24 September, 2006

Now that I'm getting the photo issues sorted, I've been posting a few posts over here. You should go see. If you want...

20 September, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Yes, I am back doing the Thursday Thirteen again. It has been close to a month since the last time I took part. So much has happened in that time. And yet, nothing has happened. I have no decent excuses, so here are thirteen lame reasons why I haven't played the TT in so long. I have not provided explanations as to why these excuses were valid - mainly because they are so pathetic that I would be lying if I were to expand on them in any way. And this is a list of what happens on Wednesday nights, so should really have no bearing on what happens on Thursday (except for the fact that I generally prepare my TT on a Wednesday). But hey, it's a list of 13 and I must ease back into TT mode gradually...
  1. I play volleyball most Wednesday evenings.
  2. House is on on Wednesday nights and I must watch it.
  3. I cooked dinner (this is monumental - I don't cook)
  4. I've started sewing stuff again.
  5. Friends came over to my place.
  6. I was out of town (this excuse is a fair dinkum one).
  7. I was washing my car (inside as well as outside).
  8. I got my hair cut.
  9. I went grocery shopping.
  10. I was working.
  11. I was painting.
  12. I was watering the garden.
  13. I'm lazy.

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!

19 September, 2006

The day has arrived

I decided that there are entirely too few public holidays in this country, so I remedied that by making Monday my very own public (private) holiday. And first stop on my day off was the Grand Opening of Townsville's newest Spotlight store. It seems that my little holiday caught on before I knew that the word had got out - and everyone else was celebrating the same way. At the same time. In the same store. I knew it would be bad before I left home. Then when I saw people directing traffic waaaay before I got to the store, I knew it would be worse. But I was ready. It was my day off and I had all the time in the world. Just as well....

This was taken just at the entrance. Most of the store was just one big queue. And really, they didn't have that much on sale. Oh, they had pillows for half price, and rugs for 60% off, and dinner sets for something stupid. None of which I needed. I walked ever so slowly through the massive store (I would defy anyone to move quickly, though many tried) drinking in the things that I appreciated about this Spotlight store compared to all others. Joy number 1: It was clean. I couldn't see a spilled drink or ball of fluff anywhere. The carpet was unstained. And the shelves were freshly painted and glowing. Joy number 2: I was offered a trolley by one of the dozens of staff working that day. I must have looked a sight carrying two bolts of fabric, two pillows and a book. I gratefully accepted said trolley and (here is where the joyous part comes) it moved where I wanted it to move. With minimal force. To wheel a trolley where I didn't have to aim it at a 45 degree angle to where I wanted it to go was just heavenly.

I made my selection oh so carefully. I did two laps of the store before I was satisfied that I had what I wanted to purchase and I wouldn't find any other "must have items" anywhere (that day). I grabbed a magazine that I had no intention of buying. And then I happily settled into the 45 minute queue that snaked around the store. I chatted with some other people in the queue. I smirked at the men who were dragged into the store and didn't have enough backbone to say they'd rather eat glass than go to Spotlight's opening. I tutted at the heavily pregnant woman who insisted on chatting with friends in the middle of the aisle with a full trolley, a double stroller containing two screaming, pissed off infants and curtain rods spread out in all directions. I didn't say anything, just thought to myself, "have some courtesy lady and get out of the way. And consider birth control!"

This picture depicts a surprising calm in contrast to the picture above. Make no mistake, this was but a brief lull in the patchworking chaos. And if I had recorded video, the noise would have hurt your ears. But look, look, look - floor to ceiling (well, about 4 metres or so - the ceiling extends another 15 metres, I'd say) quilt fabric. Yum, yum, yum. All colour coordinated and a much greater improvement that the pathetic supply they had at the old store. And not hideously expensive, either (though I am still banned from buying too much until I do something about what I have unfinished.

Speaking of which:

This was a log cabin quilt top. Which I hated and tore apart after I had finished piecing it together. It's a series of 9-patch and 25-patch blocks (as you can plainly see). It's in flannel and is about 1m by 1.2m. I'm going to use bright blue flannel on the back (I couldn't match any of these colours). And I'll finish it before it gets too hot to quilt up here. I hope.

