Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Net verses the personal approach.

In the “between Friends” comic strip in the Melbourne Herald Sun on May 14th was this fascinating insight into how the Net is taking over in some people’s thinking. In previous strips the lead character Susan has been trying to get her friend Mauve to join Face book. Mauve has been actively resisting these approaches.
In this strip, they are both sitting on a park bench drinking a coffee, and Susan says to Mauve, “ If you set up a Face book page, we could check up on each other and see what’s happening in our lives!” To which Mauve replies brightly, “Wow… that would be a Bonus …’ then goes on to say, “…Then we wouldn’t have to actually meet and bother with personal interaction!”
Of course the response was sarcastic and meant to be so. But how often do we let the time and energy spent on modern technology and especially the Net, to interfere with our already existing personal interactions? Don’t get me wrong here, as I am all in favour of modern technology and especially e-mail. I am also on Face book too, (even if I rarely use it) and do recognise it has some benefits, but it is still meant to be a tool to help us in personal interactions, and not take the place of personal interaction, all because we spent too much time on it. What say you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Negative motivation.

In a recent blog “From where do you draw your Incentive?” I commented on a positive motivational idea, from a For Better or For Worse Comic strip. Today I am motivated to be thinking on the negative side from another comic strip. This time from the Garfield strip. In this strip, Garfield is lying flat out on his back saying, “ I need motivation.” To which Jon comes along and says, “ Get up and do something; you lazy bum!” And in the final scene we find Garfield in the same original pose, saying sarcastically, “Yep. That was life transforming.”
This got me to thinking on just how much of what we think is motivational, is actually positive motivational and not just abuse, or worse, simply threats?
I think that most of us will appreciate positive attempts at motivation; just like I am pretty sure most of us resent and even reject (openly or otherwise) negative attempts. So, in future, when you try to motivate others please stop and think whether you are being, are you positive and even hopefully life changing? Or whether simply negative with your words and actions? Just something to think on for now!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kangaroos, Emus & the Australian Coat of Arms.

In a recent blog, “A Couple of facts about Kangaroos”, I mentioned the fact that they cannot back up. To which I received this further information about that fact: “Dear Walter: More information for your education. The reason (I believe) a kangaroo and an emu is on the Australian coat of arms is that neither can take a backward step. Cheers: ***
Again I was not are of this trait with emus too, until told. However I can understand why this trait of never backing down, would appeal to the early Australian mindset as a then emerging nation in its own right, and thus a suitable statement for our Coat of Arms.
I also think it admirable too, to be of the mindset of never backing down when you are in the right and everything of value stands or falls on your decision, not to back down. But I think if you carry that mindset into everything you do, whether you are right or wrong, that formerly admirable mindset, can become a mighty liability and mighty fast too.
Yes when you are in the wrong, that inability to back down graciously, can cause as much destruction as a kangaroo in a small caravan as it can’t back out and then becomes frightened and panics, lashing out at anyone and anything within reach. And inside a caravan, that is just about everything isn’t it?
So, is there some area in your life today where you need to both step up and not back down because every thing that is right and good depends on it? Or is there some area in your life where it would be beneficial to all, including yourself, for you to just quietly back down and retreat. Even if to only to come back more prepared next time? What say you now?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who was the Donkey?

In a previous Blog: (“Who’s the Donkey”), I told the e-mail story of a donkey who fell in a well, and how the owner decided that as it was old anyway, and the well needed filling also, that he would simply bury the donkey there and then, and fill in the well at the same time and thereby solve two problems at once. Now, of course the donkey had other ideas and shook off the dirt as the well was being filled in and kept stepping up, until eventually it was able to walk out to freedom. The moral of the story being that you can either let your problems bury you or else you could use them as stepping stones to success and even life itself.
Today I will pass on the follow up to that little “story.” The story continues: ”The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.
*MORAL FROM TODAYS' LESSON: * When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.”
Yes, with every action of ours, there is always the possibility of a counter action and as today’s moral indicates, the more we try to hide a problem, the more it can come back to bite us. So if you are facing any problems today, it is usually wise to face them head on and own up to them; and then address them properly. Not by hiding them, but by correcting them as best you can even if that means getting professional help. Your thoughts please?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who are you Talking too?

