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If you came here looking for Fat Naked Twin Sisters, click here - but expect to be disappointed.

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Monday, February 28th 2005

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Cochlear

Today, I cut up little bits of paper...

I expect the share price to increase very soon.

More Pizza

Capitano's at North Sydney. The glass wall was open tonight and Yuko went outside to take this picture...

Notice the women at the next table. When Yuko took the picture they looked a bit surprised. I think they thought Yuko was just a passer-by stopping to take my picture. They looked at me in a quizzical way, as if to ask why someone out on the footpath would take my picture. I just shrugged and said "Paparazzi!"

Yuko discussed fishing with the pizza guy. He said he caught 70 flathead in one day in the deep sea.

The pizza guy

We noticed that the former TLCC office (where Yuko used to work) has now become the Wallaby College.

My work colleague [Name Omitted] recommended a Mexican restaurant at North Sydney called Had To Happen, which must be an old Mexican proverb. After dinner we decided to take a look at it. It was closed, but we peered through the window and decided that it looked adequate. We might try it next time.

The parking restrictions could be a problem

Sign

We noticed that the North Sydney skyline is not as bright as before...

North Sydney Skyline

Lights out?

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Sunday, February 27th 2005

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Coffee at home with no breakfast

Ying's

We skipped breakfast because we planned to go to Ying's for lunch, which we did, and we took Mother too.

Ying's

The staff at Ying's are the rudest in Sydney. When you ask for something they just look at you with disdain and say nothing. Sometimes they give you what you asked for. I recommend it highly.

Yum Cha at Ying's

Japanese Shop

After that, we went to the Japanese shop at Crows Nest, mainly so that Yuko could take pictures for her blog.

Shop

They we selling UFOs for quite a reasonable price...

I browsed the videos and found this cinema classic; It's the ripping yarn of the king of monsters facing off against his mechanical alter-ego. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla...

Too bad it doesn't have English subtitles

Ripping

Among the discs that Yuko bought from Amazon Japan were these two sets, which evoke memories of my infancy...

I ripped them into iTunes and was intrigued by the title of one song which appeared on my screen...

Subversive drug reference?

Quiet

After that, I was quiet.

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Saturday, February 26th 2005

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Blog Addiction

This headline, from Icon in today's Herald, accurately describes the Noswonky household...

I don't think that's the correct spelling of 'till.

Rotting

For the rest of the day, we decided to stay at home and rot. However, there was a moment of excitement when Yuko gave me a brand new tube of toothpaste...

Quiet

After that, I was quiet.

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Friday, February 25th 2005

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Morning Watering

Yuko was watering the garden as I left for work. This may or may not be illegal...

Guilty or Not Guilty?

Cochlear

BTE

Today I tried wearing the ESPrit 3G BTE (Behind the Ear) speech processor to see how it felt.

I actually wore it to a beer drinking session and people looked at me. If I really had an implant, there would be a magnet inside my head and the transmitter coil visible in the picture would be held in place by the magnet. Instead I used Blu-Tac.

The BTE was quite comfortable.

Beer and Cake and Buns

I counted five sessions of indulgence at work today. In the morning there was munching of these bread-like items...

There was also a session of hot-cross-bun munching but I missed getting a picture.

There was cake at 3pm. Then at 4.30pm a group convened on our floor to drink beer and munch nibblies. Then at 5pm, another beer and nibblies session was held one floor up.

Beer Now. And Always.

I wore the BTE to this drinking session

Delivery

Yuko recently bought some DVDs and CDs from Amazon Japan and they arrived today. One of them is this DVD of 1960s Blues musicians on tour in Europe. I was a bit surprised that it played correctly on my computer DVD drive as it is a region 1 disc.

DVD

Dinner

At dinner, I was unable to eat all my broccoli. Yuko said this was my fault for buying too big a piece. She showed me the correct size to buy next time...

Yuko indicates the correct size for a piece of broccoli

Then we saw a UFO...

UFO

From Message
Laughing Mole
26/02/2005
5512 Days Ago
UFO

So what was it?

From Message
Webslave
27/02/2005
5512 Days Ago
It was "U".

