Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Diamond Man

Laurence Graff has done it again and bought this 24.78 carat "fancy intense pink" diamond which he named "The Graff Pink". It wasn't so long ago that he bought the the blue Wittelsbach diamond for $24.3 million. He renamed it the Wittelsbach-Graff and had it re-cut to bring out the fire inside. The Graf Pink has a slight flaw which is unnoticeable to the naked eye by after re-polishing could be graded as internally flawless.
According to Graff, this diamond is the most fabulous diamond he's seen in the history of his career and he has seen a lot of diamonds. It was almost routine for him to travel to see the Sultan of Brunei carrying a suitcase full of his diamond creations.
This is a classic emerald-cut stone of exceptional colour and purity. It is classified at type 11a which comprises less than 2 per cent of all the world's gem diamonds and is even more valuable than a white diamond of this type because of the scarcity of pink diamonds.
The "Graff Pink", which is roughly the size of a pinball, was last on the market about 60 years ago and was only expected to sell between $27 and $38 million.

But if that is a bit ostentatious for you why not pop over to New York for the Bonhams' fine jewelry sale on December 16 and put in a bid for this little number. A 10.17 carat oval shaped diamond of E colour and VVS1 clarity with two half moon diamond shoulders. It's price is estimated at $550,000-$650,000. Small change if you're Graff.

Also on the block is a rare Oscar Heyman & Brothers diamond, sapphire and enamel "Harlequin" brooch. This is only one of eight Harlequins that Oscar Heyman has created over the last 12 years. The masked figure is playing a lute and the body is pave-set diamonds, accented with marquise shaped sapphires. The mask, hat, and shoes are made of black enamel and the white enamel face is accented by hand-painted red lips. It comes with a signed box, a marker's mark and is estimated to sell for $15,000 to $20,000. It'll be snowing in New York, perhaps I'll just phone by bid in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How embarrassment!

I really shouldn't be allowed out on my own.
I managed to vote and confuse the card handouters by saying I was swinging until I actually had the pencil in my hand.
VoteRage was close as the silly tart in the booth next to me asked her husband to make sure she'd filled the ballot out correctly. I nearly screamed 'It's the 21st century you imbecile, women have died for that vote you can't cast without a bloke around!'
I calmed down after an egg and bacon roll and a think about how many elections I've been to at this school and let the memories wander around. I didn't see anyone I knew but then these days I can't remember their names anyway.
So being halfway to the bus I continued in the interest of exercise and the promise of cake. I do have to incentive myself. (shuttup, I know it's not grammah)
Bus to Mentone, accomplished.
Bus to Southland, accomplished.
Shock at crappy Christmas decorations and prices for presents. I keep forgetting that not everyone is a pensioner and has money to spend.
Check every five minutes that I still have my umbrella and no-one has nicked my purse which has the cake money in it.
Find two pairs of silver thongs on special at KMart and a box of chocolates.
Have ice coffee and cake, loving the sitting down right in front of the cake display.
Down the elevator to the bus stop with the ticket still in time.
Thank Crispin there aren't too many people around to see me drop the bloody umbrella and fall flat on my face off the bench as I bent to pick it up.
Do the usual crawl and lift my lardarse back on the bench.
Decide not to catch the bus and walk home.
Walk to the taxi rank and get drenched in a shower, forget I have umbrella.
Lovely, taxi is there.
Not lovely taxi is wheel chair cab.
Do my impression of Tarzan and throw myself into the back.
Home in time to miss teeming rain which would have drowned me if I'd caught the bus.
The thongs are from the Goldilocks range, one pair is just a little too big, the other pair is just a weeny bit small. Christmas is Crap.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm almost back.

I have a virus.

I think it might be the Wiccan creed of 'Do no Harm' since the violence I've hurled at Telstra in the last 10 days has come back threefold in the virus from Hell.

I am now back with dear old Optusnet, but I didn't go as far as returning to dial-up.

Thank you to the 16 year old nerd at Dick Smith/Tandy Southland who analysed my internet usage and told me exactly what I needed and an hour later I was back on line.

I've hardly been near the computer since, snot is so unpleasant sprayed on a screen. You can almost see the virus spreading.

