Fable of the Hedgehog

3 08 2011




Fable of the hedgehog 
It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold.
The hedgehogs, realising the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.
This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.
So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others.
This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

The real moral of the story……

Heart Melting…

1 08 2011

Here is a great story without a word being said apart from the dialogue at the end.
It may even bring a tear to your eye…















The German tourist jumped into the icy waters and saved the dog.

Upon climbing back onto the bridge he checked the dog out, and told the owner that; “Zer dog is ok and vill be fine.”

She asked the German if he was a Vet.

He replied, “Vet?  I’m fucking SOAKED!”

Sheer Genius!

28 05 2010

Now I’m a fan of using cameras as tools for more than just recording memories.  I regularly use mine as a reminder device, especially of where I parked when I’m in a multi-level carpark, like at the airport.

But when I stumbled across this blog entry of someone’s personal use of their camera as a it’s own security or tracking device I had to laugh, and marvel at the genius behind it.

Judge for yourself.  All credit goes to the author Darren Rowse, the blog; Digital Photography School, and the lateral thinking of the camera owner; Andrew McDonald.

How To Get Your Camera Back by Andrew Rowse

Equality for Everyone

29 11 2009

If your idea of Equality doesn’t cover EVERYONE, you are a bigot!

Mark saw this article the other day and forwarded me the link, I simply had to share it.

Straight British Couple Fight for Civil Partnership

November 25, 2009

A straight British couple who reject marriage but want to seal their love with a civil partnership were told on Tuesday they could not because they are not gay.

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, both 25-year-old civil servants, were turned away from Islington Registry Office in north London because the law says civil partnerships – introduced in Britain in 2005 – are only for same-sex couples.

Undeterred, the couple said they will take their fight for equality to court.

“We want to secure official status for our relationship in a way that supports the call for complete equality and is free of the negative connotations of marriage,” Mr Freeman said.

“If we cannot have a civil partnership, we will not get married.”

A spokesman for Islington Council said: “The law dictates that a civil partnership is only for couples of the same sex. The council must follow the law.”

There are a small number of differences between a marriage and a civil partnership, including that a marriage can be conducted in a church, while a civil partnership cannot.


You know you’re from Melbourne if…

24 11 2009

I’m from Melbourne, and when Mark forwarded me the link for this article I had to laugh.  That being said I didn’t understand everything, so it’s not entirely accurate, and I take offense at the Ringwood-Frankston FWY aka Eastlink.   I’m from Frankston, we’re not all bad! 😉

Read it for yourself, if you’re from Melbourne you may just get a laugh, if you’re not, well hopefully you’ll get a laugh too.

You know you’re from Melbourne if…

YOU know you’re from Melbourne if (part II) …

■ You think the Queen Vic Market opening hours are normal.

■ The sight of kids in pyjamas, dressing gowns and slippers in the street makes you immediately think of the Myer Christmas windows.

■ You’re more impressed by someone telling you they’re a barista than a barrister.

■ You subscribe to The Monthly but don’t read it, only buy The Big Issue if people are watching and have a RRR sticker on your car but you’ve been listening to the ABC since you moved out of share-houses.

■ You’ve read The Slap and hate every character in it. But they remind you of your friends.

■ You would have slapped the kid too.

■ You own a tagine, a poffertje iron and a pasta maker. And have never used any of them.

■ You haven’t paid for a ticket on tram in 10 years but you’d pay double if they reintroduced connies.

■ Your three favourite words are: ”Tullamarine, thanks driver.”

■ The last place you’d go for pizza is Lygon Street.

■ You don’t mind graffiti as long as it’s spelt correctly and uses appropriate grammar while sticking it to the man – and is written by a woman.

■ You’ve stepped on an ”emo” walking into Flinders Street station while you were both texting.

■ Whelan the Wrecker, Harry the Hirer, Peter the Possum Man, The Tint Professor, The Dashboard Doctor, The Swagman and Stephanie Alexander all seem like members of the family.

■ You feel sorry for Geelong.

■ Laneways full of people sitting on milk crates eating breakfast at 3pm seems normal.

■ You’ve lived in London, been to conferences in Paris, holidayed in Rome and know New York like the back of your hand, but you’ve never seen the penguins at Phillip Island.

■ You can sing the jingle for Car City.

■ You think a massage with a happy ending means when you’re finished they give you a cafe latte and a Readings voucher.

■ The fact there’s a Chardonnay Crescent and Champagne Road in Chirnside Park reinforces your suspicion that Kath and Kim is a documentary.

