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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wow and wow!


I got 95% for SXG390 TMA02!!! It's a pity that that's not given me any inspiration to get on with it!

and Wow!

I got sent some photos of Cody Cowboy Village! They have cabins! (Though note that they're not all built!)

and here's one of the best beds in the west!

Can't wait to get there - the weather here is so COLD!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hearts and minds ...

My Dad has to have a by-pass op. I don't think he's very happy about it! But, he will get to Australia again!

The weather is grim.

But, on a positive note, I wrote a couple of emails to certain bods in Washington State, asking questions relating to my project. And I had a reply from Steve Bailey, Director of Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, with some very interesting and useful information, including up-to-date info on the Bridge4Kids (Orting). And he also invited me to 'drop in' on the offices when we're there - but I don't think we're going to have time to get lost in Tacoma.

It's all so interesting, that I'm thinking of making Orting Bridge into a 'case study'.

Apart from that though, I've hardly done a thing.

The weather is grim.

I've sent 7 postcards (Postcrossing). 1 to America (Glendale, Arizona), 1 to Brazil (Sao Paulo), 1 to Australia (Melbourne), 1 to Luxembourg (Clemency) and 3 to Finland (Pilkanmaa, Hameenlinna and Kangasniemi). They seem to be big on Postcrossing in Finland! 2 of the cards I sent to Finland have arrived already - so I'm looking forward to receiving my first! I wonder where it'll be from (money's on Finland!)

And now it's only 4 weeks to our holiday - how the time is flying! Today is (or should be) the grand opening of Cody Cowboy Village, so should get to see some photographs soon!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Once a hated and avoided hinderance to the year, the Eurovision Song Contest has now become quite an entertaining romp! Accompanied by the biting (often cruel) wit of Wogan (who suggested that both France and Spain had 'given up' - and who could argue), last night's show provided quite a feast of the weird! While Sweden presented a woman whose impossible up-to-the-neck-legs were wrapped in tinfoil, Armenia gave us a Chinaman tied up by snake charmers and Lithuania a football chant which demanded "Vote for the Winner", Ireland attempted a return to the golden Johnny-Logan days, with a ballad warbled by Nick Cotton.. I rather liked Malta's enthusiastic offering, which was very much in the Euro-vogue - but it only received un point.

My favourite was Germany's "No, No Never", a folk song, performed amongst twinkling saguaro and accompanied by chaps in chaps, including a guitarist who never once moved his left hand!

Germany's vote announcer sat grinning on a horse in Hamburg, but, alas, they only managed 36 points and 15th place (which was better than our Daz's dire 19th with 25).

I also rather liked the eventual runner-up song from Russia (248 points). Sexy street boy (apparently a heart throb throughout eastern Europe) meets a head popping out of a piano!

It was no surprise, however, that the winner was Finland's entry (292 points) - heavy rock with Halloween masks (which, despite my love of rock music, was not high on my wanna hear more list!).

Still, this'll give me something to write on my postcards to Finland! I joined Postcrossing and am to send a postcard to Luxembourg, USA (Arizona), Brazil - and 2 to Finland. Seemingly, the Fins are well into postcards!

Malcolm Dumpling-Smith arrives - Fly away Cod!

to keep Cod company. He's a Ranchu, otherwise known as a 'buffalo head' goldfish.

Cod was naughty. From the off. He poked and butted and bit (do fish bite?) - and there was no chance that MDS would survive this onslaught. So we put bad, wicked Cod in the bird bath....it was a unanimous decision. (Oh dear) 15 minutes later, Cod had disappeared from the bird bath. Flown to some sparrow nest, no doubt ....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Shall we blame Jens Lehmann?? Well, at least the hub had the evening off to watch the game. And at least he wore his claret centenery shirt with pride.

Meanwhile, Mt Merapi continues to light up the sky.

I really don't want anybody to be harmed, but 'as a scientist' and as valuable research towards my geohazards project, I would be very interested to see a flow here and there, so that we can see whether the lahar dams work ...


