Friday, March 31, 2006

Overhead at the water cooler:
-I regret the day I was married. Consider yourself lucky. I was married for a whole year ...
-How is your ex wife … she has been drinking since I left her seven months ago. Don't be silly - no one celebrates that much ...

My lovely Anne Warfield noted: A true leader is not one you look up to because they are the best. A true leader is one that draws the best out in you. Brett Lethbridge - NO LIMIT: A Search for the Australian Artistic Dream

Why is it that so many girls wax lyrical over dating some bloke who refuses to return their calls, won't be caught dead meeting her folks and never buys her gifts (unless he wants something in return)? Introducing the bad boy - a.k.a. the blokes we tend to fall hopelessly in love with. Modern society is becoming increasingly restless and non - committal due to such large variety of choice. Yet has the concept of romance been blown out of the cold river? Nice guys finish last: Girls always, always fall for the bad barranqueros

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Performing a Miracle with Friends
Contagious behavior: We aren't emotional islands. We are walking mood conductors. Laugh and the World Laughs With You

Why do we laugh? Laughter has surprisingly little to do with jokes and funny stories. It is an ancient, unconsciously controlled vocal relic that co-exists with modern speech----a social, psychological and biological act which predates humor and is shared with our primate cousins, the great apes. With startling effect, laughter reveals why humans can talk and other apes cannot and leads to the discovery of the event essential for the evolution of human speech and language.

• via Phil, Kristen and James Pettifer The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, I was wrong: Wantok bilong yu ('your friend' in pidgin) [The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page - Saint Augustine Absence becomes the greatest Presence; Listening is a key leadership skill. The first step in listening is to close your mouth ; Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. Kokoda ]
• · Strategic dreams often turn into nightmares if companies start engaging in expensive and distracting restructurings. It is far more effective to choose a design that works reasonably well and then develop a strategic system to tune the structure to the strategy. Great article, unfortunate title. Why is everyone so afraid of Disruption? How to implement a new strategy without disrupting your organization ; Sir Richard is unique and he, more than anyone else, knows how to drum up the publicity. Dick's spa stunt Richard Branson's Aussie sex romp video ; IT marketing smarts ; Get your eBay auction listings via your favorite RSS reader Auction
• · · For years, teachers, after school group leaders and librarians have been advocating for Walden Media to move into the publishing space. With the tremendous partnership we've established with our friends at Penguin, we can finally maximize the strong trust we developed with our audience and deliver the high level of quality product in publishing that we do in our films Penguin Children's Is Latest to Add Film Partner, In Agreement with Walden; It's the element of danger, of surprise, of being naughty, of adding a sense of sexcitement Why women cheat ; Can men and women really just be friends?
• · · · Ensnared by time-wasting traps, managers can fast get bogged down in repetitive tasks and irrelevant details. Enlightened organisations around the world are forging pathways for change. David Parmenter shares seven practical ways to clear the calendar and reclaim the day. Seven Time Wasters – And how to evict them ; A war on Sydney's taxi ranks looms after Macquarie Bank was finally given permission by the State Government to set up a new taxi network. The move is expected to annoy the industry doyen Reg Kermode - The taxi industry is far removed from the rarefied atmosphere of merchant banking Mac attack on taxis gets the official thumbs up
• · · · · You are what you eat (but cook it first). A life in the raw ; Another night, another spate of shootings with two more lives lost Wedding turns into a funeral for murdered boxer ; The Premier, Morris Iemma, yesterday accused Mr Debnam of hysteria, exaggeration and of undermining police. Mr Debnam claimed the Government was "in denial" about violence in the area and claimed there were drive-by shootings "every day" We need saturation policing on the streets
• · · · · · Very interesting on the development of media images of women and sex - not for the better. It isn't time to dip your toe into the icy waters of singledom just yet. The history of playboy's centrefolds ; It seems old fashioned dating is out. Yep, welcome to the new trend to hit the singles scene: "Hooking Up" So what's the appeal? Well when we're overworked, stressed out and way too busy to tap into our emotional energy, hooking up seems like the next best thing... What if we're simply sick to death of searching for "the one"? The Hookup Generation - no-strings attached type liaison; Forget oysters and strawberries - it seems that work has become the new aphrodisiac of the 21st Century. Yet with tough deadlines, rough deals and hefty sales targets, what makes us so addicted to the hard grind? Our lust for the job erodes our lust for each other Hooked on Asteron

Thursday, March 30, 2006

When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown,
Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
~Patrick Overton

No ONE has ever accused corporate America of being shy when it comes to making its pitch for our dollars. So when the blogging phenomenon became mainstream it was hardly a surprise that the likes of Microsoft, Google and General Motors took it up to spruik their wares. Blogging the brand

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Corporate Blog - Enterprise Blogs and Wikis uses blogs, wikis, plogs (personal web logs), and social tagging to generate site stickiness and direct customers toward desired products such as Cold River. Blogs are often published by book authors and wikis are used to allow customers to enhance information about products.

A recent AMR Research Alert mentions that "one of the world's largest high-tech manufacturers views wikis and blogs as part of its overarching knowledge management strategy..." This company is also mentioned as being an Open Text LiveLink user and having 64,000 employees in 73 countries.

Getting Aboard - Reaching the next level [Authority of the Wikipedia ; It's time for the ivory towers to embrace the potential of the 'blogging age' Blog or be damned?]
• · Spoiled by Google Google has trained us not only that search can be very good but that it can be very easy Report: Majority of Web Sites Lack Search Savvy ; You take the lowest road, and I'll take a low road... Conveying Accountability through the Member’s Web Site
• · · It's what you know and how you use it The role of IT in knowledge management has been redefined Blogging the world ; Sociology of blogging Desperate Sourcers ; I am partial to using SAP Improve your Supply Chain
• · · · Judged by as the best post from HR and Recruiting related blogs last week Why blogging works - Gautum Ghosh ; But your Honor, he is an idiot and she is a liar! And he made me cry!!!!!
• · · · · A decade ago, the concept of an online job board might have been chalked up as science fiction. The world of Internet job boards has exploded into an annual $1.3 billion industry and continues to grow exponentially, The International Association of Employment Websites 40,000 employment websites online ; Often over-the-edge thoughts on sourcing, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding... Does your organization have a soft belly to those whose goal is to identify your rainmakers and possibly hire them away? Meet the Edge
• · · · · · Cameron's Brain: Marty's right - ajaxWrite is amazing ; Another take on the great Vista blogger flurry of huffiness Daily comments on PR, media and related stuff ; That's my sentence ... that's my sentence ... that's my -- wait! He ad-libbed that one! The Speechwriter's Slant: IS GHOSTWRITING ETHICAL?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I’m back in my place at Bondi once more, having just wrapped up another bittersweet long weekend. Sad circumstances and easy to book Virgin Blue helped me to catch up with many of my friends at Brissie not just the huge family. ... Winston Churchill said somewhere or other that there are few things in life more exhilarating than being shot at without effect. I thought of this utterly characteristic remark a few days ago as I watched how fast the time flew in Brissie. So on Saturday I caught up with wonderful friends Phil, Kristen, James; even managed to share a story ot two with Peter and Elizabeth. The day was peppered with scenic drives around the Gap, an artistic conversation with Brett Lethbridge at Paddington, coffee with rich cake at flower shop and later dinner at Wilston at Earth and Sea. On Sunday morning I had coffee at Northlakes with family John and Anita, Michael and Kathy and around lunchtime AFL grounds and the club tucker at Aspley created a hearty atmosphere as we watched #42 (James) kick the ball. Kristen as always was the giver of life running around the football players supplying one an all with H2O. In the afternoon Phil and I clocked 22 laps swimming at Ferny Grove pool ... In the evening the invasion of the Boonah crowd Rob Meegan and Bella took place. The night was young at midnight as the Bohemian Plzenske beer flowed while Antipodean barbie kept Kristie and Phil busy with all kinds of surprises.
Amazingly, I even caught up with Kerrie at the musty library corners of the Parliament House and a chatty morning tea in the renovated part of the cafeteria overlooking Brissie river. River was the highlight of my day as the dining table along the Brissie River provided many hours of soulful conversation with Vanessa. There are some great quotes in the novel of my life. I like the one from Schopenhauer: "A novelist should aim not to descibe great events but to make small ones interesting." The nasty review for Cold River on Amazon was dimissed by an interesting observation by Vanessa using similar technique practiced by Lichtenberg: A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out ;-)

The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.

