Monday, January 31, 2011

The continuing climate change debate

It is no surprise that according to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. 2010 ranked as the warmest on record. "The 2010 data confirm the Earth's significant long-term warming trend..."  "The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998".  Howeve, the climate change debate continues! 

At least let us try and reduce power consumption, I am making an effort to turn off everything not in use.  And what is happening in the NSW power sell off.  I am not sure I have heard nothing of it on the radio today - wait and see I guess.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The daily power sell off committee hearing meetings get more interesting and more interesting.  Now it seems that we are at a standstill while they (not sure who they are) work out whether the meeting can continue as witnesses won't testify.  And why would you really?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am all for Australia Day Awards rewarding those people who go out of their way to assist in the community. I disagree totally with the awards that are given to people who are actually just doing their job, particularly when questions have been asked about some of the strategies used by these people to achieve their goals.  Also the people left in their wake might have a very different interpretation of how they manage and lead  their teams - some of which are quite large.  Leaving aside those military honours for bravery, its time to also question why an Australia Day award is linked to the promotion/career path of service personnel.  It doesnt stack up when people are working their butts off in voluntary capacities.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Climate change debate

It seems that climate change is not the hot issue it was last year or that it should be - but what we dont want to see is the radicalisation of the flood disaster to parody real attempts to get action happening in a sensible and sustained way.

For instance, I really would like answers to questions about subsidies for the mining sector, why when they are reportedly operating at peak profit margin. 

Exam over now and we really are on holidays from uni for a few weeks, well, that is apart from the reading for next semester's subjects.  Ah well, its all self inflicted and mostly enjoyed except when stressing about assignments and exams.  Have a good Australia day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Exam time

Its exam time today, and I have studied as much as I can and feel very nervous.  This component of the course is worth 20% of the mark so I really want to do well - but hey, will have to wait and see!

I was a tad disappointed to hear on the way home from uni yesterday that the Committee meeting into the NSW power sell of was reduced once again to a political point scoring match.  The NSW pollies just dont get it do they?  We as voters are not really that stupid and we are taking notice of how this meeting is conducted and what people say.  I for one am certainly not in favour of 4 year terms!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday sleep-in

We slept in this morning and it was a great feeling to wake up refreshed.  The only dilemma is that there is so much I want to do today and I am late for everything!  The stories about volunteers helping out in the flood devasted areas are stories about people inspired to help and its a wonderful response.  Unfortunately as we saw from my post yesterday, there is still a lot of ugliness in the world.

My essay is nearly finished and I must study today and tomorrow for the exam on Tuesday, then this subject will be finished.  I have enjoyed it immensely.

The photo shows nature at is most inspiring - when you can still see the rays of sunshine through the dark dark clouds:):) 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Corrective Rape Appeal are working against something they call corrective rape and are appealing for people to sign their petition to highlight the issue.  The link is: if you have time check it out.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flood taxes and insurance

It is interesting to now hear the Prime Minister talking about a levy or new tax to keep the budget plans on track and help towards the cost of getting QLD and I hope Victoria and NSW up and running again.  What about the issue of some sort of agreed policy cover from insurance companies.  People in flood affected areas are finding out/realising they are not covered to the extent they thought they were.  This is not a new problem, similar issues like this have occurred after bushfire disasters etc. Let's hope that they finally take the issue on board and do something about it.

I was amused during the week to hear about the cash for clunkers scheme having written a paper on the silliness of the scheme for a politics assignment.  I was chuffed to hear that others with more knowledge about the issues actually held the same views I did...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cancellation of Committee hearing

It is intriguing the games people play in politics particularly when questions are being asked.  It comes as no surprise that the Hearing on the NSW power sell off has stalled with tomorrow's meeting being cancelled.  Certainly the details revealed so far about the so called 'best deal for the taxpayer' have generated more questions than have been answered.  The most surprising element for me in all this is that people can still be summonsed to appear or have court orders taken out against them for not appearing, when there is no clear agreement about the legalities of the hearings!

Ah well that's politics I suppose.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The details of the Power sell off deal are being revealed at last.  Not sure they make pretty reading though!  Can someone please explain why funding for green energy projects has been cut, why we need a new coal mind and why the coal interests need subsidies when they purportedly bring in millions of dollars for the NSW economy?  I cant understand why politicans are so slow to realise that attitudes have changed towards development and that we the taxpayers and voters want more consideration given to greening Australia.

