Wednesday, March 29, 2006

But safe for babies

But safe for babies


We breed 'em big in Perth.

What Happens To Greeting Card Rejects?

A rejected Xmas card:

Front: "Spread some holiday cheer."
Inside: "Or drink alone. Who am I to judge?"
Ever wondered what happens to cards that don't make the grade, or whether you could write for Hallmark?

No? Me neither. Writing scripts was hard enough.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Long Wait

Well, it's been the second week off work and the Mad Hungarian has only called once to find out what his last project was saved under. Which means he hasn't had anyone else work on it for over a week, even though it's unfinished but already scheduled for a public screening on the 7th April at FTI or something.

It's a documentary on the South Beach Village development by Landcorp and why, if you have a million bucks handy, you don't want to buy into it. It features Fremantle activist Bobby Wilson, environmentalists Dr Peter Dingle and Lee Bell, and a cameo by Dr Carmen Lawrence even, and it's called Power, Greed Vs Common $ense. Proceeds to the cause.

On the other hand, do I really care if a bunch of obnoxious overseas investors with more money than sense end up with lead poisoning and houses built on an eroding sand dune that's actually a rubbish dump? Nah.

Truth is, with a week to go, I have other things on my mind. For one thing, we haven't bought a cot or stroller yet. Just can't seem to find one that suits our needs. On the other hand, we're finally packed and mostly prepared. Still have to outfit the first aid kit with a baby in mind, though.

But at least the cat's taken care of. Or rather, he's taken care of himself.

We were going to arrange with a cat-loving neighbour to look after Mr Underfoot when I have to check into King Eddy's, whenever that happens. But as it turns out, the cat's already been hanging out at her place so much he has his own food bowl there. Damned bloody smart critter.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The 10 Best SF Films That Never Existed

Damn, so I didn't imagine that Aliens 3 teaser all those decades ago, the one that implies Giger's babies come to Earth. And I'm not the only one who wondered what happened to that film and others like it.

Ah, well, that's the state of SF film these days. The money, for a little while longer, will be in kiddie fantasy (Harry Potter And The Next Obligatory Sequel and any other literary classics Disney can exploit), but the sort of SF movies that got me excited in my long ago adolescence just don't seem to get made anymore.

There was a time when I would sit through the credit sequence of every SF flick and the names would mean something, a time when the FX creators were bigger drawcards than the actors because they were the guys who made dreams (and nightmares) come alive. Sure, stop-motion and latex models look cheesy these days, but they had a tangible quality onscreen that the glossiest CGI spaceship just doesn't: ET was really there holding that pot of geraniums; Chewbacca, the Predator, the Alien, (and even the bloody Ewoks) were real actors in costumes; the Terminator was once a real stop-motion model with real scratches and dents and scorch marks...

You might not have noticed it, but it registed in your subconscious that the alien/spaceship/artefact was real - it was really there onscreen, and it had weight and texture and presence and the actors more often than not were actually reacting to it.

They made the illusion seem real. Or real enough, anyway.

And part of the joy of watching films from that era was akin to the joy of watching a good stage magician at work: you wonder how they did that? How did that baboon play chess? How did Jason fight those skeletons? How did they make those clouds boil out of an empty sky in Close Encounters just before the Mothership appears?

Mm. Chalk this moment of nostalgia down to another episode of "Something Else Bub Will Never Experience", along with black-and-white TV, the Cold War, and life without mobile phones, the internet, and MMORPGs. I feel old.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And In Other Sporting News. . .

It's now official: The Japanese rule baseball.

They beat the Cubans 10-6 to win the inaugural World Baseball Classic international tournament. The US didn't even make it into the semi-finals of a tournament they were hosting, for a sport that they're famous for.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

By The Pricking of My Thumbs...

...or fingers anyway. This is about gestational diabetes, which I may or may not have. Opinions and blood glucose measuring devices differ.

Seems my GP forgot to test my blood glucose index or whatever at 28 weeks, an oversight which the King Eddy midwives harrumphed over when they checked my records at 37 weeks. It was too late to do the test, so they did a random blood glucose reading and I clocked in with a whopping 9. Something between 4 and 7 would have been the norm. Gestational diabetes was the diagnosis.

After all, my race and age were factors in favour of the diagnosis, even if my weight, diet, health, blood pressure, family history and everything else was just fine.

In short, the placenta produces hormones which interfere with the insulin in my blood, with the result that my blood glucose levels escalate, I end up up with a fat baby, and somewhere down the track I have a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

They booked me in to see a dietitican and a doctor.

