May 31, 2004

SUVs and Landscape Gardening The Amatuer Way

Today I read an article in the New York Times on SUVs and lawsuits in the USA. Did you know that if you are in a passenger car and you are hit by an SUV (like a surf hilux etc) you are 29 times more likely to die than the driver of of the SUV? The bumpers of the cars and the SUVs are at incompatible heights and if you are in the passenger car you are likely to be hit in the head by a side impact.

The article makes a good point about the purpose of SUVs as opposed to other incompatible vehicles like buses and heavy trucks - whereas these vehicles have specific tasks and require more stringent licenscing and safety checking, any yahoo can get an SUV and use it exclusively for shopping because it 'feels safer'. And SUVs do feel safer to drive - because they are. Just pity the other people who have to feel so much less safe when they drive because of you.

*end rant*

I have spent the last several days doing a bit of work in the garden because the back yard is turning into a muddy mess. I fixed the dog run (total cost: $0.75), and laid a new path under the washing line because the sheets kept dragging on the ground (total cost: $18.00).

Today I'm going to reorganise the laundry so that the dogs have outside access independent of the rest of the house (total cost: $0.00 and yay for so much less mud on the floor!) and also try to costruct some sort of fence that will cross from the laundry door to the dog run door so that the dogs are kept off the rest of the back lawn. If these guys already have a staple gun, that should be free too, because I already have lumber and some plastic netting. Otherwise it'll cost a cheap staple gun and some chicken wire.

Then I will have total control over the dogs without having them in the house all the time (major plus). Once I've done that maybe I can look at filling in some of the holes they dug in the lawn (groan) and lay down the turf I removed from under the washing line... the thing with gardening and house maintenance is that there is always something else that needs to be done. (sigh)

*end moan*

:) Merry Monday, everyone :)

Posted by phreq at 10:24 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 29, 2004

A Poem, For Some Reason

I'm in a writing mood yet I have little to say, so I thought I'd post a poem for a change.

on a golden autumn
cuddled in bed
a kitten snuggled
light flickers
rose gold
on my closed eyes
warmth holds me
and slowly
i wonder
what birds
and how fly they
sweeping stark crosses
on a pale winter sky
a child
i wander
a bitter beach
wildness swept
i am
the sky opens
and pain
stabs me
the world falls
i awaken and
smoothness returns
just a warm autumn evening
and a kitten

Someday, I may get the hang of metre and rhyming schemes and stuff... but I'm perverse about poetry, I just like the sound of words together. Poetry to me is like taking water out of a tap and watching it fall and splash to the earth. The same substance, but more energy and chaos. And yet...

Does water have more energy when it comes out of the tap? Help me out here, Giffy, you science teacher you... :) I can't remember 4th form physics! Let's see, there's potential, kinetic, and chemical energy - so does the water have potential energy when it's in the tap, and then kinetic energy as it's falling to the earth? Or does it gain/lose energy in this process somewhere? Energy's a constant, so it has to go somewhere, but it seems like gravity maybe transfers the water more energy? Can gravity do that? It's a force, right? Help me, this'll haunt me all day and I'll be arrested at the supermarket for muttering in the soft-drinks section.

Man, I need to re-do high-school science. I can't remember anything!

Posted by phreq at 08:33 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 28, 2004

news round-up

Thanks guys for your nice comments.... I had no idea Wes had gotten himself lost, I am glad you found him in time! And welcome home, Regs, I'll call you in the weekend when the phones are cheap :)

Today I found an article about blogging addiction which is probably not a serious problem for me as I glance back over my performance record!

Then I started thinking about all the news stories I hear once and never again. Like do you remember a few months ago that crematorium in the States was found that wasn't really cremating people? Never heard any more of that. And that bizarre Church arsenic poisoning, also in the States, also last year, never solved, to my knowledge. Then there are the long-term things that seem to flare up every few years, like the Ramsay case. And in Australia, that one about the English couple hitchiking where the boyfriend was killed? It's really strange, every single article I've seen has had things like "Girlfriend describes 'murderer'" - with like 'murder' or 'murderer' in quote marks. It makes her seem automatically dodgy, but I don't really have a reason to disbelieve her.

Moscow has told the world that it has contained the laboratory outbreak of ebola. That was all it rated, a tiny article in the AP section of an overseas newspaper. But for some reason when China reports a laboratory outbreak of SARS, it's all over Time and Newsweek and on the 6pm news. I don't trust the Russian health system any more than the Chinese one, personally. And SARS has only about a 10% death rate, whereas certain strains of ebola are up around 70-90% mortality. Odd. But then again, maybe not, given that Bush is courting the Russians but trying to put pressure on China. Russia is too valuable in the WOT/Iraq, whereas China's always a pain in the ass over North Korea and Hong Kong.

Well that's my uninformed opinion of the news media, what's yours?! :)

Lol oh and I found a review of the movie "The Day After Tomorrow". This was at the end of it... for some reason it strikes me as funny:
""The Day After Tomorrow" is rated Pg-13. Millions of people die, but nobody swears, copulates, undresses or takes drugs."

Posted by phreq at 07:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

return once again from the internet wilderness

You know, if I drew a self-portrait, I would look like Pig-pen, out of Peanuts, with this kind of accumulation of distaster around me. Having been briefly employed I got sick and now have to stop work, in the process losing $600. Which really just proves that I'm not a capitalist. Or something. But my appendix has now been removed and I have three scars and an angry discharge letter from the hospital (they were mad because I went home; I went home because the pain relief wasn't working and they weren't listening to me)

I need a bracelet that says "This person is not a drug addict. It's just that morphine is really about the only thing that works. Really." My body is missing a bunch of enzymes and stuff that process drugs and a lot of chemicals simply have no effect on me whatsoever. But try explaining that to an unknown doctor when it's 4 in the morning and you have "stomach pain" and you get my frustrated drift....

So anyway with stitches and all the rest I can't really work for a while (particularly not in a bakery and lifting things all day long) and having just started I get no sick pay so I'm essentially down $600 and counting, because I have to pay to go to the dr tomorrow to get a medical certificate to get back on the benefit. And if it weren't for David I don't know what the hell I was expected to do. I mean, what do people do? Except go on the game. Thank goodness I have friends to save me from that because otherwise that's exactly what I'd have to be doing. The social welfare system in this country is sub-subsistence and sliding. I know it's a net not a hammock but for goodness sake at least have a functional net. Otherwise it's a noose.

Apart from that, I'm fine :) How is everyone else? Regan you must be back from Japan?! How was it hun?

Posted by phreq at 07:57 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack