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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reflections of the absent (almost Sunday Selections)

I didn't go the the Aussie Bloggers Conference.

But I've read heaps of posts from people who did go, and its changed my whole blog world. 

Before the conference, we were mostly all in the same boat.  We recognised each other by our blog posts, the tone of the writing formed our personalities and we only knew as much about each other as we chose to share in cyberspace.

Now 169 of my fellow bloggers have broken through the technology barrier and sat together in the same room. They breathed the same air, ate the same food, heard each others voices, laughed and cried together.  By all reports it was a great weekend, and much more than I thought it would be. Actually, I don't really know what I thought it would be, but I have read how inspirational, moving and empowering it was for the attendees, and how amazing it was to finally meet the people we share our cyber lives with....

It's funny, at the start of my blog I had my walls up, and I didn't want to make friends. I just wanted to write. But you wonderful bloggers sucked me in good and proper, and I've only just realised that, somewhat unintentionally, I've become part of something bigger.  Reading each others stories, posting comments to laugh (or cry) with each other, finding common interests and similarities through memes.... It's more than just words and websites, its a circle of friends.

The rewards of a great post are no longer my focus, the more I read and the more I share, the more I become a part of this community. I like it.

So Friends, even though I wasn't there, thank you for going to the ABC. For making the time to travel, finding the money to get there, for lending a real human shoulder to the bloggers in need of a cry, for letting your hair down and enjoying yourselves, and most admirably, for having the courage to show your face and *gulp* say actual words just as they come out (no editing or pretty fonts to hide behind).

I hope there will be another ABC, I might even come out of the anonymity closet and go myself.  But until then, I've got lots more blogs to read, comments to leave, posts to write and friends to find.

So I've bought myself a new toy for the journey....




Isn't he pretty??!!  His name is Felix. He's a HP Pavilion DV6-3206AX.  He has 8G Ram, 500 G HD and a 1G Radeon Graphics Card, so he's quick witted and good-looking.  
I spent a day researching specs and 5 hours wheeling and dealing at 4 stores, then I finally cut through the sales B.S. and scored him for a steal. 
 (Some retailers will try anything, one swore on his life that onboard 64-bit graphics were just as good as a 1GB Radeon Card. It was almost insulting, he honestly thought I was that gullible. Wake-up, buddy, this is the age of Google.) 


I also bought Felix a playmate......


I'm not ashamed to admit it, Sims are my guilty pleasure.  I've waited years to own a PC big enough to expand my gaming further than Solitaire and Minesweeper, and I'm wrapped. 
(This is also the reason I have been two weeks between posts!)


So this post doesn't really fit in with Sunday Selections.... but notice how my photos are all foggy? Its all part of the grand master plan. Part of my great deal was Adobe Photoshop Elements/Premier 9, and I have my heart set on a Canon D3100 DSLR. I'm saving up as we speak.

If you want to see some real photos, check out the other posts at Sunday Selections...

Now I'm off to see what my Sims are up to....


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Selections: Passport Stamps Part One

Here we are again, another week down, another excuse for random photo posting thanks to Kim at http://frogpondsrock.com/

This week my inspiration comes from Wanderlust (button to the right) who posted her photos from her last trip to Australia.  This is the second time her Australia photos have left me ashamed at what little of my country I have seen. 

So rather than get depressed about my lack of red dust kms, I thought I'd share my photos from my adventures in passport stamp collecting. Better call this Part One. Though my trip was short, I have lots of photos to share.




London.  My first overseas destination. I was shocked at my lack of culture shock.  It was just like Melbourne, but older, and a lot more expensive.  But I loved it.....




Belgium. I ate awesome chocolate, and took home three bottles of strange beer, including chocolate flavoured. I also bought home a big bag of cocoa. That was 5 years ago, and I still have some left. I use it to make my Ned Flanders style hot chocolates.



Ahhh, Paris. I climbed the Eiffel, saw the Mona Lisa, ate snails and bought my dad a really old french architecture book from a back alley book exchange. Best of all, I got completely lost and used my Year 8 level French to get directions home.