From Message
Laughing Mole
27/02/2005
5512 Days Ago
That's not very informative.

From Message
Webslave
27/02/2005
5511 Days Ago
The truth is out there.

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Thursday, February 24th 2005

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This is a brownie. I have formed the view that you just can't beat a brownie!

Pipe

While waiting outside for the coffee truck, I noticed some water dripping from a pipe on the bottom of an air-conditioner.

Dripping pipe encased in a spider web

Notice in the image below, how the water droplets appear more elongated as they move downwards. The droplets then strike a leaf and split into multiple tinier droplets.

Droplets strike a leaf

It's just like a collision in a particle accelerator...

Particles strike the sub-atomic equivalent of a leaf

String

At lunch time I went to Harbour Music at Crows Nest to buy a guitar string. I only wanted one 56 gauge string. The guy at the shop found this a bit odd because 56 gauge is pretty thick and so you don't normally break one of them. Most people would buy either a whole set of strings, or a single thin string like a 9 or a 12 gauge.

So the guy said in an incredulous tone "Did you break a 56?"
I hesitated... Then I said: "Well, actually it's not for a guitar."
"What's it for?" he asked.
I said "It's good thick wire. I have another purpose for it."

He was intrigued by this and said that he wouldn't sleep tonight if I didn't tell him what I was going to do with the string. I said "See ya later" and left the shop.

A 56 E-string - the best gauge for purposes other than musical

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Wednesday, February 23rd 2005

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Warning: This blog entry may disgust, or cause eyebrows to be raised.

Thai Coffee (see below)

Breakfast

At breakfast, Yuko hinted that we should go out for dinner. This is her subtle technique...

Cakey Company

It is becomming clear that Cochlear is a cakey company. Today we ate cake yet again. I also had a slice of the Happy Birthday sign.

I played some TT too. Attendance was low and the game-count was high.

Thai

We went to Colours of Thai at Mosman for dinner.

There was a big party of 24 people so we sat outside where it was quieter. We had Mee Grob, Phra Ram Rong Song and Pad Preaw Warn. The waitress said that Yuko looked Chinese and Yuko said 'Thank you very much'. Then, I told her that Yuko was Japanese and she dropped two beer bottles on the ground! It must have been quite a shock.

Thai statue

Balmoral

After dinner we went down to Balmoral beach...

Yuko in the Gazebo

Face Off with a Dead Dog

Billy lived to the age of 19 years and experienced significant shrinkage in his old age

Beach and Moon

Here's the beach...

And here's the Moon...

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Tuesday, February 22nd 2005

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Road Carnage

I left work at about 5.30pm. The traffic in Sam Johnson Way seemed a bit slow, but it was moving and I made it all the way to the lights at Epping Road only to be confronted with the horrific scene of a multi-vehicle accident. I counted six cars which were involved, but my view was not ideal and there may have been more vehicles obscured from my view.

The emergency vehicles were just arriving as I got there and it seemed that traffic had been getting through slowly until the police arrived and blocked the whole intersection. That's why I was able to get all the way to the scene of the crash, but no further.

Here's a map of the chaos...

The entire intersection was blocked in all directions!

I can only speculate at what happened. It looks like car 1 was City-bound on Epping Rd and tried to make a U-turn or perhaps a right turn when the lights were red. The Epping-bound traffic (cars 2, 3, 4 and 5) then slammed into car 1. As for car 6, I have no idea how it got there.

Approaching the scene.

Cars 1 (dark), 2 (yellow) and 4 (white)

A TV camera recorded the scene

Looking towards Epping

Injured man

Car 6 being towed away

There was actually enough space for me to make a right turn onto Epping Road by going behind car 5. But I had to wait until the police signaled that I could go. When they eventually let me go, I followed two ambulances to Lane Cove on a deserted road while the traffic going the other way was still gridlocked...

A traffic-free run for the ambulances

I got to Lane Cove at about 6pm - half an hour after leaving work - which was not bad considering the chaos I left behind.

Mother

Mother invited us to dinner at her house...

We ate curry and drank wine and milkshakes.

Yuko showed Mother a pair of rings and we tried to read what was printed on the interior surface.

