Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Criminals are shifting from narcotic smuggling and gun running to counterfeiting drugs which is low risk but financially lucrative.
Multinationals have pulled out of the country but not before some were implicated in re-selling expired medicines. Not just drugs either, Nestle had imported and re-labelled expired skim milk, Cadbury imported expired chocolate and Coca-Cola was told to improve the quality of its drinks.
Dora Nkem Akunyili has survived one shooting and lives surrounded by security guards 24 hours a day. She handles stress with her faith and prayer.
In 2003, she was awarded a Transperancy International Integrity Award for her work in fighting corruption. I admire her.
I don't admire this woman. Maryam Farahat is a newly elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and is proud that, at her urging, three of her sons have died for Palestine.
She has many grandchildren as a consolation and I presume, as back ups. She's old, why didn't she sacrifice herself for Palestine? I can't admire any mother, of any race or faith, who turns her children into lethal weapons for whatever the cause.
I don't admire the Pharmaceutical companies that have decided not to import RU486 into Australia. They think the market is too limited and they don't want to stir up the "pro-life" movement which might give them bad publicity and lead to a drop in sales. The bottom line here, is as always, with multinationals, no profit, lets drop it.
I certainly don't admire this man. Cardinal Pell has the view that church teaching should always over-ride personal conscience. Well Cardinal Pell, when I stand in front of God, without any religion, my conscience is what I will hand over. That's what I will ask to be judged on.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
My sister rang to tell me about the young musician who was stabbed at Box Hill station. It is a long dark platform and we were standing there a few weeks back on our way to Upwey and she was really disturbed by the atmosphere.
She couldn't shake the feeling until we were well on our way and the carriage was full of sunlight and she had checked out who was in our carriage. It's usually me who's nervous about going into an area I don't know but she isn't except for this platform.
Today I'm not in pain, everything has gone back to being numb. This seems to be the cycle and it will no doubt be followed by the burning pain phase but not before I have the X-rays. Before I was told to get painkillers and whack it on the head, the only relief was to walk the house on two walking sticks until it eased enough to crawl back into bed. This was gibbering type pain and I know pain and there was no way I was making this pain my friend.
I've gone on about it and laughed when I got a bit better but never far from my mind are the people who deal with this on a daily basis. The ones who have no medication let alone a bed they can crawl into. I thought too of the others who rise above it and go off and do miraculous things with their life. It makes me feel selfish that I will get better and won't do miraculous things. But for every one person who makes it to the top of the painpit and who never gives in, there are a few thousand crawling around the bottom looking for an easier way up. Some never make it. I've cheated death quite a few times, come out the other side of a lot of pain, mostly due to a filthy sense of humour that sees the funny side of watching my body fall to pieces.
I never can forget that there are millions suffering because of the superiority of certain people, of all religions who think they know the secret of what is good for humankind. I'd like to see those people, in pain, hungry, terrified, with no shelter from death in all its shapes and forms. Let them make decisions in this alternate reality, for them, but the reality for so many men, women and children.
Having said that and meaning it, humour raises me up and I wish I could remember through the painkillers what brilliant announcement I made to the Jevohah's the other day that left them speechless and heading for the gate. It must have been good since they usually argue and I know I didn't swear. Why can't religions keep to themselves and stop annoying us who don't want it.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
My fault for trying to be wonderwoman and ignoring all signs of systems failure.
My final tip, no matter how big the serviette, if you're eating toast in bed, on your side, you'll get crumbs.
Today I am going to shower if it kills me. Small animals are eyeing me off as a desirable residence.
Thanks for all the thoughts. Wish I could share the pain with you, bugger sharing you can have it all.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I'm only doing this now before the painkillers wear off and I go back to bed where I'm supposed to stay for a week which is five days, right.
Apparently even if I do feel okay, it's not a good idea to do the amount of walking I did last week (five days, right). It's not okay to sit in bars on chairs that are too small for a large economy bum. It's probably not okay to haul two barrow loads of bricks out of the bulb garden so I'm glad I didn't tell him about that. It's not okay to sit at the computer AT ALL. It's not okay to watch more than one hour of TV. Ice skating is sport not TV. 'Desperate Housewives' is TV.