■ You hope the Southern Star wheel never gets fixed because if it stays broken we can call it an installation.

■ You take Japanese students to the Coburg drive-in for the cultural experience.

■ Your husband wears a sarong, is in a book group and uses moisturiser. But you call him your partner, because you’re not married or you don’t want people to think you are.

■ Your wife grows the hair under her arms but waxes elsewhere. Partner. Whatever.

■ South Melbourne Market means only one thing: giant chicken dim sims.

■ You know Richmond’s postcode is 3121. And Channel Nine’s address is 22 Bendigo Street.

■ You hate it when they shoot a car chase in Melbourne and Sydney and the editing jumps between the two cities. Like we won’t notice.

■ The Ringwood-Frankston bypass. Do we really want to encourage these people to breed?

■ You’ve never solved the mystery of how WEG always correctly predicted who would win the grand final when he drew his grand final souvenir poster.

■ You have a friend in a band. Or who says they’re in a band.

■ You know the difference between Carlton and North Carlton, Heidelberg and West Heidelberg and Malvern and East Malvern is about $120,000.

■ You know drunk women wearing fascinators staggering around the city with their shoes slung over their shoulder means Oaks day has turned into Dog Day Afternoon.

■ Your favourite joke is Pakenham Upper.

■ You love that only Melbourne people will get this quiz.

Catherine Deveny will be signing copies of her new book Free to a Good Home at Readings Carlton on Friday, November 27 2009, at 1pm.

Six Months Today

16 11 2009

In that strange way that time has, in that it feels like it’s gone exceedingly fast, but so slowly all at the same time, it’s hard to believe that it’s six months today (yesterday for the Australian time zone) that my Dad passed away.

I just don’t know what to say.

But, just after he passed, I saw a verse that was written at my Grandmother’s old nursing home for one of the people there who passed away around the same time.  At the time it struck a chord, and I took a photo of it.  So now I’m going to share it, as it says more than I’m capable of.

At Rest

Think of me as one at rest,
for me you should not weep.
I have no pain, no troubled thoughts,
for I am just asleep.
The living thinking me that was,
is now forever still.
And life goes on without me now,
as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
because I’ve gone away.
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay.
Those of you who liked me,
I sincerely thank you all.
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
as time went rushing by.
I found some time to hesitate,
to laugh, to love, to cry.
Matters it now if time began.
If time will ever cease?
I was here, I used it all,
and now I am at peace.


Ugh I’m Addicted!

31 10 2009

There’s an application on Facebook that I’ve been avoiding for months, it’s Farmville.

But after being pressured also known as nagged by my lovely friend Lisa, I caved in and joined so that I could be her neighbour and allow her to “upgrade her farm”.

That was my big mistake.  I joined, I played to see what the fuss is all about, and then I got addicted.  The challenge of plowing, planting and harvesting a crop for money to build a bigger better farm was too irresistable.

It seems though that I’m not alone in my addiction, as reported by the New York Times, see below, thanks go to Davis for bringing it to my attention.


To Harvest Squash, Click Here

RASPBERRIES? In the FarmVille game on Facebook, livestock and crops take a lot of time.

// //

Published: October 28, 2009
AT high schools and colleges across the country, students are hard at work, tilling their land and harvesting their vegetables.

Skip to next paragraph

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

PLAYING Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, says his game company is profitable.

“It is clear this obsession with FarmVille is an issue, especially since it is taking away time from studying and schoolwork,” Danielle Susi wrote this month in The Quad News, a student newspaper at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

Adults, too, are blaming their problems on FarmVille, an online game in which people must tend their virtual farms carefully. On blogs like FarmVille Freak (slogan: “I can’t stop watching my crops!”) and others, people share tips on fertilizer and complain about, for example, a spouse’s addiction. An anonymous blogger who said she was pregnant wrote: “I was starving … and he told me I’d have to wait a few more minutes so he could HARVEST HIS RASPBERRIES! I waited … in the car and waited for his stupid raspberries to be harvested.”

That there are actual farmers who spend less time on their crops is beside the point. FarmVille has quickly become the most popular application in the history of Facebook. More than 62 million people have signed up to play the game since it made its debut in June, with 22 million logging on at least once a day, according to Zynga, the company that brought FarmVille into the world.

Crazes on Facebook seem to come in waves — remember sheep-throwing, Vampire Wars and lists of “25 Random Things About Me?” — but devotion to FarmVille has moved beyond the social network. Players gather online to share homemade spreadsheets showing which crops will provide the greatest return on investment. YouTube is rife with musical odes to the game, including versions of its theme song. There is a “Farmville Art” movement, in which people arrange crops to resemble the Mona Lisa or Mr. Peanut. And many a promising dinner date has been cut short to harvest squash.

