27 May 2008

Quote & Word of the day...

Quote of the day:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

Word of the day:

vehement \VEE-uh-muhnt\, adjective:
1. Characterized by intensity of emotions or convictions, or forcefulness of expression.
2. Characterized by or acting with great force or energy; strong.

25 May 2008

Music makes the people...

(Loud scratching sound) Oh, sorry I was channeling Madonna there for a second. It's no wonder as I've been working very hard on a list of my favourite female singers and their songs. Funny thing is, Madonna didn't make the final list and I honestly do like her in fact I have a lot of her music. Some of her older stuff is really good IMHO, but in the end she just didn't make the list.

Anyway, I saw this list originally over at Spo-reflections who got the list from here. I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge which is to make a mix-tape of your favorite 15 songs (you know mix tapes, those things you used to make for your Girlfriend/Boyfriend or for your next party) . Spo-reflections made a very specific tape of just female singers. I decided to follow his lead but now I'm wondering if maybe I should have jut made the virtual tape of songs in general.

So, I went with the all female tape and it was really tough because when I made my first pass of all the female artist I have in my iTunes I ended up with 38 songs and I loved all of them. So then I had to drop 23 of them. I have to admit in a way it wasn't that hard because there were a few artist that I had several of their songs and to make the tape more interesting I thought it would be better to have only one song per artist. After the second pass I ended up with 26 songs which left me with 11 more to delete.

One more pass and I finalized my choices. I will say that I could probably make at least three mix tapes of just female artist. I hate to think of what it will be like trying to make one with just the male artist or better yet a complete mix up made up from my entire iTunes library. It does however leave me with the option to do just that and end up with at least two more post for later. So here is with out further adieu the 15 songs I have chosen for my first virtual mix tape that I'm calling "The Smokey and Sometimes Bluesy Ladies". Oh and one last thing I also have to tell you why I picked each song. Enjoy...

  1. At Last - Cyndi Lauper: I've always liked Cyndi but never knew she had the pipes to carry this off. Apparently she does or at least I think so.
  2. No More - Diana Ross: This is from the CD "Blue" which was supposed to be the follow up to her "Lady Sings the Blues" soundtrack but it was shelved for a while. Thankfully it finally made it's way into the light of day.
  3. If I Can't Take It With Me - Eartha Kitt: Miss Kitt makes being rich fun.
  4. Big Spender - Shirley Bassey: No one can sell it like Dame Bassey and even I could be persuaded to buy it from her and have a little fun, fun, fun...
  5. Legend In My Living Room - Annie Lennox: That voice is smokin' and powerful and always will be no matter what she sings.
  6. Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield: The original Lady of Blue-eyed soul. When she sings you believe it.
  7. Do Yo Wanna Dance - Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M is usually sassy but she can be smooth and mellow when she wants to be.
  8. Feeling Good - Nina Simone.: Nina just makes me feel good
  9. I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin: Aretha shows the rest how to add soul to a song
  10. Blue - Joni Mitchell: You can feel soul of this song as Joni sings it.
  11. Edith and the Kingpin - Herbie Hancock (Featuring Tina Turner): Now I know this is a remix of Joni Mitchell material by Mr. Hancock but the singer is Tina Turner so it counts and Miss Tina does not let me down.
  12. Black coffee - k.d. Lang: This is off her "Shadowland" CD which was supposed to be full of country music but this song is as smokey and soulful as they come not to mention that it's sung by a voice that can melt your soul
  13. Fever - Grace Knight: Ms. Knight is an Australian artist with a small following. Personally I think she does a pretty good job with this classic.
  14. Travlin' Light - Queen Latifah: When Queen Latifah steps away from her Hip-Hop style she takes on a totally different persona and that's one that I really like. You should also try out her other CD The Dana Owens Album (Queen Latifah's real name)
  15. Stormy Weather - Billie Holiday: Miss Billie just oozes soul so much that you can feel the humidity
There you have it my first virtual mix tape. Its probably not every ones taste but I think it works.

22 May 2008

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty....

