28 February, 2006

On my way to work this morning, I heard the usual screeching of the cockatoos. Not only are they noisy as all hell, the mess they make when playing on/eating parts of trees is incredible. But it's all worth it because they are so pretty and have so much character.


Saying Hello? Posted by Picasa

1 3/4 red tailed black cockatoos (crap photographer)! Posted by Picasa

What a poser! Posted by Picasa

27 February, 2006

I AM AN IDIOT

On Saturday I was in Spotlight (Australia's biggest fabric, craft and interior decorating store - so they say) and saw the fabric on the bottom of the picture. I thought it would make a nice light, summery dress, so bought a metre. Idiotic moment number 1: I should have bought 1.5 metres. So this afternoon I left work early and went back to Spotlight to get another metre of fabric so I could make the whole dress. I purchased the fabric at the top of the picture, thinking it was the one I had bought on Saturday. Idiotic moment number 2: I didn't take the original fabric with me.
Maybe I'll just keep doing these idiotic things and end up making a big pink quilt. Coz I'm not sure that I want to make that flippin' dress anymore! Posted by Picasa

25 February, 2006

animals

I've just come back from Ayr. Again. Anyone would think I love that place and am always eager to go down there. Wrong. I drove down there during the day - pretty uneventful. Coming back at night, I saw:
  • one dingo
  • two kangaroos
  • fifty seven million cane toads.

Trust me, I do not exaggerate. I counted every last one of them........

22 February, 2006

You know what sucks...?


Hearing a couple of rainbow lorikeets chattering in a eucalyptus tree above you. And the joy of being in the right place at the right time, and even having a camera in your hand. And tilting your head back so you can try to identify just where the birds are before you take the photograph that will change the world. AND THEN HAVING ONE OF THOSE NOISY LITTLE BASTARDS TAKE A CRAP THAT LANDS ON YOUR FACE!

http://photogallery.canberrabirds.org.au/images/Lorikeet_Rainbow_Cook.jpg

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday 13

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Water

At the time of posting this, it is almost Thursday. Can I get away with it??
My Thursday Thirteen is thirteen watery pictures I've taken over the past month (since I've had my car - woohoo!!). I couldn't get the formatting right because I am so computer inept, so you'll have to bear with me. The pictures are below. And, further adding to my ineptness, I've put the pictures in a collage. BUT. Going from left to right, starting at the top left picture:
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1. Rocky Bay on Magnetic Island. This used to be MY BEACH. It was a 10 minute walk from my house down the cliff. Because it was so hard to get to, few people were there. If you decide to visit, keep in mind that this is (though unofficially) a "clothing optional" beach.
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2. Townsville. This is taken coming back from Magnetic Island (8km offshore). That hill (Castle Hill) offers great views if you're insane enough to climb it in the heat.
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3. Alva Beach. This is the Great Barrier Reef when the surf is up!! Many a surfer has cursed the coral reef (about 100km offshore) because of what it does to the waves. If the reef wasn't there, North Queensland would be one of the best surf places in the world (trust me: I did an Honours thesis on this!).
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4. Ross Creek. In the middle of Townsville. Aren't you impressed that I managed to avoid focussing on the oil slicks??
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5. Anderson Park, Townsville - this is meant to be a patch of grass. Hey, it's the WET season right now.
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6. Town Common - Townsville. Again, see comment above.
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7. Town Common - Townsville. These are wetlands that are meant to be there. Someone ought to tell the birds so there would be something to look at.....
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8. Aplins Weir (Ross River) - Townsville. Did I mention we're in the middle of the wet season? This is the first flow over the top of the weir in over a year.
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9. Mangroves! A tributary of Ross River. Townsville. Again. That is where I live....
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10. Bushland Beach - north of Townsville. The waves at their usual height.
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11. Little Crystal Creek, Paluma. Rainforests about an hour away. Very inviting!
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12. Birthday Creek, Paluma. More yummy water. Don't know what that plant is, but it is legal.
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13. Boats on Ross River. This was taken at sunrise one morning. That's about 5am here. Be impressed. I had to get up that early to take the picture. For you!
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For any people wondering why I have 16 pictures up when it is only a Thursday Thirteen... look again. There are only 13 there. Anyway, enough ramble. Do the 13, leave a comment and I'll link you up.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. kimmy

2. mar

3. renee

4. lena

5. uisce

6. scouser

7. shelli

8. lazy daisy

9. chickadee

10. frog legs

11. better safe than sorry

12. norma

13. chloe

14. amanda

15. almost an angel

16. virenda

17. killired

18. wendywings

19. mentalexcrements

20. tutu

21. broken and repentant

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
-


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Posted by Picasa

17 February, 2006

The last frog-type entry for a while...

