Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Vacuum Cleaner Sux

Happy Christmas!

I don't know about you, but I've heard many women complain about receiving Christmas gifts that are useful, practical and/or housework related.

My Beloved gave me the gift of clear sinuses for Christmas, Bless his little cotton socks. And I couldn't have asked for anything better.

A new Dyson vacuum cleaner, wrapped in newsprint with a red shiny bow was under the Christmas tree this morning.

I've been borrowing Mum's because I was having some real trouble with my nose/throat, and it largely disappeared after a couple of months of vacuuming with a machine that actually removed dust from the bedroom carpet.

This was a small design fault in our last vacuum cleaner. The manufacturers may wish to look into it, as funnily enough, we purchased the machine with the expressed intention of removing the dust and dog fur from the floors. I feel better spending time vacuuming when I can see a difference where I've been working.

I hope you all have had a lovely day to celebrate Christmas in whatever form your tradition dictates.

And the chance that vacuuming occurred at our place on Christmas Day?

... OF COURSE NOT. (but I can't say I didn't read the manual and assemble it)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sometimes being a Pastor isn't all it's cracked up to be...

Or, at least, there are those who think I should be proof against cracking up.

I was at a service yesterday for the commissioning of a new pastor in a church not so very far away.

I had been invited to preach, which was an honour and a privilege, but does make one rather conspicuous when one sees an unfortunate typo during one of the hymns.

We were "Lifting high the cross" gustily and "praising his sacred name". I had not realised that among all the titles to which Jesus is entitled is included "the Sod of God".

Don't you hate how spelling checkers only highlight typos that are not real words in themselves?

How much success did I have in keeping a straight face?

And how much help was my Beloved at this point?

Friday, December 9, 2011

So I now have a current resume...

Which is a good thing. And thanks to Emily Sue who has given me tips to make it beautiful as well as being to the point.

I've even applied for my first job, which is an even better thing.

I've had my first 24 hour spac-attack about not having set plans for 2012, which is not really a good thing at all, but I'm over it now. (Sort of. For this five minutes at any rate.)

And, as you would expect things have changed for our holiday. Mum and I got our information back for what we're doing on Crete, Dad saw it and decided that he really didn't need to get straight back to his business after all. We were going to have too much fun without him!

So now he's going to come with us to Crete, then he'll get an earlier plane, while we have a final wander around Heraklion, then head to Athens for our Paul Tour later in the day.

Now, if only I knew what's going to be happening with the beginning part of the year. But how much of an idea do I have?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Exciting Things...

There are a few.

And I haven't been blogging, time has been the factor.

So, a few things that are happening around here:-

1a. Our church can't afford a part-time pastor for next year.

1b. And we as a church really want to look at getting a pastor's job description that really fits the direction that we think God wants us to head for the future.

1c. And I've been feeling that I really need more opportunity to study.

1d. So I don't have a job for next year.

Interesting Times, hey?

2. I need to find a job, so I've been working on my resume (thanks to Emily Sue who is good at that stuff), and looking for jobs to apply for. There are a couple of options coming up. It's hard to know which way to go, but I figure if I apply for everything possible, I might get something.

3. This leaves study in an odd position. I've enrolled in one subject per semester, but am hoping that with a part-time job I may be able to do 2 or even 3 subjects a semester (still distance ed.), depending on the number of hours required.

And the best and most exciting thing is:-

4. In June/July 2012 I will be doing my absolute dream overseas trip that I never really thought I would be able to do. My Beloved is not really interested, can't get time off work, and we can't afford it anyway, but I've convinced my Mum that it would be great, and Dad thought it sounded great too so they will be coming (Dad only for part of it before leaving Mum and I to get lost all by ourselves).

Oh, you want to know where to?

Well then, I'll humour you!

Starting with 5 days in Jerusalem and surrounds, going to some of the usual sites of interest to Christians and tourists; Temple Mount, Western Wall & tunnel, Jewish Quarter, Temple ruins, pools of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa and Holy Sepulchre, Qumran, Masada, Bethlehem, and the Herodium.

Then 14 days at an archeological dig at Bethsaida on the sea of Galilee. Digging in the mornings, recovering in the afternoons before pottery reading late pm and lectures in the evenings. The weekend is free, and I understand that the various lecturers on tour pick an interesting location to go to visit.

Then 5 nights in Southern Israel and Jordan, going to Petra, the Dead Sea, Negev desert, Mt Nebo.

Then Dad comes home and Mum and I board a plane to Athens. Or rather, we board a flight to Athens, then Dad goes home. I've always loved ancient Greek history, architecture, art etc, particularly Bronze Age. So whilst the tour we're doing is Pauline sites, there are a few days to spare between tours and so we get off the plane from Athens, and get straight onto a plane for Heraklion.

What? You don't know where that is? Crete. Minoan civilisation and beautiful artwork. I was initially depressed that the Aegean Cruise that we get to go on as part of the tour doesn't go to Crete (it used to), but we now get three days there between tours and that will be SO much better than a half-day wander about.

