightly pissed on Friday night and looking like running out of VB, she conned the Brick Outhouse into going to the bottle shop. She was also out of change so he sprung for the cans, in return, she backed the horse for him. He went into shock after she rained $20 notes on his head. I asked her why she didn't get the trifecta and I'm shocked that my baby sister knows such rude gestures.

The SHS was full of fun articles and news today. The saviour of the world and scourge of terrorists, the glorious US of A has a new enemy to hunt down.....VEGEMITE!!! It has folate in it and the US only allows that in bread so now our beloved icon is a hunted fugitive. To think we allowed their obesity pills also known as Krispy Kremes freely into our country. That's this country's problem, we're generous to a fault.

Our Nic's hubbie is in rehab. The government is talking about getting serious about crystal meth, too bloody late as usual. But they do have our welfare in mind and are planning to ban a really dangerous substance.....hydrogen peroxide. Now that is what I call a very blonde moment. This chemical in large quantities can be used to make bombs and I will resist the urge to make the obvious joke here. I'm lucky, red hair dye only gives you cancer.

The Pope has said Catholics had to defend matrimony and the introduction of laws on other forms of unions which would only destabilise it. Just the usual gay wedding beat up but at least our government is doing something concrete to protect marriage, they're getting the blondes off the street. Cop that Benny!

Bag snatchers are on a good thing with women's shoulder bags holding thousands of dollars worth of items that are easily converted to cash. Hahahahahaha. Take mine, please. Convert my rubbish to money, lord knows I haven't been able to do it. Just leave my lucky green frog hanging from my empty purse. Leave the purse as well I hate buying a new purse but you can take the book of stamps, they wouldn't give me flower stamps this time and I hate pink cars.

I have a new responsibility and I hope I can keep it up. I have to tell Mum what day it is when she rings in the morning. The first thing I do in the morning is think what day it is, not likely. The first thing I do is check for breathing, what day it is comes way down the track after the second cup of coffee, after what should be the second cup of coffee. I've been drinking complexion tea (you touch that Sedgwick and you're gone) which tastes like grass in hot water and I'm still waiting for the miracle. The other tea I have is calming tea which also tastes like grass in hot water. My sister says it works for her and how would she know, she's using $90 face cream. Perhaps it's the grass that's giving her the inside on the horses.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I can't get the page to load. It says 7 items to go and then a big blackness. The only way in is to search for trifle then click the link to me and I'm in. Just because I won't go beta blogging. I can't use old blogger. What damage would I do with a new format?

Anyway I've been cleaning. My admiration goes out to women bloggers who clean, look after kids, work and blog.

My sewing room has a floor and now I can see it without 50 kilometres of cotton threads. There is a window and now I can see the garden where before I could only see sky over the work table.
I can get to the lace cupboard. I can open the wardrobe doors. I keep thinking I'm in someone else's house when I walk past the door. Last night I even turned the light on before I went to bed just to go "It's clean!".

I washed the curtain at the back door. I must put this on my list of things to pass down the generations. My mother watched me one day as I spent an hour putting the hooks back on this curtain and wanted to know why I bothered taking them off. Well they get snagged in the curtains, don't they! "Why don't you put the heading with the hooks in a pillowcase tied up with string and wash them that way?" Terrific idea and it works and why didn't she tell me this important information when she told me to hang them up wet so that as they dry the creases fall out?

In a mad fit which won't happen again too soon, I also washed the bedroom curtains. If Alice Springs is looking for its topsoil I have in it my washing machine. I had to wash them twice but such dazzling whiteness which shows up the dust in every corner. I did find the legendary lost graveyard of moths though and I have proof. Admiring the lovely brightness yesterday morning, there was another moth, hanging in the folds and dying, all over my shiny shiny lace. He'll have to stay there, I'm not climbing on the bed again unless the chandelier asks me nicely to clean it. Dodgy knees don't let one climb on the bed from the side. I have to climb on the blanket box, hoof it over the bedend and stagger to the window and wrangle umpteen metres of double lace curtain. No wonder I let it go a delicate shade of grey before I go through that.

In unrelated news, the cat is eating and eating and eating. The food line starts at 6 in the morning, I wake up at 8. One of us is going to be re-trained. I think it's me.

I've been home for three days while my sister has been watching Mum. I cannot tell you how shocked I was to see how bad she was today. The deterioration in her short term memory is just unbelievable. We've just about given up on getting the pills into her on time. As long as she gets the morphine and she's not in pain. From now on it's all downhill and it's a real bitch so pardon me if I don't give a rat's about the rest of the world until the day it's over.

