Friday, September 29, 2006


The news from our lovely synchrotron is good.

Dr. Peter Kappen is working on a coffin of a 2500-year-old Egyptian princess to find out where the artists got green pigment for their paint. The red, yellow and blue paints came from natural ochres and minerals but the green is a mystery. This coffin lid is ideal because it has never been preserved with modern varnishes and the synchrotron will allow Dr. Kappen to work out the chemical composition of the paint. He does work in a German Synchrotron.

Dr. Marcus Kitchen, from Monash University, studies how fluid is cleared from the lungs of newborn rabbits. The process does not harm the rabbits and the images are to calculate how much air goes into the different regions of the lung and how long it takes to get there. This research could eventually lead to better ways to treat premature babies who have to be artificially ventilated because their lungs are not fully developed. Dr. Kitchen researches at a Japanese Synchrotron.

Dr. David Cohen goes to a US synchrotron where he is researching plants that thrive on toxic heavy metal such as lead, nickel and cadmium. These plants can store amounts of metals thousands of times greater than others. They're known as hyperaccumulators and could help clean up contaminated industrial sites. The synchrotron helps reveal how the plant stores the metal and in what chemical form.

Being able to work in Melbourne instead of travelling all over the world will mean less air fares (no business class) and jet lag and more experiment time. There is a huge waiting list at overseas synchrotrons and very little time to set up and finish experiments. Whatever the cost of the Australian Synchrotron, currently over 160 million dollars, it's worth every cent to scientists wanting to work here.

Speaking of Costello, I mean sharks, here is a little snippet from New Scientist. The grey nurse shark is heading for extinction and scientists are trying an artificial uterus for growing shark embryos. Why not leave them where they are? It seems the grey nurse shark starts pregnancy with up to 40 embryos in her two uteruses but the embryos have a taste for cannibalism (calling Naomi Robson) and tend to eat each other. The embryos will be flushed from their mother and raised in the tank although they haven't yet developed an artificial uterine fluid.

Something for the arachnophobes. There is a species of spider in eastern Ecuador that lives in nests that house up to several thousand individuals. It's rare for spiders to live in cooperative groups but this mob uses group tactics to hunt. They hang sticky silk threads from low-lying leaves and when an insect is trapped, a group of spiders drop down and wrap more threads around it. They paralyze the prey with venom and carry it back to the nest to share with others. They also take turns carrying the kill back to the nest if it's large. Just what the world needs, a think tank of spiders.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


If you can't have cake, settle for crumpet.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

I did and found it still wasn't enough.

A severe case of getting crumbs then knowing I wanted the whole cake.

Which I'm never going to get.

But it's spring and I'm alive and full of ............(fill in according to your own mood because mine's crap)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


WWP has loused it again but you can almost see my brilliance. Tiara above is the Queen Victoria. Pearls and crystals, worn with my black velvet and acres of lace.

This is the Czarina. Pale mauve pearls, amethyst crytals and irridescent purple bugle beads. The beads are so gorgeous that I was tempted to take it apart and re-use them but it's my favourite head piece so it has to stay in the collection.

This is Autumn Fantasy. Gold berries, hand made gold roses and frosted burgundy berries. Looks great on red hair and goes with burgundy velvet. The only dumb thing is the frosty bits tend to come off and linger in the hair for a week or two. The first time I wore it, I panicked a bit until I realized even nits didn't come in this size or roll around the scalp. I can't bring myself to break this one up either.

My mid-summer madness. It cost a fortune in silk gerberas to make myself look a mid-summer prat. It sits on my bedside lamp to remind me that I can go out to a party alone and have a good time even if I had to fight off the bees. It doesn't show up very well but that white bit in front is a diamente beetle, just a little finishing touch.

I've taken photos of Saturday's green sparkle velvet and its original green velvet and pearl headpiece but knowing my skills, the dress probably won't sparkle when everything else sparkles too much. I am toning things down a notch now that I'm in my dotage, I only wore a huge green beaded comb in the tresses and equally huge emerald and diamond earrings. Neither of which moved when I fell on my 'harse'.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Next Friday is save the Koala day so don't get it mixed up with Sunday which is International Day for Older persons.

