29 December 2005

The end of 2005....

We are fast approaching the end of 2005 and let me tell you, and I will, it has been one heck of a year. We moved into our new house in a new city and state. James has settled into his work in the emergency room in a new hospital. We have spent time making the new house a home by painting a few rooms and adding a few things to the garden as well as a few new items to the house itself.

We have also sold a bit of property in Sydney which has allowed us to settle all of our debts and plan a big trip to the states in February 2006 (not far off now). I will get to see both my daughter and my granddaughter at that time. Yes I became a grandfather this past year. Who would have thought?

To end the year we had all new friends at our house for Christmas dinner which was a first for me as it is usually way to hot here to cook a full dinner but here in Tasmania the temperatures are more moderate. So we had the full turkey spread and a fantastic time was had by one and all. The new year celebration will be quite as James has to work but we will celebrate the new year on his birthday on the 2nd with a beautiful dinner down at the wharf at the "Marque IV" restaurant along with the arrival of our new car.

All in all life has been very full on this year and it has been very rewarding. We are both grateful for what we have, very content that we have one another and we love each other very much! I know that last bit is hard for many people in the world to understand but the truth is that we really do care and love for one another and at the end of the day if anyone can't deal with that it's just not our problem!

As for 2006 I look forward to a busy year but not so busy that it won't be enjoyable. I'm excited about our big trip in February - San Fran, Vegas, Dallas, New York (state). And last but not least I look forward to another year of good health. One of the reasons we moved to Tassie was because I was having a bit of a reverse in my overall health for which we had worked very hard over the past 6 years to bring up from nearly the brink of no return. I am doing very well at this time and in this place. I want to keep it that way. I believe that in this place and with James by my side my world has become a the best it has ever been. I sometime wonder if I deserve what I have at this moment and then think don't question it just enjoy it and besides we worked very hard both physically and emotionally to get to this point. Such is life..... All the best for a wonderful 2006

20 December 2005

Tis' the season...

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera. I hope everyone is able to enjoy this time of year but more than anything I hope that we all have a brilliant New Year!!!
(((Hugs to one and all)))

5 December 2005

Just for the record...

I meant to post this on December 1 but because it was World AIDS Day I thought I'd wait. Anyway, just for the record we have lived in our new home here in Tasmania officially for one year. It's been a big change for us both and we have had no regrets. Life is good and we look forward to what comes next whatever that may be....

29 November 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, here's a picture of the lights outside our new home. I hate digital cameras outside in the dark, but hopefully you get the idea. Living here in Tasmania even though or seasons are flipped from those in the north we still get to enjoy relatively mild temperatures. So at least it feels a bit like Christmas and it's not 40C+ (around 100F) in temperature like it was in Sydney. Anyway, enjoy the picture and I'll post the tree picture later in the week.

25 November 2005

Happy Turkey Day!

I just wanted to wish everyone back home a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had a great day! I was thinking about you...

15 November 2005


Well it was bound to happen. As long as I can remember I've heard about how computers like to crash and burn. In the process they take the person's life with them because everything they do is some how connected to that computer. Whether it be banking online, writing essays for a course at university, keeping every email ever sent to them, organising and creating lovely family photo albums, downloading tons upon tons of music files for their Ipod etc. The list just goes on and on.

Sunday night our computer did the unthinkable. It crashed and burned! I have since replaced with a new unit and will attempt to retrieve materials from the old one. We can only hope that this is possible. What have I learned? Well there is a reason they sell stand alone back-ups and we will be buying one next week. I didn't buy it immediately because it was already a very expensive lesson learned.

So I say to all of you back-up, back-up, back-up.... Coming from me that could mean a lot of things but in this case I think you know what I'm talking about.

8 November 2005

Birthday time...

Well by the time I post this it will officially be my birthday. Yes another year older and maybe another year wiser but that's debatable on so many levels. Anyway, here is the card James gave me. It's not traditional but what makes it great is it is a Tassie designed card and I find the front so funny considering how many years I spent in Texas before moving to the land of Oz some 6 years ago.

This was very Tasmanian birthday for me with the present also being made in Tasmanian by glassmakers/blowers. They are a work of art that I am going to be so afraid to ever use. Maybe just once and I will have to pick a very special occasion.

