Thursday, July 31, 2008


Highriser sent me a bouquet of pretties. I was very careful with them Andrew but the boi you hid in the middle must have fallen out. I looked everywhere. Could you please send another one?


SEDGWIIIIIIICK! You're a dead man walking if you don't get your skinny aristocratness down here and remove the spycam from my bathroom.


This is me four years ago. Yes, I am wearing a crown of gold berries and frosted grapes, bite me.

This is me today. I don't look much different but I'm older due to the stress induced ageing of another year.

I still say I can cop to 59 for another 5 years.

I hope Selley's don't go out of the polyfiller business.

Of course, the colour of the bikini is not one a red head should wear but then I'm barely wearing

the bikini.

Keeps the seagulls away from the food though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Lordie, I wish I had the arse to make this for the big 'O' day. The recipe is here for the daredevils of blogdom.


The Bwca, who is currently riding herd on cats, dogs and chickens, sent me a virtual birthday afternoon tea. I've set it as wallpaper but my tongue keeps getting stuck on the screen. Somewhere at Southland tomorrow I will find cupcakes and blackforest cake in real life.
I will inhale them without a moment's hesitation and guilt will be shoved under a rock for the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Chaiten is building up for what could be another pyroclastic eruption. Scientists are recording deep seismic activity as magma moves towards the surface.

Near Chaiten, Llaima volcano erupted for the third time with a lava flow working its way down from the summit. The image above is from the January 2008 eruption.

This is Ecuador's Reventador volcano which is erupting ash at the moment but with no immediate danger to the city of Quito.

At Okmok Caldera, the alert has been downgraded to 'orange'. It's still producing an ash column but it's less than 20,000 feet high.


This is the Peony Nebula as taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. You can read more about it here.

Monday, July 28, 2008


This is the Serra da Cangalha Crater in Northern Brazil. It's hidden underneath tropical savanna vegtation, resting on sediments laid down approximately 300 million years ago. Geologists estimate the meteorite struck here about 220 million years ago. The crater's structure shows a series of concentric rings with a diameter of 8 miles and the inner bowl is rimmed by rocks rising about 1,380 feet above the surrounding land.

It took some time to establish Serra da Cangalha as a impact crater. Geologists had to take into account, its circular shape, no volcanic rocks in a drill core and no carbonate or salt layers in nearby sediments which would suggest a salt dome. It also had to have the signs of impact in the form of shatter cones, conical shaped, grooved rocks known only to appear in impact craters.

This image was taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite on June 23, 2006. It's a simulated-true-colour image with varying shades of green defining the mix of savanna and riparian forest (forests along a river or stream). The occasional patches of purple-grey mean bare ground.

This is another way to image a crater or potential crater. It's a 3.4 mile wide craterlike formation which is buried 4,900 to 5,250 feet below sea level west of Stockton, California. Rocks in the area date to about 37 to 49 million years. This is from a seismic survey data of the Central Valley region which scientists believe was underwater at that time. More important than the circular shape is rock analysis showing shocked quartz that require a high-shock pressure impact to form.
The Victoria Island structure is being added to a database of suspected impacts along with the 0.8 mile Cowell structure to the north. If this can be proven, it'll be the first crater found in California.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


You know the drill by now. If you've got a mother you love, stop reading and back away from the blog.

Last night I kind of hurt myself, painfully. I'm used to the left kneecap moving off its tracks if I've been doing too much walking and not giving it a rest. It always happens in bed so I do the usual treatment to fix it which is too involved to go into but last night there was a new development. As I turned over, the quad muscle went into pain orbit and I really thought it had detached itself from the bone.

After the requisite amount of swearing and a lot of moaning, I tried to get out of bed. I couldn't stand upright at all. The knee had stopped hurting but not the rest of the leg. The only way I could get to the freezer and an ice-pack was to walk with feet and hands on the ground. Regardless of blubber I'm still flexible enough to do this. The minute I tried to stand up, pain. I always keep the nurse-on-call number by the phone but if I call then there are certain things to be done first.

