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Sunday 17 August 2008

I'm not ignoring you

Posted by kim @ 10:15am

I'm not ignoring you, I've just been rather busy the past few weeks: the job search went to whole new levels when we got back and I've flown down to Brisbane on two separate occassions in the past month for interviews, first for 4 days, then for 6 days, returning last Tuesday night. I managed to get one of the jobs that I went for - ironically, one of the ones that I didn't have an interview for; it was just a "let's meet for coffee" with one of my friend's ex-bosses. The "let's meet for coffee" turned out to be a "What you'll be doing is ..." followed by a "When can you start? As soon as possible would be great!". So there you go. I'll be finishing up at my current job on Friday, and moving back down to Bris next weekend, ready to start my new job on Monday 25th.

Aside from that, we haven't really been doing much: I'm still working on the webpage to display all our holiday snaps (there's over 2500 so there's way too many to email to people), we've joined the Jazz Club, which plays fortnightly at the German-Australian Club - gives us something to do on a weekend, and we went to see Antal Szalai and His Hungarian Gypsy Band last night at the Civic Theatre. They were absolutely incredible! The speed at which their fingers flew across the strings/keys was amazing! The skill involved! At one point one of the band members got up, went around behind the cimbalom player and blind-folded him! He didn't miss a beat or strike a single wrong note (and there's plenty of opportunity for that on a cimbalom!), he just continued on at break-neck speed like nothing had happened. Absolutely incredible! Needless to say, go see them if you get the chance! They're amazing!

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Last minute

Posted by kim @ 10:15am

Ok, last minute wave time. Bags are all packed, house is tidy, rubbish has been taken out, last wash has been done, Lara's been cleaned out and has her food all organised, dog toys have been collected from all over the back yard and put inside, boarding passes have been printed, printer has been returned to friend's place, last minute checks have been performed, and computers and other electronics will shortly be turned off and unplugged. Then all we have to do is wait for the taxi to arrive :D And the adventures begin!!

Whilest I'm away, I won't of course have my computer with me, so all blog entries will be done the old fashioned way - its called "pen and paper", have you heard of it? - and will be transcribed and uploaded when we get back next month :)

Have a good month everyone!

Saturday 24 May 2008

Counting down

Posted by kim @ 1:26pm

One and a half weeks to go! (Not that I'm counting :P)

We went shopping today to get me a new camera - my old one is about 6yrs old and doesn't register batteries anymore - and some memory sticks for it. We'd actually gone looking at cameras last weekend and found a few that would do the job, but gave it a week to decide which I liked best. So I now own a very new, and shiny, Canon IXUS80IS, plus 4x 2GB memory sticks. So that should do me :) We'll give it a trial run tonight - we're going out to dinner for one of Iain's work functions to a Turkish restaurant that we haven't tried before but have heard heaps about - to make sure everything works as it should.

While out and about we also went to Anaconda to look at the travel packs that I'd seen in the catalogue (one of the few pieces of junk mail that doesn't go straight in the bin at our place). And ended up not only buying a new 120L pack for myself, and a 100L one for Iain, but also what's called a BodyPack - a strap-on pouch that you wear under your clothes so that things like money, credit cards, passport, etc aren't easily stolen, a BodyWallet - similar idea as the BodyPack but designed to look like a guys wallet, a backpack that folds down to about the size of a small purse - so that we can carry things like waterbottles, maps, etc around with us when we're doing the touristy thing and it folds up easily later, a small duffle bag that also folds down really small - for all the extra shopping we know we'll do in Hong Kong, an Aussie to European power adapter, a pegless clothes line so that we can wash smalls, etc at the hotel, locks for the travel packs, a beanie and fleecey jumper for Iain ... at this point we decided we'd better leave before we bought out the rest of the store :P

So now that camera purchasing and luggage purchasing is done, we really know that its getting close to fly-out time. Like we needed to add to the growing excitement :D

Oh, and mouse accommodation is all sorted out too. After being doubtful about the kennels looking after Lara, I had a look at other options on the internet and found a company that basically does house-sitting that includes looking after pets and pot plants as well. The lady who runs it, Rhonda, comes around each day, feeds whichever pets need feeding, waters what plants need watering, and also does things like bringing in the mail from the mail box, putting the bins out on bin day - even if they're empty, just to make it look like we're still there - turns different lights on, moves curtains about, etc to make the place look like its still inhabited. All for $5 a day. Yeh, the same price as the kennels were going to look after Lara for, but with all the house-sitting included. So that's great! And she sounds like she loves animals as much as I do, even to the point of asking, when I was talking to her on the phone, whether Lara likes fresh vegies and other treats. So she's clearly looked after mice before, and that's wonderful! That certainly put my mind at rest :) So that's all booked in and Rhonda is coming around next weekend to meet us and Lara, and get instructions.

