April 2008


Usually I think of myself as Australocanadian, but Sienna, to whom I reintroduced you yesterday has posted some additional amazing photos on her blog in a post dedicated to me called Canaussie – Aussiecan and this is her new name for my status. Here are a couple of teasers to get you to visit her new photos and check out why she and I both love the flora and fauna and landscape of Australia.


A white boomer, a very unusual sight indeed

Sienna has to upload all these photos using dial-up, which is a true labour of love. Living out in the country means you have to try to create your own broadband service but as she says it did not turn out well. Sorry Pam, but I had to laugh when you left this comment on my computer woes post.

I made the move (rather) tried to make the move from dial up to wireless broadband, with a 9 decibel aerial creating magic, then promptly lost the aerial and the steel pipe it was bolted to in the first storm we had after putting it up on the roof! (and a sheet of roof)…man they sure make dem dere bolts tough!

Another thing she had to say on my liking for koalas.

People think the koalas are cute, but they don’t do anything, I think eucalyptus must space their poor brains out, it is the wombats that are truly the chracters of Australia..

Yes there’s a photo of a wombat at Sienna’s and an Australian dingo and even an emu. Some very good news from her part of the world is that rain has come after many months.

We had 6mm rain yesterday, 24 points, more forecast next two days, it is the most amazing stuff rain, we just went and walked in it, got soaked but it was so much fun.

She closed her post with one of her famous sunsets. Thanks a million Sienna.

Good night JMB, love from Australia.

Usually I think of myself as Australocanadian, but Sienna, to whom I reintroduced you yesterday has posted some additional amazing photos on her blog in a post dedicated to me called Canaussie – Aussiecan and this is her new name for my status. Here are a couple of teasers to get you to visit her new photos and check out why she and I both love the flora and fauna and landscape of Australia.


A white boomer, a very unusual sight indeed

Sienna has to upload all these photos using dial-up, which is a true labour of love. Living out in the country means you have to try to create your own broadband service but as she says it did not turn out well. Sorry Pam, but I had to laugh when you left this comment on my computer woes post.

I made the move (rather) tried to make the move from dial up to wireless broadband, with a 9 decibel aerial creating magic, then promptly lost the aerial and the steel pipe it was bolted to in the first storm we had after putting it up on the roof! (and a sheet of roof)…man they sure make dem dere bolts tough!

Another thing she had to say on my liking for koalas.

People think the koalas are cute, but they don’t do anything, I think eucalyptus must space their poor brains out, it is the wombats that are truly the chracters of Australia..

Yes there’s a photo of a wombat at Sienna’s and an Australian dingo and even an emu. Some very good news from her part of the world is that rain has come after many months.

We had 6mm rain yesterday, 24 points, more forecast next two days, it is the most amazing stuff rain, we just went and walked in it, got soaked but it was so much fun.

She closed her post with one of her famous sunsets. Thanks a million Sienna.

Good night JMB, love from Australia.

Earlier this year was the 48th anniversary of the day I left Australia at the age of 24. I never intended to leave forever, just make the Grand Tour that so many Australians did in those days and probably still do. Although I think they are less likely to go straight to London nowadays, but probably go via Asia instead.

I was born in Sydney and after graduating from university in Pharmacy I spent two years working in community pharmacy and saving like mad to get the fare to go to England. Only the very rich travelled by aeroplane in those days, so in March 1960 I arrived by ship in England.

I was travelling on my own but met two other girls on the ship and we rented a “flat” (apartment) in London together and all started working. I had no trouble finding work in various pharmacies as a locum, which suited me just fine as I worked for a few weeks then travelled on the Continent for a few weeks. My overall plan was to work and see Europe and Great Britain, go visit a friend who was living in Canada at the time, then return to Australia and buy or start my own pharmacy.
Well, as they say, life happens while you are making plans. Through one of my flatmates, I met my future husband who was doing a post doctoral fellowship at University College, London. A year later we were married in London and my plans became our plans and those seemed to be looking for an academic position for him at some university. Nothing was available in Australia at the time so we came to Vancouver temporarily, or so we thought.

So I’m a transplanted Australian and I use the word “transplanted” very consciously. Yes it’s a gardening term and I’m a gardener. If you take a rose and transplant it to another part of the garden or to another garden altogether it’s still a rose. The conditions may be different, perhaps it’s now in the shade instead of the sun, or it faces East instead of West and it will flourish differently because of these factors, but intrinsically it’s still a rose.

