Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day

Australia's idea of a tribute consists of two F-111s scouring the sky.

Here I sat with Debussy in the background wondering about the Australian of the Year's proposal that Australia Day be moved to another date so that indigenous people of this land and others who live in that massive middle of the continent, the part currently under water due to the WET having arrived, could celebrate also.

Currently communities in the north-central and north-east of Australia are surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of water with more storms on the horizon - a weather condition called THE WET, a condition that has inundated the northern tier of this country for the past several centuries at this time of year.

And in the midst of my ruminations, the deep growl accompanied by the high shriek of massive jet power rolled through the skies behind the fig tree wilderness of my neighborhood.

I smiled! Every Aussie bloke I know stood straighter, smiled himself as he considered the awesome power inherent in those massive phallic symbols.

Happy Australia Day to you, too!

(btw if you want more info click on the title to this post)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Possums and Pythons

Ya know the phrase, 'it's raining cats and dogs'? A northern hemisphere comment about the weather, for sure.

Today, instead we have reached 100% humidity and it's raining possums and pythons.

Well, not really. Both are wise critturs hidden away in their tree limbs or under the eves of houses keeping dry. That is, of course, assuming that roofs are repaired and leak proof in this downpour.

I think I am witnessing Queensland summer for the very first time.

The last seven years have been an aberration. Now, we are down to business in the WET.

Whole towns - lots of them - are inundated and cut off by road and even by air (no dry airstrips for planes and helicopters to land). They may not be visited for three or four weeks and so hopefully have stocked in enough BEER.

Roads have been become spreading lakes, not rivers, but lakes, taking in hundreds of hectares of paddock.

Mother nature is a wonderment.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Point of View

In the midst of all this opressive humidity, I sit in front of my fan with the windows open in my office, three whole walls of windows open. Instead of doing the work that needs doing, I troll the web looking for interesting material to distract me from the fact that heat exhaustion faces me if I head out to trek, that the slightest endeavour manages to incite my sweat glands to riot.

I have had the Al Jazeera link on my computer for several months. However, today I spent a little more time than usual investigating its contents. If you are interested in a slightly different slant on what news is worth printing, you might want to check it out. Along with the BBC, I find that the reporting offers the balance to American/Australian reporting on world events.

You may find it engaging as well.

http://english.aljazeera.net/

Friday, January 23, 2009

100 % Humidity

There is almost nothing I hate more than 100% humidity. I don't care if that means snow or rain.

The temps here in Oz this day have hovered in the 85 F/30 C degree vicinity and I've glowed enough to light an entire Christmas Tree. Only it's summer!

Damn. The air is so heavy, it added five pounds to the scale this morning.

I left Michigan because I hated these weather conditions.

What am I doing in Brisbane in the summer time?

Idiocy.

Just thot I'd vent a little.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Pledge

If you haven't been to this web page with a video presentation: Presidential Pledge, go there now!

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=50632298

Good job, Hollyvale! You've put your time, money, and talent in precisely the right place at precisely the right time!

It feels so good to be proud to be an American again.

May the follow through make it so for the rest of my life.

love you all!! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Mundane: LDL cholesterol

Old folks are focused on their health. Who would'uv guessed.

And so here's a web site that may interest any reader with cholesterol issues.
Can you tell that includes me?

Sigh! Narcissism reigns.


Over 8 weeks of treatment, overall decreases in cholesterol levels were encouraging: LDL cholesterol was reduced 6.72% ; and the LDL to HDL ratio decreased by 6.62%. The effect of psyllium appeared to focus on the reduction of LDL. In general, decreases in ratios of LDL to HDL cholesterol were greater in the older age group, with very little difference in results between men and women.

http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2000/A/200000577.html

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time Drift

Here it is Saturday and I have to leave in a moment: Goddess work calls.

Time drifts into vacant sand dunes
Patterns shift
Shadows melt into blaring noon shine
High ridges and precipitous drops
A road race across sometimes inhospitable territory
The end of the day brings, at last, acceptance

Monday, January 12, 2009

knees - new technology

Have just made a doctor's appointment with a knee guy - a bone man!

Back in 1979, I tore the cartilage in my right knee as I was pounding down a steep grade in the eastern Sierra of California carrying a huge backpack. Limped to the car about a mile further on.

Ensueing years the joint healed and then ripped and finally in 2000 an MRI showed that the cartilage was totally gone.

Walking on cement, bitumen, beach sand, or cobblestones is painful. Walking on dirt trails or leaf litter is manageable.

However, today I made an appointment with a bone doctor here in Brisbane who grows one's cartilage in a petrie dish and then puts it back into the empty joint.

Hip hip hooray..and knee, knee, hooray, too!

Only problem - first appointment he had available is 27 May. Can't wait - weight loss, exercise, and strengthening life style for the next five months may put me in a place where I can have the use of my right knee back - minus the pain!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wasps in the LIbrary

I just found Library Thing at this addy: http://www.librarything.com

Decided to log in a couple of my favourite books - under Annielaural1.

Just to make sure I had the titles right, I took the books off my top shelf.

Lady Montague -- no worries
Kira Salak - - no worries
Isabella Bird -- no problem
Mary Kingsley (the lady of leeches) - four mud wasp nests fell off the binding as I dropped the book on the desk top.