My father in law Les Rossiter was one of the most creative creatures on earth. He once shared with me the following story in Batehaven (Anzac Day circa 1991):

There are two waves drifting along in the ocean, one a bit bigger than the other. The bigger wave suddenly becomes very sad and upset. The smaller wave asks what's wrong. "You don't want to know," the bigger wave says. "What is it?" the small wave asks. "No - really - it's too terrible. If you knew what I knew, you'd never be happy." The small wave persists. Finally the big wave explains: "You can't see it, but I can see that, not too far from here, all of the waves are crashing on the shore. We are going to disappear." The small wave says," I can make you happy with just six words, but you have to listen very carefully to them." The big wave doesn't believe it -- what does the small wave know that he doesn't -- but he's desperate. After a while of doubting and mocking the small wave, the big wave finally gives in, and asks the small wave to tell him. And so the small wave says: "You're not a wave, you're water."

There is a famous tax case where a judge used the analogy of a tree to explain the difference between capital and income. The capital is like the tree and the income is the fruit. In a country where tax planning is almost as important as the resources sector, losing money is not always a bad thing. So when ABC Learning Centres said earlier in the month that it was taking over its smaller rival, Kids Campus, Melbourne operative Geoff Lord should have been pretty happy. Australian Financial Review, 24/03/2006, Market Wrap, page 52 Lord's light shining a little more brightly

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: True blue Australian spirit
Courtesy of Margaret Lake:

I am not often givent o surges of patriotism but events of recent days have caused my heart to swell with national pride - and it has nothing to do with our medal haul in Melbourne. True courage and character are revealed in the face of adversity and that is exactly what we have seen from the people of North Queensland and many other Australians this week.

• Carolyn Tucker Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore) [This database assists in the efficient exchange of information by providing links to publicly available websites that contain information that might often be requested by competent authorities - Aussies and Bohemians - Database of public websites relevant to Competent Authorities ; The NSW opposition is again calling on the government to honour its commitment to the GST agreement by cutting business taxes to kickstart the state's economy. Iemma 'must cut business tax ]
• · AWB's no-pay-no-grain scandal should be sending chills into board- rooms across Australia. Blurred lines encourage companies to align morality with tax deductibility ; The share of national income captured by Australia's wealthiest individuals has leapt to its highest since the Korean War So, it is the rich what gets the pleasure
• · · The FBI and CIA were very concerned with the outsourcing of year 2000 work offshore because there was no easy way to control or prevent backdoors, malicious code or other opportunities for computer criminal activity in such practices. (ATO offshoring close, March 9) To provide such an opportunity to overworked and underpaid programmers in these offshoring countries, where there have been a number of reported white-collar criminal issues related to outsourcing, is an operational risk far too serious to consider in regard to something as sensitive as tax systems. Too touchy for tax ; Why "Get Rich Quick" will only ever cost you money
• · · · AUSTRALIANS who declare an income of zero are spending more on their tax affairs than the average worker, suggesting they are exploiting the tax system by using loopholes and legitimate financial structures Taxation's park bench mark attacked ; By John Wasiliev: The Australian Financial Review. Page 28. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission says promoters of illegal superannuation access schemes target vulnerable people. In many cases these same people are legally entitled to gain early access to their savings anyway. Executive director of consumer protection, Greg Tanzer, says promoters deliberately use people's ignorance of superannuation rules so they can earn exorbitant commissions. Fund members in severe financial distress can gain access to some of their savings by applying to the fund trustee. Money can also be released on compassionate grounds and for medical treatment Early access to funds is possible - 22/03/2006
• · · · · It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a government in possession of a healthy surplus, must be in want of a tax cut. The difficulty for the Howard government is persuading Australians that a surplus -- estimated to be as large as $15 billion this financial year -- does not equal an over-taxed population. Australian Financial Review, 25/03/2006, There's politics in tax ; I idolize Warren Buffett. The investment legend is unafraid to stick to his convictions, regardless of how unpalatable they may be at a given moment. When United States investment legend Warren Buffett says he is worried, the rest of us ought to be hearing alarm bells. Buffett, arguably the world's best known share investor, is worried about costs - "frictional costs" that threaten to dramatically lower investor's returns in the future. Our miracle economy is running out of spark.
• · · · · · Freedoms at risk as banks forced to act ; Why the biggest beneficiaries of globalization may be pimps, drug runners and other crooks. Merchants of Mayhem ; There are ... Merchants of Mayhem... : Consider these disparate and disturbing facts from Illicit, a new book by Moisés Naím Unsecured nuclear material ...

If a man hasn't found anything worth dying for, he hasn't anything worth living for.
- Dr. Martin Luther King ( My father in law was a hero like no other)

Little moments make a day
Days turn into years
You've watched me grow up
As I watched you grow old
But now it seems like I'm looking on
and you're the one moving on,
I'm the young one, watching your go free.

So go free to your first love, free to your dreams,
Where the clouds are lined with gold and joy is always there.
So go free to perfection,
Free to eternity.
Where today never becomes tomorrow.

So be free with your first love, free in your dreams.
Where the clouds are lined with gold and joy is always there.
So be free in perfection,
Free in eternity.
Where today’s peace lasts forever.
-Sarah Rossiter (30/7/1999)

Leslie Rossiter – 12 May 1919 to 23 March 2006 A Summary of His Story told by Michael Rossiter and on Behalf of Anita and Lauren

Mum & Dad met at a local dance in Sutton Coldfield, a suburb of Birmingham, during WW2 and Sinatra was the hottest singer around at that time – and one of Mum’s early favourites…..but Dad was more a Bing Crosby man

Leslie Rossiter was one of 8 children born to John & Laura Rossiter in Birmingham, England. The family home was in an inner suburb of Birmingham and Dad was born at home on 12 May 1919, six months and one day after the official end of WW1.

John Rossiter was Royal Navy veteran and served as a “stoker” – i.e. he shovelled coal into the boilers of navy ships, during WW1. He later became a maintenance engineer and lost an eye in a work accident. There is no record I can find of his mother’s occupation prior to marriage and she became a full-time mother with 8 children to feed.

Dad had 3 sisters (Grace, Margaret &…) and he was one of 5 boys – the second youngest. Bill was a businessman and moved to South Africa and raised his family in Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe. John became a jeweller, had his own manufacturing jewellery business in the centre of Birmingham and his son Greville still operates that business in suburban Birmingham. Albert was 3 years older than Dad – worked in a factory all his life. Dad was particularly close to his younger brother Arthur, who was very musical and was a professional musician all his working life.

When Dad was about 9 years old the family moved a few miles north to an area called Sutton Coldfield. They lived in public housing in Gunter Road, Pype Hayes and Dad attended the Pagett Road School, where he was keener on sport than lessons. He represented his school in soccer and was vice captain of the cricket team.

He left school in July 1933 and at the age of 14 went to work in a bakelite factory – hard black plastic for electrical insulators and other goods, like the old-style black telephones you see in early movies.

Dad was not happy with this job and eventually obtained an apprenticeship as a Silversmith with the jewellery company called Joseph Smith & Sons, Birmingham, the centre of the jewellery trade in Britain.