Mother tries to read the printing on the ring

Can you read this?

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Monday, February 21st 2005

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Aeroplane

Yuko was drinking beer...

...and she saw an aeroplane up in the sky...

Aeroplane up in the sky

So she said...

...except that she said "Toto" instead of "Mummy".

So I looked at it. It looked like this...

Aeroplane

From Message
Laughing Mole
22/02/2005
5517 Days Ago
Exciting day, huh?

From Message
Webslave
22/02/2005
5517 Days Ago
Indeed it was.
In fact, later we saw another aeroplane but I didn't want to over-excite my readers.

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Sunday, February 20th 2005

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Computing Without Pants

I was forced by the subject to censor this image

Blackout

Yesterday I neglected to mention that we had a blackout during the storm. It was of very short duration and, as it was daytime, the blackout was not as dark as other blackouts I have described in the past. A blackout also occurred in Laughing Mole's world. He posted a description of it yesterday and emailed me an image of a similar blackout which occurred in Mole World on 29/12/2004.

Mr Mole writes "There are some lights visible in this photo, so the blackout wasn't universal, but it was still pretty black."

Cycle

In the afternoon I went cycling for almost two hours.

Riding on the wrong side of the road

The Tunnel

I cycled over to the Lane Cove West Industrial Area because I don't get to see it often enough.

At the bottom of Sirius Road are three buildings that I worked in at various times in the 1980s and 1990s. The carpark of one building is now a construction site for the Lane Cove Tunnel ventilation shaft...

Carpark of 2 Sirius Rd

Another building I worked in is now a hole...

5 Sirius Rd. I used to work right there in that hole.

The third building (7 Sirius Rd) is now an office for the Tunnel project. I went up to the rooftop carpark which is where I took the picture of the hole (above). I also took this panorama of three images looking north-west towards North Ryde...

Time Stands Still

I was amazed to see that eight years after the company folded, the name is still displayed at the entrance...

Here's my approximate cycling route...

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Saturday, February 19th 2005

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Goldilocks years over - no soup for you!

Punch Buggy

Punch Buggy Red!

The Simpsons is a very educational program. Today as we were walking out of the house I caught a snippet of the show and I learned about the game of Punch Buggy. Having led a sheltered life, I had never heard of this game before.

It's a fun game in which physical harm is inflicted upon the person next to you - great for long trips in the car. In the Simpsons it was Bart and Lisa in the school bus beating each other to a pulp.

Here are the rules.

Punch Buggy... err.. maybe not.

Balloon

Yuko's helium balloon from Valentines day has shrunk and no longer floats. Today she took it back to Epitome...

Balloon in the bag

House For Sale

We looked through a house for sale in our area. It was for sale at $1.45M but Yuko said it was over-priced. She said it was only worth $1.2M at most.

The interior

It was a four bed/three bath/three level home on an extreme slope, with the part on the down-hill side held up by long sticks. It's the kind of house that looks like it might slide into the valley at any moment - too scary for me. But it was nice inside...

Walk-in wardrobe. We have bedrooms smaller than this!

One of three balconies

Mother

We dropped in to say hello to Mother because Yuko wanted to take a picture of Louise, Mother's car.

Louise - so named because she originally belonged to Mother's aunt Thelma.

Louise is almost 22 years old and Yuko was amazed that Mother got it passed for registration on the first attempt. This would not happen in Japan. Cars more than a few years old get scrapped or sold to the Russians.

It was a hot day; almost hot enough to make you want to buy an air conditioner. So Mother and I drank milkshakes while Yuko photographed the car.

Mother's art skills are getting better all the time. She is now studying from books...

Backups

In the afternoon it rained heavily and I stayed inside and made backups...

I backed up my digital photos. This task made me realise how my photo-taking has ramped up in recent months - partly as a result of getting a shiny new little camera. The pictures from 2002 and 2003 fitted on two CDs. But 2004 required seven CDs. December 2004 alone needed two CDs! At that point I ran out of blank CDs.

Backups to be stored off-site

From Message
Laughing Mole
20/02/2005
5519 Days Ago
Punch Buggy

Anyone with children knows about Punch Buggy. Though the 'rules' in my world seem slightly different from those in the link you posted.

