28 February 2007

reality TV - look at me, I'm an idiot

From the BBC
Victoria Beckham wins US TV deal

Ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is to star in a fly-on-the-wall documentary about her forthcoming move to the US after signing a £10m deal with NBC.

The programme will "look inside her world", her spokeswoman confirmed, but will not feature her footballer husband David, or their three sons.

The former England captain transfers to Los Angeles Galaxy this summer.

The 32-year-old was known as Posh Spice during her time with the group, who released their last single in 2000.

Last month she described the move to the US - which will reportedly earn her husband $250m (£127m) over five years - as "really exciting".

She said it was a decision which had been "thought about carefully".

"I'm really looking forward to making new friends and enjoying the sunshine in California," she wrote on her website.

Beckham's spokeswoman said that the precise details of the series were still to be finalised, and gave no timescale for transmission.

Isn't it funny that really dumb people (they may have a lot of money, but it doesn't necessarily increase their intelligence) have a tendency to want to put this on public display?


Mary, Margaret and I went to the new Dumpling Inn which opened recently up the road. It was good. We had dumplings, shallot pancake, hand made noodles and then mui choi kau yuk (pork belly with preserved vegetables) and rice. I always order the kau yuk (usually not on the menu) to test the 'authenticity' of Chinese restaurants.

27 February 2007

new music

The new Kaiser Chiefs' album Yours Truly, Angry Mob is quite good, almost as good as their debut album Employment.


I went to Bobby's place after work today for a BBQ dinner, and came home just in time before the big thunderstorm hit.

26 February 2007


Oscar? Bah!

When is the real Oscar going to host those awards?


I left work early today, as I wasn't feeling well. Arriving home early from work though, isn't the same. There was no Keiser to sneak up to and surprise. Sigh!

Mary was over and stayed for a tandoori chicken and lamb dinner.

25 February 2007

will it attract lightning?

These umbrellas which are for sale in (South) Korea look really cool. First seen in the film Blade Runner, they will be better known as light saber umbrellas.

The question is, will it attract lightning?


Today, I watched the Brisbane Lions vs St Kilda match taped from last night. It was good to see some of the new players stepping up and playing well. Moody had a lot of (ball) possessions and a rookie, Tyler proved himself on the field.

This afternoon, Emily and I went to the new Dendy cinema in town. The seats were like couches (wide, soft and comfortable). The good thing about Dendy is that they also screen a lot of foreign films. There is only so much Hollywood that one can take.

We watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer which was quite good. A shame it was not in French, as the film was set in France. Most of the characters spoke with an English accent, except for Giuseppe Baldini played by Dustin Hoffman who spoke with a bad French(?) accent. Baldini was supposed to be Italian. It was faithful to the book by Patrick Süskind (originally in German), except some of the storylines were not included.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille learning how to 'capture' scent

His ultimate scent

Football - preseason NAB Cup round 1

Woohoo! Finally the footy is back, even if it is the NAB Cup, with modified rules.

BRISBANE LIONS: 0.1.0, 0.3.4, 0.5.5, 0.7.10 (52)
ST KILDA: 1.4.1, 1.5.1, 1.5.6, 1.5.6 (45)
NINE POINT GOALS: St Kilda: Goddard
SIX POINT GOALS: Brisbane Lions: Sherman 2, Copeland, Kiel, Harding, Patfull, Tyler
St Kilda: Brooks 2, Milne, Allen, Montagna
BEST: Brisbane Lions: Black, Copeland, Moody, Rischitelli, Sherman, Patfull
St Kilda: Thompson, Montagna, S Fisher, McQualter, Ferguson, X Clarke
INJURIES: Brisbane Lions: Adcock (ankle)
UMPIRES: Sully, Nicholls, Ellis, Jeffrey
CROWD: N/A at Cazaly Stadium, Cairns

Last night's game (televised way too late) - it was pouring with rain, St Kilda were leading for the first three quarters, so it was a great win.

Moody with the ball, Blacky looks on

The hero of the game was Blacky

Scott Harding checking Colm Begley on the ground, while Blacky tries to shake off the St Kilda guys

Wayde Mills

it was really really wet

24 February 2007

gold vs saffron

The myth that saffron is worth more than gold by weight is untrue.