Monday, October 16, 2006


This serves eight or me.

300g packet frozen raspberries

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup water

2x250g packets mini jam rolls

1/3 cup sweet sherry (me 1/2 bottle)

250 tub mascarpone

1/2 cup thickened cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture

Extra frozen rasberries, to serve.


1/2 cup thickened cream

200g dark eating chocolate, finely chopped

Grease a 20cm springform pan. Lone base and side with baking paper. Combine raspberries, sugar and water in a pan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

Using your hands, tear half the jam rolls into bite-sized pieces and place over the base of the prepared pan in an even layer. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sherry over jam rolls in pan. Spoon over half the raspberry mixture to cover the jam rolls.

Whisk mascarpone, cream and icing sugar mixture in a medium bowl until just combined. Using a spatula, spread half the mixture over top of rolls. Repeat layering using remaining jam rolls, raspberry mixture and cream mixture.

Cover pan securely with two layers of cling wrap. Place base of another 20cm springform pan or a plate on top. Push down firmly. Top with a heavy weight and refrigerate overnight.

To make topping, bring cream to boil in a pan and pour over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Stand for 2 minutes before gently stirring until melted.

To serve, remove side from pan and discard paper. Lift cake onto a serving plate. Spread warm chocolate topping over cake and decorate with extra raspberries. Refrigerate until set.

I can't vouch for this recipe. I haven't been game to make it but I can almost taste it, it's so delicious even to look at. Every time I look at it, I put on 2 kgs so somebody out there, make it and tell me what it's like. I think it would freeze but then I've been known to eat frozen cake so that wouldn't save me. Consider it my antidote to the hairy object in the last post.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


If you think this is creepy, spare a thought for me trawling through images to get a good one. It's a zebra tarantula and it's obvious why it's called that. Usually spiders use minute claws and pads on their feet to crawl vertically and cling upside down. Their feet are called 'tarsi' (keep that trivia).
These little/large beauties produce sticky silk out of microscopic spigots on their feet. Apparently a lot of work has been done on spiders' feet but this has been missed so the question is......are the abdominal spinnerets remnants of ancient appendages or are they a recent adaptation to supplement the claws and pads? Scientists are trying to identify the genes involved in tarsal (feet, trivia) silk production to see and this will require detailed surveys of all spider species.

Now this is an opportunity for filling out Centrelink work forms. "Do you have any special skills?" "I specialize in the measurement of tarantula silk spinning spigots. I have several specimens with me, would you like me to demonstrate my skill?" "Not likely, dole granted, please leave the building."


Another Sunday of wanting to rip the paper to shreds. Brendan Nelson thinks it's a good idea to offer our young people a year in the Army to see if they like it. The Prime Rodent says he will never bring in conscription unless this country is attacked but he likes the idea of giving our children a taste of Army life for a year. They wouldn't have to stay beyond a year if they didn't like the life. These two could stand on a stack of their precious bibles and I wouldn't trust them to lie straight in bed.

Family groups are on the warpath again, accusing school teachers of celebrating homosexuality in the class room. The Education Department's anti-homophobic bullying policy is under attack by the usual suspects, Australian Family Association and the Australian Family Council. They state that the policy which respects and celebrates diversity will have the opposite effect and encourage bullying. Our old friend and foe, Bill Muehlenberg thinks a pro-homosexual agenda is trying to hijack the bullying programs to push a pro-homosexual policy on children.
According to the Department, "The most important thing teachers can do is create and continually model a school environment that respects and celebrates diversity" and I would hope prevent the suicide rate of gay kids rising any further. As it's election time in Victoria, the opposition spokesman Martin Dixon also put in his two cents worth and agreed with the Nutter families.

Perhaps I wasn't in the mood to laugh off the idiocy this morning. Friday was not good. We discovered that Mum had slept most of the hot day on Thursday and unfortunately meant she hadn't taken any of her pills including the morphine. It's taken us two days to get the pain under control again but the pill situation is getting worse because of her short term memory being about 10 seconds long. My morning routine is to tell her what day it is so she knows which row on the doucette pack she should be using and then stay on the phone while she takes the pills.

Yesterday, I had my sister on the mobile and Mum on the landline at eight in the morning. South Eastern Water had been digging up the nature strip from 4 o'clock and the water was turned off. Mum was panicked about not having enough to drink until I reminded her I could buy bottled water. Sis was at work after a morning shower of one cup of water. I rang SE Water and spoke to a very pleasant girl who went to no end of trouble to find out what was going on and how long for the water to be back. She then said to ring if anything else was wrong and it would be taken care of immediately. The trouble was a burst pipe which seemed to be three miles underground by the look of the excavation. The whole incident was enough to throw Mum off balance again and she lost the pill plot completely.