Blackouts

There was another (short) blackout in my world yesterday (Saturday). This is getting quite annoying. I assume you were spared as you didn't mention it.

I don't have a picture of yesterday's blackout, because the pixie[1] in my camera went colour-blind, and he is having a (short?) spell in rehab[2], so I've sent you a photo I took of another blackout late last year. There are some lights visible in this photo, so the blackout wasn't universal, but it was still pretty black.

[1] Actually, he's more of a brownie really.
[2] It's very annoying not having a camera.[3]
[3] Well, I've still got the cameras with pixies who inscribe their reviews of the scene on scrolls which have to be sent off to alchemists to be interpreted, but it's not the same.

From Message
Webslave
20/02/2005
5519 Days Ago
Punch Buggy

As I said, I've led a sheltered life.

Blackouts

Actually we did have a short blackout, but it was so short that I did not have time to photograph it. Thank you for the photo. I will post it soon. Perhaps there are now enough pictures in the archive to created a dedicated blackout gallery.

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Friday, February 18th 2005

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Hot

It was hot. Yuko watered the garden while drinking cold coffee from a jug.

Nothing else happened.

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Thursday, February 17th 2005

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Thing With a Red Hood

I took a picture of the XXXXXXXXXX with the red hood...

Hooded thing and anonymous worker

Cheese Abomination

I saw this appalling sight at work...

Grilled cheese and sugar

Not Pizza

We went to dinner with Mother and did not eat pizza, despite the fact that it was a pizza place.

Mother qualifies as disabled for the purposes of parking, which is a good reason to take her along to lots of places

Mother, Yuko and Mitsy is the disabled space

Taking pictures

Mother

We went home for a small dessert...

Dessert

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Wednesday, February 16th 2005

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Strange Day

It was a strange day. I didn't take any photos!

Cochlear

We got our new XXXXXXXXXX today. It came with a big red hood and cost close to $20000. It's also bigger than the old one and has more knobs, switches and lights so it must be better. I should have taken a picture of it, but I didn't. By chance, I was the first to use it which means that I will be burdened with the task of XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX

Other than that, I was extremely busy and I expect to be busy again tomorrow. However, on Friday I expect to be not busy. I will take a picture of that.

Meanwhile, we're making lots or money.

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Tuesday, February 15th 2005

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50th Anniversary

We have received an invitation to a significant party. We will consider it on its merits and make a decision in due course.

Lethal Blades

After parking Mitsy outside Cochlear, I found these lethal rusty blades in the gutter - probably the discarded tools of trade of some sick twisted slasher type.

As they are probably not good for car tyres, I decided to remove them.

As I walked along the road brandishing the blades I wondered if I might be mistaken by passers-by for a sick twisted slasher type, out to settle a score.

Fortunately, I found a Medical Sharps Collection thingy before the police were called...

Happy Birthday Mitsy

Mitsy is nine years old. Happy birthday Mitsy! I performed a ritual to commemorate the event.

Flying Rice

During dinner, Yuko began tossing a rice ball into the air.

Rice ball in the air

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Monday, February 14th 2005 (II)

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As usual, we went to Epitome for a Valentine's Day dinner. The red balloons were out in full force...

As usual, there was a special menu...

As usual, we had strawberries on our glasses...

As usual, Yuko got a rose...

As usual, a waiter took our picture...

As usual, Yuko took home a helium-filled baloon...

When we got home I was too sleepy and bloated to blog (see below for confirmation).

More complete coverage can be found on Yuko's Blog.

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Monday, February 14th 2005 (I)

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Too sleepy to blog...

From Message
Laughing Mole
15/02/2005
5524 Days Ago
Yes, yes, all very nice, but what about your loyal subscribers? Aren't you worried we'll take our business elsewhere if you drop the ball?

PS: Happy Valentine.

PPS: Errr ... better treat that link with caution. It may not be suitable for children or those with a heart condition. Don't click and then come complaining to me later.

From Message
Webslave
15/02/2005
5524 Days Ago
Fear not loyal readers. The ball is in my posession and blogging will resume soon.

PS: I clicked that link and liked it.