:)

Saturday 17 May 2008

Hmm...

Posted by kim @ 12:15pm

We're back.

And the answer is: I don't know :/

Saturday 17 May 2008

Unsure

Posted by kim @ 6:52am

We put Sam into the kennels - although this particular one is more like a dog park with a 5star hotel attached, rather then the traditional gaol-like kennels - for the night so that he and L can get to know each other before he's there for a month, and get used to us not being there.

Iain asked L yesterday when he was dropping off Sam, if she knew anyone that could look after my mouse (yes, Lara is still with us, and yes, she's well passed the life expectancy for a domestic mouse) and she said that she could for $5/day.

Yes everyone is pointing out that $5/day for a month is a bit over-the-top for a mouse that cost me $8 to buy in the first place and only about 30c/month to feed, but you're talking to an animal-lover here ...

However having said that, $150 is a lot to pay when she only takes about 2mins/day to look after (ie long enough to fill up her food bowl). And I'm not entirely confident that L will look after her properly.

I'm not being a fussy mum here ... well I am ... a bit... but its justified: her area of expertise is dogs, not small pets/rodents, and she, herself, admitted to Iain that she'd had a few losses in the past...

And listening to what Iain told me she'd said, I'm not entirely surprised. For starters, she doesn't keep them in their own cages/enclosures, she puts them in her own, so right off the bat they're in a totally different environment with totally different smells and sounds, and a totally different person coming to the cage each day, without even having the comfort of their 'safe area' that smells like them. Then on top of that she refuses to continue feeding them what they're used to eating; she said that she'll go to the pet shop and get some of their mouse mix. Now, this might sound good on the surface, and she probably thinks that she's doing the right thing, but wouldn't it be a lot better for the mouse, as well as better for her if I provided the food? - it means that she wouldn't go to the expense of buying it for a start, not to mention the time and effort of having to drive half an hour into town to get it.

And no offence to the pet shop, but I've seen what they call mouse food, and its not great; it's a lot better then it was a few months ago - which was just lucerne (both pellets and chaff, but mostly chaff) and sunflower seeds - no other seeds, no grains, no cereals, and not even any protein - I mean for goodness sakes, they're a pets store, you'd think that (a) they'd know what a balanced diet for a rodent was, and (b) that they would have large quantities of dog and cat biscuits on hand, so there's no excuse for not providing any ... Anyway, its now a lot better then it was, but its still completely devoid of any seeds other then sunflower seeds, and there's still far too many of these (sunflower seeds are VERY high in oil, and if a large proportion of your diet was oil, you wouldn't be very healthy, would you?), it now has some rolled grains (wheat mostly), but no sorghum or oats, and no other cereals at all (mice love things like rolled oats, cornflakes, wheatbix, bran flakes/Allbran and rice bubbles), only one type of dog biscuit, and not enough of it, and the same lucerne pellets as before but much less chaff. And lets face it, if you were given oily sunflower seeds, dry pellets, some flattened (and therefore probably dry and stale) wheat and the same type of protein every day, you'd not only get bored stiffless, but you probably wouldn't last as long as you could have because you're diet isn't giving you all the nutrients that you need.

So I understand that she might think she's doing her best by getting food from the pet store (because, after all, if anyone should know what to feed a mouse, a pet store should), but its not a great sign. (Let's face it, if I didn't know what I was doing, Lara wouldn't have lasted as long as she has.)

So all up, with the change of scenery, smells, sounds, person and food, all at once, that's a lot of change for a small, very geriatric pet to handle.

And change means stress kills. And stress kills.

(If you've had any experience at all with rodents, be it mice, rats, or guinea pigs you'll know that they stress extremely easily, particularly guinea pigs, and like birds, stress lowers their immune systems to the point where they can easily die from too much stress.)

So ... I'm a bit worried ...

I'll talk to her when we go to pick Sam up in a few hours, and see for myself, but in a way, if she's going to be one of these people who is stuck in the I-know-best-regardless-of-if-someone-else-might-have-more-experience, and simply will refuse to listen to anything I say, I'd rather leave Lara with someone who's never had a mouse before, someone from the dog park for instance, because at least then they'll listen when I describe what and how much to feed her, as well as what not to give a mouse ...

We'll see.

Friday 16 May 2008

Saying something

Posted by kim @ 6:54pm

Sitting in our favourite restaurant, I look around at the follow patrons, and notice that the only tables that are empty have Reserved signs on them. Every single other table is occupied. Says something about the place and its food, doesn't it? When its so popular that people have to start reserving tables. In fact, if we hadn't come early, we probably would have missed out, even as regulars, and it wouldn't actually surprise me if before long, the only way you can get a table is by booking in advance. Really does say something, doesn't it?

