Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

This year has been 16 hours shorter than normal for me and I am already into 2008. Sydney does hard core fireworks and I am too tired right now to describe them! I do recommend going over to the SMH website to check out their slideshow of the event.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gym culture shock

I went to try out a gym today and had the rude shock of discovering that, of course, the treadmill pace was in km/hr. Had no idea how fast (well, slow) I was running....


I really hate the Sydney cockroaches. They are out in force tonight and my kill rate is low.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oh yeah

Merry Christmas, y'all! I think that as I type is part of the short window of time were all of the US and Australia are in Christmas together (though Santa is still hard at work over there).

We didn't do much to celebrate except enjoy each other's company, eat pie on fancy place mats, and build lots of bookshelves. Yay!

My first Aussie animal

I know it doesn't look like much, but this little guy climbing up the bank was my first Australian animal sighting. We spotted him in the road (in time to avoid smushing him) but were too excited to think of cameras until the last minute. This is an echidna, which, along with the platypus, is a monotreme (an egg-laying animal that suckles its young). Echidnas look a bit like porcupines with a long, anteater-like snout. And they waddle. In a very cute way.

(N.B.: I recommend clicking on the picture for a better view.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another mystery solved

As my sister and I were walking through Anandale on our unsuccessful car caper (perhaps a story for another day) I finally, definitely heard a kookaburra! I have been dying to hear one and I saw a couple at the wildlife park in Tasmania (where the 'roo picture is from) but they were stubbornly silent. But this was an honest to god kookaburra call(s) that started out as sort of a fast laugh (I think I have heard that before) that then crescendoed into an incredibly loud monkey laugh. Oo oo ah ah!!!! I think there were two of them, laughing away.


Some of the recent silence has been because I was in Tasmania with the family for 5 days. Will be posting lots of pictures over the next bit, but this is a teaser.

Unfinished slime

That night I went crazy posting pictures of slimy things? Well, I took one more picture of a fabulous snail. Here it is.

Monday, December 10, 2007

They/you are here!

Family is here, so light blogging for the rest of you for now...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Wait, there is more slime!

Even though slugs are the grossest things in the world, I had to admit this 3 incher is pretty cool, hanging out on the garden fence. Oh, and I got the leech when he made a second run for it.


I don't know why I feel so compelled to enumerate all of my encounters with invertebrates, but yuck! I hate it when it rains. I just encountered another leech in the bathroom, and this time failed in getting it OUT and chased it under a tile where I can't get at it.

But I am watching.

Then I just killed one mother of a roach. Sydney roaches are so big they waddle and are pretty easy to kill.



It has been raining A LOT lately, and there was a particularly bad storm this afternoon. Probably several inches fell within an hour. And it did some damage: there was a torrential leak in the ceiling of an office down the hall from me. It wouldn't surprise me if the ceiling caves in if it rains at all before it is repaired.

I had a much smaller scale leak at home too, where the roofs join.

Leech? Waddaya think?

I know I have been obsessing about this for awhile now, but after another torrential rain, another one of these guys showed up in my house. I do think it is a leech, but you can decide for yourself. I actually inspected this one pretty closely as I was throwing him outside, and I think I saw his front end ending in a gaping mouth that was following my finger around as I waved it nearby.

Note: click on the picture for a close-up. You can actually see a lot more detail.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


The australian magpie is my most common neighborhood bird, and they are wonderful. This guy knew I was taking pictures of him and clearly wasn't sure what to make of it all....

Promising initial results

I think that is how I should view my first sourdough loaf. The dough didn't rise as much as it should have (the first photo is pre-rise, the second post-bake), but it wasn't a total flop either. I think I should persevere with the starter and continue daily feedings. Also experiment with a wheat starter (this one is rye)....

Monday, December 3, 2007


Australia signed the Kyoto protocol to day. G'd on ya, OZ!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Daurn speling thing agin





Saturday, December 1, 2007

Science experiment update

I don't think my sourdough is in such great shape. It doesn't smell very good and it went flat. I think the bubbles that I took a picture of were a bacteria that can mimic yeast and is pretty common in new sourdough. So rather than try to make a loaf tonight, I've decided to refresh it and wait another day.

I love weekends

I never used to feel this way, but I LOVE weekends! I love not going to work, thinking about work. Even though I love my job. I did really nothing today. Spent most of it on my couch smelling the breeze and reading and napping. I'm catching up for a sleepless night last week, I guess. It is rainy so going out was less appealing.

I should get around to house work tomorrow, and maybe try to do something new in the city.