Archive for March, 2007

I think it is time to run away with the dolphins and thank the human race for all the fish. Or perhaps to set up a deck chair on a beach somewhere and declare that the rest of humanity has gone mad. (I really must go back and re-read Douglas Adams)

We had a recent upgrade to MS Exchange and XP at work. Now, I knew that dealing with a state government department’s control on a computer system was going to be challenging after the freedoms and trust of working for an IT department at the University of Sydney. I have learnt to cope with the random server outages and warning messages for no reason except to increase or overall mouse usage and eventually “cost the tax payer” money in work related RSI injuries. I can even laugh when the printer tells me that it can’t print because of a “life warning” (Danger Will Robinson! Danger!)

But this! I lost it at this, and figured you all might get a laugh as well.

Below is a screen capture of the warning message that just flicked up when I tried to open a page in Google. Some programmer somewhere needs to be taken out and shown the real world and maybe given a few beers and some sunlight. This is complete madness. (click the image to get a copy you can read)

An addendum to yesterday’s post on Howard’s forest announcement. This column published today in the Herald is very amusing.

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I found this list of uses for vinegar today. I knew this was good stuff, but 254 uses! Admittedly some of them are repeated, but still. A couple of favourites:

  • A quarter cup in a quart of water makes a good window cleaner.A reader adds: When you use vinegar in your water to wash windows, dry with newspapers. Your windows will sparkle! (I hate the smell of windex, but like shiny windows)
  • Set a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house to absorb unpleasant odours. Works great on burned food odors. Do not use styrofoam. It will soak thru it. (Hooray! No more burnt chops smell!)
  • Use 2 cups of cider vinegar in the tub to soak sore muscles and add potassium to muscles. (mmm, more excuses for a bath)
  • Take 2 cups of grape juice, 2 cups of white grape juice, 2 cups of apple juice and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Mix well and refrigerate. Every morning before you do anything else, drink a small cup of it. Each batch lasts a week or two depending on how much you drink each morning. It tastes sort of like a strong wine. Since I have done this my energy level has increased dramatically and my coffee consumption has gone down. I also feel better altogether. (Sounds good, although the juice of a half a lemon in water is also good, and probably has the same effect)

Other “frugal living” stuff here, and a great blog that occasionally has posts on this theme.

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This article caught my attention this morning, and I thought some of you may like to read it. It looks at the discourse of an open society in relation to climate change and the differenet arguments being put forward by some corporations to reduce/manage any action on climate change.

I particularly liked this paragraph:
“Another tactic used by the hired skeptics is to say that any attempt to address critical environmental problems will involve economic hardship and government intrusion into our daily lives in a way that curbs our individual liberty. It ought to be obvious that individual liberty will be meaningless if climate change undermines the food and water supply and if oil production abruptly declines without a suitable substitute or a plan to adapt to a lower energy world. In such a world we will be at liberty to be hungry, thirsty, unemployed and cold. Nevertheless, the individual liberty argument remains a very potent one, not least because fossil fuels have given us the illusion of autonomy. We never have to deal with or even think about most of the people whose efforts provide us with our food, water, clothing, electricity, heat and gasoline. We just pay the bill and imagine ourselves to be self-sufficient.”

The rest of the article is well considered. While his suggested responses are a bit wishy-washy, I suppose they work in the culture of individual action in the states.

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I’ve been sick recently, so was told to take time off work until I felt better. Which should be today, and back to work tomorrow.

Today I spent some time at Uni doing a bit of research for my soon-to-be-due essay. Then I had lunch on King St, at 2pm at Lou Jack’s.

I was cut off at the entrance by a tall man, who I promptly got a little grumpy at, then wondered why he looked familiar.

The answer: he was a wiggle, specifically, Murray the Red Wiggle. OK, so I didn’t actually have lunch with him, he sat at a different table. But “I had lunch NEAR a wiggle” just doesn’t have the same ring.

