Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Think carefully before you speak

In an August 2010 blog called, “Not well”, I concluded with this statement and challenge:
“Just a little reminder to all here, and especially myself, that next time, before I speak, I stop, think and mean what I say! Will you try that too? Good for you! “
To which my good American blogger mate, wrote: “My aunt always said it was rude to say anything else - that no one REALLY wanted to know.”
To which I replied: “Also very true ******. And relevant too, as I once knew a man you never asked how he was, for he would literally take 15 minutes to tell you. And believe me, after you heard it once, you didn't really get anything new. So you learnt to choose your words very carefully around him. And that was what I was trying to achieve with this blog. I was just trying to show how trite some things have become to us and how often we tritely and unthinkingly respond. After all, I could have said anything other than that I was well. I could have said something like, "doing okay i guess". Or as a late great friend used to say, "Suffering in silence!" And He did!”
Yes although he did suffer greatly in his later years, he never bothered you with the details, unless you really wanted to know, and asked specifically. That was him but what about you and me? Yes, although I know I am getting a little personal here, I can’t help asking you, how much care to you take before speaking?
Well must be off now, but would love to have your thoughts on the subject.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Learn to write on the appropriate material.

Received this great e-mail a little while back and thought I just have to share it with you too:
The e-mail then ends with this sage advice which we could all benefit from if we were to put it into practise: “LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR
Again great advice that I thought worth trying to implement in my own life and to share with you. What say you?

Do you find these articles Longueur?

Longueur is the Word of the Day for Monday, May 23, 2011, and as a noun means: “A dull and tedious passage in a book, play, musical composition, or the like.”
Looking back in my memory I can recollect a few occasions where some books, TV, & speeches have had their fair share of longueur moments.
Then I started to ponder just how many moments of longueur that there may have been where I may have also inflicted it on others, including in these articles that I write and post here.
So your task now is to decide whether these items, to you at least, have or are passages of Longueur in them. And if so, to let me know, so that I can consider what to do about correcting those passages. So again, over to you now for comment. Thanks.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"How To Stay Young by John Campbell"

The following is not original to me nor can I remember where I got it from a couple of years back, but while some doctors might fault it in places, it makes a lot of sense in others, and is worth not only reading, but also being put into action in our own lives too, where applicable.
“ How To Stay Young by John Campbell
Just remember that getting old is caused by staying alive but being old is caused by giving up on life.
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them. Let others who don't have anything more important to do worry about them but you get on with your life unhindered by irrelevant information. Just think about it this way.
What would you do if you did not know how old you were?
The shape, and state, you are in is far more important that what you weigh.
There is no correlation between your height and your IQ or your personality.
2 Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. Beware of being with, or being an "energy vampire" (someone who brightens up the room by leaving!) Your attitude is affected by the company you keep so develop an attitude that keeps you in the company of exciting enthusiastic people.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. The greatest investment you can make is in yourself and medical science has shown that there is no limit to how much you can learn other than how much you choose to learn.
4. Enjoy the simple things. Either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. The reason that we stop enjoying the simple things is that we take them for granted.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laughing is one of the best exercises that you can get. Just remember, to get the most benefit learn to laugh with others, not at them. If you must laugh at someone learn to laugh at yourself.
6. Tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. Allow yourself to experience your emotions, they are what make you, you. Remember these four words. "This too, will pass"
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. Take the time to take stock of your spiritual wealth. What is it that you have that makes life worth living?
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is not good, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. Take good care of your body. It is your vehicle on this journey called life and it is the way that you get to experience all your physical interaction with others.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, any where but NOT to where the guilt is. When people start offering guilt trips keep your emotional bank account safe, decline the offer. And what ever you do, do not put others on a guilt trip because no matter what you do, you have to go with.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Treat the living with as much respect as you treat the dead and you will be amazed at the change in your relationships. Don't wait until the "last minute" to mend or maintain relationships, your watch might be slow and you might miss it

No matter what the state of your life right now, just remember this, it sure beats the alternative.
Be Young. Have Fun. Go Live You Life.”
I feel no further comment is needed by me, but if you wish too, please feel free to do so.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How much has the other person learned in 7 years?

