Pages ... if I get around to it ...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Bad Beginning for a Bizarre Book?

This could be a Bad idea ... Because it could be totally Boring - But I was in the shower the other night and I had this Bizarre idea, for the Beginning of a Book, just kind of create itself in my head, so when I got out of the shower I wrote it down ... and then decided that it might be handy for my B post for ABC Wednesday ;-)

so ... Be ready to Be Baffled, Bored or Bugged - here it is:

Aguor sneezed. He could feel the hot redness rise up from his hairy chest, to the top of his ears, and back down, even redder and hotter - red enough to be seen on his hairy cheeks and neck - as he realised that what he had sneezed was now lying on the tablecloth, in a soggy wriggling lump. A hairbiter - black, with lots of legs. Thankfully his hosts were educated enough not to be too upset - enough to know that hairbiters and other pests could be caught by clean people, if they had to mix with those who were not. Normally he would have engaged the services of a groomer, with a well trained snufflecat ... but as he had not left the crowded and unclean city via the normal road, but rather, he had fled just a little too hastily by diving into the sacred pink lake of saltiness and swimming to the lonely temple, he had thought there was no need - and there should not have been - the salt kills hairbiters and other nasty hangers on. As he was bald from the top of his mouth, up over his ears, and down to the middle of his back, he had figured it did not matter that he had not totally submerged his head - but he had forgotten about the hairs growing inside his nose!

... pretty Bad, isn't it?

I am not quite sure why I started thinking of Book Beginnings ... I am fairly sure it may have Been Because I was thinking about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest - a contest that, as it says on the website is "a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels" ... the 2011 winners are here ;-)
To enter this in that contest, I would have to remove that first full stop and replace it with "and" ... and that would give me 3 lines of horribleness until the next full stop ;-)
(which possibly means I shouldn't put it on my blog yet? ... then again - seeing you are probably the only person actually reading this I don't think it matters anyway - LOL  ... besides ... now that this post has sat mostly written but not posted for a few days, and I submitted that Beginning to the contest in Between writing Bits of this post - can I get in trouble for plaigarising myself by posting it on my Blog after i sent in the entry? Besides ... what can they do - take away my Birthday?  ;-)

Talking about Books ... which I guess I wasn't - Because that B$^%^t up above is only the Beginning of an imaginary Book - I do actually know a couple of REAL authors, who DO know how to write books!
I met them both on the #CSIROTweetup and I have read stuff written by both of them and really liked it.

One is Claire Corbett (her website is here ) I have a copy of her book "When We Have Wings" but I have not had time to read it yet (although I have read the first chapter ;-)  and I also read a short story she wrote, one that is the idea her book is based on - that is here (click on the page numbers to see the pages and read it) ... as if I didn't already wish I could fly ... now that I have read that - I want to fly even more ... if that is possible! LOL

The other Author is Patty Jansen (her website is here ) She gave me one of her e-books (so I could read it and write a review of it ... which I did ... but not sure if I am any good at that sort of thing - lol) and she also has several other stories/etc available as e-books some are Here on Amazon (some of them are free ... and what ones are free seems to vary over time ;-) and she also has some on ... where they have a whole pile of different cheap and free e-books - some are full length books, others are short stories or even collections of poems/etc (I have downloaded and read a few of the free ones, including some by Patty, on my iPad ;-) I read them while I was away over Christmas. I also downloaded a heap more the other day ... not sure when I am going to get around to reading them all ... I have enough trouble getting around to posting stuff to my blog! LOL (this one sat, mostly done, as a draft for a few days ;-)

btw ... anyone want to write the next page of that silly story? ... could be interesting to see what happens next - lol

ps ... needed a photo 4 the ABC Wednesday link [andrea has a quick look 4 one] ah - this will do - something I had for tea one night a couple of weeks ago - how about a Beef Burger and a Beer?!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Here is one I prepared earlier" ?