Things I can do.
I can lie about in bed as much as possible.
I get to put freezing cold ice packs on my spine.
I am allowed to take as many painkillers as possible.
I can do the washing but put it in the dryer.
Try not to worry about the dirty dishes. (who, me?)
I can feed the cat but don't bend over to get the dish. Well he's used to food being thrown at him from a great height.
I must use my walking stick. This is the one I usually get tangled in my feet and fall over.
No blogging for a week, that's five days, right.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
For all the bloggers who promised to check out some of the best gay blogs (probably to shut me up) here they are.
http://www.Rodneycroome.id.au/weblog Rodney is Australia's leading advocate of gay rights. An eloquent speaker and writer, he has been in Canberra this week lobbying members of Parliament for support to end discrimination on the basis of a person's sexuality.
http://queerpenguin.blogspot.com Sam Butler, unlike most bloggers has been published. He writes very well about politics, often getting the good oil before it's news. He has a swing at Oz Culture and his dreadful taste in footballers is offset by his good taste in tennis players.
http://gayerasmus.blogspot.com He is a young gay man of faith but don't let that put you off since he neither hits you in the face with his gayness nor his faith. His post on how Hillsong Ministries treats its gay members was well written but then all his posts are thought provoking.
Gay blogs aren't everyone's taste but even an anorexic will look at food once in a while so call in at these sites at least once a week because Gay rights and same sex marriage are being put back on the political agenda. And for all of you who have wandered here out of curiosity, I'm not gay, I'm a straight woman who thinks it's idiotic to be judged by who sleeps beside you.
*Takes off VGLRL hat* *Puts on Party hat*
Getting to the grogblog was relatively uneventful. Next time I must remember to sit at the other end of the station so I'm not looking at the billboard for De Fuze accessories. The bird looks like Victoria Beckham, ugh but the luscious half naked sex object drapped across her lap made me want to buy the jeans to strip off someone. Someone being the Ian Sommerhalder lookalike on the train who had dark eyelashes about a foot long and blue eyes. Wasn't fussed about the peach fuzz that was masquerading as a beard but his eyes were gorgeous.
The usual crowd of quiet shy bloggers turned up a various addresses until we were rounded up in one place. Flutey was a no show and the excuse will have to be good.
Brownie made the most elegant exit I've seen in years. Hope she negotiated the Parliament station steps in a like manner.
My crunched toe received another fatal blow from the flat foot of His Excellency, the Governor General. Fortunately my legal advisor who shall remain nameless but loves cats was sitting beside me and I intend to sue for the entire Vice-Regal fortune. I could do a lot with $20.
We are going to have to get a flag, a button and a secret handshake to avoid accosting non-bloggers for future events. Once again, it was no use introducing ourselves by anything other than blognames then it was instant recognition.
Being a nice night, I decided to walk to Flinders street for a cab. I don't remember it being quite so far from Bourke st and downhill at that. When I got home Murphy's Law came into play and I crashed my toe again. I'm sueing you, Sedge.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Forgot to mention the truly awful sight that preceeded me out of Westfield.
Memo to future contestant on The Biggest Loser.
Lollypink nylon fur uggboots with pompoms dangling from the sides are not the best things to wear on legs that resemble giant redwoods.
Leading up to a tangerine coloured rah-rah skirt that barely covers the north end of a south bound elephant.
Topped by a white T-shirt without a supporting bra. Any two things that swing that far and wide should be declared weapons of mass destruction.
A good bitching is self-medication.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Nimbin cheese is on special, $5.61, which is strange because normally I pay $5.52 but all of a sudden I’m saving 48 cents which makes the total cost $6.09.
I would shop at Coles but the store is so huge I would need a coffee and painkillers to get round and no cute check out guys there either.