A little while back I read somewhere that: “Mark Twain said that when he was 14 years old, his father was so ignorant Mark could hardly stand him. But by the time he was 21 he was amazed how much the old man had learned in 7 years.”
Now while many of us might smile and think the same about their own parents, I can’t help wondering if our own children too, don’t feel the same way about us. And I hope that eventually they too will, like us, learn that their allegedly ignorant aren’t as dumb as they first thought and that all of us will learn a lot in a few short years too. If we just give each other a little time and forgiveness. What say you?
Yes who today do you have to allow a little to grow, and to whom do you too have to give credit for how much they/you have grown in the past few years whether shorter or lkonger than seven? Over to you now for your action please?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Which type of megrim do you have most?

The Word of the Day for Wednesday, April 7, 2010, is megrim. Now Megrim is one of those unique words that have a few interpretations, and each one quite different to the other, although technically it is quite possible to experience all 3 different meanings at the one time.
Now Megrim means either: 1. A migraine. 2. A fancy; a whim. Or. 3. In the plural: lowness of spirits -- often with 'the'.
The following examples are used to express the three different meanings more clearly:
1.That might justify her, fairly enough, in being kept away from meeting now and again by headaches, or undefined megrims. -- Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware.
2.Tonight, by some megrim of the scheduler, I have the honor of working with the departmental chairman, Dr. B. -- Pamela Grim, Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives.
3.They do say it's always darkest before the dawn, she thought. I reckon this is proof of it. I've got the megrims, that's all. -- Stephens Mitchell, Scarlett
As already mentioned, I think all of us have had a Megrim before, possibly even all 3 types too, even if not all together.
But the important thing here is not which type of Megrim you have but how you deal with it, that is important.
For the first type often, although you can sometimes control it with medication, often you just have to stop and rest and let it take its course.
For the second, although not as outwardly painful, these fancies or whims if acted upon without careful consideration can cause much long term damage.
As can the lowness of spirit if we let it. So the message here is that with all types of Megrims, we need to take appropriate action and positive steps to overcome them.
So with the megrims currently in your life, what are you doing to overcome them?
Are you getting the appropriate medical and other advice? Are you properly following that advice? And are you actively pursuering the correct action? Or still waiting for others to help you, often without them even knowing you need help? Over to you now for your own action please?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Should we be Fungible?

Fungible, the Word of the Day for Thursday, May 19, 2011,means:
adjective: 1. (Law) Freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.2. Interchangeable.
noun:1. Something that is exchangeable or substitutable. Usually used in the plural.
Although the above was not technically referring to humans, I was wondering, first, whether or not we were in fact Fungible, and then, whether it was a good idea for us to always be fungible too?
On the one hand we need to be fungible to the point that we could be easily replaced without problems in our working lives. But on the other hand, I feel that we should also be in-fungible in other aspects of our life. Otherwise we might as well be fungible robots! Again, what say you?

The place Silvan is a great expression of the word Sylvan

I was quite taken by the Word of the Day for Saturday, March 27, 2010, which was, sylvan. Which means: 1. Of or pertaining to woods or forest regions.
2. Living or located in a wood or forest.
3. Abounding in forests or trees; wooded.
Living almost at the foot of the Mt Dandenong Hills and not far from the locality of Silvan here on the outskirts of Melbourne, I could not but agree that the place was aptly named in the past, Even if much of it today is under cultivation for flowers and vegetables, much of it still pertains to woods or forest regions.
Which brings me to your question for today. How aptly named is your Suburb?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Art of Physiognomy?

