Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Midnight Across the Equator

Wilderness, within and without, challenges Demi as she seeks her inner child, Stephanie, in California's Sierra and Australia's brilliant Outback.

Chapter 1 — Wilderness

(The first 100 words)


I banged on the front door and shouted in the quiet southern California suburb, 'Merrie, school’s over; graduations done and my backpack is in the trunk. Say good-bye to your hubby and let’s go.’

Opening the door, Merrie set her backpack on the porch. ‘You are an ebullient soul. Where did all the energy come from?’

‘And you are a poet. Where did ebullient come from?’ I leaned against the door jam and urged, ‘Let’s get under way before I cave. All of this energy is about fear — of snow, of bears, and of the spring thaw.'






Sunday, January 29, 2012

Foggy foggy dew

Sitting on the back veranda attempting to finish off a soduku — no chance 'cause my glasses kept fogging up and I couldn't, of course, see the numbers on the page. Yep, that's just how humid it is right now in the great green south.

I finally gave up and settled into my computer chair to jot you all a note about the circumstances of this week.

Sunday morning and we were off to James Street in the Valley for our scrambled eggs and the best cuppa of the week. No one makes a mug of flat whites as tasty as Faye at Harvey's.

Then home again, home again, jiggidy jig.

The Master of the house is down in the cellar arranging, sweeping and generally making space for all of our most valued items — you know the stuff — no financial value, but lots of emotional riff raff...so that the kids who are renting the house don't have to worry about breaking or scuffing my tax records or his no longer useful lighting tools. There's always the tiny gifts given by students when I graduated high school, one or five of them. And naturally, the wine glasses that were a gift from his mom on the day of his first wedding.

And all the paint and stain cans from bringing the hundred year old doors into the 21st century and the goods necessary to protect the front and back veranda from the elements for one more year. Both look spiffy at the moment. The mold from last years flood monsoon washed away and the surfaces repainted. The little black ants evicted from crevices between boards and wood protection applied. The charcoal of the two of us in love transported to its own wall, covered and hung in the deep dry depths to keep it safe until we return and hang it again above the bed.

A week before our departure and I'm packed and ready to climb into the taxi. The Aussie monster will soon be in the same condition. Cleaners come on Friday for an eight hour bout with the house to make it spic and span for renters.

Why is it that we clean as we leave? According to my ex, that's a pattern I've been following for an awful lot of years. One more time, I'll follow the pattern, only this time I will return for at least another twelve months of Brisbane cafe life before finding a new Australian home.

In the meantime, hopefully, February which is sticking it's short little head over the horizon, will be a celebration for all of you. We think it will be for us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monsoon Bedtime

Raining again!

Rained last night, rained the night before; gonna rain tomorrow like it never rained before!

Don't know any other place I've been in my life when rain fell so hard for so long...not a steady drizzle, but a pounding, resolute storm cloud that covers the entire east coast of a continent, albeit, the smallest continent.

I'm tired of the downpour, praying for sunlight on the morrow. I have a set of stairs to paint before I leave the 'down under'. Managed to finish the yellow uprights just before the storm started yesterday, but have the red handrails to finish off.

Let there be a drying of the cloud cover, dear god of the skies. Let moonshine and sunlight cover the land for a bit so that my chores can be completed before I sail off into the up over!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Summer Saturday

Happiness is a quiet Saturday, bright sunshine, a powerful fan, a comfy seat, and a laptop ready to load with all the news that's fit to print and take back to America.

True, we're coming north very soon.

Looking forward to seeing ya'll. With very little snow on the mountain hoping to make the three mile trek to the cabin for a week of Sierra madness.

Then we're off to Arizona to visit with friends and family.

Catch you soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"CONGRATULATIONS TO MY NEWLY MARRIED FRIENDS"

Ah, an announcement has just arrived in my down under mail box alerting me to the 18 December marriage ceremony of two important friends from southern California.

Congratulations to you both. I know that it is not proper to congratulate the bride, but when have we ever been 'proper'.


the Aussie and I wish you the most delightful, fulfilling, thoroughly exciting 2012 and many years beyond. May bliss follow you both all the years of your relationship.

It is a joy to see the picture of the two of you legally entwined !