I'm an Older Person so send presents early, I don't have much time.

I've been a bit remiss in giving bouquets lately. Bouquets to taxi drivers because recently I've had some really ace ones. The sweetheart who was so lovely to the ancient cat I was transporting to the vet and the two I had on Saturday night. If taxi drivers want to make a heap of cash, cruise the Dandenongs on a Saturday night because there are never enough cabs at three in the morning. I apologise to the other guest at the party whose taxi I unashamedly stole. You were having such a good time on the dance floor I didn't want to interrupt you but I'm sure you got home eventually.

The party was great, as usual, except for the part where the fat lady fell over and I was sober at the time. My Cuz loves to lean on a shoulder but when that shoulder tried to lean on a wall that wasn't there, well down she goes. The bruises are technicolour but nothing broken except my dignity so I decided I might as well drink after that. Champagne cocktails no less. But I didn't try the new drink in a can, a combination of schnapps and irish cream. Champagne is much better for pain, I didn't feel any until today.

I had compliments on my dress which sparkled and my hair which had sparkles sprayed in it. When I did that the cat was sitting on the bed and he sparkled and we are both still sparkling. If I remember from last time it takes a week to unsparkle. I should unbruise and unsparkle about the same time.

Now don't forget Sunday. Something male, young and wearing spiffy underwear should do. Don't forget the green eyes. Not hairy either. Not too many muscles, I like softness. Just because I'm old doesn't mean I can't be choosy. Don't forget the cologne, expensive cologne.

PS. Hugs and kisses to the sweet creature who thought my red hair was natural. Aren't the young delicious?

Friday, September 22, 2006


I have just spent 6 straight days with my Mother. I have PTSD and a brain like mush. It could be several days before I can think straight or maybe the party I'm going to tomorrow night could fix that with booze and drugs and wild sex. Damn that won't work, I can't drink, never got the hang of smoking pot and I've forgotten what wild sex is.

There were several close calls with matricide. After ironing for five hours, it's not irrational to want to put the pillowcases in the linen cupboard before she wants them on the bed. After all she hasn't seen these in twelve months. That's how many pillow cases she has, twelve months and she hasn't needed the ones I've just ironed. Twenty-five of them and seven tri-pillows. I can't throw rocks, I have nearly as many. It's one of the first things she taught me to sew. My side of the bed had lovely lace and linen, his side had cheap crap. Do blokes do anything in bed other than drool, dribble and snore?

Where was I? The ironing board goes up and down which makes it easy for me to sit and iron except the lock decided to give way but I was wearing my 'granny basher' boots and no bones were broken but a lot of blasphemy rules were. Because we now had so many nicely ironed pillow cases to put away, a complete re-arrangement of the linen cupboard had to follow. In the process I found another two huge bags of papers, bills and Christmas cards. I swear the stuff is breeding.

I only kept bank records and bills from one year back. My Mother is the only person I know who ties up her old bills and envelopes in ribbon which she then puts in a plastic bag which then goes into another bigger bag. There must be a name for a phobia for putting things in things in things. The bank records were illuminating. National Bank of Australia has a lot to answer for in relation to the debt this woman is in. Letter after letter from NAB Mastercard offering a pre-approved loan upgrade. The last one I opened earlier this year had the amount going from $8000 to $13000 and they have to know she's a pensioner. Their charges are a disgrace as well and I'm sure they make the statements as hard as possible to read so no-one can understand them.

The Brick Outhouse was not amused at me finding the curls from his first haircut. He was more not amused when I offered to frame them. The only thing I didn't find was the lifetime guarantee for the shower rose which fell out of its fitting on Monday morning. Murphy's Law.

