Rangas rule

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

As you may already know, last week Julia Gillard became Australia's first female Prime Minister. The way this came about prompted many a headline, including the one from the NT News.

My favourite, however, is the ad from ikea:

What isn't funny is the SMH columist, Bettina Arndt, who said that Juila Gillard is a bad role model for women because she lives with her boyfriend! Apparently Julia's lifestyle choice will cause other women to choose the same lifestyle and miss out on children. Women just sit around waiting for men to 'make their choice' so they can get on with having children. According to Arndt, women have no agency and men just can't make a commitment. Pat Rafter is also considered a bad role model because he became an unmarried father - you can't be a good father unless you're married to the child's mother.

Women can choose whatever relationship they want to be in and they're in that relationship because they choose to be. Assuming that defacto relationships aren't real commitment, and people who aren't married aren't 'real' parents is like stepping back in time, to a time where women were secretaries and housewives and not much else. It's 2010, a woman is the prime minister and a good role model.

It's quite ironic that news of Iceland's PM's marriage to her lesbian partner broke the same day that Arndt's article was published. I guess Arndt wouldn't care about that because at least they legitimised the union. Poor Julia has to wait for her fellow to make up his mind and commit to her.

You can read Bettina's article here.
You can read about Iceland's PM here.

Ikea photo courtesy of @jamescrabtree

PS When I wrote this article I wasn't aware that Julia Gillard doesn't live with her partner, making Bettina's article all the more pointless.

PPS Read Catherine Deveny's response to Bettina here.

Plates of goodness

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Last week we decided that we'd try to take more photos of things that make us happy. If possible one a day. Now that's a hell of a lot of photos so I think I'll try for now to go with one every few days.

The photo below is from Friday night. Since their reopening, the Rock Bar have put on a plate of nibbles for punters who are there on a Friday night. The best part of the platters (apart from wondering if they'll ever be stocked with soy sauce for the mini-dim sims, is the Chicken Kiev balls. Simply delicious. However the last few weeks we haven't received these plates of goodness and we suspect our friend may have some how upset the chef. She wasn't with us on Friday and we once again received our plate of goodness - coincidence? I think not.

This photo is from today. I made it into town to catch the tail end of the markets and picked up this lovely bunch of flowers from Marni's Fresh Flowers and if that wasn't enough, as I perused the second hand book stall I spotted Marian Keyes latest book!
What's made you happy today?

Yes Virginia

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends"

Virginia Woolf

Weird Lumps

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

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In April I had to get a scan due to the discovery of lumps under my right arm pit, very close to my breast. It was slightly scary but it turns out that they are just extra breast tissue (who ever heard of that? I'm a mutant!). Apparently there isn't much I can do about it, which is really annoying since it hurts a lot. The radiologist suggested taking 3000mg of evening primrose daily and maybe going back on the Pill. So I've upped my dose of evening primrose oil from 0 to 3000mg and thought briefly about possibly going back on the Pill (it was last known to make me a little crazy in addition to putting on weight). Weirdly enough, two months later, it seems as though the primrose is working.......

Stories bone tell

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cause of death unknown, place of burial unknown, yet researchers are 85% sure that they have found the remains of 17th Century artist Michaelangelo Merisi, who is known as Caravaggio. Silvano Vinceti, a cold case historian, and a team of archaeologists found documents which suggested that Caravaggio was buried in San Sebastiano Cemetery in Porto Ercole. The first hurdle was that the San Sebastiano Cemetery was built over in 1956 and the bones moved to the municipal cemetery. After excavations in the municipal cemetery the team found 9 potential sets of bones of which number 5 fitted the physical characteristics of Caravaggio.

The next step was to head to the town of Caravaggio to compare the bones with the DNA of the local people. No descendants were found but families with the same surname were 50 to 60% compatible with the bones. This coupled with the amount of toxic lead in the bones lead Vinceti to conclude that the bones are Caravaggio. It is remarkable what researchers can find out from bones.


Image: From The Guardian - The remains of Italian painter Caravaggio are presented during a press conference in Ravenna, Italy. Photograph: Enzo Russo/AP

Reference: Kington, T The Mystery of Caravaggio's Death Solved at Last - Painting Killed Him The Guradian, 16 June 2010, accessed here


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lolita surprised me. Easy to read, beautiful language, but at the same time, disgusting. I had always assumed that Lolita was about an older man and a younger girl, but I'd thought that the man wasn't that much older than the girl and that the girl had almost seduced him. This was not the case. Lolita is about a man's obsessive lust for the pre-teen daughter of his landlord. The book is so well written that you become swept up in his fantasy, forgetting that she's not of age until you're suddenly brought back to reality. Lolita is dark and quite depressing, but a worthwhile read for 'its beautifully lyrical writing'.

Book Chat

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Desert Book Chick and I will be at Oscars for our regular book chat this Saturday morning. We're throwing the chat open to anyone who's in Alice Springs and interested in books. Swing by Oscars at 10:30am ready to discuss the book you're reading and the books you wish you were reading.

Slightly delayed - Finke Day 2

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Having arrived home from a dinner party at 2:30am, there was no chance I was going to wake up at 3:45am to head to my mates for the soccer. And from the results I don't think I missed much. I did manage, however, to crawl out of bed at 7:30am and get down to the Finke track to see the cars come in.