27 October 2005

ITunes in Oz

Apple has finally launched an ITunes store for the Australian masses. Yippee! Up until now the best we could do is look at what was available else where. I personally think that ITunes and the whole IPod thing is one of the best things ever invented. That's just me and I'm just now glad that we can shop like anyone else. 1 point for capitalism and I'm guilty of it's support. Oh well....

23 October 2005

Sunday in the park...

It has been raining here for a few days and it was supposed to rain for a few more. Imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up to clear blue skies, sun shining and not a cloud to be found. Given the day I thought we should make the best of a good thing and go to the botanical gardens. We missed the tulip festival a couple of weeks back but I figured there had to be something blooming, and I was right. I just had to share with you a bit of the beautiful place we have chosen to live and call home.

The botanical gardens in Hobart have to be one of the best gardens I have ever seen. I'm not saying that because I live here but they are just great. They are well maintained and very user friendly. The best part is it's very green..... And in many parts of Australia it can be tough to be green. All and all it turned into a very nice day and the park did not let us down. I leave you with some more pictures. Enjoy....

19 October 2005

one more....

I couldn't talk about the blooms without the having a picture of the flowering plum tree. I'ts not a big tree but it is sweet. Anyway, here it is...

Blooms galore....

Spring is just wonderful here in Tassie. This is one of the Iris' we bought down at the markets in the fall and it is the first bloom. We bought another one and it will be blooming soon also. More pictures to come...

15 October 2005

It's official...

The earlier post was an alert but now it's official...We will be flying to the states in February. The flights are confirmed the hotels are booked and the deposits have been paid. Now all we have to do is wait.... We are really looking forward to this visit. James has never been to Vegas and I get to see my granddaughter for the first time. As well we get to catch up with family and friends. We also plan on meeting some new friends in Dallas. I know I should have friends there but it's been a few years since I lived there and as with time and as fair weathered friends go. Well, you understand. Anyway, as things progress with the trip plans I'll keep you in the loop as to the where and when etc.. In the mean time it's time to go work in our garden as spring has sprung in the land down under and we've got roses ready to bust out all over the place amongst other things. I'll take pictures soon...

10 October 2005

Travel Alert...

It's not what you think, but we are planning a trip. We are making plans to go to the states in February. We tentatively have plans to hit San Fran, Vegas, Dallas and New York state. We are also going to get my daughter to fly to Dallas from Florida so that I can meet my new granddaughter. I'm very excited! I will post a more permanent trip plan shortly, but in the mean time... Heads up everyone as we're comin' your way!!!

4 October 2005

The Big Smoke...

We've been in Sydney all this past weekend. We went to see a long standing friend before she departs for the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand). She is originally from NZ but she moved to Australia about eleven years ago. She has decided to move back to NZ as here family is there and she feels it's time for a reconnect and also a bit of a slower pace wouldn't hurt. I understand this thought process as that's one of the reasons we moved to Tasmania from Sydney. We'd had just enough of the in your face behaviour that Sydney can provide on a daily basis. This past weekend once again solidified our reason for moving even though we didn't need a validation.

Don't get me wrong, Sydney has some GREAT things and places to see but I just don't want to live in a city where it feels like I'm constantly on the GO! Anyway, I just want to wish out dear friend all the best and I hope all works out just fine for her. Besides I owe her a lot as it was her that I met online so many years ago while I was living in Texas and when my partner passed away it was her that flew half way across the world to help me. She's always been a real friend and in many ways she is a member of my family. Funny though how I ended up here and now she's going home. Hmm wonder if I will ever go home? Thing is I feel as I am home now!

29 September 2005


I just read this at Josh and Josh. I think you'll find it ammusing I know I did.

(1) Go to the Google homepage.
(2) Type in the word failure without quotes around it.
(3) Hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
(4) Enjoy the results. Let your laugh richochet off the walls of your cubicle.

25 September 2005

4 Ghost of the White House

One night, George W. Bush is tossing restlessly in his White House bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing by him Bush asks him, "George, what's the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," Washington advises, and then fades away

The next night, Bush is astir again, and sees the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moving through the darkened bedroom. Bush calls out, "Tom, please!
What is the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Respect the Constitution, as I did," Jefferson advises, and dims from sight................

The third night sleep still does not come for Bush. He awakens to see the ghost of FDR hovering over his bed. Bush whispers, "Franklin, What is the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Help the less fortunate, just as I did," FDR replies and fades into the mist........................

Bush isn't sleeping well the fourth night when he sees another figure moving in the shadows. It is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Bush pleads, "Abe, what is the best thing I can do right now to help the country?"