By 1939 Dad was a qualified tradesman and 20 years of age. But in September that year Hitler’s forces invaded Poland and Dad, like millions of other young men and all his brothers, volunteered for military service. Like his brothers he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and when he said he was silversmith the Air Force people decided he would make a good aircraft mechanic. So Dad was shipped off to the RAF base at Toxteth, about 40 miles north of Birmingham, to be trained to repair aircraft engines. When Dad & I visited England in Ocotber 1996 I took him to the Royal Air Force museum north of Birmingham and when we stopped in the carpark he said, “This is the first place I was stationed after joining the RAF.”

He was ultimately assigned to various light and medium bomber squadrons, working on mainly on Mosquito & Beaufighter fighter/bombers, then Blenheim and Boston mid-range bombers. He served in England, Ireland and France from 1940 to 1946. He achieved the rank of Leading Airman (2 stripes), was in charge of a bomber maintenance team and was awarded various medals for his military service. (On coffin)

The war had a number of long term consequences for Dad. He had always been a hard, conscientious worker. He was also a worrier and was always concerned that he and his ground crew had done everything they could for the flight crews. Ultimately he developed stomach ulcers and lost weight a fair bit of weight – dropping from his “fighting weight” of 10 stone (about 70 kilos) in 1939 to about 9 stone (about 50 kilos) by the end of the war. In 1946 he was pensioned out of the RAF with a 30% disability pension.

Probably the greatest thing to happen to Dad during the war occurred when he was home on leave one time in 1944/45. Back then Dad was a keen dancer and regularly attended community dances that were popular back then. One evening he went to a dance in Sutton Coldfield and for one of the dances the ladies were asked to choose their partners. An 18 year old local girl called Ruth Read asked Dad for a dance. At some stage he was smitten for life and she must have been very keen on him too as they were married at St Mary’s Methodist Church, Pype Hayes, in 1946.

Some friends and family members said Mum was mad for marrying Dad – they claimed he was already half dead, had one foot in the grave and wasn’t a great prospect. Dad has obviously outlived most of those doom-day merchants. Over the years the family has sometimes joked with Dad and said he may have had one foot in the grave in 1946 but it was always going to be a battle to get the other foot into the grave. Dad was the last surviving member of the 8 children in his family.

There was a severe housing shortage in England after the war. M&D had no choice but to live, first with Dad’s family and later to Mum’s mother’s house in South Road, Erdington, where Anita was born in March 1947. Mum had a difficult pregnancy and birth so it was a while before they tried for any more children.

Dad had returned to work as a Silversmith with Joseph Smith & Sons and in 1950 they managed to get their own place to live.

By the end of the war, Mum had had enough of cold, rainy days and post-war shortages in England. She talked to Dad about moving to Australia and in 1951 set sail for the Promised Land “Australia”. The only other member of Dad’s family to leave England was his brother Bill. He and his family moved to Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe, in 1950.

M&D had to pay the full cost of their journey to Australia. At the time British people could pay 10 pounds ($20) for passage by boat to Australia….thousands of “Ten Pound Poms” came to Australia during the 50’s. Mass movement of people by aircraft was not available back then.

Dad had earnt too much as a silversmith so they had to pay their full fare – about 60 pounds per adult and half fare for Anita….about $300 at the time – a huge amount of money. In May 1952 they boarded the S.S. Orion to head to Melbourne. Mum & Anita (aged 5) was chronically sea sick the whole time and it took 6 weeks on the boat just to reach Perth, WA.

Mum could not face anymore boat travel so they ended their journey at Perth. There was an economic depression in Australia at the time and jobs were hard to find. Nothing was available in jewellery trade so Dad took whatever job he could find to feed and shelter his family. Amongst some of the jobs he tried was farm hand, orchardist (strange jobs for an inner city kid). He also worked as a Forest Warden in southwest WA – he’d have to live by himself for days at a time up a huge tower in the jarrah forests ready to report any bush fires.

They lived in Perth a few months before catching the train to Melbourne. More odd jobs for Dad but Mum found the grey skies and wet Melbourne weather too much like England so they headed to Sydney. The three of them arrived at Central Railway in Sydney, did not know anyone or anything about the city. They ended up living in a caravan for 6 months in the northern beachside suburb of Narrabeen and Dad worked as a cook in a fish and chip shop while he tried to find other work but jobs were still tough to find.

They moved back to Melbourne and Dad got a job back in the jewellery trade. The rented a small terrace house in Caulfield. This house had been owned by a carpenter and had a workshop at the rear which was ideal for Dad to use as a jewellery workshop. Dad asked his employed if he could make some extra jewellery at home at night and weekends. Soon he arranged for Mum to get paid as his assistant. Over the next 9 months they saved up the full deposit for a brand new house in Moorabbin, a new suburb on the west side of Melbourne.

As they settled in Melbourne they met some friends from England, joined a local Methodist church and became life-long friends with Bill & Edna Hider, an older Australian couple, who later became god-parents to Michael & Lauren.

In early 1954 Mum was pregnant again. She carried the child full term but had problems during her pregnancy. The baby girl was born in mid-September but died within 24 hours. A couple of weeks later their minister and family doctor, who also attended their church, came to see M&D at home. They asked M&D if they would be interested in adopting a newborn boy who had been put up for adoption. Things worked a lot different back in the 50’s …and could sometimes happen very fast compared to these days. I was born on Sept 24 and 2 weeks later became the newest member of the Rossiter family.

Dad had worked terribly long hours in saving up for the home and his eye sight was shot to pieces. He could not longer work in the jewellery trade so they sold the house and bought the general store at Tremont, a small community up the Dandenong Mountains north of Melbourne. The shop sold all sorts of food but was also the area Post Office and petrol station. Mum often ran the shop while Dad was out delivering the mail or travelling down to Melbourne to buy fresh fruit and vegies.

This line of work required Dad to have a car so in 1955 he bought his first car – a little 2 door Thames panel van – about the size of a Holden Barina or Toyota Echo. He has an accident a few months later and wrote it off when he managed to roll off one of the narrow roads while delivering the mail. He bought a new Prefect van – same size and shape as the Thames van. We lived in Tremont for about 3 years before moving to Sydney again. The shop still stands in Tremont but a large self-serve petrol station has been built & attached in the backyard.

In 1957 they sold the general store and bought a fruit and veggie shop in Sefton, a suburb in south-western Sydney, near Bankstown. We lived in a new brick house at 18 Marks St, Chester Hill. We all attended the Sefton Methodist church, just up from Dad’s shop. It was around this time that Anita first met a young blonde-haired man called John, from nearby Yagoona. He obviously caught her eye…but that is another story.

In 1959 Dad sold the shop and tried his hand as a Real Estate Agent. He worked for a number of companies in the Sydney suburbs of Guildford, Bankstown, Auburn and Lakemba. In the late 60’s he worked for a company based in the up market area called St Ives, on the north shore of Sydney.

St Ives is well away from the industrial areas of southern Sydney and this move seemed to fix the chronic sinus condition that Dad suffered from for many years. This is probably about the only health issue I recall that effected Dad. He use to complain all the time about his back, neck, knees and a stomach but none of us remember him having a day off work with illness. It was a family joke that Dad was a chronic hypochondriac – only happy when he had a health condition to whinge about. Dad had finally managed to give up smoking in the late 50’s and this no doubt improved his health.

In 1960 Mum became pregnant again and this time spent about 6 weeks in hospital during her last trimester. Anita and I stayed with a couple of family friends for this period and on 6th September, Lauren safely arrived on the scene.

In 1962 we moved to Winston Hills, north of Parramatta, and Dad became actively involved in the local Methodist church at Northmead. He had also been introduced to the work of various overseas mission groups but World Vision seemed to really take hold of his heart.

In 1970 he had opened his own Real Estate business in Westmead, in partnership with a former colleague. Dad approached World Vision with his work partner and they asked how they could help the organisation. They purchased a 16 mm movie projector and for the next 5 or 6 years Dad spent lots of week nights and weekends away at various churches and community groups showing World Vision films, talking about their work and promoting the World Vision child sponsorship program.

