Monday, October 31, 2005

SHOCK HORROR! Births to unmarried women hit record (in the US)

The US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report last Friday (on 28 October 2005) on Preliminary Birth Data for 2004.

According to NCHS data:
Childbearing by unmarried women reached a record high of almost 1.5 million births in 2004, up 4 percent from 2003. More than 4 in 5 births to teenagers were among unmarried teens. Over half of births to women in their early twenties and nearly 3 in 10 births to women aged 25-29 years were to unmarried women. The birth rate among unmarried women of all ages increased 3 percent from 2003 to 2004. In 2004, 35.7 percent of all births were to unmarried women.

This was reported widely by the US media. USA TODAY reported that:
"There's been a sea change in terms of expectations around marriage and babies," says Dorian Solot, co-founder of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, an advocacy organization for the unmarried.

Solot says unmarried mothers present very different scenarios for their children, depending upon whether they are the single, professional parent-by-choice, a cohabiting couple, or a poor woman living alone.

Sara S. McLanahan, a sociology professor at Princeton University and director of the Center for Research on Child Well-Being, says most often unwed mothers are disadvantaged with a high school degree or less education. She worries about the children in such relationships, which tend to be less stable and create more complex families.

"These are relatively unstable relationships, even among older mothers," she says.

"It's really unfair to children," says David Popenoe, a sociology professor at Rutgers University who has studied the effects of marriage and cohabitation on children. He co-directs the National Marriage Project at Rutgers.

"One thing you don't know from these data is whether the births are to lone women or to a cohabiting women," he says.

Studies have shown cohabitating relationships are less stable and about half break up within five years. But cohabiting couples are more likely to provide a healthier environment for children than a single woman alone, the experts say.

Between the NCHS and media reports such as that by USA TODAY I thought they were talking about 1964 not 2004!

If there is an award for government statistics and media reporting that is so laden with moral judgement, this one takes the prize.

These statistics did not take into account defacto relationships, divorce rates, the capacity of married mothers to take care of their child financially etc. What about child abuse? In which households does this occur?

Just because a mother is married when she had a child does not mean she will remain married.

What about lesbian relationships where the women do not have a legal right to marry, but the environment is loving and stable? We love these couples as they also love cats (a stereotype, but usually true)!

With the amount of multiple serial marriages happening (look at the rich and famous who set such good examples), affairs outside of marriages, etc - marriage for the sake of having babies is not what it is cracked up to be.

On a positive note, we give a commendation to the San Francisco Chronicle for just reporting the (somewhat skewed) facts without bias.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


After the weekend, I did not enjoy this morning. After my breakfast of part chicken wing and tidbits of ham, I sat on my couch, then went to my daybed. I wish my human could stay home with me all the time, all day every day.

Numb3rs isn't on TV tonight, but I hope I still get my brush. The gloves are back too, I saw it.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The mystery of the missing hour

Something very very mysterious occurred early this morning (queue theme music from The Twilight Zone).

2.01am to 2.59am disappeared. That's right, a whole hour disappeared. My human was asleep, but I knew it happened. When my human woke up this morning (an hour later than usual), I tried to tell him that we might have been abducted by aliens.

Another strange thing also happened today. The sun set an hour later compared to yesterday.

Another possible explanation is that this part of the world (the southern part of the eastern seaboard of Australia) including its people time-travelled forward one hour.

I raised my concerns with my human, who had the audacity to laugh and then told me to look up daylight saving.

I wondered what daylight saving had to do with it, and how on Earth daylight could be saved anyway. Is it saved and deposited into a light bank account?

Anyway, I was surprised to learn from Wikipedia that daylight saving (for summer) meant that the clocks were put forward an hour, as the earlier sunrise meant that this daylight was wasted, and could be used at the end of the work day.

So, my human must have reset all the clocks in the house without telling me.

Mystery solved. Or is it?

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had another wonderful lap day with my human. We watched the rest of the new version of Salem's Lot. Mind you, it was in two shifts as my human decided that he wanted to do chores in between it. It was a very scarey movie (actually mini-series). It was filmed in Creswick, near Melbourne and we recognised a lot of Australian actors who had parts (with their fake American accents).

Later, while he read newspapers, I napped on the couch listening to the new sigur rós album takk... You can hear samplers from

takk... CD cover (it is actually a 'book' cover made of paper)

Tonight we watched an excellent documentary called Time Trip from BBC Horizon. The concepts were most interesting, particularly Professor Tipler's 'cylinder' and Professor Gott's 'cosmic string'.

I was totally spoilt today for food. I had cold baked corn fed chicken in the morning, ham cut off the bone in the afternoon. What more could a cat ask for?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

another update on Secret, and something about tourists...

I first wrote on 2 August, and again on 16 September about Secret, a cat that went missing from Beloit, Wisconsin.

Secret has now been missing since mid-July. The latest report is that Secret may be somewhere in the woods around Evansville. Her human has asked hunters in the area to keep a look out for Secret.

'Cat owner hopes for help from hunters' from Beloit Daily News of 12 October 2005.

On to a different topic. My good friend Camilla recently wrote about the debate between tourists and travellers (ie, what is the difference?). Also check out 'I'm a tourist, you're a tourist and let's all be OK with that' by John Flinn in the San Francisco Chronicle of 16 October 2005.

