Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't get wet or feed after midnight

It's not necessary to wash malamutes very often - they don't have a natural odour, and they preen themselves like cats, helped by their guard fibres repelling a lot of dirt. However Bondi has had a few beach days lately and has acquired a certain marine smell. The weather outlook for Sydney is rain, rain, overcast and storms, so I'm not going to put up with Bondi smelling like a beach this week:

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Before.

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Suds and stylist

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Transition phase - mogwai - malamute - gremlin

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Symphony of sofa-full songs

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Opening: sotto dolce

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Development: misterioso

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poco a poco con moto (and then the conductor puts his foot in it)

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Scherzo

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Coda alla sonnolento

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It was the dog's

Last week Munson spent a day at the vet for his neutering operation. I took Bondi out for a solo day, which definitely seemed to raise his spirits. Some days it's hard not to spend a lot more time on Munson, who follows me around the house from the moment my feet touch the floor, curling up on the bathroom tiles not more than a leg's extension from the shower door.

When I collected him from the vet at the end of the day, he was in good spirits, albeit woozy. He climbed in the front passenger seat of the car, and after attempting to sit up straight, slumped chin against window.

Orders are to keep him at home for a week and out of water, so his pool has been rolled into a corner and I've got extra entertainment duties on top of making sure he doesn't lick his sutures and thus delay healing.

On the scale: Bondi = 66.6kg (the weight of the beast), and Munson = 36.5kg, so they now match me kilo for kilo. Fortunately wrangling the two of the them on walks provides an excellent set of upper-body and arm exercises.

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Spiegeltent beside Sydney Opera House

I escaped for two nights to see two very different shows, the first being I've Got a Bulletproof Heart, Kenny Mellman's cabaret tribute to Grace Jones' early career. (She hit 60 earlier this year, and has a new album out this week.)  As off the wall as she seems in tabloid reports of her constructed public image, the show's reportage of her career and public utterances were quite inspirational. As Mellman hammered out tune and lyrics at the piano, I was reminded of Nina Simone in performance, mouth and mind set to say you came to see me and you're going to get me if it kills you.

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The following night, Anita and I went to see My Fair Lady, with Richard E Grant taking on Henry Higgins, his first ever sung role. As it was an Opera Australia production, I arranged to meet Anita at the Opera House before hand and then we sauntered up to the Opera Theatre ten minutes before curtain-up. At that point, glancing at the tickets' "Door 4" and the theatre's "doors 28-32", I gulped, and re-read the venue as Theatre Royal, about 6 blocks downtown. We tripped down the stairs and to Circular Quay to get a cab, and of course had to get a driver who really wasn't sure which theatre was which. Amazingly we managed to get there and seated as the opening strains of the overture rang out.

Quite maddeningly, Sydney's weather is swinging between extremes of temperature, if I remember rightly 12 degrees below average one day, and 12 over the next. Snow fell in the Blue Mountains, and then it's stinking hot and then rain - making it difficult to despatch the dogs into the yard. Munson is not deterred, and starts at making the front and back yards look thus:

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Saturday was family picnic day, both dogs coming out, but sitting under a tree, separating them from temptation. The pup finally got an extended walkabout outing a day later, at the Danks Street Festival. Both boys were very well behaved, although I could have done with less foodscrap-hoovering from Munson.

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Picnic stakeout; Danks St ice water.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sculptures (and collages) by the Sea

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Bronte Beach

This morning we returned to the Bondi-Bronte coast path taken a month ago. The annual Sculptures by the Sea exhibition brings a lot of foot traffic to the stretch between Bondi and Tamarama.

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Tamarama Beach

Tamarama picture grid [black]

Approaching from the south, the first sculptures are visible down on Tamarama's sands.  I snapped the set of 14 pictures above to throw into Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE free download) which I love so much that I've reprocessed most of my panoramic shots from the last 5 years, with some splendid improvements over what I was getting with the Canon Photostitch software. The first two images in this post are each stitched together from several photos. The next photo shows the result of throwing these 14 photos into ICE (literally drag, drop and wait):

IMG_0514-0528 Tamarama [ice]

ICE arranged the photos automatically, discarded those it couldn't blend, and then I cropped the result into the largest available rectangle. Since I didn't give great coverage of the escarpment around the beach that was lost from the composite. However, all is not lost, by creatively arranging photos using Picasa 3's collage editor, I got this interesting result:

20081017 Sculpture by the Sea   Beach

It's not quite a Hockney, but even then, the interwebs come to the rescue, with the Hockneyizer:

20081017 Sculpture by the Sea   Beach (Hockneyized 2)

But back to the scultpures:

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Whale helicopter

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Light-blub ivy Warhol soup

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Since this was quite a warm walk, after lunch I took the boys back to Botany Bay for a cooling swim:

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The last bit of software I'd like to mention in the context of creating this blog, is Microsoft Live Writer (in beta), which despite some teething problems has quite improved the process of laying out and posting to Blogger.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The week in pictures

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Friday: a rare case of the boys lying head to head in the living room. Bondi is giving me one of his "I know you, I can see right into you" looks.

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Saturday: Munson has his first tug o'war, with a 10mo Staffie girl.

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Sunday: Coffee culture in Darlinghurst

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Monday: More often than not if the younger dog is lying undisturbed within sight of an elder, he will adopt the same or mirrored position. But try to get both of them to look at the camera at the same time…?

20081016 Beach - Munson is 6 months

Thursday: Munson is 6 months old today! Here he's in the fountain where he first got his feet wet, and then it was off to the beach (below).

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The main picture was a happy accident from not dialing down the camera's aperture setting to deal with the beach glare. A couple of dog walkers had their charges out today, including Elvis, a local malamute that I've known for about 4yrs. This is the first time I've seen so many dogs in the water together since Seattle days of taking Bondi and Dougal to one of several of the city's dedicated dog beaches.

Flickr slideshow