Archive for February, 2011

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Birthday Bopping

26 February 2011

It was David’s birthday this week and I gave him another sock – not the partner to the one he got for Christmas (I knitted that in early January) – but the first of a new pair, knitted with Noro Silk sock yarn.  I really don’t get a lot of pleasure from knitting socks but they’re a good “train project” and D. loves jazzy socks.  As soon as I find where I’ve put the rest of the yarn and needles I’ll knit another to match.  He also got a Kindle which seemed to please him. 

But the best bit was going to see Roxy Music last night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.  They were SO good and I was out of my seat at the end and bopping (well, leaning on my walking stick and wiggling around a bit). 

We were seated up quite high but with a great view of the stage and I can tell you that Bryan Ferry has still “got it”.  My only complaint was that we were too far from the stage for me to be able to throw my underwear but, what the heck, you can’t have everything.

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Use Only As Intended!

10 February 2011

As the US$ is still virtually at parity with the AU$, it seems churlish not to hit the internet and make the odd American purchase.  My latest arrived yesterday, with full instructions.

Apparently the items are sharp and should be handled with care.  They shouldn’t be left on the floor. They should not be used in a moving vehicle. They should not be stuck in the ear or in “other body parts”.  There were full instructions on how they are to be stored.

Yes, of course – they’re knitting needles!  But I’ve never had instructions with knitting needles before, including that they are “intended for knitting purposes only” and that to customise them will invalidate the warranty.  Customise them?  And talking about Customs, they sound so dangerous I’m surprised they got into the country.

The needles are from Signature Needle Arts and I have to say they’re quite beautiful.  A friend told me recently that she’d always wanted a pair and I’d been desperately trying to think of a present for her so that solved the problem.  And of course I had to buy a pair for me too.  I haven’t tried them yet but will report back whether they live up to the hype.

Presuming I don’t have any major injuries like sticking one up my nose while knitting in a moving vehicle.

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A Question Of Morality.

4 February 2011

The story so far:

All Australian schools must provide Religious Studies’ classes once a week (I think that’s the rule) although parents are allowed to exclude their children from these classes. HOWEVER, it was illegal in New South Wales to provide those excluded children with an alternative class so they just read, did homework, watched films etc. 

Last year, under pressure, the NSW Government introduced Ethics classes as an alternative.  The churches didn’t approve of this; in the beginning because they felt it was usurping their role but this was later changed to a complaint that the children in THEIR classes were excluded from the Ethics classes (which obviously run simultaneously).  I’d presumed that the children in the Religious Studies classes were being taught ethics too but, hell, what do I know?  The churches also found that the numbers in their classes were dropping because parents were choosing Ethics over Religion.

The leader of the Liberal Party, Barry O’Farrell is I believe a Catholic, along with half of his Ministers and a great number of the Labour front bench, including the Premier. After the March State election, it’s widely believed that he will be Premier.  He promised church leaders a few months ago that if he were elected, he would put a stop to the Ethics classes.

He has now changed his mind on this one and says that the Ethics classes will stay, and these church leaders are pretty horrified that he isn’t a man who keeps his word.  (Note to said church leaders:  He’s a POLITICIAN.)

Please discuss:  Is it unethical for a politician to make a promise about Ethics classes and then break it?   

And supplementary question:  Why is the right-wing conservative party in Australia called the Liberal Party?  Who thought that one up? 

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Australians, All!

3 February 2011

A couple of days ago, a letter-writer was complaining in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Government sending planes to evacuate Australian citizens from Egypt. This writer was incredibly concerned that some of these Australians appeared to be of Middle-Eastern appearance and only people who are “100% Australian” should be rescued.

Loved the response today from another letter-writer. “I hadn’t realised that there were many Aboriginal Australians in Egypt”.

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Can You Spare Any Change?

2 February 2011

The man has flipped!

Queensland has had quite horrendous flooding over the last few weeks with houses in some areas totally submerged under water.  Many people have died.  Large numbers of people have lost all their possessions and their homes.  Infrastructure is ruined.  And, wonderful to report, the donations have rolled in to help.

Tonight a cyclone is expected to hit Queensland and it will be the worst in living memory (and they have some pretty horrendous cyclones in north Queensland).  So these poor people are about to be battered again.

The Government decided to introduce a one-off levy for the tax year 2011-2012 (starts 1st July 2011) where those earning less than $50,000 p.a. pay nothing, and a sliding scale from there.  $55,000 p.a. is 48c a week, $100,000 is $4.81 p.w. up to a maximum annual salary of $300,000 when you will pay $43.27 p.w. The money will be used for the massive infrastructure bills.

The leader of the Opposition, one Tony Abbott MP, has today urged party supporters to contribute to a fighting fund, so that the Liberal Party can stop this levy.   They’re asking people to give money so that they can stop us giving money. 

May I suggest that if you have any spare change, you put it in a collection box to help Queenslanders NOT give it to Tony Abbott to score party political points on the back of people’s misery.