Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

another book quote. Actually several quotes cobbled together...

" Your eyes look sunken and bloodshot. Did you sleep last night?"

"What is this thing you speak of-sleep?"

"Sleep is God - Go, worship"

From Death Masks, another of the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher.

I made the mistake of walking into a book shop last Saturday, just to have a look, see what's new.
I walked out with two new books, (not sure when I'll find time to read them), turned out to be quite an expensive "look".
What did I buy?
A new Kathy Reichs, Bones Never Lie, a Tempe Brennan forensic mystery
Life or Death by Michael Robotham.
I've never read any of Michael Robotham's books, but this was recommended to me by Mimsie, and when I read the blurb on the back of the book, I had to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whimsical Wednesday # 141

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

Today's giggle isn't googled, I received this via email several months ago, I wish I could remember who sent it so I could say thank you.

Best essay ever!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Musical Monday # 25

Musical Monday 

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 

I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.

Today’s clip is: Bob Seger

Remember him? From the 70s

and today's song.....

Still the Same.

I like a bit of Honky Tonk piano and I love the bass piano notes in this one.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Selections # 189

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to TheElephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.

Andrew often joins in.
As does:
Jackie K at WorkingThrough It

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week I'm continuing with some photos of my garden.

The ornamental plums beside my home are flowering again.

on a fruiting tree, each blossom is potentially a fruit, a plum in this case, but these trees are ornamental, so not many fruits will set. 
I hope I get more than one this year, the birds are quicker than I am.

pretty, yes? It was a very windy day and petals were flying like confetti whenever the wind gusted.

they look like hail lying on the ground.

a little rain on the geraniums does them good.

And now, as promised, the newest new additions to my little patch.

a windmill!    Slightly blurry because it was spinning in the wind.

and it has a rooster!

and what's this down below?

a cute little tractor!

Garden's looking good!
Still plenty of open spaces waiting for more plants. 
I just haven't decided yet what to put there.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Angel's Antics (without photos)

I'm so sorry, I don't have any new photos of Angel. 
I sneaked up on him yesterday with the camera and he actually slashed at me to go away.
I swear he frowned. Guess he really wanted that nap.

So I'll tell you about his morning routine instead.

It starts about 3am, while I'm still deeply asleep, buried in the quilt, and gradually become aware there is now a cat stretched across my pillow and onto my chest. 
Purring loudly.
The purring escalates into mrr? mrr?, and yes it does have a questioning tone, which soon becomes a demanding mrrow! while he moves from pillow to floor and back again. And licks my hands. Unless I pat and scratch him, then he'll settle for just purring and maybe, if I'm lucky, going back to sleep for a while.

Not too long though, he wants his breakfast. At 3.05am?? No way!!

So 4am rolls around and I'm deeply asleep again, (yes, I am able to fall back to sleep almost immediately), and the purring, patting routine is repeated until one or both of us drifts back into dreamland. 
Early morning half asleep dreams are pretty interesting! Weird, but interesting. 

By 4.30 though, Angel is getting pretty insistent and by 4.45 I've usually had enough. 
I say, "come on then" and he bounds off the bed and into the kitchen in about two leaps while I follow more slowly, pulling on slippers, grumbling and stomping crossly, muttering at him the whole way.

So I open the tin of cat food, ooh! savoury salmon today, and dump it into his bowl, then I break it up a bit while he winds himself around my ankles with more of the mrr? mrr?
I put it down on his placemat and tell him I'm going back to bed and he'd be wise to let me go back to sleep.

Doesn't happen of course. 
Once he's finished eating there's a lot more of the jumping on and off the bed and mrrow! until I throw back the quilt and slam my feet on the floor, at which point he takes off like a rocket.
I stomp back into the kitchen and put the kettle on while he streaks around like something has spooked him, (probably me), and finally comes to rest at the top of his 2m scratching post. 

He sits up there watching me as I try to stay awake and sip my coffee. By the time the coffee is half gone, I'm awake and reading, no chance now of going back to sleep.

So what does Angel do? 
Jumps down onto the couch, curls up and goes to sleep.
Rotten little stinker!
And he will stay there sleeping as long as I'm sitting in my chair. 
Dare to get up and he is right behind me. Or in front tripping me up.
Whatcha doing? Whereya going? Can I come too?  Grumble grumble.

The few days when I do get to sleep in until 5am before Angel wakes me up are cause for rejoicing, I get up in a much happier mood.
Because of this ridiculously early rising routine, I find myself I find myself going to bed earlier, usually by 10pm and sometimes at 9.30pm. Just to get enough sleep.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. intensity
2. grammatical
3. unctuous
4. bliss
5. investigator
6. hemisphere

or: "the pointed peaks of Proctor's Pass rose sharp and jagged like spears of glass". 