This may or may not work ... (if you see nothing but a half a page of text, then it did not work ... at least not for you anyway)

I typed that bit of text and added the link that embeds the story in to this post, and previewed the post - and it seems to have worked ok, at least at this end ;-)
- I went to a website I had found out about (when someone else used it and tweeted their results) called Storify  and clicked on the "create story" button at the top and had a fiddle - it let me search for all my tweets (I could have also searched for any other peoples tweets or various topics, or Facebook posts, or some other stuff, but I only wanted some of my recent tweets for this one ;-) and it let me drag the ones I wanted into the thingy (complete with any photos I had tweeted) and add whatever words I wanted ... kind of fun - and a cheats way to turn a few days of tweeting stuff into a blog post all about it - LOL

Methinks I will be using that site again ;-)

Anyway ... here is the story, the "one I prepared earlier":

Gee ... that was just a bit TOO long eh? ... next time I will just do shorter ones i think ... might go back there now and whip one up for Spot, the Blog ... then if any of the 2 or 3 people reading this blog actually go and look at the "other stories by ..." link then they might find something - LOL

btw - because those photos are in something else that is embedded in this blog post (kind of same thing as when one puts youtube videos in blog posts/etc) the photos don't do the same as on my other posts - but you can still see them bigger if you want - just click on them and you end up at the photo on Twitter, and click on it again and it should give you the nice big version ...
(so - if you click on the photo of the yarn - you should get to see a bigger version of the Twitter picture I am talking about the yarn matching ... unless I have changed my profile picture or something - LOL)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Androids And Apples And Apps And Accounts And Annoying Computers And Stuff

Ok ... so that is a good post title for a letter A post, as we go into Another round of ABC Wednesday ... so ... Ahh ... er ... now what do I actually SAY? lol

I guess I was thinking I should post about that stuff because it has All featured rather a lot in my life lately ;-)

note: As this post has become Awfully long ... feel free to just look at the pictures if you don't want to read All that stuff I have raved on About ;-)

Anyway ...
I am not quite sure where it all started ... maybe way back - when DH bought our first computer, almost 21 years ago? LOL

Actually ... this little quilt, that I made last year, kind of tells the story - in fact that is exactly what it was meant to be About ;-)

... the words sewn onto the background are all the things I started playing with/using, and in the Approximate order I discovered/started using them ...
The couple on the right are the ones not quite in order ... Fractint is a computer program (still around but was less complex, but took way longer to do stuff, back then) that draws fractals ... can't remember when i started messing around with that ... probably not long after we got the computer - whenever DH downoaded and installed it and told me about it ;-)
The digital camera came sometime later ... if I had to put it in between the other stuf it probably would go between geocities and google - I was already using e-mail and yahoo stuff by the time we got our first digital camera (and now my PHONE takes better photos than that camera could!) I probably could have added more stuff like using various photo editing software and stuff ... but I decided that "digital camera" could cover all that stuff too ;-)
For the first few years we had the internet ... which I think we had access to before html/the www - DH used to run a "bulletin board" where people could dial up and download/upload files and e-mail or something like that ... but once web browsers and stuff turned up - I started "surfing the web" every now and then ... not too often - because when I did - I would sit at the comptuer, get "lost in cyberspace" and then it would be 8 hours later! oops?! LOL (some things don't change much ;-)
At about the end of 1997 DH called me over to the computer and showed me how to use the e-mail program to send/read e-mails, and to read newsgroups ... and he "created a monster" LOL  - I found a quilting newsgroup (and a couple of others) and joined in ... then someone on there told me all about Scquilters (the Southern Cross Quilters e-mail list) and I joined that instead ... that later moved to "e-groups" which got taken over by yahoo to become yahoogroups ... sometime after joining scquilters I was looking at someone's quilt website on geocities and got curious and clicked the link to "get your own Geocities page" ... just to see what was involved in case I wanted to later ... a couple hours after I clicked - I was up way too late And I had a website on Geocities! LOL
Sometime over the next few years I also joined a few other e-mail lists ... one or 2 of those have died, all the others either were already on, or moved to, yahoogroups ... and I also used to do quite a lot of "surfing the net" ... and signed up for a pile of different free e-mail addresses and stuff (on sites that have mostly died since then) ... and sometime or another Yahoo, and a few other similar websites started to get not so good (free yahoo mail forwarding kind of ceased to happen, and yahoo bought Geocities and then later on the killed it) and Google got better and became the main search engine ... and I found blogger and started this blog ... a year or 2 before Google bought Blogger - lol
I am still active on a few yahoogroups ... and, after resisting it for a year or 2, I joined Facebook ... and Twitter ... but still didn't use them for a year or so ... but then I realised that a pile of people I know from the Scquilters yahoogroup are now hanging around on Facebook ... so I relented just over a year ago, and let one of them drag me in - lol   Then I found that a couple of them were messing around with Twitter, so I had a bit of a fiddle ... that was in the middle of last year sometime - which is when I made that quilt  ... Twitter is kind of where I got the title for the quilt, but I still didn't think I was likely to use it that much, because it didn't seem to be my thing ... nor did smart phones (which DH took me shopping for a few months ago, and  I kind of wondered why I had one for the first month or 2 ... but then I found out about the CSIROTweetup - LOL ... so I started using Twitter (and Facebook) on my phone, and on the iPad that DH had bought earlier in the year (another thing I wasn't sure I would use much, although I did use it for Gmail and Facebook while we went on a holiday in the middle of last year - I posted photos of all the different food we ate ;-)  funny thing is I think now I use the iPad more than he does - lol)  ... once I worked out how to use the thing, I also started using a heap of other apps on the phone - some that I found out about during the tweetup, and a few I have found since, and then when I went away for Christmas I started using a few things on the iPad (mail and e-books mostly).
I think in the last month or 2 I have probably spent more time on Twitter than on any of the other things! (but I have it set up so my tweets get posted on my facebook - lol)