Kashmiri saffron (the best quality) is worth about US$900 a kilogram.

Gold (at NY closing time on Friday) was worth US$21 955 a kilogram.


I spent 10 hours out of the house today. Firstly attending the preseason NAB Cup game between the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans at 3.40pm. It was a really good game. I went with Tim K and we sat with Rob and his friends just slightly to the right of the goalposts, near the Bulldogs cheer squad. The cheer squad who were visiting from Melbourne to attend the game were funny - their chant after each Bulldog goal was "doggy doggy doggy... woof woof woof".

Brad Johnson (captain) going for goal

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.3.6 1.4.13 1.7.15 1.12.16 (97)
SYDNEY 0.2.0 0.3.3 0.6.3 1.9.7 (70)
Goals: Western Bulldogs: Lynch 3, Robbins 2, Johnson 2, Harris (nine-point goal), McDougall, Baird, Griffen, Harbrow, Higgins. Sydney: White 3, Kirk 2 (1 nine-point goal), Richards 2, Rowe, Davis, Currie.
Best: Western Bulldogs: Griffen, Gilbee, Lynch, Power, McDougall, Robbins. Sydney: Kirk, Mathews, Goodes, Schmidt, Richards, White.
Reports: Western Bulldogs: Ray by field umpire Kamolins in final quarter for allegedly charging Bevan (Sydney).
Injuries: Western Bulldogs: Wight (cork), Johnson (cork). Sydney: Malceski (shin).
UMPIRES: Kennedy, Kamolins, Grun.
CROWD: 5557 at Manuka Oval.

Afterwards, I attended Craig's 50th birthday at Regatta Point with the entire Richmond family and their friends, upon his son Dane's invitation. It was a good night and it was good to catch up with Amanda's mum. When they go away in the next month or so, their German Shepherd Kane is going to come and stay over. It will be nice to have some furry companionship again.

Being out for so long and so late (getting home at 11.30pm) made me realise that my life did revolve around Keiser, and that I actually I preferred to spend time with her instead of going out.

23 February 2007

not a giant, but a colossal squid

A 450kg (990lb) colossus squid was caught off Antarctica by a New Zealand fisherman.

The squid will probably end up in a museum.

What a waste. No salt and pepper squid.

- National Geographic
- The Age (Melbourne) of 23 February 2007


Devi came around tonight for a dinner of baked lamb chops marinated in preserved lemon, soy sauce and marmalade, served with baby King Edward potatoes and broccolini.

It was good to have company as Margaret went to Sydney on Wednesday and returns this Sunday. Returning from work to an empty house is awful. Keiser used to greet me at the door when I came home. Yesterday was awful. Crying comes easy.

22 February 2007

go away Cheney

US Vice-President Dick Cheney will be arriving in Sydney tonight after visiting Guam and Japan.

Hardly anybody in Australia wants Cheney here, except for our prime minister.

Maybe they will both go away.

21 February 2007

Marmite might..

Many Australians carry Vegemite with them when they travel. Breakfast without Vegemite on toast is like having an omelet without eggs.

In the absence of Vegemite, like in the UK for instance, Marmite is a passable substitute, though a little sweeter.

Marmite has made a special edition using Guinness brewer's yeast in time for St Patricks's Day. Hmmm...

I want to get some


Emily was around tonight for a vegetable green curry dinner. We also watched Heroes and Prison Break both of which are getting very interesting. Only Kieser was missing.

I would give up all my possessions even all books, CDs and DVDs etc and live on bread and water to have Keiser instead. She was worth more than everything I own and she owned me (not the other way around).

20 February 2007

the QM2 and QE2

Sydney harbour tonight is a magnificent sight. This morning, the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest passenger liner arrived before dawn. This evening, she was joined by her older sister ship the Queen Elizabeth 2.

Queen Mary 2 is so big (23 storeys high) that she cannot fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge nor berth at the International Terminal at Circular Quay, docking at the naval base instead.