In a recent Fred Basset comic strip, Fred is asleep on the floor and his master reading the paper in his chair nearby, when a voice from afar says, “ Dinner – come and get it!” In the next panel, both Fred and his master simply look at each other with a quizzical look on their faces. And in the final panel, they both turn towards the unseen voice and say, “Me or him?”
This led me to ponder on how well we actually communicate with others? Are we as accurate in doing this as we think? In other words, do we do it clearly, so that there is no doubt as to who is being referred to? Or do we simply do it in a generic or lazy fashion like in this comic strip; so that there is confusion in everyone’s mind as to whom, if any, you are actually talking to?
Again just something to think about when communicating with others, whether dogs, cats, or people!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fred’s thought for the day.

Reading The Melbourne herald sun’s comic page on May 13th I was quite taken by the Fred Basset comic strip. It was a very simple two- panel one.
The first Panel had an illustration of the dog out in a wet and miserable day with rain falling heavily and water everywhere, and he/Fred says in a thought Bubble, “Here’s my thought for today!” And in the next panel, while he is still standing outside in the wet, inside the thought bubble is an illustration of him stretched out nice and comfortable on a couch in front of a roaring fire.
I thought then that this is often so very typical of most of our thoughts isn’t it? That most of our daily thinking is often taken up with our daily living and often our thoughts don’t get a chance to rise far above that, do they?
In the Bible in Philippians chapter four, verses eight to nine, it says “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about* these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Again great advice, but how often do we do that as opposed to the Fred type thoughts of just immediate comfort instead? Something for all of us to think on I think. Yes, you may not like the God references here, but the advice still stands firm, (even if to a lesser degree) in ordinary life too. And that advice is that we need to stop thinking of all the Bad things that have or might happen, and to start focusing on the Good things instead. And then, not just thinking about them, but actually putting them into practise as best we can.
Getting back to Fred above, just thinking about the fire will not get him there, will it? No! He still has to move from where he currently is, in the direction of where he wants to be; otherwise all it will ever be is a thought, and not a reality.
So, where are your thoughts focused today? Just on getting by in life? Or on the good and right things of life? And what are you doing about those good thoughts now? Still just thinking on them? Or moving in their direction as best and as fast as you can?
Over to you now for your action.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who’s the Donkey?

Received this delightful little e-mail with its own admirable moral challenge: “One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up... Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up. *
* Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.”
I love the above story because it shows quite clearly that often we can choose whether a problem becomes a stepping-stone up to success, or whether we let it, often literally, to bury us.
Yes I agree that sometimes there is little or nothing we can do in some situations: but often there is, and that old saying about every Cloud having a silver lining, often holds true too. So today, are your problems starting to bury you? Or can you use them as a stepping-stone up and out of your own little wells of despair?
There is another not so delightful moral to this story, but you are going to have to wait till the next blog for that. In the meantime, don’t allow yourself to be buried but step up and step out to life!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To Blog Or Not to Blog?