Thursday 15 May 2008

Not exactly satisfactory

Posted by kim @ 6:41pm

I know some people out there might say I'm silly or weird for saying this, but when I get a feeling about something or someone, I usually listen to it - its proved to be correct every time previously - even to the point of saving me from huge financial loss by not buying that house that later turned out to be riddled with termites and basically needed to be gutted inside (friends of ours live in that area, so we heard from them, as well as saw firsthand the skips, builders, etc going to and from for months when we visited our friends).

Anyway, the latest incident that has provoked this feeling is the vet who sometimes sees Sam.

Perhaps a quick bit of history is in order first: a few weeks back, Sam was diagnosed with mange mites. Apparently dogs catch them when they're puppies and usually develop an immunity to them. Its only when they're stressed and the dog's immune systems is a bit low that they might be effected. However since Sam has skin allergies he tends to be more susceptible to things like this. Its not contagious and it doesn't cause any discomfort, it just looks a bit unsightly when the hair in the effected area falls out. Its pretty easy to treat: weekly injections until it goes away.

Anyway, we had this particular vet again today and as I'd thought that it was the week for another skin scrape I said so and he had no hesitations in telling me that that was completely incorrect and that whoever had told me that (which had been one of the follow vets at this same clinic) was completely wrong.

Now, before you think it, I'm not one of these people who can't stand being told that they're wrong, particularly in an area that I have no expertise in. What I didn't expect was him saying that a follow vet and colleague at the same vet surgery was completely wrong.

Anyway what he was telling me was that the first skin scrape was at week 6, not after week 4, then at week 8, then week 12, and then if these are all clear you still do 4 more weeks of injections ... now that just doesn't make any sense to me - if the scrape at week 6 is clear, and so is the one at week 8, why continue the injections for another 8 weeks when the mites have clearly gone away? At $22 a pop it sounds like he's just trying to get more money out of us.

This on top of the experience we had the first time we saw him: he almost gave Sam an injection for arthritis, rather then the one he was supposed to be getting. Thankfully he noticed at the last moment that Sam wasn't very old, and when I said that he was almost 15months now, he said 'oh, well, he won't be needing this then, will he?', I said 'no' and listened to the alarm bells going off...

So yes, I don't exactly have a lot of confidence in anything he tells me.

Updated, 24/05/08 3:17pm: I rang the vet clinic on Monday, made up the excuse that I couldn't make it on that day, and asked for an appointment with my favourite vet there, P - one that Sam seems to like too (he just walks into her room, whereas I literally have to drag him in to see J, the above vet) so that we wouldn't have to see J. When we went there this week, she did the skin scrap, which came back clear, and told me that he needs another 4 wks of injections, then another scrap and if that's clear that's it, all done. Which matches up with what the first vet, T, had told us (the colleague I mentioned above). I also told her that we were going away and she asked which kennels we were putting him into. When I told her she said that L was pretty good and would continue the injections if I asked. So next week, when Sam goes back to get his next injection, and his 12month booster shots, I'll get 3wks worth of injections so that when we get back, all he'll need is his last scrap and that's it.

Thursday 15 May 2008

It just keeps getting better and better

Posted by kim @ 10:42am

Here's another news article from Vienna, Austria: this time a man has murdered his wife, daughter, parents and father-in-law with an axe.

Great.

This following the release of poor Elisabeth Fritzl and her children two weeks ago.

Yay.

Guess where we're going in a few weeks time?

Thursday 15 May 2008

The price of words

Posted by kim @ 7:17am

One of my friends went to see a doctor yesterday about the pinched nerve in his neck, and the conversation apparently went something like this:

Dr: you have a pinched nerve in your neck
Friend: I know that. What can I do about it?
Dr: go see a chiropractor
Friend: I have been
Dr: well continue doing that then
...

And that was about it. Then he was billed $70, for the experience of being told what he already knew. So those dozen or so, rather useless, words cost him about $5 each. Not particularly good value if you ask me.

I knew that the price of words was going up, but geez.

Saturday 10 May 2008

Sad

Posted by kim @ 2:55pm

The guy (term used extremely lightly, mostly to determine that he is a male of human origin, although that is debatable as well) in the house behind us evidently has more 'guy' friends over at the moment because the doof-doof 'music' (again, term used extremely lightly) is playing loudly and various male voices can be heard yelling and laughing over the noise.

Alcohol is no doubt involved, as is the show of see-how-badly-I-can-treat-my-wife/girlfriend-in-front-of-my-mates behaviour, (not that the presence or absence of his mates usually dictates his behaviour). Just before we heard a 'Come here! ... Get! Here!!' like as if he was calling a dog who had just done something wrong. But I know for a fact that he doesn't have a dog. That it was his wife/girlfriend that he was calling.