er ... this has got rather long - and that was kind of only part of what the title of this post refers to!
I was also going to mention how, when I went up to visit Mum and Dad for Christmas/New Year, I spent quite a bit of time fiddling around with all that sort of stuff - because Mum bought an iPad just before I went up there, and she was having a few problems with her computer/e-mail ... and if you have not used Any Apple software or Anything with Apps or signed up to many things where you have online Accounts - it can take a bit to get one's head around it All ... and I am no expert either - I just play with it - LOL  ... but I ended up doing all sorts of odd stuff like using my phone as a wifi hotspot so mum could download iTunes and a big iPad software update (her dodgy internet plan did not have enough data left to use to do that, but my phone plan did ;-) and setting up e-mail stuff on her laptop (a fairly new one, not her first, but a different version of windoze that is a real pain to find how to do stuff in) and then setting up her new internet stuff - she changed from a wireless dongle on a network where she only had a bad signal, to a plan where she gets a lot more data for only a bit more money and has a little modem thingy that connects to 3g and is a wireless hotspot that she can connect either her laptop or her iPad to (which solved the problem of her wondering "should I have got a 3G one instead of just a wifi one?" - she can use her month's worth of data on either the laptop or the iPad rather than needing 2 different plans ;-) Trouble is - that stuff all had to be installed/set up/etc ... so Mum was glad I was there to help figure it all out - LOL
Also, while I was there to help set stuff up, Mum decided that seeing she had such Awful wireless reception from her ISP, she would change over to Another one instead (one that has better 3G coverage in her Area ;-)  ... so I ended up helping her find her way through the maze of Accounts and passwords, And had to explain All About how the Admin password was for the thingy that connects to the net and then sends out the wifi signal that her laptop and ipad need Another password to Access and that those are Additional to the password/login she needs to Access her Account/e-mail/etc on her ISP ... the sort of stuff that can be Absolutely confusing At first, but All makes sense once you get your head around it - probably All stuff that I have learnt About a lot more slowly over the years, while watching DH set all that sort of stuff up while I just used it All ;-)

... and this is where I Added a few ideas (below) for the rest of this post, then left it As it was for a few days (although I did just Add a few more words and stuff to the bit Above)

And maybe some Additional A stuff?

As if this blog post needs to be Any longer?!!!! ... Anything I might have Added, I will be Able to use next time Around the Alphabet - lol

Authors?! (the 2 I met on the Tweetup and how/why I am reading their books? ;-)

er ... yes I did want to mention that About now, but it will Also fit quite neatly in with what I am planning to do for my letter B post, so it will Be in there, if I get Around to Actually writing the B%^&#%& thing ;-)

Anyway ... this post is probably Awfully boring with so few photos ... so here is Another one:

"Aggie's pants" (Agapanthus) ... I took the photo, with my phone, a day or 2 ago, and I just noticed , as I was putting photos into an Album on the computer and choosing which one of  3 Agapanthus photos was going here, there is An Amazing thing About this photo - there is Also An Arachnid on the Agapanthus flowers! (the pink hand is pointing to it ;-) 

I Am sure I have some other Amazing photos I could put in here, but I keep getting lost on Twitter before I get Around to uploading them from the camera's memory card ... and I am not doing that now because DH and I are About to go out, As soon As he gets home from work (unless he has changed his mind since he rang me from work earlier today) - And I want to try and post this before I end up being too late ... Again 
(oops - he is home, hope I have not left Anything out/messed up, because I am About to post this As it is and hope it is at least mostly Alright ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Zarya, Zvezda, etc ...

