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Tue, Mar. 4th, 2014, 06:48 pm
Mardi Gras 2014, in words and pictures

I know many of you may just want to skip to the photos. The rest of you are welcome to peak at the many words under the cut.

Read about my ratty adventures here...Collapse )

So huge love goes out to Dustan, Loupy and Jes'ad for making and organising the best Mardi Gras yet!

Sun, Feb. 23rd, 2014, 11:55 am
Roophilia update

  • Kangaroos. Taken from The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse, under the heading "Central Australian Aboriginal Songs (Aranda and Loritja languages). I love the music inherent in the words, even when translated into English, with the constant repetition of lines with small changes along the way.

Tue, Feb. 11th, 2014, 07:41 pm
Roophilia update

  • The Kangaroo, by Barron Field. Taken from The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse.

Sat, Feb. 8th, 2014, 07:08 pm
Remembering my father

This is the eulogy I gave my father at his funeral, with a few additional personal observations.

AulisWe moved to Australia in 1975 when I was three. (It's my understanding that he wanted to be part of Gough Whitlam's vision for a new Australia, but he got thrown out of office later that year.) My dad was in his early 40s then but he started a new life for him and his family and then set to work with the vigour of a man half his age. After working all day as a carpenter he would build our home brick by brick, with his own two hands.

My dad loved to make things. I remember building a birdhouse with him, and my mother joked that it must have been a very expensive birdhouse for the number of hours we both put into it, but it was a labour of love. I never did pick up his knack for making things with my hands.

One thing I did pick up from him was his love of animals. Even in his twilight years he loved feeding the birds and the possums around the house. He tamed some of the possums enough that he could tentatively pet them. I know you shouldn’t do that, but I wasn’t going to deny him the pleasure he got from hand feeding them. In my moments of whimsy, I like to imagine the possums around the house got together and gave him a marsupial memorial. Between the food and the possum houses he built for them (which are still in use today) they owe it to him.

He also taught me to respect rats. He made a humane live rat trap, and I saw a rat escape from it once, by squeezing through a hole the size of its head. It gave me the willies at the time, but it showed me how determined rats are to live. He also told me a story (which I strongly suspect to be apocryphal) of how rats steal chicken eggs: One lies on its back and holds the egg with all four legs while the other drags his friend by the tail.

I always loved going to the flea market with him on Sundays. We were looking for different things when we got there so we always went our separate ways and then would meet up in the middle and compare loot, but I stopped going when he didn’t want to go anymore. It just wasn’t the same without him.

When he retired as a carpenter, he would sell firewood and pine cones as kindling. Not for the money, but because he loved cutting and bundling the wood. He built a stand with a locked box for the money that he carried on a wheelbarrow and I helped him write the signs for it. He collected the money in a jar and loved collating his takings on a scraps of paper.

He always found time for me. He built a flying fox for me in the back yard and would pull me up it. He was always happy to give me lifts before I got my driver's license. Even when the alzheimer’s took all that away from him, he still wanted to spend time with me around the house. He was never cold with me, but he was emotionally distant, never wanting to share his feelings. It was his way, and I learnt to be that way too. He was my father and I loved him. I’m glad I got to tell him that in the hospital before he passed away, but I wish I’d told him that more often when I still had the chance.

Sat, Jan. 25th, 2014, 06:16 pm
Being carried by your friends

I am reminded lately of a story about Jesus that I was much touched by. A man was walking with Jesus along a beach. He looked behind him and saw that during the darkest patches of his life there was only one set of footprints in the sand. He asked Jesus where he was when he needed him most. Jesus replied, "That was when I was carrying you." Sadly, I don't have Jesus to carry me, but sometimes my friends will do the same for me. Thank you.

I know I am not at my best right now, and for that I can only beg pardon. Hopefully I will be back to normal again (a new normal?) but it will have to be in my own time.

Thu, Jan. 9th, 2014, 07:55 am
Gripped by Gilgandra!

Marcwolf and I had engine trouble 5k out from Gilgandra. The heater valve cracked, spraying coolant over the engine. We did a bush mechanic repair, and limped into Gilgandra. There we were lucky enough to find someone still in the 'closed' Toyota dealership, who (sulkily) sold us the part we needed. David fitted and we headed off again but we still overheated on the way out so we limped back, resigned to spending the night. (Echoes of my roadtrip bringing Ristin up to Brisbane were not lost on me.) A kindly motel keeper loaned us a spanner and David was able to remove the thermostat. (Dud I say how good he us with cars?) Our overheating troubles were over and we were able to motor in to Forbes. Our adventures continue.

BTW, when in Gilgandra we yes and recommend the Orona Windmill Motor Inn, just around the corner from the Toyota.

Tue, Jan. 7th, 2014, 10:09 pm
ConFurgence or bust!

(Heh, I never got around to posting my thoughts on the longest joke in the world, did I? Maybe later.)

Tomorrow I shall be embarking on a road trip down to ConFurgence in Melbourne with Marcwolf. I'm sure it will be a grand adventure. Rattus and Ziggy will be there of course, and maybe a surprise extra suit at a dance. I hope I'll see some of you guys there.

Sat, Dec. 28th, 2013, 12:01 pm
The longest joke in the world

I encourage those of you interested to read the longest joke in the world. A day or two later, I might give some reflections on it, not wanting to spoil the punch line for those who choose to read it through.

Thu, Nov. 7th, 2013, 08:56 pm
Roophilia 2.0 update

Updated a few new photos to Roophilia 2.0:

Wed, Oct. 30th, 2013, 05:56 pm
Funeral rites

Attending a funeral gives one cause to consider one's own mortality. It included an exhibition of her life, photos from her life and things important to her. Such an exhibition for me would of course have Rattus as the centrepiece, but what if he could be more than that? What if he could be a participant too? I would love for Rattus to be sitting there among my much-loved plush, but then he could surprise people by actually having someone inside! Rattus is a simple creature; he has no regrets for the past or fears for the future--he lives only in the now. He would help to make the funeral what it should be: a celebration of my life. And it would firmly show where I stand on the debate about what should happen to a dead furry's fursuit. :)

Of course, I would neither know nor care. You could dump me in the tip and say good riddance to bad rubbish. But I hope there will be something better than that for my fursuits and most beloved plush.

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