Unfortunately this behaviour isn't anything new: there are yelling matches (note: she does at least try to give back, not that she succeeds most of the time) over there at least every day or so. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I very nearly called the police. Why? These were the proceedings, as far as I can remember them: yelling match starts, mostly one-sided this time, she tries to say something - and I mean 'say' rather then 'yell' because what she was saying was so soft as to not be really audible, it was just a female voice, and his was so full of f's and c's that you couldn't actually make out what he was yelling about - then more yelling on his part, then one hell of a crash, like as if a bookshelf had been pushed over - or more likely one that she'd been thrown into, given the whimpers and cries that followed the crash ... and as neighbours we're forced to listen to this day in, day out.

It doesn't make for a very pleasant place to live...

She was evidently home alone for a short period yesterday because when I got home at about 2pm, there was some quite pleasant, but definitely music of feminine taste coming from their house. It was being played rather loudly but as it wasn't unpleasant music I didn't mind, and I respected the fact that she was clearly trying to take advantage of the small amount of time that she had to even slightly enjoy herself before Husband/Boyfriend got home.

Pretty sad really.

Saturday 10 May 2008

Little boy, and more Little Brown Birds

Posted by kim @ 8:50am

I've uttered a few typical 'mother' phrases this morning so far with regards to my canine boy. Lately he's taken to trying to sneak off out the front gate, but as I'm usually sitting on the front balcony, this is a pretty futile thing to attempt, but nonetheless he tries. This morning, since just walking out the gate didn't work last weekend, he tried feigning sniffing along the driveway until he was out. This of course didn't work either, but he still had to give it a go, twice. It was at this point that I said things like 'Oi' when he stepped outside the gate, 'yes, I should think so' when he looked up at me guiltily, and 'you're such a little boy' and 'I wasn't born yesterday', because he clearly thought that feigning sniffing would fool me. He's such a little boy sometimes - silly, but loveable.

On another note, Mr Sunbird was back this morning, as was Little Brown Honeyeater. And I got a good look at another little honeyeater as well - it was hopping around in the palm fronds right next to the railing. I'm not sure whether it was another little Brown Honeyeater because although the patch behind its eye was yellow, which matches the book, the patch was much larger then the pic in the book, and it was accented by a bit of black under the eye, which the book doesn't have, and it was making a rather raspy kind of call, instead of the distinct 'plik' that the other one made, which lends me to believe that it was something else, although what exactly I don't know. But I suppose bird identification isn't an exact art, and genetic variation isn't going to produce exact replicas all the time, let alone ones that look exactly like their pictures in books.

We also had a host of other Little Brown Birds this morning. They were flitting around in the longer grass on the other side of the yard and as such I didn't get a good look at them, only enough to determine that they weren't wrens - their tails were too short and they weren't doing the characteristic lifting and lowering of their tails that wrens do. They had black around their faces, and I thought that they might be some kind of finch, but I can't find a matching pic in the book - the closest I found is the Masked Finch, but according to the book, they don't come down this far, and the little birds in my yard had much more black on their faces, more like that of the Chestnut-breasted Finch, but I didn't notice a chestnut-coloured breast... So I'll have to see if I can find a set of bird-watching binoculars and hope they come back at some point so I can get a better look.

Friday 9 May 2008

What the?!

Posted by kim @ 10:24am

This article falls firmly into the 'What the?!?' category.

Thursday 8 May 2008

Interior designs

Posted by kim @ 8:06pm

The June edition of the Better Homes and Gardens mag arrived in the mail the other day and I was having a read through it this afternoon.

On one hand I like seeing the interior design articles that they have in there - there's always something that I like - but on the other hand, I can't help but feel a bit depressed that my home will never look like that. Even if I did go to the time and expense of doing-up the various rooms of my house, using some of their ideas, it wouldn't look like that. And even if it did, it would either only last a few minutes or I would spend even more energy trying to maintain that look, constantly fighting a never-ending battle.

Take pages 26-27 for example. The bedroom and bathroom featured on those pages is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous (I don't much like the flowery cushion or the bedside table, but the rest is really nice), and although it would be an absolute dream to have the 'relaxing areas' of my home looking like that, there is no way it would last for more then a few moments. That is, until Sam got in there and proceeded to spread black fur over all the beautiful white linen. I know from experience that once this happens, your linens are doomed; you never manage to get rid of it all, regardless of how much energy you expend trying to do so.

So, in my household, I will forever be condemned to having dark-and-dreary, but practical, bed linens.

And looking longingly at magazine articles.

