Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas - and rain - in the air

Any plans to do anything interesting yesterday were put on hold when the weather switgch back and forth between overcast, rain and sunshine, with no less than three frustrating sun showers every time I planned to leave.

I did a little housework instead: cleaning out the cockatiel's cage, alphabetising recent DVD purchases, bringing out some bags of Christmas decorations...

'Tis the season to be domesticated.

Sunday's magic number: 95.4 - sigh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More renovating on a shoestring


As mentioned previously, I'm renovating my school library on a shoestring budget! Latest updates, with exciting "Before" and "After" pics:

First new signage

Word wall completed, and memo templates

Stay tuned! More to come, I hope!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maria in town

My friend, Maria, from Brisbane, was in town for a fleeting visit, so we took the opportunity to do over the Sydney CBD shops before she had to board her airport-bound train.

It was just like the good ol' days.

Being the lead-up to Christmas, we also took in the sights of David Jones' traditional Christmas windows...

DJ's window

These windows are such an important, nostalgic part of Christmas in Sydney. A trip to the city in the festive season without visiting the DJs windows is just... not done!

Sunday's magic number: 95.6 - ho ho ho hum.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Star Trek, I mean Wars, no I mean Trek...

If you thought Friday afternoon's Shatner clip (sending up JJ Abrams' Star Trek movie) was good, then you may like this even more:

Re the upcoming Star Trek movie: many fans seem to be terrified of "changes to the canon" (previous live-action, screened Trek).

If one is open to the possibility that change can be good, and that such change might even be better, or at least more relevant to 21st century audiences, then "wait and see" is a sensible approach. No one can change the content of the film. It's in the can. Not "waiting and seeing" is futile, especially if the film turns out to be very good.

I recall people prejudging the rumoured death of Spock in ST II - including Roddenberry himself - but in the end it turned out pretty well, and most people who said they hated the idea still ended up enjoying ST II.

Renovating on a shoestring

I'm renovating my school library on a shoestring!

How long is this shoestring? Who knows, but I'm having fun so far.

circulation close
How did I fix this?

Links to chart my progress are here:


Preparation and simple rearrangement

Initial reactions

Stay tuned! More to come.

Let it snow!

Okay, we're a week out from summer and, this afternoon, Penrith had an strong, chill wind that made me think of snow.

Then I noticed, via Facebook, that my e-pal, Mike Bogle, had just posted footage of the snow that fell in nearby Lawson today!

Maybe we all should start dreaming of a white Christmas?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sassy Sue

Ian with Sue Williams

It's always fun to catch up with friends and acquaintances at the annual "Succeed..." literary seminar and Sassy Awards, for members of Selwa Anthony's Author Management Agency. Yesterday, it was on again. Where did that year go? (And didn't we say that ladst year, too?)

I first met Sue Williams, writer and freelance journalist, at "Succeed Some More in '94". We sat next to each other at Selwa's first gathering of authors, at a time when all attendances could fit around one table in the restaurant! For many years now, the Sassy Awards have needed a whole ballroom at the Novotel, Brighton-le-Sands, to fit everybody in.

This year, I did very well with the daytime raffle, winning eleven Ian Irvine science fiction novels. Ian told me, later, that I was now the owner of 2.3 million words! That guy is sure prolific!

Another great day and evening, but I really must do something about completing something to send off to Selwa.

Sunday's magic number: 96.7 - Ooops, and I must do something about eating naughty things, too.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Your Pupaccino (tm) is served..."

Today, Jack ended up accompanying a small group of friends to the Newtown Festival: a huge and colourful inner-city community event, featuring music, food and craft stalls. Staged annually for the past 30 years by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, this festival just gets bigger and brighter each year. There must have been over 200 stalls. The organisers also boasted four performing stages, a huge kids and family area, a writers' stage and learn-to-be eco area.

After a few hours of walking around the festival, in the not-too-unpleasant heat, Jack had earned a visit to Cafe Bones at Leichhardt. Cafe Bones is in a leash-free area, and serves the only Pupaccinos (tm) in town.

Tongue action
Ice cold Pupaccino (tm) - note the tongue action.

Jack has't been there since he was a little pup. That time, it was his first ever off-leash experience, and I found out how badly he responded to his name when he scarpered off after a trio of schnauzers. He also embarrassed himself by polishing off every other dog's pupaccino.

This time he performed much better. If I waited till he seemed to be returning to me under his own steam, then I called his name, waved a bag of liver jerky treats, then he'd actually look like he was doing as he was told. He was totally oblivious to the pushy, three-legged beagle who hovered over abandoned pupaccinos like a wet-nosed, three-legged furry vulture.

If you own a dog, give yourself a treat and take your deserving canine friend to Cafe Bones.

Cafe Bones, LeichhardtwhitePupaccino Bar at Cafe Bones

Sunday's magic number: 94.9 - okay, I'll blame yesterday's shopping trip for some of those extra kilojoules.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dragon between bargains


Today was my third annual school fundraising shopping trip. As in previous years, I was almost the token male - only one other male shopper, plus the male bus driver.

What did I buy this year? Well, nothing at all for the first two stops, but then I really let my hair down: a few Christmas gifts, a cushion that was a perfect match for last year's doona cover, a Christmas ht featuring a "crashed Santa", three tubs of delectable gelato, and lots of Christmas edible goodies (which I again must try not to eat before Christmas). And the gorgeous, large, pewter dragon (pictured above), my huge extravagance.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Up 'n' go art

Up 'n' Go tree

I've been passing this work-of-art-in-progress now for several years. Located in the front garden of a row of industrial shopfronts on Coreen Avenue, Penrith, someone has been diligently hanging their empty "Up 'n' Go" instant breakfast drinks in the tree.

At first the tree reminded me, very much, of a bush in the yard of my cousin's house in Bargo. She discovered it full of used teabags one day, only to realise the ornamentation was due to her husband "decorating for Christmas" (Read: chucking his used teabags into the tree, for mischief, mainly).

The Penrith version of this art form features "Up 'n' Go" packets, which are threaded on wire - so there's been a great deal more planning than impromptu chucking. Simply marvelous urban art.

I took the pic on my way home from today's Pieroth wine-tasting harbour cruise. It semed like such a looooong walk... Hic!

Sunday's magic number: 94.0 - Sigh...

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Today I'm off to Cockle Bay in the city, for dinner with Star Trek friends at the Meat & Wine Co.

It's always an enjoyable time, but I hear on the grapevine that we are in the special "VIP" room tonight!

Cool! Thanks Nate! I know you hung out a long time for your name-embossed designated steak knife: your ticket to upgrades!