After getting the ice-pack, unlock the back door in case of ambulance. In case of ambulance, put on nightdress. To make the call, put in teeth. Luckily I didn't need to call, the ice-pack worked on what must have been a tremendous muscle spasm from putting the knee back in place.

So where does mother come in? She rings this afternoon because she can't find the supplies she needs (don't ask) and I tell her they're in the sewing room, green bag, just inside the door. She says she's looked and there's nothing there and she hopes I get as sick as she is one day and have no-one to call. Wrong day to say this, not that it isn't said at least once a week, so she gets told to shut up and the phone crashed in her ear. I yelled so loudly, I think the whole street had a minute's silence.

Sister calls in and mother tells her she has enough supplies to last as she found them in the green bag in the sewing room.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The first piece of Kunzite jewellery I ever saw was designed by Paloma Picasso. It was an emerald cut stone wrapped in pave diamond gold bows and suspended from a South Sea pearl necklace. It was lust at first sight.
Natural Kunzite crystal from Pech, Laghman Province of Afghanistan
9cm x 5.1 cm, selling for $2,450 at the Tucson Gem Show 2007
The first significant desposit was discovered in 1902 on the White Queen mining claim near Pala, San Diego, California by Fred Sickler. There was also another deposit found at the Pala Chief mine by Frank Salmons. So for a time, the gem was named "Sicklerite" and "Salmonite" until Carles Baskerville, a chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina, named it "Kunzite" in honour of George Kunz. Baskerville worked on the analysis of the stone in 1903 while Kunz was describing the new crystal for the American Journal of Science. Ten year later the gem was being marketed under the trade name of "California Iris" but by 1919, Kunzite became the recognised name.
Faceted Kunzite

Kunzite is a variety of Spodumene. The lilac colour is due to minute traces of manganese but the colour can fade in strong sunlight.
It has a hardness between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. It has perfect cleavage and, like diamond, a sharp blow in the wrong place can shatter it in two. To show its colour to full advantage, the cutter must align the raw crystal very precisely which makes it a difficult stone to cut and almost impossible to re-cut. The stone can appear violet, pink or colourless. Some stones from Afghanistan show rich violet, light violet to light green, depending on the viewing angle. An effect known as 'pleochroism' or 'multi-colouredness'.
Apart from this internal colouring, the stone reflects a silvery gloss on the facets. The more intense the color, the more valuable the stone but clarity also determines value.
Today Kunzite is mined in Brazil, Afghanistan and Madagascar.

Kunzite cabochons set with quartz cabochon
with pave set diamonds in a gold ring

Mystical Lore
It's a precious stone for lovers. It's said to enhance a person's capacity for devotion and understanding.
The delicate violet pink is regarded as "healing", radiating a serene composure and bestowing inner peace and joie de vivre on the wearer.
It's also said to activate the mind and liberate it from worry and anxiety, having a positive effect on relieving strain or nervous tension.

Faceted Kunzite with multi-coloured sapphires
with cream pearls in a five strand bracelet

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The Research vessel Knorr carried scientists 7,394 nautical miles in a six week expedition from Cape Cod to the Arctic. They were to analyse a reddish-brown fog, a mix of dust, black carbon and chemical polltants which was first reported by pilots in the late 1950s. With little springtime rain to clear the air, it tends to float for weeks over parts of the Northern Pole.

At the start of the voyage, the scientists took air samples in Long Island Sound to analyse pollution from New York City. Knorr skirted the edge of the Arctic ice pack to let scientists take air samples. This gathering of current concentrations of pollutants is to provide baseline information to gauge future changes. The more polar ice melts, the more ships will use the open water as a shortcut to save on fuel costs and that means more pollution in the future.

Sailing off the northern tip of Norway and Russia, they also measured air quality near coastal smelters. They even sampled the exhaust from a fleet of Norwegian fishing boats.

The Knorr got far enough north to measure the Arctic haze where the highest concentrations of particulate sulfate were measured along the edge of the ice-pack.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute operates three ships and it's the job of Liz Caporelli as ship scheduler to make sure the scientists have everything on board the right ship for their research, make sure the ship is in the right area of ocean and at the best time of year. When the ship leaves, she serves as an on shore liason.

