The Rod Blog

29 July 2006


The clock tics for us all and one of them will be your last.
Anne is devoting a great many of hers at them moment to secret business in the lab.
It entails tanks of captive cockles being fed various metals, and then dissected and fed into expensive pinging machines to see how their little bodies have suffered.

Every so often she will dip into the tanks to retrieve the next victims.

I picture them all nervously huddled together, quivering in fear. Down the corridor boom deathly footsteps, and her terrifying back-lit features loom over the edge of the tank. Each prays that it won’t be them, that this does not announce their final tic.

Regardless of the fate of the cockles, it has been going well for Anne. It looks like she’s over the major hurdle for her study, and will be able to fly off to Europe in just over 2 weeks time. She’s very excited about that.

I hope she has a good time, but more importantly, that she leaves us with a 7 week supply of frozen dinners.

The cockles may be suffering for science, but some of their estuarine neighbours did win some revenge by launching a suicide attack on her legs a few weeks ago.

Wading in the shallow water looking for cockles, she stirred-up sea lice in the sediment. Some soon found themselves sitting on her legs, and out of water. So, thinking they needed to re-bury themselves, they burrowed into her legs. A few hours later she broke out in the most horrible sores which took weeks to heal.

18 July 2006

The Magna What???

The Magna Carta established one of the pillars of modern democracy and civil society. This is the primacy of the law. Nobody should be above the law, or outside the law.

Ivan Milat, convicted of seven murders had his days in court.
Martin Bryant slayed 35 people. His guilt was never in doubt, and yet he went to court.

So it's deeply worrying that those who are meant to be the chief law makers in our country cheerfully discard the protection that all should be entitled.

The incarceration of David Hicks represents a disdain for democratic values, and undermines the core of what is valuble in a society.

Spunky No Sparky

Spunky had a bit sulk a few mornings ago.
Three grumpy cylinders, and one which flat refused to get out of bed.

Bad Spunky! No buscuit!

09 July 2006


Lousy cheap fairy. Two miserable dollars. This fairy clearly doesn't understand that we're operating in a global market. Next time I'm going to a buyer who knows the full value of the merchandise.

08 July 2006

They took my wisdom

Here’s a tip for you. If you don’t want bad news, don’t look. Global warming? Destructive wars here and there? Your superannuation? If you don’t look, the world is rosier, and you will feel less pain.

Nature is a bit of a nasty bastard. It endowed us with the ability to savour our own suffering with piquant delight. We are the only species that knows our death is inevitable. The doubled joy of anticipating the woe before it happens. Ergo, if you don’t look ahead of time, your suffering will be halved.

My very first blog story was about a grisly trip to the dentist and at the end, I promised not to tell more dentist stories. Well I lied.

I went for a checkup this morning; wanted to see that the expensive crown fitted that day was going okay. (Hell, you’d expect a crown to be expensive, wouldn’t you!)

Well my crown is still there, and my regal stature remains… but, what about that ugly gaping hole in the wisdom tooth! And the useless thing hangs in space anyway, since the one under it never appeared.

Without a partner, it reaches into space in a futile attempt to find a mate. It will never know companionship in joining with a partner to prepare food on its way to Sustain Rod. A lonely life watching its neighbours happily paired with a tooth below.

So it was the most humane thing, really. Whip it out!

I’m pleased to say it wasn’t at all painful. But still, the weirdest experience, and now I almost feel a sense of loss. In a tiny way, I am now an amputee. Boy, does the Tooth Fairy owe me BIG TIME, or what!!

But enough of me. In the scheme of things this one doesn’t rate a mention compared to what other people are going through.

Last week, a friend in the neighbourhood called to say she has breast cancer, and requires a full mastectomy. Another’s daughter barely survived a major car accident. And yet another’s son broke his pelvis falling into a construction site (and was roughed by the cops for his trouble).

And right now, Anne’s on the phone counselling a friend who’s just discovered her sister also has breast cancer.

A couple of Panadol, and I’ll be right in the morning.

02 July 2006

Enter The Magpie

One of the great things about living in Australia is the magpie. Not the pretend variety found in England, but the original Australian maggie that sings a beautiful warble. At this time of the year the young males congregate in groups of a dozen and so, sorting out their hierarchy for the coming mating season. To my ears the accompanying warble is the most wonderful sound, but perhaps in maggie terms it really represents jeers and jibes.

That’s not a beak. THAT’s a beak.
You and who’s army?
And so on.

Every so often one or more would take off, and dive-bomb the others. Or several at a time launch themselves into spectacular aerial combat.

I find it gratifying to see them do this to each other since, as every Australian knows, they love doing it to humans during nesting season. There’s nothing quite like an innocent stroll across a park, to be whacked on the back of the head by a stroppy maggie. The kinder ones warn you first by swooshing their wings and clacking their beaks. The sneaky ones go straight for the back of your head.

Meanwhile, the young males are also congregating at the neighbour’s house. Flocks of them revving their noisy cars hoping to attract a mate. Their cars are mobile bowers adorned to bring on the females. The auto-equivalent of their scent markings are the fresh rubber tyre marks at the front of our house.