Wednesday, November 26
I grew up on the outskirts of Sydney, just across a dirt road from Kuringai Chase National Park. That's where they filmed Skippy, by the way. Nine months of the year it was a million adventures waiting to happen; then every summer it turned into a 45,000 acre fire hazard.
You didn't need to go far to find another world in those days. There was a little stream down the block - a storm water drain further up, but at that point it opened out into the original streambed. And then fell - splish splash - over a cliff. A waterfall, not a big one, maybe fifteen feet high.
Once my younger brother got stuck trying to climb down it, and my mother had to climb up from the bottom to rescue him.
There were ponds that filled with water when it rained, and tadpoles as big as your thumb. There was a tiny natural stone bridge on one of the trails, with a span of just three our four feet, carved by the water of an equally tiny streamlet.
There were nasty spiky bushes, there were birds, probably there were animals, though you never saw them. Twice I met echidnas - spiny anteaters - but not in the bush. One wandered into our school one day; another I met on the footpath leading to the railway station.
Even then I was more likely to be found lost in a book than lost in the bush, but it was wonderful to have that outlet.
Now it's all gone.
Kuringai Chase remains, intact for all purposes but my childhood memories, but the F3 Freeway has long since obliterated that narrow strip of bushland I once explored. Which makes me wonder - what was there, before the Warringah Expressway, fifteen lanes wide where I cross it every day on my way to work, blasted its way through towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge? What tiny marvels would a child have found there?
It's not a call to stop building roads. And if you were to tear them up, as Bob Brown suggests, all you'd be left with is bare earth, dust in summer and mud in winter.
It's just that... Just that... No more tadpoles. No more tadpoles, ever.
Tuesday, November 25
The Coke machine at work is out of Coke. It has Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lemon, Cherry Coke, and Pepsi Max* - but no plain Coke.
Which may be why I dreamt last night of a new Coke flavour - White Chocolate Coke. Well, it tasted great in the dream, anyway.
Friday, November 21
A wombat for Susie:
As I was walking up Martin Place* on the way to work, I passed a little girl, about five or six years old, holding on to mummy with one hand, and clutching a toy wombat in the other.
Other than that... I got the credit notes to match up! (Mostly.) Yay!
I got a copy of Keith Laumer's A Plague of Demons. Yay!
I got volume 14 of the Oh! My Goddess!** manga.*** Yay! Now I can finally read volumes 15 and 16, which I already had. Someone explain to me, by the way, why there are now 78 episodes of You're Under Arrest and only 5 of the far more entertaining series from the same author?
Also, new volumes of Noir (as seen on USS Clueless), Cardcaptor Sakura, Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar****, Onegai Teacher, um... (Ducks downstairs.) Chobits and Mahoromatic.
And since someone decided this year is 1995 part two for computer games, Warlords IV. There goes my weekend...
* Which you've seen in the original Matrix - the scene with the Marilyn Monroe type in the red dress - only it was dug up and rebuilt for the Olympics and doesn't look like that any more. One of the features of the new Martin Place is a fountain built into the paving stones, that periodically sprays a fine mist on anyone who might be standing in the wrong place.
** "Ah! My Goddess!" - the manga*** was named before someone pointed out the obvious pun in English. The Japanese title is Aa! Megami-sama!. Which translates to, well, Ah! My Goddess!
*** Comic book. In thise case, a nicely printed, small format collection, or "graphic novel".
**** Cute. Phear.
Friday, November 14
Look at me, all blogging from home and stuff. This Internet thingy is so cool!
I'll be ordering my new computers tomorrow. Yes, computers. As in, two of. Thanks to all who voted in my poll and/or left comments: I've decided to go for option number 6 and get one of each. That is, a P4 2.6 and an Athlon XP 2800+. I'll then do an extensive review of both systems to find out which one is shinier, and post the details here.
