November 11th, 2009



I'm knee deep in reading at the moment, with all kinds of deadlines rearing their ugly heads.

On the weekend I got an exterminator out to have a look at my rodent issue and to help me fix it! He diagnosed it as mice, sorted me with a solution and then discussed putting any and all food sources in my kitchen out of the reach of mice - including the dog food, and packets of food and so on. I had been using tupperware to store flour and sugar and so on but hadn't been totally good at say packets of pasta etc. After he left, I did a quick run out to the shops, bought a ton of plastic ware and came back to face the pantry of doom. It got cleaned out and sterilised and the less we speak of this the better. However, now, I have this pantry that is totally organised, all my food in containers, and a couple of big bins with the rest of my food like packets of pasta and baking things and so on, all packed up neatly in them.

So, I kind of have my dream pantry. Finally. Ironically. And in addition, I'm making sure that there is absolutely no food anywhere by doing my dishes as soon as possible. So I have my dream kitchen as well. And it's kind of like the universe playing a hilarious joke on me - the ex used one of the reasons for our split up as me being untidy in the kitchen. And all my life I've watched women have kitchens with all this storage stuff and thought it was totally anal and extra work to come in form the shops and open all your packets and tip them into containers. Now I understand that the whole point was not about being neat and tidy at all! It was PEST CONTROL! I am so in! I will probably for the rest of my life have an uber tidy kitchen from now on.

I've done my best to not like the new job and the people there. Or at least to not have fun and get comfortable. And to *like* it, damnit. And I have failed. Failed. Failed. Failed. I love it. The people are really nice, really interesting, so multiskilled and clever. I break when they break and I enjoy the conversations. I am enjoying working on just the one project - even though that doesn't suit the way my brain works, I do like the destress of that compared to my last job. And it is still a nice way to recharge after burnout. Also the work itself is positive and uplifting and more grounded in science. And so its soul charging. And now the office manager is back and has completely sorted all my needs, without me asking (I needed keys etc) and for things I didn't even know needed sorting (she didn't like the way my name was registering on my phone). Damnit, I like it. I want to stay. There, I said it.

So I'm mostly reading right now. I'm trying to read 400 shorts this month so as to be up to speed on Last Short Story. But I'm also getting back into the crafting. catundra is excited about patchworking in my vicinity and I am falling prey to the vibe in her sphere. My original position on quilting was that I was happy handsewing because it's portable, I can watch TV whilst doing it and I was perfectly happy limiting the number of quilts output. I happen to think that it's very important to guard your home from being overrun by patchwork quilts. Cept the other day, we were talking in the car on the mad dash to Carol's and ... well. It occurs to me now that if I am looking at the craft as wanting to be more artistic rather than just making blankets, if I want to learn and explore colour, movement and texture, the progress I can achieve is limited by the speed of my output. Meaning that if I machine sew, I have the opportunity to try more things out, learn and then experiment and eventually design my own projects ... and at some point, hope for artistic output. So yeah, I might be coming round to thinking about learning how to use a sewing machine. And um, speeding up my quilting output. Ahem.

I have been inspired for the November quilt block. I have chosen my pattern, made the templates and pieced about a quarter of it. I thought it was a really difficult block but now that I am working on it, I don't think that at all. It's certainly more complicated than my first block but I am pleased then that harder patterns are becoming more accessible to me. Cause it was a talk down from the pattern I really wanted to do - and that means that maybe soon that pattern, and harder beyond that, will be achievable.


Good news on Parallel Imports!

A press release from Competition Minister Craig Emerson's office states:

'The Government has decided not to change the Australian regulatory regime for books introduced by the previous Labor government.

'Australian book printing and publishing is under strong competitive pressure from international online booksellers such as Amazon and The Book Depository and the Government has formed the view that that this pressure is likely to intensify.

'In addition, the technology of electronic books (e-books) like Kindle Books will continue to improve with further innovations and price reductions expected.

'The Government has not accepted the Productivity Commission's recommendation to remove the parallel importation restrictions on books.

'The Productivity Commission report acknowledged that removing these restrictions would adversely affect Australian authors, publishers and culture. The Commission recommended extra budgetary funding of authors and publishers to compensate them for this loss.

'The Government has decided not to commit to a new spending program for Australian authors and publishers.

'Compromise proposals were considered, involving reductions in the length of the 30-day publication rule and the 90-day resupply rule.

'In the circumstances of intense competition from online books and e-books, the Government judged that changing the regulations governing book imports is unlikely to have any material effect on the availability of books in Australia.

'If books cannot be made available in a timely fashion and at a competitive price, customers will opt for online sales and e-books.

'Introducing a price cap along the lines of the Canadian system would increase regulation with questionable effects on book prices.

'The Australian book printing and publishing industries will need to respond to the increasing competition from imports without relying on additional government assistance.'