Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otter is about to do something very, very nasty to you. The photo was taken at the London Zoo by Laurie Lopes and shared on flickr.

Otters 10

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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31 replies

  1. My younger girls have spent the day making bookmarks, which they are going to sell at school to raise money for the SPCA (it’s not Royal in NZ). First steps in activism. They’ve gotten permission from their classroom teacher, and from the principal, in a very formal meeting, and they’ve carried out a market survey to gauge interest and set prices. They’ve also cajoled me into making mini muffins and choc chip biccies to sell.

  2. Nice Deborah, hope they raise lots of money! 🙂
    Well I decided ‘Bugger the study’ today. TBO and I packed backpacks with coffee/water/sunscreen and leftovers for lunch and did a segment of the ‘Benowie’ walking track today. There’s an awesome old metal ladder built into the side of the cliff to climb down to start the walk. Quite steep on the way down, glad I had my bushwalking staff (part of what we lopped off the Crepe Myrtle – which is sprouting again, hurrah!). I had a bad fall bushwalking a few years ago and pretty well busted my ankle up, so I can get a little nervous on slippery boulders and steep drops.
    But we stumbled across running water and stepping stones and stopped there for our coffee and watched a little gecko-looking thing jump from stepping stone to stepping stone. Then on the way back up saw two huge water dragons sunning themselves…there were rosellas, cockatoos and these other parrots I had a hard time identifying everywhere, and tiny little honeyeaters. And a leach though that was less cute.
    Climbed up these bastard-ly sandstone ‘convict’ steps to get back out again! Yikes. Little floppy now. But very excited about how many bushwalks there are around here, and adore coming across little pockets of things I haven’t seen before. Bit sad coming to a section close to suburbia where clearly weeds/grasses etc which don’t belong there were choking up a water supply. Joining a bushcare group as soon as the study is done. Speaking of. Should really put in an hour or so now!

  3. Sympathy for anoyone planning to catch a Qantas plane or waiting for someone who should be on a Qantas plane. I know it’s a #firstworld problem but I have been that person desperately waiting for that other person to get home and I know how it feels.

  4. @Deborah – way to go to the fundraising young ‘uns 🙂
    @doubleantandre That sounds like a gorgeous way to spend a day, water dragons are one of my favourite critters.
    My husband was mere minutes from boarding his flight home from LA when the grounding took effect. We are not pleased with a certain Mr Joyce in this house. And now I have to find people to cover Adam’s shifts at the school fun day tomorrow.

  5. I’m feeling thoroughly disgusted with Qantas management at the moment.
    I’ve just returned from 3.5 weeks in the UK, and my partner and I flew Qantas, and we were affected by the strikes. While the associated delays were frustrating, I was impressed by the way that the striking Qantas staff balanced making their point and keeping things running. This whole grounding everything is bullying, pure and simple.
    All the Qantas staff with whom I interacted gave excellent service, and while I know that a lot of the people striking are behind-the-scenes staff, those behind-the-scenes folks also play an important role in making long-haul flights bearable. I’m sickened by the way that Qantas management is demonising the people who make the airline worth travelling on.

  6. @Lauredhel – I have chickie-love!
    I hadn’t heard about any of this stuff with Qantas…head in the sand lately?
    Oh Mim! That’s horrible!! 😦 Hope Mr-Mim is back home soon!
    It *was* a great way to pass the day. We woke up early today so we decided to repeat one leg of the walk again, down to the water and back. We saw Lyre birds! So great. We spent 15 minutes watching them from across the water with our binoculars. Their noises were awesome, so funny trying to work out how they’d picked up noises that sound like galloping horses (complete with a bouncing motion), Atari game bomb-dropping noises, machine guns and C3PO etc. They ran right past us after jumping across the water, and it was just magic to see them up close. So elegant!
    We saw more water dragons, and an azure kingfisher, and some other birds we’ve not be able to identify. Makes such a difference to the sense of ending one working week and beginning another! I’ve never been that ‘outdoorsy’ but I’ve rapidly converted.
    @Beppie – yeah, I hope others can separate out the actions of the staff and the actions and rhetoric of the CEO.