Saturday, November 08
The other day when I was looking for Chobits 2, I mentioned that during my excavation I discovered the latest Sims expansion pack. As it happens, there is now a new latest Sims expansion pack: Makin' Magic. This allows you to turn your neighbours into frogs, which does much to explain the popularity of the Sims franchise.
Unforunately, my Sims installation fell victim to the Great Storage Crash of '03, so I need to install it all over again. Now, let's see:
The Sims. Check.
Livin' Large. Check.
House Party. House Party? Anyone seen House Party? Aha! Check.
Hot Date. Check.
Makin' Magic. Well, duh. Check.
So off I go, install install install, only -
This copy of The Sims Unleashed seems to be missing something. Like, one of the CDs.
Rats! I do this from time to time. The problem is, after you install a game, you have to keep the CD in the drive to keep the copy protection crap happy. So the game box gets put away, you play the game for a while, and then you need to use the CD-ROM drive for something else. So you take the game disk out and put it somewhere safe™. And you never see it again.
Now, I can either turn my study upside down looking for the damn disk, or I can pop out tomorrow morning and buy another copy. Guess which one is more likely?
Thursday, November 06
Yesterday was Melbourne Cup Day. On my way to work I pass the Albert Tavern in North Sydney, and they had two shetland ponies out front. Real live ones, munching on hay with every sign of enjoyment.
What I didn't see was a shovel. Since I went past at 8 am and the race starts at 3 pm, I expect that they found one somewhere...
Also, this morning as I was leaving the house, I found [DON'T LOOK MOOKIE!!] a spider as big as my hand clinging to my front door. It was one of the long spindly ones, though, rather than one of the big fat hairy ones with enormous fangs and roughly three million eyes. It looked rather like the mothership for all the daddy longlegs you've ever seen.
I was running late or I would have gone back inside to get my camera. Next time...
Sunday, November 02
Though I'm rapidly running out of DVDs to burn stuff onto. I ordered another hundred last week. Where are they? Where are they?
Bloody Australia Post. If they sucked three times as much, they'd be Telstra, but that's a whole 'nother story.
Where did all these blasted flac and wav files come from, anyway? I thought I had everything converted to 256k mp3s. No wonder my [entirely legal &mdash Ed.] music stash is taking up so much room.
Oh look, there's another episode of the live action Sailor Moon series out! The one I saw at Animania back about six years ago when I had a life was the funniest thing I've seen in oh, about six years. Must download. Haha! Damn, I'm already out of bandwidth. Need a faster connection. Except that that would cost me
more less money. Less money? Damn Telstra and their insane ADSL wholesale pricing. So, do I go back to a crummy 256k upstream link just so I can download twice as much three times as fast? Or... Hey, I wonder if I can get a second ADSL connection here. I mean, everyone has two ADSL connections these days, right?
Or maybe those pissants at Optusvision have come to their senses and will hook me up for cable now. I'd call them and ask except I don't feel like waiting 45 minutes to find out that they're still a bunch of morons. After all, I've dealt with Optus for years, and it's a pretty safe bet how that will turn out.
Anyway, it's November now, and I don't have two full time jobs any more... One and a half, maybe. So I expect to be run over by a bus sometime next week. Or maybe the Earth will collide with Mars... Uh, no, that's not until July.
In one of the strangest events ever to transfix the city, countless thousands of people, evidently citizens of New York from the 1930s, have been walking out of the Hudson River and converging calmly on Times Square.I told you to read Pibgorn! I told you! And you didn't listen!
Overwhelmed by sheer numbers, police have ordered SWAT teams against the possibility of massive violence, although the invasion seems to be peaceful. Experts estimate that if the influx of river people continues unabated, all current residents of Manhattan will be displaced into the surounding waters by tomorow afternoon. The mayor has requested military backup, but warns that if conventional fire power is to no vail, the city may be forced to that last, grim recourse of modern civilization and summon Hollywood celebrities.
Pictures at eleven.
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