....I hope. This was emailed to me today by my boss-!! Constructive use of government employee's time, I know. But funny....


I have to say that the Thursday Thirteen yesterday was so much fun. Mum, you should do it too - once you get the hang of it. It's such a great way to visit great blogs that I would never have otherwise known about. Highly recommended. Though I haven't answered all the questions I was asked, so here are a few answers.

1. How slow was the turtle going? Very slow - we didn't stop the car to see. We kinda swerved. but the turtle was stretching his neck out as far as it would go - so if we hit it, his body would have been a mess (maybe... under that shell... maybe the car would have suffered more damage...), but his head would have been intact. And he was big too.
2. Why was the turtle crossing the road? I could answer something very philosophical here, but the boring truth is he was going from a field of grass to a pond/puddle/dam/spring/lake.... it was a body of water!! So I guess the real question should be: "Why did he go to the field in the first place??"
3. What is Lifeline? Only one of my favourite shops ever! In the UK it would be Oxfam, and in the US, well, I don't know what the equivalent is there. It's a thrift store where you give them your junk and proceeds from purchases go towards counselling and helping people in crises and such like. They sell a plastic bag full of used books for $5 so Lena you wouldn't go broke (though the books can sometimes be ratty, and don't expect anything that is on the current bestseller list). I buy books there often, rarely clothes, and lots of furniture and such which I then paint or restore some way in a - usually wasted - attempt to be crafty.
4. Lost. Not a question, but.... Is it just me, or is the entire television owning population either a Lost-Addict or a Never-Seen-It or an I've-Watched-It-A-Few-Times-But-Am-Not-Too-Fussed-On-It. Well, that really covers all bases, doesn't it? I have to say that after everyone raved about it, and when the TV network in Australia decided to repeat the entire first season, I thought I might watch it. Then I heard that it's about a plane crash and people being stranded in the TROPICS somewhere. And there is a POLAR BEAR sharing the island with them. Hello? Polar bear? Tropics? Well, if that isn't just total unbelievable bollocks, then I don't know what is, and I'm not going to bother with such unrealistic drivel. I mean, I heard somewhere that polar bears can get too hot IN CANADA. Am I being too harsh for a show I've never watched???
5. My health. Again not a questions, but thankyou to everyone for wishing me well. And I found out today what I had (well, a lady at work found out what she had and since I gave it to her, I must have had it as well). It is such a cool illness. Called labyrinthitis. What an excellent name! It's something that can be spread a heap of different ways but can be viral, and affects your middle ear so you get dizzy spells and nausea and such. I googled it. It's only fatal when in combination with other nasty ailments like a brain stem tumour or somthing. It's not really such a cool illness, because the lady I gave it to has it pretty bad. And it can last anywhere from a day (mine lasted about 4 days) to months. But I still think it's one of the best names for an illness. Posted by Picasa

16 February, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about TANYA



1. I should never play tennis in the heat when I am unwell (Sunday).

2. I took the day off on Monday (I was ill!).

3. That same day I bought two books from Lifeline for $1 (not too ill).

4. I have spoken of cane toads and Celine Dion far too many times this week.

5. I have only spoken of Celine Dion once (now twice) in this blog, ever.

6. I watched a turtle cross the road coming home from Ayr today.

7. The turtle took a LONG time to cross the road.

8. I have quilted fourteen blocks on the brown quilt.

9. I have twenty six blocks to go.

10. I feel I will never finish this quilt.

11. Lots of Thursday Thirteen people are talking about "Lost".

12. I have never watched "Lost".

13. It rained today. So I don't have to water the garden. Yay.


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. wendywings

2. uisce

3. Kimmy

4. KDubs

5. better safe than sorry

6. Frog Legs

7. Chickadee

8. The idle receptionist

9. Jen

10. Laura

11. Lena

12. Mar

13. Chloe

14. Tutu

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



15 February, 2006

toad juice

Wendy and Kerri both asked to see a picture of a cane toad. Since I HATE them, I would never get close enough to one by choice to photograph it. And everyone seemed to say "No!" to pictures of cane toad roadkill. So here is an article I found in the paper on the weekend. Not sure if you can read it, but it talks about how a new cane toad fertilizer has been developed. Which is great. Only, the fertilizer-makers can't seem to catch enough of the pests. How ironic is that???