16 September, 2006


Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to us after we die? I’m not talking about spiritually, but physically. Would you be surprised to know that preparation of a body for burial (including embalming and placing the body in a decay-resistant coffin) can often be highly toxic to the living? I came across this article today and found it fascinating reading. I had always said that when I died I wanted to be cremated, my reasoning being that burning me would take up less space than burying me. But even that seems to be somewhat harmful (though that’s still what I want). But now there are eco-burials at certain places (in Britain and Tasmania, but catching on around the rest of Australia, and the world). I think that how we are “disposed of” is something we should all think about while we can do it objectively - not left for when we’re an emotional wreck trying to do what is best for a loved one who has just passed on. So, read the article - it’s not long. And then maybe consider talking about what you want to those who need to know. And tell them that you’d like to donate your organs to someone who could actually use them because Australia's reputation for organ donation is shamefully bad. Not that I'm telling readers what to do or anything.....

Updated because Val raised some good points:

  • Embalming is only required in certain circumstances (repatriation interstate, if burial is to be delayed, in the case of infectious diseases, etc.) and most funeral homes (should) ask if the family wants embalming to take place.
  • Enviroboard coffins by Lifeart are cardboard coffins that meet industry standards and should be accepted everywhere. They're strong enough to be treated like regular coffins are, but decompose quickly.
  • And as far as I can tell (yes, I checked) there are no council by-laws (that showed up in Google) that restrict the possibility of an eco-burial.

And I agree with Lee - maybe I'll just go for the world's longest scuba dive after I'm gone.

14 September, 2006


This is such bad news. A friend has decided to make a baby quilt for her friend and she needs some expert assistance. Since she doesn't know any experts, she asked me to help. So last night I helped her work out a pattern and the amount of fabric she'd need. Tonight we headed for Spotlight after a game of tennis (that's another story) to find the store practically empty. All they had were empty shelves, bargain bins of junk - you know, picture frames with broken glass, table runners with lipstick stains on them and other useless crap that has been hidden on their back shelves since 1956. They also had ugly fabric - the evening fabric that no-one would ever want to wear, curtain material (kids designs only) and glass beads that were just yuck. Oh, and free quilting magazines - BARGAIN!! But my point is, THEY WERE CLOSING DOWN! They sure got away with that one - no closing down sale or anything. What will I do? I'll be buggered if I'm going to pay $30 for a metre of quilting fabric.

Good thing for me they're having a Grand Opening Sale starting Monday at their new premises - an old hardware store - think, the size of a couple of football fields. Yay!! But knowing Spotlight, that doesn't mean there will be two football fields worth of excellent crafting bargains. Oh no, it will be two football fields full of disorganisation, headaches and dirt. And maybe one or two crafting bargains.

11 September, 2006

Search engine terms

For those that loved the sunbird pictures, I have more. Many, many more. I started taking pictures and the bird just wouldn't leave. We had a stand-off and she won: I gave up and walked away the most weak willed. The male is a little more flighty and doesn't linger when he sees the camera. And for those that asked, they're not much for singing. It's generally the male that sings, I believe, so it's been pretty quiet. Still they're so nice to look at that I don't mind if they don't have much to say.

I'm still posting both here and
there and one of the things I love about blogging over there is that I can find out what terms people used in a search engine that led them to my site. You can probably do this at Blogger as well, but I don’t know how. I’ve only had this site for a week or two but still, there have been heaps of hits from people using the strangest search terms. I love checking these out - it can be very entertaining. Here, in bold, are some of the most colourful:

pictures of someone tripping. Now I don’t know if they’re referring to a drug trip or a drunken stumble, but I don’t think I have any pictures of either. But one of my categories for posts is “tripping around” which implies travelling - not a drugged or drunken stupor.

pictures of piecing of the penis. I think this person may have meant “piercing.” Whether the spelling mistake led them to my site or not, I can guarantee I didn’t have what they were looking for.

how do style my hair home like salo. I think they ran out of space and there is supposed to be an “n” at the end. Still, wrong place to find those answers (glad nobody can see my regular hairstyle - eek)!!

