Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Ten Top Trivia Tips about Cozalcoatl!

  1. Cozalcoatl can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated.
  2. The condom - originally made from cozalcoatl - was invented in the early 1500s!
  3. Over 2000 people have now climbed cozalcoatl, with roughly ten percent dying on the way down.
  4. Cozalcoatl will always turn right when leaving a cave.
  5. Humans share over 98 percent of their DNA with cozalcoatl!
  6. The original nineteenth-century Coca-Cola formula contained cozalcoatl.
  7. Bees visit over three million flowers to make a single kilogram of cozalcoatl!
  8. The colour of cozalcoatl is no indication of her spiciness, but size usually is.
  9. The smelly fluid secreted by skunks is colloquially known as cozalcoatl.
  10. Neil Armstrong first stepped on cozalcoatl with his left foot.
I am interested in - do tell me about

RE: Number 3, i thought it was only 1897, ohh well i never was good at maths.

Nabbed from Duckie

Sunday, January 22, 2006


My last week has been filled of new and interesting events, as opposed to the usual drudgery.

On Wednesday i posted a comment on a article in the SMH about computer game addiction, on how i have been obsessed by games on and off over over a decade. How Rob and I play World of Warcraft side by side a fair bit, drinking wine, chatting and smiting Gnomes, and we still have active social lives.
Another journo emailed me saying she was doing a story on gaming and can she ask a few questions?
I rang her up and we had a chat, she wanted a photo so a very nice guy turned up on Thursday night to take a few snaps of the Nerd Couple playing.

I was thinking it would be small in Icon somewhere, so it was a shock to see a half page story on page 3 with a whooping big photo.
My Mum was flicking through and thought "I know that tattoo", she is dead proud.
On Friday night i said to Rob "If i thought about ever being in the paper, i'd hoped it was for something more noble like rescuing babies from burning buildings or making First Contact, not for being a uber nerd"

At 0230 Saturday moring i get a call from the State Emergency Service (SES), that i'm a volenteer for. Mostly we do storm damage clean up, but also assist the Fire Bridage and the Police when needed. Some units even attend car accidents.
They needed people to help search for two lost children (5 and 3) that hadn't been seen by the family for several hours. I got there at 0330, there was about 40 SES peeps and the mobile police HQ. We were in teams of four with set streets to search, walk and shine torchs into front yards, under cars, any likely looking hiding place. Calling thier names, saying they are not in trouble and we are here to help.Hoping that if they had wandered off, they were curled up somewhere asleep and/or worried they were in trouble. That search finished about dawn, so we headed back to HQ.

Another new thing- I ate my first Macdonalds burger in over 12 years, a sausage and egg thing. I was hungry so just this once.
The police then split us up into two groups, one went a looked the girl's school and the rest of us went to the golf course to look around the dams for *signs*. If you thought about it hard enough it was sad to think about the *signs* we were looking for. Nothing was found and we headed back around 1000. The cordoned off area had been increased and alot more suits and Glocks looking tense.
They were to stand down the SES at 1100, and 40 cops were turning up to do another sweep, door knock and all that professional police stuff. I left a bit earlier, got home at 1030, into work by 1130 for a couple of hours. (lucky being awake isn't part of my job discription).
They found the kids just as the Chief Inspector told the media they were bringing in the police divers. They were at a friends 10 doors up. A miscommunication between the shift working mother, the father and the babysitters.
A quote from the Chief "Apparently there was a note"

Home from work, power nap, packed car and drove up to Mt Banks to camp the night with friends.
On Sunday 8 of us (5 newbies) did Caustral Canyon, a epic 13 hour adventure. Thrilling accounts can be found at ForBattle and awesome photos here. Is rated medium to difficult, so i think we all should be darn proud that we lived to tell the tale.
My thighs still ache, all the gyming i'm doing must ignore those bits. Such beautiful country and i'd love to do more.