The dietitican went over my diet with me. She said it was fine. The doctor checked me over. Normal blood pressure. Bub was a good size, nothing out of the ordinary there. I had another friendly encounter with the blood glucose measuring device (another needle, more blood) and I had a perfectly normal reading in the mid 4s. The midwife took another reading, just to double check. Again in the mid 4s.

But just to be absolutely certain, they lent me one of the little blood-hungry devices so I could monitor my blood glucose levels at home, four times a day, over three days of my choice, before they see me again Friday.

And so far, my readings have been well within the normal range.

I'm having dark suspicions about that first, anomalous reading of 9. A normal reading they double check. A way-out reading they don't? My fingers are itching with tiny scab marks and I don't know how people who genuinely have to monitor their blood glucose levels every day of their lives manage. I know I couldn't do this alone. Just as well it amuses skribe to watch me jump and swear everytime the needle slams home.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sculpture By The Sea

"I'm in the wrong line of business."

Skribe's one-line review of this year's Sculpture By The Sea at Cottesloe Beach, which, alas, ends today.

Seriously, there's some fun and interesting stuff on display, and then you find out how much they're selling for . . .

Saturday, March 18, 2006

South Park Vs Scientology

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Termporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

-- South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, responding to Viacom/Comedy Central's bowing to Scientology/Tom Cruise pressure to not re-show "Trapped in the Closet" episode

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Harmony Week Redux

Apparently, it's Harmony Week again. Somehow - even though I'm allegedly one of those whom this questionable piece of government-funded public relations is aimed at - I've managed to completely fail to notice it's on.

That is, until a friend texted to say she just saw me on TV and was wondering what had happened to my bump.

That ad was filmed for last year's Harmony Week!

Bloody hell. Talk about cheap. I was wondering why the office assistant had been making DVDs of the ad, thought maybe the Office of Multicultural Interests or someone wanted some more copies for their archives or something. Stupid me.

Bet we don't see any residuals either.

Belly Billboard; Or, Another Pregnancy Milestone

Here's one way to cover the costs of a new baby: sell advertising space on your burgeoning belly.

Particularly when you've just made the magic metre mark - the full 100cm around the middle.

Have also developed sausage fingers and feet, and have had to ease off my ring with liquid detergent. My left hand feels naked now, and the tan mark only serves to remind me how long that ring has been there and how keenly its absence is felt.

One more week of work, and then it's time to just focus on getting ready. Which probably means a frenzy of eleventh-hour shopping and packing and rearranging furniture. Just like going on a trip.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Playgrounds Past and Present

Yesterday, as Skribe and I walked through the park next to the Beatty Park swimming leisure centre, we noticed that the playground there includes a miniature rock climbing wall. For all those four-year-old rock climbing enthusiasts obviously.

I didn't know whether to go "aww" or "ugh".

I turned to skribe. "Are you disappointed our kid's never going to experience the old-fashioned wooden playgrounds we grew up with?"

Skribe looks at me funny. "What, he's not going to experience splinters, friction burns, and knocked heads? Yeah, real disappointed."

"But," I protest. "Don't you miss the creaking of swings on those iron chains, and the clunk-clunk of see-saws, and, um, yeah, okay, wooden slides were really bad on the bum. Er. And those see-saws were freaking death-traps. Um."

As may be observed, I frequently lose arguments against myself, sometimes within a sentence.

Hooray for the modern plastic modular playground. They even come with rock climbing walls these days. Lucky Bub.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Vale: Simmo's in Freo

Ack! Simmo's in Freo is gone! When did that happen? How does an ice cream shop go bust in Freo in the middle of summer?

And, short of bussing down to Mandurah, where else am I going to get liquorice ice cream?

Simmo's is still in Mandurah, right? They haven't completely disappeared? And why the hell do they still not have a website?

Friday, March 03, 2006

If A Cat Can Do Handstands. . .

. . . then I can damned well post something.

So. The pregnancy has finally begun to wear on me - and the weather hasn't helped either. I'm tired all the time, my blood sugar level is higher than it ought to be, and I am really, REALLY, starting to have trouble meeting deadlines at work.

On the other hand, we've discovered a new game to play with Bubzilla. When he kicks or shoves, we shove back - gently, of course - and then he responds a couple of seconds later. Magic.

He must like this game because he kicks, shoves, wriggles, and squirms a lot. A hell of a lot.

Now, if Kuklachev the Russian Clown can train a cat to do handstands, you'd think we could teach a pre-baby to sleep at sleep-time. Ha. Sleep, you have become a stranger to me. When did we grow so far apart? Write me sometime, just so I'll know you haven't totally forsaken me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


AWB: Downer couldn’t see the wood for the trucking fees.
-- Headline on Crikey