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Saturday, March 29, 2008

X marks the spot?

This week's scatterday is things starting with X
(and no catagories - just take photos of stuff starting with x)

What a pity I don't have a treasure map with an x on it ... I could go dig up the gold/etc and get rich - LOL

(and if I had a treasure map it might be because I was a pirate and I might be sailing a
xebec - which is a small three-masted pirate ship)

x rated is probably not a good idea for a photo on this blog either ...
(unless you consider my belly button to be x-rated! LOL)

btw, interesting? trivia time: it was interesting to find out (after a bit of google searching) that Winkipop beach (where they have the surfing contest if the surf isn't ok next door at Bells beach, near Melbourne) was actually named after a code word/euphamism for an X-rated activity! - see )

anyway ... I guess I need some X photos ...

which I guess is not meant to be easy - especially seeing that, according to - "No words in the Basic English vocabulary begin with X"
... yes sure ... lol - luckily most of us have more than a basic understanding of English - LOL (or know some other language or can find some other creative way to find x things - lol)

how about:


it's a bit small to see, but it is on there - the label says so - LOL
The xylem is the bit of the plant that transports water up from the roots to the rest of the plant.

(it comes in handy working in the science area of a high school - I can find all sorts of interesting things for blog photos/etc ;-)

Actually ... seeing that xylem is what actually what wood is made of - I guess I can find/take another photo of some xylem -

not only is it Xylem - it is a X-section - of a tree trunk.

Now what else have I got lying around at work?

ah - the chemical store is a good place to look - I found some Xanthydrol (whatever that is ... actually I think it is used to test for Urea) and some Xylol (goodnes knows why that stuff is in there either)

and possibly some Xylene if one can believe that crossed out and re-written label (actually I think Xylene is just another name for Xylol anyway) ... that label, and the fact that the bottles are so old they are in ounces and pints, and the fact that it is rather toxic, is the reason the Xylol (and/or xylene ;-) is being disposed of (along with a pile of other old/nasty stuff I found in there).

but I didn't find any Xanthan gum or any Xanthomonas campestris (the bacteria they use to make the stuff)

so what else can I find?

how about an XS650 ?

DH and I were at some motorbike races at Eastern Creek (in Sydney) on Sunday, so I figured that there might be some sort of bike that had a name starting with an x ... and I found one - a Yamaha xs650. I think the owner was a bit confused when I told him why I was taking the photo - lol

That is definitely 3 x things - "but wait - there's more"

(yes I said XANThorrhoea not DIAhorrhoea - lol)

... I saw a few of these on the way home on Sunday (on the hill just after going past Lake George) but DH was driving and I don't think he would have stopped for me to take a photo even if I had asked him to ... and there probably wasn't anywhere safe to stop on the side of the road there anyway) ... so ... "here is one I prepared earlier"? - actually I found a couple photos I have taken in the last few years

This one

was ... er ... somewhere ... probably East of Canberra - it was on a Land Rover Club trip back in May 2000.

I took this photo in April 2002

another couple of Xanthorrhoeas
... on a Scout hike in the Pierce's creek forest ... which now looks nothing like it did back then, because most of it was burnt in the bushfires in January 2003

(although it is amazing just how much stuff is now growing back)

There is one thing I wish I did have a photo (or even better - a video) of - and that was when I was a kid, and we lived on a farm, and Dad used to take me driving in the farm vehicle (which we used to call "the jeep" even though I think it was probablly an old Land Rover that looked like the army Jeeps on TV shows like "Mash") and one day he was driving me around in the "regrowth paddock" which used to have a lot of these plants in it - not tall ones on black trunks, just short wide ones with lots of spiky leaves coming up from fairly close to the ground - just the right height so that this particular day Dad managed to get us "bogged" on top of one of them with all 4 wheels off the ground! LOL (getting unbogged was relatively easy - Dad just got out and pushed and the "jeep" slid off enough so that a wheel was on the ground and could get some grip ... in fact knowing Dad - he probably got us "stuck" on purpose ;-)

btw - for those who don't know much about them - has some info about these weird and wonderful looking plants.

Surely I can find a few more X things ...

I am not the FBI so I don't have any "X files"

I (hopefully) have 2 X chromasomes in each of my cells (except the egg cells in my ovaries I guess - if I remember rightly those should only have one) ... but I don't have a photo of those - LOL (if you want to see one - "google" it yourself - lol)

I am not even sure what the X factor is, and ditto for "chemical x" (one of the ingredients that the "Power Puff Girls" were made of ... gee there are some weird cartoons on TV)

Hmmm - maybe this is "chemical x"?

at least this one does have a label to say what it is (I found a few things, in the chemical store at work, that didn't! ... this one is some spray cleaner that was used as an "unknown" for a lesson where the students tested the pH of a few household chemicals and then had to work out what ones "x" and "y" and "z" were likely to be - the "x" was over the label when the students did the practical lesson - I wonder how many cheated and looked underneath the "x"? LOL)

I also found some X-Ray film hanging around in a store room at work (I have some here at home too, but I was already in the store room getting a photo of the tree X-sections so I grabbed the X-rays and took a photo of them too)

and I even took a photo of an old X-ray machine a couple weeks ago ... it was part of that old dentist surgery display I posted a photo of recently ( )
here is the bit of the photo that shows the X-ray machine:

eek! - it looks like a manic robotic vacuum cleaner or something!

