Monday, April 30

more work

With the "new look" blog editor, the folk at blogger have finally lost it. At first, I couldn’t even get past the opening page to see how the new user interface works. All I got was an “invitation” to allow ads on my blog. Is this the reason for the “upgrade"? To force ads down bloggers' throats?

On the iphone, blogger will freeze and/or simply not respond after a while. And on the ipad, when you open an existing draft post you get a big white empty screen – nothing. And then when you check later via your computer you see that the draft post is now empty of content, all erased.

There's a rumour that the new interface was designed specifically to discourage as many people as possible from blogging.

I'm going to have to look into Wordpress and Livejournal. A whole new learning curve. Now I understand how Hotters feels about technology.

Friday, April 27

chilly new south jocko land

It's only autumn, but already it's colder than some summer days in the old country. Electric blanket weather. Four jumpers weather.

At night, it's hard to decide whether to leave the bedroom window wide open (and freezing), or shut the window and seal in all the gas.

À propos of nothing, an old pic of our boy being a magician when he was about 7.

Tuesday, April 24

Saturday, April 21

the massage and the dinner

I'm still not sure what I'm going to get Albert for a belated birthday pressie, but his presents from other people were: his airfare to the funeral and back. Tickets for a Bach concert coming up. The aforementioned mini comb and mini torch. And spending money from the former pension fund.

Regarding the massage, I'm sure I don't know what Hotters was imagining, but it was no-nonsense Chinese style and all above board. Mind you, the masseuse did look a bit anxious when I asked her to focus on the buttocks (after all the bush walking I'd been doing).

And I forgot to warn her to ignore my giggles, gasps and groans, so I had to reassure her once or twice that there was no risk of breaking me.

The best part of the overpriced dinner for 6 of us, was being able to tell the waitress to charge it to our room. And add healthy tip. Magnanimosity doesn't usually come naturally to me.

in good company

Apologies to my bloggie chummies for my absence from your posts, but Internet connections have been few. I look forward to catching up with you from home tomorrow.

House buyers are commonly advised to look for "the worst house in the best street".

I booked us into the cheapest room in the best hotel, the one where visiting rock stars stay.

Then I got an email from the manager, offering to upgrade us to a suite, for a paltry amount.

We've got a kitchen, a laundry, a living room, two TVs, two fridges, and acres of windows - just drawing the curtains becomes a bit of a workout.

Who knows, we might be in the same suite that Stevie Wonder us, or Clinton or Putin.

Tonight Albert invited all the outlaws to dinner, where they presented him with a tiny monogrammed steel comb - because he only has a few hairs to comb. And a tiny Maglite torch to help him see the hairs, also intended to light his way to the bog at night. When you become an old person, suddenly it's open season.

Wednesday, April 18


15 April. The ma outlaw died a couple of days ago, so we're in New Zealand for the funeral. She was a tenacious old thing. Her last year was mostly torture, and someone less religious would have been asking for a pistol. Over her lifetime she put her intelligence to good use (unlike Albert).

The timing means I've had to cancel my attendance at Albert's xtieth birthday in Tasmania. But would you believe it! Albert has agreed to move the whole event over here! He only asked that all accommodation should have saunas and pools. So after the wake we'll take off for two nights in a sort of rainforest spa. Then 2 nights in a 5* place in the city, where we can blow the pension fund's birthday payout on meals and massages.

Sunday, April 15

holiday plans

I'm on vacation for 2 weeks, so I'm spending some time with Albert, in the build up to his xtieth birthday. Here are just some of the surprise treats I have thought up for him.
• Dinner with his entire circle of friends, at a Bavarian restaurant where they serve draught Erdinger. Naturally I'll cover the drinks tab.
• The cellmate's son has a part-time job as a dog walker. Albert hasn't seen him in ages, so I'll arrange to join the dog walk one morning.
• I'm going to buy him a new electric blanket. Even before his old one broke, it use to take several hours to get warm.

I would do more if I could, but at least I've got the essentials covered - beer, dogs and bed.

Saturday, April 7

urban photies

I'm on an app where I can't actually see these photos, all I can read is the raw HTML, e.g. href="

So here goes anyway. Apols in advance.

Friday, April 6

easter chicks

Easter Friday. The walk continued where last week's left off. Wildlife seen today included cormorants, magpies, and purple swamphens.The red-beaked ones are from New Zealand, says the cellmate, and she should know.

educational video

These two educational videos are probably only of interest to Embra bloggers who visit here. If you don't know how to copy and paste the links, ask Brian to do it for you.

Wednesday, April 4

walkies, birds and trees

Nine mile (15km) walk yesterday, around yet another stretch of foreshore.

Three birds that live in different ways. A magnificent black thing with a flesh-tearing beak.

A long-beaked urban scavenger, probably originally designed for wading through molluscs and eating  them.

And the one that looks like a burnt-out Concorde is, I believe, a new caledonian shag.

Good skies. Splendid dead tree.

Weird tall solitary tree.

The cellmate standing beside a life-form akin to the lesser young Albert, originally spotted in 1970.

Monday, April 2

kif and me

The first half of the Kif book is a load of fun, but then it hits the wall with a hundred pages of scoring, shooting up, and cold turkey. Mind you, it’s probably appropriate that reader boredom should mirror the actual tedium of the smackhead treadmill.

The positive side that comes across is how the guy uses drugs to be able to work on in the studio, for days on end, obsessed. I’m a bit like that too – I get to work some mornings and can’t face doing anything, so I reach for the green tea. Then I lie on the floor until it kicks in. I'm lying there now in fact, nearly ready to do something.