Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If you need cheering up...

... take a look at this poinsettia. Can you believe these colours?? What a show-off :)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Reinventing the proverbial

I was driving the mower along today and noticed some birds on a roof - they were all Butcherbirds. Then a few minutes later I drove past a leaking pipe and some birds were splashing in the water - they were all Noisy Miners. And after that I looked up to see some birds flying around the trees, and they were all Magpies. And I actually got as far as thinking, "It's funny how birds of the same type hang together," before it belatedly hit me that, yes, "Birds Of A Feather (really DO) Flock Together."

Sigh. And that was the most interesting thought I had all day.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Cloud Appreciation Society

Take a virtual trip to heaven with The Cloud Appreciation Society. Look!

© Bob Jagendorf

From their manifesto:

WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.

We think that they are Nature's poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.**

We pledge to fight 'blue-sky thinking' wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.


© Roger Castle-Smith

** Nitpicking note from me: "...everyone can have a fantastic view of them"? Everyone?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


New Yorker cartoon by J.C. Duffy, published 07 April 2003; via The Cartoon Bank.

Monday, May 08, 2006

You Will Not Defeat Me, Sir

Hmm. Well, last year I did a post about the way my brain just chatters on in endless conversation whenever it doesn't have something better to do. This morning I was feeling a bit tossed and turned by the requirements of living (eg. breathing in and out all the time: it gets so damn tiresome) and suddenly this came to mind: "You Will Not Defeat Me, Sir." And yes, it does require those capital letters - it was like a pronouncement, something Big.

I really like it because suddenly, out of the blue, it makes me feel strong and determined. It has real force, I tell you. Try saying it yourself: "You Will Not Defeat Me, Sir."

See? You're an instant hero now, aren't you? Fantastic!

And just a note for the squeamish: the "sir" here isn't a real man or men in general, he's the bogeyman, the fears and tremblings, all the things that stop me (or you, if you want to play along) from getting past difficulties. Or maybe he IS the difficulties. Whatever, he's a nasty piece of work and requires attention, but that's not to say he can't be left in our wake as we stride past to somewhere better. Yes.

New day

Sunrise this morning.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Open Universities Australia: 3

I just found a comment posted through the Blogger system, and don't have any idea how long it's been there. Please forgive me, CNWB, I wasn't ignoring you, just didn't know you'd said anything. Blogger commenting shouldn't be working, sorry, and I didn't know it was.

And now to today's little drama. I've quit philosophy. Bailed out. The plane was going down and I jumped. I probably decided this weeks ago, but wouldn't admit it until now, the day the second essay is due, the essay I haven't done, and can't do, and won't do.
I don't know why I've done this, what the hell is wrong with me. I've been trying to make sense of it and can't. What have I done? Or not done? Why can't I handle one single undergraduate unit when I've got all the time in the world and no excuses? It'd make a hell of a lot more sense if it made sense, you know :)

Damn it.

I just wanted to mark this event with a blog post. I'm not looking for advice or support or criticism (and comments are still turned off anyway, so nar nar). I started the course, and didn't finish it, and that's the way it went. If it ever makes more sense than this, I might do another post about it. Surely there's something in this I'm supposed to learn, but God only knows what at the moment.

Anyway, and probably redundantly, I'd like to suggest to anybody interested in online study: maybe doing just one unit to start with is a good idea. See how you go before you sign up for a whole course. I'd be feeling a hell of a lot worse if I'd just blown a lot more money, put it that way.

I started this little OUA adventure with a Simpsons quote, so let’s finish with another one:**
Marge: I think Bart and Lisa are feeling a little upset right now. Isn't there something you'd like to say?
Homer: There sure is. Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
Oh, shut up.



Procrastination was a big factor in all this, and needs work, shall we say. I tried some of the techniques in these articles (thank you, Matty) and in particular found the second one really useful:

- Procrastination (California Polytechnic State University)
- Overcoming Procrastination (Steve Pavlina)

The idea of starting again, and again, and again... "If you simply start a task enough times, you will eventually finish it." There's something good and do-able in that. (Kind of like getting out of bed every morning, really.)

**From Burns' Heir written by Jack Richdale