Received an email from a friend commenting on the lack of response to her Blog site. To which I wrote the following excerpted comments:
“I know what you mean about Blog site lack of open responses. Apart from you, I rarely get any response from my blogs posted on-line. Of those that do, most of the other responders are usually Spam or self-promotional ones, (although I did get a couple of positive corrections to my Easter Blog). And so sometimes I too feel I am basically writing just for myself. And in fact I had been thinking that this very morning before your e-mail arrived. And my response was, "So What?" After all, I am, in truth, writing only what appeals to me, and hopefully sharing a bit along the way about myself, which may be of interest to my children and grandchildren. (If we ever get any!)
The other thing is, that with a blog site you don't know how many really look at it unless they leave a comment. Up until last week (when I had my son add two new specific blog sites for me), I had a Blog counter on my site (Which he accidentally disconnected and I need to wait until the friend who originally connected it for me visits to do it again.) But that blog counter showed not only how many visited, but what posts and on what day. And so I was averaging 5 or 6 hits nearly everyday, and so even taking you and me off that number I was still getting 3 or 4 hits that I would otherwise never have known about.
Now one could argue that just writing for 3 or 4 people is not worth it, to which I would reply with two responses: One. As already stated above, I am not really writing for other people anyway, but for my family and myself.
Second. Although only 3 or 4 may read it, who knows who else among them, (like you) get something out of it. So, even if only one other person gets something that truly helps them, then I have in reality, achieved even more than I originally set out to do, haven't I? After all, it is much better to help just one person, than slightly amuse 100, isn't it?”
What I wrote above to my friend I believe was appropriate, now what about you? Why do you do what you do? To titillate the many, or to help the few? Again, what say you now?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being Cautious Vss Being too Cautious.

Received an email from a friend in which she commented that she was always cautious about risking getting hurt again. What about you? Do you have similar restraints to reaching out to other people and trying new things for the same reasons?
It is good and right to be cautious but there is such a thing as being too cautious, and doing nothing for fear of exposure and hurts. Sometimes we do have to take some risks, but that risk taking does need to be evaluated up front. For instances, the blog I wrote recently “Andre Rieu Visits Eastland Again.” The Shopping centre took a great risk having him come back again after the disruption of his first visit there as an unknown, and I am sure even with the later time spot now, many of the shops in the immediate precinct, suffered loss of business on Saturday, yet an estimated 6,000 people turned up to see him play just two tunes and sign autographs for an hour and a half or so.
This resulted in free mass exposure for the shopping centre in the major Newspapers and even mentioned on the TV news for 3 nights running. Exposure and advertising that they could not afford to buy!
Yes, for some shops, there would have been some short-term loss due to the massive crowd blocking their customers gaining access to them, but overall and for the centre, there was massive immediate and long-term free exposure for them.
Like wise for us too at times! Yes, sometimes all of us need to take some calculated risks; otherwise we will never experience many, many truly lovely blessings. Again that doesn't mean becoming a foolish risk-taker all the time, like some. But occasionally, we do have to put ourselves out to get something back.
Well enough preaching for now. Now is the opportunity for your say/reply.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Andre Rieu Visits Eastland Again.

The last time Andrea Rieu visited Eastland Shopping Centre the Dutch violinist and Conductor was relatively unknown by the populace at large and yet even then, caused a major scene with the large crowd assembled to meet him. So much so that since then the rules and planning and times of promotional visits have been changes to avoid a similar situation.
We normally go to Eastland on Saturday mornings to have a late coffee, and often lunch with one or both of our daughters, as well as do our shopping. On May 9th, in light of Andrea’s latest impending visit, now that he is the top selling artist of Musical CD’S & DVD’s in Australia, we decided to go an hour, to an hour and a half earlier than our usual time, and just for coffee, to avoid the crush, even though Andre was not scheduled to appear until 1 pm.
Well we arrived about quarter past nine and there were barricades and security guards everywhere and even a first aid centre set up nearby. And even then, with nearly 4 hours still to go there were at least 60 people already there and queued up including half a dozen in wheel chairs which, they has provided a special place right up front. Talk about being keen! And of course the crowd steadily increased during our time there! So much so, that by the time we left for home, the place normally sufficient for promotional events, had already filled with some 2 hours still to go.
How would you have handled this event? In light of Andrea’s even greater popularity now, and the experiences of his previous visit, would you have even allowed a second visit, with or without changes to the protocol? Or would you have simply not allowed it to continue at all?
Yes are you not prepared to change at all, or if you do, just go with the flow? Or are you prepared to not only continue on, but prepared to fully step up and make the appropriate changes, even if these changes come at considerable cost and effort for you, and for others, such as the nearby shopkeepers who had their shopper access considerably hampered? What say you? Are you prepared to not only change but also to step up and prepare properly before hand, for the rewards that are out there?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lord And Lady Lamington.

