Saturday, November 29, 2008

King Street Petting Zoo

20081129 King St

We haven't been out much this week as my hay-feverish eyes and nose need to avoid the waves of grass-pollen being generated by the short cycles of rain and sun in this unusual Sydney Spring. I've signed up for a drug trial on a new hayfever treatment. This week I'm on a run-in placebo, journaling my symptoms 3 times a day as I take a fake nasal spray. I have to avoid taking anti-histamines until the run-in is over, so I'm all scratches and sneezes.

I've been putting some of my time towards writing emails to various council and state bodies about access to parks and public transport. Since July I've written to Marrickville Council 4 times on these matters, without a single reply - but I wrote one comment on a development application for a new business on my residential block, and got a formal response in writing in a few days. I think the council prefers sending out rangers to hassle residents rather than entering into a conversation on these issues.

On a more pleasant note, taking the boys out along King St, Newtown while I did some shopping, generated plenty of smiles all around. Each time I rejoined them on the footpath, there would be a small throng of people saying hello or introducing their children.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not just labradors…

Guide horses are real. "All miniature horses must measure less than 26 inches high at the withers to enable accessibility for their blind owner." - which is smaller than Bondi.

[Via Slog]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The numbers of the beasts

20081122 Vet - weighin

Munson developed a nasty hot-spot on his left cheek that is now crying out for veterinary attention. I took both boys in to the vet for a weigh-in - Bondi's weight has remained absolutely constant, and Munson adding a slim 0.8kg. Time will tell whether he's drawing towards his top weight, or has merely had a slow month following his neutering.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How I know when there's thunder about


Midway between the speed of light and the speed of sound, is the speed of malamute dashing behind an armchair.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gateshead Revisited

It has been revealed that Antique Roadshow's first £1m discovery is a scale model of Gateshead's Angel of the North.

I hope it comes with a minimute to give it a sense of scale:

It's nearly 2 years to the day since we circled under its sturdy wings.

7 months!


While Bondi was attending to serious matters (his dinner), Munson was playing the role of puppy as if he'd been born to it. It's 5 months since he joined the family - and what a joy he's been (toilet training horrors long since abated).


20081107 Bookshelves 4 20081107 Bookshelves 41

These images are made from a set of about three dozen photos I took of the bookshelves in my study, overlaying them to give this rather pleasing effect of the books returned to their 'natural' woody state. It makes me think of a palimpsest with the hidden text running perpendicular to the surface.

The right hand image has a more intense delineation of the shelving as I recropped the original set to give a more consistent aspect ratio to each shelf area.

I'm using the first one as my PC wallpaper as it looks like a well-loved desktop surface.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The boys in the backseat

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Expose Your World

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Earlier this year, I was sitting with Bondi on Wilson Street, enjoying some Vargabar coffee, when a lady stopped by to chat. A professional photographer, she recognised me (or at least you-know-who) from years before, when I'd visited a mutual friend. I told her that I'd been off travelling with Bondi and - at this point the memory is muddled - I either gave her a card with this blog link and she called me back, or she immediately said that I should enter some of my pictures in the Expose Your World photo competition run by Roving Eye agency.

This afternoon I received a broadcast email listing me as the winner of the photo essay section "A Traveller's Tale" (Tail?). A link to a PDF with samples of the winners in each section provided the page above.

Here's a key to the timing and placement of those images.

1. Edinburgh - at our B&B. It's still the first month of our travels.

2. Trafalgar Square- I had this one turned into a set of UK postage stamps for my first year of postcards

3. Salamanca, Spain - La Concha beach

4. Field of Miracles, Pisa

5. Nordkapp, Norway - the last stretch of road to the most northerly place you can drive in Europe.

6. Bergen, Norway - among the Bryggen warehouses

7. Castle Ardvrek, north west Scotland en route to the Orkneys

8. British Museum, London - if you know Bondi at all well, you'll take my word that this is not an artificially posed shot. This is just how Bondi sits, even without an audience. Around 2am Last night I turned on the light in my dining room and found he'd been sitting like this in the dark.

9. Szoborpark, Budapest - someone had the bright idea of rounding up all the communist-era statues in Budapest and making a little theme park.

10. Savonlinna, Finland

Thursday, November 06, 2008

NSW Local Government and dogs

Tougher line with councils over dog attacks

This popped under my nose this morning - The Sydney Morning Herald reports every dog attack on its home page, with the same breathless enthusiasm as a murder or an airplane crash - in such a way as to make you think that we were in the middle of a rising tide of canine violence.

Look at the article more closely:
"The Department of Local Government received 69 reports of dog attacks from councils in the 2007-08 financial year."
"Under the Companion Animals Act, an "attack" refers to a dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal, other than vermin."
That is a tiny number of incidents in relation to the hundreds of thousands of dogs in this state (it's probably not too different for cats or bees) and is not broken down from a serious biting incident vs "chasing any person" or animal but nonetheless:
The Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry, said she would attempt to speed up reporting.
NB the actual concern is about reportage, since the numbers had dropped from the previous year.

I wrote to her recent predecessor (via my underwhelming local member, Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt) earlier this year about providing more reasonable facilities for dogs in this area - measures which would alleviate problem issues - and got a near-formulaic response. I returned that response to Ms Tebbutt immediately, asking for a more adult review and she lodged it with incoming Minister Perry. No reply.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Munson is my co-pilot

If your running mate is going to be Alaskan, make sure they're cute and furry, not pitbulls with lipstick.
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Food and Wine and Fair Malamutes

20081101 Food and Wine Fair-1

Sydney's annual Food and Wine Fair, a fund-raising event for the AIDS Trust, was held in Hyde Park today. We encountered another pair of mals: 6mo Digger and 5yo Sirabia (? spelling), a female of the long-haired variety. The gathering of the four friendly beasts attracted quite a crows, and even a film crew, the two pups playing energetically while their step-siblings kept an eye on their behaviour.

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20081101 Food and Wine Fair

This is why there are so few pictures of me and both the boys. Getting us all lined up is as difficult as herding software developers butterflies.