I dare not weigh myself. Stress eating for six days is bound to do nasty things. I really am going to have to drink tomorrow night, just enough to relax, not enough to have a hangover on Sunday. Hard rubbish collection is on Monday and I have to drag it all out. Murphy's Law.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Yes, I am having a twilight zone evening. Blogger hates me and I'm still trying to get into the comments on the last post. I tried to send Davo an email, 6 times and I'm glad it finally got through. Pages are coming up, 'unable to find server' then appears after I hit the refresh button. Blogger comments everywhere are slow.

I won't be around a lot for the next five days, hopefully maybe only four. I'm doing the pill run for Mum again. I knew she was in trouble this morning when I showed her the new toaster and she said it was a lovely wall oven, would it fit in the kitchen. So grab the test strips with one hand and the script for anti-biotics with the other and off to fairy land for another week.

This is so upsetting for her because she knows that what she's doing isn't right but she can't process information. She couldn't remember this afternoon what Panadol was or what day it was. She wanted to know why she couldn't come to stay with me while she's like this. Apart from the fact that I'd bury her under the lemon tree after two hours, she has to stay in familiar surroundings until her mind clears. There's a real danger of her falling if she becomes too disorientated.

This is Saturday and the doctor came to see her on Wednesday and she was in a lot of pain, a little confused because of that but otherwise okay. That's how fast these UTI's move around the body. It doesn't help that she has two medication regimes to follow, even sis has trouble sorting them out, so we've put a big poster on the bedroom door with the times for pain relief and all the others come in a bubble pack. That's fine unless you forget how to get the pills out of the bubble pack.

It's really hard and any-one who does this caring long term is a better man than I am Gunga Din.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Yesterday I read a touching post at Mindless Munkey blogspot about the loss of his mother. I left a comment and today I went back and deleted it.

I couldn't leave it there because it wasn't right. A boy loses his mother only once. A mother loses a little of her boy with every extra step he takes away from her. A smart mother doesn't show it, she hides it. The first time he doesn't want a kiss because everyone's looking. When he'd rather play football than go shopping. His first girlfriend or boyfriend as the case may be.

When a boy, loses his mother it's the first loss for him. He will never be the same boy again. He now has to grow up on his own terms.

Mothers always have a spot deep in their subconscious where the dread thoughts are kept. We're never prepared for death or illness but in reality we are, because we're mothers. It's hidden in the fine print in the job description. It's not in the job description for a son, that only activates with the first cry of the firstborn.

While my heart goes out to Munkey, I can truly say, "I don't know how you feel".

Comment deleted.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I couldn't resist another cloud over Mt. Shasta. This was taken by Jane English in 2001. It's called Abraham's Tree and is another phenomenon that New Agers have taken as a sign that the mountain has a supernatural power. The cloud is composed of cirrus clouds fanning out in plumes from a central point. In weather lore, if there appears to be a lake at the base of the fan then there is a storm brewing.


Isn't this a gorgeous little creature. They produce large mucous nets to capture their prey and their carbonate shells produce pterapod ooze on the sea floor. Along with gastropods and coccolithospores they make their shells or skeletons from calcium carbonate and they're the base of the food chain. Coral reefs also use calcium carbonate to grow.

Calcium carbonate comes in two forms, aragonite and calcite, aragonite being the more soluable. C02 is one of the causes of global warming and C02 is changing the acidity of the oceans so fast that scientists have calculated that the absorption of C02 could make the oceans more acid over the next few centuries than they have been for 300 million years apart from a few catastrophic events.

One of these events occured 65 million years ago, the Chixulub meteorite impact could have caused the release of sulphur dioxide on the surface layers of the oceans. Most of the calcerous plankton went extinct and coral disappeared for two million years. This disappearance is clearly seen in the fossil records.
The other event, 55 million years ago, which scientists think was the unexplained release of methane hydrates from the ocean floor which oxidised to C02, turning the oceans acidic. It's been calculated that around 4500 gigatonnes of carbon caused this acidification and it took over 100,000 years to return to normal alkalinity.