Love you!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feeling a tad superb this early morning

Woke at 4:20 this morning. Isn't that supposed to be 'toke' time...oh, yeah, that's 4:20 in the afternoon :)

Am feeling just a tad superior — no inferiority complex here. Yesterday I painted the whole front wall of the Brisbane house. It looks spiffy and I feel damn good for the effort. But, it did take me 7.5 hours to complete the job in 100 F heat. So engrossed in my task was I that I forgot to feel overheated. I think that's a good outcome. And I'm a tad impressed with my focus and growing skill with paint brush and 10 litre cans of paint. double :)

Now, it's time to do the trim around the doors and move on to the veranda railings and front steps. Temperatures today are supposed to only reach 81F. We'll see. Often those who are supposed to know miss by a mile .. er kilometre ..

The Aussie will be painting the northwest side of the house today on very high painters' scaffold. Some of you may remember that the northwest side of the house is three stories high. I won't look or even go round that side of the property til he is safely returned to ground zero and my waiting arms or maybe his waiting afternoon tea.

Hope your world is as full of good works as I am beginning to feel mine is. Catch you on the morrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

90.5 F at Midnight

'not happy, Jan.'

Ye gads, try sleeping in a house with no air con when it's 95 F while it's light and 90 at midnight with a sky full of almost precipitation. Sound a tad like tropical living? You bet. And this happy camper turned into a crab!

Ended up stretching out on the lounge room floor with the biggest fan in the house blowing air..not cool air, but air... across my body. Hate having fan air curling around my ears, disturbing my back with gusts — hate hot at night! Not fond of hot in the daytime especially when it's accompanied by huge almost storm clouds.

Yep, I'm whinging! Counting the days til the plane with me on board leaves this summery climate bound for winter in the northern hemisphere. Global warming? Not my choice, promise you.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

North Dakota friends — Take a Look!

North Dakota's RPA Training

The state of North Dakota is trying to position itself to become a leader in unmanned aircraft. Two years ago, the University of North Dakota became the first civilian school to offer a four year degree in unmanned aircraft systems operations. . .

The new UAS training centre in Grand Forks is located off campus at Grand Forks Air Force Base. The centre includes a small room that's essentially a cockpit on the ground. Pilots and sensor operators can watch what's happening in the air through cameras on the plane.

The undergraduate students studying unmanned aircraft systems begin their coursework by leaning about aerodynamics as any traditional pilot would. Then the classes branch off to study the specifics of unmanned aircraft.

The students aren't in the military, but they'll likely end up working as military contractors when they graduate. That's where the jobs are.

Associate Professor Ben Trapnell set up the US degree program here. He used to be a Navy pilot,but he says that unmanned aircraft are the future.

'And if you do any research with the army, the air force, there are people that will tell you they may hve produced or are producing their last manned fighter.' Trapnell sees a lot more than just military applications for unmanned aircraft.

'I've got about 90 different uses for unmanned aircraft. But some of the big things: agricultural uses — we can get imagery to farmers a lot faster than having to wait for satellites to do the same thing — pipleline patrols, power line patrols, there's the possibility of flying organs one place or another to get them there faster for transplants.'

The state of North Dakota is an ideal place to experiement with this new tchonology — wide open space and few pople.

Source: www.uasvision.com

Click on the title to today's blog to go to the uasvision web site. We found the article on page 7 of Australia Flight Safety Magazine, Issue 84, Fan-Feb 2012. I typed up the article because FlightSafety is NOT on the web.

Enjoy the read..worth taking a moment to consider which of the young persons in your life might find this information of interest.

Friday, January 06, 2012

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself

New Years Resolutions, did you say?

Yeah, me too. Never make em cause I never manage to keep em. Seems a tad self defeating.

However, here's a web page with some excellent ideas for ways to take care of 'self' without calling down the devils who love to tell us that we're being self centered. Oh, yeah! Been there, been called that. And it's probably true, but only in the most positive way am I self centered. Bet the same is true of you.

Here's a glance at some of the 30. If you want more info click on the title to today's blog entry and you will morph onto the website for Marc and Angel on which the others can be found.

1. Start spending time with the right people.
7. Start valuing the lessons y our mistakes teach you
8. Start being more polite to yourself
12. Start believing you're ready for the next step
25. Start being more open about how you feel.

In the meantime Happy New Year to one and all. Life is good here in my corner of the planet. Painting the front veranda after G-man installed a new ceiling. Kookaburra klan has returned to our neighbourhood — busy cackling at all the rest of the bird life in our vicinity. Sun is on the eastern horizon. Another good day. May it be so for you, as well.