She stated off at the University of Rhode Island in mechanical engineering and after taking a few classes in marine science decided she was more interested in the environment and fisheries.

To earn money for college she had summer jobs as a deckhand on commercial fishng vessels including lobster boats on Rhode Island. At the time, fishing was a dangerous occupation and women generally didn't fish.

From Rhode Island she went on to science-and environmental-focused jobs in Bermuda, California, Maine, cruises in the Arabian Sea and Antarctica then to Woods Hole.

She says, "I think that science is really important. I admire scientists; they work really hard, and sometimes for their whole life, to get to sea. So I want to make that happen."

Sunday, July 20, 2008


It was a bit cold last night. I wasn't sleeping well and doing some tossing and turning. Unfortunately on one of the turnings I got the left one caught under my armpit. It's not my fault, stupid Newton and his law of gravity. If it hadn't been for him I might have stayed pointing straight out instead of dropping on my feet.

Anyhow in the aftermath of squish extraction, I wondered about men.

I suppose if they wear PJs, their tackle wouldn't go wandering too far but if they don't, do they ever have squish moments? A sudden roll over in bed one way and the jewells go the other?
And edge of the bed moment and they fall over the precipice? I guess they'd have to be well endowed to really do damage on that one.

What do they do with all that outdoor plumbing when it's not confined?

Using my imagination about this. It's too long ago to remember.

*wanders off to curiously peruse fridge door*

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Another of my favourite colour change gems, Alexandrite. It was discovered in 1834 in the emerald mines of the Ural Mountains of Russia near the Tokovaya River. The discovery was made on the day of the coming of age of the future Tsar Alexander 11 so it was named for him and became the national stone ofRussia as it showed both red and green, the principal colours of Imperial Russia.

Russia has remained the primary source of Alexandrite but as the deposits were worked out, interest decreased. There were other mines but none of them produced stones with the colour change. In 1987, Alexandrites were discovered in Mina Gerais, Brazil. They showed a distinct colour change although the green is not as strong as Russian Alexandrites. Occasionally stones are found in Brazil with chatoyancy, the cat's eye effect, which has not been seen in Russian gems.

Top quality Alexandrite is rare and hardly used in modern jewellery. Tifany's gemmologist, George Kunz (1856-1932) was fascinated by the gem and the firm produced quality Alexandrite jewellery in platinum settings at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. (Kunz had a beautiful pink/mauve gemstone named after him. Kunzite is on my wish list.)

Alexandrite has a hardness of 8.5. It's scarcity is due to its chemical composition. It is basically a crysoberyl but differs in that it not only contains iron and titanium but chromium as a major impurity which accounts for the colour change. Its formation requires specific geological conditions. The chemical elements beryllium (crysoberyl) and chromium (colouring agent) have contrasting chemical characteristics and are usually found in contrasting rock types. Not only
does Nature have to bring these contrasting rock types into contact with each other, but a lack of silica is also required to prevent the crystal from becoming an emerald. This geological scenario is rare and so is Alexandrite.

The colour change is spectacular. A vivid bluish green in daylight and a purplish-red in artificial light without a trace of brown or grey. This change will only occur on exposure to the different light surces. If a finely faceted stone obove one carat is indisputedly known to be of Russian origin then it will be rarer than ruby, sapphire or emerald and one of the most expensive gemstones in the world.

The Mystical Lore
It's considered a stone of very good omen.
In critical situations, it's supposed to help the wearer find new ways forward where logic won't provide an answer.
It's also reputed to aid creativity and inspire the imagination.

Friday, July 18, 2008


No, it's not about the Pope or Pell, as far as I'm concerned they don't exist in my time dimension.

My hate is directed to any of the slimey rotten criminals, girlfriends of criminals, wives, ex-wives or anyone else who is being given air time and being paid for it. Why should they profit when none of their victims can?

By victims, I mean innocent people who don't have a clue that they've been sucked into a non-legitimate business behind a legitimate front.

I won't watch a program or channel that puts to air anything about these gutter crawlers and neither should anyone with a conscience.