Monday 5 May 2008

Little Brown Bird no. 2

Posted by kim @ 8:39am

I saw another brown bird this morning, although I wouldn't really classify it as 'small' - it was much larger then the little Brown Honeyeater from yesterday - about the size that I picture a honeyeater being, about the same size as an oriole - but with similar markings as the little Brown Honeyeater. This of course made me think that maybe I'd mixed up yesterday's Little Brown Bird. So out came the Birds of Australia book again and, nope, the sizes were right (I compared the measurements to the measurements of other birds that I do know by sight just to make sure): yesterday's Little Brown Bird was indeed a Brown Honeyeater. So today's Brown Bird could either be a Graceful Honeyeater or a Yellow-spotted Honeyeater. They are supposed to also have a pale stripe below their eyes, one's being larger then the other, so I'll have to keep a look-out to see if I can spot them again and check out the stripe.

The little Brown Honeyeater from yesterday was also there today, making it easy to tell that the new arrival was much larger - a good 4 or 5cm. And we also had a male Sunbird flitting around today, showing off his gorgeous yellow belly and iridescent blue chest.

So that makes three garden birds seen in just the past two days! Brilliant :)

Sunday 4 May 2008

The first Little Brown Bird

Posted by kim @ 8:55am

Sitting outside on our front landing drinking a delicious latte with Irish Cream that my Hubby made for me, catching up on the May edition of the Gardening Australia and the April edition of Better Homes & Gardens mags, my attention was distracted by a small movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and there it was: the first small garden bird I've seen since moving up here over 6months ago! Not wanting to disturb it, I sat very still and watched it hop from flower to flower gathering its breakfast. I was so thrilled with the sight that I was a bit disappointed with Sam when he wandered out to see where I was and inadvertently scared it away. Being the nature-loving person that I am, I'd already memorised its description and call, and after it'd flown away I took this opportunity to go and find my Birds of Australia book. It took me some time to find my Little Brown Bird but I think it was a Brown Honeyeater. It was brown all over, with the back and wings being only slightly darker then its underbelly, with a little white patch behind its eye. It was no bigger then a wren, had a beak suitable for nectar-drinking and a distinct 'plik' call (this is actually how the book spelt it, but it matches what I heard). The Brown Honeyeater in the book seems to fit this description best, except the white patch is supposed to be yellow, and is supposed to inhabit forests, woodlands, gardens, etc in my area.

So there you go; we do have something other than Indian Mynahs, Peewees, Ibis, Cockatoos and Magpies up here :)

Saturday 3 May 2008

Strange

Posted by kim @ 8:43pm

I've been searching for new blogs to read - basically because I'm bored - by visiting my regulars and having a look at all the other blogs that they list on their sites, and by doing this I've found more reasons why American's can be classified as strange: in one, the author was complaining about having to get up at 7:30am for her new job (most Aussies that I know are up by 6 - earlier if they have children to organise as well) and bragging about getting a 1.5hr lunch break (most Aussies don't get more then 1hr, and in my last job I only got 20mins, which is barely long enough to run down to the shops, grab something (most of the time is spent waiting in the huge lunch-time queues) and get back to your desk (then eating at your desk while continuing work). Another author thought that driving for 13.5hrs in one sitting was something worth celebrating and wanted to make sure that everyone knew that she had made it to her destination ok. Big deal. Driving between our place and my folks (and my hubby's folks for that matter) takes almost 10hrs more then that and we almost always do it in one hit.

So I won't be reading those ones, because people who complain about how easy their life is, and make big issues out of things that really aren't that special just piss me off.

Updated, 9:11pm: And then you find gems like this one.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Activities

Posted by kim @ 3:58pm

The following is the extent of 'busy-ness' we've encountered at work yesterday and today:

Yesterday:
* a guy from the uni came in to get the price of Office so that he could get a PO made up
* answered a phone call, took a message (it was for my boss but he was on the other phone), and crossed it out when he'd called them back
* a lady came in to pick up her hdd - the uni had already paid for it yesterday so it was simply a task of handing it over the counter
* the PO came through from that guy, I walked over to the shelf to get a copy of Office, my boss made the invoice and charged the card
* ... um ... and that's it ...oh! and I walked up to the cafeteria to get a drink ...

Today:
* I read news.com.au, then BBC news
* someone came in to enquire about a voice recorder for her ipod, and ended up having to buy a new one because hers was too old to work with modern recorders (this was our only sale today btw)
* I answered my first phone call at 10:59am, took a message and passed it on when my boss was free
* someone came in to enquire about external hdds
* I watched some Anime that I happened to have on my computer
* I played Bejeweled online
* someone came in to collect the hdd they'd ordered

And that was it. Yay. Full-on.

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Rudeness

Posted by kim @ 2:09pm

I was intending to write a few comments with regards to this article that I read on news.com.au today, but first I think I'll comment on my very own 'rudeness in public' experience that just occurred on the way home.