Marvellous what interesting titbits of information one picks up fro the newspaper. In an article in the Melbourne Herald Sun on May 2nd, was an article about a series of stamps put out by the Australian Post office of uniquely Australian foods. And that these stamps will be issued with a first day Cover at the also marvellously appropriately named town of Eaton in West Australia. Among the foods being featured on these Stamps, is one of my favourite treats, the humble lamington.
I call it humble, because when we were young and Mum had a stale sponge cake that hadn’t been eaten, (Didn’t happen all that often with 5 kids), she would cut it up in to small rectangles and dip it in some liquid chocolate mix and then dip or otherwise cover it, in desiccated coconut.
Little was I to know then, and only just found out now, that was in fact how the original lamingtons also came to be. It seems that Charles Cochrane-Baillie was the 2nd baron of Lamington and served as Governor of Queensland between 1896 & 1901.
And the story goes that one day Lady Lamington was taken unawares when some unexpected guests dropped into Government House for afternoon tea. And the only thing on hand was some stale sponge cake. Which lady Lamington dressed up with chocolate and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. And supposedly that is how the humble Australian Lamington was born.
It is now loved by countless Australians including yours truly. However not all love or loved them it seems. And Lord Lamington himself, was among them! He is reported to have referred to the cakes as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits.”
As already said, I definitely don’t agree with him there, but what fascinated me, was how a simple necessity, took some otherwise unsuitable product and with some repackaging, made it into an Australian household delicacy.
So what otherwise good things are we currently wasting, that with a little ingenuity and creativity, can be turned into something desirable and sought after? Over to you for now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Are You A Silent Letter In The Alphabet Of Life?

Ever hear a question asked and think, “That is an unusual question. I would never have thought of asking that!” But then can’t get the question out of your Mind? Well that happened to me recently when my niece, on her Face book site said she: “wonders about the usefulness of silent letters....”
As mentioned above, that was not something I had ever wondered about myself before, but once heard, had to find out. So out on to the Net for their answer. Found a few replies. The main gist being:
1.The English Language in particular is full of silent letters. This is because English is a developing language, that has always stolen words from other languages. Local pronunciation then often changes the way a word is said. This has been the case ever since England was settled almost simultaneously by the Angles, the Juts, the Saxons, the Danes and the Vikings. These people then had to communicate with the original peoples of Britain, such as the Britons, the Picts and the Celts. Tied into this was the remains of Latin (brought by the Romans, and kept alive by the Church). Then, in 1066, Norman French was introduced into the equation. If you had to try and speak all those languages, odds are you'd mispronounce words as well.
2. There are two uses for silent letters in English. One is to indicate the pronunciation of other letters. For example, in the word "tinny," the second n is silent; its purpose is to show that the i is not pronounced like the i in "tiny." Likewise, a silent e makes "hate" sound different from "hat."
The other use is something of an historical accident. As relics of past pronunciation, silent letters often contain clues to the history of the words they are in. Thus we can tell, just by looking at it, that the word "knight, with three silent letters, is probably connected to the German word Knecht, (which has no silent letters).
3. Attempts to "reform" English spelling are always dismal failures. For one thing, let's say we wanted to spell all our words the way they are pronounced. Well, pronounced where? In Boston we would write cod for what they spell card in Pittsburgh, and cawd for what they spell cod.”
And what goes for America, goes for Australia too, even if not as obvious. So now I know why we have silent letters. Now I have to ask, what sort of Letter are you? A useful one? A loud one? Or a silent one, who is only relevant on the odd occasion and useful only to those who know your code? Again just something for you to think on for now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Couple of facts about Kangaroos.