The question being posed today is, do you, or even better, should you practise the art of Physiognomy?
Physiognomy, according to the Word of the Day for Saturday, May 21, 2011, is:
1. The art of discovering temperament and other characteristic qualities of the mind from the outward appearance, especially by the features of the face.
2. The face or facial features, especially when regarded as indicating character.
3. The general appearance or aspect of a thing.
Now the above would be a great thing to have and very good, if it was a proven science, but as it is not a science, but just an art, like all art, we should be careful in our own reproductions of it, as often, if not usually, we are not as good at think as we like to think we are. And often our attempts, no matter how genuine, turn out to be disasters and often damaging to others.
So the next time you go to write someone off because you think they have beady or shifty eyes, think again and judge them not on how they look to you, but judge them on how they act and Live. Again, what say you?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Iron sharpens Iron

A while back I wrote to my American blogger friend expressing thanks for her comments on my blogs and how they had sometimes led to further blogs of mine.
In reply she wrote: “Always - and remember, you inspired quite a few of mine!”
To which I replied: “You are quite right again. As I think I long ago put in a blog and certainly as the Bible says, "Iron sharpens Iron'. Although some people annoy the heck out of us, we need other people to knock our rough edges off and to sharpen us, otherwise we just become duller and duller and less and less useful. Both to ourselves and to others.
So go out there today and sharpen someone (But gently) and let them sharpen you in return. (This may even end up in a new blog too If we are not careful.)”
Well it finally has made its way into a blog, and all I wish to add now, is to ask you if you know and realize who is your iron, and is sharpening you; and who you are also sharpening in return?
For all of us, whether for good or for bad, have an effect on those we come into contact with. So let your contact with others be good and see if you can’t sharpen one another rather than just dulling your / their edge.
Again and as I said above to my friend, go out and sharpen someone, and preferably someone who really needs sharpening, but again, please do it gently. Please?

Improving each time.

About this time last year, my wife and I went to the Harold Stevens Athletic Track in Coburg where the Coburg Harriers have their base and where a friend’s son was running in the 24-hour Marathon then in Progress.
While there, I was talking to one of the Members there who just happen to be Harold Steven’s wife and my cousin June. She told me that this event has been held there for some time now and was regarded not just by them, but by the participants as one of the better organised events of that type. But not satisfied with that, she went on to say that the organising and running of the event, was in fact improving and progressing each time it was run, from lessons learnt from past events and with new ideas and practices tried out.
All this made me wonder about how we also do things too. Do we try and improve every time? Or do we still stick to the same old tried and true, but perhaps outmoded ways now? So as I close today I would like you to ponder the question of what, if anything you need to adapt, change, or add to your current program to keep it improving and not stagnating or even declining. Again, what say you now?

Friday, May 20, 2011

You never know who will …

When our current property was bought, not too many years ago, there was an above ground swimming pool on it. A pool that we quickly found out, had no permit or proper pool fencing. We found this out because the man responsible at the local shire, saw the property advertised with a pool and quickly checked to see if it had a proper fence. Which it didn’t, but since then, things have been done to comply with his instructions. However when someone else had to sign off on the end result, we found that some of the things previously acceptable, were now not so and more work needed to be done on making the fence acceptable. All of which didn’t make us too happy about certain inspectors!
Anyway, a few e-mails changed hands with the new inspector, as we got things again up to scratch. Now although I have been very sporadic lately with my Blog postings, on the bottom of my e-mails I have a permanent message pointing to my Blog site where I also post these messages for the general public. Anyway the other day, the Inspector, a lovely chap by the way, came out for another inspection. And during the course of conversation, he mentioned that he had checked out some of my Blog postings and found them “Funny”.
Now I had not thought of it before hand but had I, I would not have thought that he would have been inclined to be checking out my Blog site, (Nor that were they particularly funny either!)
So, it was a good thing that I had not written anything bad about him on it wasn’t it? Not that there has been anything bad to write about him, but it did make me think about these open forums: like Blog sites, Face book, etc, and the need for us to always be careful of what we say, as we really do not know, who may “check them out”, nor how far down the track either, when our thoughts or ideas, may have changed or been modified by then.
So today’s lesson is, to not only be careful what you say and do, but to be even more careful about what you put down in print and in open forums. Your views please?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How do you respond to impending catastrophes?