In other news. The teenage girl who lives across the road is singing. Again. At the top of her voice. Again. She has the worst voice in the world. So it was quite amusing when she was destroying Celine Dion (is that possible??) over and over again a few months ago. Now she's taken to making a meal of Kelly Clarkson's latest song. I wonder how long this will last. I'll only complain once she tries to slaughter the music of an artist I actually like.

Okay, so that wasn't news. I get to go to Ayr tomorrow for work. No, that's not news either. I'll return when I have something worthwhile (according to me) to say. Posted by Picasa

13 February, 2006

Another meme

I've been tagged by my big sister. And as she is my big sister, I feel I must oblige.

What were three things when you were little you wanted to be when you grew up?
1. A professional athlete – in no particular sport
2. A photographer for National Geographic
3. A marine biologist

You can live one day over again from your childhood. What day will it be?
Like Michelle, probably a day spent on the grandparents’ farm. Picking mulberries and making sure we ate as many as we could because Grandma was just going to turn the rest into jam (what a waste!!). Then building cubby houses in the hayshed with my brother (and learning afterwards that we shouldn’t play there because of all the snakes that lived there-!) and riding on the back of Grandpa’s tractor with siblings and cousins while Grandpa drove around the paddocks to count cows. Yes, counting cows now sounds like the most boring thing in the world to do, but it wasn't at the time. Believe me.

You have two minutes (and a mover with you if you need heavy lifting help!) to grab 5 things from your home before it morphs into a polka dotted hobglobin and hops away. What will you take? (Food/drink/family/friends excluded!)
1. My camera (gotta photograph that hobglobin)
2. My sewing machine
3. My computer
4. My car
5. MY QUILTS

You have to paint one quote on your kitchen wall. What is it going to be?
The Cree Indian Prophecy:
"Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find, that money cannot be eaten."

What is the one thing you want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
The brown quilt (which is taking FOREVER).

You are moving to the moon for one year and can only bring one flower with you. What kind will you bring?
A tiger lily.

You just received word that aside from one flower, you can also bring five books with you too! Your choices?
This is tough. Really - only five? Okay...
1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (which I am reading right now)
2. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (which is one of my absolute favourites and I think it should be required reading for EVERY person - read it now)
3. The Sea by John Banville (a Christmas present which I still need to read, but have been told by several people that it is excellent)
4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (reading this should take up most of the year)
5. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey (more necessary reading, I say)

Tagging 3 lucky people:
1. Wendy
2. Val
3. surfing free (coz she complained she had never been tagged)

12 February, 2006

So, should I move?


You Belong in New Zealand




Good on ya, mate
You're the best looking one of the bunch
Though you're often forgotten...
You're quite proud of who you are


Who'd have expected this...? Though I have occasionally thought in the past few years that the way this country is being run - and is heading - was going to drive me across the Tasman. But to have a computer quiz tell me that's where I belong? Well. That's just eerie. I'll stay in this country for a while longer, I think. How could I leave my car????

BTW: Forgotten by who????

09 February, 2006

Let's Clean Up Australia - sort of...

Ms Robyn suggested taking pictures around our neighbourhood. And I took the pictures. I actually walked to work earlier in the week so I could take heaps of photos. I took over one hundred! And it took me more than an hour to make the half hour walk! In the heat of a tropical summer. Oh, what dedication. I'll post the pictures one day. Not all of them. This was one. It's a billboard on the way to work.

What I love about this picture (apart from the fact that cleaning up Australia is a brilliant thing to do and we should all do it on the 5th of March) is the frog on the boy's head. No, it's not a cane toad. It's (if I'm not mistaken) a green and golden bell frog. I had to study them for a short time at uni a few years ago. These guys are endangered, but they often show up in pools that have collected in construction sites. They stalled the construction of buildings and such like for the Sydney Olympics. Nobody knew what to do about them. They were obviously in the way. But they were a rare animal, so people couldn't risk moving them in case they killed them. Who'd have thought a cute little animal could cause so much trouble. In the end, I'm not sure what happened. But, as everyone knows, the Olympics went ahead. Which means the buildings got built. I guess the frog didn't seem that important after all. Posted by Picasa

photo: cas.bellarmine.edu/

06 February, 2006

An email from my cousin...