Let the mockerating begin.
After the newspaper report i got a email from a tv show (TT for a hint) asking could they interview us about being NERDS. Maybe it was the Week of New Things went to our heads but we said yes.
Don't ask why! I don't know!
I have no real desire to be on tv, hell we don't even own a tv so unless someone tapes it we probably won't even see it.
So why do it?! I don't know!
Anyway they turned up, reporter (Liz) camera and sound guys. All very nice and chatty. They tried to push the whole addiction thing, but since we are not addicted (no really we are not) we could deflect it. Liz asked about why we don't have a tv, Rob answered "Because there is nothing on worth watching and ads drive me insane" i somehow think they won't be putting that bit in, Heh!

Then they filmed us eating dinner, drinking wine, summoning Daemons and smiting Dinosuars like any normal happy couple.
I asked Liz whats the spin, she said she wouldn't make us look like total NoOBs. Hmmmm we shall see.

Reminds me of the sketch by Alas Smith and Jones. Mel is being interviewed by the police over a crime. He is getting more and more beaten up, dubbed over and edited to confess. Funny buggers.
From all the footage i bet we will be on for about a nanosecond. It was a lark and yes we are nOObs.
Don't ask why.....just sit back and mock.

This is a really long post where I want the rest of
this sentence to be invisible on the main page, but visible once the user clicks the
link to the item page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Crazybrave boinged meme. So here goes

Four jobs you've had in your life:
Vet nurse for RSPCA
Breeding, injecting monoclonal antibodies, culling and draining lab mice
Drone in Sector C, Big W
Lab Monkey

Four movies you could watch over and over:
LOTR 1,2 and 3
Its A Wonderful Life

Four places you've lived:
Boggabri- NSW
Wakefield- NSW
Coogee- NSW
Back of ute- USA

Four TV shows you love to watch;
Yes Prime/Minister

Four places you've been on holiday:
Kakadu NP

Four websites you visit daily:
Skeptical Community

Four of your favorite foods:
Salmon sushimi
Fish Tacos
Green Chicken curry
Corned beef with white sause

Four places you'd rather be:
Machu Pichu- Chile
Valley of the Kings- Eypt
Petra- Jordan

Four Play:
TheOtherAndrew (if he knows this place exists that is)


Thursday, January 12, 2006


Check out these great earrings made by my friend Richard. I have a pair of the silver birds.
Dead cute, and the earrings aren't bad either.
Posted also at ForBattle

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Went and saw Jurassic Kong King Kong last night. The Ape Wonder of the World (i can't believe they didn't use that, sheez). A rollicking good adventure all round.
Mans inhumanity against Ape, is not a new story and has been told around fires since apes were Proconsul and men were Australopithecus.
The natives were dead freaky, bone piercings, milky contacts, leering faces and black skin all looked very impressive and disturbing. (i even dreamed about them).
The sprawling, crumbling structures of a long dead society is always evocative and mysterious.
I love a good ruin.
The story is nothing complex and very effects driven, but WOW what awesome effects. Kong battling T-Rex, was a real giant Gorilla battling real fangy Dino, there was no doubt. Kong's face had more expression than most people, and better teeth.
The giant insects were very pleasant i thought, just the right amount of twitchy inspired disgust that i like with my giant face eating bugs. Though nothing less than we expect, gone are the days of wobbly headed Dr Who monsters and spaceships on string.
Teej Mahal has a very funny post about the movie. I too shed a few tears for the big fella.
So YAY Peter Jackson, hurry up and make something else uber cool. You are on a roll. If ya want a orcy/bugy/alieny extra, pick me, pick me, pick me...

Which brings me into a very nice segue about Gorillas (very deft i thought).
Kong looks like a Lowland Gorilla, there are two types Western Lowland Gorilla gorilla gorilla, and Eastern Lowland Gorilla gorilla graueri. There is also the Mountain Gorilla, Gorilla gorilla berengei.
Lowland gorilla's main difference physically (to me at least) is the swept back head ridge that give them a cone head appearance. Mountain gorillas have a more rounded shaped skull. I'm guessing it was a delibrate choice as it is quite a distinctive feature and makes him look different from other apes (apart from the 20 feet tall bit).

