Cow needs a bib

So Zachary attends to his needs

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Seat-sniffing leader breaks down – National –

My favourite part of this particular article, the closing line which is possibly the weakest endorsement of anyone I've ever heard in my life:

Dr Hames said his leader needed to change his behaviour, but also acknowledged there was no one to replace him.

You've got to love it – yes, he is a sexist, misogynist bastard, but we have to put up with him because everyone else is even more crap. It certainly says something about the dearth of political talent in state politics at the moment. Personally, if no other argument to abolish the states works, I think that the completely inept standard of the politicians renders state politics a complete waste of money!

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The next step

Zachary has moved on from beaters to whole bowls now…..       

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We had a birthday dinner for Rachel last night. We had pork and black eyed beans with crackling as a special treat for Rachel who got to have a vegan free night.

The boys cleared the table – I just love how they lie the cutlery out in a row on the bench….

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Zachary managed to get a big spot of the whipped cream which accompanied the chocolate cake on his cheek much to the amusement of all.

A number of good bottles of red wine were drunk and after the boys went to bed we played Zombies and tried out the two new expansions and the cognac came out which of course meant I was feeling far from my finest this morning. Some newly acquired Mario Kart was played while Rachel and I had one of those slightly drunken conversations in which I managed to repeat myself endlessly – something which James couldn’t resist teasing me about this morning.

Anyway…it was fun, and i think Rachel and Andrew finally left around 3am…

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Hollywood Justice

Am I cynical, but why is it that Wesley Snipes gets three years – the maximum sentence – for tax evasion, when Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan et al get away with slaps on the wrist for their crimes? Is it because he is a black man who committed a white collar crime? Or is it because the justice system is more comfortable sending a balck man to prison than it is young, white, rich women? Not that I am in anyway condoning tax evasion, and I do think that too often the offenders in those cases get treated far less harshly than the poor and uneducated people who steal far less money through more straightforward criminal acts. Nonetheless, I find it interesting that it is this is the case where the example is made.

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Sebastian, Martin and me

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Today I had Sebastian and Martin with me. Sebastian had spent Tuesday at Martin's house, so today it was Martin's turn to come and spend the day with us.

In addition to seeing the torch relay, we visited two playgrounds, the boys played Uno while I had my physio appointment and we had cake at Cornucopia, the bakery near my physio. We did lots of walking and crossed roads carefully. There were also some fights with fallen leaves.

The boys behaved themselves enough to get to watch a episode of Thunderbirds while eating lunch, then later on get to play Mario Party on the Wii. So quite pleasant all round. Martin and Sebastian are pretty good at playing together, although they can be more than a little competitive at times. Nonetheless, all the competition seemed to be fairly good-spirited today.

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Red hair II


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Today was the Olympic torch relay in Canberra.  I must say that I have felt enormously conflicted about the whole event.  I think the behaviour of the Chinese in Tibet is appalling – and admire the canniness of the Tibetans in ensuring that the whole situation has come to the attention of the world  in such a timely way. My cultural theorist side also understands exactly what is happening  with international sporting events like the Olympics: the construction, reinforcement of national identity, the promotion of very specific physical achievements as being a goal we should all strive for, the cult of individualism, the masses of money and the fact that events are now staged to suit television audiences. I know all that, and I can write as insightful a critical analysis of the ideological and hegemonic approaches that the Olympics involve as the next person.

However, there is part of me  which is still the girl who grew up in a house where the Olympics were seen as important and significant, where the kind of ideals that the Olympics are meant to espouse were seen as important. I remember how appalled my father was when he was at the Olympics at Atlanta and saw the Nike ads which said You don't win the silver. You lose the gold. My entire life I saw going to the Olympics (as a spectator, I was never going to be a good enough athlete) as something I pictured doing – and I was thrilled in 2000 to get to go. Of course, the experience was even better because there my mother was, officiating on the pole vault. But I was thrilled to be able to sit in that stadium and experience the colelctive emotion when Australians won medals. I enjyed it so much, we went to the Commonwealth games to do it again.

So the whole torch relay thing left me feeling a bit torn. On the on half, I complete support the protesters, but on the other I felt sad for the high school student who had some of the polish of what must be an enormous honour taken off it by having the media asking him if he felt guilty. I liked Jacquelin Mangay's piece in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning about her own feelings about being in the relay.  I was at home today looking after Sebastian and his friend Martin, so, in the end, we walked the 12 minutes to Northbourne Ave to see the relay.

We didn't see any protesters or violence or trouble, but we did see some rampant Chinese nationalism – and more Chinese flags than I could count. I definitely saw more Chinese people in Canberra today than ever before – and it didn't surprise me to read that bunches of students had been bused in. There was also a very significant police presence.

And I must admit I still felt emotional when I saw the flame go by. It doesn't mean that I won't be lighting a candle for Tibet during the Opening Ceremony of the Games, but I'll also be watching it on television and explaining to my boys how their grandfather has marched in the Opening Ceremony in the past, and how their grandmother has been an official. And we might also talk about Tibert. I don't think that the two things are mutally exclusive.

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Thesis Challenge: Day 3

The scent of Ambi-Pur was strong this morning when I arrived as my roommate left after me yesterday and left the stupid plug in thing on overnight with the window closed. However, the roommate herself was absent so I had the wondow open, the Ambi-Pur off and the music on loud. The scent dissipated quickly enough.

After a quick check of the work emails and discovering I have been dobbed in to go to Melbourne on Tuesday for some working party on skills in the childcare workforce (or something similar, which, disappointingly, neither Rachel or Kellie  who work in childcare policy are attending – I was hoping for the fun of friends at official work meetings), I started back on the editing. I managed to complete my on-paper edit of Chapter 1 and got started on Chapter 2. Chapter 2 is currently really crappy – it needs significant restructuring, so this is going to be more of a challenge. In the end, I went straight to the computer this afternoon to deal with the first paragraph. It is now a page and a half instead of a paragraph, which means I'm not really meeting the cutting quota, but it actually says and does what it should. That is about as far as I got, which means that the rest of it will probably wait until Mondya afternoon, when I next have designated thesis time – unless Sebastian and Martin who are hanging out here tomorrow get so engrossed in something I actually have study time!

I then went and had coffee with Beth and Stephanie, my loyal and lovely staff, who told me that all was well before sitting at another coffee shop and reading Douglas Kellner for another hour. I am starting to be inclined to think I must see if he will mark my thesis – in the chapter I was reading today, he was pointing out the need to examine films in the context of the cultural and political debates and discourses which surround them, which is exactly what I am doing. I'll just have to go back to chapter 1 and make that clear!!

So tomorrow is school holiday boy care, Friday is ANZAC Day and then on Monday I am going to the Board meeting of one of our ISCs in the morning on Monday. So a little break from the Thesis Challenge, but it will return soon.

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Red hair

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here it is, not looking its absolute best as I have been wearing it up all day and also have had the bike helmet on it. But as you will observe, red with blonde streaks. It is different and matches all the leaves in Canberra which are currently turning russet!

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