Wednesday, August 23, 2006

one eyed in church

Video cameras in church can be a bit distracting – not that I was being filmed, but I was sitting behind someone with a camera on Sunday morning. During a baptism, I could see the goings-on at the font out of my left eye, while my right eye kept straying to the viewfinder of the video camera as the owner panned and zoomed. It was a little hard to concentrate.

But it's nice to sit and watch people bringing their babies in to be baptised. It shows that the next generation of Christians is always being re-stocked.

Which isn't a bad thing at the moment. We had three families leave my church this year... as far as I can make out, two of them left because we were getting too modern and the other one left because we weren't modern enough!

I think it was Lincoln who said you can't please all the people all the time. For once there are some things the same in politics and religion.

I haven't updated for a while, have I? The last week or so I haven't been feeling 100%. The flu shot may have kept the influenza at bay, but for the last few days I have been under the weather. I kept waking up in the morning with my mouth full of gunk, then coughing and sneezing my way through the day.

I am, I think, a little better this week.

However every second person I talk to seems to be suffering from some sort of virus or is caring for someone who is. It may be the end of winter, but I don't think this is Spring Fever.

The slightly warmer weather must be responsible for the abundance of flies that I find in the kitchen every morning. This isn't that unusual, but all these seem to be operating at half-speed and can barely be bothered flying off when you try and shoo them away. My sister summed it up neatly: "These are not blow-flies, they're slow flies!" Well put.

Speaking of vermin, I cleared out the rest of the pantry to see what that mouse has been at. He has expensive tastes, as I mentioned before. He ignored the whole box of two-minute noodles, but gnawed through the sachets of beef stew and consumed the contents. I just wish the cats would get their act together and run him out of town.

My hours at work have reverted to the two-afternoons-a-week regimen. It may not be quite as convenient for those who used to drop in to the office to get things done early in the day, but there really isn't enough to keep two people busy. I did offer to come in a bit earlier, but for the moment it's back to the old schedule.

At least I made a few bucks extra out of last fortnight. But looking at my bank statement I shouldn't let this go to my head. For a start I refuse to buy any more new CDs or DVDs -- well, unless I really need them...

Old radio shows I've been listening to:

MARTIN & LEWIS SHOW (2-15-52) William Holden
BROADWAY IS MY BEAT_49-11-19 Eugene Bullock
CANDY MATSON 49-10-10(Ep015)_DeepFreeze
SUSPENSE 58-10-26 "Headshrinker"
PAUL TEMPLE "The Sullivan mystery" parts 1,2, & 3

Free Counter
Free Counter

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

summer of the goose

phone 151 geese field

The hens are laying, the trees are in blossom and the geese are starting to pair off for breeding. I sense that winter is coming to an end.

My goose Zelda has just laid her first egg of the year, though she isn't obsessed by it this time round. I guess she figures that since none of them hatched last year, she isn't too fussed by it all.

Though I have to admit that she's off her food a bit – not her usual M.O. at all!

phone 125 spring

So this week I'm back to working a full day twice a week rather than the afternoons I'm used to doing. It's not arduous work by any stretch of the imagination, but my movements are more constrained than I'm used to.

It makes a difference to my sister's nutrition too - without me there to tell her to get moving, she has trouble getting to lunch on time with her friends.

I'm not even tempted to use the office computer to surf the net, since they're still on dial-up and I have broadband at home. If things get dull I amuse myself experimenting with the audio-editing features of Audacity (cut files up into pieces, join other ones together, amplify them, that sort of stuff.).

And (I can't believe I'm saying this) the photocopier has broken down again. *Sigh!*

At least the extra money will come in handy this month. I looked at my bank balance on the internet today and I had even less money than I thought I did.

My mother always told me this would happen. "When I'm gone, you won't be able to keep a house this size. There'll be less money coming in and you'll lose all the discounts and rebates I'm getting now." That was undeniably true and I didn't try and persuade her otherwise.