In which i yet again deftly segue into this:

Back in the mist of time or January 1997 as some may call it, i went on a 6 week camping safari through Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Saw and ate many beautiful and amazing beasties. Had my Evil Hippo panic attack, saw what Lions can do to a young Giraffe when they set their minds and teeth to it, didn't dance like a white girl at a disco in Nairobi (admired the locals instead) and visited the Mountain Gorillas in Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda.
We were orginally going into Zaire, but it was deemed too dangerous at the time, so we drove to the town of Ruhengeri, stayed two nights and got the hell out.
It was all very peaceful and friendly, though i tried not to ponder over the bullet looking holes in the buildings too much. All through East Africa, English and Swahilli is spoken. In Rwanda, its French and Swahilli. It was a bit surreal saying "Bonjour" in the middle of the jungle.
We hiked for several hours, 6 guards with machine guns, hand genrades and no photo policy, following the trail of the group as they stopped, ate, lolled about and moved on. We were told not to point or make too much eye contact and not to get close. The first one we saw walked across our path unconcerned. The head guard/guide made gorilla noises to let them know more whitey's were coming and to lock up the booze.

As i looked around the more and more large dark fuzzy shapes became apparent. They were all around us, feeding and hanging out. There was no threat or stress in the air at all. Watched as two babies wrestled each other through the grass, sooo damn cute what can i say. If they were stressed about us in any way they would have picked up and buggered off.
Sitting just a small distance away overseeing all was the silverback, or Big Daddy as he likes to be known. The first few i saw i thought were biggish, then i saw him. Talk about built like a brick outhouse with a head. He was huge. All condfident raw power. Just beautiful.

The teenagers (mucking around and posing) would occasionally beat their chests (they really do that) run at us, i was standing next to the guide, stop right in front, stare and wander off. Once one pushed the guide in a easy going manner and we both tumbled. Strong yes, threatening no.
Then i got to sit next to this female- as Amanda likes to say- the Most Bored Gorilla Ever. Jealously is a curse i say. She picked up my hand and brought it up to her face, so the guide slowly moved me away. I'm guessing she wasn't going to bite it off, i just sat there overawed.
Though i do always wonder for a vegetarian they do have bloody huge canines....hmmmm.
But if you once had to battle giant dinos, bugs and bats, i can see how they would come in handy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


(I started to write about volenteering and my times i have spent doing it but it turned out alot longer, more serious and different than expected...lots of pretty pictures though. I didn't take them all.)

I spent May 2005 on the island of Carriacou, Grenada, West Indies. As it happens to me every few years I bugger off to parts unknown for a few weeks on my own.

The month I spent on the island was a amazing experience to put it lightly. I spent my time at KIDO, night patroling beaches for nesting Leatherback Turtles. Measuring, tagging, and hiding nests from poachers. I was the only slavevolunteer there until two days before I left. It was great, had the whole place to myself. The kitchen and bunk beds were all in one big open airy room. It was on a hill overlooking theCaribbean. I would eat watching the sea. I did end up staying on the catameran about half the time.

Dario and Marina was wonderful. A free spirited Italian couple in the mid 50's who had sailed from England 15 years ago, with the full intention of going to Asia. Instead the stopped and built KIDO on their own. A total inspiration and so full of energy I could barely keep up.

The amount of opposition they faced and still face would have made me say "screw you" and pack up years ago. Dario had a Ultra Light that he flew around the island just to have a look. The cops came and told them never to fly it again. He said that some people still think he is from the CIA sent to spy on their drug/goods smuggling operations.
They have endured years of subtle and not so subtle resistance from many quarters- poachers, politians and locals. Though saying that they do have supporter’s aswell, some nay sayers have even switched sides.