In my “Living With Magpies”, Blog, I concluded with this statement: ” Well! You have heard my memories of Magpies, what are your memories of wild birds or animals that you would like to share?” To which my friend **** replied with this:
“Hi Walter, We had an experience at a caravan park in Queenscliff where we left the door of our caravan open and had Magpies come inside the van looking for a handout. They were not aggressive, but they did leave some calling cards on our carpet. They are very tame down there and will actually come and sit on your knee while you feed them. There is something very rewarding in having a wild creature show enough confidence in you to come as close as that but it can cause problems as you have said. Just last year we were away in the caravan again and we went to a place called Duross in NSW. It is a National Park and there are dozens of Kangaroos there that are also quite tame, although they gave us a couple of warnings about them when we booked in. Don't stand directly in front of them because that is confrontational to them, and don't allow them into your caravan because a Kangaroo finds it almost impossible to back up and they tend to panic and can wreck the interior of your caravan.As I said before, it is nice to be around these creatures but we must treat them as still being wild animals and enjoy them but from a distance.”
Although I grew up not far from, and went to school at a place called Kangaroo Ground, there weren’t many Kangaroos around then as the area was mostly farmland and kangaroos were actively discouraged. However as the land as slowly become Hobby farms, the kangaroos have increased and spread to the point where once there was none even seen on my parents farm in its heyday, there are often many seen there now. And no one really bothers them now. Which is not a bad idea either, for if one does attack you, you will most definitely come off worse for wear and shredded very badly with their Paws/claws.
So my friends advice about not standing in front of them makes a lot of sense, yet it would be the most natural stance for most of us to take against any animal, if you didn’t know better wouldn’t it?
So while I didn’t know it was dangerous to confront a kangaroo front on, I am grateful for that information, and truly believe it might be really handy to know for any possible future confrontations with a kangaroo. (My late mother once came suddenly upon one in her front garden, but fortunately it turned and went away.).
I also did not know that a kangaroo cannot go backwards (although thinking about it later, It does make sense, what with such a big tail to move backwards.) However there is one thing I can tell you with all surety, dumb as I may otherwise be, I would not invite a wild Kangaroo into my house let alone a caravan. (If I owned one that is!). No I know enough about kangaroos and have enough sense to know that if I found one in my house, I would open all the exit points I possibly could safely and then get as far away, and as quick as possible, and wait till it leaves on its own accord. Why? Because I do know that those things are bad news to tangle with. Many a dog has been drowned in water and humans clawed quite badly by these seemingly docile creatures.
What about you? Are there some things, if not animals, that you just might come into contact with that just won’t, or can’t back up? And you just have to treat differently to what you normally would? Or do you still try and apply the one rule fits all solution. Just something to think about before you get all clawed up over something.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kilroy was real.

Growing up in the late 50’s & 60’s, one became accustomed to the Graffiti reminder that “Kilroy was Here”. However I had always assumed that this was just some rubbish written by someone that just caught on, like the other popular graffiti of the time: ”Foo was here”.
However it seems that the original Kilroy was real at least. I took the following from the net:
James Kilroy was also a Boston City Councillor and state representative. He died in Halifax, Massachusetts. Born: Sep. 26, 1902 Died: Nov. 24, 1962 . He is/was also an American Folk Figure. He was the originator of the ubiquitous World War II expression and doodle "Kilroy was here." The "Kilroy was here" phrase seemed to appear everywhere during World War II. Its origin was not widely known until after the war had ended when the American Transit Association ran a contest in 1946 to find out where and why the phrase originated. The winner was James J. Kilroy of Boston who had been hired by the Fore River shipyard on December 5, 1941, two days before the Pearl Harbor attack, as an inspector. His job was to count the completed rivets and then leave chalk marks where he had left off. It was on this basis that the riveter's daily piece work counts were calculated. Some of the riveters were not too honest and would erase the mark left by Kilroy resulting in some of the rivets being counted twice. James Kilroy got wind of this practice and began to scrawl "Kilroy was here" on his rounds and added the head peering over a wall. Reportedly he left his mark on such famous Fore River vessels as the battleship USS Massachusetts, the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington (II), the heavy cruiser USS Baltimore, as well as numerous troop carriers. Millions of service men saw the slogan on the outgoing ships and all they knew was that "Kilroy" had been there first. Service men began placing the graffiti wherever the United States Forces landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived. This was the origin reported by the New York Times in 1946, with the addition that Kilroy had marked the ships themselves as they were being built - so, at a later date, the phrase would be found chalked in places that no graffiti-artist could have got to, such as inside sealed hull spaces, which then fed the mythical significance of the phrase ("after all, if Kilroy could leave his mark there, who knew what else he could do?").
You might find the above meaningless nonsense, but I am constantly amazed at how many of our “Nonsense’ sayings and stories, all have a true original base to them, even if over the years it gets elaborated on quite considerably. What true stories do you know about otherwise presumedly made up nonsense?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Only One Piece Missing!