So we will see Knossos (Palace that was reputed to be home of the Minotaur and one of two places that I have ALWAYS wanted to go since I studied Bronze Age Greece - despite bad, bad, bad early archeology) Phaestos, Gortys, and spend time in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum which has some of the best examples of Minoan art and objects.

Then we go back to Athens to start a tour that is "In the footsteps of the Apostle Paul" And does Athens, Philippi, Thessalonika, Meteora, Veria, Corinth, Mykonos, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Patmos, Santorini (3 day cruise around the Aegean).

Then we have booked a day trip to Mycenae (yes, I have inconsistent Greek K/ Latin C use) so that I can see the Lion Gate, which is the other of the two places in Greece that I've always wanted to see.

We fly out in the afternoon of the next day, so that leaves us a morning to walk around Athens (rioting crowds permitting).

So how excited am I?

... approximately LOTS AND LOTS!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Sorry, can't help myself. The title is the NT Greek word that is pronounced "Thaumazo" and means, "I wonder at, marvel".

There are three bike-riding things that I am wondering at and are marvellous. In fact, I'm not certain which surprises me most:

1. I managed to ride my bike up the hill from home towards town. It was my nemesis during high school, and I wasn't going to even try this for a couple of weeks. But I managed to do it.

2. I remembered the combination on my bike lock. I've just passed 20 years since high school, and I can remember those particular three digits in order.

3. I have bones in my bottom. I didn't think they would come anywhere near contact with the bike seat, but they do. Wow.

And on a lighter note, a quiz: "Which Queen song is most appropriate for my new cycling phase?"

And the chance that I really want an answer to that?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bright, Shiny, New Bike

Well it WAS, back in 1988. When I got a new, light 10 speed bike to replace Mum's truly ancient one that I'd been riding.

It was shiny and blue and 10 speed and had a bag carrier on the back, and was exactly what I dreamed of.

I got it back from the bike shop today with two new tyres and tubes, new hand grips, a new back brake cable (sort of necessary, given the old one had snapped) and all greased and working well. Including a guarantee that the chain will not come off when I change between 5 & 6 gears as it used to when I was on my way to school.

It may not be as shiny. The chrome bits might have a tad of surface rust, and the seat might have a few tiny tears in the upholstery (and be much less comfortable than I remember), but hey, I can now proceed to get fit.

So I walked down to town, picked it up and rode it home.

And I did not die.

And the chance I expected to survive the trip home?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Free for the Summer

Yes. I live. I survived the semester.

and I should pass, even, which is even better.

Now, what do I do in the evenings again?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Possibly a good call.

I came up with a wonderful way to have a Sunday arvo relax yesterday.

A number of people had suggested that the movie "Red Dog" was worth seeing: Great scenery, touching story, and outback Australian humour.

I suggested it to my Mum for us (she, Dad, my Beloved and I) to go to the afternoon session after we had our weekly family lunch.

She went quiet.

For some reason, despite having heard it was a good movie and wanting to support the Australian film industry, she wasn't really keen.

...You see, there was a fair possibility that a movie called "Red Dog" might, just might possibly have a red cattle dog in it...

... and that a red cattle dog of similar size and shape tried to eat her last year.

So she elected not to come with us. She'll give it a go when it's on TV and she doesn't have to pay for it only to leave 10 minutes in.

I tell ya, the weirdest thing about that movie was being able to 'read' all the cultural and stylistic stuff that was, in essence my early childhood: terry towelling hats, short stubbie shorts, tight raglan-sleeved t-shirts, brightly coloured plastic strips hung from doorways to keep the flies out, brown and cream Land Cruisers and red dust. Yep. My childhood. Weird.

And I keep giggling about the way stories were told and how you had to read between the lines to know what was going on. Goodness knows what anyone would make of it who wasn't Australian (or even Australians who weren't around in that era). One of my particular favourite jokes was that they included "Melbourne" among "all the countries of the world". Definitely foreign. ;)

But when I saw a close-up of some spectacular canine teeth, I thought that the chance that Mum was wrong to miss the movie was...

Friday, August 26, 2011

The chance that I'm NOT a dag?

Okay, you've always thought I was a bit of a dag? Well you are so right!

Got home from morning prayer this morning (my day off, which I have dedicated to Greek - hopefully getting my assignment translation completed), to find a parcel up against the back door.

I crossed my fingers that it was from Amazon...

...and it was...

...and it was heavy...

...and being a martyr I made myself put on a load of washing before I let myself open it...

My Danker "Greek-English Lexicon" (BDAG) and Wallace "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" have arrived!!!

They weren't supposed to get here until the 9th September!

I might have done a little jig around the house clutching my new books and chanting a little nonsense song that might have included the words, "mine, mine, my books, all mine" at regular intervals. But I'd never admit to it.

