Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mark Langan Art

Just found this artist when I was visiting Indigo Daisy. Mark Langan makes all of his art from recycled corrugated cardboard. He creates both general art and corporate logos. You can check out his site here it is well worth the click :-)

Remember Real Pen Pals?

I have just been wondering around the blog world and have stumbled across this post at Indie Fixx - it is a call for penpals (and not the email, or Facebook kind but ones that write letters - on paper lol) as a part of The Penpal project.

Now I love my phone, my blog, my email and my FB but the thought of receiving a real letter written by a stranger with a commitment to an ongoing friendship sounds so very exciting.

So I have added my name to the list, sent out a couple of emails to make the first contact and ... well now I wait :-)

Photo: "TFP Letters to you1" by tfprince

Happiness is ....

The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as a means to other things, are knowledge, art, instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection.

Bertrand Russell

Art: "Tree of Knowledge" by Riei

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Other Side

Another tragedy of the last few weeks is the death of a 12 year old child in Brisbane.

Now I say upfront I cannot imagine the pain that his parents, friends and family are going through and these thought are not meant to diminish those, or belittle them, in any way shape or form.

I have spent many hours wondering about the "perpetrator". What grief must his family been feeling? That there child was capable of this; the realization that so much, if not everything has changed in their world. The stigma of this will be hard to escape.

I ask myself why this child was carrying a knife - was he trying to show off or be cool, was he a bully, or was he living in fear and thought he needed the "protection" the weapon would give? Was this the first time he had carried it, or was it something he had been doing for a while, whatever his motives?

Were others, adults specifically, aware that there was something going on? Were there clues?

This child's life is irrevocably changed - whether he is found guilty or not, he will live with knowing that he was reasonable for the death of another. Was this something he had ever contemplated? Was it even 'real'? Does he, at 12, even really understand?

There is strong community and social support for the family of the child that died. That is as it should be. What support will the perpetrator and his family receive as they try and rebuild their shattered lives, for surely that is what we wish for them too.

Art: "Knife" by dv8-

What Right?

I have long been opposed to capital punishment and don't foresee that position changing any time soon. In essence I don't see any reason, no matter the crime, to justify the death of someone. Although there are others that disagree and the debate will go on, to me the points of debate are quite clear.

The recent case of a Perth mother of two needing a second liver transplant is perhaps more grey than black-and-white. The complicating factor in this is that she has a long history of drug abuse, and has admitted using after the first transplant. She promises that she has reformed her life but she is talking to a skeptical and jaded world.

Now I fully admit that she does have a second option, and one that the State Government is willing to fund, in that she can travel to New Zealand to test her eligibility for a living transplant, an operation not done in Australia. I also know that many do die while they are on the waiting list for a transplant so even being on the list is no guarantee that she will receive a transplant before her time is up.

What interests me about this case is the public perception of "worthiness" or otherwise of this operation, and her "right" to be on the list. There has been a general damning attitude that she had her chance and she doesn't deserve another.  I wonder if we looked at all of the people on the waiting list for transplants whether there would be other "unworthy" recipients that are currently flying under the radar - maybe a sex offender, maybe a criminal, maybe a longterm unemployed person, maybe an older person?

Where does the line drawn between those worthy and unworthy get drawn, and who draws it? In this case I am not talking about people who (say) need to lose weight or give up smoking prior to an operation in order to maximize the opportunity for a successful recovery, I am talking about the public opinion, and public policy, applying moral judgments to people that literally affect their ability to remain living.

I wonder what these same people would think if we were discussing their parent, or child, would their strength of convictions still hold?

Photo: "choice." by shotgunxfabulous

Monday, February 22, 2010

Passion and Purpose

What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, do deeply tinge what we think of ourselves.

Paul Valery

Art: "Mermaid Destiny" by Karin Turner

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A World of Smells

In the evenings my house becomes a trap for smells - many of them are of the neighbors cooking their dinners, then there are the regular flowering plants like jasmine. Sometimes Val's incense waft in.

Tonight I have a new one - I have absolutely no idea what it is but the closest I can describe it is gently warming flower nectar. Having said that it is not sweet, or cloying, it is a gentle embrace and it is divine.

Her's hoping it will be back tomorrow :-)

Jobs You Don't See Anymore

I found this list of job for a small English community in 1822 - not many that I find in my community in 2010 :-) Okay we have grocers (although not termed that way) and a chemist ..... I am not sure our druggist are the same as the one of 1822 lol

stone mason
nail maker
wood turner and chair maker
file manufacturer
maltster & flax dresser
hat manufacturer
chemist and druggist
basket maker
flour dealer
linen manufacturer
tailor and habit maker
junior fork manufacturer
corn miller
brace, bit, & gimblet manufacturer
thread manufacturer
fork maker and frinders
pocket knife manufactuer
pen knife manufacturer
corn miller

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Family Story

I want to know about my grandparents and my uncle so I have started a hunt for them. Actually I want to know my family's entire story - why stop two generations back lol :-)

And I have great team members in Graham and Nancy. We are progressively putting our heads together and trying to remember what snippets of information we can, and cross reference that with any leads we come across.