See - Sydney Morning Herald of 20 February 2007

Queen Mary 2 arriving in Sydney at dawn

Queen Elizabeth 2 arriving to join Queen Mary 2

19 February 2007

a four legged duck

From the BBC

Four-legged duckling shocks owner

The mutation is rare but cases have been recorded elsewhere

An ugly duckling has made waves on a farm after being born with four legs.

A rare mutation has left eight-day-old Stumpy with two extra legs behind the two he moves around on. Owner Nicky Janaway, of Warrawee Duck Farm in the New Forest, Hampshire, said she was gobsmacked when she turned Stumpy over to check his sex.

"It was absolutely bizarre. I was thinking 'he's got too many legs' and I kept counting: One, two, three, four,'" she said. Mrs Janaway said the animal would not survive in the wild.

"He's eating and surviving so far and he is running about with those extra legs acting like stabilisers," she said.

"He's had so much attention he is having a power nap at the moment because he's exhausted but we will making sure he's OK and hopefully he will carry on and survive."

The mutation is rare but cases have been recorded across the world.

See - video

Stumpy looks too cute, so I won't make a food-related comment.

18 February 2007

Year of the Pig

Happy (Chinese and Lunar) New Year for the Year of the Pig which commenced today.

Unfortunately our pigs will not be celebrating. Not because many are destined for our dinner plates through out the year, but the breeding of pigs for food is not without its issues.

not a very nice existence living in cages

- report in Rolling Stone magazine of 14 December 2006
- SaveBabe.com campaign (Australia)

Ham was one of Keiser's favourite foods and I used to buy packaged ham slices especially for her. I can no longer buy and eat ham.

Free range pork does have a better quality to caged pork. If pigs are supposedly more intelligent than dogs, why are we not rearing them as animal companions?

We don't eat dolphins on account of their intelligence. Why do we eat pigs?

I last cooked pork in a dish of Hokkien noodles with teriyaki sauce. Hmmm...

moi is not food!

17 February 2007

Footy update

The team's intra-club match was held last night in Brisbane and the new players (recruits in the senior list, and the rookies) showed great promise.

- report from the Brisbane Lions website
- report from The Age newspaper

The new clash guernsey was also announced/unveiled on 2 February. I haven't decided if I like it yet. There is no maroon in it (the club's colours are maroon, blue and gold).

Thankfully, I managed to purchase last year's gold version which many supporters dislike (but which I like).

I can't wait for the preseason (NAB Cup) game next weekend.


Today is the last day of the Year of the Dog so I spent most of the day cleaning the house despite it being rather warm. I finally put the scratching posts away which was upsetting. I really miss brushing Keiser's fur in the middle of vacuuming, and the well-earned nap together with her in the afternoon.

Earlier in the week, I also had about 100 photos of Keiser developed (about five or six were duplicates to give to her dearest human friends - of her on their laps). I also have a large one framed 10x8 inches.

(taken on 1 January 2007)
She may not be here in purrson, but she is always in my heart (even though it is broken), and I have a life size photo of her sweet face to look at every day.

Tonight I am burning 17 candles for Keiser (for the nearly 17 wonderful years she had, about 12 of those years were with me).

Keiser loved our football team and the club (membership office) sent me a very nice card. Keiser had her own membership and the office was sad to learn of her passing.

16 February 2007

it's all Myspace's fault... not

From Washington Post of 15 February 2007
Judge: MySpace Guiltless In Child Assault
Frank Ahrens

Yesterday, a Texas judge tossed out a lawsuit against MySpace, the world's biggest social-networking site brought by the family of a 13-year-old girl assaulted by a man who found her through her MySpace page.

The man, 19-year-old Pete Solis of Texas, lied about himself on his MySpace page to gain the trust of the girl, who is identified as Julie Doe in the suit. He was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child last year.

Doe's family sued MySpace for $30 million and their case was joined by other families who had experienced similar assaults. MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, and is fighting legislative efforts to restrict access to the site at school and library computers.

In dismissing the suit, the judge wrote: "To impose a duty under these circumstances for MySpace to confirm or determine the age of each applicant, with liability resulting from negligence in performing or not performing duty, would of course stop MySpace's business in its tracks and close this avenue of communication..."