And no-one in my life here understands my excitement, and my Beloved (who would probably laugh at me anyway) has his mobile switched off.

I'm just hoping that spending the equivalent of 3 months gym membership results in me using these books more frequently and for longer than gym membership inspires me to exercise!

P.S. They have a beautiful new book smell.

After writing the above, the joke got even better. I became vaguely aware of dog-like noises on the front verandah.

There shouldn't BE dog-like noises on the front verandah, because the LBD is restricted to the back yard, the back verandah, and now the garage.

I got up to see what was going on, and sure enough, the LBD was waiting for me to let him back in.

Obviously in my delight at finding a parcel against the back door, I had gone back inside, closed the garage door, and entirely forgotten to check that the LBD hadn't followed me outside.


Monday, August 22, 2011

One Week.

There are actually two questions. The first can't be answered by the title of the post, but it is an important question, nonetheless.

"How long does it take to train a 10 year old dog to use a dog door?"

The answer is two 10 minute sessions of shoving him through head first, then encouraging him to do it for himself.

The second question arose out of our sleety horrible weather recently, because it's nice for the Little Black Dog to be able to get into the garage while we're out.

It is "How long will it take the dog to realise that he can follow the car out if he comes in through his door before the garage door goes down?"

Chance that I wasn't late for my meeting?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An exercise in futility; signage rethink required; and you can't teach old dogs...

I finally got around to folding and putting away some clothes this morning.

The basket was empty until 4pm when I got in two loads of washing.

I drove out to our water supply dam at lunch time because I was going to a child's birthday party in one of the parks (I hadn't asked which one, so had to check them all). At one section of the recreation reserve as I carefully navigated the honeycomb of potholes that is the dirt access road I was amused to see a sign announcing that there was a speed bump ahead.

Thanks for the warning, guys, but not really necessary.

This afternoon my Beloved put a dog door in the sliding security door of our garage.

The LBD will use it...

...if we push it open it for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It is just possible...

...that the preceding rant is caused by over-tiredness after a weekend struggling with a virus or bug and not doing enough Greek.

Or, rather, what is the chance that it is not?

I now know why we never covered participles in High School

The reason is not (as I have previously suspected) that Education Queensland wanted to make certain of our incompetence at our own language and ensure we were never able to learn another, but that they (participles) are stupid.

Any part of speech that can't decide whether it's related to a verb or an adjective should not have the right to live.

I don't care if it is temporal or causal, if it introduces a participial phrase, and if it indicates relative time from the proper verb of the sentence, or what the heck its aspect is. I HATE PARTICIPLES!!!

And the chance that I'm not typing this as the little men in white coats try to convince me to put the keyboard down and slip into a very comfortable straight jacket?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The difference of fifteen.

This year I have been teaching a grade 2 Religious Instruction class.

Last year I took my first go at RI and had a grade 2 class. I decided to stick with grade 2 because I'd made so many mistakes that I MUST be able to do a better job this year.

Last year my RI class finished at about 23 students (although it started at about 20 - there was some accumulation during the year).

This year the school changed from an opt-out system (you have to write a letter saying that you don't want your child taught RI), to an opt-in system (where you have to write a letter saying that you do want your child taught RI). This meant a bit of a drop in numbers. You'd think my class would have been smaller.

But no, because they needed somewhere to put all the students who weren't doing RI, they took the smallest two classes, joined them together and gave them to me.

I started the year with 29 students.

I am not, and never have been a teacher.

It was hard.

Then I acquired an extra couple of students.

I recorded my plea in church, and found a willing and able helper to assist with crowd control.

Then we acquired a couple of extra students.

I started planning a 20 minute lesson, knowing that the first 10 minutes of the half-hour lesson would be taken up with getting chairs from next door for the extras. I also had to leave out anything exciting because there simply wasn't enough room in the classroom for movement of any kind.

I was struggling. Seriously struggling. And while I've always found taking RI hard, I wasn't able to make the individual connection with students that makes it rewarding.

One of the other teachers offered me her class for second semester. Then we found that we now had 35 students, so I took her up on it.

Today I had 20 grade three students (four from my class last year).

The classroom is big enough.

There is no-one coming from next door so that I have to find chairs.

They are a whole heap more capable in reading and puzzles and understanding instructions, and we can do fun games again.

I can't believe the difference made by fifteen.

P.S. The classroom teacher of my original class complained, they've now taken five students out of my old class to go to the other grade 2 class, and two students have changed schools. And the chance that would have happened if I hadn't changed classes? Yep.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Possibly not a usual response

It is wonderful to have access to the internet!

Last Friday, in an effort to chase down why my computer has been getting 'stuck' trying to access sites (particularly secure sites like the Uni - grrrr), I contacted the Apple technical support (91 days after purchase - I bet you can't guess when the free support ran out?!?) - went through everything possible with them until they decided it couldn't be the computer - could I check these few things out with my ISP?