In the words of that megolomaniacal pipe chewing yankie General, I will return.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This little squid is an example of an asymmetrical organism. The cock-eyed squid belongs to the genus Histioteuthis and lives nearly 1000 metres in the deep ocean. It wanders up to 100 metres to feed at night and its body is covered in little photophores or light producing organs, which make the squid look like a little seeded strawberry.

As for its other name, the cock-eyed squid that comes about because their left eye is two to three times the size of the right. Scientists still haven't decided why this is but sea lore has it as because the squid lives as far down as sunlight penetrates so the squid trains one eye on the illuminated downwelling water above while the other looks down into blackness.
I might be off line as I try to figure out what to do with the new modem to replace my wireless set-up. So far I have opened the box without mishap.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This is the year, I think.

I haven't put up the Christmas tree for definitely 10 years, yes, not for this millenium.
Not for not wanting to but with Ma and the Christmas lights and that razamatazz which was enough to turn Santa off the silly season.

So this year was my year of the pretty. My year to haul out the 35 year old veteran tinsel twigs which somewhere along the way I had re-tinselled. The bottom stand had broken so I stood the main centre piece in a giant pot and poured in enough cement for the next freeway. I love this little tree, so easy to put away, fold up the twiggy branches and whack a plastic bag over the lot.

But it's so hard to put it up. So hard to get out the ornaments. So hard to push away the memories which are also lying under cold concrete in a cemetary not so very far away. No angel for the treetop, always a little Father Christmas. The Christmas mice and the gold sprayed pine cones, to be made into the tallest pyramid possible in a wicker basket for the floor. Every year we waited for the first cat to launch the top mouse into outer space.

I was intending to dust and vac everything before I put it up but I know if I wait, it's never going to happen. At least it's out of the cupboard and standing where it should be and giving me a heart attack in the dead of night when it looked ghostly in the wrapping.

I do know what ornaments I have. Instead of putting them on the tree, I'd just open the pine chest and look in the boxes. Oh, shiny, pretty, and some never been fixed to a tree, virgin ornaments, how appropriate. My mother-in-law's deluxe Father Christmas, it had to be mine as she didn't want the 'other' to have it. The baby bears haven't been out of the tissue lined drawer for almost as long as the tree has been hidden. Really small bears and all of them with a Christmas jumper I'd knitted, more important than housework.

Now, deep breath or maybe two, and go for it. Put it up and pin a memory to each branch. Enjoy it for the month it used to be the centre of. Maybe I'll knock a bauble or two to the carpet just for old times sake.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Almost there.

The dentist visit went off without a hitch yesterday with the BrickOutHouse coming home with a hole in his jaw that a family of five could live in.

On the x-ray it looked like the roots of the tooth went through the back of his eyeball to his brain which would explain quite a few things.
It took the dentist several instruments and assistants to dig out the offending molar.
She said it might fix up the sinus headaches and the migraines.
Now only to fix up a small filling in the front and I'm sure he'll do that. He's had too much pain to let anything go now.

Four sessions at the physio, last check up at the surgeon's and I'll have built a new man.
I can't do much about changing his priorities though.
First report of a thunderstorm was enough to get him up (cotton wadding still in place) and run the precious ute to a mate's factory to be undercover in case of hailstones.

But I have to say that my sister and I must have brung him up right as when he was leaving the surgeon's office, he shook the man's hand and thanked him very much for all his good work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why I don't fly.

This is the severely wounded airbus and its list of injuries was compared by one newspaper to the famous "Memphis Belle" bomber of WW11.
I have a neighbour who flies regularly as does her husband. A trip to England for her is a weekend jaunt to Southland for me. She flew from America on the first airbus for the Qantas fleet and it's the first time she admitted she was scared.
She said there's always a certain amount of buffeting in any plane, backward, forward depending on conditions in the air. But this was the first time she'd experienced a shuddering movement from side to side caused by the plane itself not atmospheric conditions. It was nearly continuous and she was glad to land in Australia.
I haven't seen her yet but I'd love her take on this near disaster.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle

This is a night view of the Nile River and Delta from the International Space Station.

