May 9th, 2008



They reckon it's gonna rain today. I can't see how - the sky is blue as blue can be. I got to watch it as part of a stunning backdrop this morning of waves crashing along the beach whilst I was having breakfast with exp_err in the very last possible moment I could get into her flyby schedule.

Grrr that she never got my email about the very spare room in my vast house that she was more than welcome to use!!!

Still was good to catch up - nothing better in the world than long breakfasts with good friends.

Back to it, I spose.


Yesterday, Mr Kouchner urged the international community to force the reclusive Burma authorities to accept outside help, under the UN's "responsibility to protect" civilians when governments are unable or unwilling to do so.

Gosh this in an interesting political situation unfolding in Burma. The US are contemplating some helicopter drops of provisions without permission from the Burmese government.

So many different things wrapped up in this. The world has stood by and not done anything in the past. The English had intelligence as to what was happening in Auschwitz but chose not to bomb the gas chambers and instead bombed political targets not more than a few kilometres away. That same day, Auschwitz set a record for the number of Jews it killed in any one day. Many many times we have watched as governments have abused and neglected and punished their people, in order to retain contol over them. Surely, as global citizens, it's our responsibility, our duty even, to help the Burmese people. The environmental damage that has been inflicted upon these villages is beyond comprehension. A death toll in the 100 000s is beyond my own comprehension. And now people have gone without food and water, and presumably are living in contaminated water, for 6 days and still their government says they are handling it.

At what point do we stand by watching and watch no more? At what point do we say, no, you are hurting your people, we must act if you cannot?

I can't help remembering though, all those camera sweeps over New Orleans and all those small groups of people standing on houses or broken bridges with signs that pleaded for someone to help them. What would the US have done if other countries had taken it upon themselves to decide to stand by no longer and to now take action? I always remember those Australians who were in the stadium and the Channel 7 news crew who went in and found them and drove them to safety whilst Alexander Downer stood by and wrung his hands, tied by red tape.

The world's not fair I guess. And there are different rules for everyone.

Storm Spotter!

So was working just now and it involved scouting round the BoM site for information ... and I just found this!!!

An important component of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service is a national network of volunteer Storm Spotters who provide "on-the-spot" information on damaging storms.

Spotters are community-minded people drawn from all walks of life including the fire & emergency services, educational institutions, rural industries and the general public. They report either on a freecall telephone number direct to our forecasting offices and/or by lodging report forms or cards. Spotters supplement the Bureau's existing network of weather stations and cooperative observers. The information they provide has a tremendous impact on the Bureau's services, allowing us to verify warnings, calibrate weather radars during events and improve our understanding of the frequency and distribution of these storms across Australia. There are currently over 2000 Storm Spotters active in Australia.

Duties of Spotters
In the event of observing a severe thunderstorm or on hearing about damaging thunderstorms in their general area, spotters are requested to:

Phone the Bureau on a freecall number as soon as the storm has passed.

Fill in and post (free) a report form or card to the Bureau.

Reports take less than 5 minutes to complete. Spotters in rural areas may also assist by forwarding local newspaper clippings that we would not otherwise see in the metropolitan areas.

OMG!! Ever since Twister I have soooooo wanted to be a storm chaser! So yeah ... a storm spotter could be cool. Maybe more cool than the Litter Reporter I am now!

Mixed Media

Am amusing myself - I just hung a quilt in pinks, white and navy and of dresses on stands in between a Shaun Tan and a contemporary Aboriginal painting in my living room. I'm amused mostly because the ex-sister-in-law would have commented not only on the mix of media but also of styles. I suspect "design-wise" you aren't supposed to mix art up like that. But ... I love the mix and with each glance up from my laptop, to a different part of my room, I get dazzled by something completely else. It's fun.

(lyzbeth - I finally figured out how to hang it!)
So, at Swancon, lyzbeth and I got a bit silly at the art auction but we have walked off with joint custody of said, gorgeous quilt. I currently am timesharing it! I'm glad we bought it - it's lovely. :-)



(Am catching up on a bunch of things)

Have had this book out on the table to blog it for ages - check out what ozisim sent me for my birthday! I think it's hilarious! And also really caring to offer me a way to dig myself out!!

Thanks Sim!