Then much time with my ISP, wherein she couldn't work out what was happening, decided to do a factory reset of the modem, and killed it. After the shops were shut.

It seems that it has been dying by inches, flicking in and out of operational status without the lights indicating it at all. Definitely a case of "the lights are on, but nobody's home." This explains why the fault has been intermittent, and also why things that are bigger to load are more likely to fail. It also explains why my computer had been telling me on odd occasions that I wasn't connected to the internet, then reneging and saying that everything was fine, when I hadn't done a thing.

Saturday morning led me to the main street where I bought a new modem, which didn't work. The didn't work part didn't become obvious until after midday, when the shops are shut. (Yes, you big city dwellers, many shops in regional places shut at noon on a Saturday, and don't reopen until Monday morning. I know, it's a hard world, but we survive.)

So Monday morning, took the modem back, got a refund and the sad news that they don't stock ADSL1 modems anymore, so I couldn't get one.

So off to my favourite computer shop, where they told me that ADSL2+ modems SHOULD work for ADSL1 lines, so I bought another modem and headed home to consult the technical support line for my ISP to get it working.

Monday afternoon and evening I had glorious, effortless, and super-speedy access to the web. Ahhhh! Lovely!

Tuesday morning I turned the computer on, only to find that the new modem was giving me a terrible red light that indicated that I WAS NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET!!!!! ARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! NOT AGAAAAAIN!?!

After turning everything off, checking all the connections, then restarting it only to find that the red light was still on, I was at the end of patience with anything electrical or technological, and about to join the Amish.

With heart sinking, I rang the number for my ISP, to get a recorded message that, "some customers in Queensland may be experiencing lack of connection at this time, we are working to...."

The chance that my relief was out of proportion with the situation?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Tad Excessive?

So when you get your new credit card, do you take the old one and

1. Cut it up, making certain to
a. cut the signature into at least three pieces, and
b. cutting the numbers in half across before cutting them into pieces; then

2. Carefully divide the resulting bits into two piles that are each missing key pieces, then

3. Throw out half the pieces in one week's rubbish; and

4. Throw out the other half two weeks later when there is no chance some weirdo can ever put them back together.

The chance that's not a tad excessive?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 years

Today we are ten.

And so my Beloved has taken two days off work, and we are going to an idyllic cabin beside a creek in the lovely country just to the south of us, where we shall have a real fire, and nothing we need to go and do...

... except for keeping each other from freezing, because it's supposed to get really, really cold on the weekend, and we will be in the surrounding countryside to Stanthorpe, the place in Queensland where it is most likely to snow.

And how much of a problem do I have with keeping each other warm on what is, after all, our wedding anniversary?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Something... Anything

In the writing doldrums. To blog you need two concurrent things:
1. Something to write about
2. Time to write.

These have not been concurrent for me for some time, hence the radio silence.

The main culprit is the end of semester.

Then there was the break between sessions when I sit in front of the TV, loving the HD recorder that enables me to record stuff I'd otherwise have missed and watch it at night when I'm ready.

And so now I'm about to start the new session - New Testament Greek 2, having done pretty well on New Testament Greek 1. I'm looking forward to it because I'll be finishing the textbook and it doesn't look so full-on and hopefully I'll be better equipped to read the NT after I've done all the rest of the tenses and some participles and things.

And how useful will this be?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And sometimes you do end up studying tired...

I am laughing at myself. (again)

I've just been going over my latest chapters of the textbook that deal with the future tense to get the information firmly into my head before attacking the workbook. My head is full of contractions and ablauts; tense formative sigmas or epsilon sigmas; words that have two different roots but act as one; and all the other information that is not entirely settled into its logical place in my brain.

So I start to do the first exercise, carefully working out the person, number, tense, voice, mood (hard one, that, as we have only done indicative as yet!), and the lexical form. All going well, so far.

Then the actual whole point of the exercise - the inflected meaning. And I find myself staring at it blindly, trying to comprehend what to put in this box... So how do you render future in English?

"I will do" better next time, but I just thought I'd share.

The chance that studying joins driving as one of those things I don't do if I'm tired?

Friday, May 20, 2011


It was my day off today. So I went to visit a Theological Library in Brisbane to find some resources for my exegetical assignment. Of course. That's what everybody does with their day off!

I took Mum with me and dropped her off at Indooroopilly on the way through. It was almost a case of slow down and push her out, because we didn't get a red light to let her out!

Having got all the stuff I'd gone down for, I headed back to meet Mum for lunch and Pearl Tea in the Food Court. I laughed at myself when I found a park "where I always park" when I haven't lived in Brisbane for 12 years.

Mum had found some things that she wanted to show me. I collect tiny horses, and generally Mum and Dad keep an eye out for ones with character when they are overseas.

These two just HAD to come home with me...
So meet Jade and Rosalie.

The chance you can pick which is which?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saint Mumsy

Well, I'm not certain she's got to two miracles yet, but I'm still nominating her.