AS I MATURE
-
I've learned that you cannot make
someone love you. All you can do is
stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
-
I've learned that no matter how much I care,
some people are just assholes.
-
I've learned that it takes years
to build up trust, and it only takes
suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
-
I've learned that you can get by
on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you'd better have a big willy or huge boobs.
-
I've learned that you shouldn't
compare yourself to others - they are
more screwed up than you think.
-
I've learned that you can keep vomiting
long after you think you've finished.
-
I've learned that we are responsible
for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
-
I've learned that regardless of
how hot and steamy a relationship is at
first, the passion fades, and there had better
be a lot of money to take its place!
-
I've learned that 99% of the time when
something isn't working in your house,
one of your kids did it.
-
I've learned that the people you care most
about in life are taken from you too soon
and all the less important ones just never go away.
-
Pass this along to five friends... Trust me,
they'll appreciate it. Who knows, maybe
something good will happen.
-
If not... tough shit.
-

05 February, 2006

Town Common

Today I drove out to the town common. This is a huge wetland not too far from the airport. Strange, though. I had always thought that aeroplanes and birds didn't get along. So to build an airport near a wetland or, more to the point, encourage birds to live there, just seems typically, well, Queenslandish to me. Anyway, this was the first time I had been there, and it's stunning. Mind you, the swooping plovers, the mosquitoes from hell and mutant grasshoppers seem to love it too. I was walking along a track to take this picture when a group/bunch/herd/whatever-you-call-several-toadlets crossed my path. I tried to take a picture, but that was when the mozzies decided to feed. On me. They were about three centimetres long (back to the toadlets now, not the mosquitoes) and were really cute. Actually, I couldn't tell if they were frogs or toads. If they were frogs then yes, they were cute. If they were toads then they were cane toads and so, definitely NOT cute. Cane toads rate among my least favourite animal. I have a sad feeling that they were cane toads. I took a billion more pictures, but far be it for me to bore anyone with many photos of the same thing-!!

After this little jaunt, I actually washed my car. And it was fun. I never thought I'd say that. I went to the superwash place where you pay money and STILL have to wash the car yourself. What was I thinking?? But they have water on high pressure and the same with the soap. And it's so quick and easy. And they recycle their water so I don't feel guilty using so much of it. Though I don't really get how they can reuse the water that would be full of car grease and all, without actually treating it.... Posted by Picasa
Blogger SUCKS!

Blog corner

My mum posted this picture of her new blogging space. I thought she should see the mess that others have to deal with. This is where I am sitting right now. I get to look out the window at the washing hanging on the line. If I look above and to the right, I see the pictures of Michelle's kids. Behind me is a single bed with my purple quilt on it and a pile of cushions. And at the end of that is my stash box and all manner of sewing junk (which is also in the bookcase behind the computer). The table was bought for $20 from Lifeline. It came with four chairs that are SO ugly I don't know what to do with them. The yellow plate and bowls I made from papier mache. They just hold more junk. And look at all those power cords!! Don't worry - they're not all plugged in to one socket. Actually, most of them aren't plugged in to anything. I have the useless speakers that sound awful, the cable to download pics from the camera, and the rest is the mouse cable, the computer power cable, and the internet connection. The mess under the table is worse - I've got the sewing machine cord, printer cables, the lamp cord, and extension cord added to the computer cord mix - all in one huge, knotted, confusing mess. But hey, it works.
BTW - if the link to Mum's page didn't work, it just means I should have bought that book yesterday!! Posted by Picasa

04 February, 2006

Garage saleing again

I appreciate the advice from Alice and Jill about where I can put my petrol vouchers (in the car!!!). I did plan to do that. But the level of organisation required, though minor, appears to be far beyond me. I must have left the receipts in the plastic (shock, horror) bag. Which then became my rubbish bag. And the rubbish was collected yesterday morning. Live and learn. But will I?? Anyway, I filled up the car and it cost me $50. I once had a little Holden Barina and that cost me $20 to fill up. That was in the early 90s when petrol cost about 50c a litre or something. I miss those prices.

Today I took my friend Jo to the garage sales again. She's just moved into a new house and has virtually nothing in there. She's expecting a baby in April, so the search was for baby furniture as well as regular furniture - book cases, tables, chairs, etc. Keeping that in mind, Jo bought a vacuum cleaner which was broken (!), a juicer, a blender and some cushions. Good to see she stuck to her list. I, on the other hand, shopped more wisely. Well, I don't need any of the crap I bought, but it made me feel good. I bought a salad spinner (never used, but strangely, dirty) three ceramic plant pots (will plants ever go into them?), a vase (which will never have flowers in it, knowing me) and a chair screaming to be "done". I paid $9 for it all.