Our Church meets in a Public hall in Kilsyth. As there is little room for storage there, we purchased a specially designed Trailer to hold what equipment that we couldn’t store at the Hall. As the person responsible for this were going to be away over Easter we did what we normally do when they are away: set up in a smaller Hall there, with just the Keyboard, but not the rest of the sound system.
To do that, I take the Keyboard and material necessary to operate it with me, home to my place instead, and take it up the following week and set up myself. As well as they being away over Easter, our Worship Leader and family were also away, so with a third of our number away and not being good singers at the best of times, we/I decided to have only one well-known Hymn. So well known in fact that we decided not to even set up the music System then, and everything worked well.
Then the week after Easter, the family with the trailer set up, were again away, but the worship family were back. Well, with our worship leader back, we went back to our normal four items and the music. Sadly when the Music set-up was set up; we found one cord was missing. So even though 99.99% of the equipment was there, we had no music, because, it couldn’t operate with out that .01%. Nevertheless we continued on without it and dare I say it, although normally our singing is pathetic, even with music, it didn’t sound half bad and everyone seemed to lift to cover for the missing music.
However, how often do we find ourselves in a situation where despite having 99.9% of all that is needed, we just can’t continue without that missing 1%? So please, in future, make sure you have the Whole 100% of the necessary equipment you need and have it where you can find it too! *
(* I add that last little bit because the following week, I found the missing Cord in my car hidden under something else. Because it was not where I expected it to be, I didn’t even properly look for I! Please don’t you make the same mistakes too!!!!!!!!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Strange Incidents – Accidents 2: With Ladders.

In reply to an earlier post: “ Strange incidents – Accidents 1.” I received the following reply from my American blogger friend, Lynx.
It reads: “Here's one for you. It was one of my last few days on the job before I was moving away from home. It had rained the day before, so when I went to change my convenience store's gas sign (we had to manually remove the plastic numbers), the pole's rubber suction cup just wasn't sticking. So I went to get the ladder to climb up and remove the numbers so I could get the new ones up. Well wouldn't you know, the ladder gave from underneath me as I'm switching numbers. Luckily I grabbed onto the skinny@rse rod that we used to hang the pole off of, as we got ready. Luckily a customer saw me and grabbed me so I could let go and not fall to the ground! Now granted, I wasn't that high up, but I was high enough I would've definitely broken bones had I lost my grip! Can you imagine driving 1300 miles all casted up? HAHAHA! Glad I had a customer pumping gas right as it happened!”
Although I have spent most of my secular working life in the Retail industry, I have at various times done a few jobs involving ladders and the outdoors environment. Either painting or general orchard work, and there, either pruning or fruit picking, both of which involves quite a bit of ladder work. Yet, despite much usage of ladders and more than a few spills, I really haven’t had too many thrills or any real damage, apart from the odd bruise here or there.
In fact the most interesting incident with a ladder was when odd Jobbing on an Orchard at Warrandyte shortly before heading of to South Africa in 1990. And like most of m incidents with ladders, it was caused by having the ladder on an un-even surface. I was up about 20 feet on the sloping side of a weatherboard house painting it, when the ladder slowly slipped sideways. Fortunately it, surprisingly, slipped uphill and not downhill! Anyway it slid along the weatherboards and onto the window. Much to my surprise and amazement, the thin glass did not break: then. Eventually the ladder slid right across the glass until it stopped up against the window frame, still without breaking the Glass! However at that point, collecting myself and still hanging onto the tin of paint and the paintbrush, I shifted my weight to climb down the Ladder. That is when the Glass Gave way!
So then I had to stop painting and buy and replace the Glass. Not that I could have done anything about it then, but isn’t it funny how often when we get away with something one wouldn’t normally expect too, that we try and push our Luck just a little further and come unstuck? Perhaps you too are pushing your luck a little too far today? Maybe not with a shaky Ladder or a ladder on uneven ground, but maybe there is something in your life where you just need to step back and not push your luck! Otherwise you just may not be as Lucky as Lynx and I.
What’s you funniest/ worst/ luckiest incident with a ladder or even ladder substitute?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