Somewhere on the Rhine in Germany.  Not only did I stay in this castle, I slept on the very top floor of the tower.  Just like a Princess.  I also got very drunk and pierced my tongue with a safety pin in an elderly german mans basement disguised as a bar, but that story is a whole seperate post of its own.....

Now hop on over to Frog Ponds Rock and share some of your own photo love.....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fake-Tidy: For Women with a Life

Here it is, fellow housework avoiders... the long awaited and much anticipated second installment in FAKE TIDY!!!

My first foray into Fake-Tidy was very well received here in the blogosphere, with requests for books and even TV shows on the topic!

If you missed it, check it out here:

http://thefishcave.blogspot.com/2011/02/fake-tidy-new-trend-in-interior-design.html

It really was a good post wasn’t it. So without further ado I present:



FAKE-TIDY: WHEN APPEARANCES DO COUNT, JUST DON’T LOOK TOO CLOSE

CREATIVE CARPETING:

Problem: Red wine spill on the carpet.
For years, every time a glass hit the floor I’d run for the salt. I’d empty an entire 500gm Saxa shaker straight onto the spill, then watch eagerly as it soaked up the wine and changed to a lovely dusty rose colour. Once dried, out came the vacuum and I’d hold my breath to see if it had worked. Never once did it remove the stain. And as my vacuum cleaner pre-dates colour television, I’d be left with a red mark and millions of granules of dusty rose salt scattered across my lounge.
Solution? These days I have a more relaxed approach, possibly a result of the years spent learning how to consume the wine instead of spilling it.

OPTION 1: A quick re-arranging of the lounge suite, or the subtle addition of another Clutter-Box Occasional Table will hide even the toughest of stains.

OPTION 2:If you have a spare lamp, and a bit of patience, you can position it just right so that the stain appears to be a shadow.(bedside lamps are perfect and quite appropriate if you’ve also taken my lead and moved the bed into the lounge).

Now bear in mind that Options 1 and 2 only effective up to a certain point. It’s no longer feasible to re-arrange the furniture if it’s only going to uncover the last stain you tried to hide. And (dare I say it) there is a limit to the amount of occasional tables you can comfortable fit into a room before you start blocking pedestrian access. I’ve learnt that not every guest is limber enough to climb from couch to bed to couch again to get to the door (lucky it was family, no pending law suit).

OPTION 3: If 1 and 2 no longer provide the desired result, it’s best to let the stains become more of a focal point, or if you are really ambitious, you can change the entire colour of the room.

To shorten the turnaround time between hiding and embracing the stains, why not throw a party? The red wine I have found most eager to return to sea level is the stuff you heat up and add the spices to. Mulled wine I think. You can get some great recipes on pagan websites. I guarantee the first spill will occur within 90 minutes of serving up the tasty medieval brew.

Obviously these methods are handy for any carpet stains, even dog vomit and the wax that dripped off the candelabra that time you fell asleep without snuffing it out. (The candle had actually been placed for effective stain hiding shadow casting, so that one is kind of ironic).
When I took out the lease on this house I specifically requested they leave the ripped and torn carpet in so it wouldn't matter how it looked when I moved out. I long for the day when stained carpets are not only accepted, but embraced. Each stain is like a battle scar, and reminiscent discussions of how each was created can be enjoyed over wine and nibblies


IRON AVOIDANCE:

Not long after my first Fake-Tidy, I stumbled upon this great post by Farmers Wifey:
http://www.farmerswifey.com/2011/02/i-did-some-ironing-other-day.html

In this post Farmers Wifey writes about her aversion to ironing, leading to the use of her ironing board as a storage table and her inability to remember how its done. Clearly this is due cause for a Fake-Tidy intervention.

I do not iron. Ever. Period. I do not own an ironing board. I once owned an iron, but I haven’t seen it in years, so its either gone for good or hidden in the bottom of a Clutter-Box occasional table.