“I can’t hang out with any of my friends without talk of apple fields and rice paddies,” said Taylor Lee Sivils, a student at the University of California, Riverside, in an e-mail message. “I have to wait for my friends’ soybeans to grow, because we can’t chill until they’ve been harvested. All I want is to be able to go back to talking about anything tangible, but FarmVille overcomes.”

The game starts off simply: You are given land and seeds that can be planted, harvested and sold for online coins. As you accrue currency, you can buy things, from basics like rice and pumpkin seeds to the truly superfluous, like elephants and hot-air balloons. Impatient players can use credit cards or a PayPal account to buy more money, although purists tend to frown on the practice.

But like The Sims and Tamagotchi pets, FarmVille soon becomes less of a game than a Sisyphean baby-sitting assignment. Crops must be harvested in a timely fashion, cows must be milked, and social obligations — like exchanging gifts and fertilizing your neighbor’s pumpkins — must be met.

The game seems to have mesmerized people from all walks of life. Every night for the last two weeks, Jil Wrinkle, a 40-year-old medical transcriber in the Philippines, has set his alarm for 1:30 a.m., when he will wake up, roll over and harvest his blueberries.

“I keep my laptop next to my bed,” he explained by phone. “The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is harvest, then I harvest again at 10 in the morning, then again in midafternoon, then in the evening, and then again right before going to bed.”

Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, said he had seen the craze firsthand among his students.

“Just like Guitar Hero lets you feel a little like being a rock star — you get to pose and dance a little while you’re doing it — with FarmVille there is a real sense that you’re actually doing something that has a cause and effect,” he said. “The method of dragging food out of the ground and getting something for it is really satisfying.”

FarmVille isn’t the only popular farm-theme game on Facebook. MyFarm and FarmTown, which are made by different companies, also have huge followings. Some academics have gone so far as to suggest that their collective popularity points to a widespread yearning for the pastoral life.

“The whole concept of ‘I’m sick of this modern, urban lifestyle, I wish I could just grow plants and vegetables and watch them grow,’ there is something very therapeutic about that,” said Philip Tan, director of the Singapore-M.I.T. Gambit Game Lab, a joint venture between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the government of Singapore to develop digital games.

Of course, real-life farming is quite a bit messier and more dangerous than FarmVille (perhaps just one reason that FarmVille players outnumber actual farmers in the United States by more than 60 to 1). Yet some of the game’s biggest fans are farmers.

“I was having all these deaths on the farm and hurting myself on a daily basis doing real farming,” said Donna Schoonover, of Schoonover Farm in Skagit County, Wash., who raises sheep, goats and Satin Angora rabbits (real ones!). “This was a way to remind myself of the mythology of farming, and why I started farming in the first place.”

Zynga, which is based in San Francisco, specializes in games that are easy to learn but hard to walk away from. It also makes Mafia Wars (25 million players) and Café World (24 million), the second and third most popular games on Facebook, respectively.

Mark Pincus, the founder and chief executive, said that Zynga earns money from advertising, sponsorships and players who buy in-game cash. Zynga has been profitable since 2007, he said.

“It’s really the same formula that makes Facebook successful,” Mr. Pincus said, “the ability to connect with your friends, to express yourself, and to invest in the game.”

FarmVille takes advantage of Facebook by allowing — nay, nagging — players to become “neighbors” with their friends, even those who have not joined the game. Players can earn points by helping with their neighbors’ work. They can also irritate friends who don’t want to play FarmVille with endless notifications and invitations to join, which has led to a vocal backlash.

Cropping up alongside fan blogs like Farmville Freak, which after just one month is getting 25,000 unique visitors a day, are Facebook groups for people who are tired of listening to their friends talk about their eggplants. On “I Hate FarmVille,” the largest of the anti-Farmville affinity groups on Facebook (it has more than 17,000 members), one person commented, “No, I will not give you a tree! No, I will not be your neighbor!”

An Australian Love Story

9 09 2009

Also known as:  A tale of two Cockies (Cockatoo’s).

My friend, the lovely Sanda sent this to me and I liked it so much I had to share it with you all.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ain’t nature marvellous?