As I was waiting for my hamburger to appear (which incidentally was very, very good. Highly recommended) I glanced out the window to see Jay, from triplej’s breakfast show and Frenzal Rhomb go cycling past. So, obviously all the cool kids are at the corner of King and Holt St, Newtown at 2pm on a Monday afternoon.

Large MothAlso in the wow! cool! category is this moth, which was on my washing this afternoon. Purdy! It loved my shirt so much that it took a couple of good shakes to encourage it to “hide” elsewhere. Someone needs to teach it that pink is not a good camouflage background colour for a grey moth.

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One of my favourite things to do on a quiet weekend is to pay someone else to make my breakfast for me while I read the weekend paper and watch the world go by. Generally I head to Envy in Summer Hill for this, since they have a wonderful courtyard to relax in, or gorgeous Vietnamese art inside to look at, good food and good coffee and attentive staff.

Very occasionally I head out to the Bakehouse quarter in Homebush to a cafe called Zenja, and I’m not entirely sure why I still do so, and after today I won’t be doing it again. Service there has always been patchy, the owner is a grumpy Italian man who is quite patronising, the food is decent but only comes in one size: huge. Generally I just want a poached egg or two on some toast.

Today I headed there for breakfast, arriving at about 9am. Gave them my order for scrambled eggs and ham on toast, which was way more than I wanted to eat, but was the compromise, since I’ve experienced their inability to cook outside the menu on the weekend before.

9.45, after the tables around me had received their breakfasts I was still waiting. Flagged a waitress over to ask her if my breakfast had even been started, and if it wasn’t then I’d be leaving. She spoke to grumpy man, who spoke to the kitchen, and then she came back to say it was “up now”. Upon questioning I discovered that meant it was starting now. To which I responded with, “stop them, I’m starving now, and I will be going elsewhere to find my breakfast”. Paid $3.00 for coffee, no word of apology and walked out.

Never, never, never going back. That was strike three hundred million. Time to stop poking forks in my eyes.

Anyway, it was now 3.5 hours since I’d woken up and I was starving. The closest place I was likely to find some decent food was Majors Bay Rd in Concord. I’d never stopped there before, only driven through, but it was precisely what I wanted.

A street lined in crepe myrtles in flower, one of my favourite trees. Large footpaths, with tables set out under umbrellas. A wealth of cafes to choose from, ranging from a coffee and toasted sandwich place in the back of a boutique to a good Italian cafe and some patisseries. I was in heaven! eventually chose the Italian place, got good decent coffee immediately, had my order made up in 10 minutes, with my simple request listened to. I felt like gushing all over the wait staff, a quiet Indian man and a gregarious and friendly Italian man. Although that might have just been the relief of eating some food.

I noticed a Macro wholefoods, some good fish and chip shops, a patisserie that reminded me of the cake shop that reminded me of Ackland St in Melbourne and the one that my mother used to take me to when I was young.

So despite the grumpy/disappointing false start to the morning it became relaxed and shiny.

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Sydney was covered in fog this morning. Good, lovely, quiet, wonderful autumn fog. It reminded me of car trips to primary school with my father when he would describe it as “frog” and a “very froggy morning”.

It appears that nostalgia and the desire for a more simple time is going around today, as I found this post from Audrey of Audrey and the Bad Apples and it struck a cord. It seems that I am not the only person at the moment who wants to dump all adult responsibility and just have someone who can give me a big hug and tell me that it will all get better and will all go away.


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I don’t know about you guys, but I was sick of the sight of myself whenever I started my browser (this blog is my home page) so here is something purdier to look at:

This is an transit of the moon across the sun as taken from two telescopes orbiting the sun between us and Mars. I’m not an astrophysicist, so if you want the actual details, including video of the transit go to the NASA site. This is courtesy of one of my colleagues who is also interested in astronomy and sends me these links and information as she comes across them.


This Short History of Stuff was published in yesterday’s Online Opinion. Is it very cleverly written, with a dry sense of humour that manages to poke fun at economists, our need to accumulate coupons, and society’s obsession with owning things.

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