From Message
Laughing Mole
15/02/2005
5524 Days Ago
You liked that link? Eewww!

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Sunday, February 13th 2005

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Epitome Staff

Another Epitome staff picture.

Rita

The collection is now big enough to have a dedicated gallery.

Garden

We visited Mother to say hello. Yuko acquired some plants during the visit.

Later, at home we carried out some waste for to be picked up by the council.

Injecting

In the afternoon I went to the Medical Centre to get my vaccinations, as recommended by Cochlear. By chance I saw a Japanese doctor. He said there were only two shots he recommended and one was unavailable due to a supplier problem. So I only got one shot - Hep B - which is the most important anyway. It's a three shot vaccine so I have to go back in one month and again in six months to complete the course.

Cycle

I went cycling at about 5pm.

I did four laps of the College, which takes about an hour. During one lap I decided to take a close look at the astronomical facilities in the College.

Observatory Dome

I peered through the window at the instrument inside. It looks like 15-20 cm refractor - perhaps f15, on a German equatorial. And it looks OLD!

The Scope

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Saturday, February 12th 2005

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Epitome Staff

Yuko added two more members to her collection of pictures of Epitome staff...

Bradley

Tommy

Belinda's Cousin

Driving home from Lane Cove we spotted this grape-coloured cousin of Belinda.

As we went past we noticed something on top and we had to go back to take a closer look.

Happy Birthday Belinda

Belinda is three years old. Happy birthday Belinda! I performed a ritual to commemorate the event.

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Friday, February 11th 2005

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Aqua Coffee

Training Course (IV)

Cute Girl

Today a cute girl came to see us with her proud parents. Rachel is 4.5 years old and has been deaf since birth. She now has a Cochlear Implant. She calls it her "ear".

Although her language development has been affected by her late start in hearing, her speech is very clear with no trace of deaf accent.

Rachel's mother related to us the story of how someone asked how much Rachel's "walkman" cost, referring to the coil on her head. Rachel's mother replied "about sixty thousand dollars."

On another occasion someone asked her where she bought Rachel's "hair-clip".

The Belgian plays ball with Rachel

Surgeon

We then had a presentation from a surgeon. She showed us a DVD of a surgery she had performed on an infant - lot's of blood and bone. She used a lot of medical jargon that made no sense to me, but we got good overview of what's involved in sticking these devices in someone's head.

She said that infants are "more oozy" than adults. Because they have bone marrow in all their bones, it oozes out when you drill into the skull. In adults, marrow is only present in a few of the larger bones in the body.

While showing us the video, she drew attention to the beeping sound of a machine in the operating theatre and said "We even have a machine that goes ping!" I don't think the three European guys got that one.

Off-Site Training

After lunch we jumped in some taxis and moved our training off-site to this location...

Cochlear Implant Training Facility

Here's the class...

The whole class plus one girlfriend at left. (Note the Cochlear caps)

Sheep-shearing was first on the agenda...

Sheep

Then, Koala touching. Of course there were lots of Japanese and Korean tourists too.

Koala

We mingled with the Roos and Wallabies...

The Belgian feeds a Roo

Roo up close

Aqua

Then, a company funded dinner at Aqua Dining. The restaurant is located above North Sydney Pool and is right next to the Luna Park face.

View from the restaurant

There were ten of us for dinner.

Arty picture of Luna Park Wheel

The food was very nice indeed. I had the Barramundi. The dessert pictured below belonged to someone else, but it looks more interesting than mine.

Bisque
Prawn Tartlet
Barramundi
Mango

When it got dark, my Belgian classmate snapped this picture of the pool and bridge.

More pictures from today's activities are here.

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Thursday, February 10th 2005

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Training Course (III)

The course continued today.

In the morning we did the dexterity test which is normally given to applicants for jobs in the factory.

The test involved putting rods in holes and securing them with screws. The tricky part was that the screws had to be placed in a cavity too small for normal sized fingers to fully grasp them. The access for the screwdriver was also blocked by a troublesome piece of metal which had to be carefully manipulated with a lever to get into a suitable position. The aim was to secure as many rods as possible in seven minutes.