Yesterday I walked to mother’s,3kms and it took me an hour, much longer than usual but I didn’t want to fall over. The back, leg and toe held up, not too much pain but Westfield has floors that would crack the bones of a T-rex. Five minutes in that place and I’m looking for wheelchair and last night I hurt my unhurt foot.
My feet hate me. It’s not my fault that they’re on the end of Copperwitch’s funny fat legs instead of the uber-luscious legs of Naomi Campbell. So I’ve got a crushed almost broken toe on the left and last night I got a prickle jammed into the right foot. I want someone to invent a motorised wheelie bin so I don’t have to drag it out every week. It was while dragging that, hop, step and jumping over the pile of dog leftovers, I fell off my thongs and stepped on a prickle. Unlike Mr. Perfect Lawn next door, I have a prickle lawn tastefully decorated with dirt patches and weeds. It annoys him so I keep it but dog owners love it because they can hide their illegal doggie gifts with a swift kick of sand. Small price to pay for annoying neighbours on both sides with something that resembles Salem’s Lot.
An hour later after operating with a strobe light and various kitchen implements, I still couldn’t get the damn thing out. So it’s think, woman, you’re a mother. What did you do when the brats got things jammed in their feet every other day? Besides the yelling and threatening to cut their legs off if they didn’t keep their shoes on. The Gladwrap trick. Wrap Gladwrap around the foot which makes it sweat and opens up the puncture wound and out comes the prickle, glass, alien symbiot, whatever. Gangrene avoided again.
Thinking about that makes me put on a pair of shoes to see if they hurt because I haven’t worn shoes since the last foot bashing. Okay shoes fit but I can’t walk, stupid toe. Perhaps I should have had it X-rayed, it really might be broken but it’s too late for that. So no looking under the table at the grogblog tomorrow night because while I’m not pregnant, I might be barefoot.
I spent yesterday taking a trip down memory lane, nothing to do with the Blight or Valentine’s Day. I’ve been looking through my craft books for a friend who’s making a patchwork quilt and realizing that with everything that I’ve done over the years, I haven’t kept one item for myself.
A while ago I managed to get the contents of an entire room down to one small cupboard, one bookcase, 3 boxes and two larges containers on wheels. I gave away a twenty year collection of craft books and materials to a community craft group. I think it was the first time in years that I could see the carpet in my sewing room.
I am amazed at the amount of work I did in those early days but it was a buzz to know how fast my things could sell. My own designs too because I could never and still can’t read instructions, as everyone knows who’s tried to help me post a picture in my profile on this blog.
Someone told me once that crafty people don’t have tidy houses and looking through photos, I can say that was true about me. I must have stopped at some stage to feed the mob since no-one starved to death but even the pantry wasn’t spared craft. It was the perfect drying spot for Elizabethan orange pomanders, lavender, rose petals and rosemary, all hanging from the ceiling. There wasn’t a rose bush within miles that was safe from my after dark raids and even now there is a basket of dried petals on the kitchen table. Old habits die hard so the glass jar of pomander mixture is still sitting on the kitchen bench ready for drying orange and mandarin peel for spice potpourri.
Craft work, like any other work, has its fads and things go quickly out of fashion but I always managed to be just that little bit ahead. But when a fashion died, it died quickly. An article I sold fifty of in a month would drop to nothing. For example, the embroidered picture frames, which no-one else at a market was making, disappeared overnight when pre-cut cardboard for fabric frames became available. Anybody who could fold and glue suddenly became an expert craftsperson.
Back then I never thought that my fingers would nearly drop off every time I picked up a needle or that my thumbs would pack up after all those years of pleating lace by hand. Hence the hunt for photographs of anything I made and sold. I still have all the templates though so I’ve decided to make at least one of everything, just for me.
I am going to mum’s today to make ribbon roses for her in return for which she will put the V neck in my dress which I have unpicked four times already. My hands will hurt and she’ll yell at me for using contrasting cotton to the dress but considering how many times I’ve had to unpick the rotten thing, I needed to. I am taking my camera to start making a record of the gifts I’ve made my sister and photograph the finished roses. She’s still waiting for this year’s Christmas presents but they’re coming along nicely and should be finished by the end of whenever. Shameless self promotion of past genius will be appearing here soon.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Tony Abbott is still trying to drum up support in the Reps. If not killing babies was so important to you, why where you so anxious to get the Defence Portfolio? Give it up, Tony, we women with brains don't like you.
