Spinning Day

Is actually the 3rd – this sat!

Date: 03/03
Time: 10:00 am, wrapping up before 3:00pm
Place: Burwood Park in Burwood
Bring: wheels, spindles, fibre, a good sense of humour, food/picnic lunch, knitting, crochet, etc.
Open to: anyone who feels up for a bit of spinning, or wants to learn, or just feels like hanging out with people who are spinning.

And thanks to Yarnivorous, this link might make you rethink your next chicken dinner.

Dunny Roll, Fresh Hay, and Spinning…

Today, I spent far too much time discussing different grades of toilet paper. Wanna know about embossing and perforations? Don’t ask – I’ll tell you.

Mark informed me that the small and furry people with long ears are out of hay. Which is a problem, considering that hay is their principle diet, and that the little rotters can eat their own volume several times over, each and every day, but I managed to get to Carlingford Produce after they officially closed, but before they went home.

The hay is gorgeous! Fresh smelling, and bright green in colour. I think it’s the most I’ve ever paid for a bale of hay ($27.50), but it is possibly the best hay I’ve ever seen – definitely the best since the drought got bad.

Tonight, after the creatures had their dinner, I plucked some more fur and mats out of Miss Blueberry. She was not amused, but she got craisins (bunny crack), and I now have a much larger sample of fuzz for our spinning day on saturday the 10th.

Sally – I may have to rescind my offer of a lift to SSK, unless you want to come to the spinning day too ? We’re meeting in a park to spin and bitch, all welcome – comment if you want me to send you the details.

Picture is of a Lorikeet that came to visit at Tony and Kates after the party last weekend. It’s a bit blurry, but it is true to the state of my mind that morning!

Victorian Lace Today

Thanks to Sally, I now have my very own copy of Victorian Lace Today. And as soon as I can finish the tattoo for TBA, I’m casting on for something slinky and drapey, and yummy, just for ME.

I have promised mum another shawl from this book, but I think the next one is for me. I bought the yarn at R+L’s, it’s a viscose and Baumwolle blend. David translated Baumwolle to mean “tree wool” – we later found another translation of “cotton”, but I’m sticking with tree wool.

The colour is a rich and deep plummy eggplanty burgundy sort of purply shininess. It deserves pictures, but it’s nearly 11.30pm, and rather wet out. I’ll put in a concerted effort on the tattoo, and shiny yarn will get its day in the sun. It isn’t seasilk, but I have great hopes. There is a shade card here, but the colour is far to dark, totally wrong – though you do get some idea of the shiny and slinky…

And here is the stitch pattern I waited for a year to find. Thanks Celia! I have swatched extensively, and am looking for the perfect increase (the KFB leaves a little coloured ladder, and isn’t ideal for what I have in mind).

Post Script – I think the colour is number 45 on the shade card, but I forgot to mention that because the shade card is too dark.

Maxine McKew for Bennelong?

A the last federal election, Andrew Wilkie stood for the Greens against John Howard for Bennelong – the electorate in which I currently reside.  Yes, “Our Mighty Leader” is our local member.

Less than an hour ago, Kevin Rudd announced that the Labour Party candidate for the next federal election would be Maxine McKew.

Since Andrew moved to Tassie (and is number 2 on the Greens senate ticket after Bob Brown), we don’t have a high profile local candidate to field in Bennelong.  But despite her affiliation with a party that deserted me years ago, Maxine will do quite nicely.  I won’t be voting for her, but I am happy to see that there is a mainstream candidate that will draw attention to Bennelong and make the campaign interesting.

Now, if you aren’t political, here are a few reasons why you should educate yourself a little bit about the Australian political system, and use your vote to make a difference this year.

1.  The planet is suffering, and if we don’t make some big changes NOW, there won’t be much of a future for TBA.

2.  Everyone has a vote, everyone has a voice.  You don’t have to agree with me politically, but I will respect your opinion as long as you have one.  Apathy is a luxury that only the upper classes can afford – caring for each other demands that me make informed decisions that consider the outcomes for those less fortunate than ourselves.

3.  The conservatives hold the balance of power in the senate.  Before this happened, the Greens were able to influence policy in some key areas.  Stem cell research, mandatory detention, and RU486 are just a few key issues that having one extra Green senator has afforded us.  Whatever happens in the lower house will make a difference – but the senate is key to maintaining an effective opposition in Australia.

If you think you could learn more about the Aussie political system, there is a great primer here.  It is written by Greens, so you may be skeptical – but I thought it was pretty good.  And honestly, my understanding of the whole disaster is pretty sketchy, but I do know that the more of us that understand fully the consequences of our vote, the better.

PS.  Until I met Mark, my contact with politicians was peripheral at best, and kinda creepy – I’ll tell you about it one day.  Since then, I’ve met three that have made a big impact on me.  Kerry, of course, I’m related to – so I have to say nice things.  But if you know me, you know I don’t pull punches, and I don’t pretend to like people just to play nice.  My brother’s ex-girlfriends can attest to that.  Kerry is a principled, intelligent, committed, and compassionate woman.  And she knits.  And Andrew Wilkie lost his job over a matter of principle.  He is a shining example of the good that a military career can bring out in a man, shiny shoes, an abhorrence of war, and a skill with people that makes you want to follow him.  And then there is Lee Rhiannon.  I don’t know Lee as well as Andrew and Kerry, but every time I have met her, I have been struck by her passion and commitment.  So my point is – if we could examine the reasons for people entering politics, what would we find?  Some for the glory, some for the money, some for the power.  And some who want to make the world a better place. Those are the ones worth voting for.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Birthday to Bex, I hope your day was filled with good things.