End rant.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


In late July 2006, a 2.2 square mile lake on top of the Greenland Ice Sheet emptied from the bottom through a crack that reached down to the base of the ice sheet, 3.215 feet below. Most of the 11.6 billion gallons of water drained away in 90 minutes.
Researchers documented the complete drainage of this supraglacial lake, one of thousands that form each spring and summer as sunlight melts snow and ice on the ice sheet. It's been long speculated that these lakes can build up enough pressure to crack their bottoms creating conduits to penetrate through the ice where the water greases the skids between ice and ground speeding up the glacial flow towards the ocean. More flow, more icebergs.
Supraglacial lake, Greenland Ice Sheet

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution glaciologist Sara Das led and expedition to Greenland in 2006 and 2007. The object was to determine whether melting at the ice surface which is sensitive to climate change could influence how fast the ice can flow. If Greenland's 2-mile-thick ice sheet melts completely it would raise global sea level by 23 feet. It would add larger amounts of fresh water to the ocean which might affect ocean currents which can alter rainfall patterns, fisheries and climate

Sarah Das, Glaciologist

The team used seismic instruments, water level monitors and GPS sensors to monitor the evolution of two supraglacial lakes and the motion of the surrounding ice sheet.
The also used helicopter and airplane surveys and satellite imagery to monitor the lakes and track the progress of glaciers towards the coast. The team returned in July 2008 for a third summer of field work which you can follow here

Large ice canyon with melt water stream, Greenland

I blogged about Greenland lakes in 2006 here .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Okmok volcano in the eastern Aleutian Islands is erupting. The image above was taken by flight attendant Kelly Reeves of Alaska Airlines on July 13, 2008. The volcano is a nested caldera with numerous cones inside the main peak.

This is inside Cone E with its own small lake. The walls consist of layers of lava, spatter, tephra and cross cutting feeder dykes or feeder conduits for magma's ascent to the surface. This image was taken by Christina Neal in September, 2004 and reproduced courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS.
The eruption is continuing.


As far as I'm concerned it is half way because if I stop at the 30th of July and don't move over to the 31st then I won't get any older. Now that's logic.
I've tried several times to post the monster of a weekend, thank you Mother, but I can't talk about it. It's taken three days to just put it in my journal.
So, I've given myself a week's respite care. I've done all the washing that was lying around, been out in the garden to water the plants and nearly watered the neighbourhood lost soul. This old tom has been wandering up and down my street for years, sleeping on roof tops in the sun but this is the first time I've seen him in my garden. It was a shock for both of us but he didn't look too well so I've left some Whiskettes by his little nest of weeds.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Moonstone is the secondary birthstone for June. It's characterised by a surface shimmer known as 'adularescence'. Moonstones from Sri Lanka shimmer pale blue on an almost transparent background.

Rene Lalique used moonstones to great effect in his Art Nouveau designs of the early 20th Century. The shimmer of the stones suiting the swirling leaf and vine natural shapes of this era. Since some of the stones had a cat's eye effect or a four-spoked star as well as the typical undulating shimmer, the stones were cut as cameos, or engraved with various images.
The moonstone belongs to the large mineral group of the feldspars, in particular, the variety known as 'adularia', a potassium alumino silicate of gemstone quality. The stone is also known as 'selenite' from the Greek 'selene' meaning moon.

The real beauty of moonstones is seen only after a craftsman has cut and polished them in the classic cabochon shape. The cutter must first determine the correct height of the finished stone and then align the axes of the crystal precisely into the zenith of the stone, bringing about the light/shimmer effect.

Moon stones are found in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar but good quality stones are becoming rare with prices rising accordingly. Along with the pale blue shimmering stones, Sri Lanka also produces a deep blue. India produces green, brown, orange stones as well as some with a smokey appearance or the colour of champagne.