Unlike Camilla, I don't travel. I like being in my house. I say thank goodness for the internet and television. My human, on the other paw, has done quite a bit of travelling.

He would never identify as a tourist, unless that word was to his advantage. Sometimes a traveller, but always a visitor (as in visiting from out of town, or indeed out of country).

He's met some very ugly tourists and travellers alike (not as in not good-looking, but meaning loud, obnoxious, and rude).

He reckons that a reason to travel, tour or visit someplace else (for personal reasons, not business/work) is to experience another part of the world. Every nice tourist/traveller/visitor has a story about the obnoxious American/German/British/Australian etc tourist/traveller/backpacker etc that they have encountered.

My human told me that when he was in Vienna a couple of years back and stayed at a youth hostel, there were lots of other Australians there. There was one girl who was very young and immature who had just arrived from Prague. All she could talk about was getting drunk and visiting the Globe Bookstore. She bought a book there as it was the only English language bookstore in the Czech Republic at the time, and highly frequented by young American tourists (like on Spring break). Goodness knows why, as it is only a bookshop. Anyway, my human was quite astounded how she kept on ranting about a bookstore. He wondered whether it was the only bookstore she had ever visited and it was the first book she had ever bought, especially as there are also plenty of excellent bookstores in Melbourne from which she hailed.

There was another young couple from Melbourne. They went to the opera instead. They were my human's kind of people. They were there to experience the city.

Then there was one time my human was in Chiangmai (in northern Thailand) and Michelle (who visits me from time to time) needed a caffeine fix so they went to Starbucks (unfortunately). Inside was a group of young American Spring break tourists (including the stereotyped 'I'm such a princess' bitch) who arrived with their McDonalds. My human was very surprised that they wanted to eat crap food as Thailand is home to one of the finest cuisines in the world. They should have stayed home!

The point of this story is that people who travel to another place should do more than act like they have temporarily relocated to a foreign country just to take photos. It is about having an experience, interacting with the local people on their terms (after all it is their country), and learning from it. And of course helping the local economy by buying unique items from local craftspeople.

A learning experience in a new place would be to find the local food markets and supermarkets, then check out what sort of different things are available; watch the local news in the local language, and if possible read the local newspaper. And most importantly of all, avoid those ubiquitous global fast food places (even if the local food is crap).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I have been having lots of lap time so far this weekend. Last night we started watching Batman Begins and watched the rest this morning. What a good movie. Finally, someone got it right!

I also went outside while the washing was being hung out. After my human came back from his Saturday walk to the shops, we had a nice early afternoon nap together on the couch. I like to lie next to my human and stretch my front paws over my head and press my belly against him. Nice.

Later, Handel's Rinaldo came on the TV and I watched/listened to it. It was great. Then I supervised my human outside pruning the Virginia Creeper around my deck (it was turning into a jungle, which I prefer but I didn't get any say on the matter).

I think tonight we are going to watch some more of the new version of the very scarey Salem's Lot.

Friday, October 28, 2005

cats love cheese, fromage, formaggio, queso, Käse...

I love cheese no matter what it is called in any language. As cats are lactose intolerant, it is the only dairy food that I am allowed, and then only a small piece the size of my paw (as a treat now and again).

I like hard cheese like Cheddar and don't mind if it is matured. I also like Edam and Jarlsberg.

Five years ago when the back door was being bricked up (to be replaced by French doors elsewhere), I managed to climb up from the area still to be bricked into the ceiling cavity. I had much fun exploring this new place while my humans were freaking out that I'd fall into a wall cavity (little did they know then about building construction).

Anyway, from the personhole in the ceiling, I was coaxed out with a piece of cheese. As the cavity was lined with insulation (possibly made of fibreglass) I was forced to undergo water torture before I had a chance to lick the insulation dust off. Needless to say, I was furious and in revenge, I lifted my tail and did a wee against the new wall (on the inside) where the door used to be.

Back to the story... My human likes not only hard cheese (and prefers Cheddar matured), but semi-hard and soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert. He even likes stinky mouldy cheese (that are made that way).

Cheese lovers in Australia have been totally excited that a ban on importing French Roquefort has recently been lifted. Normally, cheese made from unpasteurised milk are forbidden from import. Roquefort is the only exception.

Unfortunately, because of demand and interest, and shipments being airfreighted, Roquefort is selling at around A$70-$90 a kilogram.

And Sydney, being the type of foodie place that it is, sales are going out the door. See Rocking for roquefort from Daily Telegraph newspaper.

As I don't like stinky mouldy cheese, I have to rely on my human's descriptions. He reckons that Roquefort is not much different in taste to Gorgonzola which is a much nicer cheese although softer.

Anyway, my human likes Cobb Salad (a famous American salad 'invented' at the old Brown Derby restaurant in LA) and a key ingredient is Roquefort cheese. He told me he first tried Cobb Salad at the cafe in the San Francisco Public Library (which is a grand building) and the salad is now one of his favourites.

Other links:
Australia lifts Roquefort cheese safety ban from Dairy Reporter
Amendment 81 to the Food Standards Code 23) from Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Roquefort Société, the largest Roquefort cheese-maker
Cobb Salad recipe

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I forgot to mention yesterday that after the electricians left, I got to go outside to nibble on some grass while my human collected some snails (from the outside of pot plants etc) to give to the duck egg lady at work to give to her ducks.