  7. For a do-nothing weekend we did a lot.
    Today: breakfast with extended family, then Balmoral Beach (an in-harbour surfless beach) which my 1 year old loved even though it was fuh-fuh-freezing in the water (18 or 19 degrees, which is only nice on really hot days), then lunch. Then Toys ‘R Us which was for finding out what toys he makes a beeline for (useful information for Christmas), then a chocolate bar, then a playground, then home.
    Now to see if after all that excitement he sleeps.

  8. Update: yes, interestingly, all the excitement had no discernible effect on his sleeping so far.

    • @ Deborah, yay for early activism steps.
      @doubleantandre, I love the sound of that walk – looked up the map and all.
      @Lauredhel, OMGCHICKIES!!!11!
      re QANTAS, what a fanfuckingtastic decision it was to privatise it, eh? Bloody Chicago school groupies.
      @Mim, I hope Adam gets home soon now that the planes are going to be flying again during the interim of the enforced no-industrial-action period.
      @Mary, sounds like a great day – glad that V slept.

  9. @tigtog – will report back as we explore more.
    I can definitely recommend the section from Dilkera Close down to ‘the Fishponds’. It is a fantastic walk, though it’s not at all good in terms of accessibility – you have to climb down a metal ladder to find the track, then it’s steep, narrow and has very deep ‘steps’ in some sections, and some slippery sections with moss/sand. Even for TAB folks, it requires concentration and care. The stepping stones to cross are reasonably wide and sturdy, and there are a few rocks to sit on, but again, slippy, and a few leeches around.
    With regards to walks with better accessibility there are I think some boardwalk areas at the Crosslands Reserve, and there are a few nice wide (though bumpy) tracks nearby that I think would be accessible by car then wheelchair/other mobility aids. We’re planning to explore a bit more of the Benowie walk so I’ll report back as to what sections are better accessibility-wise as I explore.
    There is one relatively accessible track nearby which wasn’t totally thrilling scenically but on which we saw a flock of black cockatoos with red cheeks, and where we heard a Lyre bird but couldn’t see it.

  10. So I finished my degree on Friday. That was nice. I will now be known to the world as Kimbaba (two BA’s).
    @doubleantandre – were the unidentifiable parrots sort of blue-green with red splotches? I have them around my house. They’re incredibly shy, so I never get a chance to look at them closely. I’m also host to lorikeets, eastern rosellas and the odd sulphur-crested cockatoo. No sleep-ins at my house!
    @napalmnancy from last week – hope your teeth are healing well, and/or you’ve become the custard-eating champion of the world, complete with custard-pie shaped hat and yellow fishing waders.

  11. @TAK – they appear to be this incredible deep and dusky blue on the bottom half, and then a deep red on the top half. The closest thing I’ve found to a descriptor is Rosellas, but I don’t think so. No green, no speckles as far as I can see – I can only think they are a different type of Rosella maybe? I’ve been looking at some bird sites and I’m not getting any answers – they’re stunning though.
    And re ‘kimbaba’ 🙂 CONGRATS!! How exciting. And now your name sounds like a fantastic dessert, or perhaps a relative of a cartoon elephant (and a cartoon lion come to think of it).
    @napalmnacey – yes, v much hope your mouth is feeling better. Wisdom teeth removal is YUCK!!

    • In a fit of reforming zeal after seeing my parents’ nice clean new house and my neat-freak sister’s efforts to make sure it starts off set up so it will stay that way, I have committed several neatnesses in my house today, all helped by discovering the Ask A Clean Person posts at The Hairpin – I am besotted with the cheerful writing style and general dearth of smuggery.

  12. Just had a gaggle of trick or treaters turn up to our non-participating house. One of the escorting mums (friend of mine, not that I expect her to know I don’t do Halloween or anything) produced a bowl of lollies for me to hand out, which I didn’t because BYO trick or treat treats? That’s just SILLY. Bah humbug etc. We Aussies really need a daylight friendly agreed upon system for indicating which houses are opting in.

  13. Btw, Adam made it home at about 2pm today.

  14. argh oh noes – I bought a box of quality street and a little pumpkin bucket for my parents so that they’d have treats to hand if they got any trick or treaters coming to the door, but I forgot to get the same for myself. Boo.
    However, I have used 3/4 of bottle of cleaning vinegar and half a box of baking soda today on my kitchen surfaces etc, so I shall wave my very clean hands at them instead.
    Glad that Adam made it home 🙂

  15. p.s. congrats to kimbaba!