Three members of the class scored in the 90 percentile band making them suitable for a factory job. I scored 46 which is in the mid-range, and the other two guys were in th 10% band. I did 8 rods for my 46th percentile score. The people in the 90% range did 12 rods.

We then went on a factory tour. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed there, but we saw some good stuff. Here's a picture of some tarts instead...

In the afternoon, another implant recipient came in to do some live mapping. He had gone deaf at the age of 10 and is now in his 30s. He had a deaf accent but through it I was able to hear an Irish accent too. He was a fun guy - a player of African Drums in fact.

Drummer

Some students continued to work during the breaks. I didn't...

Worker

Lady Macbeth's Dog and Son

Lady Macbeth has sent me a new image of Mother's painting of Vicki (her dog). The unusual thing about this painting is that the subject has actually got fatter since I scanned it.

Scroll down a bit to see the thin version

Meanwhile... I have started a game of chess on Gameknot with Lady Macbeth's son who goes by the name "Whizard". The game in progress may be viewed here.

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Wednesday, February 9th 2005

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Happy new year to Chinese readers

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Lady Macbeth!

Which reminds me...

On Jan 23 Lady Macbeth wrote:

" I love 'Mother's' dogs - am wondering if she would paint my old darling dog from a picture as she's no longer with me? Unfortunately she hasn't got a dangling tongue (in the picture - my dog I mean), but I know she did have one at times so wouldn't mind if Mother finds it a necessity when painting her."

Mother responded to this request several days ago but I have been under a gag order preventing publication until now...

Dog

And while on the subject of dogs...

Take that MicroSoft!

Work

Today was a "rest" day from the course. But because I'm only actually working one day this week (today) I naturally had to do five days' work in one day.

Some consolation was that I found half a discarded muffin which I consumed merrily.

Half muffin

Dentist

Meanwhile, Yuko went to the Dentist...

From Message
Lady Macbeth
10/02/2005
5529 Days Ago
I am thrilled with Mother's painting of my beloved 'Vicki'. Unfortunately your pic. was taken when it was still a W/I/P and Vicki was looking a little lean. I will email you a copy of the finished portrait (if I can work out how to)

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Tuesday, February 8th 2005

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Training Course (II)

The course continued. First we had to summarise on the flip-charts what we learned yesterday.

Class activity

What we learned yesterday

The free lunch today was off-site at the new cafe (The Cove) which has just opened nearby. It was not a good day to go out as the temperature reached 38 degrees.

The American guy ordered a hamburger. I pointed out that it had beetroot in it. He had never heard of or seen beetroot before. He asked me what it was and I said "It's the root of a beet". After eating some of it, he said that he "did not understand it", but vowed to continue eating it. He told me he had eaten Kangaroo and Emu the night before.

The class

In the afternoon we met the CEO of Cochlear...

Dr. Chris Roberts

When I told him my name he already knew my job. I asked him how he knew that but he just gave a wink-like gesture and declined to answer. He talked to us for a while and he seemed to know a lot of stuff. I guess that's why he's the CEO and I'm not.

The course will continue on Thursday. Tomorrow it's back to normal work.

Mother

We took Mother to Taiki at Lane Cove. As it was still hot, we sat inside in the air conditioned room.

Food

Yuko discussed her blog with the staff and I was asked to take these pictures for posting there.

Afterwards, it was too hot to drink coffee and too hot to be inside at all, so we had milkshakes on the back patio. Mother and I passed the time my making a movie ridiculing Bush.

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Monday, February 7th 2005

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Training Course (I)

Today I began a five day (although it will only take four days) training course at work.

First, the facilitator threw these pictures on the floor willy nilly.

Our task was to find a picture that "says something about you". I chose this one for obvious reasons.

Then each of us had to tell our life story in two minutes, with reference to the picture each of us had chosen.

The make-up of the class was interesting. Of the six students, four had flown in from overseas especially to take this course. One from France, one from Belgium, one from Germany and one from the U.S.

The highlight of the day was the visit by two implant users who talked to us about their experiences. One was a 24 year old woman who had been deaf since birth and who had received a Cochlear Implant two years ago. Having been deaf for most of her life, her speech was sometimes difficult to understand. However, she related how, after the implant was switched on, she had been surprised to discover that running water, car blinkers and computer keyboards actually make sounds! She now has a full time office job in the Premier's Department.

