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!