Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The travails of a new mobile phone

I understand the above toon perfectly. I have recently got myself a new mobile phone that seems to be able do everything except cook your breakfast. Figuring out how to get it to do any of those things is a big problem, however. I have figured out how to get the FM radio in it working and, after much trial and error, I can work the camera. I can't figure out how to do anything with the pictures, however and I can't stop the keybord from locking every time the phone goes into idle mode. But I can make and receive calls! Its number at the moment is 0488603058 but I am going to transfer my old SIM card into it when I get the thing more or less figured out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Food for thought

I guess I must be a sentimental old fool. I read recently a story in "The Times" which I cannot get out of my head. I have posted it on Paralipomena. It is about a man who was adopted out as a baby but who finally traced his birth mother when he was 41. Such stories are usually emotional but you read such stories often so what was unusual about this story? The striking thing is in the very last sentence -- a sentence that is at once totally crazy and totally right. I am sure that the sort of self-obsessed person we often find on the political Left would think nothing of it but it brings tears to my old eyes. If you choose to read it, do read the whole story first. Peeking at the last sentence first may well deprive it of much of its impact.

A recent post on Wicked Thoughts has got some memorable entries in it too. It is from Monday, August 25, 2008 and is headed: What Love means to a 4-8 year old....

Monday, August 11, 2008

More music

Westside Music Group again last night. Congenial as usual. No Asian pianists this time. Instead we had a 13 year old girl with a big mane of blonde hair who played some difficult Mozart and Bartok with enormous confidence and skill. Her mother was with her -- another South African-born lady with still a trace of the accent. Our violinist was however Jewish, so tradition was maintained. She played some Cesar Franck with the sort of enormous intensity that one rather expects of Jewish violinists. So we had first class piano and first class violin.

There was also a large female opera singer who was very competent but her voice was just a bit reedy for me. And a classical guitarist finished the evening for us in a very pleasant way. Anne is a singer -- a good soprano -- so she was rather critical of our operatic lady. When you are in the trade you notice the fine points, I guess.

We had a good crowd. Rosemary's big living room was full -- 20 or more people all told. It was a freezing night so everybody was rugged up. One lady arrived carrying a crocheted blanket and another lady wore a big white beanie. There was a fire going in the fireplace but the room was too open for that to make much difference. Brisbane houses are built for warm weather, not the cold. But we do have a few rather wintry nights. Last night was 60 degrees F or 16 degrees C. So "freezing" is all relative.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good taste in Tonga

After the new king was crowned in Tonga yesterday, he drove off aboard a 1950's Humber Super Snipe

Story of the coronation here.

Anne is very patient

Anne and I went clothing shopping yesterday. Anne has proper lady thoughts about men dressing nicely but she has on her hands one of the world's worst sartorial disasters. I sallied out dressed in pilled-up old trackies and slippers with breakfast spilt on them. Now that I am just an old pensioner I am worse than ever.

We went to the huge shopping centre at Garden City. We went to both Lowes and Big W and ended up buying 5 shirts and two boxer short undies for me. Getting stuff for "big men" was no mean feat however.

But I guess I have some advantages. Anne had the night before expressed a wish to have a CD of "that Gregorian chant from that German monastery". And within 24 hours she had in her possession a CD of the music from the Stift Heiligen Kreuz (Institution of the Holy Cross -- a Cistercian monastery in the Vienna woods of Austria). It is indeed marvellous music.

There was an ABC shop on the way back from Lowes and I managed to find the relevant CD there.

The Stift Heiligen Kreuz has been honoured by a visit from the Holy Father