The other implant user was Bill, an elderly man who had lost his hearing gradually from about the age of 40. He actually had two implants (one for each ear) which is still quite rare. His speech was perfect as he had learned to speak before going deaf. You would never know he was deaf if not for the two speech processors he was wearing. The transmitter coils were particularly noticeable because he had no hair.

Bill waxed lyrical about the benefits of the device. He got quite emotional as he told us how the implants had changed his life. His deafness had caused him to withdraw from society and to become a reclusive alcoholic. This all changed when he could hear again. He thanked us all for the work we do helping to improve the lives of deaf people.

I had heard that the sound from a Cochlear implant is unlike normal sound and that voices sound like Donald Duck and have a synthetic quality. As Bill had started life with normal hearing, I asked him if he could describe how the implants sound compared to natural hearing.

He said that when the device was first switched on, everything sounded strange and garbled. But after one day, it started to sound more natural and it gets better as time goes on. This must be because of the remarkable adaptability of the brain

Then... free lunch...

I had been hoping we would get to play with Play Doh again, and we did. In fact we did the same exercise as in the previous course, making a cross-section of a cochlea...

This was a collaborative effort with my partner whose signature appears at bottom right. And yes, I know I misspelled "membrane".

We then did an exercise to help us understand what it's like to be hearing impaired. Three class members were taken outside the room and were given earplugs to simulate hearing loss. Then they came back in and those of us without earplugs engaged them in conversation. There were two radios playing quite loudly on different stations making it harder for them hear. Also, those of us without earplugs were briefed beforehand to act like bastards... don't look them in the eye while speaking, speak quickly, mumble, cover the mouth, turn away while speaking etc. I was able to completely confuse the guy I was talking to (the American). Then we switched roles and he acted like a bastard while I wore the earplugs. It was very instructive.

Lizard

I spotted the biggest lizard yet on the bush track to Blackman Park. It was about 35cm. I was sorry to disturb the creature from sunning itself on a rock...

Cool Blogging

After a hot day, I went outside into the cool air to write today's blog.

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Sunday, February 6th 2005

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Fish

Yuko bought three new fish despite none having died. This is because she has confidence that the new large tank (the one I gave her for Christmas) can support five fish.

Buying fish

High on the Hog!

For dinner, we drove over to Collaroy to eat in the Hog's Breath.

Hog's Breath Cafe

After a hot day, it was pleasantly cool on the balcony. We even had to put on our woolly garments as the Sun went down.

View from our table

Yuko

We drank Hog's Head because, as it said on the menu, "A Hog's Head is better than no head at all!"

The food

The long chip

The longer chip

After dinner we walked along the beach and Yuko observed the people fishing.

People fishing

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Saturday, February 5th 2005

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TT

While stopping briefly at Cochlear at around lunchtime for purposes I can't disclose, I observed the TT facilities in use...

Nothing

Nothing else happened today, so here are some more images from yesterday's trip to the cinema.

While walking to the cinema along the edge of the Botanic Gardens, we saw this girl posing for a photo. As the seconds dragged on, she began to show signs of being in pain, as her face reveals in this image...

Then, I clearly heard her say to the errant avian... "F*** OFF!" I snapped this picture moments later...

A bird of similar appearance gazed down upon us as we waited in the ticket queue...

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Friday, February 4th 2005

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Open Air Cinema

The St. George Open Air Cinema season is now in progress, and we went tonight to see Jaws.

As the pre-sold tickets were sold out, we had to arrive early and queue for tickets. We only had to wait about 40 minutes. Tickets are $18.

Queue

Behind us in the queue was an Australia guy with two Swedish women. An Ibis walked by and the Swedish girls became excited having never seen one before. They asked the guy what kind of bird it was, but he had no idea. So I intervened and said "It's an ibis". After that, I became their font of knowledge and wisdom for the rest of the time we spent waiting for tickets.

