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October 20th, 2018

05:15 pm - work
My favourite sort of Parliamentary Question is definitely ‘Questions without Notice of which some Notice is given’.

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October 18th, 2018

04:40 pm - electrickery
My current calculations and obsessive reading of the meter show us using 529kw over the last 6 weeks, which is a lot more reasonable than this time last year. The testing point is when the next bill comes.

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October 6th, 2018

08:13 pm - Animals
So, $10 each for bilbies, rhinos and cheetahs - money made at our Threatened Species party.

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September 18th, 2018

04:46 pm - Vietnam
The Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam is worth restarting my Netflix subscription for.

The man is a treasure!

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September 11th, 2018

06:21 pm - vietnam
Having just rewatched some *A Team*, I attempted to read about the war in Vietnam. As you do. Watching *Captain America* naturally lead to a lot of reading about WWII and life in the depression.

However, it was a lot harder to find anything useful about the war in Vietnam in my little local library. Virtually all the books concentrated only on the period in the 1960s and 70s when the Vietnamese were fighting Americans and Australians, when I am sure my high school education told us about a continuous wave of opposition to colonialism from at least the 1930s onwards – to the French, the Japanese, the French again and then the American-led coalition. Pretty sure there would have been some earlier anti-Chinese opposition too.

And every book I can find seems to fall into one of two camps. Either they are histories of specific campaigns which congratulate the western soldiers on how well they did in that one small valley while ignoring the big picture, or else they are so overwrought that the text could basically be replaced with Red Gum lyrics.

So, historians out there, get it together. Now would be the perfect time to write a very good history of the war in Vietnam because:

1, a whole heap of confidential papers must be about to come out of the 50 year period so there will be a lot of background decision making made available that was previously unknown. What was Johnson thinking? What was Harold Holt thinking? Did anyone, anywhere think it was a good idea to get bogged down in a land war in Asia?
2, it is not too late to attempt to compensate for the disproportionate reliance on western experiences. OK, the west left documents that can be read (am assuming Vietnamese documents were mostly destroyed as nothing produced by the Vietnamese government is referenced in any of the books??? Or possibly none of the historians read Vietnamese???). But what an oral history project it would make if you interviewed the former Viet Cong! They were a youngish population so quite a viable project and it would give way more context to the histories.

Also, it would make it a loss less racist. ATM, Charlie just pops out of the jungle to engage in unmotivated and context-free fights with the western soldiers who have no idea why they are there. Perhaps the motivations of both sides could be fleshed out a little.

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September 5th, 2018

05:59 pm
The past few weeks have been a long struggle with entropy.

Credit card was hacked and had to be replaced.
Process of lodging claim for unauthorised transactions begun.
Had a hideous cold. Still not well.
Children currently have hideous colds.
Solar power generator has flashing fault sign – have begun process of arranging repairs on insurance.
Overdue library books now hopelessly lost by children and will have to be replaced (books, not children).
Ruby has lost one of her massively expensive orthotics (acquired only last April) so back to the podiatrist we go.
Bloody goldfish tank is mysteriously manky again so a massive clean up of that.
In the space of 24 hours, mopped floor, Ruby dropped oil on it, mopped floor, Ruby dropped a cool drink on it (came out under pressure), mopped floor, Ruby dropped an egg on it. Cleaned up egg and left it to be a disgusting ant-attracting mess.

But on the achievements list, I did give the guinea pigs a hilariously bad hair cut. It’s quite hard to trim the fur off a screaming, struggling rodent without cutting its ears, paws, tail (not sure if there is one under the hair) or Ruby’s fingers as she tried to hold on to it. I decided to concentrate on the ends so now they look a bit peculiar around the middle.

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August 30th, 2018

01:10 pm
We had an exhausting weekend but it did feature a lovely, laid back 50th.

Also, we planted trees for two hours as part of a revegetation project. Since they were jarrah, tuart and red gum, I assume we have done something that will (fingers crossed) last for hundreds of years.

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August 29th, 2018

06:02 pm - Only I would care
So, the circulation records of the working class Huddersfield Educational Institute Library exist for 1856-57.

Of the poetry books, the two most popular were Songs of Home and Happiness and the pious Songs of the Affections by Felicia Hemans.

We know Hemans because of the endless parodies of ‘The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck’ but she was very popular in her time.

Poets that we know well today—Cowper, Gray, Burns, Collins, Young, and Gay—were not borrowed at all.

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August 27th, 2018

06:51 pm - PM
What a week. New PM *and* Book Week. That's too much for me.

Children went as Danny, Champion of the World, and Hermione Granger.

Despite the ridiculousness of our ever-rotating array of PMs, I would still prefer this to the American system where each party is stuck with the President til death, impeachment or new election.

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August 21st, 2018

07:18 pm - Bloody technology
Hmmmm, I have finally had my six months worth of solar power credited to my account.

It seems a bit odd that it is 10 KWh ($3.45) for a six month period? Can this possibly be right?

Would very much appreciate advice.

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