Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cat on corner desk

These canine companions & the resident feline are witnesses to the lack of writing I have done today. I am ashamed to say I have spent the afternoon refamiliarising myself with the camera, and how to transfer pictures from it to my facebook page and here. So here is proof though that there is a rather large (70cms tall at shoulder so far & he is only 9 mths old) companion at this desk, as well as a portly sleepy one, and attentive border collie along with a very elderly sleepy feline & of course a cup of coffee.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In awe of John Kerry

I spent this afternoon watching The Long War of John Kerry and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know "enjoy" is not synonymous with war but it is the man I am most in awe of. At 27 years old John returned from Vietnam & decided that he was not going to just sit back grateful he made it out alive, but instead empowered so many seriously wounded men (physically & emotionally) to send a clear anti-war message to the Nixon administration. And to have what little strength left after witnessing the tragedies of war, to protest against sustaining the war was just amazing. I have not doubt that it was what John & his fellow veterans did that actually helped give some meaning to many veterans who returned home to what seemed like a wall of disassociation. What a shame John missed out on the Presidency by so few votes. Bush, rather than Kerry, the latter having received recognition for saving the lives of some of his fellow troops. Then having to be put under a microscope of suspicion by the Nixon administration, and have the so-called counterfoil employed to tarnish the good work John was doing to help the veterans find their voice to call for the end of the war.

I recall when my father returned from Vietnam there was no flag waving, or thank you's. Instead we (children) were subjected to nasty little comments from teachers who really knew nothing of what or why our fathers were in Vietnam, along the lines that our fathers travelled overseas to meet people & kill them. I just hope that teachers of this era are more diplomatic about their views when in the presence of children whose parents may now be in Afghanistan, East Timor, and the likes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wandering off the track

I have recently discovered the joy of podcasts. It occurred to me that this magnificent invention has to be right up there with the wheel, X-ray machine, refrigerator, and of course the standard size computer. I have been listening to all sorts of interviews, mainly from the United Kingdom, involving authors, poets, politicians, historians, and of course not dissimilar to the latter - comedians. I listen while driving to and from work, the iPod graciously loaned to me by femme teen as she has moved on to another type with far more storage space (haven't got the handle on the correct terminology yet). At the time she out grew this, I thought to myself that it was a waste of money buying another, then of course I would presume - another, because where one becomes unpopular or out-of-date another must take its place. But I get why teen needed the larger one - and quite frankly I can also see why one of my favourite authors & social commentators is so passionate about gadgets. A couple of times a week I have plug the iPod in to the computer and recharge it, and of course refresh the podcasts I subscribe to, mostly BBC, but also some from various other places. If I were to have a gadget that had more memory I could save lots more, and not have to delete the ones I have listened to several times. I could archive them so to speak, like books on a shelf, and go back to them at a later date.

So while roaming the shelves of the itunes catalogue - I am not writing. It is worse than getting carried away on a web surf - I start tasting a little bit of this, then a little bit of that, and dart off to another recommended site or blog and by the time I have come to my senses, I lost two hours of my life and nothing written. The wee bit of time left for writing I spend tweaking the chapter I have sat in front of for months.

Its NaNoWriMo and I have done zilch, zero, zip. I have however deleted a truck load of emails which have been automatically sent by all of those enthusiasts who are diligently writing and following the programme.

I, on the other hand have been:

  • attending quilting workshop

  • sewing homework from Q workshop

  • reclaiming gardens from winter/spring weed infestation

  • attending puppy training classes with 8month old "Archie" the huntaway

  • doing puppy training homework

  • shopping, cooking, cleaning for family

  • attending Zumba class (had first one this week)

  • doing 45 minutes on treadmill every second night

  • trying to fit first passion of life in - that's reading of course

  • going to work

Meanwhile, there is the forebodance of the end of year celebrations and of course as does naturally occur, the end of the year. And how much have I written? I have to toughen up and get on with it. Otherwise another year goes by, Im a year older, and if I don't get the thing (it's become "the thing") finished it will haunt me every time I pick up someone elses book. Even if I write something that is only fit to line Archie's bed with I would be happy.

Nothing will happen much next week because I have 'Zumba' Monday (the music & dance reminds me of the heady days of the late 70's early 80's, Gloria Estefan, Miami Sound Machine, and the timeless Santana). While I may be the oldest there, well maybe not quite, it will help keep the arthritus at bay. Then its off to Wellington for three days for work, and catch up with a lovely friend who I met while travelling around Europe - another bibliophile. We intend to visit Unity Books shop, and take in the Te Papa Museum Photography exhibition.

Going back to the arthritus, I am still perplexed that I went to an eye specialist to deal with a lump on the eyeball, and given some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the lump was treatable with some steroid drops, the bad news is that the lump will more than likely return, the good news is that unless it gets nasty like it's predecessor, there's no reason for it not to disappear of its own accord. The bad news is that the blood tests taken as part of the diagnosis for the eye revealed rheumatoid arthritus.

Now how bizarre, but not shockingly surprising because I have felt a noticeable stiffening in the fingers - but to go to get an eye problem checked only to find out about arthritus. My thoughts turned to getting serious about exercise and losing some of the extra weight (yup, if I was baggage being checked in I would have to leave behind quite a bit as unchecked luggage) to ease the difficulties I might face in the future with movement. For some reason the arthritus was enough motivation to get me using the treadmill every other day, and the Zumba to help with the other joints. Apparently, instead of stopping knitting sewing etc i should try to keep it up on a regular basis to keep the finger joints moving but its not that easy [comfort wise] because my employment revolves around drafing sometimes lengthy letters and reports, so the fingers get quite uncomfortable.

Anyway, the arthritus is another reason for getting the writing down in the near future in case there comes a time where doing what I have been sat here doing for nearly an hour, gets too difficult.

I have also made a commitment to not taking any further books out of the library until I get through some of my own. I purchased a box full at the last Red Cross Book Fair and they deserve some acknowledgment, so I have started on Jostein Gaarder's book The Solitaire Mystery. I have read Sophies World and it was superb, and frankly the author is quite a picture too.
Well thats all for tonight. I still have some reading to do.