...that's what I am when it come to posting. I don't think I've ever gone this long in between post. Anyway, I'm here and all is as OK as it's going to be. We have really been lying low recently due to what is happening with James' mum. She is trying to cope with her cancer and the new doses of chemotherapy but it's really tough. James is going up to see her on Saturday and will stay a few days to talk things over with her. It's not easy for him with us being here on the island but it's only a short hour and 45 minute flight up to Sydney and we are getting real cheap airfares. Unfortunately, I don't go with him to lend support but someone has to watch the house and the cat. We could put the cat in the cattery and the house is alarmed and such but the cost factor starts sinking in and with James going up every few weeks it is becoming really expensive. I'm not saying his mum is not worth the expense but James is really the one that needs to be there and that expense is never in question. We think she really wants to quite the chemotherapy and just let whatever happens, happen. It's a tough decision but at the end of the day it is her decision and we will support her as best we can. James will have a long talk with her this time around and we will see what we will see.

As for the two of us it's just the much of the same. James continues his Masters degree and he got his first assignment back with a really high mark. They grade differently here but in the end it was a really good mark. He was very chuffed (that's "happy" to my American friends). I knew he would do alright. He always does and he puts so much effort into his work. As for me well not much is happening other than I'm trying to get my head around my new medications. They are really making me so sleepy. I mean I fall asleep anywhere at the drop of a hat. James and I have been out at breakfast and he will be talking to me and the next words out of his mouth will be "Your going to fall asleep aren't you?" and he's right. It's not because I'm bored with his conversation as that would never be the case (OK there was that one time but he really was just rabbiting on and to be honest I can't even remember what he was talking about that's how boring it was. Sorry sweetheart) Anyway, I just start to nod off at the most inappropriate times so I guess it was best that I gave up driving. However giving up driving really makes things difficult because I then have to depend on James to take me everywhere Now you might say why not walk. Well first of all walking really long distances make my neuropathy act up so I try not to do much of that. Secondly, we live on top of this really big hill and going down is easy but coming up is another thing all together. We tried walking up it once right after we fist moved here and now even James won't walk up the hill and he goes to the gym every other day.

The only other thing exciting is the weather if you can call that exciting. Fall has surely taken hold and it looks like winter just might be a cold one. This morning is our coldest morning so far. The current temperature outside at our house is 25.7. So I've got both fireplaces going and a few oil heaters on in the bathroom and in the bedroom. We have closed off the guest bedroom as we are not expecting any guest any time soon. It gets so cold in there we could hang a side of beef in there and we also have a back up if the refrigerator ever breaks down.

Well that's about it for me. I know getting a break down on what is happening around here can be pretty boring but I promise I have a really interesting post coming soon and it is based on a recent post I read elsewhere. I have to basically come up with a list but I'm not going to tell you what the list is. You will just have to wait and see. I hope to finish the list by tomorrow so you won't have to wait to long. Until then enjoy...

11 May 2008

Happy Momma's Day...

First things first, let me say a big "HAPPY MOTHERS DAY" to my mum. I love you mum and send you (((Big Hugs))).

OK, so now what's been happening around here? Well I've been to Sydney for five days to see my specialist (neurologist) for a review of my feet since my last visit a few months ago when I saw him and at that time he decided to put me in hospital for ten days of testing hell. (I really must let that go). Where was I? Ah yes, I went to see the specialist to check in and see how I have been going with the new drugs and all. I told him I was 95% pain free which meant that instead of having 800 episodes of pain attacks in my feet I was down to only about 40 a month. He said that was great except that when he let me go from the hospital I was 100% pain free. I said "Oh".

When I left the hospital he had prescribed a fast acting pain medication for any breakthrough pain but it seems that the state that I live in has different rules when it comes to the prescribing of narcotic pain medications. (I'll explain later as it's a bit complicated) Anyway, the state authorities that approve prescriptions of such medications would only allow half of what he had ordered. What that meant is that I could only take care of twenty of the episodes of breakthrough I was having and the rest I just had to ride out biting on a bullet. To fix this problem he has changed my prescription once again. I'm now taking an even higher dose of one of the medications that he introduced during my hospital stay. The upside is that it seems to be working. The downside is that it makes me extremely sleepy. I can fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, which can be very embarrassing. The other downside is that now I am taking 35 pills a day instead of 32. Now you might say what's the big deal it's only three more pills. You don't even want me to answer that question, I promise you.