Also in the early 70’s M&D decided to move from the Methodist church to the Baptist church. They had both been involved in various aspects of church work and this continued at the Baptist church. M&D also bought a small caravan in the mid-70’s and apart from touring holidays, had the van located at a beachside caravan park in Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast for a few years.

In 1972 Mum took Lauren for a trip back to England to meet family members and tour the country side. Dad could never stand being away from Mum for any length of time so this was a great test for him. He did not plan to go as he was running a new small business and couldn’t really afford the money or time to be away. Within days Dad was pining for Mum. Anita, John and I did our best to keep him on track with business and other commitments but we were fighting a losing battle.

After Mum had been away about a month or so Dad came home with an airline ticket and announced he was flying out the next day to England. He had a miserable trip over stuck behind someone smoking a cigar from Hong Kong to London (smoking was permitted in all areas of aircraft back then). He had a miserable time back in England, opened up old wounds with a couple of family members, found the whole place different to his memories and couldn’t get back here soon enough. When they got back we explained to Mum that we had all been battling every day to keep him here once she flew away – we had tried hard but Dad’s passion for Mum knew few boundaries.

As Dad approached his 60th birthday in 1979 he started talking about retiring. Due to his War Service disability he qualified for a full pension from the age of 60. Unfortunately for Dad he found that this pension was means tested and his income over the previous year had been too high to permit him to take the full pension. So he sold his business, took 12 months off from paid work and formally retired 12 months later.

In 1980 M&D drove to Melbourne for a holiday and to catch up with old friends. They drove home from Melbourne via the coastal highway and stopped in Batemans Bay for a few days. They fell in love with a newly-built house in nearby Batehaven and when they got home promptly announced they were selling up and moving down the coast.

In August 1980 they settled into Batehaven. They became foundation members of the newly formed Batemans Bay Baptist church. They enjoyed bushwalking, joined a community choir and made good use of their caravan. Mum joined various craft groups. Dad played golf and bowls, worked in the garden but also got under Mum’s feet.

After 12 months or so Mum sent Dad out to get a part-time job in Real Estate so she could have some time to herself. Over the next few years Dad worked a couple of days per week, made an occasional sale and earnt some extra cash. They really seemed to enjoy these sunset years – going for daily walks, picnics up and down the coast, little trips away and their various other interests.

On 8 November 1993 Dad’s world suffered an irreversible blow. On a clear, sunny M&D went for their morning walk – Mum collapsed into Dad’s arms and we were all shocked by her sudden, unexpected passing. Mum had always said she expected Dad to survive her – she said it was in the genes. Members of her family lasted into their 60’s and 70’s and had heart attacks. Members of Dad’s family lasted into their 80’s and 90’s.

In 1996 Dad said he wanted to go back to England for a holiday and see members of his and Mum’s family. The family knew we could not let him go alone. I had loads of long-service leave so I took 6 weeks off work. We spent almost a month in England and 2 weeks in Zimbabwe visiting Bill’s son Terry and his family. We stopped for a couple of days in Perth to visit his sister’s son, David Cutler and family.
(David's daughter Laura - named after Dad's mother, is in the photo used on the Order of Service for Dad's funeral)

The rest of the story most of us know. It became obvious that Dad was sliding into dementia after Mum passed away. In 1999 we sold the house and tried to settle Dad in a retirement facility in Batemans Bay. He used to walk many miles every day and did not settle well. He was badly injured in a fall and came to my home to recover. Dad’s short-term memory and vocal skills were crumbling as his dementia got worse.

In early 2000, when Dad was staying at my place before he suddenly moved to Queensland my daughter Sarah was struck by the passion Dad obviously possessed for Mum and the loneliness he expressed concerning their separation. Sarah wrote some words reflecting on her Grandfather and I’d like to invite Sarah to read those words to you now … Little moments make a day ...

Monday, March 27, 2006

What cannot be cured must be endured. Endure cheerfully!

Do not multiply your wants and then feel like a beggar. Reduce your wants and feel like a king.
- via Vanessa @ Bris Vegas ;-)

From Budapest to Mumbai to Stockholm, writers are jumping on the "Bridget Jones" bandwagon, with revealing results. The Chick-Lit Pandemic
Database of descriptions of hundreds of products. How Products are Made

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: This Passion Called Love: History of Single Life
Booze is as old as civilization. In fact, it might be the reason we have civilization at all: The first known cookbook is a Sumerian formula for making beer, and growing grain or grapes for alcohol production was a mainstay of economies from ancient Greece to the American frontier.

Even back in the good ol' days of ziggurats and temple prostitution, though, there was always a certain tension between alcohol's ability to raise spirits and its tendency to loosen morals. Hammurabi's Babylonian law said that if a woman dedicated to a god were to even enter a drinking establishment, she should be burned to death. Novels such as Rona Jaffee's The Best of Everything made urban watering holes seem like the natural environment of the men and women, great of ambition but loose of morals, who moved to the big city to make their way in exciting careers in advertising, fashion and publishing.

• Go into any restaurant, club or corner dive bar in Sydney, New York, London, San Francisco, Edinburgh or Los Angeles on any given night of the week, and you'll see the truth of what worried Hammurabi back in the day: Mixed Drinks - the torrent of joy juice that flows at apartment-house parties [Two Good Eggs - People in New York change sex partners quicker than the crosstown bus Wanted: A Few Good Sperm ; Good article from Cyberskeptic's Guide via The Virtual Chase. Here's a good one: The Art of Public Records Research]
• · Temperance is primarily about desires for the greatest pleasures, and the greatest pleasures result from the most natural operations, which are those that have as their purpose the preservation of the individual and the preservation of the species. Pleasures of meat and drink and sexual pleasures ; People are just so on-edge about this kind of stuff now Publishing's Pendulum Swing
• · · Lobbyists in Love: With power couples, conflict of interest is what makes them interesting. No one here wants to be "the wife."; Older women like sex. That less-than-earthshaking claim has raised eyebrows and ire The sexual revelation
• · · · So we all know how to act. Be nice & don’t do crime, kick puppies, or start forest fires. But those are easy Mr. Manners ; Series coming up: Blog Role Models
• · · · · Three Good Reasons to Start Your Own Company ;
• · · · · · Conversation may be one of the most fundamental political and social acts Are We Having a Conversation Yet? An Art Form Evolves; There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. Love and Literature

In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
- Isaac Asimov, "Foundation and Empire"

My blog is worth $16,936.20.
How much is your blog worth?

Find out how much is your media dragon worth Inspired by Tristan Louis's research into the value of each link to Weblogs Inc

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Alright, I've been known to jump to conclusions now and again when it comes to dating, but I'm usually just letting you know what some other dude said. Hmm ... I've received a cryptic message that says that Katie Kosko is rumoured to say that DATING IS LIKE SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT WINE. One date is too fruity, another too dry, and still another too much bouquet (cologne overdose). But once you find the perfect variety that suits your taste, get drunk. Katie is a real wife - Desperate housewives, wife-swappers, and the women of Bravo Barranqueros. — Wives are hot right now. During Sex and the City's original run, its Carrie Bradshaw, an urban bachelorette, was television's symbolic woman

Some things are sacred like Czech Sigmund Freud’s views on life: ‘Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.’ I also really like this post by Doug Thompson on the life of a newspaperman. Thompson says: You are the chronicler of life in a community, the conscience of society, always watching, always questioning, and always searching for the truth beyond the hype. So journalists need you. But you need them, too. If journalists don't tell you about this stuff, who will? The system won't tell you, not even in America. That's why all successful democracies have had a free and independent media. No system will easily admit its wrongs. Just a newspaperman

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Going the Extra Mile: Hi Jozef
Just wanted to draw your attention to which is staffed by a small but dedicated team of volunteers who believe that the Australian blogosphere produces high quality blogs that are just as good, if not better than those available offshore. Local content for local readers.