Yea for ice skating. Brilliant and gorgeous and painfull to watch with dodgy knees.
Boo for not remembering to put a tape in the video to capture it all.
One thing I can't watch, dodgy knees again, is the moguls. Every time those skis bounce, I wince.
Chocolate do-nuts are wonderful for pain and no, they're not Jenny Craig approved. I hate whoever it was that put the bakery next to the fresh vegetables and fruit. Usually I can sail past without looking but not when the freshly iced little rings of badness are just being loaded onto the shelves. My name is Copperwitch and I am a carbo-holic.
Going grogblogging again on Friday. I was trying to do a bit of creative accounting when my sister won her phone bill and my night out, on the horses.
She has a secret to winning.
She works hard all day,
goes to the pub,
has a vodka or two,
studies the form guide diligently,
writes out the ticket without her glasses which she has left at work,
Puts down the right horse but wrong number
Bless generous gambling sisters, they will not inherit the earth but lose it in the first poker game with alien invaders.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
British photographer, Nick Cobbing, captured this image of a deep lake on the Greenland ice cap.(sorry about the bad copying) It was taken during a summer research trip sponsored by Greenpeace International.
Greenland's ice cap is the largest in the Northern Hemisphere and the second largest in the world after the Antarctic ice cap.
NASA researchers have found that the melt water accumulating in these lakes during summer drains through the 1.2 kilometre thick ice sheet to the bedrock, lubricating the ice sheet and making it slide faster.
The same thing contributes to the movement of small mountain glaciers but was only discovered in the large polar ice sheets in 2002.
As the melt water carries heat as it drains, the process thins the ice which spreads out towards lower elevations.
The result is that the Greenland ice sheet seems to be moving faster and faster towards the coast.
Jason Box, a climatologist at the Byrd Polar Research Centre, is trying to correlate the intensity of the blue colour of the lakes with accurate depth soundings. His aim is to develop an algorithm that will enable him to gauge the depth of the lakes from satellite images by measuring the intensity of their colour.
Global warming skeptics will have to start taking notice of the polar regions. The polar ice cap is melting earlier and scientists have measured a dislocation of the ocean currents around Greenland. The large ice shelfs are breaking up in Antarctica. These places are the weather factories of our world so more money for research stations, and I don't mean oil or mineral exploration, would help determine just how much trouble this planet is really in.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
My swear box is getting some use now that Parliament is sitting which is more than I can do.
What is it with a complaint that lets me stand, walk, lay on one side but doesn't let me sit without red hot burning needle type pain all the way to the bottom of my foot.
Note the size of the speaker on my computer and you will get the size of the huntsman spider mentioned in a previous post.
Now to the serious business of *choke* saying I admire Mandy Vanstone's speech yesterday.
"If you can come to a view that there can be a just war, why can't there be a just abortion?"
Fat Ladies Rule! for the moment until she gets back to doing something stupid for her inferior boss.
I am so sorry for Ickle Abbott and the way that nasty people have used his religion against him. Since he's being such a martyr, I'd like to nailgun him to the main door of Parliament House so women can wipe their hands on him.
He says the vote was a slight on ministerial professionalism and a vote of no confidence in ministers. Considering how many women voted against him, he might get that message.
Underneath the door ornament, let's stretch out Bill Heffernan as a door mat. Women can then wipe their high heels on him, their very high, very pointed heels.
He thinks RU486 will unravel the fabric of family life unlike IR reforms and making single mums go back to work and leave their kids to the mercy of childcare.
Then let's forget about being civilised and go hit Barmy Joyce with one of those seal clubbing blunt objects.
And something equally as heavy to wipe the smile off the Big Ho's face (is that swearing or sedition) as he once again denigrates a section of the population because of their sexuality.