Lincoln replies, "Go see a play."

Thanks for the joke Lady Bunny

18 September 2005

Bill Maher to President Bush

"Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.

"Now Gwbush it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do! Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

"But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

"On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky.

"So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.'"

More Bill Maher here

2 September 2005

The "Big Easy" has been unsettled...

New Orleans has been devastated by hurricane Katrina. My thoughts go out to those that live there. I did some growing up and went to school in New Orleans (8 years). I have lost contact with most of my friends there but I have many fond memories. I hope that they will reclaim what has always been so great about that city....

11 August 2005

Snow happens...

More snow pictures and some homeless person...just kidding it's our friend Wayne. To see all the pictures go here...

I'm so confused...

Just when I thought it was spring. I woke up this morning to find a dusting of snow in our backyard. It's not much but it's kind of neat....

3 August 2005

Winter you say???

It's supposed to be winter here but this bush in our backed yard says no... I'm also filling in because I have not posted for a while. Anyway Enjoy....

18 July 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

It snowed up on the mountain this weekend and we were like a bunch of kids! The winter has been quite mild this year and this is only the second time this winter that we've had some snow on the mountain. Anyway, fun was had by all!!!

9 July 2005

Things that make you go hmmm???

New York, Madrid and London so it's just a matter of time I suppose before Sydney suffers it's part in the global backlash. Terrorism has always been around in many different ways. We as the gen pop just never had to experience it, but with today's technology (internet, cable TV etc) the world is an open mind field. Where will it end?

24 June 2005

Showing off...

This is my granddaughter Kylie Delynne. I'm proud as any grandparent can be and as any father ever could try to be!!!

18 June 2005

All in the family...

My better half has started his own blog and hopefully he will get some enjoyment out of expressing himself. Who knows he may even become famous. I know he will write about really important things better than the stuff I rabbit on about. Anyway, you can have a look at his place here...

1 June 2005

Just call me Grandpa

My lovely daughter has given birth to a health 8lb 14oz littlte girl named Kylie!!!! I love you Erin! ...and I'm very proud of you!

30 May 2005

I've been slack....

I've been extremely slack in my posting. I have no excuse except that I'm being lazy. It seems all I want to do is veg in front of the telly. I will try to start posting a bit more. We did go for a nice drive this weekend to look at the snow on the mountains. Yes we are about to start winter here and it snows close to our house just not at our house. It's not been cold enough for the snow to stay but I promise that when it does I'll take a picture or two. Well time to make some dinner and relax.

10 May 2005

Colour of Fall....

I waited as long as I could to take this picture of our maple tree. I wanted the most colour I could get but it has been so windy here I was afraid that if I waited to long all the leaves would blow off. So here it is. Soon to be bare with a winter chill in the air....

26 April 2005

Creating patient zero...

Back in February of this year there was talk about a new virulent strain of HIV. A new look into the circumstances of the patient that was identified as having a strain of HIV that progressed to AIDS very quickly shows how the media and the scientific community can create what they need when they don't know how the best way to address a sensitive issue. In this case the sensitive issue was HIV, Crystal Meth use and unprotected sex in the gay community. The story was a bit of hysteria but hopefully the communtiy will take heed and continue to advance the agenda to address this issue. To read more go here...

24 April 2005

Blog, blog, blog...

I find this whole blog thing so interesting. I read a few other blogs on a regular basis because they are entertaining and visually pleasing. The other blogs I have seen are a mixture of insane ramblings, focused awareness, blatant pandering, militant activism and that's just some of the good ones... I am surprised what people will write about and how personal they will get. I am no exception. I wonder if these blogs are in way somehow visualising our need to be seen, heard, wanted or any combination of the three? Maybe I need to keep reading some new blogs and maybe one of them will have answers.....

19 April 2005

Tasmania and Same-sex Marriage

The Tasmanian Greens tabled the same-sex marriage bill in state parliament, on Tuesday 12/4/2005, along with a motion for a parliamentary committee inquiry into the issue. There seems to be a huge loophole in the change to the Marriage Act, enacted by the federal government, which gave no legal validity to same-sex unions. Read more here...

9 April 2005

The "Apple Isle"...