My Mum has offered me an hour or so a week on a Wednesday afternoon to help with housework...

For free...

This has a number of good outcomes.

1. I was "paying" myself to be my own cleaner for 2-3 hours on a Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't working because there is always something more urgent than housework. Now that Mum is coming, I am disciplined... or at least, I have been for the two weeks that she's been here!

2. There are the extra things I never get around to - like cleaning windows. I love being able to see through them, but I don't often have time. Today, while I wrestled with a really grungy shower, the windows at the front door and in my office magically became shiny!

3. She comes up with good ideas, then helps make them happen. We've had mice. They got into the linen cupboard. There was evidence... over sheets and blankets and I find the thought of pulling out "clean" sheets and hearing the ting of tiny pellets hitting the floor disgusting. So ALL the linen needed washing. Mum came up with the brilliant plan of dumping everything into the bathtub, cleaning all the shelves, then took one overloaded washing basket and two huge stripy bags home to wash for me. I've been working on the rest whenever I have a part of a morning at home.

The chance that I want to swap Mums with you?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

So I think the exam went okay...

...Just so you know.

The lecturer picked the easy paradigms... after I'd spent considerable time getting the difficult ones down pat.

And that impresses me how much?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And so I've just done and marked my trial exam...

And got an answer wrong.

And I could live with that.

But there were four other questions I made silly errors. Identifying nouns as singular and then translating them with the English plural form (and vice versa); leaving out the odd article when it clearly has one in the Greek (and one that is necessary also in the English - which is not always the case); and in one spectacular example, leaving out the second part of the question entirely.

Then, of course my maths is atrocious and as I marked the paper I came back with 68%, before realising that the first 4 questions were 10 marks each, not 5. I am much happier now.

I will pass.

But the chance that I'll not be irritated by the silly errors I accumulate along the way?

(The worst thing is that you can't really DO much about silly errors. I finished the paper by working solidly with only 4 minutes to spare, so I don't have time to go back over everything. I'm just feeling sorry for some of the other students who are struggling. I had 4 minutes to spare. I'm hoping that everyone will manage to finish the paper.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Little Known Fact About Me

No. It's not a meme. I came up with this idea all on my own.

You see, I have a desk allergy.

Last Thursday with the advent of my new computer I decided that I should clean my office. Good call. I've been sneezing heaps and a little dust reduction is a really good idea.

But I had forgotten that when I used to work in local government, finally getting my desk clean was inevitably the trigger for getting a really bad cold. As if under all the paper and dust there was a perfect breeding ground for nasty bugs that would rise up and get me as soon as they were released from the mess.

So last night as I was enduring a huge alllergy attack I remembered that a clean desk is not always a good thing for me.

However, what's the chance that it will be a problem again for a very long time?

Monday, April 25, 2011

So I would never have made it as a Wireless Operator

A very pertinent post for ANZAC day, I thought.

I'm dutifully studying my Greek.

I have an exam on Friday (not due til next week, but I don't trust Aussie Post to get it there in a short week) and also a tiny quiz to also submit the same day as it can be done online.

As I go through my exercises for this week, I begin to realise that I would have failed the course to become a Wireless Operator for the RAAF during the second world war.

What the?

Okay, some explanation for those who don't immediately follow where I'm going with this.

My Mum's Dad was, you probably have guessed (unless you're a family lurker and already know), a Wireless Operator during the second world war. He flew in the largely forgotten Halifax bombers from a tiny place in England for a couple of years.

He was lucky enough to get accepted as Aircrew, and because he wanted to be a navigator, the Airforce decided to send him to train as a Wireless Operator. (Ironically, on demobilisation they did aptitude testing to see what jobs he'd be good at back in the real world, and his scores were so good in one area that they supposed he must have been a navigator. No - that is something that he was interested in and had natural aptitude for - as if he'd get THAT job!!?!)

Anyway, to get back to the story, he had to learn Morse Code. In fact although there would be days when he would now struggle to remember my name, I bet you he could take a message in Morse Code just on reflex.

As he tells it, the trick in the examinations was to simply transcribe the letters as they came through. If you used your brain to make sense of it as it was coming, you'd suddenly find you weren't right and end up with the sort of mess that predictive text creates on mobile phones today, then you'd be lost and unable to catch up with the message. Then you failed the course and had to become an Air Gunner, taking a short sojourn in the kitchens because they didn't want everyone deliberately failing just to get through to the action more quickly and with less effort.

So, here I'm trying to do Greek to English translation exercises and I've just realised that where I am going wrong is when I take the first meaning I remember for a series of words and bung them together and then read the answer to see what it OUGHT to be and realise that my translation is not only seriously dodgy, but that if I took a little more time and didn't start presuming where the sentence is going before I am finished, I would probably do a whole heap better at it. And maybe it would approach sense in English.

And the chance that this post is not simple study avoidance?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


This post could be entitled "I need to stop thinking like a Microsoft User".