Mark and I drove up the mountains last night for a housewarming party, and we’re starting to think more seriously about moving west – it’s very likely that when we buy a house, it will be somewhere in the mountains, but in the meantime it may make sense to rent up there for a while.

We had a great time at the party (I met a woman who is going to raise alpacas!), I fell into a deep sleep on the very comfy couch while the party raged around me (getting old, I think I did very well to keep the eyelids up until after 1am), and we had a leisurely breakfast overlooking the valley while the birds kept us entertained.

Not going to the pub today – Mark hasn’t had much sleep, and it’s wet, and we’ve done more than enough driving for one weekend.

And thanks to Celia, I finally have the stitch pattern I need for the sock of my dreams. I’ve been swatching for nearly a year now, and I am on the verge of a breakthrough. Just need to refine a detail or two, and then I can proceed to an actual prototype. Happy!

And if you want to read something a wee bit disturbing, click here.

More info on Peace Silk

From The Abolitionist Online. Now if only I could find a local supplier. You listening Kris?

And in todays “News From The Frontline” of medical technology sales, we have some progress. On the last day of the second week I have worked for this company, I actually got to see one of the machines we sell in action. Not with an actual patient – the boss had to whip his shirt off and slap on some electrodes – but I did see the machine that goes ping, actually going ping. PING. A lot. And printing reports. Eeeeeeeeeee!

I actually got out of the office for the first time. And I got to spend a few hours talking to the boss. I got some work to do for next week, and I learned something. I didn’t actually leave work till nearly 8pm, but them’s the breaks. Still haven’t been paid. Might get paid tomorrow, if the accounts person decides that all the paperwork is in order. If I don’t get paid, I might just throw a hissy fit. I have now provided three rounds of paperwork, each of which have been required as the “last step” to actually having money transferred into my bank account. And each time, another excuse, another bit of paper, or information, or fact checking required. Could this be a deliberate ploy to make me take a sharp knife to the paintwork on someone’s SUV? I can’t stamp my little broken foot and be taken seriously…

Tomorrow, I am taking the lovely Christophe for his birthday adventure to Rubi + Lana’s (no link because their website is so crap), and will hopefully get some housework done so that we can enjoy Tony & Kate’s housewarming party in the Blue Mountains without guilt. Life is good, but I may need to take speed to keep up with everything.

And huge thank you to mum and dad for taking Spongebob the iMac to hospital today – picked up and delivered home with a new pacemaker, all in the one day!

Who is Dr Harry?

Sally asks a few very good questions.

Here is Dr Harry’s official website. Basically, he is a TV vet. Australian only and I believe he is based in Tassie.

I am sure I’m not the only person who hates him. But you might be able to count us on one hand. He is cheerful, and jovial, and he “loves animals”. Most people thing he is like their favourite uncle, or grandfather. But he makes my flesh crawl. Like a pedophile. I am not suggesting that he rapes children, but I really wish the man would shut up, or get a clue.

My feelings for him are not new. I’ve disliked him since I first saw him on TV talking about rabbit care.

Most vets don’t have a clue about rabbit care. It’s not their fault – even the “best” vet school in Sydney (Sydney Uni) has bugger all training in rabbits and guinea pigs. As a vet in Australia, you can specialise in large animals, or small animals. Large animals = horses and cows, small animals = dogs and cats. In the UK, rabbits are the third most popular pet, after dogs and cats – the vets that I see in Sydney have invariably done training or residency in the UK, and understand current best practice in lagomorph care.

I forked out a few hundred dollars on Amazon a few years ago to buy the latest “Textbook of Rabbit Medicine”. I will admit that I need to look up every second word to follow the text, but I do have the resources to find out if a vet has a clue or not. I’ve also used the book to convince a shelter vet that pain relief was a lifesaver for rabbits after spay surgery. Any woman could tell you that pain relief is absolutely necessary after a hysterectomy, but some vets need convincing that rabbits feel pain. The book was worth every penny, and every time I know that the shelter desexes a bunny, I think about the value of good information.

So why post now? I saw him on an ad. And I was reminded that I hated his ignorance, and hated his wholesome image, and hated that his word is never questioned.

I just want people to ask questions. And demand a better quality of care for their long eared friends.

Once upon a time, a friend lost her beautiful bunny. From what she told me of the care he received over about a week, I strongly suspected that the rabbit died as a result of veterinary malpractice. But I couldn’t say anything to my grieving friend. Not then, not ever. But I can encourage people to get more educated about best practice.

Weight Loss

Catalyst, ABC TV, 8.00PM 22/02/2007

A weight loss pill, based on the Human Growth Hormone, was tested on a group of rats. The control group were fed a vegetarian diet.

Yup – the “control” or “normal” group, were fed a vegetarian diet. That seems to have been a fatal mistake for the drug companies.

Read this. Apparently, the drug is no longer being investigated for weight loss, as the test group did “failed to show a significant increase in weight loss when compared to the placebo group”.

This fails to explain why I am such a lardy of course. I blame the beer.