Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back on 2011 ...

Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.

Mark Twain

Monday, December 12, 2011

Google says it's a Noyce Day

Today would have been Robert Noyce's 84th birthday.

Robert Norton Noyce (December 12, 1927 – June 3, 1990), nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley", co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name. Noyce was also a mentor and father-figure to an entire generation of entrepreneurs.

(Thank you Google and Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One step forward and two steps back ...

Carer - definition: a person who has accepted responsibility for looking after a vulnerable relative.

Himself probably didn't realize what he was getting himself in for this time. I know I didn't! I had the idea that this time it would be easier, because we both knew what we were in for. No!

Let's just say it has not always been easy ... for either of us. There have been Words ... LOUD WORDS!

However, he is still showing up for work.

Thanks Mate!

Look out for that Sinkhole!

Recovery this time has definitely been one step forward and two steps back, rather than the hoped for, two steps forward and one step back.

I had a heads up that may be the case but I had hoped the experts might be overdoing the warnings.

They weren't!

I have taken things very carefully; I think some people, on the peripheral, may have even thought I was being too careful.

Sunday morning I woke up to what appeared to be a good day. Then I tried to move. I couldn't.

I won't go into the gruesome details; let's just say the last 3 days have NOT BEEN GOOD. Today is a bit better; I am out of bed and I have decided to look for some humour ... or something ... music perhaps?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comparatively speaking, I’m quite young …

One of my favourite buddies has his 176th birthday today.

Happy Birthday Samuel! That’s Mark Twain to those of you who don’t know him so well. Interesting man, actually - Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

In his honour, an appropriate quote - Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Click here and read more about him.

I think Google get to eat cake …

Monday, October 24, 2011


"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul"

Oscar Wilde

Sunday, October 23, 2011


"Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Steps

"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."

Sun Tzu

Friday, October 21, 2011

Building Strength

" Order or disorder depends on organisation; courage or cowardice on circumstances; strength or weakess on dispositions."

Sun Tzu

[photo - double helix pedestrian bridge Singapore]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Start Your Engines [ Legs?]

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

Sun Tzu

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"THE" hip day

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.......

Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.

Sun Tzu

Monday, October 17, 2011

Memory ...

... is the diary that we all carry about with us.

Oscar Wilde

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When you jump ...

You have to believe in yourself.

Sun Tzu

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking in

Know yourself and you will win all battles.

Sun Tzu

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life is mainly froth and bubble

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peace and Beauty

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.

George Orwell

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flight or Fight?

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.

William James

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Music to my ears ...

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.

Mark Twain

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moving along

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

Mark Twain

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking about it

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Oscar Wilde

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fact of the matter

One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.

Morris West

Friday, October 7, 2011

Countdown to Hip (H)op Two

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Franklin D Roosevelt

Friday, July 22, 2011

21 hairpins to the top

L'Alpe d'Huez is a ski resort at 1,860 metres - a mountain pasture in the Central French Alps, and is one of the main mountains in the Tour de France. It has been a stage finish almost every year since 1976, although absent from the route in both 2009 and 2010, the first time since 1976 that it has missed two consecutive years. It is a favourite on all Tour de France anniversary years. The first was in 1952, won by Fausto Coppi.

The climb is 13.8 km at an average 7.9 per cent, with 21 hairpins named after the winners of stages there. There were too many when the race made the 22nd climb in 2001 so naming restarted at the bottom with Lance Armstrong's name added to Coppi's.

In 2001, English author Tim Moore wrote:
As a variant on a sporting theme, Alpe d'Huez annoys the purists but enthrals the broader public, like 20/20 cricket or nude volleyball. Last year, a full-blown tent-stamping riot had required heavy police intervention. During this year's clean-up operation, down in a ravine with the bottle shards and dented emulsion tins, a body turned up. He'd fallen off the mountain and no one had noticed.* When the Tour goes up Alpe d'Huez, it's a squalid, manic and sometimes lethal shambles, and that's just the way they like it. It's the Glastonbury Festival for cycling fans.

*after watching the Tour on TV for a few years, I’m surprised that doesn’t happen on EVERY mountain stage.

So now it is time to carb load and buckle into the most comfortable chair you can find, switch on the live broadcast and settle back for the ride to the top.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

St Basil's is 450 years old today

That's the Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat to you who don't know him personally.

I first met Basil in 1971. He was the only real bit of colour in Red Square at that stage, even though looking as if a good scrub wouldn't go amiss. But as he was only just coming out of winter and it was still quite chilly, I forgave him immediately.

I had just travelled half way across the (then) USSR hard class on the Trans Siberian Railway. Tourists didn't do that very often in those days. Soft class wasn't a lot better, but maybe it cost less in bribes to get the carriage conductor to light the fire under the water heater! The water gets quite cold in the middle of Siberia at the end of winter. Not frozen, but almost. That is one reason I understood the hesitance of Basil to have a bath so early in the season!