The Cairo metropolitan area is the very bright area where the river flows into the Delta. The photograph also shows the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean - the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area in Israel and Amman in Jordan. The lights also show the coast line of the Sinai Peninsula and the city lights of the island of Cyprus at the top of the image.

The thin yellow curving band at the top of the image is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at nearly 100 kilometres above the earth.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Telstra bandwagon.

My turn for the Telstra snarl.

Bill for the Internet. I'm on pre-paid wireless, I think. I'm still confused and due to make another visit to the poor dears at the Telstra shop. I know to stand in front of the escape door to the back room and they are captive.

So we have:

Amount on your last bill $59.00
Amount you paid (as at 08 Oct 10) $59.00

Your balance $0.00
New Charges $178.28
(see over for breakdown)

Turn over the page:
Telstra Mobile Casual Plan $10 - 01 Nov to 30 Nov $10.00
Calls & Charges ineligible for Plan Discount
Mobile WAP/Internet Sessions $119.276
3G Data Pack 3GB - 01 Nov to 30 Nov $49.00

Total $178.276

I can't even check the 3GB usage because I delete records on the 1st of the month so I don't go over. None of the other accounts have Calls and Charges ineligible for Plan discount. Tension stay away from my door tonight, I'm in a killing mood.

And on the other hand. A car accelerated in reverse, not across the road, but down the road and mounted the curb, went across the nature strip, missed two huge gum trees but flattened the fence and nearly went through the plate glass doors at the home this morning. A woman driver, with a driving licence issued in Mumbai. I kid you not. Shook up the old biddies a bit as it was very early in the morning.

How was your day?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The plates are moving.

An earthquake struck near Wananui, North Island, New Zealand. 4.3 on the Richter Scale.
It's depth was only 90kms.

Christchurch's earthquake on September 4 is still rumbling with aftershocks. 11 quakes hit the city on Friday night, ranging from 2.5 to 4.3 on the Richter Scale.

Another place I'll be staying away from especially since bits started falling off Qantas planes.
I mean how unlucky can you be to avoid one crash, get on another plane to have that turn around and land safely after problems.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The ring of fire

That's the latest photo of Indonesia's Mount Merapi as it continues to erupt. So far 120 people have died from the incandescent ash raining down from the sky but it's also being blamed for the tsunami that killed more 400 people on October 25, after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake.

Lurking under the clouds in this image is Anak Krakatau, 'Child of Krakatau'. Anak rose from the caldera left by the explosion of Krakatau and is now beginning to spew an ash cloud high into the atmosphere. In 2009, an eruption started and you'll find some spectacular images here .
Sumatra is the site of Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world. It was formed when a supervolcanic eruption occurred and is considered the largest explosive event in the last 25 million years leading to a volcanic winter with temperatures declining 5 to 15 degrees at the highter latitudes.
The tectonic plates seem to be shifting under the Indonesian Islands.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Sympathy, I want sympathy, when do I want it, NOW

Damn it I'm crook again.
Probably Tension or the stress related to Tension.

Nitrites, leucocytes, glucose, ph level, all of them up the wazoo.

Infection affecting the glucose and not the forerunner of diabetes.

Fasting test next week. The one I was supposed to have had .........months ago but geez winter was cold this year and there was mother and BrickOutHouse and stuff.

But believe me, nothing will keep me from Harry Potter, nothing.

I have antibiotics and probably a full dose of Tension again tonight.

I know how it happened, I just ignored all the signs. I'm not eating at the same time, not eating the same food, not sleeping as much as I should. I couldn't even finish my shopping today but the cat has enough food so I'm safe.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Melbourne Cup Day


The Elephant in the room.

Not exactly in the room but trailing through the front door through the lounge and out the back door.
No I haven't said a word or asked about the Sunday trek.
But she's bringing a curry for his tea tonight.

Two more weeks and he'll be able to drive his car, to her place.

Hold the tongue for two more weeks. It's what she's waiting for, me to lash out, then it's sob time and the nasty woman yelled at me and I hadn't done anything. I know because she's done this to me before and caused a rift in the family that took months to heal.

Just two more weeks, unless there's brick handy tonight.