I’ve been transplanted from Australia to England and finally established myself permanently in Canada. But I’ll always be an Australian and I’m very proud to be one. The Australia I left has changed so much, but I’m always comfortable when I visit. I fit right in and my vowel sounds broaden immediately. I become a person who talks to everyone I meet, the person next to me on the bus or train. Australians are the friendliest people I know.

So by now I have lived away from Australia for twice as many years as I lived there. Yes, I’m a Canadian citizen, although I never became one until the Australians allowed dual citizenship which was only in April 2002, for I could never give up my Australian citizenship.

I have written about some of this before in Australia —Some Thoughts and Introductions. Funnily enough it was a recent rare post from someone I introduced you to in that post, Sienna, which got me thinking about this again. Plus Anzac Day was celebrated last week, April 25th and that’s always very special to Australians and makes one feel nostalgic, for it is one of our most important celebrations.

But I want to show you a couple of teaser photos of God’s own country taken by Sienna and please click over to her site and just scroll down and enjoy.

I took a photo of a koala in the San Diego zoo but here’s one in the wild that Sienna took.

There are so many of these gorgeous sunsets on Sienna’s blog. But once again that wonderful country is in the midst of a drought. She says of the state of Victoria, where she lives:

The whole 100% state of Victoria has been declared a drought zone, 90-something percent for South Australia….and different degrees for other states, yet some parts of Queensland have not long had floods!

“A land of drought and flooding rains”….

The last is a quote from My Country, a poem by Dorothy McKellar, which brings tears to the eyes of every Australian no matter how long they have been gone from its shores, as was Dorothy overseas when she wrote it.

Sienna is not the only Aussie blog in my reader. I seem to follow quite a few of them, including
Aussie Bloggers which is a site authored by a large number of Aussies so I manage keep in touch with things there, besides the emails from relatives.

Yep, once an Aussie, always an Aussie. Although I did only get 71% on the How Aussie are You test. How can that be? Grrrrr!!!

Earlier this year was the 48th anniversary of the day I left Australia at the age of 24. I never intended to leave forever, just make the Grand Tour that so many Australians did in those days and probably still do. Although I think they are less likely to go straight to London nowadays, but probably go via Asia instead.

I was born in Sydney and after graduating from university in Pharmacy I spent two years working in community pharmacy and saving like mad to get the fare to go to England. Only the very rich travelled by aeroplane in those days, so in March 1960 I arrived by ship in England.

I was travelling on my own but met two other girls on the ship and we rented a “flat” (apartment) in London together and all started working. I had no trouble finding work in various pharmacies as a locum, which suited me just fine as I worked for a few weeks then travelled on the Continent for a few weeks. My overall plan was to work and see Europe and Great Britain, go visit a friend who was living in Canada at the time, then return to Australia and buy or start my own pharmacy.
Well, as they say, life happens while you are making plans. Through one of my flatmates, I met my future husband who was doing a post doctoral fellowship at University College, London. A year later we were married in London and my plans became our plans and those seemed to be looking for an academic position for him at some university. Nothing was available in Australia at the time so we came to Vancouver temporarily, or so we thought.

So I’m a transplanted Australian and I use the word “transplanted” very consciously. Yes it’s a gardening term and I’m a gardener. If you take a rose and transplant it to another part of the garden or to another garden altogether it’s still a rose. The conditions may be different, perhaps it’s now in the shade instead of the sun, or it faces East instead of West and it will flourish differently because of these factors, but intrinsically it’s still a rose.

I’ve been transplanted from Australia to England and finally established myself permanently in Canada. But I’ll always be an Australian and I’m very proud to be one. The Australia I left has changed so much, but I’m always comfortable when I visit. I fit right in and my vowel sounds broaden immediately. I become a person who talks to everyone I meet, the person next to me on the bus or train. Australians are the friendliest people I know.

So by now I have lived away from Australia for twice as many years as I lived there. Yes, I’m a Canadian citizen, although I never became one until the Australians allowed dual citizenship which was only in April 2002, for I could never give up my Australian citizenship.

I have written about some of this before in Australia —Some Thoughts and Introductions. Funnily enough it was a recent rare post from someone I introduced you to in that post, Sienna, which got me thinking about this again. Plus Anzac Day was celebrated last week, April 25th and that’s always very special to Australians and makes one feel nostalgic, for it is one of our most important celebrations.

But I want to show you a couple of teaser photos of God’s own country taken by Sienna and please click over to her site and just scroll down and enjoy.

I took a photo of a koala in the San Diego zoo but here’s one in the wild that Sienna took.

There are so many of these gorgeous sunsets on Sienna’s blog. But once again that wonderful country is in the midst of a drought. She says of the state of Victoria, where she lives:

The whole 100% state of Victoria has been declared a drought zone, 90-something percent for South Australia….and different degrees for other states, yet some parts of Queensland have not long had floods!