This was taken the season before i was there, the kids found the Hawkesbill hatchlings and alerted KIDO. I love this photo alot

Apart from the turtle conservation they are very active with the community- helping set up a Young Mothers Skills program, boat safety and emergency response programs. In September 2004 Hurricane Ivan (first in 50 years) hit that area, destroying and damaging 90% of the buildings, the response was pretty much everyone for themselves. I told him about being a volunteer in the SES (I love the chainsaws), and he took ideas from the website on how to form a management plan for disasters.

Leatherbacks- biggest in the world. You try wrestling one out of the water at 3am for tagging...

The island has 5000 people, mostly of African slave descent. It is hilly and lush, with small towns scattered through out. The town of Windward was settled by Scottish boat builders, (sure beats working at Thurso) so I saw lighter skin there than the other towns, which I found interesting considering the size of the place.
It’s not a poor community on the whole, everyone has mobiles, good clothes, and the weirdest bit was the new cars. The whole island has about 20 km of road, some paved, some dirt and some washed out barely negotiable goat track. The best one I saw was a shiny gold BMW hatchback. You could reach 40 km max maybe, downhill, over a cliff. Lots of wooden hand built sharp-nosed speed boats that can go fast. Dario pointed out the smugglers boats and cautioned never to get to close.

Mama doing her job. I took this one, enough torch light for my feeble camera

As beautiful as it is I could never live there, just like I don't think I could ever live in any small isolated community. tHis is part of the reason.
Dario lent me a book to read. I can't remember the name or author but it was about a small island off France. A woman who left for Paris with her mother returns after she dies to reconcile with her father. The bigger town that was favored by the tides, currents and tourists vs. the small windy, rocky town vs. themselves. It was good but it made me go
"Stop, stop, STOP your petty squabbling, useless point scoring, anger for forgotten reasons and destructive jealously. Who cares what Their Shaun said about Our Martha overheard by Our Nan 20 years ago. Start living your lives instead of being so caught up in half remembered slights'

It makes me still want to shake them.

Soo cute. Hawkesbill hatchling

I was only their for a month so I’m only getting this from a couple of people I’m not a expert. I couldn't wrap my head around the mentality then and I still can't.
"Just come backs"- folk who had gotten educated and worked in the States for a while then returned are a cause for jealously.
A British couple with a young child got their boat swept onto rocks in a storm. Only one Rasta man helped them save their stuff, everyone else watched cause they had no stake in it.
The old language Patois is dying out because old peoples never taught it to the youngsters, they guarded it so nobody could understand what they were saying.
It’s not all bad either; there are great people and doing their best. I guess some communities can turn inward and stagnate without anyone noticing.

Me holding Red Legged Tortise baby- born the day i left.

Dario is an idealist and a bit of a philosopher. He would wax lyrical about human nature and why people were like they were. If only everyone was nice to each other the world would be great, but with bigger words and a Italian accent.
I'm more of a straight talker and am no good with the lofty words and esoteric concepts. My basic response usually was "Cause people are stoopid".

Windward boat

He said he could never live in a big city again (he was a professional classical musician who toured throughout Europe and was a bit famous), so disconnected from your neighbors, community etc, and was a bit sad for me and my plight.
My response was something like this

" Good, I like it that way. My friends and family are my community and my support system. Why should I pretend to care what my neighbors are doing? I don't want to walk into the Butchers and have everyone stop and give me the LOOK for some real or imagined transgression. I don't want people who I barely know judging me. I have enough people who know me doing that already.
My business is my own. Why should the whole place know we had a blazing row and Rob kicked me out (not true) or he came home with lipstick on his Dalek t-shirt (not true) or haven't done the washing up in a week and theres a cockroach the size of my head guarding the garbage bin (err... not true).
If I want people to know i'll let them know if its important. I'll ring up Tops and tell him to bring the ballista over cause that roach has gotta go.. I don't want my life like in that book or here on the island...'

He could see my point which was nice. I can see where he is was coming from but I like my way. Mmm not sure where to end this so how about here...