This is another blog inspired by the Comic strip, “Dark Side of the Horse by Samson” and taken from the internet on October 9, 2010.
In the first frame we see the Black horse, Horace sitting under a tree and looking up, says: “ My neighbor’s brats are pushing a shopping cart up the hill”. Then in the next frame he says: “ I wonder w… No! This is madness! I must do something! Then in the final frame, you see him standing there with a straw boater hat and cane, beside a sign that spruiks, “ “Come and see death-defying stunts. $5 Admission.”
Terribly opportunistic of him wasn’t it? Still I can’t help but wonder if most times we don’t respond any better, even if we don’t try and make “a buck”, out of it? Yes often we stand there, talking about doing something, when in fact what we should be doing is trying to stop or at least change the situation. Your thoughts please?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

That is not what I meant!

Ever said something to someone, only to have your words come back in a different way to what you meant? Unfortunately it happens quite often, which is why we should always be careful of, not just what we say, but sometimes of what clarification we don’t say with it. For instance I recently heard the following story. I have no idea of the veracity or otherwise of it, so am just using it as an example, without affirming its ‘bona fides’ or otherwise. Anyway the story goes:
“It's said that the king of Saudi Arabia once invited a famous golfer over for a tournament. Before the man returned home the king said, 'I'd like to give you a gift. Anything you want; name it.' The golfer declined politely, saying he didn't need anything. But the king was adamant, so he conceded, 'Well, Your Highness, I collect golf clubs.' He imagined perhaps a gold putter or a diamond-studded driver. Imagine his shock weeks later when he got a letter containing the deed to a 2 000-acre (about 900 ha) golf club!”
Now that is a misunderstanding of meanings that I could accept, but usually, most misunderstandings don’t work out well at all and usually lead to confusion, misunderstanding and sometimes even hostility and violence.
So when speaking always remember that, particularly in English there are often more than one meaning for words or expressions. Such as the above noted “golf club/Golf club”. What additional confusing words can you add?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Heinlein’s 5 Rules for writing.

