Saturday, December 31, 2005


The whole world parties on the last day of the calendar year, New Year's Eve.

The biggest of them all is Hogmanay in Scotland.

In the big Scottish cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, large street parties take place. In the more remote towns or villages, customary first footing (where pre-arranged visitors visit right after midnight bearing gifts, but they must be tall with dark hair) and Scottish dances, or ceilidhs (pronounced "kayli"), take place.

Indeed, the traditional song sung around the world has Scottish origins.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

And after midnight, Happy Ne'er All!

- Hogmanay in Edinburgh

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


Finally, my human is home with me when the year changes number! What a nice change to his last year being in Sydney, and the year before in Copenhagen (in Denmark).

Today was a very very hot day. Terrible. I sent my human out to check out the post-Christmas sales at the shops. Did I get a present? No! Cheapskate!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Casals and a giant gorilla

Pablo Casals

I meant to write about Pablo Casals yesterday as it was his birthday (born 29 December 1876, died 22 October 1973).

Maestro Casals was a virtuoso cellist.

His 1930s recording of Bach's Cello Suites is one of my favourites and I ask my human to put it on every now and again for me.

We also have a recording from Heinrich Schiff which is a very different interpretation.

Here's an interesting story my human told me. When he was in Melbourne nearly two weeks ago, he went to the classical section (in another room) of one of the big chain music shops (it was HMV or Virgin), and asked if Yo-yo Ma had a version of the Bach Cello Suites. The very expert lady at the cashier desk only replied with "Pablo Casals" and then told my human not to bother with any other versions, especially Yo-yo Ma's.

Maestro Casals was that good!

the gorilla

Well, there is another version of King Kong out. Unlike the previous versions, this big gorilla comes from the South Pacific, and not Africa. Go figure. Gorillas only live in Africa.

I listened to a very interesting story from NPR on 'Race and King Kong'. It is worth hearing.

LINK - NPR 'Race and King Kong'

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


Today was a very hot day again and I didn't do much. I spent most of the time napping trying to stay cool and still. My human watched a very cool Swedish supernatural film called Den Osynlige (link only in Swedish language only) in between watching the webcast of the sigur rós concert in Reykjavík of 27 November 2005 (sung in Icelandic).

In the evening (still very bright and warm as it is summer here), Merlin's humans Kim and Liam came for a dinner of teriyaki chicken with snow peas and broccoli on rice. I only had my raw corn fed chicken wing.

Later on, they watched Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me while I napped on the floor (too hot to lie on a lap) and Liam played on the computer.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Oscars... what about us cats?

Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives out awards (Oscars) to humans for their artistic or technical skills; such as acting, directing, music score, special effects etc.

They have completely overlooked the very hardworking cat actors, without whom a film would just not have that special quality.

Take the two red Persians named Pumpkin and Crackerjack who play the part of Crookshanks in the Harry Potter films for example. Without those two, the role of Hermione would just be an incidental one.

How about the Himalayan who played Sassy in the Homeward Bound movies? Now she is really something.

Orangey, the Ginger who played Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany's had a pivotal role. Without him, Holly Golightly would not have had her epiphany.

Join me in sending a message to the Academy to remedy this gross injustice.

Email form

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


I do apologise for my lack of an entry yesterday. It was too hot (as today is yet again), and I just wanted to lie on the floor (of wooden floorboards).

I had a mid-afternoon nap on the couch with my human today, which lasted an hour until he claimed it was too hot and he got up. Mind you, he was also watching those appallingly juvenile American Pie movies. His standards are slipping.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

new pic

My bear Dougal


what to write?

The cat has got my tongue again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

sea faring paws... yacht races

I forgot to mention yesterday that it was also Boxing Day.

The biggest thing that happens on Boxing Day every year in Australia is the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It is a really cool yacht race, but some years, the weather is treacherous.

The Sydney to Hobart, however, is small fry compared to the Volvo Ocean Race (which used to be the Whitbread Round the World Race). This race is only held every four years and my human told me he has caught it on TV twice now, the first time when he became hooked was when it was still the Whitbread. Unfortunately, this time, the broadcast is only on the National Geographic channel but we don't have pay (cable or satellite) TV. Dang!

Anyway, the yachts will be stopping over and docking in Melbourne after the Indian Ocean leg. Woohoo! If you live in Melbourne and are around from mid January to mid February 2006, check them out!