Hope you find it useful.
Jon is a free community resource to bookmark your favourite Australian blogs. Similar to (but less invasive - we don't need you to register or login), you can add your bookmarks or just browse to see what's popular.
It is a place where Australian bloggers can showcase their work, and the blog-reading public can find interesting, relevant and popular Australian blogs.

• If you meet the above, drop over to their site and add your blog: Thanks Jon and the Dream Team; What Google developed wasn't artificial intelligence, but something closer to what O'Reilly Media tech guru Rael Dornfest calls "artificial artificial intelligence". That's the brand of technology most likely to win this race: not the machines we use, but the machines that know how to use us. Man vs. Machine in Newsreader War : [For All Five Of You That Care - Jozef Imrich: Nudity No 'Big Deal' - A nude James Bond? Oh my. How vulgar. Daniel Craig is not stranger to going full frontal on film, so why not bring his willingness to go nude to James Bond? 101 Insider Secrets from Top Direct Sellers of Cold River ; Kudos to Darren from ProBlogger for spotting this service - AdSense Blacklist. Adsense revenue booster? ; Never before in the history of advertising has it been possible to spend five bucks, write a couple of ads, and get instant access to over 100 million people in less than 10 minutes. But with Google AdWords, you can do exactly that - right now. Google AdWords Keyword Tool - A Useful tool for AdSense Publishers ; Journalism: Resources from advocacy to media watchdogs ]
• · 6 months, 2,174 miles, 14 states, 2 hikers and one trail. And we are going to walk the whole thing: Out of the Jungle and Into the Woods The Appalachian Trail; I gather that I can thank S for advertising link to this program - Scope of Professional Coaching in Health Care. Certified Coach Program for Health Care Specialists
• · · Bill Ives on The Clueless Manifesto- Giving Credit to the Stupid Question ; World Map of Site Visits ; Finding (Almost) anybody: nice guide to using public records from FIU prof Neil Reisner Barranqueros of this world; Guide to public records for business, lots of good links here to company searches, lots more. Construction Weblinks: Public Records Guide.
• · · · No question is too crazy to snare a prize ; A great guide to using Gmail from Life Hacker. Gotta try some of these.... Hack Attack: Become a Gmail master ; Incorporate A Simple Tool- Make A Name For Yourself Become a Household Brand Blog Your Way to Profits
• · · · · Media Matters for America has sent a letter to editor James Brady saying that putting in a political operator to write a political blog with a conservative slant does not balance out the perceived liberal blogging of a veteran journalist like Dan Froomkin. When is blogging relevant? ; Yep, I agree with Atrios and the good folks at Media Matters. The Washington Post, or rather its online incarnation, has managed to capture the essence of the silliness of the 'media bias' debate in one easily digestible set-piece of its own making Reaction in several talking places ;
• · · · · · Good discussion from Steven Baker on Business Week's Blogspotting blog about whether journalists should contribute a blog to a profitmaking website without compensation. Should mainstream bloggers be paid extra? Should I? ; We Smirch, new celebrity gossip news and blog scanner from Memeorandum. Us Exclusive: Nick's Revenge Video

Friday, March 24, 2006

Don’t mind me… I’m just over here frozen in terror. I’m in this terrifying limbo right now, wondering how am I going to survive the latest attack on Cold River. Let me tell you what sole survivors like me do not want. Bad reviews! I foresee a lot of vodka in my near future ;-) Every author becomes a mother when he begins to create a written work. For male writers, producing a piece of writing is the closest they ever come to being pregnant and giving birth to that adorable bouncing bundle of joy named Story. The bottom line is that I have no idea whether anyone will have any desire to read it. Will people who don't know me at all grab the book off the shelf to read it? That would be lovely, but I didn't think about the audience when I was writing. You're building the book for yourself, and it becomes your companion. If people hate it, then that's great — at least they have an opinion about it.
Writing and selling for most of us is more than telling a little tale. It is not just a short hike up a lovely trail to a nice fat czech. It is instead, a long, lonely road of toil, and more toil. More often than not, the road is paved with rejection slips, and the fat czech is many, many miles away...
Cold River described as door stopper by an opinionated coward ;-) Giving Birth to your ugly baby on Amazon in Taschenbuch

Bad reviews are a rite of passage! means your getting there...
Phillip Adams

That's disgusting - I'm sorry you got that!
M.J. Rose - Author of The Delilah Complex

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Today, Tomorrow, All the Time
Don't miss the largest gathering of screenwriting talent ever assembled! Some people say that persistence is more important than talent in breaking into the film industry Persistence, "Film Fuss"

Final Draft and scr(i)pt magazine present a one-of-a-kind scriptwriting and creative development industry conference, marketplace and meeting sessions. Panels featuring A-list screenwriters, agents, managers, producers and development executives will examine the craft and business of scriptwriting for film, television and interactive media. Don’t miss this unprecedented opportunity to learn from the professionals who drive the entertainment industry.

A-List Advice - A-List Talent - There are only a dozen or so times when the statuette was awarded to an undisputed classic such as "It Happened One Night," "Gone With the Wind," "Casablanca," "All About Eve," "On the Waterfront," "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Godfather" and The Godfather Part II. Ten films that give Oscar a bad name ; The Film Snob's Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon of Filmological Knowledge [Welcome to the virtual water cooler for writers, general tips about avoiding/dealing with fraudsters, book doctors ... Alerts for Writers ; Bewares and Background Check ; Preditors & Editors ]
• · And trying to explain what the hell is wrong with everything: My Life Among the Deathworks by Philip Rieff may be such another book Three Worlds, One Book: Rieff Tries to Explain It All ; Lauren often said that the love of money is the root of all evil. In our attempt to keep up with the Joneses, money can be the cause of many relationship battles. With the likes of hefty mortgages, fancy cars and plasma television screens to be shared, how do we prevent or handle those inevitable money woes? As Aristotle Onassis once said: If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning For Love or Money?; To marry or not to marry?
• · · Blog Your Way to New Opportunities ; Gone were the days of doing heavy research in dimly-lit libraries. I didn't have to commute downtown to look up information. The Internet Changed My Writing Life
• · · · Giving Birth to Your Story ; Yuri Andrukhovych's acceptance speech for this year's Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding causes a minor furore Europe - my neurosis
• · · · · Why become a politician? What drives people to pursue a political career? Is it idealism, ideology or because they enjoy being bossy? And how much can politicians expect to influence events? Why become a blogging pollie? ; Let me tell you what men want. Let me tell you why some middle-age men wear the sports jerseys of semiliterate behemoths half their age while others customize their cars with so many speakers they sound like the hip-hop version of the San Francisco earthquake as they roll down the street. Recognition. Men want others to recognize their significance. They want to feel important and part of something important. All politics Is thymotic
• · · · · · Borrowing the idea from Oprah Winfrey, one television book club has reshaped British fiction. What do publishers make of R&J's choices? Reading Richard and Judy; Escape With Honor: My Last Hours in Vietnam ; No one may ever know unless social psychologists shake off their fascination with jerks; and let's face it Why Do People Behave Nicely?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Isolated in love as in a dark wood,
Our two hearts, breathing their peaceful tenderness,
Will be two nightingales singing in the eventide.
Without anxiety as to what Fate holds in store for us,
We shall walk side by side,
Hand in hand, with the childlike soul
Of those whose mutual love is unalloyed—will it not be so?
-Paul Verlaine, "N'est-ce pas?" (trans. Roger Nichols)

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. Over our meal at Parliament House with Patricia and Caterina et al I will share how much my year has been peppered with funerals and other sad stories. With some special people you cry and they cry with you ... Last month my family said good bye to my mother, yesterday my father-in-law Les Rossiter passed away. My thoughts are with Michael and Anita and Lauren as they prepare for the last rite of passage as we gather in Brissie next week to bid our final farewell ... Les developed ulcers during WWII as he was the engineer who was used to unusual questions about the planes and pilots. Using the technology available at the time, how did the Lancaster pilots know when they were at this precise altitude during their bombing runs? .... He felt guilty for every young pilot who did not return to the base. He remembered their names, he remembered their little likes and dislikes, he remembered them on every ANZAC Day ... Les you meant a lot to me. Thanks for being such a special man and even more special dad to me in my exile ...

