Saturday, March 31, 2007

National boundaries on the internet....

Saw this link over at

At the bottom of the page is this little gem:
This website is intended for viewing solely in the United States.

What the fuck? Sorry for peeking from across the oceans.

Friday fill in

1. I love my ... Canon 400D, Maton guitar, Toyota Corolla!
2. Looking in the mirror, I see ... unfortunately, just me!
3. The best thing that happened to me this week was .... a family dinner for Georgia's birthday.
4. Taking photographs... is one of my favorite things to do!
5. I always have a good time .... at music festivals.
6. I'm looking for ... the Saints to win their first match of the season this weekend. (Well, tonight.)
7. "Oh, I'm bein' followed by a ... moon shadow." .


(Silly blogger links mean I can't say "from percy" now. ) :(

so you want to take photographs? Got ID?

Read this guy's story - clicking on the pic takes you to it. Unbelievable.

Edit: It brings to mind a situation here last year (I think) when members of a photography club were hounded away from public land down near Geelong because they were near the big oil refineries down there. The refinery towers at sunset make for great pics and clubs have been going down there for years and years. But not anymore, not allowed now. They might be terrorists all of a sudden. Stupid paranoia.

Tonight's the night.....



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All washed out. :(

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen things I try to do but would really like to be able to do well......
1. Play guitar like Jimmy Page
2. Take professional looking photographs
3. Lose weight
4. Make money (!)
5. Cook like a proper chef
6. Write books - you know, like Tolkien or Dorothy Dunnett.
7. Have a good relationship that lasts for ever.
8. Calligraphy
9. Sing - like anyone who's in tune.
10. Play tennis
11. Dance - there's nothing worse than an ageing headbanger!
12. Ride a motorcycle again - lost my nerve on that one.
13. Make interesting conversation.

I'm not sure why I'm still bothering...

Still reading Gloriana's Torch. With the Spanish Armada as its main event it could have been so much more. The early chapters were enjoyable enough but the rest of it has become increasingly a waste of time. There are three large chapters, which take up about half the book, devoted to the ships sailing from Spain to the English Channel - one from the point of view of the guy in charge of the galley slaves, one from the point of view of a galley slave and one from the point of view of his wife who's trying to rescue him (oh please!). Nothing actually happens during all this except for a lot of rowing. It's becoming increasingly difficult to care about what these people are thinking/doing.
The story has now shifted back to land and back to one of the early characters who's about to foil Spanish attempts to take Calais. At least there might be some action in this bit. It's the last quarter of the book now so something must happen soon!

I think Finney might have been trying to explore how people react in various situations, which could have been good. But her characters aren't very believable to me. The real historical figures wander around in the background and are given very shallow characterisations - they really don't contribute much to the story.
I guess I've been spoilt by the the depth, richness and extraordinary research of writers like Dorothy Dunnett and Colleen McCullough in this regard. Finney just doesn't measure up.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

another cockatoo

As I pulled in to the carpark out the back of the shop this morning, a couple of cockatoos were hanging around. They kindly posed for some snaps.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

new blog in the family...

Georgia, she of the sexy underwear, has started her own blog.

Probably not suitable for anyone over 15!

(Hmmm, blogger seems to have changed its links thingy again.)

must be a mother/daughter thing to wear strange things on your head

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Lit up like a christmas tree

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This tree and the street light just happened to line up nicely.

That's not how you wear underwear

Gorgeous smile. Mum, in the background, isn't impressed though.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 trailer


Looks just as good as the first two.

Some of Mum's bits 'n' pieces

I wonder where she'll put them when the heater has gone.

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Georgia, Evan, Taya

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Georgia's birthday dinner

*There's a bloke who frequents the shop who works at a place where they make nail polish and stuff. He brings me in a selection of testers every now and then. I gave a box full to Georgia for her birthday. She was rapt.
*Mum and Dad have had the gas connected, so the wood heater is now reduntant. It's going to be pulled out which will free up a bit of space. (I think Clare's getting the heater)
*Remember Taya's wobbly tooth? It fell out and the one next to it is now wobbly. She likes to show it off.
*Georgia and her chocolate ripple birthday cake.