This blog is not an original one from me but is for all “wannabe” writers like me, and contains both Heinlein’s 5 rules for writing, plus Robert J Sawyer’s later expansion of those 5 basic rules before adding a sixth of his own.
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
And here is an extract from Science Fiction Writer Robert J. Sawyer’s: "ON WRITING". Copyright © 1996. All rights reserved.
“There are countless rules for writing success, but the most famous ones, at least in the speculative-fiction field, are the five coined by the late, great Robert A. Heinlein.
Heinlein used to say he had no qualms about giving away these rules, even though they explained how you could become his direct competitor, because he knew that almost no one would follow their advice.
In my experience, that's true: if you start off with a hundred people who say they want to be writers, you lose half of the remaining total after each rule — fully half the people who hear each rule will fail to follow it.
I'm going to share Heinlein's five rules with you, plus add a sixth of my own.
Rule One: You Must Write
It sounds ridiculously obvious, doesn't it? But it is a very difficult rule to apply. You can't just talk about wanting to be a writer. You can't simply take courses, or read up on the process of writing, or daydream about someday getting around to it. The only way to become a writer is to plant yourself in front of your keyboard and go to work.
And don't you dare complain that you don't have the time to write. Real writers buy the time, if they can't get it any other way. Take Toronto's Terence M. Green, a high-school English teacher. His third novel, Shadow of Ashland, just came out from Tor. Terry takes every fifth year off from teaching without pay so that he can write; most writers I know have made similar sacrifices for their art.
(Out of our hundred original aspirant writers, half will never get around to writing anything. That leaves us with fifty. . .)
Rule Two: Finish What Your Start
You cannot learn how to write without seeing a piece through to its conclusion. Yes, the first few pages you churn out might be weak, and you may be tempted to toss them out. Don't. Press on until you're done. Once you have an overall draft, with a beginning, middle, and end, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to see what works and what doesn't. And you'll never master such things as plot, suspense, or character growth unless you actually construct an entire piece.
On a related point: if you belong to a writers' workshop, don't let people critique your novel a chapter at a time. No one can properly judge a book by a piece lifted out of it at random, and you'll end up with all sorts of pointless advice: "This part seems irrelevant." "Well, no, actually, it's very important a hundred pages from now . . ."
(Of our fifty remaining potential writers, half will never finish anything — leaving just twenty-five still in the running. . .)
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
This is the one that got Heinlein in trouble with creative-writing teachers. Perhaps a more appropriate wording would have been, "Don't tinker endlessly with your story." You can spend forever modifying, revising, and polishing. There's an old saying that stories are never finished, only abandoned — learn to abandon yours.
If you find your current revisions amount to restoring the work to the way it was at an earlier stage, then it's time to push the baby out of the nest.
And although many beginners don't believe it, Heinlein is right: if your story is close to publishable, editors will tell you what you have to do to make it salable. Some small-press magazines do this at length, but you'll also get advice from Analog, Asimov's, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
(Of our remaining twenty-five writers, twelve will fiddle endlessly, and so are now out of the game. Twelve more will finally declare a piece complete. The twenty-fifth writer, the one who got chopped in half, is now desperately looking for his legs. .)
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market
This is the hardest rule of all for beginners. You can't simply declare yourself to be a professional writer. Rather, it's a title that must be conferred upon you by those willing to pay money for your words. Until you actually show your work to an editor, you can live the fantasy that you're every bit as good as Guy Gavriel Kay or William Gibson. But having to see if that fantasy has any grounding in reality is a very hard thing for most people to do.
I know one Canadian aspirant writer who managed to delay for two years sending out his story because, he said, he didn't have any American stamps for the self-addressed stamped envelope. This, despite the fact that he'd known dozens of people who went regularly to the States and could have gotten stamps for him, despite the fact that he could have driven across the border himself and picked up stamps, despite the fact that you don't even really need US stamps — you can use International Postal Reply Coupons instead, available at any large post office. [And those in Toronto can buy actual U.S. stamps at the First Toronto Post Office at 260 Adelaide Street South.]
No, it wasn't stamps he was lacking — it was backbone. He was afraid to find out whether his prose was salable. Don't be a coward: send your story out.
(Of our twelve writers left, half of them won't work up the nerve to make a submission, leaving just six. . .)
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold
It's a fact: work gets rejected all the time. Almost certainly your first submission will be rejected. Don't let that stop you. I've currently got 142 rejection slips in my files; every professional writer I know has stacks of them (the prolific Canadian horror writer Edo van Belkom does a great talk at SF conventions called "Thriving on Rejection" in which he reads samples from the many he's acquired over the years).
If the rejection note contains advice you think is good, revise the story and send it out again. If not, then simply turn the story around: pop it in the mail, sending it to another market. Keep at it. My own record for the maximum number of submissions before selling a story is eighteen — but the story did eventually find a good home. (And within days, I'd sold it again to a reprint-only anthology; getting a story in print the first time opens up whole new markets.)
If your story is rejected, send it out that very same day to another market.
(Still, of our six remaining writers, three will be so discouraged by that first rejection that they'll give up writing for good. But three more will keep at it...)
Rule Six: Start Working on Something Else
That's my own rule. I've seen too many beginning writers labour for years over a single story or novel. As soon as you've finished one piece, start on another. Don't wait for the first story to come back from the editor you've submitted it to; get to work on your next project. (And if you find you're experiencing writer's block on your current project, begin writing something new — a real writer can always write something.) You must produce a body of work to count yourself as a real working pro.*

Of our original hundred wannabe writers, only one or two will follow all six rules. The question is: will you be one of them? I hope so, because if you have at least a modicum of talent and if you live by these six rules, you will make it.”

The above advice, like always, is always great advice, but as Robert J. Sawyer implies, I wonder how many of these rules most of us “wannabe” writers still struggle with? Even the first like, me?
I have also struggled with the second rule too, lately, which is why in the coming days, I am endeavouring to finish some blogs I started some time back, like this one, and finally post them on this site.