This morning, I had some ham for breakfast. Even though a piece was put down for me, I left it. Instead I preferred the pieces that my human was hand feeding me. I have him well trained!

I'm glad it's Friday. The weekend means lots of lap time.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Helix Nebula

On 26 April 2005 I wrote about the Horsehead Nebula which is one of my favourite pictures of a celestial object. I also wrote about the Cat's Eye Nebula on 4 May 2005.

I love pictures from outerspace. Perhaps it is our collective feline memory of when we travelled to Earth from our home planet (heh heh heh...).

Anyway, another one which I have decided is also a favourite is the Helix Nebula, NGC 7293. It is 650 light years away in the Aquarius Constellation. It looks round, but is actually a really really long tunnel or cylinder of glowing gases. It is actually a dying star.

More information - HubbleSite

The picture is also doing the rounds of hoax emails dubbed as the "Eye of God" promising miracles if the email recipient passes the message on. What another crock! As it is forbidden to look upon the face of God, then no living soul is allowed to look at the real eye of God and live.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


There were strange visitors early this morning. They came in and went to the back of the house with a ladder and a drill. Oh, they were electricians putting up a new back door light.

I spent most of the day on my mat on the deck outside (but not outdoors).

We finally watched the rest of Lost in Translation. It is a wonderful movie about being alone and lost in a place where you don't understand anything or anybody.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Sound of Austria

I hope our kitty friends in Austria had a wonderful National Day holiday with their humans. Today is Austria's National Day, which commemorates the State Treaty restoring national sovereignty and the end of occupation and the passage of the law on permanent neutrality which occured exactly 50 years ago.

Contrary to popular belief, the Austrian National Anthem is NOT Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, but from a melody from Mozart's masonic cantata (Mozart was a Mason as you can tell from his opera The Magic Flute/Die Zauberflöte) .

You can listen to the Austrian National Anthem - here (opens in RealPlayer).

The lyrics were written by poet Paula von Preradovic and are as follows:
Land der Berge, Land am Strome,
Land der Äcker, Land der Dome,
Land der Hämmer, zukunftsreich.
Heimat bist du grosser Söhne,
Volk begnadet für das Schöne,
Vielgerühmtes Österreich,
Vielgerühmtes Österreich!

Heiss umfehdet, wild umstritten,
Liegst dem Erdteil du inmitten
Einem starken Herzen gleich.
Hast seit Frühen Ahnentagen
Hoher Sendung last getragen,
Vielgeprüftes Österreich, Vielgeprüftes Österreich.

Mutig in die neuen Zeiten,
Frei und gläubig sieh uns schreiten,
Arbeitsfroh und hoffnungsreich.
Einig lass in Brüderchören,
Vaterland, dir Treue schwören,
Vielgeliebtes Österreich, Vielgeliebtes Österreich.

(Not much better than the Australian National Anthem - are they all so bad?)

Austria has graced the world with a rich legacy of musik - Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Schubert, Strauß (both father and son), Bruckner etc. And let's not forget the contribution to psychiatry by Sigmund Freud.

In fact, next year in 2006 is a huge year celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart's Geburtstag. See Mozart 2006.

And you can't visit Austria, especially for such an occasion, and not have Sacher-Torte along mit your Kaffee.

My human told me that he loved visiting Vienna and Salzburg. Unfortunately the lady at the shop at Salzburg Castle told him that too many Americans asked about kangaroos, so they made up a t-shirt with "no kangaroos in Austria". Duh!

Actually, my human had an interesting encounter getting off the hydrofoil in Vienna (from Budapest). He wanted to find out where the nearest U-bahn stop was and asked the first group of people he saw, auf Deutsch natürlich, and their reply was "we're American". Not quite what he had hoped to hear...

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I've been a bit aloof lately but I still want my lap time! Must be the weather. All this sudden downpours of rain, then sunny skies. I'm so confused.

I think I better tell my human to let me watch the rest of Lost in Translation now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks 1913-2005

It is hard to believe that less than 50 years ago American laws required the segregation of races in public in the American south (Jim Crow laws).

On 1 December 1955, Mrs Rosa Parks was sitting at the back of the bus (where all blacks were required to sit), when a white man, finding no seats available, demanded her seat. Mrs Parks refused.

Her act of defiance helped to change the course of American history and she became known as the "mother of the civil rights movement".

When the US Supreme Court ruling which banned segregation on the public transport system of Montgomery, Alabama took effect on 21 December 1956, Mrs Rosa Parks chose to sit in the front of the bus.

Hopefully the memory of Mrs Rosa Parks will continue to inspire people to fight for their equal rights. To this day, there are still many people who continue to be marginalised and treated as second class citizens.

Obituaries, editorials and news articles
- Detroit News
- New York Times (free subscription)
- Chicago Sun-Times
- Los Angeles Times
- Washington Post (free subscription)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had my brush last night, but the gloves were off. Literally. My human disposed of the knobbly glove as it had developed lots of holes. And he still hasn't bought me a replacement yet!

