29 July 2007

Psycic cat, or murdering moggy

There was an interesting story in the news the other day. You can click here to read it.

It seems there's a two year old cat called Oscar who lives in a nursing home in the US. Oscar apparently has the ability to tell when a patient is going to die, and he curls up on the bed next to them for their final hours.

His ability is so reliable that the staff there now call the patient's relatives in preparation whenever they find him on someones bed. I'd have thought resuscitation might have been a better option, but what do I know.

Anyway, I've been thinking, and there's a few ways of looking at this;

A) Oscar really does have a sixth sense.

B) The patients don't really like cats, and the ones that are about to die are the only ones that don't push poor Oscar off the bed.

C) Oscar is actually a psychopathic, murdering moggy and the only reason he knows which patient is about to die is because he's the one doing it.

I've got to admit that I'm a bit skeptical about extra sensory perception and all that, but I do tend to think that option A is still the most likely. Option B is still quite possible too.

A couple of weeks ago when I was ill, I went and had a lie down on the bed and Dizzy came in and lay on the bed with me. Normally she'll lie next to my legs and rest her head or her paw on my ankles. This time she snuggled up to my chest and rested her head on my shoulder.

Either she sensed I wasn't feeling well, or she was waiting for me to fall asleep so she could smother me.

Guess what Dizzy, you aren't in the will. It won't do you any good.

28 July 2007

Kinda creepy

My brother Laurie and I are going SCUBA diving in October. We're doing the open water course with Pro-Dive Brisbane.

Because of my interest in photography and wildlife, I thought I'd get myself a camera that I could use when I'm diving. The dSLR I usually use for photography would be too expensive to use as a diving camera as the waterproof housing would cost a couple of thousand dollars, and I'm not sure I'd want to risk it anyway. So, I bought a second hand Olympus c-5050, an underwater flash and a new waterproof housing for it, all for about a quarter of what the dSLR cost.

Now I've been meaning to try the housing out underwater for a couple of weeks. Since we have a pond in the backyard, I thought I'd try photographing the goldfish in there, below is the result.

There's a lot of sediment in the water which has caused backscatter from the built in flash. I could have used the strobe, but it would have stuck out of the water as the pond isn't very deep at that spot.

When we initially put the goldfish in the pond there were only three of them. After two or three years there's now a lot more than that. The thing is though, we only put goldfish in there.

So what's that sitting on the bottom? Click on it to enlarge and have a closer look.

Whatever it is, it's about 5 inches long and has eyes. Next time I put my hands in that pond I'm wearing my diving gloves, just in case it takes a liking to me.

21 July 2007

Gonna make you an offer you can't refuse

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Donna had quit her job and was going to be doing temp work and studying.

Well she has another two weeks to go before she leaves the job, but her regional manager made her an offer yesterday that was too good to refuse.

She's been offered a transfer back to her old store as a casual. That means she can still go and get work elsewhere and study, but if she has trouble finding work she has something to fall back on. Basically, she's not burning her bridges behind her. It also means that as long as she goes in and does a couple of hours a month she gets to keep her staff discount card.

I don't think she'll have any trouble getting another job, but it is nice to have that safety line.

15 July 2007

It comes to all of us eventually

... or at least the men. Women have their own uncomfortable procedures done to them by doctors.

I had a bit of a problem with the waterworks on Friday. Nothing serious, it's just that whenever I went for a pee I felt like I hadn't finished. By Friday night I was shivering like I've never shivered before and went to bed with a fever.

"You've got a bladder infection," said Donna, "and it won't get better by itself."

So off I went to the doctor on Saturday morning, now feeling constipated and finding it uncomfortable to sit down as well.

He got me to pee in a container, asked me a few questions, then got me to lay on the bench while he poked and prodded my abdomen and my kidneys.

Then he said the words that will send a shiver up any man's spine.

"Roll onto your side and I'll check your prostate."

He told me the lube would feel a bit cold. I couldn't care less what temperature the lube was. Cold lube is no where near as uncomfortable as having someone's finger up your bum.

They say that at forty you have a forty percent chance of having prostate trouble, at fifty a fifty percent chance and so on. At least I know that at forty two there's nothing wrong with my prostate.

The antibiotics should fix up the bladder infection pretty quickly. I hope so because my bum's still sore.

12 July 2007


Ever wonder what you'd look like as a character on the Simpsons? Now is your chance to find out. Have a look here.

I left a print out of the picture below on our dining table the other day. Jess and Brett came round for a visit and when she saw the pic, I heard Jess whisper to someone, "That looks like Steve".

Unfortunately, there wasn't the choice of a skinny body with a pot belly, so this was as close as I could get. But it really does look like me. I might have to give Mat Groenig a call.

09 July 2007

Career change

No not me, although I'd love to.