Tasmania is known as the "Apple Isle" because if you look at the shape of the island not only does it looks like an apple, but also we grow a lot of apples here in Tasmania and I mean a lot of apples. Because of the distinct changes of season we have apples just grow really well here not unlike they do in the northern states of the US. As I have mentioned previously we are in our first month of autumn here and although the trees are really just now starting to get into the swing of changing colours; the apples are ready for the harvest. We went to the Saturday markets down at Salamanca this morning and bought among other things some of those great apples. I have just made a traditional Waldorf salad (apples, celery, walnuts, raisins (sultanas here) and a bit of real mayonnaise to hold it all together). I haven't tasted anything that fresh and crisp in sometime. It's all about the apples....

5 April 2005

A cosmo for Marina

Marina this one is for you....

Autumn colours

Well after looking high and low this is the only picture I have so far. The trees around here are taking their sweet time in changing so i guess I'll have to wait for the one in the back yard to change and then take a picture.

29 March 2005

On a brighter note...

We are going for a ride in the country today in search for fall colours. If I get lucky I'll post pictures for everyone here soon. Until then, wish us luck...

"Gay is Not Normal Campaign"

Watchman Media has launched it's new "Gay is Not Normal Campaign". Watchman Media Chief Financial Officer Letishia Wannamaker said “I believe the general public needs to know the detriment of homosexuality. Children are being steered wrong and adults need the guidance absent fathers didn’t provide. It is our mission to combat the rise of this human detriment, because if we continue on this same increasing scale, we will have more financial burdens, more misguided homes, higher crime rates, and an increase in biblical punishment”. Read more here...

The Wathcman Media Corporation web site hides behind a members only log in page. They must be ashamed of what they do and say.

25 March 2005

The Undoing of America

In a recent interview Gore Vidal comments:

"Well, the Congress has ceded--which it cannot do--but it has ceded its power to declare war. That is written in the Constitution. It's the most important thing in the Constitution, ultimately. And having ceded that to the Executive Branch, he can declare war whenever he finds terrorism. Now, terrorism is a wonderful invention because it doesn't mean anything. It's an abstract noun. You can't have a war against an abstract noun; it's like having a war against dandruff. It's meaningless.

But you can terrify people. The art of government now, the art of control as practiced by the current junta, is: Keep the people frightened. It's exactly what Adolf Hitler and his gang did. Keep them frightened: The Russians are coming. The Poles are killing Germans who live within the borders of Poland. The Czechs are doing the same thing in the Sudetenland. These are evil people. We must go after them. We must save our kin.

Keep everybody frightened, tell them lies--and the bigger the lie, the more they'll believe it. There's nothing the average American now believes (because he's been told it 10,000 times a day) that is true. Now how do you undo so much disinformation? Well, you have to have truth squads at work 24 hours a day every day. And we don't have them."

Read the whole interview here...

23 March 2005

Bishop apologises

The Bishop who originally denied the owner of two gay bars a catholic burial after his recent death has apologised to the family and has said that he will preside at a memorial mass for the man. Read more here...

19 March 2005

Gay club owner denied burial by Catholic Church

The leaders of the Catholic Church in San Diego have denied burial rights to the owner of two gay clubs after his recent death. In a quote from the statement from the church

"His business is adult entertainment, which is inconsistent with Catholic teaching" Valdivia said. "People would be scandalized that the church granted a funeral to a person who had this type of business activity."

I don't even know what to say to this. Read more here...

18 March 2005

Autumn chill

It's early in the autumn season here in the land down under and although it's not freezing it was still cool enough to test out the fireplace in our lounge room. I just love a fire in a fireplace on a cold night... There will be many more before this winter is over.

16 March 2005

Being lazy...

I'm just being lazy when it comes to posting as of late. I will also say that there is not much happening at the moment but as soon as it does I'll be telling everyone! As it stands I've been busy at the AIDS Council. James has been busy at the Hospital and the only thing Max has manage to catch is a stick...(actually glad about the last one. I would be really upset if he caught a bird or something...) I'm home tomorrow maybe I'll be inspired then but no promises.....

9 March 2005

Abuse, fear and shame...Suicide

A recent study, from Canada, of 32 young gay men suggests that the participants all had something in common when talking about why they tried to commit suicide. 32 gay men between the ages of 18 and 35 years who had attempted suicide at least once, some as young as age 11, revealed in the recent study that they all shared a common link: a lifelong struggle to feel good about themselves and live in harmony with their social environment. They all said that abuse, fear and shame were the motivator for their suicide attempt and not their sexual orientation. Even though I never attempted suicide, I just hid for so many years, I can truly understand what these guys had to say. Read more here...