Corals could become rare by the middle of the century not only because of rising water temperatures but falling carbonate levels. These are corals in saturated aragonite water but the high latitude deep water corals which grow near the aragonite saturation limit could decline more rapidly. These corals grow at 100 to 1000 metres down. One reef system stretches from Norway down to the coast of Africa. Scientists have only started to study these reefs, their biodiversity and importance to fish life.

The oceans naturally absorb 0.1 gigatonnes more C02 per year than they release and at the moment they are soaking up an extra 2 gigatonnes a year. This is more than 20 times the natural rate. This doesn't mean the oceans will be devoid of life, just that the diversity will be drastically reduced.

The scientists could be wrong. But in experiments, the shells of pterapods start dissolving in two days, in water at the pH level predicted for 2050. That's only an estimate, it could happen much sooner.

Monday, September 11, 2006


You just know it's going to be a bad day when you wake up and sneeze 9 times with a full bladder.

Something has suddenly begun to bloom and my eyeballs are hanging down near my chin.

My teeth are aching where I haven't any teeth.

My voice sounds like Paul Robeson except when I sing.

No, I'm not going to the quack's and let him do the scratching up the arm with sharp instruments to see what it is that I'm allergic to.

I might find out it's the cat and I've just wasted $400 to keep him alive.

Pardon me while I go and cross my legs, there's a sneeze coming.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


We are thinking of clouds. This is another wave cloud. The photograph was taken in 1999 by Beverly Shannon and the cloud has formed over Mt. Shasta. Mt. Shasta is a volcano in the Cascade Ranges of North America
Mt. Shasta has become the focus of myths and legends, both native American and New Age.

One of the myths concerns this cloud formation. This is a Lenticular cloud taken at sunrise and reflected in Lake Siskiyou. The clouds are said to be the hiding places of UFO's because of their plate shape and formation.

Mt. Shasta's energy is said to be magnetic and healing. The town of Mt. Shasta has 16 Christian churches and a Buddhist monastery. Numerous cults and sects believe it to be on an energy grid.

Apart from the UFO's, there is the story of the ancient race of Lemurians from the drowned continent of Lemuria who live inside the mountain and can appear and disappear at will. These beings supposedly mastered atomic energy, esp, electronics, science and had airships which flew them to Atlantis. They don't seem to have mastered geology since they couldn't stop Lemuria disappearing under the sea.

People still report strange lights on the mountain which is regarded as one of the nine sacred mountains of the world. It's also an active volcano with a history of explosive eruptions.

In the meantime it makes some fantastic clouds and not a bad rainbow.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


It's been a bit of a crappy week.

The cat's still deciding whether to live or die.

Others didn't get a chance to decide.

Ex husbands shouldn't get a chance to decide, three strikes automatic.

A death notice should go in the paper immediately.

It shouldn't go in a week later, like an afterthought.

It shouldn't read as though a robot from Mars wrote it, in Antarctica under an ice floe.

It should not read as though the Blonde is the mother and grandmother of my children.

You, Bastard, should not have used the quotation from our son's grave because that was mine.

Now to other important matters, Brownie has been having trouble with penis enhancement spammers, too many of them. I, on the other hand, aren't getting enough. Well, not enough of the right kind. I'm after a penis reducer. A nice little pill or liquid or patch that would gradually cause the member to retract up past one's balls, if one still has balls (debatable) and finally come to rest in that part of the brain (again debatable) that triggers spontaneous combustion.

I could bang up a spell or two but with the arthritis and global warming, it's hard to know where they'll land these days. Plus there's probably a lot of fat four-eyed gits out there that could get hit in the crossfire. So keep sending the spam you lot but remember the word is reduce, get it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I don't know which of these I loathe the most. I don't even know where to start about today.

1. I don't think it's good form to use a photo that makes the deceased look as though she was nearly 100 even if she was. She would have hated that photo. I have (and so does he) a lovely one taken at her 90th birthday party surrounded by bouquets of flowers.

2. It's definitely not good form to photoshop one's fat self into the photo to make it look like a happy family.

3. It's not good form to give a speech as though it was a Toastmaster's meeting. Instead of just talking about his mother, he inserted a history lesson in between the important events of her life. That's because he didn't know as much as he should have about his mother.