We started watching Lost in Translation. What a good movie! I guess we'll watch the rest of it tomorrow night.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Happy 60th Birthday to the UN

Today the United Nations turned 60.

Whilst there have been some criticisms of the international agency, all its good work far outweighs the negative aspects.

Where would the world be today if the UN had not been set up in the first place? That is a very good question.
United Nations Day 2005

In other recent anniversaries:

the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated its 50th (they must calculate it differently as it began in 1956) by selecting the best Eurovision Song ever. The winner was ABBA's Waterloo. See CNN article;

ABBA winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo

the 'alumni' of all the Friday the 13th horror flicks celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first film. There is talk of another one which pits Jason Voorhees and his hockey mask against Michael Myers (Halloween) and against Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street). See MSNBC article.

(Why stop at Jason vs Freddy vs Michael Myers? Why not include the aliens from Alien and Predator as well? While they're at it, they can put them all on that island with the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park!)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


After such a wonderful weekend with lots of lap time watching horror movies, I had to nap by myself on the couch and my daybed as it was Monday and my human had to go to work.

My human came back a bit earlier this evening. He caught the bus instead of leaving at his usual time and walking. If he had done that, he would have been caught in a very heavy thunderstorm. He might have not been able to see because the rain was so heavy and slipped on the road and banged his head and died from brain damage, or died by being hit by a car, or died by being hit by lightning. My telepathic warning must have worked.

Thankfully Numb3rs is on TV tonight, so I will get my weekly long brushing of my fur.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


New for your iPod, a protective cover in the shape of a kitty called iKitty.

Insane. If Speck Products insist on calling the cover iKitty, the least they can do is ask Apple to make an iPod especially us for cats called iCat!

Speck Products - iKitty.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had lots of laptime today. We watched Species III which was interesting, kinda scarey and also silly. Then my human started making pea and ham soup (which ended up simmering for around 5 hours on the stovetop). We even had a half hour afternoon nap together on the couch. Woohoo!

Later, Devi came over and we all watched Anatomie 2 which was suspenseful but not as scarey as the the first Anatomie.

They had the soup for dinner, then watched a little of the Scissor Sisters concert video, then Devi left.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

intelligent design, part 2

On 4 August 2005, I wrote about 'intelligent design'.

Recently, more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators condemned the teaching in science classes of 'intelligent design' and opposed its teaching in science classes (in Australia).

Scientists and science teachers are pretty smart.

Ergo, those with a counter view to these smart people must be incredibly stupid.

I rest my case.

Why we have imported another ridiculous American idea is beyond me. This little kitty is stumped.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**All my previous Catster diary entries are now archived at this blog (with pictures of paintings, buildings, cats, people etc). Check it out!


I got to go outside this morning and chew on some grass while my human hung out the washing. But he had to bring it in a few hours later as it started to rain (but they were dry). I had some time with him on his lap later, but we didn't have an afternoon nap together. Dang!

He gave me a chicken wing for dinner. I ate the tip and then refused it. I think he put it out FOUR times, which I refused, before he finally got the message. Then I sat and stared at the tins of tuna in springwater (regular variety, not pet-food), at the bottom shelf of the bookshelf in the kitchen, and finally he understood. He asked me if I wanted that for dinner instead and I meowed and meowed very loudly. Goodness gracious, he is so THICK sometimes!

I better go and ask him if we can watch the rest of Species II now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Watching my human go to work

Google Kai

Swedish couple names first-born 'Google'

There are some IDIOTS in this world.

Now for something unrelated.

Apparently, some people find the colon: amusing

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Unfortunately my human went back to work today. I hope he makes up for it tonight and this weekend. I will insist on lots of lap time.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Longitude 0° 0' 0"

The site of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich UK is at
Longitude 0° 0' 0" (and Lattitude 51° 28' 38") -
every place on the Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth - just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres.

The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II. Flamsteed House (1675-76), the original part of the Observatory, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (who was born on this day in 1632, died 25 February 1723) and was the first purpose-built scientific research facility in Britain.

You can find out more from this link:
Royal Observatory, Greenwich

My human told me he went to visit the Observatory early last year, and that it was a bit of a hike going up the hill.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My human stayed home with me today. He kept on sleeping past the alarm which was a sign he was feeling poorly. It took him about midday before he finally got up (mind you, I did get my breakfast earlier).

I spent a lot of lap time with him on the couch where we watched Species. Scarey. Human beings don't like not being at the top of the food chain...

my left front paw

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

there is no justice, and also more about the world's top intellectual

I was very saddened (and sickened) to read about the torture and murder of Fluffy the cat by her human Holly Thacker in Hellesdon, Norwich in the UK.

This woman killed Fluffy in a cruel, slow, terrifying and painful way all because Fluffy scratched her. This woman did not even excuse her behaviour, and her defence told the court she had mental health problems. This woman also has a baby, and six and 16 year old daughters.

Well, if she can suddenly turn on a cat because of a minor thing like scratching, what would she do to her own children if they caused an accident?

Ms Thacker was sentenced to six weeks in prison. I think she deserved at least 10 years, and her children taken away from her. There is no justice. No living being deserves such cruel suffering.

Mental illness does not impair most people's moral judgement of what is right and wrong. She was probably just plain cruel anyway.