8 March 2005

Amazing blooms!!!

I swear the flowers in our garden could win awards and all I have to do is water them and feed them. I have been so very happy with all of the flowers that have popped up in our new garden. It has been a real learning experience for me. The rose in the picture is from a climbing rose that is on a trellis in our front garden. I wasn't sure how well that rose bush was going to do because it look pretty weak but in the last couple of weeks I've been pleasantly surprised. The one that I cut is two on one stem and each bloom is as big as my open hand. I'm impressed! Next the maple tree in the back will be turning red as we are into the first week of autumn and as soon as it changes I'll be taking pictures.

24 February 2005

We're back!!!

We actually got back from our trip to Sydney on Monday night but it was very late and since then we have had house guest that will be here until next week. So, I really have had little time to tell you about how the weekend went. Lets just say it was HOT, HUMID and LOUD, basically a little of everything why we moved away from Sydney. I know some people thrive on the big city buzz but our priorities have changed and I prefer working in the garden on our quiet street. That's just me, call me strange but oh well.......

16 February 2005

The big city

We head to Sydney on Friday and it will be our first visit back since our move to the great state of Tasmania three months ago. Now I know that it has only been three months since we moved but the vast differences between here and Sydney are really just that...Vast! I'll be interested to see how it feels to be in all the traffic and crowds. I have a feeling I won't have missed it much and will look forward to getting back to Tassie. The reason we are coming to Sydney is to help celebrate someone's 40th. It's one of those big B-days and we wanted to be there for support. On another note a close friend comes to visit tomorrow and they will be visiting the rest of the island until we get back on Monday and then they will be with us for the rest of the week. So it's all happening around here!

13 February 2005

Be alert be very alert...

A man in New York city has been diagnosed with a very rare form of resistant HIV. This form of HIV progresses from the point of infection to AIDS quickly (two-ten months). This is not an imminent world wide danger but it is something that we should all take note of and be alert on the subject. Read more here...

12 February 2005

Gay penguins

A zoo in Germany has some male penguins that apparently have a fondness for one another and not the ladies, but the zoo keepers think they have the answer.

Dinner at eight...

We had some good friends over last night for dinner. It was our first sit down dinner in our new dining room with our new dining table. The dinner went well and the food, although basic, was good. We are becoming very domestic here in the new house. It's not that we weren't domestic at the old place but living in the big city in a unit had it's limitations. The new place just lends itself to more entertaining etc. All in all it was a good night!

6 February 2005

The Great Outdoors

Well it had to happen sooner or later, after five weeks of being kept inside Max has made it to the great outdoors. He has not left the back yard but I don't think we will ever be able to keep him inside now. In a way it works well for us as we can now leave the doors open and enjoy the fresh air. I just hope he stays out of trouble. He has a good noisy bell collar on so I don't think he'll be catching any birds. We can only hope!

1 February 2005

Cancer causing agent list grows

The list of cancer causing agents, including possible agents, has been updated. The list contains 246 agents that may cause cancer. The list now includes viruses, Hep C and B, as well as some substance found in grilled meat. Sort of puts a damper on all those barbecues and as if we didn't need more stress in our life. It just seems now day that everything we eat or do might cause us health problems. Maybe we should all just stay in bed until the end comes? Anyway, if you want to read more go here.

29 January 2005

Power outage

Well the rain finally came in the form of a thunder storm and in the middle of the storms an electric substation was struck by lightening putting almost 22,000 people out of electricity for almost 2 hours. I decided it was a good time to start reading a book. So, I started reading Dan Brown's "Deception Point" I'm hoping it's a bit better than "The DaVinci Code" unlike most people I wasn't that impressed with that one, it was okay but not fantastic. Anyway, I'm off to read some more and I'll check in again later...

26 January 2005

Waiting for the rain

It's been really hot here in Tasmania (32C) and because it usually is a temperate (20+ C) we have really been feeling the heat. Lucky for us the humidity isn't to bad which would make it so much worse. We are supposed to have a thunderstorm this afternoon and it is trying to build as I type. I hope we get a fair bit of rain as we need it. We have also been doing a lot of domestic stuff around the new house like planting rose bushes and we even had to repair a wall on the outside as a cement fixture the old owners had attached to a garden wall fell down the other day and put a hole through the existing wall. We have found that we can both be very "butch" so to speak. The whole repair experience made us both feel really good and a gave us a real sense of accomplishment. On another note I'm still going to the gym every other day and I guess it is starting to pay off as I have lost 4kg since starting 7 weeks ago. Yeah me!