“A land of drought and flooding rains”….

The last is a quote from My Country, a poem by Dorothy McKellar, which brings tears to the eyes of every Australian no matter how long they have been gone from its shores, as was Dorothy overseas when she wrote it.

Sienna is not the only Aussie blog in my reader. I seem to follow quite a few of them, including
Aussie Bloggers which is a site authored by a large number of Aussies so I manage keep in touch with things there, besides the emails from relatives.

Yep, once an Aussie, always an Aussie. Although I did only get 71% on the How Aussie are You test. How can that be? Grrrrr!!!

Now I bored you all with my computer problems due to contracting other people’s nasty viruses and worms while on my cruise recently but I thought those problems were solved. However the other day, while chatting with M in Second Life, a little box popped up on the screen. Virus alert!

Got to go and deal with this, I said to M and departed toute de suite. Laboriously I went through my rigmarole of trying to disinfect it with the Shaw Secure program provided by my broadband supplier, however it said it could not disinfect it but had renamed whatever it was. Great, I don’t think. But I ran a complete scan of the hard drive and it came out clean.

I had written down the name of the culprit and since I was now at home instead of away, I decided to talk to the technical people at Shaw. Some nice young man said he would get a member of the heavy duty team to call me back and they would run some special scans. So for the next two evenings, Vance, by taking over my computer remotely, spent many hours running different kinds of scans and cleaning out the foreign nasties he found there. Finally he assured me that it was now completely virus and worm free. I thanked him profusely and was so happy to be back online once more.

Well it seems he didn’t only take out all the nasties. A lot of the good stuff disappeared too. Like all the history in the browser. Oh well, it will build up again gradually, not to worry. All the cookies must have been taken out too. Half the sites I visit remembered me but many did not. And why was I not registering on MyBlogLog?

Now this was the really awful part. I could not even get into my MyBlogLog account. As an aside, let me tell about the notebook by my computer where every time I have to register for some new application I write it all down. I always try to use the same user name, JMB, but some sites want 6 or more letters or some want numbers and letters combined or sometimes JMB is already taken. There is more than one JMB? How can that be? So you might see me as JMB or No1JMB or Nobimp, depending on the application. I try to use only two passwords to keep it simple and then there are the different security questions. All in the book, thank goodness.

So off I go to MyBlogLog with the information and type it in. Nope. Doesn’t work. Why is it asking for my Yahoo ID? Oh, now I remember, Yahoo bought out MyBlogLog. So what is my Yahoo ID? Back to the book. Another little problem. It’s just a bit muddy in that particular entry in the book. It seems that I have more than one Yahoo ID. One is for dunnetworks from long ago and one is for the Blogpower mailing list and neither seemed to work in MyBlogLog. By now I’m getting pretty desperate for as you all know, I love MyBlogLog and can’t do without it. So I email them for forgotten ID, forgotten password, you name it. Using all three email accounts. Finally I get back enough information to sign into the site. Much erasing and rewriting in the book for next time, bite my tongue, but all seems well again.

Until the next day, when I cannot access the internet at all. What? The little WiFi icon is fully green, I have a signal. But it seems instead of being connected to the B——– House network I am connected to one with no active profile. I check out all the nearby networks, yes next door is there, yes the house on the other side, the one across the road, the one behind, all secured, so I am not connected to them. But there’s a new network, VanWap, on the list and it is unsecured. Somehow I am connected to them, but not strongly enough to get the internet.

Hello, clever technical people at Shaw, what do I do? Why you must change the channel says the heavily accented person on the other end of the phone (are they outsourcing this to India as well?) then he walks me through the process and I reboot the computer and again all is well.

But not for long. Next day, same again. So I changed everything back to the original channel and there we sit. So far so good. But I am very nervous and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I wish I knew who this VanWap is so I could tell them to secure their wretched network.

Then there is the next problem.

I have a brand new eye. One only so far it’s true, but for the last few days I have noticed that the captcha on Blogger has become totally unreadable and even longer than usual. Have they been making changes without telling me? I find that I am having to type them in at least three times per comment and it is driving me insane. So let’s look at the one above which I was asked to type today. Is it hjtymlf or lytymlf or? Even when you type a captcha carefully and are absolutely sure you are right, WRONG–ENTER THE LETTERS AS THEY ARE SHOWN IN THE IMAGE, it admonishes you. But I did! So I promise you, unless the religious fanatic attacks again with his/her ten page comments this is a

Captcha Free Blog

Exasperation Free Commenting*

* From Colin Campbell’s sidebar

Now I bored you all with my computer problems due to contracting other people’s nasty viruses and worms while on my cruise recently but I thought those problems were solved. However the other day, while chatting with M in Second Life, a little box popped up on the screen. Virus alert!