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Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Groovy :: feelin' groovy, la la la lala la la la

  2. Jealousy :: envy

  3. Watching :: the detectives (Elvis Costello)

  4. Kenny :: the boss's dad

  5. Games :: board (does anyone else still play them???)

  6. Bread :: Turkish bread roll for lunch today. Yum.

  7. City :: Melbourne

  8. Stems :: flowers

  9. Birds :: cockatoos

  10. Listener :: friend

from here

Monday, March 26, 2007

Uhoh, I must be bored...

You Should Rule Saturn

Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone delve beyond your appearance.

You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life.
You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past.

You Are 12% Capitalist, 88% Socialist

You see a lot of injustice in the world, and you'd like to see it fixed.
As far as you're concerned, all the wrong people have the power.
You're strongly in favor of the redistribution of wealth - and more protection for the average person.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I've clocked up 100 views. Yay me! I know it's not much to you hardened photographers out there but it's a bit of a milestone for me. :)

* And I forgot that daylight saving ended this weekend. I was ready to open the shop at 7.30am this morning. Duh!


Yesterday it was mid to high 30s, stinking hot and excessively high humidity. Very uncomfortable, sweaty day.
Today, it's barely 20 and raining.
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I've been busting to go the loo for hours so, when the shop was empty I bolted the door, left a "back soon" sign on the door and raced out the back. (No inside toilets in these old places.) When I came back I could hear a voice plaintively calling out "hello, hello."
I'd locked someone in.
Fortunately, she was able to laugh about it.
I'll have to look more carefully for these silent people lurking in amongst the shelves!

Happy Birthday Georgia! 14 today

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Haha, I just rang Georgia to wish her Happy Birthday. I think her mother's a bit frazzled - 26 teenagers (who've been there all night!) all over the house.

Friday fill in (on Saturday)

1. Don't you hate it when ... blogs just disappear for no reason!
2. The best compliment I ever got was ... "you're the best teacher I ever had"!
3. Why am I ... so broke at ... my age!
4. History ... fascinates me.
5. This weekend I plan to .... go to The Basin Music Festival and to Georgia's birthday dinner.
6. Smoking ... is one of my worst habits.
7. "From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows ... “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king." *sigh* I do love that book.

from here

Saturday, March 24, 2007

One week to go. Bring it on....

This year's captains. The guy on the left is the only one worth watching! :) Go Sainters!

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Umm, Janet, where are you?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wild Hogs

Saw this the other night. Very predictable storyline but some genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud moments. John Travolta looked right at home on his Harley but the others, particularly Tim Allen, didn't look at all relaxed in many of the riding scenes. Allen looks downright scared in a couple of scenes - must've been early takes before he got the hang of it. Ray Liotta indulges in some serious overacting as the leader of the bad bikie gang. He shouts every one of his lines.
William H Macy is hilarious as the nerdy computer geek. He has such a face.
The scenery (New Mexico I think) is great.
This is a film to watch when you're after something light 'cos there's no depth to it at all. It's a bit slapsticky and very formulaic but does deliver enough laughs to make it worth watching.

wee planets

Just came across this set on flickr. Panoramas have been turned into planets. Very cool. Looks like one of those things I'd like to try but would never find the time to.
wee planets

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen people I would like to meet....
1. Leonardo da Vinci - just to see what makes a genius tick.
2. John Lennon - the best of the Beatles by a country mile.
3. Dorothy Dunnett - one of my favourite authors. I'm in awe of her historical research.
4. Julius Caesar - the major figure in a period of history I've always been attracted to.
5. Gough Whitlam - just to say thanks for freeing up university tuition in the 1970s, thereby allowing me to attend.
6. Elizabeth II - 'cos I admire her resilience.
7. Eleanor of Aquitaine - wife of Henry II, mother of Richard I, John, etc. Another of my favourite historical periods.
8. Robert Jordan - another author. I'd tell him to get a move on with Wheel of Time #12.
9. Jimmy Page - there are many, many musicians I'd love to meet but I'll go with the one who inspired me to pick up the guitar.
10. Kevin Costner - just 'cos he's a hunk.
11. Johnny Depp - in case Kev's not available.
12. J.R.R. Tolkien - author of Lord of the Rings, my all-time favourite book.
13. John Howard - so I could slap his arrogant little face and give him a good kick in the balls.
Thursday Thirteen