Andrew Tink like very few politicians demonstrated that his electorate, his constituency, his Sydney and the world could trust him. His advice and counsel were sought throughout his parliamentary life because the principles that motivated him are universally respected: decency, humility, compassion and dedication. Andrew Tink knows well that politics should be the most honorable profession in a free society. Jean Jacques Rousseau, 18th-century French philosopher, expressed this warning almost 250 years ago: "As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than their persons, the State is not far from its fall." Civility is caring for our society without wanting to control it or profit by it. That's the art of politics. Tink, who has made himself almost a lone Australian expert on Lord Sydney through painstaking archive searches, recounts his hero's achievements and the part they played in the history of the English speaking world. I will never forget Andrew’s leadership at the Public Accounts Committee. Andrew even helped out with washing the dishes at night ;-) It is a double honor to keep in touch with Andrew after I left Parliament. The world of politics is without any doubt the corner stone of our very existence ... Never, ever will it be said that Andrew Tink lost his political vision

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: My former Chairman and Liberal stalwart Tink bows out
Senior NSW Liberal MP Andrew Tink has announced he will retire from politics at the next election, saying he has recently found himself off the pace and increasingly testy with other people.

The opposition's legal affairs spokesman will not contest his northern Sydney seat of Epping at the next election.
He will stand down as a member of the opposition frontbench immediately. The 52-year-old former barrister, who is one of the hardest-working opposition MPs, said he had decided he could not commit to another four years in state parliament. I'll certainly miss the chainsaw voice of Mr Tink with his points of order

• Off pace and increasingly testy: I'll miss Tink: Iemma [Goodbye … Andrew Tink greets Michael Egan Stress strikes - and another political career goes west ; Thankfully, Andrew Tink is still around to inject some grunt into the bearpit Joker in the pack ]
• · In a court of law whoever tells the best story wins. The fact is a very simple one: we live in a story-driven world. Andrew has many amazing stories respected by all sides of politics. LIKE Othello, NSW Liberal MP Andrew Tink -- the Opposition's able and energetic legal affairs spokesman -- has "given the state some service". But unlike Othello, Mr Tink -- who has announced his intention not to seek re-election as the member for Epping next year -- has nothing to reproach himself for, during his time in office. As one of the Opposition's brightest -- perhaps the brightest -- performers, Mr Tink gave his party much-needed substance and intellect, and his absence will leave a gap which his party will find difficult to fill. The Opposition's brightest Othello; Andrew Tink MP
• · · The Book Andrew will write Towshend puts Lord Sydney in shadows ; List of famous Old Sydneians
• · · · Senate Clerk Harry Evans charts the stagnant waters of Parliamentary reform and outlines an agenda for future change. Evans says the current government, like all governments, would rather control parliaments than be made accountable to them. He calls for constitutional, legislative, and institutional reform to allow parliaments to better fulfil their obligations to the public Parliamentary Reform ; Male MPs barred at lawn party Male MPs in the NSW Parliament are seething over a decision to stop them from attending the International Women's Day celebrations on the lawns of Government House They are bleak, but not that bleak ; The thirst after happiness is never extinguished in the heart of man. Childless, middle-aged couples may regret the life choices that ended their family lines. Yet they have no children with whom to share their newfound wisdom. Hit, hit me
• · · · · Rewarding public servants who cut red tape and a "one in, one out" strategy for Government regulation are the centrepiece recommendations of the Australian Business Limited (ABL)/State Chamber plan to slash red tape in NSW submitted to the NSW Government. Another recommendation is that a uniform definition of "wages" be developed for payroll tax, income tax and workers compensation liability within and between States and Territories. Chief Executive of ABL/State Chamber Mark Bethwaite said the 2005 Red Tape Register found that the average NSW business was spending 200 hours a year filling in paperwork required by Government departments. Cutting Red Tape In Nsw - Uniform "Wages" Definition Sought ; Political Humor ; Wonkette Politics for People with Dirty Minds
• · · · · · Three years on: the tragedy of the Iraq invasion is that there won't be another ; No need to back pointless studies ; Michigan political blogs cover the spectrum

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Then let us love one another and laugh. Time passes, and we shall soon laugh no longer—and meanwhile common living is a burden, and earnest men are at siege upon us all around. Let us suffer absurdities, for that is only to suffer one another.
-Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome

The Australian is concerned about "three certainties about Australian fiction today: fewer books are being published, sales are falling and shelf-lives are shorter." Lits out: Shrinking Support for Australian Novelists

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Dream Life
I have been in a bad mood for the last, well, to be perfectly honest, 25 years, since 7 July 1980, but for the sake of this blog post we'll say last few months.

Films have often been compared to dreams. Indeed, there is something dreamlike about those images moving before us as we sit still in the dark of a movie theater. Hollywood is called the "dream factory," and dreams have inspired avant-garde filmmakers, too. The great Surrealist Luis Buñuel, for example, made his first film, Un Chien andalou (1929), from a screenplay that he and another young Spaniard in Paris, Salvador Dalí, derived from their dreams. No one who has seen this startling dream-film can forget its opening. A man sharpens a razor, goes out onto a balcony and looks up at the full moon as a thin cloud slices across it, at which point the eye of a woman who has appeared out of nowhere is sliced with the razor. Even if this is, it is there on the screen with so vivid a quality of physical reality that we recoil in shock, as if our own eyes were under attack.

Occurring in the man's imagination [Margo Hammond interviews poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. This song has been a secret anthem of my soul ; Vote for the Greatest Living Writer I’m Rich ; Janice 'Girlbomb' Erlbaum Dishes on Her Sex-Crazed and Drug-Addled Past and How Life Is Different Now GIRLBOMB: A Halfway Homeless Memoir ]
• · American culture has always warmed to what's cool cold river ; My search for smiles is taking me to some wonderful places. The merest touch of lippy
• · · Literature is good with words Whose side are you on? ; It’s difficult to feel that books matter when most Americans don’t read even one book a year, when writers struggle to get published and noticed under the avalanche of celebrity biographies and diet books, and when nearly all of the book gifts I’ve given to friends have yet to be read. Real Life and the Life of the Lit Major
• · · · Woe unto the manly. So scorned, so sublimated When was the last time you could throw a punch?; Double Dragon really, really thinks you should go to Amazon river and dive into Cold River ; People are remembered by their flowers and seeds, not their mulch. Fuck interviews. Papal attraction: Douglas Coupland tries to interview Morrissey
• · · · · What America learned from 9/11 -- what other nations already knew, from their own dread acquaintance with terrorism and the anguish left in its wake -- is that people can just disappear, can vaporize, can put on a hat and coat and leave in the morning and never come back, can turn a corner and fade from sight forever. What happens when people simply go away? ; Is there ever a time and place for censorship? I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it Tom Stoppard: Free speech is not a human right
• · · · · · Should parents have the right to prevent their daughters from having abortions? ; Go back a few millenniums, and we've all got the same ancestors.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The way one betrays one's old loves—getting the new one to read Trivia or Matthew Arnold, going to the same churchyard. When we are older there seems no new approach left. The disillusionment of finding out that something (say Trivia) has been his thing with someone else.
-Barbara Pym, undated notebook entry

Editorial on How years of monopoly undermined newspapers. Failing to mourn the end of the Golden Age of newspaper monopoly

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Net dreams
MARCH Madness starts this week in America, and for the rest of the month millions of basketball fans will watch the country's college teams dunk on each other, until the final of the men's national championship on April 3rd. CBS, a broadcast-television network, has shown the event since 1982—but this year it is conducting an experiment. As well as broadcasting the games on TV, it is streaming them live over the internet free of charge, accompanied by advertisements.

