Set your watches! Australia's clocks officially go atomic from today.
New national laws, which come into effect from 1 September 2005, have moved Australia to a new time standard based on the super-accurate atomic clock.
The move to UTC brings Australia in line with New Zealand, Singapore, some US states and most of the European Union.
Australia's time zones mean the leap second will actually be added to 1 January 2006, giving Australians an extra second to either enjoy celebrations or recover from their festivities.
Spring cleaning is on everyone's minds this month, and I made a token start by clearing out that cluttered corner in the kitchen. As I dug down into the stuff piled up there, I kept coming across plastic bags full of things I'd gathered up to put in the rubbish in previous weeks. They had then been covered up before I got round to tossing them out.
Housework in my place tends to resemble an archaeological dig – the further down you go the more ancient relics you discover. My sister once picked up a magazine at my place and had read through half of it before she exclaimed "This magazine is eight years old!"
Your point being?
Watching the Saturday night television news was a grim experience. The reports from the flooded city of New Orleans were uniformly disturbing even if the newsmen did dig up a couple of happy endings.
It was all unpleasantly reminiscent of the science fiction novels that Michael Moorcock and J.G. Ballard were writing in the 1960s. The worlds of The Final Programme and The Drowned World no longer seem so distant from our own.
Sadly the more refined catastrophes envisaged by John Wyndham are not in evidence so far in the real-life 21st century.
I've been waiting on a cheque to clear this week and you can guess what happened as soon as it did – yes, I went out and spent some money.
Julie and I hadn't seen the new Big W department store that they'd built out at Glenorchy Central, so we took a stroll round the place. I loaded up with some cheap items of clothing and sorted through the range of DVD movies.
Ended up buying the Oscar-winning Bette Davis classic All About Eve [which somehow I've managed to miss all these years], the Cary Grant thriller Notorious, two Ray Harryhausen movies Jason and the Argonauts and 20 Million Miles to Earth and a set of episodes from the 1953 Sherlock Holmes television series (you didn't know there was such a show? You're not alone!).
Coming out of Big W, we took a turn around the building and looked in on a couple of the other shops. Julie coveted some of the clothes in the French lingerie shop, we stopped for coffee at the Time Out cafe and had a stickybeak at Aussie Discount Meats (it's been decades since I've been in a Cool Room and in my lightweight summer shirt I felt as though I'd been snap frozen).
Saj, my sister's Mastiff dog, has been causing her some concern this last fortnight.
He still runs after her when she goes out to feed the livestock twice a day, but he's showing little interest in food and is slower and slower to get up in the mornings.
He's getting old for a big dog and I fear it won't be much longer before one day he simply won't wake up.
This afternoon I was listening to a CD from the FGRA titled The Crosby-Clooney Show. Three episodes of a radio series broadcast daily over CBS during 1960-61 after Garry Moore's show. Bing and Rosemary chat between songs with the Buddy Cole Trio and good-naturedly read some fairly hokey commercials. Announcer Ken Carpenter adds gravitas to the other commercials.
Lots of easy listening in this 15-minute show and it sounds good; these CDs were restored from the original 16ips master tapes.
Unleaded petrol has hit $1.30 a litre in Hobart.
To think that I should live to see the day when I'd be able to put $30 of fuel into my car without overflowing
On ABC television tonight a rare orchid was smuggled into Midsomer Malham and released the heady scents of passion, jealousy and death in Midsomer Murders: Orchis Fatalis. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and his offsider investigate the nasty goings on in the genteel Midsomer Malham Orchid Society in a story that might have been titled "Who is killing the great botanists of Midsomer?".
Later it's Hustle ["Rattling good fun, with slick performances all round, Hustle stylishly parodies the TV crime capers of the past"] with plot twists you'll never guess in a million years, and then Lost Highway [" the outsiders from all over America who rejuvenated Country by going Beyond Nashville - from the Bakersfield Sound of the 1950s, through to the `Outlaw' movement of the 1970s to alternative country today"].
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