Prison for spin wash cat killer - from BBC News

In better news, Noam Chomsky has been named as the world's top intellectual. This is great, as it indicates that neocons are morons. For the original shortlist, check my entry/blog for 28 September 2005.

Noam Chomsky

The Prospect/FP Global public intellectuals poll—results
Prospect magazine
Foreign Policy magazine

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I finally got chicken wings that I like again. These are the grain fed ones, and I gobbled one up in one go. I also had some ham this morning.

We watched The Food Lover's Guide to Australia tonight, and the segment on Greek Easter was really cool (except for the bit on offal soup - I like chicken giblets and my human likes liver, but we draw the line at lungs and spleen etc unless it is haggis).

Tonight we are listening to the new Ricky Martin album Life.

Ricky Martin - Life CD cover

Ricky Martin - Official Site

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

short films on your box of cat biscuits

Siemens, which is an innovative technology company, has now come up with a way to attach the equivalent of a micro-thin plasma screen on to packaging products ("extremely thin, miniature color displays that can be printed onto paper or foil ... the displays can also show moving pictures").

Imagine all those boxes of cat biscuits in the supermarket aisle, enticing your human to change brands because all the boxes feature a short film of a cat meowing! Or even better, a short film of fish swimming (that would be the tuna flavoured one). By the way, I don't eat dry food, except for Vegemite on toast.

Frankly, I think it is a total waste. Consumers should be encouraging manufacturers to opt for cheaper packaging and minimal advertising. That way, the price of the item actually falls in price, and everybody would buy it in preference because it is good value and not because of fancy packaging and advertising.

Siemens AG - Wafer-Thin Color Displays for Packaging

The precursor to that film on your box of cat biscuits.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had a very nice long brush of my fur last night. I still didn't get my quota of lap time though, so I am making up for it tonight. There is also nothing on TV on Tuesday nights (worth watching).

I had tinned salmon tonight for dinner. A nice change to chicken wings and tinned tuna. Admittedly, my human was opening a tin anyway for his dinner of salmon, egg and salad.

My human also put on the new Franz Ferdinand album, You Could Have It So Much Better for me this evening. It ROCKS!

Franz Ferdinand - Official Site

Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better CD cover

My human also brought back a new toy for me from Jazz's human Laurine. Jazz is a black and white cat (who is not on Catster nor has a Blog). The toy is a Xmas soft toy cat which when you press it with your paw, meows to the tune of "We wish you a Merry Christmas". Thank you Jazz and Laurine! I am spoilt!

Checking out my new toy. Thank you Jazz and Laurine. I refuse to meow along to that tune though!

Monday, October 17, 2005

the material girl... TV or not TV, that is the question

It has been reported very widely that Madonna does not allow her children to watch TV.

She claims:
TV is trash. I was raised without it, I didn't miss anything. TV is poison. No-one even talks about it around here. We don't have magazines or newspapers in the house either.

I find it absolutely astounding that she also wants to write a TV series for young girls:
My ultimate goal is to have a TV series, and each episode would be about girls finding themselves in challenging situations.

Hello? What is wrong with this picture?

She won't subject her own children to TV because it is trash, but it is fine for her to unleash her own trash to other people's children!

And how would she know if TV is trash if she doesn't watch it herself? I would not call quality programming like Degrassi trash. Indeed it is one of the best for young people. And of course, there is Sesame Street which two generations of the world's children grew up with, and love.

Strict Madonna and her 'bin bag' kids - article from UK Daily Mail.

What a hypocrite!

It's singers like these who pull stunts like this on live television who contribute to trash on TV. Oh, hang on, it's Britney Spears with... oh my gosh, no... Madonna! tsk tsk

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I tried to get my human to stay home with me this morning. I ran back inside through the cat door after I was outside (but not outdoors) and tried to get him to chase me, which he did around the couch. It was a lot of fun.

Then, in typical Monday fashion, I was abandoned!

Numb3rs is about to start, which means a nice long fur brush!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

he had nothing to declare but his genius!

Today was Oscar Wilde's birthday. He was born on 16 October 1854 (died 30 November 1900).

Wilde was one of the world's most talented writers. Even he thought so himself, and much of the world today agrees with him.

He went on an American lecture tour to drum up publicity for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience which caricatured 'aestheticism', the movement in which Wilde was a major player. When Wilde arrived in New York in January 1882 he responded to the usual customs question with "I have nothing to declare except my genius."

Too right!

Oscar Wilde was very very witty and his remarks are often quoted today, by intelligent people. Some good ones were:
- I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
- It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can realise our perfection.
- Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
- I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
- It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

Some of his most brilliant works (in fact, all of it was brilliant) included:
- The Happy Prince
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- The Canterville Ghost

- Oscar Wilde - Free Library Online
- Oscar Wilde Essays and Stories from Arthur's Classic Novels
- Oscar Wilde - quotes from the Quotation Page

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Again, I didn't get an afternoon nap with my human today! He went off this morning on some errand to do with light fittings and pumpkin.

When he came back he decided he'd do chores (he mentioned the house not having been cleaned for 2 weeks) - at least Kim and Aggie from How Clean is Your House? won't be showing up.