Oh, I hear you Ironing ladies, you’re chained to the board and each morning when your family members get dressed up all spiffy in their wrinkle free attire, all you see is another pending garment for the basket at the end of the day.
This could just be your escape.... but first I need you to do some self-reflection. Why do you iron? Really, why? I know why I don’t iron... its because my Mum didn’t iron either. My reluctance is therefore hereditary, but if you were raised by an ironer, you may be in for a rough detox as you try to break the habit. Anger, Guilt and Denial will surely play a part. You may even relapse under peer pressure, but please stay strong.

Ironing is an outdated and unnecessary chore. It adds nothing to your life of any value, it just eats into your valuable blogging time. The lack of an iron does not impede career successes, nor make you any less presentable in modern society, my mum and I are both living proof.
Here’s how Mum does it:

1. Simple but effective, stock your wardrobe with as many clothes as possible that don’t crease.
2. It’s all in the hanging....strategic peg placement and a few extra minutes taken to hang each item to allow for crease free flapping in the wind.
3. Fold, sort and hang, directly from the clothes line. Again, a few extra minutes needed and not possible if you doing the ‘its starting to rain’ dash, but really makes a difference.
Okay, you got me. It works for my mum, but folding and strategic hanging are way too domesticated for me. My washing gets left in the machine for a few hours (or days) post cycle, and then its normally draped over nearby furniture to dry because the washing line is too far away. Here’s how I get away with it:

Problem: When you dig out that must wear shirt from the bottom of the wardrobe room and its all scrunched up.
Solution? Spray it with water, put it on and get out your hair-dryer.

Problem: The bf wants his shirt ironed, but Ellen is on, or your facebook status needs updating, or you just can’t be bothered.
Solution? Tell him to iron it himself. Or say yes, then ‘accidentally’ burn it. You;ll never be asked again.

Problem: Fancy house guests that require the ‘starchy’ feel sheets and pillow cases.
Solution? Meet new friends.

Problem: Need to get suited up for fancy parties or client meetings
Solution? Buy new clothes and wear them straight of the rack.



Just imagine how much more woman-kind would achieve if we used all that ironing time for a better purpose.... who’s with me?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Themes: Textures

Isn't it great that wonderful people like http://chickchat-toni.blogspot.com/ come up with great ideas for regular linky-post-thingies for any random blogger to join in on.
(I've seen the word 'meme' thrown around and I think thats what these linky things are called, can someone please educate me?)

Toni has Thursday Themes, and this week her theme is Textures. The button is the very texturific rusty wheel thingy on the right of my page... please go visit, post your own texture pics or just write about the texture of your favourite snuggly blanket from childhood...
(You know, the blanket you always thought you lost, but your mum had it in storage all these years. Then because you didn't ask about it she thought you were over it, so she gave it to the op-shop a few years back. Now you obsess over it every night even though you went 25 years without it...)

Here are my texturific pics.... I had others, but decided to stick to the home-based pics I had lying around... mind you they're no where near as texturific as Toni's or Red Nomad's.



SPLINTERS!!!!
Nothing soothes the wounds like a chilled glass of bubbles....


Although the appearance is Fluffy and Cuddly,
regular guests to my house continue to claim this cat is more associated with a 'Sharp and Scratchy' texture...




Soft Green Grass growing under the shelter of my Trees. Dont you just want to Hug them?
(yes, these are the same trees that make my firewood, but rest assured, we only chop up the fallen ones,,,,



Dewy Webs on a Muddy Dam Bank. You might not see it here, but this photo reminds me of the squishy mud and freezing cold boot water textures I experienced in order to get close enough to get the shot....


My Dog, looking a little muddy (and no doubt stinky) after the long day of crawling in the mud for the best photo angles and rampant exploration of the trees to find the fallen logs for firewood, though I assure you, no matter how muddy her texture is always comforting.  Who needs that blanket when you have a beautiful girl like this....  


So there you have my textures...

I'm starting to feel a little exposed here in my 'anonymous' blog. Thanks to my new found love of photo inclusion, my posts are starting to show more of my life that I ever thought I would... and I gave my Bestest Friend for 23 years the link and now she's a follower.  

My sea of anonymity is becoming less cloudy and with each post more parts of myself are being exposed. 

What do you think, should I take the plunge, come clean with identity and "blog-skinny-dip"?