But enough of me for now. What about you? Which point, or points, are you currently struggling with? Drop me a line if you like and let me know which one you struggle most with. Who knows? Maybe we can encourage one another into full action and finally stop being “wannabes”. Over to you now.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

God and Lawn care.

Recently received the following e-mail about God and Lawn care. Have no idea as to its origins, but it is cutting in its observation. Further comment at the bottom.
“GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.
St. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colourful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore... St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: ' Dumb and Dumber ', Lord. It's a story about....
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.”
I must confess I hadn't given the dandelion and Milk thistle aspect much thought in the past, but have often wondered long and hard about the wisdom of watering and fertilizing lawns, just to cut them when they do grow; and then complain about having to do it so often!
Don’t get me wrong here. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love my garden even more than the average gardener. So I am not condemning outright having a garden of nice plants and a lawn other than dandelions, dock, milk thistle , oxalis and all the other common plants we suburbanites call weeds.
That said however I can’t help but wonder at times of all the cost ,effort and troubles we often go through, whether in the garden or workplace or just our everyday lives, trying to change things that actually work fine already.
Again not saying we shouldn’t improve things when we can and should! Just saying that sometimes, if it is already well functioning and unless we are happy to spend a lot of time and effort changing something that already works well, we should leave it alone. What say you?

Demotic or Demonic?

Just a short one today but what a world of difference in meaning in the two words you get by replacing the “T” with a “C”.
The latter means being connected to the devil. The former, (Demotic, the Word of the Day for Monday, November 8, 2010,) means:
1. Of or pertaining to the common people; popular.
2. Of or pertaining to the ordinary, everyday, current form of a language; vernacular.
3. Of, pertaining to, or noting the simplified form of hieratic writing used in ancient Egypt between 700 b.c. and a.d. 500.
So: when people look at or talk about you, which category do you think they see you in; and do you agree with them? Drop me a line if you wish to talk further about this subject.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Focal or practical: A tale of two clocks.

This is the story of two clocks hanging close to each other in our lounge room. One, an “el-cheapo” plastic make from China but brought here in Australia. The other, a handmade wooden one, made and purchased in Germany when we cruised through their last year. Both work well and keep good time, but one is there purely for focal reasons, while the other is there purely for functional reasons. Can you guess which is which?
Yes! It is the cheap plastic Chinese one that we use to tell the time from, while we just admire and use the better German one as a talking piece. Why? Because, ALTHOUGH IT WORKS PERFECTLY AND KEEPS PERFECT TIME, It also works backwards, rather than Clockwise! Thus unless you can tell the time in reverse, it is far easier, just to use the cheaper one for practical reasons, and to use the wooden one simply as a conversation starter!
Which leads me to think of ourselves here, and how often we aren’t the practical use we were meant to be to others, simply because we work differently to others. True If we went to the trouble, we could learn to use the wooden clock, for its intended purpose as timepiece, but don’t, because it is more trouble than it’s worth to learn. Again what about us? Is our contribution to society being missed out on, all because we want to do things our own way and not the normal way, and want others to change their way of thinking when we not only won’t, but refuse to do so? I will leave that with you to think on for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bushwhacked by an American Word.

Struth and stone the crows! Fair dinkum, I was well and truly Gobsmacked the other day. True Blue and Ridgy didge I was! What may have caused this consternation you may well ask.
Well mate, as a true blue Aussie son of the soil, who grew up on the edge of the Bush (even if it now is regarded as an extension of outer Melbourne) I was always under the assumption that certain words, like most of those used above, were dinkum Aussie words, and if not totally derived at, here, were at least popularised here.
So imagine my surprise, nay horror, when looking at the Word of the Day for May 4th 2011, I was to find that, what I thought was a common original Aussie word, (and one of the few I still would now occasionally use) was not Australian at all. No, not Australian at all but in fact American. The only saving grace for me, was to find that they “murdered’ the language of my wife’s native heritage to get it.
Thus, “Bushwhack is a backformation from the Dutch bosch-wachter, "forest-keeper," which, during the American Civil War was adopted as bushwhacker to describe patriot guerillas or freebooters.”
I will post the full definition of Bushwhack below for those who are unfamiliar with it, but the point that attracted me here is, how easy it is for one to unrightly but innocently, to claim ownership of something simply through use and identification, and thus also deny its original origins. On reflection, I also couldn’t help wonder how many of the other supposedly unique Australian words I used to open this Blog, are in fact uniquely Australian, or just claimed by us to be.
What say you? What are some things that you thought were originally “Native” to your country or culture, but have since found aren’t?

Word of the Day for Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Bushwhack \BOOSH-hwak\, verb:
1. To defeat, especially by surprise or in an underhanded way.
2. To make one's way through woods by cutting at undergrowth, branches, etc.
3. To travel through woods.
4. To pull a boat upstream from on board by grasping bushes, rocks, etc., on the shore.
5. To fight as a bushwhacker or guerrilla in the bush.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good old Coca-Cola.

Was reading in the May 9th issue of the Melbourne Herald Sun Newspaper that the day before marked the 125th anniversary of the day a pharmacist, (by the name of John Pemberton) concocted his own unique and secret remedy for headaches and fatigue.
The end result was of course Coca-Cola. And from this one little shop and humble beginnings, Coke is now sold in more than 200 countries. Considering that there are only about 250 Countries in the world, that is reasonably impressive don’t you think?
Particularly when you think that it was probable a failure in its main aim of curing headaches. One has to admit it does help fatigue, but that is probably due to the amount of sugar in it and not because of some magical” ingredient.
Anyhow, this blog started out not to praise or condemn the Product, (which I like very much) but simply to remind us all, that all big things, including the mighty Coca-Cola Company, had small inauspicious beginnings, and if they can succeed , then so can we, no matter how small or inconspicuous our own current beginnings are.
The other point of interest to me here is that despite not garnering the market it was aimed for, Coke has still garnered a market. And not just a corner of that market, but the lion’s share too.
So again the encouragement here, is to never give up if you have confidence in your product and work. And if one market won’t buy you product, don’t give up, but move to another market, and so on, until you do find a market, or at least finally prove once and for all that your product really is a dud. Then you can give up, but only then.
In the meantime keep going, keep striving and keep searching for the right market for your product. True, you are unlikely to become as big as the Coca-Cola Company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a success if you have the ability and product. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and create your own unique product and even your own market if necessary. If you haven’t already done so!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How often and how far do you usually peregrinate?

Yes, how often do you peregrinate and how far do you go when you do? Without pointing fingers at anyone, (whilst acknowledging that there are exceptions) I think, most of us, myself included, don’t do as much as we should or even could, and all of us, should do a lot more peregrinating when we can.
And for much further distances too. That being said, it is not the distance that you peregrinate that is really important, but rather that you peregrinate often and as long as you can. At least for Health benefits anyway. But that is not the main reason people peregrinate these days, is it? No. Most (Not all admittedly) but most people today, only peregrinate, because they have no other alternative, or can’t afford the other ways of getting to where they want to go.
True, many do enjoy a long walk or hike and there are even special clubs for people with this inclination, but peregrinate has a much broader meaning than just going on an occasional walk or hike.
According to the Word of the Day for Saturday, April 23, 2011 peregrinate (PER-i-gruh-neyt), “derives from the Latin peregrinatus, "in the act of transit." And as a verb means:
1. To travel or journey, especially to walk on foot.
2. To travel or walk over; traverse.
So again, how much peregrinating are you currently doing? And even better, how much more, not should you do, but, “How much more will you do, when you can?” Yes, whether for health reasons; economic reasons; or just to enjoy the outside world and see it from a different perspective for a change, do start peregrinating when you can. Again where you can walk safely, leave the car at home and peregrinate.
Well that’s all for now, so: Over to you now and get out there and start peregrinating. That’s an order, you hear?