I dropped into the bank on the way home, and as I ride my bike to and from work, I was still in my bike gear at this point. Now, I'm the first to admit that I don't look the worlds most attractive when I'm wearing my knee-length bike shorts and fluoro high-visibility shirt, but I certainly don't need to hear muttered comments like "Gawd get a load of this" with a thumb jabbed in my direction (just in case I'd missed the fact that he was referring to me) coming from a man (term used extremely lightly here) wearing his own high-visibility shirt and a massive beer gut. If he thinks I look unattractive in my kit-out, he should look in the mirror once in a while.

On that note, I think I'll write the afore mentioned comments later; I don't really feel in the mood now, surprisingly enough.

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Bored (again/still)

Posted by kim @ 9:32am

Well its almost 9:30, and the phone hasn't even rung yet. But then it was at least 10:30 yesterday before we had the first customer come in, so I shouldn't really be surprised.

It just lends a lot of time to being thoroughly bored :/

I've been 'a sales person' for a fortnight or so now. Generally its not too bad but when it gets slow, like it is now - the Uni's on recess this week - its gets *really* boring. I've been slowly working through the sales training stuff that I have to do, but as I have very little interest in sales, it doesn't really do a whole lot to hold my interest for long :/

Hopefully I'll have a different job soon, but I won't hold my breath.

I put in for another job the other day. It's a lab tech job, no experience necessary, so I'm hoping that I at least get a look-in this time.

Friday 25 April 2008

Done!

Posted by kim @ 3:16pm

All done :)

Thursday 24 April 2008

Blogging

Posted by kim @ 6:00am

I've just been reading Daniel Bowen' and Anthony Malloy's blogs, which I haven't done for ... gosh, it would have to be close to a year. I was actually going to say 'over 6months' but then realised that we've actually been in Townsville for over 6months now, and it was well before that that I read them last. That's scary. I really should read them more often. And I should blog more often too. Or rather I should get around to uploading all my entries that I've been keeping in a Word document for the past few months after misplacing the HDD that my webpages where backed-up to. That might take a little while - there are pics, links and everything to sort out first, but have patience, I'll get there eventually :)

Monday 21 April 2008

'So what do you do?'

Posted by kim @ 1:19pm

I'm still looking for at least partially interesting work, and checked out various University employment websites earlier.

Apparently UQ were looking for Mortuary Technicians. Unfortunately it needed a degree (or equivalent experience) in Biomed, and it closed last week :/

That would've been so cool.

And it would really shut up those people who insist on asking 'so what do you do?' as soon as you've met them - people who are too uncreative, and/or just too lazy, to think of anything else to say. Like as if what you do defines who you are.

I know, for those people who are lucky enough to be working in the area that they chose as their career path, that is a perfectly reasonable question. But I'm not one of those lucky people. My job in no way, shape or form, reflects who I am: I work as an Admin/Sales person in a computer store, but I'm a scientist, always have been, always will be - afterall, that's why I spent 5yrs at uni studying science - so it really pisses me off when people ask that question and then proceed to pigeon-hole me into that Sales person category, because that's not who I truly am.

One day I'll be a behavioural scientist, and I'm going to do that as a test: answer with 'I work in a morgue' when someone asks me that question and see what they're reaction is. I could even call it a social experiment: 'how many seconds, or sentences, elapse before the 'so what do you do?' question comes out (excluding the obligatory name exchanges of course) after meeting someone for the first time?' and 'how do people react when confronted with an answer they don't like?'.

It would be rather interesting.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Out of left field

Posted by kim @ 3:31pm

Reading Dirk Gently, as I mentioned previously, you come across seemingly random descriptive phrases like 'Reg was having difficulty in finding the key from a collection which looked like something that a fit Ninja warrior could hurl through the trunk of a tree'... which make you wonder a bit about what Douglas Adams might have been under the influence of when he wrote this book.

But overall I'm enjoying it immensely and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes an author with a rather warped sense of humour :D

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Four and a half hours to go ...

Posted by kim @ 12:40pm

Not that I'm counting. Much.

My first full day for months, and my first day as a sales person.

Yep. Sales person.

If I didn't think that they could make my job any worse, they just did.

In truth it hasn't been too bad. I even made a sale. But now its starting to slow down and I'm slowly starting to get so bored that even my new book (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams) isn't holding my attention anymore.

Four hours and twenty minutes to go.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Dog equivalent of a drinking problem ...

Posted by kim @ 1:56pm

Two chew toys and only one mouth :P

Monday 3 March 2008

So jealous

Posted by kim @ 7:46am

Riding to work today, there was a group of 4 students ahead of me who I saw cut across the hospital grounds, heading for the Medical Sciences buildings (of JCU). How exciting would that be, to be heading off to your first 8:00 lecture as a med student? How cool would that be? I'm so jealous.