Donna handed in her notice today. She's worked for the same employer for the past 18 or 19 years. She started of as a shelf filler, moved to checkouts, and for the past 5 or 6 years she's been working in the office. A few months ago she was offered the position of office manager in another store which she took.

Now office manager has a nice ring to it, and it does involve a lot of responsibility. What it doesn't involve is a lot of money, nor time to actually get the job done. In fact she's earning less per hour as a part timer in the office than Sarah is as a casual checkout chick. With regular budget cuts there was less money for overheads, and so less hours to do the office work.

So she decided it was time to get out and do something she would find interesting and more rewarding.

The plan is to go to TAFE full time and do temp work around that. The local college runs a certificate course in native animal rehabilitation, and in fact it's within walking distance of home. She was going to start that this month, but it turns out the course actually starts tomorrow (Tuesday). So she'll be starting it in the new year instead.

I've got to admit, I'm a little jealous, I'd love to quit and do something else. I'd even drive buses for a couple of years until I finish my degree. The trouble is, I earn about twice what Donna does. We can afford for her not to be working full time. We can't afford for me to do the same. Now if my employer would make me redundant, that would be a different matter. It would mean bye bye mortgage for one thing.

07 July 2007

Here's a tip

I was trying to think of something really profound as my first anniversary blog post. Blogger has been really flaky just lately. I don't get e-mails to say someone has posted a comment, and for this particular post, I can't even add a title. I may have to move. So I'm going to post while pissed.

Anyway, I wanted to post something really important. I wanted to post something relevant to anyone thats ever been in a kitchen. I wanted to tell you how not to cry when you're peeling onions.

A couple of months ago I was listening to Dr Karl on Triple J while sitting in a minibus coming back from mapping a dry creek bed on a geology residential. There was a guy on the show talking about the fact that, if you had a mouthful of beer while cutting onions, you wouldn't cry. This guy reckoned he'd experimented, and he'd found that a mouthful of beer while cutting onions was the only thing that would stop you crying. Well, not being one to blindly believe some stranger, I thought I test his theory the other day when Donna asked me to cut the onion up for dinner.

Legend that he is, I thought of Dr Karl. I just had to test the theory, especially since I'm studying science at uni. So, I took a mouthful of white wine and proceeded to cut the onion.

Try it for yourself. It works. It may work with water, I don't know, but I certainly didn't have the urge to sob in our dinner. I've been known to take over from Sarah (youngest stepdaughter) after she tried to cut onions for dinner, because she was getting too teary.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on. Better still, let Dr Karl know how you got on. I'd be curious to know if it would work with a mouthful of water. It certainly works with a cheap chardonnay.

Did I mention this is my first anniversary post and also my mum's birthday. I'd post her e-mail address so you could wish her a happy birthday, but I can't remember what it is. You'll just have to leave a message on mum and dad's blog.

04 July 2007

Coming up for one year

I just had a look to see when I posted my first blog entry.

It was the 7th of July last year. I should be able to remember that no worries, it's my mum's birthday as well. What do you want for your birthday mum?

01 July 2007

My exercise for the day

I have a motorbike parked in the shed.

It's in the shed because I hardly ever ride it. In fact, I think I've renewed the registration on it twice since I last rode it. So, yesterday while tidying the shed up a bit, I decided to charge up the battery and give the engine a bit of a run.

It actually took until this morning before the battery had enough in it to turn the starter, and it took quite a while before it finally started to fire. Once it was running as smoothly as I could get it I went upstairs, grabbed my gear, and went for a spin.

One of the reasons I hardly ever ride these days is that I had an accident on the bike a couple of years ago. I was able to get back on and ride home (I was not even a kilometre from home on my way to work), but boy was I sore the next day. Hitting the road and sliding for twenty metres tends to do that to you.

Anyway, because of that, Donna doesn't really like it when I ride the bike. She didn't look very happy when I rode out the gate and said I was just going down to Wello Point and back.

Imagine the look on her face when she saw me walking up the driveway without my bike.

No, it's not what you think, I hadn't fallen off again. I'd got just over a kilometre away when the bike started to misfire as I was coming out of a roundabout and accelerating away. I was coming up to another roundabout (a big one) and I thought I'd turn back there, but when it misfired again going down a hill I decided against it. I didn't want the bike to stop on me as I was cranked over going round the roundabout, otherwise I probably would have fallen off.

So I pulled in to the side, went to turn around, and that's when it stopped. I knew there wasn't much fuel in the tank, but I didn't realise it was that low.

It's winter here now, but walking home in a big heavy motorcycle jacket, in the sun, in a hilly neighbourhood tends to warm you up a bit.

Luckily we had a tin of petrol in the shed for the mower. The bike is now back in the shed.