I'm just having one of my moments where I resent having to take all of these pills. They make me feel like a loser. I feel like I'm incapable of taking care of myself without the help of medications, but the truth is I can't and that is what irritates me. I hate feeling so dependent and vulnerable. I have an alternative. I can say no to all of the pills but then I will end up in excruciating pain and without my anti-retrovirals I will not be in control of the HIV. The virus would then run rampant and start to completely destroy my immune system which would lead to an untimely demise. The thing is I'm not really good with pain, basically I'm a wimp, and as for dying well I know that I'm going to die someday but in some small way I like to think I have some control as to how soon or not that will occur. With that all said I take my pills everyday like a good boy, but I do so sometimes very begrudgingly!

Now to end this odd little post I thought I would share some more photos with you. I'm going to continue to share more and more photos with you the more I experiment with my camera so you might as well get used to it. Anyway, here are a few shots I took the other evening from our backyard looking up to the late evening sky as sunset was occurring and there were a few stormy clouds hanging about. There may seem to be a few shots that look just the same but there are slight differences, believe me there are. Really, anyway enjoy...

You can find the rest here

3 May 2008

They picked me...

One of my photos has been picked by the online travel guide Schmap. The company uses pictures taken by everyday people to help show off the best of what certain travel destinations have to offer. I'm not sure, but I believe that Schmap only chooses the pictures they use from photos placed on Flickr. I find it ironic when you consider that the picture they chose to include is from a trip we took up to Strahan in the northwest of Tasmania. What's so ironic about that you say. Well, I think it's ironic that recently I've been putting up new sets of pictures that I took with my "GOOD" camera and the picture that they actually chose was taken using my cell phone camera.  I mean "GOOD" camera 10.1 Mega pixels. Camera phone 2.0. See what I mean?

Now to be fair the people who publish this online travel guide had not seen the new pictures that I recently placed on my Flickr account so they picked from what was available at the time This is the second edition of Schmap's Australian Travel guide so maybe next year they might pick one of the pictures taken by my "GOOD" camera. Oh and BTW I'm not diminishing my "GOOD" camera by using the quote marks like you know it's "supposed" to be a good camera. The fact is is it is a GREAT camera and a hell of a lot better than my cell phone's camera.

The Schmap group have provided me with a widget, which can be found on the right side of the blog where all of the links and odd lot things are placed. If you click on it you will be taken to the Australian guide. My picture is under lakes and rivers and then under Strahan. Take a look if your interested because they are all sorts of other great photos taken by just everyday people that give you a realistic view of what there is to see in Australia. By realistic I mean not your standard glossy professional photos used by big travel companies like Fodor's or some such group. Hell, Fodor's doesn't even have a listing for Tasmania on their online guide. (I'll have to write to them). The photos in this travel guide show you things that you might not see in another travel guide. I'm also not saying that the photos used by Schmap are not good quality just because they weren't taken by a professional, on the contrary; the photos that they use are FANTASTIC; of course they are, they did pick me after all. :) Enjoy...

1 May 2008

Twice in one day...

Well your getting two post today. I've just uploaded the newest pictures I've taken. The pictures are from a trip down to Port Arthur with a friend. For those of you who don't know anything about Port Arthur it is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. Port Arthur is one of Australia's most significant heritage areas and officially Tasmania's top tourist attraction. Known for its harsh conditions, dark history and stark beauty, it is located approximately 60 km south east of the state capital, Hobart. In 1996 it was the scene of the worst mass murder event in Australian history.

The pictures I took this time once again are a learning process with my new camera so bear with the amateur status of the photos. Anyway, you can see all of the pictures here. Enjoy...

From the heart...

I want to send big apologies from the bottom of my heart to those bloggers that I recently tagged for the recently posted meme on this blog. I rarely if ever tag people for those things and I have no idea what came over me to do so this last time. Anyway, I apologise and promise not to do it again. All future memes will end wih "Try this meme yourself if you feel so inclined."

Also while I'm in the heart area apparently,

Your Heart is Red and Green

Your heart is serene and peaceful.

You are down to earth, laid back, and secure in who you are.

You bring strength and sanity to relationships.

You're good at communicating and working through problems.