I spent the day with her, she slept and I got to read the RagMags, Sis buys and passes to me. One of them had a feature of glamourous ladies from the 1920's to now. I can already wear a little black dress like Audrey Hepburn or more truthfully like three Audreys. The one thing I would really have loved to wear and could never, were the silk shirts and slacks of Kate Hepburn. No skinny jeans or midriff tops for her just a casual elegance. We do share one thing in common, hands in pockets. I love to walk around with my hands in my pockets and copped a few detentions for the misuse of blazer pockets. More like misuse of Prefect power.

One thing about all of these fashion photos really bugs me. Short short dresses and high high heels. The 1960's short doll dresses and low heels were a match but sophisticated strappy Manolos and itty dresses look mismatched. I'll just bypass comment on hiphop artistes. One photo I did love was of Elle at the airport looking like three miles of bad road. It made me so happy. Yes, I have a little bit of bitch just under my lady-like verneer. Sue me!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


World's worst photographer is at it again. In the clean up of the bedroom, I decided that it was time to move the winter gear to the other end of the wardrobe and replace it with the summery tents I wear. They hang on these. I 'invented' them twenty years ago when I had so many wire coathangers from the Blight's coats that I was sick of making trellis out of them to grow Jasmine on.

These have been doing service for at least fifteen years and I did tizzy them up a bit with new ribbons and pearls for the photo. The covering is felt, stitched with a needle lace stitch which goes the opposite direction to blanket stitch and gives a nobbly finish and the dresses don't slide off. Never one to take half measures, I put bias binding around the handle, finishing with satin ribbon. The oval decoration is felt, hand embroidered with roses and finished with large pearls.

I don't get wire hangers these days but I'm rather pleased at how long these have lasted. A lot longer than my clean ups do.


This prominent circular feature, known as the Richat Structure, in the Sahara desert of Mauritania is often noted by astronauts because it forms a conspicuous 50-kilometer-wide (30-mile-wide) bull's-eye on the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. Initially mistaken for a possible impact crater, it is now known to be an eroded circular anticline (structural dome) of layered sedimentary rocks.

This is what you find when you clean up the papers hanging around the bedroom. The press release date was June, 2004, two years and I hadn't clicked the link. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission's data is being used to study earthquakes, volcanism and erosion patterns.
One application of the SRTM imagery along with elevation data is monitoring the disappearance of the Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers. For more information go to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm .

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


After the rain, a wonderful double rainbow followed by a glorious sunset.

Both photographs taken in Albany, Missouri by Dan Bush and published at http://www.missouriskies.org. Thanks to Janet I'll be spending a lot of time here. The photographs are magnificent.

Civilizations come and go, philosophies and religion change but Nature remains.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


I was hoping that GoFugYourself would have this photo after seeing it in today's paper. See all the money in the world won't give you style. Katie is so mixed up she's put on her strapless cocktail dress and her sunglasses. The dress has a tulle petticoat as well. Vic Beckham looks frail under the weight of her non-surgical enhanced boobs (so she says and would she lie?). They both look like a pair of vampires in search of a good meal. The photo I saw of dag Katie had her boobs going in an opposite direction to her dress, doesn't look as bad here. Ugh Beckham is just ugh.

This was lovingly brought to you by a fat lady who's just had a decent meal and is now looking for a chocolate bar.

Brocken Spectres

It's a bit small but I think you should be able to see what I'm describing. The 3-4 rings of colour is called a glory which occurs directly opposite the sun at the antisolar point on a high ridge.

The figure inside the glory is the shadow of the photographer looking down and projected forward through the mist. All shadows converge towards the antisolar point where the glory shines.

The Brocken Spectre is named for the number of sightings on the Brocken, the highest peak of Germany's Harz Mountains.

The photograph above was taken in September 2004 by Jim Salge of the Mount Washington Observatory.


The figure above shows a composite image from GRACE satellite data showing the gravity changes for the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. (Image courtesy of Shin-Chan Han, Ohio State University.
If you want to know more go and read this

Update.....Finally, I hid a link and published and it worked. Thank you Davo, thank you Ron, thank you Janet, thank you linesmen, thank you ball boys. Now if I could remember how to convert a gif to a jpeg then I could do the post on Brocken Spectres which is really interesting but a photo is worth a thousand words.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I was browsing through TigTog's Hoyden About Town blog yesterday and followed the link to another blog, Pandagon. That post had me still thinking this morning and I went back to read it again but the site wouldn't load and my computer froze so go tohttp://viv.id.au/blog/ and read TigTog's post, Pro-sex, anti-misogyny: where's the non-vile porn?