football and drugs

Drugs in sport - a perennial issue. This time it's "recreational" drugs.
West Coast Eagles, the reigning premiers, have suspended star midfielder, Ben Cousins, indefinitely for breaching team rules as a result of his "personal problems". He's been in the news a few times for alcohol-related stuff-ups and there have been plenty of rumours about cocaine, ecstacy, amphetamines. He's also been known to keep the company of some pretty shady types in Perth.
There's been a lot of debate in the papers about who's responsible here - society, money and lifestyle, the AFL, the club, the media, etc. I can't help thinking that the individual has to take responsibility - it's his choice to mix with the company he does, it's his choice to party excessively when he knows he shouldn't. Cousins has got away with a fair bit in the last couple of years. People have been prepared to sweep it all under the carpet because he is such a good player - but that's no help to someone who apparently has little self-control when not on the footy field.
I guess he's about to pay the price now. The speculation is that he might never play again. That'd be a shame.
The Age

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


The cockies were out and about again this morning.

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the batmobile

I'm not the only one in the family with a flash new car. This is sister Paula's Mazda 3. She calls it her batmobile.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. San Francisco :: if you're going, wear flowers in your hair

  2. Sadness :: sorrow

  3. Spirits :: vodka, scotch

  4. Harriet :: I'm glad that's not my name

  5. State :: Victoria

  6. John :: my dad

  7. Offense :: insult

  8. TImeless :: music

  9. Account :: in the red

  10. Refuse :: deny

from here

Sunday, March 18, 2007

So it's St Patrick's Day... vodka and ORANGE for me.

It's a reasonably big thing here - mainly as an excuse to drink, drink and then drink some more. I go along with it for the social stuff but I really have issues with the Catholic church. It's my one real prejudice.
Growing up in Liverpool is why - it's a city that was clearly divided into Protestant/Catholic camps (and probably still is). It even governed which football team you followed. My grandmother was in The Orange Lodge and we used to have to go watch them march in their processions through the streets. It's kind of ingrained in me I'm afraid. I still don't have my ears pierced because, when I was a kid, that was a thing that only Catholic girls had done. Weird, huh.
I studied the Reformation at uni and that certainly didn't dispel any prejudice - probably reinforced it if anything. I won't even start on the policies and practices of the church today - I'd be here all day!
But, I'll go along to the Tav, drink vodka and orange and be social. :)

Friday fill in (on Saturday)

1. This week has been ... kinda boring; I'm glad it's ... Saturday. St Pat's Day drinks at the Tav!
2. No more ... war!
3. I am SO ready for ... the Byron Bay Blues n'Roots Festival!
4. I'm sure after ... a very quiet week (month!), I was happy to see .... customers!
5. Courtesy of Michelle: I think I really stink at .... paperwork. Always months behind.
6. ...Go Saints!, of course!
7. Be ... educated, be ... informed, have a ... say!

from here

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St Patrick's Day is coming up...

So I've put a little display of things Irish in the window.
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Billy Thorpe and Notes on a Scandal aren't Irish, I know.

local festival

Every year there's a music festival in The Basin, where I live. It happens in the park, the tavern and the restaurants around the place. No big names like at Byron Bay, mainly local artists. It's always a lot of fun though. I notice that Rainy Day books are a sponsor this year. Hmmmm, the local competition. We'll have to get on board next year!
The Basin music festival

D3 sent me an email...hehehehe

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know,
Walked barefoot most of the time,
Which produced an impressive set
Of calluses on his feet.
He also ate very little,
Which made him rather frail
And with his odd diet,
He suffered from bad breath...
This made him
A super-calloused fragile mystic
Hexed by halitosis.