Some months everything's fine, other months I just seem to get into a hole. Not an unusual story, I admit. But I get angry with myself because it seems to me that I should be able to make ends meet - I just take my eyes off the ball sometimes and it all goes pear-shaped.

It boils down to that old joke "What happened to my disposable income? I disposed of it." Buying things on impulse doesn't help, and I spend an inordinate amount on imported magazines (you wouldn't believe what a copy of The New Yorker costs retail every week in Australia).

The new TV series Twisted Two is a follow-up to the Twisted series from a decade ago. Both shows are attempts by actor-producer Bryan Brown to swim against the tide and resurrect that forgotten genre the dramatic anthology series.

The first episode contains two suspense stories very much in the style of the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents or Tales of the Unexpected shows. The first one is a ghost story featuring Melissa George, while Gary Macdonald stars as a nervous security guard in part two.

It's not perfect, but it's a pleasant change to the flood of reality programming and silly sitcoms that make up so much of the rest of the television week. Brown says his main goal was was to (gasp!) tell original stories.

Free Counter
Free Counter

Monday, August 07, 2006

into August

Sunday afternoon I was so tired that I needed to lie down, but the children next door were re-enacting the World Cup in the driveway outside my bedroom window. So I moved into my mother's old bedroom and tried catching forty winks.

It wasn't completely successful. I found it distracting being on a different mattress with an unfamiliar pillow and the light coming from a different direction.

And if I opened my eyes, I could see my mother's medication sitting on the bedside table with the two tablets she'd put out for the morning on her last night. Alas, by that morning she was in hospital and never returned home.

I resolutely put that out of my mind. It would have been too easy to work myself into a bittersweet reverie, surrounded by all my mother's possessions and the suite of bedroom furniture that my father bought for her when they were first married.

Sometime I must have dropped off for a few minutes; I don't remember going to sleep, but I must have done. I tidied up the bed and left the room, consigning the question of what to do with it to its permanent home in the "too hard" basket.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
- Albert Einstein

Well that explains it!

The last couple of weeks I kept hearing a mouse somewhere in the pantry, scuttling away whenever I went past but always returning sooner or later.

Tonight I was in there looking for something and I moved some things on one shelf. And there was the reason for all the noise.

An unopened box of liqueur chocolates had had a hole ripped in the side and when I opened the box it was completely empty. Not a scrap of chocolate or a smear of filling to be seen.

No wonder the rodents had been so persistent. I just couldn't decide whether they were chocoholics or alcoholics.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on Wednesday last week, so where was I? Sitting in a darkened cinema watching the last day of Superman Returns.

It's a long movie - about 2 hours 40 minutes I think - but I didn't get bored or impatient (though it was probably a good thing I took a sandwich with me, since the days of the interval in a long film seem to have gone for good).

One of the local film critics harrumphed that it was little more than a "gussied-up re-make of the original movie" but that didn't worry me. Maybe that's because I've seen the origin of the Man of Steel reworked so many times in my life.

I started off as a child reading the reprints of the Superman comic book and listening to the radio serial, then over the years there were no less than four different television series plus the four feature films with Christopher Reeve.

So I'm quite used to seeing the basic story reprised in various ways over the years.

Free Counter
Free Counter

Saturday, August 05, 2006

winter winding down

The goose seems to be spending a lot of time sitting under the wattle tree at the end of the garden. It must be a sign of Spring - all the trees in the street are in blossom and the bulbs are coming up at Julie's house.

Not to mention the horde of blowflies buzzing around in the sun in the kitchen Saturday morning. Where were they when it was snowing on the mountain a few days ago?

About 26 million Americans tune in to public radio weekly and they are spending an average of eight hours listening to non-commercial stations - that’s one of the findings from an Arbitron study about public radio.

Last year, the estimated number of people who tuned per week was 26.9 million, and they spent 8 hours listening.

“While people of all ages listen to public radio each week, the majority of public radio listening comes from adults, age 35 or older, with slightly more men listening than women,” it states.