The original post is about the increasing violence towards women depicted in porn videos and how it has escalated in recent times so follow TigTog's link to it.

I've only watched one porn movie in the last twenty years and that was as boring as watching John Howard lie so I'm not an expert. When I first connected to the Internet, I was accidentally directed to a porn site and to say I was gobsmacked is putting it mildly. I was working my way through an archaelogy webring hub and one of the sites had been hijacked to sell their rotten movies. The stills from the films were bad enough but the language describing what men were going to do to women was worse.

Follow the link and go to Pandagon and read with an open mind.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I hate having to give up something I really like but I'm making the supreme sacrifice because of this ad.

I love Mentos mints, peppermints, fruities but after watching the new ad campaign I'll never be able to pop another in my mouth.

Half naked guy, well they had my attention there, eats an icy mentos and grows nipples the size of tentacles.

These tentacles are very versatile and gross. If they were any more gross they'd have vote Liberal stuck on the tips.

They move.

They poke things.

They wave around.

Did I mention they move, and in different directions.

I am never eating another Mentos.

The company will lose a fortune.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


There are several clouds stacked into this lenticular cloud over the Island of Hawaii. Air usually moves more horizontally than vertically but when wind comes off a mountain, strong vertical oscillations take place. The clouds form layers where the air is saturated with moisture. While the cloud looks as though it's stationary, the wind speed is extremely high. Glider pilots love these clouds. If the wind speed is higher than the glider's stall speed then the glider can head directly into the wind. This feels like being suspended in space although the instruments indicate the glider is still flying.

This lenticular cloud was not photoshopped. It was taken by Kay Ekwall and has been used all over the world, boldly going where no cloud has gone before. A case of being in the right spot at the right time.


One year on line and I didn't think I'd last a month.

Everybody has a blog birthday so I thought I'd have a New Year Blog with new resolutions.

No more posting of naked sex objects. He doesn't count, he's wearing a top, almost.

No derogatory remarks about the four-eyed fat git of an ex and his thin-lipped pudgy faced beady-eyed blonde.

Learn how to hide links which I've been trying to do for the last twelve months. Thank you to all the lovely commenters who've sent instructions. I've kept them all and read them every day. I anticipate understanding them by the year 2010.

Stay away from politics, the mud is too hard to remove.

Stop going to myspace and laughing at the dweebs.

Stop going to Mugglenet and playing Harry Potter games and telling myself it's intellectually stimulating, not time wasting.

Find a way to destroy spammers.

Be kind, sweet, good and loving to my fellow bloggers, stuff the rest of the universe.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I was reading an article last week which had this quote from the novelist Fay Weldon. She
once said, before you have children you can believe you are a nice person; after you have children you understand how wars start.

In this neighbourhood, that translated to the war between mothers of children.
You’ve all come across them, the ones whose little angels never tell lies, who can do everything better than anybody else’s child. We had wars in this street that would put the Taliban on the defensive, guerilla campaigns to outrival the Viet Cong and vendettas between mothers where no quarter was given or asked for. After playing peacemaker for years, I finally snapped and bodily threw a neighbour out of my house. It was years before we spoke again which was fine by me, I’d had enough of explaining to the boys that it didn’t matter how many lies her brat told, he’d get his eventually but he never did.

Apart from Weldon’s comment, an election promise from the Liberal party prompted those memories today. They are going to introduce a $2.3 million head lice program if they are elected next month. A Liberal government would pay for two head lice treatments a year for primary students.
Head lice lay eggs on the hair strands (nits) and they feed on human scalps. According to the Liberal spokesman, they spread by crawling between heads.

Believe me, they don’t crawl, they leap tall buildings in a single bound. The boys only got them once and it was a nightmare of washing everything including teddy bears and hair in Quellada. I had very long hair at the time and I went through it every night for a week with a tiny nit comb. So I did the right thing and notified the school and told the local mothers. I’d have got a better reception If I’d have announced they had the plague. Out of six mothers, not one would have gone to the school or told other mothers to check. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly and I’d be prepared to say that not a lot has changed or we wouldn’t be still having lice as an election promise.

Don’t wash the kid’s hair in expensive dog shampoo either, it won’t kill the nits and the lice love clean hair. I don’t apologize, it was a stop gap measure worthy of a politician. At least I didn’t use the Blight’s suggestion, put fly spray in a plastic bag and pull it over their hair.

And if any of you got through that without the urge to scratch, congratulations, because I didn’t.