Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Because it's there

Just saw the human spider man cop a grilling for climbing a tall building in NSW. Which begs the question why does he do it? He claims he is drawing attention to climate change by placing banners in hard to access places. But what about those people who climb mountains, jump out of planes, or trek through extreme environmental conditions just to prove they can? Humans under pressure continue to fascinate us as the rest of us watch them on TV or read about them from the comfort of our own comfy lounge chair.

The Hatchet Series by Gary Paulsen and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins prove it's not just adults fascinated by humans under pressure. Two books I'd recommend for YA readers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If I ruled the world

there would still be a choice of phones/laptops/(insert anything you like here) but all with interchangeable parts and all compatible (ie no need for 500 different power cords or software). Had a minor technological glitch on Monday when Mac Laptop needed a special cord to go into the school projector, then there are the different versions of PowerPoint, Word, InDesign, etc.

There's something to be said for Henry Ford who noted, 'You can have the Model T in any colour — so long as it's black.'

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In the land of the deep purple thistle

Yesterday I got to visit my old stomping ground at Deer Park West Primary school. As part of my presentation, I unearthed a photo of grade 5 where I was indeed (have been telling my kids this for years) the tallest girl in my class (and indeed at school). Of course, this had changed by Year 7.
I remember the first names of most of my classmates and note with interest the hip boots that were in fashion at the time, although I am wondering about the boy in the tie...
The students at DPW were fantastic - 200 in the GP room for an hour was a big ask, but they were incredibly well behaved and the Book Week parade was a real treat. Thanks DPW.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Built in obsolesence

You know you are dating yourself when you tell someone you used to have a typewriter. Maybe not one as old as the one featured here, but a typewriter nonetheless. It was called a portable typewriter and the keys were pretty flimsy but I did a lot of work on that machine during high school and I still can't bear to put it on the hard rubbish collection.

I was thinking about my portable typewriter the other day when hanging around Officeworks faced with a dilemma. My printer at home, only a couple of years old (yet ancient in computer terms I suppose) had been a bad choice at the outset. Six ink cartridges instead of four. Great output but magically the ink would run out just when I needed it. After several years of paying for the the 'correct' ink, I had purchased some 'no name' ink and it proved a disaster. So standing at Officeworks and wondering whether to buy the 'correct' ink again, or chose a printer/scanner/copier for not much more with the added bonus of only four ink cartidges.

My portable typewriter preceeded the auto-correct ribbons. It was just a two-tone ribbon - black and red - and once it spooled through the first time, I turned it around and used it again, and again, until the keys wore through. My 2007 laptop is already old-hat. My phone has been superceded... Oh my goodness. I've started talking about the good old days!

And, yes I did.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Okay, whose dog is it?

This is Marley.
Also known as Poowee, for reasons that will become obvious.
Marley is my daughter's 18th Birthday present.
Which means, she's a present to the whole family.
When I say present, I mean we all get to clean up after her
and retrieve our socks and slippers (hopefully before it's too late)
but she does this thing with her eyes (which she learned at birth)
that says, 'Oh I am so sorry, no really, entirely my fault. Can you ever forgive me?'
And of course we do.

She now scratches at the door for toilet time.
Which is great.
Now someone just has to teach her that outside is for toilet
inside is for sleeping...

Monday, August 16, 2010

So the reason I haven't rung...

Okay, things have been a little busy around here.
Including an 18th birthday that lasted a whole weekend, and a mss that I've finally let go of today after a slight weekend panic.

On the bright side...
Just want to say that I am visiting Deer Park West Primary School next week and can't wait to catch up with my old school, the students and the teachers.

Also, doing a gig with Cath Crowley at the Melbourne Writer's Fest on Sept 1 and can't wait.
Shamelessly now going to plug Cath's latest book
Graffiti Moon
and Sue Lawson's book After, which has just been highly commended by the Australian Family Therapists award. (Sue has won the award previously with her book Allie McGregor's True Colours.)
Both great reads.
If you are into YA fiction, I say (in the words of Molly Meldrum) do yourself a favour...