One of the Swedish girls thought that Jaws was a cartoon. The guy was able to correct her misconception, but then he asked me whether Jaws was an Australian movie. I told him it was an American film and I mentioned the director's name, which he pretended to be familiar with. Then he speculated on the release date of the movie. He placed it in the 1980's but I told him is was 1975, humiliating him yet again.

One of the Swedish girls thought she had seen a more recent film called Jaws. So the guy asked me if there were any other Jaws films. I acquainted him with the sequels: Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3D (1983) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987) and their relative merit.

Yuko takes pictures of the view

We took a small picnic (a chicken sandwich and a rice ball) and ate while waiting for the movie to begin.

Sponsored by St. George

The screen is mounted on pillars in the harbour floor and is only raised to the vertical position shortly before the movie starts.

The screen in the folded position

The view across Farm Cove is spectacular.

City

SOH and SHB

At about 8.30pm the screen rose...

Screen rising

The movie begins

Jaws is the story of three guys who go fishing together and get so drunk that they don't catch any fish. Instead, a fish catches one of them.

Click the image below to watch a re-enactment of the movie in 30 seconds.

Fish coming to catch man

Fishing trip suffers from bad seamanship

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Thursday, February 3rd 2005

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Green Coffee

Purple Belinda

Yet another outrageously decorated Belinda - with lashes!

Animal

I photographed a filthy animal trespassing on our property...

I launched a lethal projectile in the direction of the errant feline but it made its escape uninjured.

Filthy animal makes its escape

Debt Collection

I collected the debt Mother owed me due to her unwise wager on Lllleyton.

Searching for the cash

Making the payment

Korean BBQ

Mother took us to the Korean BBQ at Eastwood.

Although she asked for a fork as usual, they were a bit slow to bring it, so she tried again to use the chopsticks, with moderate success.

From Message
Female Feline Fan
6/02/2005
5533 Days Ago
Fancy U Finding a Fabulous, Friendly, FilosoFical Feline "Filthy"! U Fatuous Fellow!

From Message
Webslave
6/02/2005
5532 Days Ago
You seem to use a lot of "F" words. Have you considered anger management therapy?

From Message
Sverige fan
8/02/2005
5530 Days Ago
What, no pictures of the guy you embarrassed or his Swedish friends ? Damn ....

From Message
Webslave
8/02/2005
5530 Days Ago
After combing the archives, I have located an image of them. This is actually from the same picture that I posted of the queue.

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Wednesday, February 2nd 2005

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Naked

Yuko forgot to wear clothes for breakfast.

Yuko Goes to Balmain

Later, Yuko put on clothes and went to Balmain...

Yuko leaves for Balmain.

Yuko went to Balmain to cook with Keiko...

Keiko sent me back a present...

Tofu Sushi

Rain and Blackout

Late in the afternoon, there was a storm with very heavy rain and very strong winds. After I took the picture below, the wind picked up to such an extent that I was too afraid to continue standing there with the door open. So I ran inside and hid.

Rain

During the storm there was a blackout. However, it was of very short duration and I was not quick enough to get a picture of it. Fortunately though, a reader has sent this picture of a blackout which happened in his world at about the same time...

Blackout in Mole world

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Tuesday, February 1st 2005

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Tomato Belinda

I bought five tickets in an attempt to win this cute Tomato-coloured Belinda. Don't tell Mitsy!

Water's Lane

We went to Water's Lane for dinner. We didn't see the Pig Man.

Water's Lane

The food seemed nicer than it used to be. We suspect they have a new chef.

Clams

After dinner we walked to the other side of Waters Lane (the lane, not the restaurant) and purchased a poisonous substance at the supermarket.

Poison

From Message
Laughing Mole
2/02/2005
5536 Days Ago
Hello WebMaster,

Tonight (Wednesday) there was yet another blackout in my world. Last time it was as far as I could see, but this time it was particularly annoying because I could see that the animals at the other end of the field had power. You said you'd like to see another of my blackout photos, so I've sent you one from tonight.

From Message
Webslave
2/02/2005
5536 Days Ago
Thank you Mr. Mole. Your photo submission is particularly fortuitous. There was a blackout in my world too, but I didn't get a photo of it. I have therefore used your picture in Wednesday's entry.

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