In the end, according to the judge, "If anyone had a duty to protect Julie Doe, it was her parents, not MySpace."

More and more parents are absolving themselves of their parental responsibilities. Not surprising in a society where people litigate rather than take personal responsibility.

If people don't want individual rights and responsibilities, they may as well live in North Korea.

15 February 2007

when a million dollars buys very little

Zimbabwe under dictator Robert Mugabe was turning into a basket case economy.

By June this year, even one million Zimbabwean dollars will barely be enough to survive due to rampant inflation.

Nearly worthless

It's time for Mugabe to go.

See - Sydney Morning Herald of 14 February 2007


Mary was around tonight and we made stuffed capsicums (bell peppers) for dinner.

14 February 2007


Researchers in Hungary have created a shape which they have called Gomboc to explain how creatures such as beetles and turtles on their backs can get back on their feet.

"Nature has created such shapes but we did not understand why they are this way," said Gabor Domokos of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE)."

Duh! So beetles and turtles on their backs can get back on their feet of course!

See - The Age of 13 February 2007.


Keiser's 'urn' returned home today and now sits with her brother's (Fatty). I still miss Fatty, and will miss Keiser for a long time.

Emily is over tonight for TV night (Heroes and Prison Break). Just as last week, it is not the same without Keiser.

05 February 2007

Tail of Devotion for Keiser

Keiser (photo taken on 1 January 2007)

Keiser managed to soften her way into just about everybody's hearts, especially those who came to visit and could not turn her away when she insisted on laying on their lap.

She demanded attention and always received it. Who could ignore her soft little meows and pretty face?

Her typical work day routine was:
- Wake me by sitting up in bed and politely meowing
- Before anything else was done, Keiser would have her breakfast
- During my shower, she would come in and sit on the bath mat chatting away, when I finished, she would hop in and have a licks of the water in the tub
- When I made my lunch for work, she would sit on the floor beside me waiting on her treat which was cheese, or ham, or something leftover
- Before I left for work, I would ensure she was settled on the couch and I would kiss her on the forehead
- When I came home from work, she would be waiting for me near the front door and we would have a chat about how her day was
- We would have a cuddle then she would have her dinner (she became a grazing eater)
- When I ate my dinner, she would want more of her dinner
- In the evening she would lie on my lap on the couch while we watch TV or use the laptop, and if it was too warm, nap in her soft basket next to me (I was always stroking and patting her)
- At bedtime, she would follow me in and then hop up on the bed. I would ask her if she had a good day and we would review the activities of that day.

She adored her weekends when I usually spent most of the day with her:
- She really liked me having a daytime nap on the couch and she would hop up and lay next to me
- We sometimes watched a DVD together with her on my lap.

Keiser's favourite things included:
- nice long brushes of her fur
- hearing her name being said (and even sung in a song)
- laying on laps, especially outstretched on a sofa
- being cuddled and hugged
- have a bristly chin rub against her forehead
- head and shoulder massages
- cheese
- potato chips
- ham
- red meat, especially beef and lamb, preferable rare (sadly she was no longer allowed these due to an allergy)
- chicken wings (again, she was no longer allowed bones as she could not digest them)
- having her head cradled by an arm and being cuddled laying on the couch
- playing with her ping pong balls (again, not after her heart murmur was diagnosed)
- having her human friends (and even strangers) visit so she could lay on their laps (she also made it known that was what she demanded by telling them as soon as they walked in the door)
- her football team, the Brisbane Lions, of which she was a paid up member
- her cat scratcher and she always sharpened her claws before bedtime
- looking out of the windows
- getting under the covers during winter for a cuddle

She listened to any type of music I put on, and on the rare occasion, made it known that it was not to her taste (I would have to apologise and turn it off).

Keiser was very unique with one of the best personalities for a cat. She lived a long and mostly pain free life and had the opportunity to taste most (allowable) foods. I will miss her very much.

Rest in peace my sweet princess. You were the best.

04 February 2007

Continuing a tradition

I am continuing a blog in the tradition and standards set by my dear cat Keiser who passed away early today.

You can view her blog at