Saturday 16 February 2008

La Nina

Posted by kim @ 6:04am

Wow. The La Nina has sure kicked in. Here's the current listing on BOM's Qld site:

Severe Weather Warning 1
Flood Warning - Coastal rivers - Cooktown to Townsville
Flood Warning - Haughton River
Flood Warning - Burdekin River
Flood Warning - Don & Proserpine River
Flood Warning - Pioneer River
Flood Warning - Fitzroy River
Flood Warning - Condamine-Balonne Rivers
Flood Warning - Moonie River
Queensland flood warning summary

And here are a few news articles about Mackay's (Pioneer River) recent inundation:

Flooded city declared disaster zone
1000 may be evacuated in flooded city

Before Mackay, there was the flooding in south-east Qld, then before that it was Rocky (Rockhampton, for the non-Qld people), who copped the flood waters from the Emerald and Charleville floods. I'm not going to put a list up with all these articles because there are literally hundreds, and a whole stack of pics too.

Update (later 16.02.08): Shows up well on this satellite pic from Weather.com. The other big system, off the Western Australian coast, is Tropical Cyclone Nicholas, currently Cat. 2.

Thursday 14 February 2008

Dull and boring, with a smattering of pointlessness thrown in

Posted by kim @ 10:35am

Perhaps I should elaborate on my previous entry.

Why am I so unenthusiastic in the first place? (Gawd, where do I start?!) Last December the company I have worked for for the past 3.5+yrs was bought out by another much larger company, and this much larger company isn't ... well, they aren't nearly as good as the people I used to work for. I was down at the Brisbane office for the change-over and ... well, it just isn't the same. They went on and on at the beginning about melding the best points of our company with the best points of theirs to make an even better company. But they haven't. They made short work of .. upsetting everything. And I mean 'short work'; the announcement was made at a Staff Meeting at 9am and the managers of the larger company where there by lunchtime, changing all our processes, finding out what everyone's jobs where and saying things like 'Oh. Well. None of that exists anymore... but nevermind, we'll find you something to do'. And all this two weeks before Christmas.

I, myself, still don't really have a job. That was over two months ago and still they have not given me a job description, or even so much as a list of things I'm to do each day. So I come to work each day, and literally do nothing. Well, that's not strictly true of course. I do do something. But its not work-related, or at least not of any benefit to those paying me: I apply for any jobs I find suitable, bug my recruitment agent, read the news online, watch dvds and recently I've brought a few books to work so I can have a choice of things to read - at present its Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie, The Cruellest Miles by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury, a book about the dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, to get serum to all the children in Nome who were sick during the Diphtheria epidemic of 1925, Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, and a really old text that I found at a second-hand store about the biological bases for behaviour.

All of which I could just as easily, or more so, be doing from home. But of course I don't get paid for sitting at home doing those things.

So you begin to see why I'm not as enthusiastic about work as I could be.

Update (16.02.08): I've started reading a few more books at home too, since I'm getting a bit sick of watching the same dvds/taped shows over and over at home as well. So in addition to The Clocks, another Agatha Christie, that I've been reading for a week or so, I've now added a psychology text, aptly named Introduction to Psychology, which I started a few days ago, and A Fancy to Kill For by Hillary Bonny, which I started yesterday and seems pretty good so far, granted I've only read the first chapter or so, and I think I might add 1st to Die by James Patterson, to that list today. I've read it before, but the recent addition of "The Women's Murder Club" to our TV viewing has re-sparked my interest in the series, so I might start reading them again. (Don't really have much else to do, do I?) So that'll bring the total to 8 books at the same time. Old habits die hard :)

Thursday 14 February 2008

I didn't think it possible

Posted by kim @ 7:04am

But my boss has managed to do it; he's managed to make me even more unenthusiastic to go to work than what I already was. I didn't think it possible.

The other day he told me that he wants me to do some training so that I can help out in sales when it gets busy, which its going to soon, when Uni goes back. Need it be said that as an admin person (or rather scientist working in admin), I have absolutely no interest whatsoever of being a sales person.

Yesterday he was getting it all set up, so today I'm supposed to be actually doing it.

Yay.

Not.

Update (16.02.08): Well that hasn't happened yet, and I'm not encouraging him to hurry up with it either.

Sunday 10 February 2008

Sam's 1st Birthday

Posted by kim @ 11:19am

Here are a few pics from yesterday of our birthday boy:


I was hoping to get a few pics of him playing with all his doggy friends, but yesterday he was content with just joining in in a game of cricket up the other end of the park (he's the black spot on the right).