The appearance of a helicopter signals that a car is on it's way in, followed by the dust cloud way out in the distance, then out from the mulga the first car appears. This year Fellows/Bergamin were first over the line, followed closely by Gallard/Modistach, taking a tree out as the spun off track on their way to the finish line. A couple of minutes later came Alice Springs boys Auricht/Connelly into third place. Well done to Rob Cowie for making it into the top 25!
Roving cameraman Nick got all the stories from the drivers soon after they came across the line. The morning flew by and before we knew it, the bikes were in. Toby Price, Todd Smith and, local Alice Springs boy Ryan Branford taking first, second and third. Well done to Scott Cleghorn for coming in the top 200!

And yes, there was a hot tub at the finish line for those weary bones. Let's hope they'd changed the water from when the drivers were in it earlier in the day.

First three photos mine. The one above was taken by Justin Brierty, NT News from here

Day 1 - 2010 Finke Desert Race

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We struggled out of bed this morning and with the help of a decent coffee before we left, made it to the track by 6:20. As the sun was peaking out over the land we watched the cars start. Unlike Formula 1 the cars leave at staggered start times based on their Prologue time from the day before.

I didn't check the start times before I went out, but my cousin's car (yellow above) was placed near the front of the start pack, so he must have been pretty good. Turns out he placed 3rd in his class (Pro Lite V6), so very good. If you look closely at the photo below you can see his car in front & the other car with a V8 eating his dust.

I'm sure you're all dying to know the results from day 1, so here goes:

1. Toby Price
2. Todd Smith (two unknowns)
3. Alice's favourite Ryan Branford
At this stage they haven't registered Scotty Cleghorn as arriving at Finke....The anxious wait continues

1. Fellows/Bergamin
2. Rentsch/Rentsch
29. Cowie (go Rob!) sponsored by Sprint Auto Parts

The cars that started 1 & 2 did not finish, such is the grueling Finke Desert Race.

Long Weekend

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Long weekends should be about sleeping in and pottering around the house, but alas this one will not be. The Queen's Birthday Long Weekend is about early nights and early starts.

This morning I had a modest sleep in, then went to the gym to make up for the three hot donuts that were my dinner at scrutinerring*
last night. Scrutinerring - wandering around the show sheds looking at cars and bikes of the competitors in the Finke Desert Race. You'll be pleased to know that the grid girls have a lovelier outfit that last years effort.

Tomorrow morning we're out of the house at 6am, yes you heard that correctly, 6am to set up Nick to film the Finke Desert Race start finish line. The cars leave at 7:30am with Beau Robinson and Paul Lukies in poll position.

Monday morning we have an even earlier start, up at 3:45am and over to a mates to watch Australia v Germany in the World Cup. The game should finish in time to head over to the Finke start finish line to see the cars come back in. The afternoons activity will most likely be the longest nanna nap.

Because the world needs another review of Sex & the City 2

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

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This is the best review of Sex and the City 2 I've read to date. Why can't there be movies made for women? The movies don't have to be masterpieces (the reviewer admits that she didn't enjoy Sex & the City) but there is just so many movies out there that are aimed solely at men or kids. While romantic comedies are aimed at women, they generally focus on 'girl gets boy' rather than on the friendships and everyday life that surrounds it. Sex and the City has proved there is a market for these types of movies, so wake up studios and start making them.

My view of the movie? It has moved a fair way away from the TV show. This movie in particular was more vapid. Only one scene, the heart to heart between Miranda and Charlotte, showed what we'd come to see, the friendship. If they're going to do a third movie (and I, for one, would seriously advise against it) they need to go back to the day to day. The problems between partners, the helping each other out through day to day life. This movie attempted it but didn't dive in.

As this reviewer said - it was a great night out (well, afternoon for us) but the movie could have been so much better.

Fieldtrip - Repairs & Maintenance Check

Monday, June 7, 2010

Part of our job as Heritage Officers* is to check on repairs and maintenance to Heritage listed properties. A few weeks ago we took a trip to the Barrow Creek and Tennant Creek Telegraph Stations to check on the works undertaken to mitigate against rising damp. In the picture below you can see the damage to the bricks caused by the salt in the water that has seeped into the bricks.
To prevent this from happening the paving has been cut away from the brink and stones have been put down. The stones absorb the water that would have gone into the bricks.

The cement floors inside the building have also been cut away and replaced with stone to stop the damp affecting the lime washed walls. Where the cement floors remained up to the wall, the lime wash has started to crack and flake away. Where the floor was cut out and replaced with the stone, the lime wash was unaffected. Below you can see the damp in the stones, but the walls behind are unaffected.

*I'm currently working as a Heritage Officer and a Town Planner - I think I must be the first person ever to work for two government departments, oh the headaches it has caused some people...

Caravans of courage

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Over Christmas some of my family were staying at a caravan park which had mainly permanent sites. While we visited, I snuck a few photos of caravans that caught my eye....

I think that this guy needs a few more lawn ornaments. Each rock had a political message on it. And I'm going to assume that the santa was not left there all year long.

70s Party

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We're partying the night away at a 70s party next Saturday so I spent some time on the weekend searching the interweb for 70s fashion inspiration. It's the beginning of winter in Alice Springs and nights are becoming quite cold so anything I wear needs to go with my mother's 70s leather coat she kindly gave me a few years ago. I keep seeing pictures of over the knee socks and as much as I'd love to rock that, I fear it'll be too cold. At the moment I'm thinking of my short onesie (yep I've sewn the button back on after a summer without it) with a cardigan, opaques and platform sandals. Time will tell.

Images from Fashion Pictures
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