Afterwards, I went shopping because it was either do that or go swimming and I am the queen of lazy. I found a book that I was flipping through - all about blogging and how to do it. It is based on blogger.com blogs. I couldn't find the page about how to make a blog easy on the eye. It cost over $30 and I didn't know if I really wanted it (I decided probably not). But I had my camera in my bag so took a picture in case I wanted to go back and get it. So much easier that searching for a pen and paper and writing the details down. It would be great if the picture was in focus and I could actually read what it said. Maybe the "old fashioned" way is better.

03 February, 2006

Sigh

OH MY GOD! Why am I having such issues with Blogger? It is on a major "go slow" at the moment. And when I try to comment on peoples blogs, it takes forever, then I'm told that I can't do it. So Val, Kerri and Kylie (Kerri's daughter who has never seen or heard of me) - sorry. I had all good intentions. I'll get back to you one day.

Today was also a frustrating day because of the car. Well, more likely, the lack of juice I have in the car to make it go. See, with the cost of petrol being so ridiculous at the moment, I try to spend at least $30 at the supermarket, ensuring I get 4c off per litre at the petrol station. Now, I do buy stuff I need, not just useless stuff (it was only one time that I got to the checkout and the total was $29 - so to make it up to $30 I bought a creme egg - but then the total was $29.98, so I had to buy another... and I hate creme eggs), but why, why, WHY do I keep losing the receipt??? I have lost two so far. My quandary now is, do I go (needlessly) grocery shopping tomorrow morning so that I can pay 114c/L? Or should I just get the petrol and pay 118c/L? Oh the dilemma. And why is it that I find in my wallet hundreds of ATM receipts, which I will never need, but the one receipt I do need is always elusive? I never had to worry about this when I cycled everywhere.

On a less frustrating note, here is a picture of my nieces and nephew. Why is there not a word to group niece and nephew together - like siblings. I guess I could just call them my sister's kids. Anyway. The pictures were a Christmas present. Aren't they gorgeous? My mother has some similar photos of the kids. I had wondered who would be the first to hang the pictures. Mum - am I?

Edited to add: I think this has to be filed under the category of "Crappiest Posts Ever." I mean, really! Who wants to read about a petrol voucher? Especially when all I'll get to save is a grand total of $2! So don't worry, Mum. I never had any intention of shopping just to get a big receipt. Besides, I'm doing Townsville's garage sales (again) tomorrow - I need as much money as possible for when I come across the bargain of a lifetime.

02 February, 2006

Oh my...

What have I done? It seemed somewhat silly to have a blog called The Purple Giraffe - with a brown background. And now... I don't know what I've done so can't really change it.

Hmm... it is VERY purple.

A picture to break up the mess:

I didn't say it would be a nice picture. Have a happy Friday.

01 February, 2006

Swimming

The other day I bought myself real swimmers and real goggles. Meaning swimmers that won't start falling down my arms as soon as I dive in a pool, and goggles that aren't my scuba diving mask. They have sat in a bag, along with a towel, in the boot of my car for a week. Today I thought it was about time they started paying for themselves. So I went to a pool after work. I really wanted to turn around and go home, but the car seemed to be heading towards the pool on its own. I didn't even know where the pool was, but I ended up there without having to look at the map. Maybe my car is really clever - and is really telling me that my fat ass needs some exercise. But. The stupid car picked the filthiest pool in town. That may be partly my fault - I should have bought black tinted goggles instead of clear - then I wouldn't be able to identify every bug, bandaid, hair tie and you-don't-want-to-KNOW-what-else on the bottom of the pool. Worse - a lot of this debris was neutrally bouyant (scuba-dive speak for hovering in the middle of the water column) so I had to swim through it - staying on top of the water seems to be an issue for me. It was kinda cool, though because it wasn't crowded at all. There was only me and one other guy in my lane so I could go as slow as was necessary (very slow was very necessary), and pretty much take up the whole lane. However, I had to stay at opposite ends of the pool from this guy because at one point I was taking a break (okay, each time I touched the wall I had to stop) and the guy swam up behind me and stopped, panted and then kept going. And his breath was easily the worst breath I have ever smelled in my entire life. No lie. And I used to be a dental assistant! The second time I saw him approach, I thought, "nah, it wasn't that bad" - then I passed out. I think when I came to, he was half way down the pool again. The third time, I wasn't taking any chances - I actually took a deep breath before he reached the wall, then went under water! And stayed under water for a good ten seconds, examining strands of hair and flakes of skin, until I knew he was gone.

www.bbc.co.uk
Note to self: find a cleaner pool. Avoid smelly swimmers. Swim as fast as this chick by next month.