Everyone's got a digital tsar now, or if they haven't, they're frantically searching for one, says Peter Kreisky, a media consultant. Many large media firms have recently formed separate digital divisions. With the exception of Time Warner, which in 2000 merged with AOL, an internet-access firm, most of these contribute only a tiny slice of their parent company's revenues

Desperately seeking digital revenues [The eBay of intellectual property will launch this April, allowing companies to buy & Sell technology patents ; Eben Moglen, Newsmaker: Free software's white knight ]
• · James Surowiecki on the end of network neutrality and the Future of the Internet ; Nowadays, there is a tremendous attention about Social Networking and Blogging technologies. The reason is very clear for me. Is Buzz Marketing a Fad ?
• · · TV and movies and all that jazz are not replacing our imagination, just adding another layer to it. Not In Place Of But In Addition To ; Hey, we are talking about a major transformation -- if not a revolution -- NEW PR JOBS
• · · · The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Chris Pearce, recently released The Australian Guidelines for Electronic Commerce. Consumer confidence is fundamental to the growth of electronic commerce ; If we needed further evidence of the undesirability of a government having control of the Senate, the media policy announced by Communications Minister Helen Coonan is a perfect example Public missing out, again
• · · · · What Democrat Bloggers Want ; Send lawyers, guns and money - the shit has hit the fan. Communications reform
• · · · · · Money changes everything Marimow says joining NPR was like being sprung from prison ; THE E-MAIL began circulating among minority journalists the moment the announcement was made: "New York Times Company to establish diversity officer." Kudos to NYT for addressing diversity issue, says Poblete ; WP's Spinner is jumpy, angry, depressed after covering war

Monday, March 20, 2006

Two men were sitting next to each other at the Iceberg bar. After a while, one guy looks at the other and says, "I can't help but think, from listening to you, that you're from Ireland."
The other guys responds proudly, "Yes, that I am."
The first guy says, "So am I. And where about from Ireland might you be?"
The other guy answers, "I'm from Dublin, I am."
The first guy responds, "Sure and begora, and so am I. And what street did you live on in Dublin?"
The other guys says, " A lovely little area it was, I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town."
The first guy says, "Faith and it's a small world, so did I! And to what school would you have been going?"
The other guy answers, "Well now, I went to St. Mary's of course."
The first guy gets really excited and say! s, :And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?"
The other guy answers, "Well now, let's see, I graduated in 1964."
The first guy exclaims, "The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same bar tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary's in 1964 too."
About this time a woman walks in to the bar, sits down and orders a drink.
The bartender walks over to her shaking his head and muttering, "It's going to be a long night tonight."
The woman asks, "Why do you say that?"
The bartender replies, "The Murphy twins are drunk again."

My purpose is not only to make the lions roar. Bounce. But to trigger people's imagination. Bounce. Bounce. It's not only sex that's exciting, Mr. Holdengräber says, but the life of the mind. When you come into contact with a great idea, it can change your life. In the Age of the Overamplified, a Resurgence for the Humble Lecture

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Love may be lovelier the second time around
Without something to hate, said Wm. Hazlitt, we should lose the very spring of thought and action. The hate-filled Duke-North Carolina rivalry

If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do without that nuisance. So proclaimed the Roman general, statesman, and censor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, in 131 B.C. Still, he went on to plead, falling birthrates required that Roman men fulfill their duty to reproduce, no matter how irritating Roman women might have become.

• A Tar Heel Gives the Devils His Boo Final glory [Call it an absence of “social capital” or “trust.” In some topsy-turvy African nations, it’s in people’s interests to do what damages everyone else Why Poor Countries Are Poor; Celebrity Big Brother, is produced by the great grandson of the man who built the London sewer system. Somehow, it fits Big Brother - pure McLuhan]
• · Urban sprawl is charged with endless sins: causing global warming, pollution, obesity, killing family farms, cities, mom-and-pop stores The Way We Live Now ; Economic Man is a lovely pawn for academic theorists. But he does not exist. Real people are driven by weird, irrational, self-sabotaging, even altruistic behavior. Like all revolutions in thought, this one began with anomalies, strange facts, odd observations that the prevailing wisdom could not explain. Casino gamblers, for instance, are willing to keep betting even while expecting to lose The Marketplace of Perceptions ; How a small, leftist publisher in Vermont is having a national impact Do the Write Thing
• · · An inheritor of War and Peace sings of love and loss
Leo Tolstoy's great-great granddaughter ; There are times, one reader said, when I wish I could unread it. Another was persuaded by it that life was empty and without purpose. A powerful book.. The Selfish Gene: It's all in the genes ; Hundreds of Heads Books is dedicated to working with booksellers to promote our Cold River books online and offline
• · · · Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Oscar hopes were dashed by Crash. Now there’s blood on the red carpet, and the taste of sour grapes in the mouth... Blood on the red carpet ; Ted Morgan’s memoir of his own Battle of Algiers is a love song for a ruined city and a damaged people. War enriches no one... The Front Lines of Fear ; Want to be German? Name three philosophers
• · · · · Sometimes, mere words are just not enough to express to a friend or loved one how we feel. Yet, try we must. ; What lying does do is damage the relationship between reader and memoirist. Autobiography is a genre that is defined solely by a handshake. There’s no internal distinction between an autobiographical novel and an autobiography. Rather, it’s the autobiographer’s pledge to try to tell the truth that makes a reader respond differently . . . . And when this quaint contract turns out to be a con, we feel like rubes. The Predictable Scandal ; In a society where polite discourse is impossible, improving the world may become impossible, too. Most Frequently Challenged Book? It's Perfectly Normal The Power of Escapes: How Soul and Mind Interact
• · · · · · The latest abomination in CEO pay; The lure of incentive pay

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It is sobering to realise that I have lived nearly a decade (off and on) of my life with The Iceberg Gene — for better, for worse ;-) Inside the function room at the club stood hordes of the port loving swimmers, some leaning forward like wind-bent grasses. I and a few others unconsciously defied the dress code by wearing our usual shorts and striped t-shirts while most swimmers wore bright hawaian shirts. After five-and-a-half hours of eating and drinking we clapped in honour of those souls who make the club tick as they are the ones who make the Captain’s job bearable. When Captain Ken Spears, President Brat Payne and club members gather on Captain’s Day, much is exchanged. Including words of gratitude. Friendship has many meanings, encompasses many things, but recognizes few limitations. Life hands us many different things, good and bad. One of the greatest gifts we receive is the respect of a good friend. Some people divide others into categories. These are family, they say. These are friends. But being one doesn't necessarily mean they can't be both. Characters like Timmy, Robbie and Dave are like brothers to me ...
When people find out you are an Iceberg the most common question they ask is 'Why do you do it? I like to reply, 'Why don't you do it? Keith Posha Leslie always says: 'You are more than welcome to join us ... You can tell what people are thinking - It is too dam cold for swimming or They are bloody idiots! Small but determined group achieve the minimum 75 swims over 5 seasons. These people are the real' ICEBERGS
Real Icebergs also provide live acts, smart-ass pirate jokes and soulful songs by Gary and Lofty and dance by Ted who were witty and quick, too witty, too quick ... The iceberg club rivalry between Australia and the world has become the greatest rivalry in winter swimming clubs. What makes Bondi Iceberg stand out in such high iconic symbolism from others? Why does this club so persist? Lofty presents two extraordinary faces to the world: one that of a quiet fellow who likes to swim and drink and ponder things, and the other that of an absolute entertainer, a guy who sings, smokes cigarettes through his glass eye and jumps up and down on the floor ;-) Without something to care about like the survival and success of the club, we should lose the very spring of thought and action ... Two little boys had two little toys - There's room on my horse for two From the mouth of babes (now grown), comes infinite wisdom and compassion ... The boys play on wooden horses then as men fight on real ones. It teaches a lesson of loyalty. And this is what the Iceberg is all about ... It's not easy to define something that is both universal and unique.