I wonder what else I can find?

I don't have an X - plane ... but I would love to fly in one!

and I don't want any xtc/x (those are both nicknames 4 the drug Extacy)

I can't include a photo of me, because I am not a "10" (X is 10 in Roman Numerals)

I have a sneaking suspicion that the photocopier at work isn't a Xerox
(so I didn't bother to go up and take a photo of it)

and I wouldn't have a clue if this computer uses the "X Window system" or even what it is ...

... but I do know what usually happens when I hit the x on a (computer) window - LOL

I have a blog on Xanga ( ... I think) ... not that I ever post anything to it (I only created it so I could see how well it worked and if I liked it (I didn't - I like blogger - that is why I am still blogging here)
I don't want to go to Xtube ... apparently it is kind of like Youtube ... but with X (rated) stuff instead of you (and me) type stuff - LOL

I didn't ever take any photos of the Xeriscape garden here in Canberra ... and it has now closed down ... which is a bit odd seeing we now have a drought/water shortage and people really could do with a few ideas/lessons on how to grow stuff that doesn't need much water ...
and I have not been near a railway xing .
and I don't have a poster of the x (times) tables.
this is eXtremely good fun ...

I did a google search for X
and found the Wiki page for X ( )
... and a few other odd things ... including a punk band called "X" - lol - and a couple of links to medical stuff about X-linked genetic diseases ... and
... ooooooh - lots more ideas here! -
(that is where I found out about that small 3 masted pirate ship - lol)
a woodlouse (slater) is both of these:
xylophagous - wood-eating
xylophilous - fond of wood; living in or on wood

so I just took a photo of 3 woodlice ... otherwise known as slaters ... - 3 xylophagous Xylophiles!

- yes - I had to bring them in and put them on the floor inside - it was too dark outside! (but not too dark to find some - I thought I was going to have to go digging around at the edge where the lawn meets the garden beds, but these were under a cushion at the edge of the pergola! ... and to think I nearly didn't bother to lift it up and look under it - lol) ... and I had to put them on the floor because they kept crawling OFF my hand before I could even think about pointing the camera at them ... they kept crawling apart/out of my photo on the floor too ... and the cat kept standing on top of them - she wasn't particularly interested in the slaters - she just wanted to be right in the middle of whatever it was that I was doing!

ok I have eXhausted most of the x words (well there are some left, but I am eXhausted - lol)

so lets have something that looks like an X:

- here (actually it was in Sydney, in January) is a spider trying to look like an X

sorry - it is a bit blurry and I didn't get a better photo ... I think it might be a Saint Andrew's Cross spider ... or it might just be doing a good job of looking like one ... (I can see part of the X that they usually do on their webs on this one ... in the bottom left corner of the picture ... but I am not sure if they are the only sort of spider that does that)

and here are some spiders who are not pretending to be the letter X

- Charlotte and Henry:

yes - the same ones I posted about a week or 2 ago ( )

hmmm ... Henry seems to have lost a couple of legs somewhere.
(dd named the big one "Charlotte" the day we first saw them ... so I decided that the other one could be "Henry" ... Henry hairylegs - lol ... or if he keeps loosing legs he will have to be Henry hoppalong ...)

anyway ... where was I?

oh yes - X
am I an eXpert?
have I eXcelled myself?
or have I gone to eXcess?
or am I just being eXtremely eXasperating?

maybe I should be eXpecting to be eXpelled from the challenge after this lot?!

X marks the spot where I should stop!
Y am I still up at this late hour? (it is now just after 3am!)
Zzzzzz is what I should be off doing.

and that brings us back to A

... which I just noticed (AFTER typing the xyz stuff!) is the next Letter we are doing!

- yes next Saturday we have to post pictures of things starting with the letter A, and the catagories are Restaurant, Something you find in the dark, Turquoise. (hmmm ... at first glance, that lot looks harder than X was!)


  1. Fantastic entry. Love all of the information. Thought you were a primary teacher not a science teacher.

  2. You have a LOT of stuff Andrea and it is coming in very handy. I do hope you have a dark turquoise restaurant up in your back shed LOL

  3. Wow, you have excelled yourself! I love the photo of the cross section of the tree trunk.

  4. I am stunned. But you could have posted a photo of yourself as The Perfect 10.

  5. U have Xcelled yourself! Xcellent! X out of X!

    btw it is a St Andrews. Now why didn't I think of it? We have heaps of them!

  6. ooh, lots of xxxxs. and lots of photos

  7. Actually I am NOT a teacher! ... I am the "Science Assistant" (that is the official name in this state - we probably should be called "lab technicians" or something) at a High School here in Canberra - hence the access to all sorts of odd chemicals/equipment/greebly things that have been disected by science students - LOL
    btw, unfortunately I don't have a dark turquoise restaurant in my "back shed" ... but I wish I did have a "back shed" - it would come in handy for storing some of my other junk!


Feel free to have your say ... I will read it eventually ... and maybe even answer you, if you asked a question ;-)