News/talk is the leading format, as it is in commercial radio. Classical, jazz and album adult alternative are the leading music formats, compared to Adult Contemporary, Christian and urban for commercial outlets.

"Among public radio listeners who tune into the news/talk format, 44 percent are Democrats or are independents who lean Democratic, while 36 percent are Republicans or independents who lean Republican.” The numbers are reversed among commercial news/talk listeners. (I suspect the same would hold true in Australian audiences.)

- During the workweek, listening is strongest in morning drive, remains high through midday and resurges in afternoon drive. “A significant number of people do their public radio listening between midnight and 6 a.m.,” Arbitron stated.
- During the week, most early-morning listening to public radio is at the home. “Beginning around 7 a.m., as commuters hit the road, the out-of-home share of public radio listening grows and overtakes in-home listening until things even out in the early evening.”
- People in different age demos listen to public radio at different times. “Peak listening times for most men and women occur weekday mornings between 6-10 a.m. and in the afternoons from 3-7 p.m. Older demos tend to listen most during the midday daypart. Older listeners tend to listen to public radio the most on weekends.”
- “Listeners to public news/talk tend to be younger than listeners to most other public formats, and they’re also younger than listeners to commercial news/talk stations.”
- Public classical listeners are more likely to be at home when tuned to their favorite station than listeners to other public formats. Listening is strongest during midday and evenings.

"You're so clever - but you hide it so well."

heard July 30th on WAMU-FM:

7:00 Jack Benny
11/28/43 Barbara Stanwyck Subs for Mary (NBC) (28:49) (Grapenuts)
7:30p Dragnet
#59 07/27/50 The Big Gent Pt. 2 (NBC) (26:51)
8:00p Gunsmoke
203 02/26/56 Who Lives by the Sword (CBS) (20:58)
8:20p Calling All Detectives
#230 07/28/48 Jerry Hunts a Dangerous Killer (8:01) (Syndicated)
8:30p Four Star Playhouse
08/28/49 Corey (NBC) (29:40) (Sustained) w/Fred MacMurray, Janet Waldo, Jeanne Bates, Jack Edwards
9:00p Information Please
06/07/38 (NBC) (29:10)
9:30p Frank Merriwell
10/19/46 The Clue of the Numbers, or Justice Triumphants (NBC) (29:30)
10:00p Hear It Now
12/15/50 #1w/Poet Carl Sanburg, Red Barber and an audio Portrait of General Douglas MacArthur (CBS) (Sus.) (59:12)

Free Counter
Free Counter

Old Time Radio programmes this week:


Fibber thinks he's forgotten Molly's birthday, so hastily tries to arrange a surprise party for her. As you might expect, he's the one who gets most of the surprises.

SUSPENSE 51-03-08 "Vision of Death"

The ever suave Ronald Colman stars as a nightclub mind-reader who finds his wife is having genuine visions - of her own murder. Neatly written and well presented.

WORLD ADVENTURERS CLUB "Manchurian Limited" ep2

15-minute ripping yarns - this one is about getting a train-load of munitions across war-torn China in the 1930s.

ARCH OBOLER'S PLAYS 45-06-14 "Mr. Pyle"

Even I've heard of the famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle. In this docu-drama Burgess Meredith brings him to radio and paints a picture of the average GI whose stories he captured for posterity. A fine production.

ABBOTT & COSTELLO "The Andrews Sisters"

Bud & Lou banter with the singing trio and do admirably in a sketch on a film set involving a string of nonsense words in the dialogue.

ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE 51-02-16 "The soap opera caper"

Hilarious episode in which the unflappable gumshoe takes a case involving the highly-strung denizens of the soap opera world, where everyone seems perpetually on the verge of breaking down in tears. A barrel of laughs for us cynics.

THE WHISPERER 51-09-16 "Never the twain" ep11

Despite a convoluted and unbelievable backstory (how does the announcer keep a straight face during the rundown of the show's premise?) some snappy dialogue and competent performances make for an entertaining half hour (although the file I downloaded seems to be lacking the last few seconds of the show).