Sam all tuckered out after the rigorous match (standing in the puddle next to the water bowl).


Swim time, with one of the other labs at the park.


Who would have thought that this big, gorgeous, boofy dog ...



Came from this cute, rather pudgy puppy.

:)

Sunday 27 January 2008

Another "Institute of Dah!" article

Posted by kim @ 9:40am

To coin the phrase/segment title used by a Brisbane radio broadcaster, here is the latest Dah! article I've found (ie articles that you read and say 'well dah!' because the findings of the research/whatever are just so obvious that you wonder why they made the news):

Mum's diet shapes a child's future weight

About how over-weight mothers tend to have over-weight children, how pregnant women shouldn't 'eat for two', that its recommended that women sort out their own weight/heath issues before considering having children, etc.

All pretty obvious points, but ones that clearly needed taxpayer money spent on them to prove.

Sunday 25 November 2007

No words

Posted by kim @ 8:27am

There are no words to describe how saddening, disappointing, heartless, gut-renching and completely senseless this act was. They were females for goodness sakes! They'd just been de-horned and as females, even if they hadn't been, their horns wouldn't have been very large anyway! But by taking them out they've also killed the baby one of them was carrying and orphaned the babies that the other two had, one of which was still suckling, and there is now no hope of them producing more offspring and contributing further to the survival of this amazing species.

Saturday 24 November 2007

Hurricanes, Typhoons & Tropical Cyclones Worldwide

Posted by kim @ 05:09am

I just found the most awesome website! Well, awesome if you're a weather chaser, like me. Its called "Hurricanes, Typhoons & Tropical Cyclones Worldwide" and it lists the current storm systems worldwide!. So with a combination of this website and the satelite images provided by Weather.com, I can track all the major storm systems on the planet! This is so cool!! :D

I've been watching the system east of the philippines for days, waiting for it to reach the news so I could find out if it had a name and what it was doing. It finally made it last night. Its called Mitag and its apparently causing mass evacuations, heavy rains and flooding in the Philippines. It tells me too, that the other storm, over Vietnam is called Hagibis (he's also causing flooding and evacuations), and the one that I saw in the Indian ocean next to Ariel (before she disipated - she's the one on the right), is called Bongwe, but he hasn't hit land yet so therefore hasn't caused any notable damage...

This is brilliant! :D

Saturday 17 November 2007

Guba

Posted by kim @ 9:46am

Well, we have our first cyclone for the season: Tropical Cyclone Guba. It turned up a few days ago in the far north, but hasn't really moved all that much since. I finally found the page on BOM's website that shows the forecasted movement (they moved it from where it was last year) so here it is, along with a few links that they also had, with technical info for anyone that's interested:

Ocean Wind Warning 1, released 19:05 UTC 16 November 2007.
TC Technical Summary 1, released 19:05 UTC 16 November 2007.

Here's a pic and the charts of it yesterday:



And some news articles:

14/11/07 16:49 Cyclone Guba forms off Queensland coast
14/11/07 18:36 Wind warnings as Cyclone Guba intensifies
15/11/07 14:14 Tropical Cyclone Guba almost stationary
15/11/07 18:45 Cyclone Guba intensifying on move south
15/11/07 20:56 Forecasters watch cyclone off coast
16/11/07 20:00 Cyclone Guba upgraded to category three
16/11/07 21:47 Guba gets stronger, but slower

New species

Posted by kim @ 7:10am

I found these yesterday while I was looking around The Guardian's Science Galleries site; apparently 700 new species have been discovered in the cold waters around Antarctica. Here are a few of them:


Ctenocidaris


Young Isopod Ceratoserolis


Glass Sponge


Munna Male


Cylindrarcturus


Gastropod


Carniverous Moonsnail


Amphiod Crustacean

Friday 16 November 2007

Quick updates

Posted by kim @ 8:47pm

I haven't really had that much to talk about lately: we've moved to Townsville, in North Queensland, have been here for almost 2months, Iain is enjoying his new job, (I only transferred stores, so its not much of a change for me. I am enjoying only working part time though), Sam LOVES it here - between the dog park being about 10mins walk away, and being well used by a wide variety of friendly dogs, and the weir to swim in (he's a labrador remember), he absolutely adores it here, and I think he'd probably stay if we said we were moving back down south again.

.. and that's been about it really.

"Last Chance to See"

Posted by kim @ 8:18pm

I was saddened today to find this article on The Guardian's website. It reminded me of the first time that I'd read about the plight of the Yangtze River Dolphin: in Douglas Adams' book Last Chance to See, quite a few years ago now, and I was greatly saddened that his warning had either gone unheeded or all attempts to save it at the last moment had failed. Either way, it has had the same result, and the Yangtze River Dolphin has been declared extinct.