So ... "What on Earth are Zarya and Zvezda?" you ask? Well - actually they are NOT on Earth! They are 2 modules of the International Space Station (ISS) that is orbiting around the Earth ;-)

Zarya was the first module launched, then Unity, then Zvezda (If you are interested, there is more info here: ... and from there you can follow the links to Zvezda and other stuff ) This website - - has some interesting info on the use/history of the name Zarya (it was initially the call sign of mission control for the flight when Yuri Gargarin orbited the Earth ;-)

Zvezda means "Star" ... which is about how bright the ISS now looks when you watch it fly over!
Zarya means Sunrise/Dawn ... symbolising the dawn of a new age of space exploration or something ... and I guess there are definitely some exciting things happening at the moment (like the failed Phobos-Grunt in a decaying orbit and due re-enter the Earth's atmospehre at some random time in approximately 2 days time, and the MSL mission (Curiosity rover) due to land on Mars this August ... I hope they have another CSIROTweetup for that, and if they do - I hope I can sneak off from work to go to it!)

Talking about Dawn ... that is when I went to bed "last night" - LOL  but - there is one advantage in having been still up at that stupid hour of the morning - I got to go outside and see the ISS fly overhead at 4:12am ;-)
(it has also been visible here in the evenings this week - but either I forget to look until too late, or it is too cloudy ... sigh)

To find out when you can look up and see the ISS fly over, one can just search on Google/etc for ISS sightings or something ... or go to or
If you are into Twitter - you can also follow @twisst to get sent alerts when it is due to be visible flying overhead ;-)
And if you have an iPhone or an Android phone ... there is at least one App that tracks satellites/etc and tells you where to look in the sky (the app I have on my phone tracks lots of stuff, including ISS, and the doomed and soon to re-enter Phobos-Grunt)

I did take a photo of the ISS with my phone - but it just looks like a tiny white dot on a black background - not worth uploading here ;-)
I don't have any recent/new photos of a Sunrise either, but I did take a photo of this Sunset over the house as we drove off to have tea at a pizza place with a name starting with Z, a couple of days ago.  lol

[the next day] ... seeing this was meant to be my Z post for ABC Wednesday, I probably should have uploaded the photo and posted this yesterday (seeing it was already late then, and is now even later) ... but I kind of never got that far ... sigh ... but I might have a couple more Sunset photos now ;-)  I took some on my phone when I was walking the dog this evening ... and then the dog and I got home just as the ISS was flying overhead ... not directly overhead, and some thin cloud - so not bright enough for any decent photos (besides - I would probably need to set up the camera on a tripod to get any photos that actually looked like anything other than a white dot in a black background - lol)

Anyway ... Here is the Sunset over the house the other day:
 yes - it really was that colour!

And here are the other Sunset/etc photos I took, with my phone, while waking the dog this evening:
(I took some with my camera too, but they are not on the computer yet)
pink sky and hills

this is what normally happens when trying to take photos of the dog, or the cat:
photo of said animal at least part way OUT of the photo!

orange Sunset

closer up (taken just after other one)

a few minutes later (from a slightly different place)

Sunset reflected in the pond

more Sunset reflections in the pond

Diesel, wishing I would let him jump in the pond  and chase the swan that has come over  - probably to see  if we have any food ;-)

Just for fun - the same photo after I played with it in GIMP (a very useful bit of  photo editing software that can is free to download from the www) I was going to make it a bit lighter because the original (above) is rather dark ... but it didn't look any good when I made it lighter (all the colours became distracting and ruined the effect - the darkness is part of what makes it a photo I like - kind of moody looking, or something ;-) but I quite like the effect in this one too.
While I was playing with photos in GIMP ... I decided to play with the lightness and contrast of another photo I took this evening - I was trying to take one of the ISS as if flew over (using my phone ;-) but it was way too dark and the photo just turned out black, with no sign of the ISS or even the stars in the sky ... but when I upped the contrast as far as it would go, and same with the brightness, but one number less - I got this rather interesting "noise" effect, which I quite like - it kind of looks like an abstract art quilt or something ;-)

oh ... one more Z thing I just have to mention seeing this is meant to be a post for the letter Z ... something that someone Tweeted reminded me ... a piece of music that I love, partly because it was used as the theme song in the film "2001 A Space Oddesy" but also because I like it anyway - is a rather dramatic piece called "Also Spake Zarathustra" ... LOL
Oddly enough ... I just looked it up (at ) and it says that the initial fanfare - the bit that was used in the film - is called "Sunrise" - which ties in nicely with where this post started - the name that I already knew, that gave me the idea for this blog post - Zarya, which means "Sunrise" ;-)

(so now that I have gone full circle, maybe it is time I hit the "post" button before I bore you all so much that you turn into Zombies? ;-)