4. When choosing flowers for the casket do not have purple irises with a few pink roses and bright purple paper ribbon sitting on top of a mustard yellow cloth. It should have been pink and white with touches of pale green because that's what she wanted but he didn't ask me.

5. Don't describe one's mother as a simple woman. No woman is simple except the drone he married. She was an intelligent, complex individual who put aside all her aspirations to look after a husband because that's what women did in the thirties. She loved the embroidery work we did because she used to do gold bullion embroidery, an exquisite and difficult art. She worked as a confidential secretary which is why she knew so much about philandering men.

6. Don't let the tacky missus get up and make up fairy tales about the wonderful Sunday lunches they had together because some other person used to go down for lunch on Mondays and get the real story.

7. Don't tell porkies to your ex-wife, she knows you too well but thanks for wearing the pure silk bow tie I gave you 10 years ago. It livened up the prison grey shirt no end.

Remember how my sister and I were waiting for the lightning/thunder? The day was sunny so we didn't get that but when he described his mother as a simple woman, something large and heavy crashed in the foyer. I tried to keep a straight face as my sister's going "She's heeeere!"

The food was good, the tea was nice and hot and Nellie Jean would have loved the sandwiches and the lemon curd tarts, her favourite but he wouldn't have known that.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Lovely isn't it? It's called a wave cloud and is formed when there are two parallel layers of air that are usually moving at different speeds and in opposite directions. All I have to do is just sit here and look at the wave cloud. Tension will roll away with the wave cloud. Blood pressure will go down by meditating on the wave cloud. The wave cloud is soothing especially when Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major is playing in the background, well the adagio assai part.

NO it's not working. Maybe this will....

my ex husband is a supercilious fucking prick who I would like to spit on.

Oh yes, that feels much better. The funeral is on Tuesday and he will be speaking and I hope he is the only one. I may not control myself if the Blonde gets up for a few words. My sister, the expert in all things metaphysical although how she can read a book on metaphysics while drinking vodka, smoking and betting on horses and still consider herself enlightened is beyond me, anyhoo according to the expert, departed souls sometimes do turn up at their own funeral.

M-I-L didn't really like the Blonde. If she gets up and makes a gushy speech and there's thunder, lightning and a raging tornado then I might believe the departed is with us. Blondie did ask if the photos I took on Friday were on my digital camera so they could use them at the funeral. I am the sole support of several utility companies and a vet surgery, how in the feck could I afford a digital camera? Venture out of LaLaLand sometimes, tart, and see how the pensioners live.

Rant over and composure begins since it will take until Tuesday for the rage to subside. I never wear black to funerals, always red to celebrate life not death so out will come the 20 year old red dress and the fifteen rubies and 8 diamonds ring that M-I-L gave to me with her own hands so she knew it was mine. I will wave it around a lot and on my other hand I think I'll wear my wedding and engagement rings and wave them around a lot. And what's more, I'm taking anti-spew pills and I'm going to hug and kiss the ex right in front of her.

After this I hope I never have to see or be nice to him again. twunt

Friday, September 01, 2006


I watched the programme on the ABC last night about the photograph of the falling man from the Twin Towers.
It was described as having a quality of stillness. That it did, until you were shown the other photos in the set of 12. Those were full of movement, tumbling over and over, until that one shot. When I looked at that photo, it was not the stillness that hit me but the smallness of the man against the vastness of the building behind him.

I had a lot more to say about that and about taking Mum to see my Mother-in-Law today. It was a long way for Mum to go but it was a nice warm day and she made it. They hadn't seen each other for two years so it was tears all round and a chin wag. We didn't stay long, they both tired easily. I said I'd be back soon and we left around 11.30.

My ex called as I walked in tonight to say Nellie Jean had passed away at 3 o'clock. Another small stillness.

I was with my son when he died. When the life force leaves the body it becomes very still, just like a house emptied of people. That's what death is to me, stillness a never ending stillness.