Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anzac Day

Today is 25 April and in Australia this date is dedicated to the remembrance of all those who have served in the armed forces.

Somehow this day takes on a slightly different tenor than does the American Memorial Day Service.

It is the one Aussie holiday that isn't always attached to a long week end. People, very young and very old, take it seriously. This morning at one of the dawn services ( every community has one and individuals often rise just before dawn to remember if they are not in one of those communities) I listened to the roll call of those who have served along with a few thousand others as the sun rose over the Pacific.

I am strangely very proud of these Aussie soldiers/sailors for what they have contributed to their own country and often to countries around them. May their government keep them involved only in situations where they have the opportunity to serve as role models.

As the sun rose the following bugle reminded us of the fallen. You might find it a moving tribute, too.

http://www.royalengineers.ca/40_Last%20Post%20(Tattoo).mp3

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rained last night

And it didn't rain the night before.

However, if the skies of this lovely autumn Monday morning are any sign of future weather, it looks like it will be the warm, sunny variety.

Just before the rain fell, my intrepid partner hooked up the last of the pipes to connect our brand new 1000 litre rain water tanks to the spout of the gutters for the front portion of our roof. We stood on the front veranda and listened to the water pouring into our tanks! Hooray.

I share here his previous description of life in Brissy due to the drought:

We are on level 5 water restrictions.... we all use the same wet sponge to wash, (D then nukes it in the microwave) and we pray for rain so we can run around outside to have a shower.

Latest scheme is to recycle sewerage as they do in some parts of Europe ......... didn't meet with great appeal.........maybe they should have filtered it somehow first ....Hmm.

The name for the recycling scheme wasn't the greatest either... "Getting Your Own Back" ....in hindsight wasn't the most user friendly and catchy name they could have picked..

If you wish to wash your car or the dog you need to call a Professional Dog/Car washer..... not necessarily the same person....although the guy who washed the car said he was sure his high pressure water blaster would work just as well on the dog.

Entrepreneurial individuals have already started stealing water.The Council has suggested putting locks on any outside taps around your home. I have just hooked ours up to the 240 volt electricity supply. You just need to remember to jump in the air, so as not to have any contact to ground, as you turn the tap on.

I am waiting for someone to suggest towing an Iceberg up from Antarctica .... I know it didn't work the last time because just about all of it melted before it got here; but surely they could capture a bigger one ... or bring two ..!! Gosh must I think of everything.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Been a while

Greetings, dear friends..

It's been a while since I have logged in to comment on my world.

This morning, as I filed three long fingernails, I realized that in America I only filed nails to repair breaks, cracks, and damage. Could have been a result of lots of paper work. One forgets how damaging the chemicals used in paper making can be to hands and nails. One forgets until there is little paper in one's life and nails grow longer and stronger.

Initially, I thought my nails grew in Oz due to some weird sort of humidity or maybe even the more relaxed, less stressful lifestyle of retirement. But, now, I suspect that the growth of my nails, the health of my skin and hands has more to do with simply not handling so many chemically created products.

That makes me wonder also about noses. You know as I do that our noses don't stop growing, just as our nails do not stop growing. Unlike the length of our legs or the width of our lips, the length of our noses, our cartiledge, goes on growing..sometimes even for a short time after we die.

That thought sent me into the bathroom mirror to check my nose. I rather like it these days. The symetry of my face has improved with the length of my nose. I know, some old folks have noses too long for their faces, but mine has somehow caught up with the rest of my features..and contributes to my 'ancient' look rather well.

With this commentary on physical features completed, I wish you a happy third week in April..

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Politicos..

MoveOn.org is helping us all out again by promoting a conversation between Americans on line and their democratic party potential presidential candidates. The banner at the right gives you more info. You can, of course check out the link above.

In other areas of life, all is well. Easter week end is a big deal in Oz. Not in terms of religiousity necessarily, but in terms of holiday. Four days of camping, surfing and general family connections makes it a time when most Aussies travel to their favourite spots.

That means the city is pretty quiet. We slept til after 8 a.m. this morning because except for one 747 headed for points west there was no traffic in our environment to wake us, no garbage trucks, no cement mixers, no delivery vans racing up and down our city streets.

It is breezy and relatively cool with clear skies..not a good sign for drought ravaged south eastern Queensland. But it did rain steadily for about a half an hour yesterday. The Frangipani bordering our front veranda are thankful for that moisture.

Hope you each enjoy your spring break...as we begin to enjoy our autumn cool.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sydney Dims Lights to Protest Emissions

Here's what happened. Tomorrow I take off the banner. But we might all want to take note!

SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's largest city plunged itself into near-darkness for an hour on Saturday night when city officials, thousands of businesses and many more residents cut the lights for energy conservation.

The normally gleaming white sails of the Sydney Opera House darkened, as did the arch of the city's iconic harbor bridge, big chunks of the downtown skyline and countless homes in the city of 4 million in a gesture of concern about global warming.

"Tonight is a call to action," said Mayor Clover Moore, whose officials shut down all nonessential lights on city-owned buildings. "We all have to act to reduce out ecological footprint. We are asking people to think about what action they can take to fight global warming."

Restaurants throughout the city held candlelight-only dinners, and families gathered in public places to take part in a countdown to lights out, sending up a cheer when the lights started going out at 7:30 p.m. local time.

There was no master switch, though, and it took a few minutes for the effect to take hold as buildings went dark at slightly different times. Some floors in city skyscraper remained lit, and security and street lights, those at commercial port operations and at a sports stadium, stayed on.

While downtown was significantly darker than normal, the overall effect, as seen in television footage from overhead helicopters, was that the city's patchwork of millions of tiny lights had thinned, not disappeared.