images of fairy floss. Hmmm - have I even written about fairy floss in a post? Or fairies? Ever? Hell, I don’t think I’ve even written about flossing (I’m saving that one up for when I’m really bored).

photo of giraffe penis. Again, giraffe - yes, understandable. There were a lot of terms that contained the word giraffe. But giraffe penis - WTF?

cheetah and teal bedroom stuff. Mmmmm, lovely combination. Teal is one of my favourite colours - I liked it so much that my Year 10 formal dress was teal with black polka dots and lots of ruffles and frills and bows and patent (vinyl) high heels with bows at the back and black stockings with polka dots that matched the dress and IT WAS THE 80s, LEAVE ME ALONE!!! But no, no teal or cheetahs in my bedroom at any time, I’m afraid.

Germaine “The Stain” Greer. I can see how this one reached me. All I can say is, “The Stain? I agree.”

turtles breathing butt. I did talk about Steve Irwin discovering the
butt breathing turtle, but didn’t think someone would use similar terms in a search engine to find it.

why so much purple in paint. That’s the question we all want answered! I hope this person found the answer to this existential dilemma.

pictures of clean homes. And they got sent to my site. Hilarious!!!!!

crocs with pantyhose. This is probably my favourite. I can only assume they’re talking about the shoes, rather than the reptile. And for anyone who is wondering, crocs (the shoes) and pantyhose are NOT an acceptable fashion statement!

picture of bird poop. Yeah, I think some of my photos are bad too, and sometimes I even call them crap, but to call them bird poop is just rude!

09 September, 2006

The sunbirds are back

I was sitting at my computer just now when a little female sunbird decided to pay me a visit. She was very obliging in posing while I snapped picture after picture (these were the clear ones, taken through the dirty window). I even took a bit of film, but that turned out pretty crap, so I won't subject you to that. Isn't she sweet? She's about 7cm high in real life. Yes, that's my washing in the background. She was sitting on the clothesline.

08 September, 2006


What is with this week? I just heard on the radio that Peter Brock was killed today in a rallying accident in Perth. Two Aussie icons in one week? This is just awful, awful news. There is an article about it here. I just don't have words...

07 September, 2006

A lighter post

Monday and Tuesday I was travelling around the Burdekin, yet again. This time we did a marathon trip covering over 1000 km in two days, stopping in three towns to present our work to the community. Much of the trip back from Clermont was on dirt road, in the rain, at 120 kph. Don't worry, I had complete faith in the person driving the car and lets face it, he was going twice as fast as I would have dared. I saw masses of animals - none that I could take a decent picture of, travelling at said speed on said road in said conditions - but there were birds of all descriptions (including emus), wallaroos, wallabies, kangaroos (one which, thanks to the driver's quick reactions only came within inches of my door - no road sense whatsoever), a bandicoot (squashed on the road, but it was still a bandicoot), and a wombat. There were also roadworks along the way that necessitated a stop light. This was my only opportunity to snap a picture out the window during the whole trip.

Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Germaine Greer is a bitter old bitch.

06 September, 2006

Grrr to Germaine

Will Germaine Greer ever shut up?? I heard today that she had some unsavoury things to say about the Croc Hunter and his passing. Then I saw an interview with her tonight on tv where she came across as a bitter, ugly, old cow. And when I say ugly, I’m not talking about her appearance. Just now I found this article about her thoughts, highlighting her gross insensitivity. She has completely missed the point of what Steve Irwin stood for, and she’s misjudged his compassion and intelligence. And I, who once had a reasonable amount of respect for her, now just feel disgust. How dare she say these things at this time??

I have heard many personal stories about Steve Irwin and his family (the husband of a work colleague did a lot of research with Steve over the past year) and I was moved to realise that a lot of his work was groundbreaking research that was not done for the cameras. Did you know, for example, that Steve discovered a turtle (Elseya irwini) that lives in the Burdekin and breathes through it’s cloaca? Yep, a butt-breathing turtle!! Not sure how it does it, but it does. And he’s authored several scientific papers and put all his “Crocodile Hunter” earnings back into conservation. I guess what I’m trying to say is, “crawl back under your rock, Germaine Greer. No-one* wants to hear what you have to say.”