The Mystical Lore of Moonstones.
This is the stone of the moon goddess Diana/Artemis so the most powerful time to use it is at the full moon.
Wearing a moonstone strengthens our intuition and our capacity to understand.
It is also called the "lovers stone" and if given to another when the moon is full you'll always have passion for each other. If apart, it can re-unite lovers who have quarrelled.
It is a personal stone, reflecting the qualities of the person who owns it.
Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength and while considered to be a woman's gem it can be beneficial to men in opening the emotional self.
To revitalize the healing properties it's important to place the stone in the glow of the moon reaching its fullness, not a full or waning moon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I rather fancy a new colour or two or maybe three.
I mean I look like this when I wake up in the morning anyway only monochrome.
I'm rather fond of magenta, matches the veins in my eyes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


"The hardest part about doing nothing is trying to explain yourself to people burdened with a life full of somethings".

I can't attribute that to anyone but I found it on a forum at DeviantArt. Haven't we all had people with a life full of somethings annoying us?

The us, being the ones lolling about doing nothing and thoroughly enjoying it.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Kilauea has been erupting since 1983 but has ramped up its output of lava since last November. Kilauea is the home of the Goddess Pele and Hawaiians still throw offerings into the crater to appease her. Long strings of molten volcanic glass, called Pele's hair, are blown on the wind forming clumps. As tiny as these are, they are still volcanic bombs. Gas bubbles at the surface throw droplets of fluid melt high into the air where they're chilled into shiny glass globules known as Pele's tears.

Kilauea is a low flat shield volcano, the youngest on the Big Island, situated on the south-eastern side. It pulls magma to the surface from a depth of over 60 kilometres. When the lava lake overflows, it streams towards the ocean over land or through lava tunnels formed when old flows solidify in the air, leaving a hollow tube when the eruption stops. The image above is a lava explosion at Waikupanaha where it enters the ocean.

As the lava enters the ocean, again at the Waikupanaha entry point, vortexes form beneath the steam plume. The entry here is from underground tubes into the Pacific Ocean and is creating huge clouds of steam and ash.

This is exploding lava in the Pu'u O'o vent. It has been measured as high as 150 feet with temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Centigrade. It also creates Vog, thick volcanic fumes which kill wildlife, plants and humans.


I am, believe it. I've been cradling the keyboard for the last five minutes and chewing nails down to fingers.
Two days without my lifeline, my internet, my blog, I even missed Robbbert. (I've given him 3 b's for happiness)
I was even sweet to the tech support Peter Sellers imitator.
Nothing wrong with connecting to the internet just the computer not letting me load pages or emails with a little message saying "server not found".
Tech support took me through all the default settings, nothing wrong there so he suggested it might be the anti-virus. Turned off all security, nothing, so turned it back on.
Then I found something called system restore, shiny. Just pick a highlighted date which has restore points and click. Back to July 1st, before children downloading MySpace/youtubes and I was in business.
All I have to do is remember where I found it.
The joy of seeing a page load.
Checked in with blogger dashboard. It's official I have a big mouth, 769 posts since October 2005.
This internet thing is almost as good as chocolate and gin, almost.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Never bother with it except if there are going to be strong lights in which case Selley's ultra-fine finish poly filler is excellent.

Essential. It's a fact of life that old age brings grey hair and that means all hair including eyelashes. Never mind those fiddly lash wands, buy a yard broom.

Day Cream:
Day, hour, minute cream, litres of it. Doesn't work over a certain age but makes you feel virtuous for trying to stem the advancing tide of wrinkles.

Essential Beauty Product:
I suppose they mean beside money. Soothing eye cream, without which my peepers look like two proverbials in the snow.

Favourite Makeup Product:
Money? Lipstick, copper or bronze with built in pheromones.

Never go to bed without it. YSL's Opium. Expensive, very expensive. Birthday coming up. Hint.

Karma again. I used to be overly proud of my long shapely nails but the older one gets the more calcium the body chucks away so now I'm left with sheared off stumpy crappy nails which split and crack so Araldyte gives a nice shiny finish.

Huzzah!! Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna have worse hands than me. I try to keep them out of washing up water, washing floor water or hanging out wet washing. You shouldn't handle dirty money either, use a credit card. Don't use hand lotion, lets the men slip through your fingers too easily.