I hardly got any lap time today, but he did put on the sigur rós album ( ) for me and it was so relaxing, I promptly fell asleep!

sigur rós - CD album cover of ( )

He was cleaning the bathroom when it was around 5pm so I went in and yelled at him to feed me. This he did promptly. But it was raw wings, so I nibbled the wingtip and stopped. He went back to cleaning the bathroom. When he finished, I refused to eat any more wing, as I could smell lamb roasting in the oven. Thankfully he gave me cooked corn-fed chicken for dinner instead. I know how to get what I want.

Later Jimmy and Lily's humans Jackie and Brian came over for dinner of roast lamb and vegetables (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin) and blanched beans. I did not have any lamb for dinner! But I did get to sit on their laps tonight which was fun. They always talk to me, unlike some other humans.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


On 13 October, I wrote about "reality" TV, in which I mentioned crap TV shows which are celebrity vehicles for untalented people to become famous for no reason (without mentioning any names, but you can guess who these stupid people are who are also undeservedly famous for being on crap TV).

The oft (mis)quoted adage "a celebrity is someone famous for being famous" is certainly true.

Can the list of celebrities continually expand? Is it a finite list, where new celebrities oust old ones out (who end up bussing tables at diners and cafes)? Do celebrities become 'ex-famous' when they are no longer recognised or when people say 'who' or 'who cares'?

My human told me that he's met quite a few celebrities (chefs, writers, actors etc), and the bigger the ego (or 'star' value) the less nice they are.

(this picture is unrelated to this blog entry and my human won't confirm nor deny meeting said person shown above... heh heh heh)

Here is a really well written article - The Culture of Celebrity: Let us now praise famous airheads by Joseph Epstein in the Weekly Standard

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I didn't get an afternoon nap with my human today!

I did manage to go outside in the morning when the washing was hung out and chewed on some grass. I also enjoyed napping outside on my mat on the deck.

Later in the afternoon, Merlin's humans Kim, Jordan and Liam came over (after a birthday party for Jordan). I kinda watched some of X-Men 2 with Jordan. They had bangers and mash for dinner.

I'm having my beauty sleep!

Friday, October 14, 2005

A new Bond

There is a new Bond. Bond, James Bond.

The new Bond is a blonde Bond, not a blond bombshell Bond. I wonder how Ms Moneypenny will feel about that.

Daniel Craig is the new Bond. James Bond.

Methinks, they should try out a blond bombshell Bond. Bond, Jane Bond. Hee hee hee. 007. Hmmmm, I wonder if the viewers could cope with a feminist Jane Bond. Or a Jane Bond who flirts and takes control. Or even a Jane Bond who still goes for the ladies. Oh, I think I had better stop there.

Daniel Craig in line for Bond job - from BBC

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Friday. Woohoo! My human came back from work today and showed me a nice cat figurine which Malgosia gave me. I must invite her back so she can give me cuddles on her lap. I have many human fans!

Figurine from Malgosia. Thank you!

I hope I get lots of lap time this weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

reality TV?

If there is one thing that has been inappropriately named, it is "reality" TV. C'mon, really?

If there is anything to be said about so-called "reality" TV, they are anything but real. So they don't have actors, but neither do documentaries or news reports.

They are more akin to a game show, as most of the people are competing for some sort of reward. They are also placed in situations which have been contrived by the producers. Take the Survivor franchises, for example, which we do not watch. Boring!

The only "reality" TV programs which should be called "reality" TV are those with a camera or cameras showing real people doing their usual thing. These are the documentary type programs showing the day to day goings on, for example, like at an airport or a hospital, or following a police patrol.

The others should really be called
- game shows (like Survivor or Big Brother), or
- makeover/lifestyle shows (like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or How Clean is Your House?), or
- crap shows which are celebrity vehicles for untalented people to become famous for no reason (without mentioning any names, but you can guess who these stupid people are who are also undeservedly famous for being on crap TV).

If you haven't seen How Clean is Your House? check it out. It is uproariously hilarious - two English ladies scolding grown men who are not just untidy, but lazy and live in pigsties.

Kim and Aggie ready for their next 'victim' - definitely a good reason to keep your place spotless!

Here is an interesting article on Survivor - Americans in the Tropics: The imperialist imagination from filibustering to reality TV by Amy Greenburg in Common-place.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I napped on my mat outside (but not outdoors) today. I also refused to eat the middle joint of the chicken wing for breakfast, so I was given some ham from my human's lunch (he was making a ham sandwich). I have him wrapped around my paw!

I also had such a surprise this afternoon when my human got home. He brought other humans back for me to play with! There was Malgosia (who has come to visit me once before), Leah (visiting head office from Melbourne) and Richard. They sat outside on the deck and had wine, and chips, and cheese and crackers. Unfortunately they only stayed an hour, but I got to sit on Leah's lap and she gave me a great cuddle. I like her!

We had a lightning and thunderstorm tonight, and a brief heavy rain. I went outside to watch but my human ushered me back in. He was such a fraidy cat, er fraidy human, just like a dog, scared of thunder!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

the Pav is 70!

Today is the 70th birthday of the Pav! Buon Compleanno Luciano! He was born in Modena, Italy.

Pavarotti is one of the world's best and greatest tenors. He made his debut as Rodolfo in La bohème (a very fine role) back in 1961.

