Friday, June 27, 2008


Hubris - a great word. It appeals to the Pessimist and annoys the Optimist in me. Just when one is getting along nicely and thinking all one's affairs are being managed, along comes The Fates/God/Life and sticks a stick in the spokes.

I thought I was managing our household accounts very efficiently, juggling credit cards and savings accounts to make sure no excess account fees or interest were being incurred, looking for the best deals when buying the new consumer item, keeping a watch on statements as they came in.

I obviously wasn't paying the right amount of attention when I filled in a monthly payment slip and instead of $xxx.10 I wrote $xxx.01. The credit interest vultures were circling and when they saw my 09c mistake they swooped to the kill. Two months later I see my little error cost me several hundred dollars in debit interest charges but was this obvious? Was the failure to pay off the full statement amount highlighted in the next communication with the bank - of course not! That's how those big billion dollar profits are made.

I'm going to put this slip of the digits down to my current slodgy brain which I attribute to hormones. My get-up-and-go is on a go-slow so there isn't much happening on many fronts. The knitting sits in its basket looking forlorn and unfinished and the pile of books beside the bed stays unread.

The only success I can claim is finishing Neal Stephenson's brick of a book Cryptonomicon. I can't say I understood all the math or the code unscrambling but I did enjoy his complex story line and interwoven plots, especially the reference he made to Athena as the goddess of weaving (and by association Knitting). The book wasn't as pacy as Snowcrash but maybe it was just right for my present mental state - not particularly focused and prone to wondering off on complex bits of interesting distractions without any real outcomes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phishing for God

Dear Parent,
you may be wondering how we received your child's name and (home) address.
It was sent to us by Children for Christ who ran a Craft Club at the XXX Primary School Hall recently. They thought our lessons would be a big help for you child and have asked us to send lessons....

No! No! and No! I did not provide anyone with my child's name and address, I did not give permission for anyone to pass that information on anywhere and I certainly don't want any lessons of any kind - especially not in these circumstances.

This is the 21st Century where the safety of my child is paramount. I let my son attend what was advertised as a Craft Club run by a local church where he could play games and make models. I didn't expect him to be evangelised or preached to or for sensitive information about him be passed on to other groups to target him. The School where this "craft club" was held was also unaware of the underlying purpose of the group and certainly would not have agreed to information about their students being passed around.

I regard this as an illegal and dangerous practice and am very, very angry.

In these days of cult groups and cunning pederasts in all occupations (especially religious institutions) one cannot claim an innocent desire to have fun and spread the good word at the same time. There is a clear obligation of all groups interacting with children to protect their safety and privacy.

My complaint to the the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was acknowledged but unable to be acted upon because the legislation is limited to Government organisations and private businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million.

This seemingly innocuous looking ship is a constant reminder of the need to be ever vigilant in a world that is not as simple and carefree as many would like it to be.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday busyness

The NSW Knitting Guild's stand at this year's Darling Harbour Craft Show was arranged by Veronica - she is sitting on my right wearing a Princess Leia hat she knitted. It was a busy and fun afternoon spreading the word about the Guild, about Ravelry and the various knitted items we had on display. There was knitted fruit, my Vintage Twist Hot Water Bottle cosies and the big favourite, a curly wurly crochet scarf from Yarn magazine by Guild member, Carolyn Murtagh.

At the same time on that busy Saturday afternoon the Sydney rep of World Wide Knit in Public day was taking place nearby at the Bayside Lounge. As I rushed to the Craft Fair I stopped by to pick up my WWKIP bags that Kris had printed for the event. I love the "No War" reference on the sails on the Opera House and I hope this will be the permanent logo for all the Sydney events.

The day finished with me rushing (again) off to work for the Playhouse performance of Possessed. A funny, slapstick but poignant show performed vigourously by Frank Woodley. It borders on painful sometimes (coccyx pain!) but it is a fast and entertaining show - think Mr Bean meets Buster Keaton with Vegimite.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nice to be Home

Today was the first time in what seems to be an age that I've been home for longer than a night. The past couple of weeks have been busy with shifts and commuting and overnighting in the city.
I find I really pine for the Mountain air if I spend longer than a few nights away from home. The cool green view from the kitchen window is such a respite from the fluorescent lights and air conditioning in the concrete building.

Its grey and misty at present and the poor parrots are sitting in the tree looking bedraggled and hungry but they won't be getting fed until it stops raining because their tray is so waterlogged.

Inside, the combustion stove has been taken out of hibernation. It's so efficient that the whole house is heated from a few loads of wood and the big brick chimney stays warm all night. Above the fire, in pride of place is my first original art purchase.

When I was at Otago University in Dunedin, many years ago, I somehow managed to find $30 out my meagre bursary to buy this Still-Life with Gas Stove from a coffee shop in Stuart Street.
It was very similar to the enamel gas stove in the student flat I lived in and it always held this place in all my subsequent flats. It has no name or artist signature and is simply painted on hard board. I would love to find more about the person who painted it even though it was over 30 years ago.