Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cumulonimbus Striptease

The clouds and the humidity have arrived and this 7ml will start everything shooting but next week the full hot blast of summer will return and kill the first burst of green stuff.
Note to self: buy more feed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Captain Underpants

Kirk repeated his big-butt performance the other day and I managed to grab the camera in time.  He has once again donned every pair of undies he owns and jumped around on the bed wiggling his bum.

Kirk playing in the irrigation spray.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gin Gin Graduation

Jesc Forester and Kayla Kellaway topped everyone by arriving in a BIG white bus which released a heap of purple and pink helium balloons. We were also greatly amused by the arrival of a group of graduates in Merv's icecream van.

This year, every girl managed to chose a dress which made the best of their assets. There was a good variety of colours, the styles were all flattering and nobody dressed like a bride for once! Hopefully I can get a group pic up here soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Today at Gin Gin SHS we have mathemetician, Dr Rob McDougall, in residence. How cool is that? Usually they are writers or artists. Today he introduced us to some Vedic maths. I am delighted now to have a method for mentally calculating 3 digit x 3 digit multiplications WITHOUT all the columns. WOO HOO!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Too little too late

A little rain arrived last night but it has left nothing more than a heavy dew. Sean fixed up the large irrigators on Thursday and I have been pumping as often as possible. It is too little too late but I really don't want to see the trees die. Grass will readily recover but replacing trees takes years. Nevertheless, I complain too loudly, my income is not dependent on farming. Some families here are trucking in a semiload of feed every day. The argument goes they should not overstock but this is an unexpectedly dry year and once the animals have lost condition there is no point in selling them. One can shoot them but what do you use to breed from once the rain does arrive?

On a bright note: Tiffany and Nigel marry today. My best wishes to them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Joseph Conrad

I am reading Joseph Conrad's story "Typhoon" (1919) and it strikes me forcibly (no pun intended) that Captain MacWhirr is a very accurate portrayal of an intelligent autistic mind. Conrad claims to have used his experience of a lifetime to create a character of "literal mind and ... dauntless temperament". He used this character as a harmoniser to put the "elemental fury in its proper place".

The key to the plot is not the typhoon but "...the financial difficulty of it, presenting also a human problem, [which] was solved by a mind much too simple to be perplexed by anything in the world except men's idle talk for which it was not adapted."

Characters surrounding the captain view him as a technically-able dullard, incapable of comprehending the little nuances and figures of speech within typical conversation. The character himself claims to not know what people talk about all day - surely they simply repeat everything time and time again.

When it occurs to him the barometer indicates a typhoon, his solution is to read a book on storms to extract advise. He rejects the advise on the basis it would put him two days behind schedule and hence not financially viable in spite of having a deck full of coolies. 2nd mate Jukes suggests the captain alters course - head into the swell - to make the coolies (and himself) more comfortable.

"I was thinking of our passengers, " he said, in the manner of a man clutching at a straw. 
"Passengers?" wondered the Captain, gravely. "What passengers?" 
"Why the Chinamen, sir," explained Jules , very sick of this conversation.
"The Chinamen! Why dn't you speak plainly? Couldn't tell what you means. Never heard a lot of coolies spoken of as passengers before. Passsengers indeed! What's come to you?"
Such a compartmental mind; if they are shipped in bulk - they must be cargo. It is so funny! I see this sort of thinking in my nephew and other literal minded people regularly and it pulls me up short, reminding me there are different world views I need to consider. Many teachers knock heads with such students and it is hard not to be offended by their perceptions. I just try to bear in mind that mine is not the only reality and sometimes their ownership of reality may be stronger than mine!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Gentlewoman

Bronwyn Norman, my neighbour, died last Sunday. Aged 58 or 59 she left 8 kids and 12 grandkids, all healthy and well educated with good memories of her. From what I understand she had refused the option of an organ transfer and went to France instead. Literally a swan song, topping a great life of travel and service to our town. Her funeral was attended and her casket borne by people in positions, not of power, but of responsibility... our old mayor, the current headmaster, the SES captain, the major orchard owner and the like...  Indeed a life well lived and gracefully concluded.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dogs again

If a 5 month old labrador can remove the top of the food barrel but 5 cattle dogs never have, that does this say more about his intelligence or greed?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Play on fiddler

Another weekend is over.
McIllwraith was entertained.
Tirroan's calcutta enjoyed.
The water truck delivered it precious cargo,
While the native trees died in the dust.