Monday, September 25, 2006

Remembering Sydney

One evening in Sydney we went down to the bay and looked across at the sights. Downtown Sydney, all lit up, is quite beautiful. This is the opera house, of course. It has now been a month since we were in Australia and it seems like a year. What is a memory, after all? Several neurons agreeing to link up like they did once before? How do the cells contain memories? Time is a river flowing by, always moving, irretrievably gone. OK, that's enough philosophic pondering. Cat and I went to the fair last Saturday. We enjoy seeing the flower arrangements, the produce (biggest pumpkin was 203 pounds), art exhibits, and the animals. Only, going through the swine barn, I stepped on something squishy. Even though I have scrubbed the sole of my shoe, the smell still lingers. That's a memory that won't go away. I will try to have an audioblog posted on Saturday.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Something from Arthur Miller

Whew, this last week has been very full. At church we have been in the middle of a missions emphasis and I am the chair of the missions committee. I have had something to do in the worship service for the last three weeks (and today I had to run the slides that get projected onto the two big screens at the front). So I have been busy.

But I got double-dog-dared to do another particular audioblog, and I just couldn't refuse. Here is the setup for this clip. The character I am playing is a 90-year-old Russian Jew, an antiques dealer, who has come to an apartment to bid on some furniture. When he gets there, he discovers it is a LOT of furniture and that is troublesome for him. The fellow trying to sell the furniture accuses the old man of jerking his chain. Here is the old man's reply.

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A little bit of drama

Some time ago I was in a play called "The Young Man from Atlanta" by Horton Foote. The lead character, Will Kidder, is a Houstonian in his mid-60s who is about to be fired from the company he has worked for all his life. The young boss will claim that they have to downsize. To compound the pain, Will's son Bill has recently drowned. In the following speech, Will is rattling off his views to his younger associate (who will wind up taking his place in the company). Hope you enjoy the accent.

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, September 14, 2006

There's just no call for this except it's interesting

Well, it is interesting to me. The other day when I was looking up "puggle" in my dictionary (just to make sure it was not readily available to all you guessers), I saw some other words that were interesting. Imagine that! (I love dictionaries.) There was the word puisne [pyoos-nee] which comes directly from French puisné [pwee-ney]. It literally means "born later" and refers to a younger sibling. But what amused me was, following a hunch, I discovered that the word "puny" comes from this term. I think that's what I will start calling my younger brother. You can try it, too, Rachel.

Here's a puny looking critter, especially considering his reputation. This, my friends, is a Tasmanian devil. Taking a nap, evidently. He wouldn't even give us a snarl. So much for Taz.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I kid you not

Yes, it is an echidna. Only two mammals native to Australia lay eggs: the platypus and the echidna. After choosing the wrong one first, Patti did finally get the echidna. And Rachel gets a point since she said it was an anteater, because this spiky character does eat ants (although he prefers termites--they're juicier). The one in the photo was poking his nose into holes in the rocks looking for lunch. Check out this website if you want to know more: Australian Wildlife--Echidna. Really, they are fascinating creatures. I mean, can you flick your tongue out seven inches beyond your lips 100 times a minute? I'm just saying . . .

And speaking of platypuses, we did see a couple of these at the aquarium in Sydney. But the little rascals swim pretty quickly so the best picture I got was just the bottom half. So there are his two hind legs and his tail viewed from the underside. I say "his" because, well, . . . just because.

And for our last photo, here is another shot from the aquarium. I have done my dead-level best to enhance this so you can see this very odd creature. It is something like a seahorse, only the fins look like leaves. I think they call it a sea dragon. It didn't dart around the tank (fortunately) since it obviously hides best by acting like a plant. It's about six inches long. Hasn't God created some mind-boggling creatures? He's amazing, really. (God, that is.)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Now it's time for a "watzat"

But this time the item is not in my study. It is from Australia. Here's a clue: you are looking for an animal in this photo. And a further clue: the infant of this species is called a "puggle" (at least in Australia). We had to go to a wildlife park to see one of these; they weren't just running around everywhere.