Now I am not putting a timeline on this - especially as the family is UK and South African based - it is going to take more time than driving down the road and popping into the local paper or library. And, I also have a few other projects on my plate too lol.

It is all very exciting - a real life jigsaw puzzle :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tuna and Rice Cake

I made this last weekend. I have included the recipe below but can I suggest that it only be a guide - replace the rice with pasta, change the vegetables to anything you want or have on hand, replace the tuna with chicken or leftover taco mince or extra vegetables, change the spices to whatever suits you. I am thinking it would be great with pasta and roast vegetables, served with a balsamic dressing lol. Serve it hot or cold - or even as a picnic food. Make it in a square plan and include slices in kid's lunchboxes. And it definitely suits the someone on a Lentil Club budget.

425 g tuna, drained
3 C cooked rice
1 C peas
1 C corn
2 T chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs, gently whisked
2 T cream
1 C shredded cheese

Combine the first six ingredients in bowl. Turn into a greased springform pan and press down gently. Combine the eggs and cream and pour over the rice mix. Top with cheese. Bake at 180 C for about 50 minutes or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve with salad leaves.

Kewl Kids Sunday - Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That

Okay I have been away, have had lots of thinking time and am trying so hard to stump the Kewl Kids so today I am going to try riddles. There are 5 in the challenge - I am hoping I can stump you on at least one!

1 What English words keeps it's pronunciation even if you take away four of its five letters?

2 A basket contains 5 apples, how do you divide them among 5 kids so each kids gets an apple and one apple stays in the basket?

3 What is so unusual about: "Gatsby was walking back from a visit down in Branton Hill's manufacturing district on a Saturday night. A busy day's traffic had had its noisy run; and with not many folks in sight, His Honor got along without having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk; for a mayor out of City Hall is a shining mark for any politician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broadway's night shopping crowds. Gatsby, walking towards that group, saw a young girl, back toward him, just finishing a long, soulful oration ... "  The above passage is taken from the book "Gatsby" written by Ernest Vincent Wright in the late 1930's

4 A word I know, six letters it contains, take away one and twelve remains. What am I?

5 The following number is the only one of its kind: 8,549,176,320. Can you figure out what is so special about it?

Please tell me you get stumped (at least a little bit) or else I will have to bring out the very big guns lol

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"This Land Is Mine, This Land Is Me"

With thanks to Paul Kelly for the words for something that I didn't know existed, let alone express.

I started singing his song unbidden as the plane came from the ocean over somewhere near Esperance (my guess) - I didn't even know I knew it. I felt my heart leap as I saw the flat expanse roll out before me. My eyes teared as the golds and browns dominated the horizon. It got more and more real as I traveled around once I landed. I stood on the farm and inhaled the smell that is home. I cannot deny it - I am West Australian.

I knew I missed the smell of the land when I moved over here and while I am more than happy living in the land of green and rain and mountains and have no plans to ever again live in "the flat brown desert", I do acknowledge it is so a part of me. And I didn't realize it until I went back there.

The Best ...

Inspired by Robert Fulgham's quest for "the perfect chicken fried steak from a diner" I spent some time years ago searching for "the perfect sausage roll from a service station". Now Mrs Mac's contribution looks inedible and tastes even worse so she, and all of the commercial brands were soon dismissed - I probably should have had danger money just for trying them!

After literally thousands of kilometres of travel and a lot of so-so sausage rolls I came across an absolute winner - sold by the BP in Williams it was a homemade creation that included delightlfuly flaky pastry wrapping a mixture featuring meat meat and more meat (missing in so many others lol) as well as onions, spices and a few ingredients I will keep secret in case I spoil their market. It was a bonus a year or so later when I could buy them at the roadhouse in Beaufort River.

Now I am not pretending in any way these are a health food, but when one is on holidays calories don't count do they? I got this baby from the Arthur River Roadhouse while waiting for my bus back to Perth.I seriously contemplated having two - I mean who knows when I will get another one but images of Monty Python's restaurant skit (you know the one) put a stop to that.

New Photos

I have been going through the ol' holiday snaps and some of them have turned out rather well. I have loaded them onto Pool. You can check them out if you are so inclined :-)

This one was taken at 'RobertJayne' Brother Graham and SIL Nancy's farm and is one if my favorites :-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Passion and Purpose

For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.

Ingrid Bengis