Pavarotti also holds an amazing Guinness World Record.
Most curtain calls - 165, applauded for 1 hour 7 minutes on 24 February 1988 after singing in Gaetano Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Germany.

Pavarotti is currently touring the world with his Worldwide Farewell Tour. He is in Stuttgart tonight (German time) and will soon be in Australia (woohoo!). Unfortunately, neither my human nor I will be attending any of his Australian performances.

Luciano Pavarotti - official website
(you can send Mr Pavarotti birthday wishes through his website)

At home we have CD recordings with Pavarotti in Verdi's La Traviata (with Dame Joan), Puccini's Turandot (with Dame Joan and Caballe), Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (with Dame Joan), and Massenet's Manon (with Freni). Pavarotti and Dame Joan Sutherland were such a team (he also performed a lot with Mirella Freni). I think I might go and ask my human to put on Lucia for me now... or maybe Traviata... (decisions, decisions).

I am still waiting for him to buy me Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment (with Dame Joan) and Verdi's Rigoletto (with Dame Joan).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I napped on the dining chair today. I am back on the organic free range wings. My human did give me a bit of his dinner too, as I begged and begged. It was some pieces of rare cooked lamb.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

große Koalition

I have been following the German election results with much interest. The resulting große Koalition (grand coalition) is quite bizarre, and has happened in the past even in other countries.

Imagine power sharing between ideologically opposing sides. That is what has happened with the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD).

It is a bit like the US Republicans and Democrats splitting the presidential and vice-presidential posts between them, which will never happen because of the American political and electoral system.

It would be analogous to the UK Conservative and Labour parties sharing power or Australia's Liberal/National and Labor parties sharing power to avoid giving minor parties any influence.
Thankfully such grand coalitions are rare. If major parties start sounding and looking the same, there would be no choice in the end.

FAZ artikle - Große Koalition: Stoiber und SPD zweifeln an Merkels Richtlinienkompetenz

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I spent most of the day on my mat on the deck as it was such a pleasant day.

Tonight, I had a corn fed chicken wing for dinner. My favourite.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Verdi Day

Seeing that today was Giuseppe Verdi's birthday (he was born on 10 October 1813, died 27 January 1901), I proclaim it as Verdi Day.

Verdi was one of the world's greatest composers. He wrote brilliant operas such as Nabucco, Rigoletto, La Traviata (one of my favourites), Aida, Falstaff and lots more. He also wrote a brilliant Requiem mass.

We should all celebrate it by listening to something by Verdi.

Giuseppe Verdi - 'official site'

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


You'd think being abandoned on Friday and Saturday and during the day on Sunday was enough. No, my human abandoned me again this morning! He claimed he had to go to work. I am making up for it tonight. His lap is mine for the whole night, and as it is Monday night (Numb3rs is on tv), I also get a thorough fur brushing!

As mentioned in yesterday's entry, I have some more gossip about Floyd the cat. Floyd is a five year old (blue) Somali. It just so happens that Floyd's human is going overseas, and he needed to adopt new humans and he chose Charles and Ingrid. My human told me that he even had Floyd on his lap at one stage, but he is still shy. Fancy abandoning me to be with another cat!

I nearly forgot to mention, this morning I had a few minutes outside while the washing was being hung on the line. I also had another few minutes in the afternoon when the washing was collected. I chewed on some grass and then went inside to throw it all up on the floor... hee hee hee. No fur ball there, but it was worth checking.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Leif Erikson Day

Last year, President Bush proclaimed 9 October as Leif Erikson Day in the USA, to be celebrated every year on the same date.

You can read the Proclamation here - Leif Erikson Day, 2004 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation

If you read up on the history of the vikings in north America, many mention that Erikson discovered America. In much the same way, Columbus also discovered America half a millenium later.

Hello? You can only discover something if nobody has done so before you! Don't the native Americans count as somebody?

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I must apologise to all my Catster friends for not having written for the past few days. My human disappeared on Friday. I didn't even know he was going away, then Jake's human came over to feed me and we had a great time veging out and watching movies together. We were too busy snoozing and relaxing so I decided not to write my diary.

Then my human turned up again this evening. He's giving me lots of gossip about a cat called Floyd. More about him tomorrow.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

an absolutely stunning building

Another building for today's blog. This one is absolutely stunning. Beautiful.

It is the new opera house in Copenhagen, Denmark. If there is one thing that the Danes do exceedingly well, it is in design. In fact, Danish people are very creative and resourceful. They wanted a new opera house, and they made it as beautiful as they can.

Operahuset i København

Operahuset i København

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Aside from my chicken wing, I also had some cold cooked fresh salmon for dinner as well. Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

World Teachers' Day

Today was World Teachers' Day. It provides the opportunity to draw public attention to the role of teachers worldwide and their importance in society.

Aside from one's own parents (if you are a human), teachers are the biggest influence on the developing minds of young people. Their importance should not be understated.

World Teachers' Day

We should lobby to have World Cat Day recognised as well. Our importance should neither be understated.

*My friend Madeline is right. I am very excited about our latest (Australian) Nobel Laureates, Dr Marshall and Dr Warren "for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease". (If I had to pick a 'favourite' bacterium, it would have to be Campylobacter as it is quite rare here as we have strict food handling regulations for food providers. My human is also very fussy about food handling at home as well).