Here is my story: 

As far as eleven year old Sonia was concerned, Kyle was the smarmiest, most unctuous, (she was quite proud of herself for knowing this word), boy in fourth grade, possibly in the whole southern hemisphere

Kissing up to the teachers, bringing apples and bananas from his dad's shop,making them all believe he was such a good student, so very, very polite and helpful in class. 
He was a creep, that's what he was. Cheating during math, copying from Brian who sat next to him. Away from the classroom, outside of school grounds, he bullied most of the other kids, the ones who really knew their work, into checking his notes, his homework, making sure his essays were grammatically correct, going over his math, so that he could hand in perfect homework. 

Sixth grader Sonia had discovered this when she was pretending to be an investigator for the police. It was a game she liked to play, she hoped one day to be an investigative reporter for TV news programs. 
Sonia had been taking notes, asking questions of the fourth graders, what it was like being in fourth grade, did they like their teacher, their classmates, was the work easy or hard, that sort of thing. 
More than a few of them had confessed to being bullied by Kyle. 

Here was a real investigation!

Sonia followed up her questioning with an intensity that surprised even herself. She gathered evidence, even taping some of the conversations with the kids in Kyle's class. She asked them to deliberately leave mistakes in Kyle's homework book, to tell him his work was fine and didn't need correcting, so he would be uncovered. 
She feverishly imagined her bliss at seeing him brought down off his high horse. 


"the pointed peaks of Proctor's Pass rose sharp and jagged like spears of glass". Simon sighed as he tore down yet another painting that didn't live up to the real thing. He cleaned his brushes, packed up the easel and paints and promised himself he would try again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

A quote from the book I am reading, Grave Peril, (one of the Harry Dresden series) by Jim Butcher.

" I'd hate to think the universe wasn't conspiring against me.
It would jerk the rug out from under my persecution complex."

My Thoughts On Truck Drivers.

In particular those who drive those big semis and b-doubles carrying huge weights in freight.
There has been plenty in the news lately on trucks that have accidents because of brake failure. 
Especially coming down the freeway here in SA, that long descent into Adelaide, which is quite steep in some places.

There are arrester beds these trucks can run on to, but often there is traffic in the way or the nearest one is too far away and now there is talk that we need to construct yet another one, closer to the Adelaide end of the freeway. 

Just last Tuesday morning there was yet another out-of-control truck, smoke pouring out of it, speeding down the freeway escorted by police to keep cars out of the way until the truck could finally stop 1.4km into the city. Just up the road from where I live.
Verdict? Brake failure.
Just one more driver who hasn't been properly trained and used his brakes to control his speed coming down the hill. It's a very long hill! 
Overuse overheats the brake pads which then fail.

Now hear this.

Last week on Today Tonight (a current affairs program) a South Australian trucker was featured on the program showing the proper way to come down the hill. 

By using his gears! 
Those huge trucks have multiple gears for a reason! 

On steep descents, at appropriate times, the driver must downshift to the correct gear and by doing so, his truck cannot run above a certain speed. 
When coming to a winding section or a steeper section, gears must be downshifted again, to keep the speed appropriate. 

We were shown a short film with this trucker coming down the hill where most of these accidents occur and the reporter was in the cab with him witnessing the gear changes at the correct times, seeing that the trucker did not touch his brakes even once until slowing down for the lights at the bottom of the hill where the freeway meets Portrush, Glen Osmond, and Cross Roads. It's a four-way intersection.
And that truck did not speed down the hill, but drove safely, still keeping up with traffic.

The trucker then mentioned how too many drivers are not properly trained and use their brakes too soon and too often, thus overheating them, so when they are really needed they fail. He also mentioned that he and his son, also a driver, had driven up and down these same hills for many years, always using the gears, never once having an accident or a brake failure. 

So there it is. 
The big rigs have many gears and they are not there just to look pretty. 
They are there to be used to control speeds instead of overheating your brake pads which will then fail you. 
You could die! Do you want to?
You could plow into many other cars, killing many other people! Do you want to?
Learn to use the gears, please. 

It's my opinion that instead of another arrester bed, huge signs should be erected at certain places along the freeway telling truck drivers to downshift NOW. 
Drivers who don't should get fined. Hugely.

An even better idea would be to resurrect the many defunct train lines all over Australia and send this heavy freight by rail. Get those trucks off roads that were constructed for cars. 
(Freight used to go by rail and I don't know why it was stopped and moved to trucks).

Here are my questions. 
WHY aren't these drivers receiving the proper training in how to manage a fully loaded (or even half loaded) big rig by using their gears? 
Do the companies concerned prefer to write off a truck and its load rather than pay for training? 
Their insurance premiums must be huge. Think how much they'd save if their company was well known for safe driving and no accidents. No brake failures. Certainly they'd pick up more business.