I was getting sick of my old laptop. It was getting slower and ssllloooooowweeerrr. It was not entirely stable. At 7 years old, I knew that it wasn't impossible that I would need a new computer in the near forseeable and had worked out my game plan for which way I wanted to go.

Sick of Windows and remembering back to my student days when I had a robust and eminently friendly Apple Mac, I decided that it would be the way to go. A bit more expensive, but what you pay in hardware costs you save in software. Mr Swan being particularly generous with his tax refund when I got around to lodging it this year brought replacing a computer into the possible immediately category, which was very nice indeed (and meant that I could get the next one up from the one I initially looked at).

It arrived Thursday morning, just in time for me to get everything operational over the Easter break.

I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to do things.

For one thing, the CD/DVD drive works. Novel concept, I know, but if you put a disk in, the computer will read it. I haven't yet tried to write to a CD, but I'm fairly confident there's a way to make that possible.

I don't need to wrestle with Office programmes anymore. Don't need publisher, because the word-processing and spreadsheet programmes allow you to format very intuitively and not have to wrestle with making the wretched thing do what you want. Unfortunately I keep looking for a hard way to do things (the Windows Way), only to find that it's much easier than that.


The only problem is that going from a 15inch laptop screen to the 21.5inch desktop screen is pretty mind-blowing. I almost need to sit half-way across the room. I've gone from having to scroll across webpages to being able to see two at once, side-by-side.

And the keyboard is ridiculously tiny. Based on a laptop keyboard, it is as ridiculously small compared to my old split keyboard and the screen is ridiculously large in comparison with previous.

And the chance that I'll ever find my new wireless keyboard and mouse if my desk gets messy again?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

100 yard dash

Well, it was more like 6 yards.

Or yard frontages.

Which are about 20 metres wide each.

So it was probably about 140 metre dash.

The Little Black Dog hasn't had regular walks for a while.

He's obviously missing them.

It turns out that I can actually run for about 140 metres without killing myself.

What sort of achievement is that?

Friday, March 11, 2011

We are going to be very rich...

Yesterday I was working at my desk when the LBD started barking without cause.

It continued.

I went to the back of the house to yell at him, and, having done so, saw him sitting panting at the bottom of the back steps with a questioning look on his face... as the barking continued.

This means either:
a) it was another dog with a really similar bark; or
b) the LBD is working on a ventriloquism act for the flood appeal concert at the church next week.

The chance that we'll make a fortune from it?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't learn to touch-type if you're ever going to allow your right index finger to get caught in a falling double-hung window.

That's about it, really.

(It has stopped bleeding now, which is a bonus. It's amazing how hard it is to get blood out of denim 3/4 pants without it, either.)

Typing has become painfully slow (as my brain tries to work out which finger to substitute) or is just painful.

But how many words need a 'y', 'u', 'h', 'j', or 'n' anyway?

... *earl* ever* o*e *o* ca* t*i*k of. (Wait! I can write 'of'!!!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

... and then I turned the page...

I was emailing with Emily Sue this week and expressing my relief that I've obviously done enough work on English case to be able to get some kind of handle on Greek case endings.

Last time I studied I was only ever able to get a grip on the genitive case as possession was the only thing that made sense to me out of all the rest.

She indicated that she didn't entirely get genitive when she studied it.

I didn't understand how that was so.

Then I turned the page in my text-book and it starts to give helps with translation and exegesis from the genitive case. It's throwing around terms like descriptive, separation, apposition, and plenary.

And the chance that the wheels haven't fallen off my ability to understand what the heck is going on here?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Greek Geek

So last week I would have went, saw, and conquered, but as that is more commonly rendered in Latin, it wouldn't really be appropriate to my trip.

I went on a residential school for New Testament Greek in our nation's capital.

Three days of intense language learning, sandwiched between travel. It was really good (very intense, very full, very mind-filling and not always easy - but good). The preparation work I'd done was sufficient to keep me in the same ball park as the lecturer, which enabled me to get much more out of it than if I'd been struggling with how to sound out Greek letters and a total incapability to understand grammatical case (thanks, Education Queensland).

I was pretty bushed by the time I got home at 8.30 Saturday evening, then had to preach Sunday morning, then go to a Seminar in a neighbouring town, followed by a meeting with my supervisor and a hospital visit, rushed Officeworks trip and home in time for music group.

Then madly preparing for my RI class Tuesday lunchtime.

Then the taking of the class (I have 28 grade 2s - that is WAY too many for a non-teacher to keep under control all at once), followed by child protection seminar.

Thankfully today had nothing down in my diary until Ministry Team meeting late this afternoon. I slept reasonably well secure in the knowledge that I didn't really have to get up and prepare for anything. I could get some essential housework done, get out tax stuff together and make a few phonecalls to organise some things.

The chance I appreciated the 8.05am phone call from the church wondering whether I was coming for the Pastoral Carers meeting? (which I chair - oops)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brace for impact!