The USSR was a grey place in those days. Tourism was only starting and then only by the brave and slightly stupid. Travel was STRICTLY according to your visa and NO changes were tolerated.

We introduced a young adventurous couple we met individually on a ship between Yokohama and Nakhodka; he a young recently graduated laywer from the big city of Melbourne and she a young lady travelling with her father (who was on his first return trip to his homeland after many years). They fell for each other and hopped and skipped accross the country by train losing each other and meeting up again as their travel plans crossed. They met up again once out of the USSR, and eventually married, back in Australia.

I visited again in 1974 with our first child in tow; but I am not sure that she would remember the event, even though there are photos to prove it.

Isn't it strange how a little Google doodle brings back memories?

Oh! Happy Birthday Basil!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

There is a light at the end of the tunnel ...

…and it isn’t a train coming through!

We have been watching Le Tour, and there has been a lot of talk about the HTC train. To those of you not watching the TV from 10pm until 1.30 in the morning – Australian time (it even made the back page of the Financial Review during the week – tired executives dragging themselves to the office and surviving on caffeine, hanging out for the rest day), “the train” is the group of riders in the HTC Highroad Team who lead out the Manx Missile at the end of each flat stage of the Tour de France.


Anyway, about that tunnel …
Some of you may remember my hip replacement 18 months ago, when I posted about the humorous side of the surgery and recovery.

Well the current update is that I (and 9999 others in Australia alone) are looking at having the prosthesis replaced. I won’t go into a lot of detail right now, suffice it to say it has to be done, and reasonably soon.

One of the tests I needed to have was a MRI. Easy you say, just go and have it done. That is what I thought too. First hurdle – the MRI machine here had been broken and when fixed, the queue was rather large … So, as I was going to Adelaide to a birthday party, why not have it done while I was down there?

Great idea; so the plans were made.

I turned up rather enthusiastically at the medical centre and eventually get taken into the room for the MRI. They got me on the table and strapped me in, put on earmuffs to dull the sound (I didn’t know about that – innocent ignorance) and then they started to roll me into the tunnel. My nose wass about 4 cm from the tunnel above me. Wait a minute, it didn’t look like it would be that close when you put me on the table. Oh, you raised it about 50cm after I was on it? And you want me to stay in that tiny tunnel for 40 minutes? And I can’t even see a light at the end of the tunnel? Oh, did I tell you that I am slightly (well I though slightly until then) claustrophobic?


Thank goodness they had given me an exit button! I was removed very quickly. Have you ever been close to anyone who is claustrophobic and put under pressure? mmmmmmm … not a pretty picture.

We all survived. Even the MRI machine.

I didn’t have the MRI. This is not good.

I had an XRay and and ultrasound; but they are not really conclusive and they need a MRI.

There are options. I won’t go into them here, but they seem a bit of overkill to those who aren’t claustrophobic. I am.

Further investigation was required.

After being told the machine here is different, today I was able to visit it and have a “test ride.”

They were correct. It is different and thank goodness, I was able to have my MRI.

Above me there was a tiny light. I just listened to the provided music – stuff I would usually only listen to when I was doing a pretty heavy workout at the gym – watched that light to make sure it wasn’t a train coming through the tunnel to get me (the poor damsel strapped to the track), breathed in and out at regular intervals and survived the experience.

Thank you very much – you know who you are.

Hard week at the grindstone

Saturday, May 28, 2011



The act or process of adapting or the state of being adapted; adjustment.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

I do like Google

According to Google, (and it is one of the new New Testament's isn't it?) today is the 119th birthday of the first documented icecream sundae. I wonder did they eat it or just document it. If the discovery had been made here, it would probably have melted before it was documented. Or it may have washed away.

And, last Thursday was the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen. I would think that anyone who used a science laboratory at school would remember the Bunsen burner. Robert was the co-inventor of the device. He will be remembered for that, whereas he made many significantly more important contributions to science. You can look him up. I am not sure if Robert had a sundae at his birthday party, but I do wonder if he had enough puff to blow out a Bunsen candle.

Well that's it really, isn't it - icecream and a puff of blue smoke?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Doug and Mavis - the story of the little tug boat that could

There have been many partners or couples in history who have become famous.

We haven't forgotten the love of Cleopatra and Marc Antony, Romeo and Juliet the star crossed lovers, the love of King Edward VIII for Wallis Simpson; even Thelma and Louise (hmmm) or the fancy footwork of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. But now there is another team who have steamed out of the horrific murky floodwaters Brisbane is experiencing at the moment.

They are Doug and Mavis. Perhaps you haven't heard of them yet, so let me introduce you.

Doug is a tug boat master who works the Brisbane River. And Mavis is his little tug boat.

Click on the link and hear the story. Even our ex Prime Minister thinks he should be nominated for an Order of Australia medal.

Saturday, January 1, 2011