"Britain goes nuclear to beat energy crisis" - although it's hardly "goes nuclear", when we've been nuclear for 50 years .... Of course, there is a lot of weeping by the greenies who don't appear to understand that this is the greenest option. Where did they think the waste was going to go if we stopped producing it? I bet they would've conveniently forgotten it, as they don't want it in their back yard! Also, much ignorance over Iran. How can Tony Blair talk about us producing nuclear power (like we didn't already - I swear some people don't even know what powers their kettles!) - but won't let the Iranians. Don't they understand about the enrichment and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Obviously not! I think the BBC should run some nuclear tutorials - they could disguise them as commercials and then people might watch them ....

Monday, May 15, 2006

Our fridge broke

We didn't know it was broke, until we opened the door and the smell of decay wafted out. We bought a new fridge/freezer yesterday, but are having to manage until Wednesday. Fortunately, our next-door neighbours are away on holiday and we have their house key and therefore access to their fridge!! Here's the hub bringing in the tea - strawberry flan, cream and cold chicken for a curry!! It's when he goes in next-door at midnight for his hot-chocolate milk that it gets really embarrassing!

(At least I'm not losing my hair!! :))

Frownies are for losers!

I found myself accidentally engrossed in a thread on a certain message board for women 'of a certain age' this afternoon.

"Yeah buddy, I think my looks have aged more in the last 3 years since menopause than they did in the previous 20. Sudden wrinkles and the sagging chin and jowls out of nowhere. Seems like it all happened almost over night. When the hormones run out the whole package goes to hell in a handbasket without warning. Who knew this was going to happen? It's like running into a brick wall at 100 MPH."

Oh yes.

"I looked pretty good up until 50, but after 10 years of menopause, I look like an old woman."

Oh boy - I'm not quite that far down the line yet - but ... getting there!

Those are bad enough - but this one

"How do you cope with the emotional feelings about looking older? I have found that people treat me differently. No one seems to care what I have to say and no one really wants to hear it, either. Sometimes I get irritated when I'm with my husband, and although both of us are talking to someone, that person only looks at my husband and not me."

That sounds familiar ...

"It really gets to me that I look bad and sometimes I feel obsessed when I meet someone new or see someone that I haven't seen for a few years. I keep wondering if they are thinking, "Gee, she looks old." I know this all sounds small-minded and maybe I should be grateful I'm not sick with something serious. But this is hard, looking old and getting treated differently. Men age, too, but they still look like men and don't have the facial changes that women go through."

Don't they just! (Men - age, that is!)

Isn't this sad? But, unfortunately, it is all too true. I KNOW how it is to be ignored like this! For instance, I did all the talking and working out and everything else with the darned doors. Hub was completely silent. But it was HIM they asked to sign the form and HIM they sent letters to! And this happens all the time!!

It's so unfair. After years of feeling ill, you feel much better (maybe the best in your life) and you are an intelligent being. And yet, you now LOOK ill and tired and old - and nobody takes you seriously - or even really notices you!!

The Frownies arrived the other day. I licked them and stuck them on the sides of my mouth. RIDICULOUS! I swiped them off again! I see myself from the inside and I like me - if people who look at me from the outside don't like me or respect my opinions etc, just because I've got (deep) lines around my mouth, then they are missing out! :)

Don't look at the wrinkles (not that you can see them in this pic! :)) - look at the WISDOM!!

I think I'll get me a cat ....

Battered to death by Cod!!!

Yes, Chips has had his chips. I fished him out of the bowl last night. On examination, he was found to have a whole whack of scales missing on one side, together with an enormous bruise. Alas poor Chips died of internal bleeding. And he so loved playing in those bubbles. Cod looks lonely - and he looks guilty. I'm not speaking to him.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

S330 mailing arrived!

Hooray! There are 3 more thick books!! Because of the delay though, I'm halfway through the biology set book, so I think I'll stick with that until the end now.

I don't know what to do. Next year, that is. I could start on an arts degree (nah!) - I could start an MSc (with what money??) - I could do physics for fun (well ...) - I could do nothing (I don't think so!) - or I could do the Astronomy with Planetary Science certificate. I'm very tempted to do that, I must say.