Yeah, still got two and all the defects are hidden inside flat heeled grannyboots. They're also my fat measure rule. If I can't reach to put nail polish on, I need to lose some or I could just stand up and let gravity guide my hand to each toe. Yes, I cheat.

Three products to bring on a deserted island:
Bombay Sapphire, soda water and a crystal glass. Bombay is an absolute beauty must. If I drink enough, I'll look fabulous, in any mirror, on any island.

Women I admire for their beauty:
I'll go for Aussies. Jennifer Hawkins. Anyone who can lose their dress while wearing a thong and still laugh while looking good is a winner. Maggie Taberer, fat and fabulous and loving her age.

Woman with the best sense of style:
I'm going for Her Maj. here. Age appropriate dressing and doesn't need a stylist to tell her what tiara to put on. She can still wear a dress beaded with 10kgs of bling and float. The woman's a legend.

My ultimate dream:
To wake up on my birthday and find out the Goddess has given me the body of Elle, the combined IQ of several well-known bloggers and taken 20 years off my age.

How do I define Womanhood:
Comfortable shoes with men firmly under the heel.

Favourite fashion publication:
Bunnings sale catalogue, has everything I need.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Yes, I'm here and there you all are, fighting, insulting and threatening to shoot each other. Thank the Goddess, my blog family still lives.
I haven't been well, still not well but aiming to get better by sometime next week.

The visit, not exactly a success. The girls arrived at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday so instead of a leisurely stroll around Southland and a nice lunch, everything was rush and more rush. Head off to mother's and take photos, see sister and forget to take photos. Pizza for tea in between turns on the computer to talk to friends in Queensland. Bed by 11.30 and they sleep until after midday on Friday so no wander over to the DFO just videos, left over pizza and more turns on the computer. They are picked up at 7 p.m. Friday night and by 7.30 I'm in bed with a migraine that would fell a draughthorse.

The girls love me but I'm not part of their lives. A two year gap of non-communication left me without anything to talk about. There's an old saying about not being able to go back but it's just as hard to go forward. They didn't want photos taken, one reads books, the other doesn't even read the trash magazines for teens, in fact doesn't read books at all. They like clothes but not make-up. They did allow me to buy some jewellery. One is happy at school, the other is about to start at her third school after being put on the 'expell ladder' at the expensive private school.

Their other family in Melbourne has had parties, having parties and planning parties so I was lucky to have a few hours. A few hours aren't enough to encourage confidences and I could tell the subjects that were taboo including the 'expelling' one. They were happy to see me, happy to be here and I get the feeling that it's an oasis of quiet between parties where they recharge the batteries.

My sister, who's never been in this position, says I'm seeing the glass half empty but a few hours don't make up for the years lost and it's painful to deal with it. I'm not the type to use them as substitutes because my son's dead, I like them for themselves.

So I'm dealing with it and the headache and mother and what feels like a very dead-end life at the moment except for my blog family whose comments have made me laugh for the first time in days.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Keely Shaye, womanly, voluptuous with portable dessert.

Rachel, womanly curves ahead.

Stick Insect. Please feed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures

I needed the laugh. Only 30 days of my youth left. I can feel the skin wrinkling.


Another bruise, same shin. Bruise on the bum where I backed into the sharp corner of a table, can't confirm that by looking just by hurties. I didn't need to climb the ladder to dust the glass balls hanging from the ceiling not when the chandeliers look like set dressings on the Addams Family. It just confirmed that I shouldn't be allowed near a ladder at any time.

To hide the bruises I thought I should get out the black stockings and the new black garters I made last winter. Yes, I wear garters. No company yet has made pantyhose that reach halfway to my crutch let alone my waist. I buy thigh high stay-up stockings which just reach the knee and for winter, thick stockings that I cut the hose off the panty. And use garters. Except I can't find them.

I must have put them away so carefully after one of my riotious nights out on the booze. Oh yeah, there you are, still wrapped in my sheer black stockings, stuffed into my good shoes which I've put in their shoe bag. I have shoe bags. I wore them last...... sometime in12 months, give or take a week or two.

I really have to get a life.