I'm not really a violent person. I'm very civilised usually. I just think these men stink
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Forget the Japanese and their "whale science". This man has it right. Craig Smith is a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Since 1992, he has been putting scrap metal on dead whales and sending them to the bottom of the ocean. He's done this with seven whales so far.
Smith and Amy Baco-Taylor of Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. have estimated that 69,000 great whales die every year from disease and malnutrition and sink. The water pressure below about 1000 metres crushes the decomposition gases so they stay down. They also estimate that at any one time there are more than 850,000 whale falls on an average 12 kilometres apart.
Smith has been studying whale falls since 1998 including the ones he has sunk. A whale fall is a nutrient bonanza to over 40 species of deep sea life. In 1998, Smith sank a 35 tonne grey whale which was stripped to the bone in a year and a half. He estimates a large 160 tonne blue whale (pictured above) would take up to 11 years.
After the whale flesh is eaten, the whale bones which are 60 per cent fat become covered in fat-eating worms, snails, clams and limpets, some of which are only found on whale carcases. First described in 2004 are the bone-eating Zombie worms. They consist of roots that bore into the bones and extract fat with the help of symbiotic bacteria living within the worms.
This second stage of eating, which lasted four years in the 35 tonne grey, is followed by anaerobic bacteria gradually invading the interior of the bones and breaking down the remaining fat while leaching out sulphides. The sulphides sustain a community of clams, limpets, crustaceans, mussels and worms. As many as 185 species can be around the whale skeleton at this stage.
The whale skeleton discovered in 1987 is still being eaten after 60 years and Smith estimates that a large whale could keep going for a 100 years or more. He's hoping for a beached whale in New Zealand as he wants to sink a carcase in those waters to find out how many new species live off whale falls in this area.
In 1934, zoologist August Krogh speculated that dead whales sink to the bottom and are eaten by whatever lives down there but it's taken us this long to find out. It costs Craig Smith around $8,000 to sink each whale but we can't put a price on the data he collects about the abyss dwellers.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I need someone to fetch my ice-packs, he'll do.
I'm trying to write a brilliant post on 101 uses for a dead whale but I keep getting visions of me beached in a queen size bed.
Now I know why men put the seat up. It is hard to pee, standing up, with the seat down.
Paracetamol gives you a mouth taste like the bottom of a cat litter box.
The only good thing about pain is that is gives you an excuse for looking your age. I swear I looked all of 35 this morning.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I am used to my spine going crunch/grind and when it stopped I just thought it had finally settled down but I should have known better. It was just building up enough fluid protection to surround and crush the nerves with a lovely flow on effect. I now have every muscle on the left side going into spasm whenever I breathe and numbness down the leg, right down to the bruised toe.
Physio says don't use the computer or sit watching TV. I shouldn't have to add that he's not a blogger. Time to catch up on the reading when I'm not sneaking in to have a quick peek at what's going on in blogland.
Last week the weather was hot, where is it now when I'm using ice packs every two hours.
My toe is not broken but it nearly was after being rotated by Physio. I'll be back when the spine starts crunching again.
I'm lying, I'm addicted to blogging, it'll be sooner.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Sis and I went by bus and train, going through places I hadn’t seen in years. We got a little confused looking for Box Hill station until a kind person told us we were standing 3 floors above it. Sis took the stairs, I took the lift. Speaking of kind people, I’ve had two polite bus drivers in a week, both of them assisting elderly people (not me) and generally being patient and pleasant. I’d heard rumours that drivers like that existed but two in one week is spooky. We had a scenery filled train trip, scenery being graffiti on every flat surface but not up
to the artistic calibre of the Frankston line.
My cousin lives in the hills or should I say up a hill, up a hill and finally up a hill which is the driveway. He is a zoologist and has an amazing collection of poultry. We spent hours in the pens collecting feathers and one obliging rooster dropped a shimmering green and black one for me. I swear I didn’t pluck it or kick the bird in the backside although I should have, he was such a bully. He had one little white hen cornered and was pecking the bejesus out of her. They are pecky little swines when they get going, feathers really fly and blood flows. Gives real meaning to the terms, hen-pecked and pecking order.