Does that mean I have NOT looked at Mary Kingsley for a very long time or does it mean that even wasps know which of the intrepid women travellers I admire would love them, no matter what they did to her words?

Not as friendly as Ms Kingsley, I brushed the nests to the floor and retrieved the vacuum to sweep up the debris, eggs et al

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gurl Talk

Delightful afternoon - and to top it off - full moon tonight!

Sat and drank wine by the river with two good friends - lots of gurl talk - multiple generational chatter.

Twas good for the soul - good for the psyche .

What more can one ask of a Satutday!

Woke early, walked the Kolgun - 2.5 kilometre track over at Mt. Cooth-tha with a good steep hill in the middle

As I came down the other side of that hill, I moved to the side of the track to let four university younguns run past - they were going the other way.

Three stalwart, 6'4" dark haired, non sweating, balanced, fast moving young men. Impressive

Thirty seconds later, here came their female compatriot, not so tall, stalwart, non sweating, balanced and fast moving!

I was suitably impressed

A bit later a Jack Russell towed his owner down the hill near the gravel quarry! Tiny legs -short - squat - and determined

It was one of those days - Everyone was out!

Friday, January 09, 2009

American Dream

Question on the INFJ list-serve to which I subscribe: What is the American Dream?

Sigh! Way too complex to even begin to answer in so short a space, but the dot-point version is here:

* That children are our future; take good care of them

*That the natural environment supports care taking of children; value forests, paddocks, and streams, rivers, and air: foul none of them

*That education allows us to be better parents; provide it in all its manifestations to every citizen

* That good health care creates an environment where children grow into their strength: provide it to all regardless of income

*That greed destroys children; share your wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and material

*That unrestricted power corrupts our ability to support children ; insist on a sharing of decision making at all levels

I know there are dozens of possibilities I have chosen to disregard here. You might want to add to this list. I promise to add in next time whatever you choose to share. If ever in my life time there as been a moment when making such a list may promise change, it is probably right now..or just after 20 January.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Drizzle

Ah, I have just come from blogs of two friends and am entirely despondent about my lack of 'clever'.

Can you believe it? Yeah, I suspect you can. Rather than celebrating the wit and energy of my friends, I see them as competitors in the business of entertainment - written entertainment - blog entertainment.

Both of these blogs come from women who have suffered 'outrageous fortune' far beyond their own ability to create such circumstances. The universe has pounced without regard to intellect or value. And yet, both are celebratory in their recognition of what it means to live a 'happy' life.

My own less than courageous comments are most often couched in terms of drizzle or is it dribble or maybe drivel :)

I encourage you to check out their words and their worlds. Might shed a humourous light on some otherwise dreary corner of your own life - not that I think any of you live dreary lives. But these two women remind me and perhaps will remind you that the reason for being alive is to live!

So, I'm off to get on with it. Time to continue the edit of 'das book'!

btw...no response from agent I contacted about representing 'das book' in Oz nor from the publishers who have it in their grimey little hands in Scotland and North Carolina.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

In Oz as in Britain, bloody has a different definition than it has in Nordamerica. Still, this blog title works in all three cultures on a day like today where the news headlines blare - Israel sends land troops into Gaza, Robert Mugabe institutes a solo government in Zimbabwe.

It rained all day yesterday here my corner of the globe. I couldn't help but imagine that the heavens were shedding tears on behalf of the worlds destitute populations who are in the throes of dealing with sociopathic heads of government who have no regard for their agony, who have no regard for the basic requirements of survival, who seem to care only for their political power and economic gratification.

In case you think me arrogant about my own government, let me assure you that I see W in the same light. Only, those of us in the west must accept our complicity in the decisions made by the American government. After all, enough of us voted for W to allow the Supreme Court to emasculate itself by appointing him president a second time.

So, I do not look at the plight of the planet from some higher plane. I accept my own responsibility for having fled the country in the face of W's overt denial of our constitution. I ought to have remained behind and worked during these years to effect change.

Hopefully, one man has the insight and the humility and the intelligence and charisma to initiate a kinder world view. It has happened before. With support from vast numbers of citizens, it could happen again.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2 January 2009

When a blog entry has a date on it, one might think that particular day is of some importance to someone.

Not so!

Instead, this is a day like any other - well, kind of. Overcast but cool in the early morning, the cloudy aspect highlights the architectural outlines of the Queenslanders on the horizon (across the valley from my ridge line to theirs) punctuated by a lone gum tree spiking into the grey sky.

The birds all seem dark as they flap past my window without benefit of sun to highlight their various shades. The crows are doing their southern dialect - always makes me smile.

On the TV two nights ago a particular program highlighted folks from Alabama. Their southern dialect also makes me smile and slides back into my awareness this morning as I listen to the Aussie crows. Must have been a long migration from here to there or vice versa. No stark CAW here, but a two dimensional tone with a lilting drop at the end..CAWaah.

Obviously this entry is an attempt to escape the news of the Fertile Crescent. Who can welcome continued news of two communities vying for the opportunity to destroy each other. Have they never read Frost?

In my other home in the northern hemisphere this is the first day of 2009. And so, may I wish my northern neighbors a pleasant respite from partying, from too much jangling New Year's spirit and a calm, balanced step into 2009. We may all need to hold on to balance this year.

Ciao.