I used to live in a place called Cloncurry.

It's a very long way inland.

It is tonight in the cyclone watch area, despite the fact that it must be 8-10 hours drive west of Townsville. (I can't remember after nearly 25 years)

Julia Creek just down the road is in the cyclone warning area and it is expected that Yasi will still be a category 3 cyclone when it gets there.

It doesn't seem possible.

What's even more of a problem is that the old Building Code used to specify that you only needed to build your house to cyclone standard if you lived within 50km of the coast.

Julia Creek is a little further from the coast than that.

The chance that I'm not thinking of and praying for all those in the path of Yasi?

Pardon me, my mistake...

You see, I thought it was amusing.

Inspired by the sight of our newly laid-aside television tucked into a space in a spare bedroom while the newly dead microwave sits on top of the bar freezer in the kitchen, I began to reflect on what would happen if all the appliances we had ever owned still lived with us, despite their not-entirely-working-properly status.

I went on to actually write it after I noticed that we do still have a computer monitor and my Beloved's Dad's very-nearly-dead television floating around in the garage. Both of which we have moved twice and paid for shed storage for (among lots of other stuff) while we built our house, and have somehow missed elimination during junk-tossing sessions.

But it's reassuring to know that the spirit of YouTube commenters exist in the most balanced and reasonable of my internet visitors.

But at least here there has been how much profanity or name-calling?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Mathematical Conundrum of Fatima and Bruce

Once upon a time there were a young couple who were married.

Let's call them "Fatima" and "Bruce".

Let's stipulate that in the year 2011 they would celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.

Let's also make the disclaimer that any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely accidental. Even if there were elements of truth, they haven't been allowed to get in the way of a good story.

When they married, they joined all their wordly goods. (Neither of them had much in the way of expensive wordly goods, but they joined them just the same.)

This meant that they had:-
Washing machines: 2 (one newish automatic and an old twin-tub)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 2
VCRs: 2 (One that showed snowy/stripes when you viewed videos, but would record ok; one that you couldn't record on, but you could view clear images on if you could be bothered to get up to press the buttons on the machine because the remote had gone AWOL)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 fridge. 1 bar freezer.
Computers: 2 (both reasonably old and put together out of old bits by their brothers)
Stereos: 2 (1 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Because they lived out of town, they swapped the newish automatic washing machine for a nearly new twin tub because the older one was not pumping out properly. So now they had:-
Washing machines: 2 (one newish twin tub and a dead twin-tub)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 2
VCRs: 2 (both dodgy, but usable within constraints)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 now dead fridge.
Computers: 2 (now combined to make 1 better one and 1 dead one)
Stereos: 2 (1 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then, sadly, Bruce's Dad died in 2003. There was some stuff that was added to the household. So now they had:-
Washing machines: 2 (one newish twin-tub and a dead twin-tub)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 4 (including one that had a yellowish picture and one B&W)
VCRs: 2 (Possibly 3 for all Fatima knows. 2 dodgy, but usable within constraints; and possibly a nearly dead one hiding in the garage)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 2 (now combined to make 1 better one and 1 dead one)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then in 2005 Fatima decided that it would be useful to be able to veiw DVDs. This might also mean that they could have one reliable VCR machine if they got a DVD/VCR. She also started working from home and needed an up-to-date computer. So now they had:-
Washing machines: 2 (one newish twin-tub and a dead twin-tub)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 4 (2 usable, 2 dead)
DVD or VCRs: 3 (One that worked; 2 (possibly 3) that were dead)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 3 (1 good one. 2 dead ones)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then they were living in town again and Fatima's grandmother kindly passed on her old automatic washing machine. So now they had:-
Washing machines: 3 (1 older automatic; 1 newish twin-tub and a dead twin-tub)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 3 (including one that had a yellowish picture and one B&W)
DVD or VCRs: 3 (One that worked; 2 (possibly 3) that were dead)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 3 (1 good one. 2 dead ones)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then the washing machine started making odd noises. Bruce fixed it, but it wasn't really healthy. But that's ok, because Fatima's other grandmother moved into a nursing home and gave them her old-ish automatic. So now they had:-
Washing machines: 4 (1 older automatic; 1 working twin-tub and 2 dead)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 3 (including one that had a yellowish picture and one B&W)
DVD or VCRs: 3 (One that worked; 2 (possibly 3) that were dead)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 3 (1 good one. 2 dead ones)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then this year they decided that since analog TV is going out later in the year, it would be good to have a digital television and recorder and to take advantage of the post-Christmas sales. So then they had:-
Washing machines: 4 (1 older automatic; 1 working twin-tub and 2 dead)
Microwaves: 2 (both in use)
Televisions: 5 (1 digital, 2 dodgy analog, and 2 dead analog)
DVD or VCRs: 3 (One that worked; 2 (possibly 3) that were dead)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 3 (1 good one. 2 dead ones)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Then the bigger and better of the 2 microwaves died. This means that they now have:-
Washing machines: 4 (1 older automatic; 1 working twin-tub and 2 dead)
Microwaves: 3 (2 in use, 1 dead)
Televisions: 5 (1 digital, 2 dodgy analog, and 2 dead analog)
DVD or VCRs: 3 (One that worked; 2 (possibly 3) that were dead)
Fridges/Freezers: 1 fridge/freezer. 1 bar freezer. 1 dead fridge.
Computers: 3 (1 good one. 2 dead ones)
Stereos: 3 (2 turn-table and cassette; 1 CD and cassette)