There Are Other Types Of Magpies Too!

There Are Other Types Of Magpies Too! 27/4/2009
Just to finish off this series on the Australian Magpie, I have to add that there is also another type of Australian Magpie too. Originally a Victorian one, but now one that flies all over Australia now, even if it has to use an aeroplane to do so!
Although long aware of them, (like every other Victorian,) I hadn’t intended to write about them. Well not until my good friend *** reminded me of them with this comment: “ I have a friend who barracks for the Collingwood Football team (called the Magpies) (Oh how sweet it was for Essendon to beat them with 10 seconds to go on Anzac Day.) ******* taught his son to barrack for them also until one day a swooping magpie cleaned him up properly!! Now the boy barracks for the West Coast Eagles!”
I replied with:” It gave me a good laugh but I am sure *******'s son didn't think it funny at all. Rather strange, if not funny too, that he has gone for another team with another Bird symbol with a savage reputation?”
Not defending the Collingwood Football Club here, but talking strictly about birds, while I would much rather not be attacked by either, I would rather be attacked by a magpie than an Eagle.
Without going into the rights and wrongs of supporting the Collingwood Football Team (Which I don’t, and which is the most hated Club in Victoria, if not the whole of Australia), what do you do when you find fault with your old team/Job/partner? Do you, like the Boy above, just change to a similar team? Or do you go and look for one completely different, if not totally opposite? What say you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Living With Magpies.

As you will have seen from my earlier blogs on Magpies, we have chosen to not only live with magpies, but to encourage them to visit us too. Like many things in life, this may seem like a simple thing to do at the time, but is one with long term repercussions, even if not commitment. As already shared, we started to feed just a couple of magpies and soon had up to 20 squabbling over the food. So far, apart from a mess on one sheet, we have not had too many negatives out of the experience, but not all are so lucky.
My sister, when I asked her of her memories of the Magpies Mum raised or attempted to raise, wrote this: “I think you are correct that they were usually called George. I don't remember how many Mum raised over the years. I do remember at least one dying and Mum was upset as she always tried hard to raise the little ones.
I don't remember how many there were but when our youngest sister was small, I remember one particular George hung around much longer that the norm and came back the following year as Georgina with her own babies.
Thinking about this in later years, she cursed the magpies as they would come onto (the closed in) the veranda looking to steal the cat food and would get trapped in the bathroom and cause havoc and make one hell of a mess, what they didn't knock down they pooped on!”
So, just remember, when you take on an animal, whether a wild one or a pet, (as well as some other projects) it often has long term repercussions. Some, like Georgina coming back with her babies, are nice ones. Others, like stealing the cat food and messing everywhere, not so good.
Well! You have heard my memories of Magpies, what are your memories of wild birds or animals that you would like to share?