ow ow ouch

I played tennis last night and bits of me are rather achy today. We lost by three games :(
It rained during our first set - the blokes went running for shelter but we "ladies" kept right on playing. But then it got really, really, really humid once the rain stopped. Extreme sweat.
I felt like I actually played okay - my serve is improving at long last (it's such a lollipop!). I've always had a reasonable backhand and the forehand is ok as long as I don't have to hit down the line - it always goes crosscourt, no matter where I aim it! But my biggest problem is running - I just don't do running. Conscientious objector I am.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Gloriana's Torch - Patricia Finney

Historical fiction.
It's set during the reign of Elizabeth 1, at the time of the Spanish Armada, 1588. It's one of those books where each chapter is centred on a particular character, rather than being a straight chronological narrative. I'm only about a quarter of the way through so far but it's interesting enough to keep me going. I'm liking the African woman a lot - she's been sort of voluntarily enslaved because she's searching for her son who has been taken as a slave. She talks to her gods, of which there are many, and has some interesting observations on the Catholic god (Suffering Jesus) and the Protestant god (Thundering Jehovah) of the "northern hairy ghosts".
The other main character, so far, is an Englishman in service to the queen. He dreams a lot and Finney uses these dreams to present a kind of alternative history - what if the Spanish had landed and invaded England.
What I don't like is the way Finney inserts herself into the story - as a sort of narrator - to tell me that she's messing with the chronology or something similar. She comes across as smug and self-satisfied - 'look at me, aren't I clever' sort of thing. Fortunately she doesn't do this too often or at great length. I would have stopped reading long ago if she had.

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen things about me to help you get to know me better:

Thirteen places I want to visit when I turn 55 and collect my superannuation:

1. Liverpool, England - where I was born and lived until age 12.
2. St Petersurg - the Winter Palace especially.
3. Florence - for the art
4. Rome - for the history
5. Tuscany - why not?
6. Paris - the Louvre, etc.
7. Scotland - 'cos I never went there as a child
8. Cornwall - where I did go as a child and I want to see if my memories are accurate. I remember the wind, the sand that was really crushed shells, tiny cobbled streets and ice-cream to die for.
9. Macchu Picchu - for the history
10. Egypt - for the history
11. Thailand/Vanuatu/Fiji - somewhere with pristine beaches and crystal clear water
12. Australia's top end - I've been as far north as Cairns (Qld) and Alice Springs (NT) but the rest of the top end is a mystery to me.
13. Last, but by no means least, a little farm somewhere in Michigan.
TT here
There are another couple of fires in the nearby hills today - same area as last time. There's an arsonist out there somewhere. All these fires have been deliberately lit by some sicko.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

only three weeks to go
I'm starting to get a little bit excited.

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Contribution :: doing your bit

  2. Ryan :: Kylie's boyfriend

  3. Minimal :: -ist

  4. Cleansed :: purified

  5. Centered :: focused

  6. Arrow :: broken

  7. Beyond :: the pale

  8. Execute :: carry out

  9. Intuition :: women's

  10. Apology :: sorry!

from here

Monday, March 12, 2007

words in my head

I haven't listened to Snow Patrol for a couple of days but I just cannot get these words out of my head...
"If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world"

There's nothing particularly ground breaking about the music or the lyrics but, jeez, it won't go away.

Visual dna

seen here

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday fill in

1. Fridays are .... just another day in the life of a secondhand bookseller
2. It was a dark and stormy night; .... and the possums moved into the upstairs bedroom to escape the weather. Some of them lived to tell the tale.
3. I was walking along the footpath, engaged in a heated argument with a person who claimed that Neil Diamond was a better singer than Robert Plant. In my fury at such stupidity I swung out my arms, laden with grocery shopping ... and then I hit a parked car, causing the alarm to go off!
4. If wishes were ... dollars, then I'd .... be rich
5. Do you get .... it? Well, do you?
6. Where in the world is ... MJ Arcadia Bookshop?
7. This weekend, I hope to ... take some good photographs!
from Percy

I take it all back......