Got to go and deal with this, I said to M and departed toute de suite. Laboriously I went through my rigmarole of trying to disinfect it with the Shaw Secure program provided by my broadband supplier, however it said it could not disinfect it but had renamed whatever it was. Great, I don’t think. But I ran a complete scan of the hard drive and it came out clean.

I had written down the name of the culprit and since I was now at home instead of away, I decided to talk to the technical people at Shaw. Some nice young man said he would get a member of the heavy duty team to call me back and they would run some special scans. So for the next two evenings, Vance, by taking over my computer remotely, spent many hours running different kinds of scans and cleaning out the foreign nasties he found there. Finally he assured me that it was now completely virus and worm free. I thanked him profusely and was so happy to be back online once more.

Well it seems he didn’t only take out all the nasties. A lot of the good stuff disappeared too. Like all the history in the browser. Oh well, it will build up again gradually, not to worry. All the cookies must have been taken out too. Half the sites I visit remembered me but many did not. And why was I not registering on MyBlogLog?

Now this was the really awful part. I could not even get into my MyBlogLog account. As an aside, let me tell about the notebook by my computer where every time I have to register for some new application I write it all down. I always try to use the same user name, JMB, but some sites want 6 or more letters or some want numbers and letters combined or sometimes JMB is already taken. There is more than one JMB? How can that be? So you might see me as JMB or No1JMB or Nobimp, depending on the application. I try to use only two passwords to keep it simple and then there are the different security questions. All in the book, thank goodness.

So off I go to MyBlogLog with the information and type it in. Nope. Doesn’t work. Why is it asking for my Yahoo ID? Oh, now I remember, Yahoo bought out MyBlogLog. So what is my Yahoo ID? Back to the book. Another little problem. It’s just a bit muddy in that particular entry in the book. It seems that I have more than one Yahoo ID. One is for dunnetworks from long ago and one is for the Blogpower mailing list and neither seemed to work in MyBlogLog. By now I’m getting pretty desperate for as you all know, I love MyBlogLog and can’t do without it. So I email them for forgotten ID, forgotten password, you name it. Using all three email accounts. Finally I get back enough information to sign into the site. Much erasing and rewriting in the book for next time, bite my tongue, but all seems well again.

Until the next day, when I cannot access the internet at all. What? The little WiFi icon is fully green, I have a signal. But it seems instead of being connected to the B——– House network I am connected to one with no active profile. I check out all the nearby networks, yes next door is there, yes the house on the other side, the one across the road, the one behind, all secured, so I am not connected to them. But there’s a new network, VanWap, on the list and it is unsecured. Somehow I am connected to them, but not strongly enough to get the internet.

Hello, clever technical people at Shaw, what do I do? Why you must change the channel says the heavily accented person on the other end of the phone (are they outsourcing this to India as well?) then he walks me through the process and I reboot the computer and again all is well.

But not for long. Next day, same again. So I changed everything back to the original channel and there we sit. So far so good. But I am very nervous and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I wish I knew who this VanWap is so I could tell them to secure their wretched network.

Then there is the next problem.

I have a brand new eye. One only so far it’s true, but for the last few days I have noticed that the captcha on Blogger has become totally unreadable and even longer than usual. Have they been making changes without telling me? I find that I am having to type them in at least three times per comment and it is driving me insane. So let’s look at the one above which I was asked to type today. Is it hjtymlf or lytymlf or? Even when you type a captcha carefully and are absolutely sure you are right, WRONG–ENTER THE LETTERS AS THEY ARE SHOWN IN THE IMAGE, it admonishes you. But I did! So I promise you, unless the religious fanatic attacks again with his/her ten page comments this is a

Captcha Free Blog

Exasperation Free Commenting*

* From Colin Campbell’s sidebar

UNUSUAL/FUNNY SIGNS

The funny part about this unusual signpost is that, besides being in the middle of nowhere, in Skagway, Alaska, it points in the vague directions of (but with no distances included) Whitehorse and Carcross in the Yukon Territory; Atlin in BC; Nome Alaska, now finish of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race; Fairbanks Alaska; this way for the Chilkoot Pass; or that way for Whitepass. For example, Nome is more than 3000 miles away, but just head that way! Too weird!
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

I am having computer problems at the moment so if I do not return your visit right away, I will soon I promise.

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