22 January 2005

PEP for all

In a move in the forward direction the CDC has recently updated it's guidelines for the use of PEP (Post Exposure Prophylactic), a 28 day course of 3 antiretroviral medications that needs to be started within 72 hours of possible exposure of HIV. Until now PEP was only available to health care workers. A few states have/had individual policies. Countries like Australia have providing PEP for some time. This move by the CDC aims to make PEP available to all people that may be exposed to the virus. More here...

The Bush inauguration by the numbers

This list was provided by Kos in relation to the recent inauguration of one George Bush. What a waste of money when there are so many other things around the world that need urgent attention and could have put that money to much better use. What do you think?

$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.

$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945...about $20,000 in today's dollars.

$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.

200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.

$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.

400: Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.

3,000: Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies" provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the Mandarin hotel.

$1: Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts, crackers and cheese and had cash bars.

22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.

1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.

$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.

$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.

2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office

26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.

$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.

$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.

9. Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.

66. Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.

21 January 2005

Sponge Bob promotes homosexuals???

Christian conservatives in the US are criticizing a new Sponge Bob video and claim the video is promoting homosexuality. Of course the creators of the cartoon character deny these claims.

Should have cleared that through the Pope...

It seems that there has been a retraction to the previous comment made by the reverend Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, the secretary general for the Catholic Bishops Conference. I guess he should have cleared it with the Pope first???

20 January 2005

Condoms for Spanish Catholics

The Catholic church in Spain has approved the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission. Read it here...

18 January 2005

Green thumb

I always thought I had a green thumb when it came to plants but I'm on a whole new learning curve when it comes to working with a yard/lawn/garden. In Sydney we had a few plants on the balcony and they did well. We now have this backyard with grass and several garden beds with all sorts of flowers that I don't have any experience in growing. I'm finding it takes more than just a bit of watering. I think I'm going to let the garden grow as it may this summer as I did not plant any of the things that are presently growing (the former owner of the house planted everything). Everyone thinks Tasmania is so wet and green but I've come to find out it's not as wet as it could be or at least not at this time so I will continue to be vigilante and enjoy what comes.

14 January 2005

The gym?

It's been five weeks today that I started to go to the gym. I have been very diligent and I go every other day and work out for an hour. Now I know that may not seem like a lot, but for a 47 year old, ex-smoker, who has put on a bit of weight and has never gone to the gym I think I'm doing pretty good. I am a bit unimpressed as I have not lost any weight. I feel much better especially after the workouts and I've been eating much better. I've cut way back on the sugar intake and I'm eating more fish and vegtables. My better half says he can see some difference but I sure can't. I think he is just being nice. I know I'm probably just being impatient but I would like to lose some weight. I will just have to keep at it and just maybe I will see some results.

12 January 2005


This is Max. He looks all cute and innocent but like other cats when it turns dark he goes a bit weird. Anyway, I just realised there wasn't a picture of him here so......

11 January 2005

Isn't it strange?

It's been a few days since I last posted so I apologise. Although I'm not sure why I'm apologising as this is my weblog and I don't have to post if I don't have anything to say. Anyway, we bought a floor broom yesterday and it came in two pieces strapped together with two plastic ties. I took the ties off and gave them to the cat and he's never been happier. Isn't it strange how we spend all sorts of money on all these special toys for the cat to play with and basically he plays with them for about 5 minutes and ends up sending them under the couch or chair never to be seen again. I mean they are just a bit of plastic and he wants to take them every where as if they were the most important thing in his life. I eventually had to take them away from him as he insisted on playing with them on the bed all through the night. I'm sure he'll get over missing them as soon as the next interesting thing comes along.

5 January 2005

The holidays are over...

Well, the holidays are finally over and now it's time to get on with life in the new home. I will be contacting a colleague here in Tasmania to see if there is still a job available. I will also be stopping by the local AIDS Council to see if I can volunteer my services. I hope that 2005 will be a very fulfilling year not only for me but for everyone. Only time will tell...

1 January 2005

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year one and all! We spent a quiet night in the new home and watched the fireworks from our back yard. No hassles with crowds and such... We both look forward to 2005 and plan on enjoying life to the fullest. I wish health and happiness to everyone!