There is a huges difference between what constitutes a good deal and the value of the deal in the first place!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Going down that same ol' path again

I don't get it today!  After all the debate and controversy about the Commonwealth Games, here we go again down that same ol' path for the World Cup.  Commentators are saying yet again that the facilities wont be finished in time.  Why is so much money being spent on these events and people in these very same countries are starving and homeless?  and what happens to these facilities when the 'big event' is over?  just questions for silly people like me!  Ah well

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Arctic oil exploration

We just don't get it do we?  Whether or not all these 'bad weather days' are part of the climate change best case scenario, we are about to let BP and Russian oil company Rosneft a state run energy giant exploit potentially huge deposits of oil and gas in the country's Arctic region.  I guess you gotta hand it to us, if at first we don't succeed, then we will try, try, again; to destroy the environment in the name of the mighty dollar of course.  Silly me to think that we might just do otherwise!
BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, says the deal is a milestone (AFP: Paul J Richards)

On a lighter note, I had a great day at our Artist Book workshop and learnt heaps, off there again today to learn more book binding techniques, yeah:)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Its saturday and I'm off to Art

I am off to a workshop on Artists Books today and tomorrow - something I have wanted to do since I found out about them a couple of years ago.  This is where the Book becomes the Art and I am looking forward to learning heaps of new techniques.

Should I go or should I stay and finish my essay, well I have now finished the first draft and so wouldn't a couple of hours/days away from it mean that I would come back refreshed....yeah that's my logic anyway:):)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate companies and the Ivory Coast

AVVAZ is running another campaign and needs our help.  As we know there are huge problems in the Ivory Coast, but what I didnt know was that chocolate companies could play a critical role in saving lives and bringing peace.   Have a look at their campaign and see what you think:)
the link is

What was that little saying - a butterfly flapping its wings in the US can cause a hurricane in Africa.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Power cut and stuff

We are in a bit of a rush this morning at our place as the power is being cut at 9am.  So we have filled a big saucepan with water (we have gas cooking) which means we can at least have a cuppa.  We will then go into town to do some food shopping and maybe work in the garden.  Of course, we are expecting rain, so there is always a chance that the power wont go off, but we have to wait and see.

For us, it is in truth an inconvenience, I wont be able to work on my essay (so sad, so glad) but how can we even think of complaining as we listen to the reports on the ABC about those people in Qld flood affected areas, not even having homes and business, let alone power or sewerage.  The scale of these floods is immense and from down here on the Far South Coast, very hard to imagine. 

Is this where I say, there but for the Grace of God?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Continuing studies and essay writing

Writing an essay on wish fulfilment for the reader of Earthsea has proved a very interesting exercise.  Firstly, I have been looking at a number of sites with information on Freud and Jung and their take on wish fulfilment.  Secondly, I have had to then work out what perspective I will write from in the essay - finally chose gender.  Le Guin seems to be running a critique of the power relationships between men and woment in Earthsea, and women dont fare very well in a patriarchal society.  While it has been an interesting exercise I have to be careful that I dont get too caught up in terminology - and there is no test cricket to offer a light diversion!

Really hoping for the best for all those people who are missing in flood ravaged Qld.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wish Fulfilment?

I am working very hard on the major essay with lots of research on what wish fulfilment actually means.  Its not surprising to note that there is a Philosophy Encyclopaedia website which contains millions of articles that talk about wish fulfilment from Jungian and Freudian perspectives.  Not sure that's where I am meant to go though, maybe its about audience-reception theory or something like that?  Note to self - ask more questions in the tute!

Terrible news this morning about the Queensland floods with many people missing and 7 confirmed dead in flash floods yesterday.  Wonder if this will impact on the climate change debate? 

We are in the midst of soft showers and have received about 15ml in the last couple of days, so we are not complaining - both the weeds and the non-weedy plants love the moisture and I can hear the growing pains outside my study window:)  The photo below shows why I live where I live:):)

Have a good one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And then the rains came

The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield is a great book that tells the tale of an Indian doctor and his love affair with a European woman and the flooding rains in India early in the 20th century.  I read the book which was later made into a film years ago, but there's just something about hearing the news reports covering the rain in Queensland that remind me of that story.

Back at uni today, I can't believe it but this is the 3rd last week of the course and I am presenting this morning on the author Terry Pratchett.  We are studying his book titled Truckers and although it took about half of the book for me to get into the story and suspend disbelief, once I had, I spent the 2nd half of the book laughing as I read.

Have you heard the news about Ian Thorpe, apparently there is a chance that he may start competing again, I wonder if its really true, our world is so shaped by the media these days its not funny! 

And speaking of media, there was an item on the news this morning about yet another shooting in America.  I hope the Americans finally get the message about how weird their gun laws are after an incident where people attending a political rally were shot.  A comination of 'much vitriol about politics' and guns is a terrible combination in any country!