I think it would be cool to be on a yacht. Imagine all that fresh fish! There have been some famous cats who have travelled on ships, about whom I have written - see my earliest blog entries.

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


Today was a very quiet day, and my human stayed home with me ALL day. Woohoo! We watched the movie, Mozart and the Whale. Mind you, my human stopped it halfway and we watched TV, an interesting documentary called Diverted to Delhi about the outsourcing of call centres. Then we both fell asleep! Woohoo! When I woke up, I went out to my deck for a nap, but my human woke up, he kept on watching the rest of Mozart and the Whale without me. How rude!

Monday, December 26, 2005

the office cat

My human works in a government office. Many times I have asked him if I could go with him, and he has been tempted but thought better of it.

Of course that would be just to visit. Being on the payroll would be another matter. What would a cat do in an office, day after day?

Well, it just so happened that the British Home Office has had a cat working for them from 1929 to the early 1976. The cat's job was to keep the office free from rodents.

Unfortunately, the cats in succession, named Peter, Peter II, and Peta were not paid. But public monies were appropriated for their care and food out of petty cash. How unfair!

- Daily Telegraph
- BBC News

I think I could work in my human's office and do a darn better job than some of the humans there! But the sight of me typing with my nose and paws might render some staff even more unproductive. I would not be demeaned as a mouser. Instead, I should have a large office with many staff to manage including a personal assistant. Hmmm... if I hid myself in the office and nobody knew that I am a cat, perhaps I could get away with it...

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


My human spent much of the morning doing chores. Hmmph! He made me listen to The Man Machine which is a cool CD by Kraftwerk who were the great innovators of electronic music.

Then, he made me listen to Ágætis Byrjun (by sigur rós).

Sooty and Spike's human Tim also came over for the afternoon with a very geeky boardgame called Space Crusade which they played for hours. I tried to join in and play, but I didn't understand the rules at all. I hope that proves that I'm not a geek. When he arrived, I meowed and meowed at him, so he picked me up to give me a cuddle. He had no idea I was asking him whether Sooty and Spike got any turkey for Christmas as I didn't!

Tim did bring some cool music for me to listen to though - Flock of Bleeps (by Younger Brother) and Robot-O-Chan (by Prometheus).

It was a groovy afternoon, even though I did nap through some of it, and I had another choice of lap again. I hope there are more visitors again soon. After two days of raw (but corn fed) chicken wings, I had cooked chicken for dinner. So I'm happy! I hope all my kitty friends are too!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Iranian radio and TV

This will seem like a very obscure topic for many readers, but it is a very serious issue.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from their state-run radio and TV stations.

I think Lee Harris sums this up pretty well.

Ahmadinejad isn’t just banning Eminem, Fifty Cent, and Arnold Schönberg’s Moses und Aron, which might be reasonable; nor banning the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Weber, which would be positively commendable.

No, Ahmadinejad is banning Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (obviously); Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde; the wonderful songs of Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Jerome Kern. Also forbidden are Handel’s endlessly diverting Concerti Grossi, Opus 6, Gabriel Fauré’s chamber music, Eric Clapton’s guitar, and Anton Bruckner’s vast cathedrals of sound.

Equally outlawed are Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, Lerner and Lowe’s My Fair Lady, along with The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and the complete works of Lully, Couperin, and Rameau. No more will the music of Verdi, Tupac, and Petula Clark be heard in the land of the Islamic faithful.

None of the feet of the true believers will tap to rap or dance to the ballets of Tschaikovsky. No one will sway to the beguiling Cole Porter when he begins the beguine; no one will be hypnotized by Ravel’s Bolero. Out with Puccini, out with Irving Berlin -- who will care about the tear-jerking fate of Madame Butterfly, or the much happier one of the Annie who got her gun? No one in Iran will be allowed to.

How sad! Thankfully BBC World Service broadcasts in Farsi (Persian) but they need to play more music! Now it is time for Voice of America to get their act together.

When all that remains of President Ahmadinejad is dust, the music he tried to ban will still live on...

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


Merry Christmas everybody. I hope Santa PAWS came to visit you!

I can't believe my human left me to spend time at Jimmy and Lily's place with Jimmy on his lap before partaking in what he described as a delicious Christmas lunch!