Hey, did you notice that I joined a Baptist blogring? I wonder if that means I am supposed to say something "Baptist" in my blogs? Or at least religious. I'll work on it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ME-ME time

Here's an idea: this is a me-me with oral responses! So here are the questions that I will be answering. If you listen to these responses, then you must do this me-me on your own blog. (And it would be great if you would use audioblogging, but, hey, no pressure.)

1. Name something over which you had no control that you got teased about as a kid.
2. Describe a choice you made that you got teased about as a kid.
3. What do you remember most about your first boyfriend or girlfriend?
4. What was something your parents did that embarassed you?
5. What was something your parents did that made you proud?
6. What piece of furniture first comes to mind from the earliest house in which you remember living?
7. When did you first break a bone or get a bad cut?
8. How did you get your first traffic ticket?
9. When you were a kid, who or what did you dress up as for make-believe?
10. Which of the previous experiences have you thought about most recently (before taking this quiz)?
this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, September 04, 2006

First stab at an audioblog

Hey, have any of you tried audioblogging yet? This is my first attempt. Click the link to hear me talking. When you click the link, you will get a new page with just a progress bar. After the recording has played, click your browser's back button to return to my blogsite.
this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, September 03, 2006

More photos from abroad (not a broad)

Let's focus on birds today, shall we?

These owls look they had been used for dustmops. They had loose feathers sticking out at odd angles. I wish that I had snapped the photos three seconds earlier when one of them was yawning. Their mouths are as wide as their heads.

This kookaburra landed on the railing of the deck at the house where I was staying. He stayed in place while I kept walking closer for a better shot. I must have gotten within four feet of him before he finally took off. I was a bit disappointed that he did not laugh before leaving.

There were so many brightly colored birds in Australia. This one was in a zoo, but I saw lots of green (and red and blue) parrots as they zipped past. Did I already mention the fact that parrots fly really fast? The pink cockatoos in the background looked like they were scooped from some kind of sherbet.

Here is the placid pelican whose eye now graces my bio. The lines on his beak seemed watercolored, they were so definite. He patiently endured many admirers clicking away with their cameras. There are areas of Sydney where every other lamp post has a pelican atop it. Guess they like the view. Click on the photo to enlarge it and look at the stubby feathers on the back of his head. Very cute.

Now this fellow pestered us while we were picnicking near Sydney harbor. He and his buddies came dancing up to see if we had snacks to share. Then a fresh group of tourists arrived, and he left to try his luck with them. (There were kids in the group.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Back in Fake Cow City

That is one very long flight coming back from the other side of the world. Because we passed through New Zealand on the way home, we had to go through four security checks in one day. At least we broke up the trip by stopping in LA for a few days to see our grandson (who is really quite cute).

Strange how, after two days of work, it seems so long ago now. Let's see if some photos will bring the memories back.

Look, Princess, they have painted cows in Australia, too!! This one was rather incongruously located inside a very pricey jewellery store. She is an "opal cow." Cat looked at a ring here which the saleslady confided she could sell her as low as $1400. We said, "Thanks, but no thanks" and scooted away.
Now, that's a croc, mate! He reposed peacefully at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Blacktown (I promise that is the real name of the town) on the west side of Sydney. I guess we should have tried to come at feeding time. Speaking of which, see photo below.
And this is an Australian hamburger. The cafe is right on a low cliff overlooking the ocean. This burger was NOT the biggest one they make. That one is called "The Works." Greg had it. Cat ate all of the pictured burger, but not all the fries. Greg nearly passed out from eating his massive two-hander. Seriously! He got kind of woozy at one point. But then he finished his thick shake and felt fine. It is so wonderful when Dad pays for lunch.
One morning we hiked up a chunk of land that pokes out into the ocean. This was the view we saw when we looked back. The central coast of Australia features an alternation of cliffs and wide beaches. Gosh, it is beautiful! If you click on this photo, perhaps you can enlarge it enough to see the red-tile roofed house sitting on the green-tufted ledge of the cliff (about in the middle of the photo). Would that be a great view in the mornings or what?