Their mathematical conundrum is this:-
If the garage has 35 square metres left over for storage of dead appliances after the car is parked in it, how many years can Fatima and Bruce remain married?

How close does this story come to truth?

Monday, January 24, 2011

That would be wrong, right?

I was waiting for Givinya to have lunch together, given that I was in town for the day.

There were some 1/2 price calendars.

One had Jack Russell terrier puppies on it.

I had been wondering why people buy Jack Russell dogs. I now know. It's a pity the calendar doesn't come with a sound track to turn you off.

And it wouldn't have been healthy to buy the calendar for violent destruction purposes when the ones next door have been barking for 2 1/2 hours straight, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some pics

Please remember when looking at these images that they are the impressive parts of the flood. I have not taken photos of all the dry land and the thousands of houses that are high and dry.

That's not to dismiss the fact that people have had water into homes and businesses, just that it's only a small part of the developed area of town that is inundated.

By the way, we are high and dry still.

And if we weren't Queensland would REALLY be in trouble...

... and so would western New South Wales...

...and South Australia, for that matter.
This is our dam on Sunday. All seven gates were open and letting water out. Although this water doesn't flow through our town, it could cause the floodwater to back up. Later that night they closed back down to two gates. The second image shows the raging floodwaters below the dam. Thankfully there are some conveniently placed people to give you an idea of scale.

This is a veiw from a hill to the west of town, looking to the north-east across farmland, the racecourse and sports fields:

This is the Wallace Street Bridge (yes, there is usually a bridge there, but it does go under pretty early):

Surf's up on the turf! You can see the racecourse fences here (only thanks to my handy zoom):

This is the last bridge to go under. No-one is going back to the residential area on the other side of the river tonight:

Our favourite cafe with the best cheesecake in Australia... and a television?

The highway bridge with people who live on the other side of the river doing exactly what we were all doing on this side of the river:

The high school agriculture block. It often goes under, but not usually like this:

My high school oval. It's another one that goes under regularly, but not like this:

Looking south up the highway:

Looking north up the highway:

Across the school oval at sunset. Don't usually get sunsets over water in town here.

We did a trip to town between 9.30-9.50 tonight. It seems that the peak has passed now and the water is going down (unless there's more coming because it was still raining on the hills today).
And how much more rain do we need right now?

We're Okay

Just so you know.

For those not familiar with Queensland geography, we aren't in the same catchment as Toowoomba, so are not one of the "surrounding towns" for the purposes of a 2.5 metre wall of water.

We are, however, having our own little flood right here as a result of heaps of rain falling on the nearby hills. The highways are all cut off, the main bridge is under and they're expecting about another 3 metres of water in the next day or so.

The dam was at 104% Sunday, and they have to release water. It's downstream of town, but the water will be competing with the Condamine for room where they join up, and that will back up water into town.

The old dam to the south is full and flowing madly. We can see that creek from our back windows, and it does go through town. I had never seen it over the bridge to the industrial estate before December, but now the dam is full there isn't any detention capacity. So it flows, ready or not.

Our favourite cafe has waterfront views, but another three metres will not be kind to them. They pulled everything left after the last flood out Sunday afternoon.

So the scuttlebut is that we're expecting a re-run of our 1976 floods. They put out a call for blokes to move the oldies in the Council-owned pensioner units. There are sandbags available to those who need them. People from out of town are stuck at home and can't get in to work.

My Beloved came home at 1pm yesterday, because all the roads to the industrial estate were going to flood. He couldn't get there this morning, either, so he's hanging around like a bad smell.

There was a funeral in our church this morning, and there are people stuck here. A strange fact you may never have thought about is that you can't actually bury someone in this weather. They can't dig holes.

There are some shops closed and it's almost like a festival atmosphere in some areas. Most of town will be high and dry, so there are only some homes and businesses who will lose property. Others (like my Beloved) will lose work days and therefore won't be making money.

The very sad thing is that this water will be heading downstream to Condamine, Dalby, St George and all those places that have been impacted by the last lot of floodwater. And they are flat, so don't have anywhere to go.

The upshot is that we're okay and I might get organised for some photos a little later on. Just wanted to let you know that we are high and dry and if we weren't most of town would be under. But really, the chance I'll get around to two posts in one day?