Our (proper) new door was actually delivered and fitted this morning - and we're very pleased with it. The lock's awfully stiff though.

And now, while I'm writing this - the UEFA Cup Final is on the telly. Middlesbrough v Sevilla! Who would've thought - 'English' teams in both the UEFA and Champions' League Finals! Last time that happened, I believe we won both.. Perhaps we can manage to lose them both, this time - just to add to the country's woes about Rooney's foot!! What's happened to Mendieta? I used to rate him so highly! And Eindhoven. Been there - bought the T-shirt and all that. What a strange place that was. Bicycles everywhere! But, anyway, Everton finished the season in 11th place, and that's about the best that could've been hoped for. Seems it's 'goodbye' to Big Dunc, finally.

21:46 - Oops. A Spanish double then? That would be a good start for July! :)

Fishies got a pump

Feeling very guilty, and aware of an oceanographer's (!) responsibility, I bought Cod and Chips an undergravel filter, which is powered by an air-pump, which is the noisiest thing ever!! Still, they like it - and keep bursting the bubbles. Perhaps they're intelligent fish?


After a bitchy remark from my hub (in response to an equally bitchy one about deep lines around his neck!), which sort of suggested that I had a lot of 'character' lines around my mouth (as if I didn't know), I decided to buy some Frownies!!! I got them from eBay actually (much cheaper!) You wear them at night. Very sexy! Well, if they're good enough for Meryl Streep! Watch this space for news of miraculous rejuvenation!! :)

Friday, May 05, 2006

77% of students oppose boycott

according to the BBC

I'm surprised it's not more than that. Although not affected by the marking boycott (both of my tutors are marking assignments), the S330 mailing has still not been sent out, so I'm forced to study the set book, when I should be studying the next block, which I haven't got yet! It's dead easy though - this biology stuff...

This is the equation for measuring critical depth (ie how far down a population of phytoplankton cells can be mixed until photosynthetic gain is balanced by respiratory losses. The book's full of these little beauties!!

Maybe I shouldn't worry about it though, because the way things are going (the lecturers turned down a 'derisory' offer of 6%), examination papers won't be written, exams won't be taken and nobody will graduate at the end of the year.

New doors!

We had the new doors put in on Wednesday. The back French doors are fine (apart from the squeak) - but the front door is WRONG! The side panel's right, but the rest of it is totally not. Apparently, they lost our door, but they've found it again now and we might have it soon!

Meet Cod and Chips!!

I couldn't resist - I love fish! But we have had countless aquariums and lost countless fish, despite spending countless hours on trying to keep them alive! Just a little goldfish bowl, but I'm not sure that this pair will make the week!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sad News

from the Eaglecam. :(

"April 30, 2006

Eagles and conservation have been the joy and occasional sadness of my life. This is a sad moment. It appears that the Hornby Island bald eagle eggs are infertile. The first egg should have hatched April the 26 and the second egg today. The first embryo, if it developed at all, is surely dead. The second embryo, could still hatch but I cannot see the proper pipping of the egg shell, where the chicks beak has broken through enabling it to draw in air, the precursor to the final struggle for hatching. It does not look good for this pair this year. In fact this is the second year of failure for this nest territory.

More on the website.

Another bank holiday ....

.. and another on my own! Well, the retail boys have to work! I've made full use of the weekend though, and have finished (?) both course TMA02s. Not easy. Lots of work. The SXG390 one was lots and lots and lots of stuff. All about volcanoes, amazingly enough! One question asked for just about our complete project in 800 words - complete with references! So I have a 3-page answer to the question and 4 pages of references. That one's ready to go. 19 pages, in total. Tomorrow it'll wing its way to County Cork! I'm quite happy with it. S330. Now then, that's a different story! It's not due until June, so I can always take it out of the envelope again and look at it. But I'd rather not. It's shocking. To be frankly honest - I'm lost!! I cannot be banging my head over it for any longer though - time to move on - lots to do - before our holiday - next month!

1st May - but no sign of cabin photos on the Cody Cowboy Village page!