**As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I finally got chicken wings which are a better size. They weren't the organic free range ones (must be all the fresh air and wing flapping that makes the bones harder for me to crunch), but the grain fed ones. I ate one in one go!

I also spent some time outside (but not outdoors) tonight checking out what insects have emerged with spring. I can't wait for the Bogong moths to turn up (more about that later).

Tonight, I didn't catch all of Food Lovers' Guide to Australia as I was outside for some of it, but my human told me there was an item on Molokheya which is a leafy vegetable/herb from Egypt.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I wish to take the opportunity to wish all kitties who own humans who happen to be Muslim, all the best for Ramadan.

Ramadan commenced at sundown today, and Muslim humans (with certain exceptions) will be fasting during daylight hours.

Hopefully our kitty friends will still be fed as usual, and their humans will not be too cranky!

More information about Ramadan from BBC.

Perhaps those extremists who were involved in the recent bombings in Bali can reflect on the pain and devastation they have caused to their own people, and that there was no point in doing what they did.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Back to being abandoned during the day! I spent much of the day on my day bed napping and was so glad when my human came home. I even greeted him at the door!

Monday, October 03, 2005

St Francis of Assisi

Today was the feast day for St Francis of Assisi who is also the patron saint of animals.

It is also the day where a special service is held for the blessing of 'pets'. Here is the prayer:
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.

You can find out more about St Francis of Assisi here:
Catholic Online

My human told me that he saw the cloak of St Francis of Assisi at Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence. He was very excited and moved at the time (even though he is not Catholic).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Today was a strange Monday. My human stayed home with me for most of the day, but I didn't even notice that he was here as I was napping on my mat on the deck outside (but not outdoors). Something about a public holiday called Labour Day. It was a nice warm but breezy day (about 25 degrees Celsius), and it was nice being able to nap outside.

I did have some lap time today, when he did watch some tv, whatever was on (I wasn't paying attention). He also made me listen to Scissor Sisters which I kinda liked, especially when he was trying to get me to dance with him to the song Laura where he was doing some variation of The Charleston while I meowed back at him. What fun!

Scissor Sisters CD cover

Scissor Sisters - official site

Numb3rs is on tonight on tv, which means a long brush of my fur. What an exciting Monday this has been.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It's all about food! FOOD!

Two of my favourite activities are sleeping and eating. I could write about 29 ways of napping, but I will leave that to another time. Remind me.

Eating, now that is one hot topic.

The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times recently wrote about the dining scene in Sydney. Deservedly so too. My human reckons the restaurants in Sydney make it worth visiting just for that alone.

You can read the writes ups in those papers here:
Sydney's Chefs Settle Down but Still Shine from New York Times.
Oz at the head of the table from Los Angeles Times

My human told me that there are more Thai restaurants in Sydney than any other cuisine, or it seems that way. Speaking of Thai food, my human told me he went to a Thai restaurant in New York (in The Village) once and it was the most appalling pretend Thai food he had ever eaten. He said that the food had been modified to appeal to whatever New Yorker palate that it did not even resemble any regional variation of Thai food. My human should know, he has eaten Thai food in Thailand many many times.

While I am on the topic of food, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, more commonly known as PeTA claims that us cats can be fed a vegetarian diet. What a crock! Just look at my teeth - they are nothing like a herbivore's grinders! PeTA claims that:
Animals in the wild commonly eat quite a lot of vegetable matter. Besides, to feed them the meat they would naturally eat, you would have to serve them whole mice or allow them to hunt for themselves, an option that is unfair to native species of birds and other small animals, since companion cats and dogs have been removed from the food chain and have advantages that free-roaming animals lack.

If any cat's human is stupid enough to buy that really lame argument, if I were you (meow), I would find a new home and adopt a more sensible human. I love my meat. It has taurine in it. I do not require supplements.

You can read more of this propogandist b*llsh*t here - Meatless Meals for Cats and Dogs.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My other human left early this morning, so my house is back to normal. It was great having two humans again for a few days.

It was a warmer day today. It was 23 degrees Celsius, so my human did his chores and opened all the windows for some fresh air. We also watched the rest of Timeline. The film gave a good example of the dangers of living during the One Hundred Years War.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Battle of Gaugamela

Around 1 October back in 331 BC, Alexander the Great finally defeated Persian King Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela, which was the beginning of Alexander's great empire.

Alexander's bloody war against the Persians lasted nearly three years.

You can read more about this battle here (Eyewitness to History).

Why would a cat like me be interested in such history? Well, because Alexander the Great was a brilliant strategist and he knew how to hold an empire together.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had such a good day today. Firstly, I was able to go outside and check out the backyard while the washing was being hung out.

I also had a wonderful nap with my human in the afternoon. Then we started watching Timeline. We've seen it before, but my human likes all manner of movies with a time travel theme. In fact, when the original Michael Crichton book came out, my human found that there were temporal inconsistencies in the author's logic. But it was a good story, and so was the film.

Later, Nell and Declan came for dinner and they had medium rare roast lamb with roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes and roast pumpkin; along with baked corn on the cob; and blanched broccolini. I was not allowed to have any of the lamb. I am most displeased, but I had a great time lying on Nell and Declan's laps.