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Sunday, 27 December 2009

holiday entertainment ideas

December books.
Renegade: The Making of Barack Obama is a journalist’s close-up view of the campaign for the US Presidency waged by team Obama. The author was granted access to Obama’s inner sanctum.
Insights into the President’s early life, career and philosophy may be found in his (Obama’s) two books: Dreams from my Father, and The Audacity of Hope.

For a bit of science, Stephen Jay Gould’s books are often interesting and educational. The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox explores the relationship between the sciences and the humanities.



Richard Feynman offers his thoughts on a variety of things in this collection of anecdotes told in plain oftentimes humorous conversational language. Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman! is a delightful book packed with a variety of fascinating stories. Some challenge existing conventions, others relate run-ins with authority or bureaucracy, and still others are just personal tales of normal everyday life though told in a funny mischievous way.

There’s also David Suzuki’s insights in his book "The Big Picture" which not only identifies the problems facing our planet but at the same time proposes solid, science-based solutions.

Haruki Murakami’s book on running is a leisurely read. Apparently one can ask: "Why have I never done that?" No not about running, but reading Murakami.

The music hound book on folk music is best enjoyed while listening to some good folk music - such as Salidummay.

December CDs.
There might be some music from this set below to suit one’s taste during this holiday season.
There’s a good balance of swing music, some blues and folk and pop and country, and by both male and female performers.
Maybe 2 or 3 songs from each CD is worth a listen.

Summer has blossomed down under so i might give Enya’s ‘And Winter Came’ a spin too.
For a bit of music video, i have got my hands on some Leonard Cohen Dvd’s.

This other set of music CDs has a bit of Reggae and Blues which are fine.

There’s also more pop music cds which are just pap, though some have good music in them too.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

the locals of the crossroads (gasfields pt. 3)

Meet some of the locals of nangram.

The site of a gas pipeline project i am involved in covers part of the locality of 'The Crossroads' and the adjoining locality. Our work camp is in the Crossroads but our work site is about 40km away in the gasfields of Nangram.

ms maggie magpie surveys the landscape and sets the scene for a tour of the wildlife of the western Downs of Queensland.
Many of the amazing wildife in the Dalby region includes numerous species of birds.

A couple of unidentified greyish dark-brown birds look for food scraps at a gravelly workyard carpark.



This is a plains turkey on the prowl and always wary of the big noisy beasts driven by two-legged creatures.
Bush turkeys or plains turkeys are fair-sized birds but very shy.
we next encounter an echidna crossing a sandy track. it scurried along as quick as its short tiny legs could go.
Once off the road it was quick to locate shelter and put up all his defences to a perceived danger.
Anya ngata ti raman ti adobong echidna? I’ll never never know.


It finally came to a stop at a fallen tree and curled up into a ball. its quills on full defensive.

One can’t have photos of wildlife in Australia without a kangaroo. So here’s skippy in the only patch of green for miles and miles – a homestead yard.

we encountered skippy early one morning looking for some fresh grass to nibble on for breakfast. as most of the photos here show, the landscape is a dreary desolate grey and brown.
This bearded dragon somehow found itself in a trench and would not have been able to get out by itself. When we found it, it looked spunky at first but quickly got tired from trying to get away. It may be starting to weaken from thirst and hunger.
One of the cultural heritage officers rescued it and set it back towards the bushes.

I was very privileged to witness a spectacular air show put on by a flock of birds one warm spring day near the end of October.




There’s a few families of emus around here. This emu mum and her four chicks were quick to put distance between themselves and someone thinking of pinikpikan. And so they should!
Pairs of adults would be seen searching for food in the grassy plains around after sunup and before sundown.



Goannas too are seemingly everywhere here in 'the crossroads'.
One time i was standing on a bank of a very dry condamine river, trying to increase the water level by contributing some of my bodily fluid to it, when i heard a bit of rustling behind me.
My tired mind realised it can’t be the leaves rustling because there was hardly any wind all day.
I turned around and saw this goanna crawling out of its hole.
I'm not sure who was more startled, but it blinked first and quickly scampered away.
Sayang. Awan ti para etag.

Here are some goannas i managed to creep close to.

go anna! nice pose .

This one must have relations from Mainit. It is good at climbing trees.

if that bloke on the excavator wasn't watching...

some lizard adobo would have been on the menu that night.

maybe next time. i know where it lives. it can climb but it cannot hide...


such is life eh froggy?
yeah. that's the way it goes.


Sunday, 13 December 2009

photographic souvenirs

Some random photos.
more photos here


The golden guitar, Tamworth, NSW.



O'reilly's bird sanctuary, Gold Coast hinterland, Qld.

Uki, NSW.
once i held mountains in the palm of my hands.
don't forget the bushy mounds...


Bunya pines, Bunya mountains, Qld.


When we were young
and facial hair was long...


when in mainit, do as the ichongliyan do.
but wait for the pool to fill up.


while waiting for the pool to fill up,
you can cook some eggs in the boiling hotspring waters.
just take care not to get scalded.
you'll be lucky if you only get scolded.


ain't no more cane in the brazos,
but still plenty in the barrios.

like in mainit,
where cane is harvested and milled every year.
the sweet smell of unas,
heralds the end of the year.
near christmas.

when you go for a hike to the mountains,
do tread carefully.
as earthquakes go where angels fear to tread.


a banana vendor, hangar market, baguio.
dippig?
that's why i'd rather be in mainit.
we have tokcho there.


back in uncivilized oz.
like a bird on a branch.


the erratic woodchopper.
no this is not in mainit.
this is in suburban australia.


fitzoy falls, kangaroo valley, NSW

thredbo village,
gateway to kosciusko, NSW


the big pineapple, sunshine coast, qld

maggie looking for a feed.

For more photos, click on the link below.