A Tale of Two Cockies
A Story of Love, Compassion, Friendship & Loyalty

About eight years ago a wild Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew into a car and broke its wing. The motorist took it to the Vet in Nerang, Queensland, who had to amputate the wing. We adopted her – for which we needed a National Parks and Wildlife permit – and kept her in a cage outside where she was often visited by wild Cockatoos. One of the things that impressed us was how she would push lettuce leaves through the bars of the cage, offering food to visitors.   
Last Sunday 23 July 2006, she again had a visitor.
As usual he spent a lot of time sitting on the cage with a tamper proof latch.
There was a lot of talking and grooming. A bloke has to look presentable when courting a bird!
Things got interesting when he approached the front door. . ..
The clever fellow figured out how to undo the tamper proof latch!
He opened the door for a lot of mutual grooming and food sharing…
Oooh that’s nice! Scratch a bit more on that side, dear…
He was not shy to get into the cage and would go in and out a number of times.
They mated! We are looking forward to beautiful baby cockatoos. Will keep you posted.
Later on, the whole extended family came visiting but the special mate was back every day so far.
We leave the door open during the day but if we forget, it doesn’t matter – cockatoos have intelligence that rival primates. Because she has only one wing, she stays inside or just sits on top. Guess what happened next…
The Babies

At first it seemed as though he was annoyed because she did not fly off with him and he would squawk a lot. He soon came to understand that she could not fly so he just stayed. However, she was no longer returning to her cage. The two of them would stay in the trees in our garden and because the yard is well fenced, they were safe from dogs but the neighbour’s cat is not kept indoors at night and we often have to chase it away. Chances are the cat would come off second best in a confrontation with a Cockatoo but at night cats remain a danger because they could stalk a sleeping bird on the ground.


Cockatoos make their nests in hollow logs but we noticed the male hard at work digging a hole under a clump of Lilly Pilly trees. We put down a hollow log for them but they just ignored us. The nest he dug was a hole with a short tunnel leading off to where she laid her eggs. Once there were eggs in the nest, the male became extremely aggressive. You better not get near the nest or he will take chunks of flesh from your foot. It was difficult to take these pictures because I literally had to steal them while running away from the male.  

We kept a vigil to see how things were progressing. They took turns incubating the eggs and covering the tunnel. After about three weeks, the eggs hatched. Have a careful look at this picture and try to spot the bit of yellow fluff.
Whenever Mum & Dad Cockatoo leave the nest, we try to get a look but you have to do it while running because Dad Cockatoo is chasing you!
Second lap running around the Lilly Pilly trees!
Well, I hope his mother thinks he is pretty and eventually I might think so too but at the moment, both of them just look like pink balls with a bit of yellow fluff.
They are growing fast and if the Dad allows me, I’ll try to get some more pictures as they grow up and share with you.

Say No More!

8 08 2009

I honestly can’t believe there’s a necessity for this sort of instruction…

But apparently there is.  This is a picture of a plastic bag we received this evening.


Bartells Plastic Bag 8th Aug 2009

Letter to Pets

29 05 2009

Firstly, a Welcome to the newest member of our family.  Today, Mum got herself a new lifetime friend, she rescued a beautiful grey and white cat from the RSPCA.  The very same one that my dog Dolce came from.

So far, we don’t have a name for him, but Buddy has been a temporary one for the moment, but we’re still brainstorming.  What I will say though is that he’s a lover.  He’s all about purrs, cuddles, headbutts and all manner of smooching.  He’s very much aware of the fact that he’s been saved, and his fortunes have changed, and that he’s in a new home and is very grateful.  As I told Mum this afternoon, she’s lucky I live in Seattle now.  If I lived locally I’d keep him for myself.  He’s beautiful, and has already joined me of his own volition for a nap earlier today.

Moving on, but staying on the topic of pets, here’s an email that I thought amusing enough to share.


Letter to the Pets – To be posted VERY  LOW on the refrigerator door – nose height.

Dear Dogs and  Cats,
The  dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other  dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in  the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming  your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the  slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not  a racetrack.  Beating me to the bottom is  not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you  can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very  sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the  couch  to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when  they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other  stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking  tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to  maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is  not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there  and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow,  try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the  door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been  using the bathroom for years — canine or feline attendance is not  required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the  other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough!
To pacify  you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front  door:
To All Non-Pet Owners  Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:  
1. They live here. You don’t.
2. If you don’t want their hair  on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That’s why they call it  "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people .
4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter  who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak  clearly.
Remember:  Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2.  Don’t ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to  train ( except Terriers and Shih-Tzus)
4.  Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don’t  hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don’t smoke or drink
8. Don’t  have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don’t want to wear your clothes  
10. Don’t need a ga-zillion dollars for college, and…
11. If they  get pregnant, you can sell their children.