  16. Congratulations, Kimbaba!

    I got a job! And a distinction for my dissertation!

  17. Great news for K and K. Congratulations to you both.

    Good to hear Adam made it home in one piece.

    We were too far out for trick or treaters, which is probably a good thing or the kids would have wanted to go too.

  18. Congratulations kirstente!

  19. Ooh congrats kirstente – on both the job, and the dissertation. How exciting!!

  20. We had a couple of trick-or-treaters dressed as death, on scooters (leading to many jokes about the scootermen of the apocalypse) turn up at the new apartment while we were unpacking. They buzzed the doorbell, and said “trick or treat” and my housemate turned to me in a panic and said “All I’ve unpacked is mini bottles of vodka.”
    Which as the trick-or-treaters were about ten, would probably not have gone down well with their parents.

  21. Rebekka, I’m so glad you didn’t give the halloween kiddies vodka. No possible way that could have ended well.
    Apropos of nothing else in this thread so far, just noting that I’ve very much enjoyed the latest venture of the Chaser boys over the last few weeks – the Hamster Wheel examining the media cycle and spinning thereof.

    The Chaser team mourns the death of journalism. The new show examines how the media works or, in most cases, doesn’t work. Why do we get the news we get? And inside the frantic rush of the hamster wheel, has the race to be first replaced the race to be right?

  22. Thanks, all! I am very relieved.

  23. @tigtog, I would definitely not give a ten year old alcohol!
    Also, IKEA furniture should come with a health warning – hurts like hell if you drop the large heavy pieces on your toe.

  24. @Rebekka – ouch, hope your toe is okay.
    Today is school photo day so of course son has hayfever and potential conjunctivitis in one eye. I have sent him to school with a spare clean shirt and a dose of hayfever medication. Can you grow out of hayfever? I hope so, I don’t remember suffering like this as a kid and since my Mum had it she would have picked it up if her kids got it. His Dad suffers now but doesn’t remember having it as a kid either.
    While driving to work I hear a little voice from the back asking where we are going, because I’ve missed the turn off to daycare. Very grateful to have a child old enough to remind me of where I should be going, or if I forget capable of getting herself out of the car and demanding a bikkie from the office bikkie tin. Also that I live in a town where I can just take the next corner and go to daycare that way and it took an extra 60 seconds or so. Of course on the way into daycare I let the door go too early and it grazed her foot, so I left her to get a bandaid from one of the carers. She is also having photo day today so I took an entire change of clothes for her just in case. One of the carers assured me they would try and get her photo done early while she was still clean and tidy. We can but hope.
    Today I am going to focus on the fact that I am not one of those people on Twitter saying that 2011 has been the year from hell for them. I have had a good year so far, neither outstanding nor terrible. I am very fortunate. I am going to do some work now.

  25. 2011 on the whole hasn’t been terrible for me either Mindy. Two hard semesters and October was a bit of a blow-out. I still haven’t heard back from the academic who raised the ‘academic honesty’ issue – it’s just a-dangling over my head, though I suspect he’s just using that as a tactic to get me to drop chasing the marks from my quiz. It’s the difference between a high distinction and a credit for that portion of my marks so I’m still tempted to push a bit. Anyway – I’ve been angsting as I was worried he’d mark me really hard and maybe I’d fail my legal advice that I handed in ages ago. FINALLY got it back (like a week later than everyone else which didn’t help my paranoia) and got 81%. So relieved! It means that even without the marks for the quiz I’d be sitting on a distinction for the course overall. Been stuck at home feeling unwell and with a sick child and I’m a bit lost for what to do with my relief apart from run in circles shouting ‘Yipeee!’.

  26. Good news. Sounds like the lecturer is being a bit of an ‘arse maggot’ (picked that one up from twitter).
    Hope everyone is feeling better soon, doesn’t seem right to be sick when the weather is just starting to turn nice.

  27. With Assange back in the news, I’m wondering if someone with a better memory than mine can tell me his official position. Didn’t his lawyer issue a statement on the steps a few months back?

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