I added the photo below just to remind me that there is still much beauty in the world:):)  Have a good one:)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday - things to do

Do you ever take a day off and walk away from all of the things on your to do list?  I have to confess that I dont find this very easy to do at all.  But today, I am going to definately make time to devote a couple of hours to some painting:):)

We attended a lovely memorial service yesterday.  I hadn't met the lady concerned but from all accounts she was a strong, lively and somewhat determined character.  She lived through some pretty awful experiences, WW11, the Hungarian revolution, a move to France, and then in her fifties, a move to Sydney.  I guess she had little choice but to become practical and determined.  I would love to have met her and had a chat, it would be nice to know, what, if anything, she would have done differently:):)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Saving the Bees

I am posting tomorrow's post now because I will be in Sydney and wont have access to my computer.  England won the Ashes but at least the Australian tailenders put up a good fight:):)

The link above is to the Avaaz organisation who are running a campagin to try and stop the ongoing decimation of the bee population.  Have a read and if you like you can link to their site and sign your name to the petition against chemical pollution.

NSW Politics and other stuff

Hey, so Christina Keneally has decided to cooperate with the enquiry, that's great news isn't it.  Or is it?  somehow just can't get that ol' trust thing going.

Its the last day of the Test match today and I really hope the remaining Australian players will be able to hang in there past lunchtime today.  I have heard that there is a bit of rain around so I could always hope for a weather interrupted match, but then that wouldn't be fair to the English team would it?  :):)

I have now done some research for the essay and have to sit down and work out my position/thesis statement.  Too many choices!

Have a great one:)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Research and Gardening

Today is overcast and we have had a couple of smizzle type showers that I have been trying to avoid as I work in the garden.  I am the under-gardener here and I help the head-gardener by mowing and edging.  The mowing is finished as I have now run out of mower fuel, but the edging, that's another matter.  So on went the hat and the gloves and outside I went this morning with the little hand shears.  Got lots done, had a yummy lunch and now I am in the study about the start researching the essay!  Well about to start!

Through all of my activities today I have been listening to the Cricket - should I turn off, maybe the Australian team might do better?
I have attached one of the photos taken just before Christmas on a bushwalk around South Bunga Beach - gotta love the Far South Coast!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Major Essay Assignment

Outside its a lovely day - a mixture of sunshine and cloud and cool temperatures.  I am whiling away the time by working the keyboard very hard, almost exhausting the backspace and undo keys while I think up the structure for my next essay. 

The chickens (otherwise known as the Walker Sisters) are very happy with the green pick they received this morning, Dougal the doggie is allowing me to share his seat as I write this post.  So why am I procrastinating yet again?  Well, I am waiting for the cricket to start and for inspiration, or the muse to arrive and help me out! That's why I guess.

That said, the topic is Ursual Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea.  I am prevaricating between loving the concepts she uses in the book (like True Name Magic) and wishing that there was more dialogue between the characters. 

For pleasure I have just finished reading the 2nd and 3rd Steig Larsen's 'Lisbeth Solander' trilogy.  I really enjoyed the third book, particulary the little snippets about women in battle, and the Amazons. These preclude each chapter, and Larsen questions why their stories, in the main, have not been captured in history; but my thought is that have they - been captured that is!

Well no more slacking for me - back to work:)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm late

I have been at uni nearly all day today and did not manage to finish my blog before I left.  We are studying archetypes in fairy tales, and structuralists, and post-structuralists, and post-modernists.  I love English Lit, the concepts are almost creating crazy wave-patterns in my brain.  Almost - but not quite:):) Wonder where the spider fits?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to Work

Yes, back to work today.  I am working on the last draft of my uni assignment due tomorrow, which only leaves the presentatation, the exam, and the major essay left to complete - whew!

And what will I be listening to as I beaver away on the keyboard, the Sydney test match gets underway today so the ears will be glued to the radio:):) and I will be checking out the ABC online site as well. Hope you have a good day too:)

The above photo was taken just before Christmas in Kosciusko National Park - isn't it great to see that even after the terrible fires a couple of years ago, that nature prevails!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Day Activities

As New Year's Day was very hot we decided to just relax and enjoy the time out.  Even thinking about what we could do for the day was a very exhausting activity.  The attached photo shows a hard working doggie just catching up on a few minutes peace:):)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Messages

Happy New Year everyone:)

Speaking of New Year messages, I received the Macquarie University Summer 2010-2011 Alumni Magazine the other day and finally got around to reading Prof. Steven Schwarz's article and his ‘notes from the VC’s desk’.  The Professor argues that universities should do more to teach students how to think and not what to think.  He mentions the ongoing debate about whether students from disadvantaged backgrounds with lower marks should be let into universities. Some say no and others, obviously say yes.  I find this a tad irritating as it is not about lowering standards to let potential students have a university education experience, it is about having enough pathway programs in place to assist people improve their educational outcomes.
I have attached the links to the Professor's Blog for you to have a look at if you like.