Which kind of makes me wonder why I put that link in there, but maybe it’s to get you as pissed off at her as I am.

*When I say no-one, I mean me. And when it comes to this blog, my opinion is all that matters.

05 September, 2006


What more can be said?

03 September, 2006

2 more pics

Just wanted to add another lorikeet picture from yesterday. I like how this close-up captures all the texture in the blue feathers.

It's been raining all weekend - the perfect time to finish the second block for my aunt's quilt. After I had sewn all those small (1") squares too large and had to re-sew them. Grrr. I love the rain, and I love the cool weather, and wish there was more of it - I might get more quilting done...

The cane fire

For perspective, consider that the cane (the dark grassy-looking stuff below the fire is at least 2 metres tall. Then you see the flames are about 10 metres high. Was very spectacular. And noisy.

02 September, 2006

What? Moved?

Who said I'd moved? What an awful rumour that was!! Well, I'm back (maybe temporarily, maybe not) because I have lots to tell - visually - and I know how to do the photo thing on Blogger - haven't got time (patience, more likely) to deal with photos and Wordpress right now. Anyway.

Today I planned a weekend away - but it was raining and I didn't much fancy camping in the rain, so came back this evening. I took a friend to Ayr, then I kept driving. This weekend the direction was south. To Bowen and beyond.

Incidentally, did you know that Hugh Jackman is filming a movie in Bowen? Not sure if he's been and gone or yet to begin, but he's agreed to do the film (no idea what it's about) and has talked about it. And has said that he thinks Bowen will be the next big tourist destination. Now, because he actually said that, I don't think he has actually visited Bowen. Because, tourist destination? PLEASE! Don't get me wrong, the beaches are stunning, but the town is just awful (apologies to any Bowen-ites, here). I have been to Bowen on at least four occasions now. Every time I go, the place is dead! Stores are closed and there is nobody around. Even on a Saturday morning. The roads are a concrete-bitumen-gravel-weed-glass mosaic, filled with cracks and potholes and lumps and dips. Most of the houses look as though they were built any date up to the 1970s (which is fine) and then left to the elements (which is not fine) so they're rotting, or the paint is peeling, or the roof is caving in, or all of the above. And preparation for cyclones is one thing, but to have windows permanently taped in case of breakage is both ugly and lazy. Yes, Hugh, a fabulous tourist destination.... But the beaches are exceptional (see below). And they are even more exceptional when the sun is shining.

After Bowen I headed to Hydeaway Bay. This was my study site for my Honours project a couple of years ago. I'm glad to say they have now sealed the road (it used to be dirt for a lot of the way) and am sad to say that there are many more houses going up (that was inevitable). I took some pictures of the site, and even noticed that the survey pegs that I had hammered into the dunes were still there, waiting for someone to start another project.

After Hydeaway Bay I headed back north, and came across a paddock of burning cane. I posted a picture of Burdekin snow a few posts back. The fire was spectacular and intense - flames leaping twice as high as the cane. And it was over so quickly - less than half an hour from first firing to smouldering ashes. I took a mountain of photos and video - the crackle of fire in the cane was like nothing else.

Enough ramble - on to the pictures. Be warned - there are many.

The Burdekin delta - lots and lots of cane fields. This is the best time of year in the Burdekin, because the cane is being harvested and you can actually see the scenery as you drive instead of a wall of sugar cane.

Kapok flowers. You'll get sick of these - I took heaps of pictures.

More kapok flowers.



Jonathan Livingstone?

Remember the bottlebrush picture I posted last week? This is very similar - but a lot noisier, thanks to the lorikeets.

Lunch for the lorikeet.


Horseshoe Bay, Bowen.

Bowen beach

More kapok trees

Murray Bay, Bowen

Hydeaway Bay

Rosella at Hydeaway Bay

My study site - Hydeaway Bay

The road to the beach

Guinea fowl (yes, I am fast becoming a bird nerd)

Cane fire

Cane fire again

And again

Can't get enough of those flames!!

All gone