Happy Saint Jozef's Day to me ... March 19 is the Jozef 'name day' in Catholic calendar
Collect all the tapes, all the writing, all the history. The story of this moment, of this action, must be examined over and over. It must be understood in all of its incredible dimensions. Let all the story of this People's Temple be told. Let all the books be opened. If nobody understands, it matters not. I am ready to die now. Darkness settles over Jonestown on our last day on earth."
-From a handwritten letter found recently in the People's Temple FBI files at the Historical Society.

No ONE has ever accused corporate America of being shy when it comes to making its pitch for our dollars.Blogging the brand

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely
I started thinking about the import of newspapers starting blogs when I looked at Greensboro101 for the first time

Reader loyalty and engagement with the site: that's why newspapers need blogs. Some understand that, some do not. "The puzzle simply isn't solved by newspapers starting blogs, even though it's a good idea to learn the form by doing it."

Seeders of Clouds: Latest on Newspaper Blogging [Trevor Cook compiles an impressive list of trends on the subject of PR and Blogging Why Blogs Will Never Replace PR ; Good writing is good writing no matter where you find it. However, each medium has its own unique considerations. One of the key points to consider about the text on your web site is microcontent. In online writing, little things mean a lot ]
• · Find Best Phone Card for your calling destination: Sydney v Prague ; Media dragon Am I geekier than I thought?
• · · Once people discover your secrets, your life might as well be over VC Confidential Blog ; Sometimes money does grow on trees and rivers
• · · · Those Busted Blogs; Sarah-Jessica Parker is developing a tv show based on The Washingtonienne. The Washingtonienne the Next Carrie Bradshaw?
• · · · · Getting a system accepted is not always straightforward. Politics is a normal and legitimate part of the IT business. It's just how decisions are made at a high level. If you want your project approved, or if you want funding, you need to know who to go to and how to lobby. It also helps to watch Yes, Minister The political side of systems ; AUSTRALIA Post has boosted its PrintSoft global digital documents business with the acquisition of Program Products in Britain and France. The deal follows Australia Post's purchase of Melbourne-based PrintSoft in July last year, which included a 15 per cent stake in Program Media Dragons: Post office to deliver digitally
• · · · · · There is no consensus for the exact dates of Gen Y but I use 1978-94; these young Australians, then, are between 12 and 28 years old. They are motivated more by personal fulfilment and social responsibility than by traditional monetary rewards and are rejecting the corporate culture of work first, life second. Life's a beach and so is work ; How smart companies are creating new products -- and whole new businesses -- almost overnight Media Dragons and Speed Demons; From Sydney and Stockholm and Tokyo they come, as well as from Denver and Dallas. Anyone who has worked long and hard on a blog, Media Dragon zine, or web product realizes how ephemeral they are Lets get it all on paper ; A Slate story on digital thespians analysed What Right in Digital Actors? ; Now, don’t be fooled by the “current boyfriend” stuff on my bias meter: I’m a fickle girl, and I change those boyfriends like I change the paper lining the birdcage. I do have my perpetual boyfriends, my kinky little harem of talented, sexy boys

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
-White Queen. Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Absolutely Sophie Jermyn, a creative soul, who might one day help Gabbie to make a dent in the universe of acting ...


I hate flowers. I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

You know you're at Bondi Iceberg club when the guy in front of you in the line for Gabriella’s favourite calamari and chips, the strange dude with the silver mobile in his golden suit, actually is James Packer (James and Frank Lowy are two Ausies considered the richest men in the world), rather than just some tall hipster who looks like him. And later when the Czech waitress with impressive accent who is standing behind the bar suggests in her tone of her voice to hurry up and get his ass moving ;-) This brings me to Bukowski's later works grapples for meaning and (lost) authenticity in the fat-and-happy, driving-a-BMW years, is interesting because the contrast between his lean years and later success is just so stark and difficult to swallow. Franzen, if crass, probably knew what he was doing Oprah: Irony and humor: the realization that there's a way to go on, but ultimately no cure

Sputnik Sweetheart is a little like an Eric Rohmer film, in that everybody talks incessantly and not always cogently, but their babble matters less than the deeper feelings and human truths it betrays. Alas, it also runs the same risk of appearing slight the moment one abandons the effort of caring Murakami Haruki : Before I became a writer, I was running a jazz bar in the Center of Tokyo

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Freedom to insult
Antipodean = 'one who is from a part of the earth that is diametrically opposite'

We may be at the mercy of the great powers, but we’ve always kept our heads above water with irony and perseverance. One of the most frequently challenged authors of the past decade has two books on the American Library Association's (ALA) list of the most frequently challenged books of 2005. Robie H. Harris' “It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health” heads up the list, while “It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” rounds out the top 10. Both books drew complaints for sexual content.

Love may be lovelier the second time around, but literature just turns ugly [Condemned by their own words: The ten worst autobiographies ; Powerful women are either sexually voracious rulers like Catherine the Great or Elizabeth 1, or treacherous bitches like Cleopatra or Helen of Troy Celia Brayfield; Believing Makes It So Happy Antipodean ; Adam Shand's journey into Australia's outlaw nation to examine the claims that bikies are the foot soldiers for organised crime… Unhappy Antipodean Outlaw nation ]
• · Gregor Samsa did not die near the end of Kafka's The Metamorphosis but instead lives, as a beetle, with a side-show of human oddities Reissued: Insect Dreams by Marc Estrin; With great black clouds of Schadenfreude gathering over successful debut novelists, it’s a miracle anyone ever writes a second book at all. An author can’t win with a second novel. If your first novel was a flop, you know that you’ll be dead in the water if you don’t knock ’em dead with the second: Ludmilla’s Broken English Blood in the Cold River: how sharks love the scent of second novels
• · · These are tough times for writers in Zimbabwe, says Martin Goodman Fighting for fiction ; The retailing or remarking of any work has to carry the past into the future. The question of originality is an interesting one. Originality belonged to God. Humankind reflected and copied Her word ; If the writers Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh win their case against Dan Brown, will the journalist who first described them as "historians" be able to claim royalties from everyone who has subsequently copied him? The imitation game ; If you had to pick just one book to take to the moon with you, what would it be? 10 Welsh authors pick books for a long trip along Cold River; Coping with a breakup is hard for everyone, but in my opinion, it is harder for men than it is for women. This is especially true for all those men who were involved in long-term relationships. It's not fair
• · · · If you struggle with the moral questions raised by the disastrous political commitments of certain otherwise stimulating or even essential writers, then ponder this anecdote. Letter from Sarajevo ; Finns head the list in terms of newspaper reading and library use, and studies show that Finnish children read better than any other country’s: dedicated to Aleksi and Anton Letter from Finland ; Dedicated to Minna Monaghan A Presence with Secrets ; Monika Kruesmann - Just saying 'no', just doesn’t cut it The gap between rape and consent
• · · · · The New Eastern European Intellectual: Why do some EEs make a fortune while so many others struggle financially? A Culture of Lies; It's also about a family coping with death and madness, so there's plenty to get your teeth into. he risk in transferring a play to the screen, of course, is that it will be dragged down by its theatrical origins Proof
• · · · · · Simone Weil wrote that suffering is a sign of God’s love. That is her beautiful use of paradox. Bidden or not bidden, God is present ; It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn from the cold hard mouth of the world -Elizabeth Bishop At the Fishhouses Australia's Eureka Street follows the leaders online