I did tell him about my spiders and roaches, no point having a zoologist in the family without taking advantage. The latest huntsman episode occurred as I checked the letter box and one walked up my arm before I left in the morning. I think he’s still in orbit. The black, big, shiny and flat roaches are imports, from America. X-files again, that one about the CIA robot cockies spying on people. Australian cockroaches are usually the little brown critters but all of them carry disease, charmers.
I’m not a great fan of the bush. The gum trees are claustrophobic and when they get together, they whisper. In winter, they piss rain drops on one’s head and in summer it’s dry leaves with strange animals attached. I make an exception for flowering gums after spending an hour watching through the picture window, at the birds and butterflies in the blossoms. Baby parrots are a bit dumb though, they sometimes forget to pull up before they hit the window.
If getting up the drive was a trial, getting down was a riot. I looked like ‘George of the jungle’ swinging from branch to branch. A nice taxi driver home too. Is the transport board putting something in the water?
One of my favourite photographs. Sailing on the Gippsland Lakes. When asked what he was thinking about, he said "Nothing. I wasn't thinking at all." The ultimate luxury for a year 12 student.
He spent 6 months of that year riding to Blackrock beach to measure and photograph the erosion rate of the sand and the effect on native plants.
He kept at it through winter and ended up with non-specific mononucleosis (glandular fever). He was so exhausted he couldn't lift his head from the pillow.
His work paid off when he was accepted at Chisholm Ins. before his exam results were known.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
These words were written by Dr. Richard Isay in his book “Becoming Gay”, the Journey to Self- Acceptance, published in 1996.
“But it is the affirming love of another man that is the most effective antidote to the “battered self-esteem” of most gay men in our society.
And it is the love of another over time that provides the greater certainty and clarity about one’s personal identity as a gay man. Only then does being gay become indispensable to one’s happiness.”
It has just as much meaning if the word man is changed to woman.
I am standing on my soapbox again about same sex marriage because the issue is not going to go away. Many young gay men and women want the symbolic ceremony of marriage and we need to value their wanting this ceremony to make a commitment to each other. It doesn’t have to be Church sanctioned or State sanctioned just ‘ordinary people’ sanctioned. It is not a civil right, it is a need to have their identity as a gay couple to have as much value as a heterosexual couple.
There is no mention of gender in the following. The words apply equally to men and men and women and women and men and women.
Not the marriage of convenience, nor the marriage of reason, but the marriage of love. All other marriage, with vows so solemn with intimacy so close, is but acted falsehood and varnished sin.
Edward Robert Bulwer (1831-91)
In true marriage lies not equal, nor unequal. Each fulfils defect in each, and always thought in thought.
Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow,
The single pure and perfect animal,
The two-celled heart beating, with one full strike,
Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
What marriage may be in the case of two persons of cultivated faculties, identical in opinions and purposes, between whom there exists that best kind of equality, similarity of powers and capacities with reciprocal superiority in them – so that each can enjoy the luxury of looking up to the other, and can have alternately the pleasure of leading and of being led in the path of development – I will not attempt to describe.
To those who can conceive it, there is no need; to those who cannot, it would appear the dream of an enthusiast.
John Stuart Mill.
The only thing that can hallow marriage is love.
And the only genuine marriage is that which is hallowed by love.
Count Leo Tolstoy.
They had exchanged vows and tokens, sealed their rich compact, solemnised, so far as breathed words and murmured sounds and lighted eyes and clasped hands could do it, their agreement to belong only, and to belong tremendously, to each other.
The supreme and overmastering desire of any two humans who are in love with one another is to be together and alone, in shared and mutual solitude. That (in much) is what weddings are for. It is attained and safeguarded in marriage. How well and happily then should it be spoken of, how profound should be its appeal to our common humanity.
Walter De La Mare.
The needs of gay couples to commit in front of friends and family should appeal to our common humanity and considering how far we have already travelled, the road to equality is shortening.