Last week I had a whinge about the lady who wanted a list of our Hollywood biogs. Someone did eventually turn up to collect the list. He's just come back with a little box of chocolates, from her to me, as a thank you. There's a note thanking me for the book list.
Now I feel like a jerk for whinging.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Here are thirteen CDs I listen to repeatedly:
1. Disintegration - The Cure
2. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
3. No Quarter/ Unledded - Page and Plant
4. It'll End in Tears - This Mortal Coil
5. Floodland - Sisters of Mercy
6. Aenima - Tool
7. Faith - The Cure
8. Decade - Neil Young
9. Live Seeds - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
10. Remastered - Led Zeppelin
11. Meddle - Pink Floyd
12. Best of - Peter Gabriel
13. Staring at the Sea: The Singles - The Cure
from here

Really? I didn't notice.

A MINI earthquake shook beds, chairs and tables as it rumbled across Melbourne this afternoon.
Residents heard a sound like muffled thunder and felt a tremor that rattled doors and furniture for several seconds from about 1.30pm.
Homeowners in Northcote, Rowville, Canterbury, Ringwood, Croydon Hills, Lilydale and as far away as Bunyip reported movement.
The tremor registered 3.5 to 4 on the richter scale.
Its centre was 15km north-east of Dandenong.

from the Hun

Update: The 3.7 tremor, which occurred at 1.34pm, was centred at Warburton, in Victoria's east and was widely felt throughout the region.

Ooh, wonder if Clare felt anything.

silly requests from customers...

There are the perennials - "don't know the author and/or title but it's got a blue/red/white/etc cover" "I'm looking for a book for my mother but I don't know what she likes. Can you recommend something she'd like?"
Today I was asked if we could organise the books according to nationality of authors. This person doesn't like mixing her British and Americans. I didn't ask why.
Also today: "Do you sell stamps? No, okay, so where's the post office then?" Jeez.

The fearlessness of youth.

Georgia on the flying trapeze, in the city a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn't have the nerve.

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I deleted the wombat post 'cos the pics disappeared again - the code keeps going missing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Oh the power!

A couple of electricians just turned up and put some new power points in - on the same side of the shop as the desk. No more leads hanging from the ceiling. Yay!

major discovery

I just found out how to have the correct time and date on my posts. Yay! Being on US time has always bothered me. Now I can be in today, not yesterday.

love that car

It's still new enough to be a novelty and to take pics of :)
This is on the road to Donna Buang on Sunday.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

Things I like beginning with B:

1. Books - well, duh!
2. Byron Bay - I'd go back there in a flash.
3. Baker's Delight Turkish rolls - I have one just about every day for lunch.
4. Birds - actually, I don't care for birds all that much but I have been taking a lot of bird pics lately.
5. Blues'n'Roots Fest - at Byron Bay. Fantastic event.
6. Balls - footballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, ;)
7. Baggins - there's more to a hobbit than meets the eye.
8. Bananas - my favourite fruit.
9. Blue - favourite colour
10. Bed - who doesn't love their bed?
11. Beach - don't get there often enough. Strangely, I don't like sand. I think it's the ocean that draws me to the beach.
12. Bob Smith - The Cure maestro. 'Nuff said.
13. Blues - especially blues guitar.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I am Amelia Earhart, apparently.

You are Amelia Earhart

Adventurous and boundary breaking. You believe that you can do anything, and do not hesitate to take risks to achieve a big goal. You like to problem solve, when a problem comes up.

Take this quiz at

from Shirl

trouble and strife

There was a bit of a kerfuffle at Ma'n'Pa's yesterday. It had to do with Tash the dog and Mum's homemade carrot cake....

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Nude :: naked

  2. Support :: help

  3. Rachel:: the boss' eldest daughter

  4. Crane :: long legged bird

  5. Candy bar :: Mars Bar

  6. Material :: cotton

  7. Mind games :: psychology

  8. Eviction :: thrown out

  9. Produce :: create

  10. Joke :: haha

from here

My Sunday....

Saturday was Clare's birthday so I trekked out to Warburton...

Clare's place 
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Clare was busy on Sunday so I headed down into Warburton and strolled along the Yarra River..

Yarra River 
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Then I headed up the road towards Mt Donna Buang and came across a rainforest gallery...

tree fern 
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Then I saw some great views of the Yarra Valley...

the Valley 
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Then back to Mum and Dad's for a family celebration...

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Then Clare tried on Dad's glasses...

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And finally we discovered that, if there is a diety up there, then it's probably male...

celestial phallus 
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