At least he did return in the mid-afternoon and we had time for a nap together on the couch.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

an Australian Christmas carol

Most non-religious Christmas carols evoke imageries of snow and winter. These are very at odds to the reality of a hot summer in Australia during this time of the year.

There is a Christmas carol featuring kangaroos that was written by Rolf Harris in 1960 which is really cool.

Six White Boomers
(Rolf Harris/John D. Brown)

Early on one Christmas Day a joey kangaroo,
Was far from home and lost in a great big zoo.
'Mummy, where's my mummy? They've taken her away.'
We'll help you find your mummy, son. Hop up on the sleigh.'

Up beside the bag of toys little joey hopped,
But they hadn't gone far when Santa stopped.
Unharnessed all the reindeer and Joey wondered why,
Then he heard a far off booming in the sky.

Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.

The rest of the lyrics can be found at Rolf Harris' official site - here.

You can also hear the tune - here.

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


Thankfully the weather was more pleasant today. I napped on my human's lap or near him while he caught up on the taped shows from last week, especially Threshold which is a little like X-Files but creepier. We also had a wonderful nap in the early afternoon.

I also had a few visitors this afternoon, but my human was careful to make sure I wasn't too excited after my health scare, but he is quite sad though.

Friday, December 23, 2005

more media stupidity: Sir Elton's wedding

Okay, the whole world now knows about the civil union of Sir Elton John and Mr David Furnish.

Now the media is having fun about what title Mr Furnish should be called. The wives of knights (Sir) are traditionally styled Lady, like Sir Paul and Lady Heather McCartney.

The media is turning a non-issue into a bit of fun. How sad.

Well, the husbands of dames (the female equivalent of a knight), like Dame Joan Sutherland, do not have a matching title. And they do not seem to care.

So how about doing away with the title Lady for the wives of knights in the first place? After all, they didn't earn that title anymore than their husbands did (especially those who were knighted in return for political favours).

Ha! What stupidity. And how even more sad that none of the newspapers even suggested something logical and sensible like Squire.

Sir Elton John and Squire David Furnish. Blah blah blah... do we really care?

*THANK YOU so much Madeline for my gifts. You are truly wonderful and they cheered me up.

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

***Cooper wrote about kitty Christmas cookies and his human actually made him some Savoury Cheese Treats. Cooper sent me this picture to show me. How cruel! I was expecting real ones to download from the email attachment to actually eat. Technology has a long way to catch up to Star Trek!!

But I must say that Cooper's human is a brillant food stylist and photographer!


Well, my human got let off early for work and Sue came for a quick visit of a cup of tea and some Christmas cake. Thankfully, as it was way too hot to walk.

My blood results are back. I have slightly higher levels of urea in my blood which means that my kidneys are still working fine, but working very hard. I've not got diabetes. And my thyroid is working within the normal range. The vet thought perhaps I am stressed.

Being abandoned five days a week during the day will do that to you. Only kidding. I'm an old girl and require more cuddling than before.

Today is an even hotter day which doesn't help with my stress levels.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Romulus and Remus

There is an ancient myth that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus.

Their great-uncle Amulius seized the throne from their grandfather Numitor. Amulius was afraid that Numitor's daughter Rhea Silvia would produce children to depose him so he had her made a Vestal Virgin with a celibate life.

Well, Mars the God of War had other ideas and after visiting her in the temple of Vesta, she bore twin sons named Romulus and Remus.

Amulius ordered the death of the babies, but the servant sent to do this couldn't and placed them in a cradle along the Tiber river (kinda like Moses).

The river god Tiberinus rescued them and had them placed on the Palatine Hill where they were nursed by a she-wolf, until they were found by a shepherd.

(Pigs might also fly, backwards)

I find this story rather hard to believe. Wolves are vicious creatures and would have sooner eaten the babies.

My human has visited Rome and told me of all the street cats who live there.

No, I believe that Romulus and Remus were actually suckled by a mother cat.

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


I visited the vet this morning and had my annual vaccinations. The vet also stuck a thermometer in my butt. How rude!

Anyway, I was forced to stay at the vet by myself for a couple of hours but I wasn't scared. I went to a room with lots of other cats in cages who were boarding while their humans go away on holidays, as well as some dogs recovering from surgery.

The vet people shaved my fur on my neck and took some blood. Oh, it was a terrible thing to do to me.

Later on, my human came back in the afternoon and rescued me. He told me I was so brave.

My human said that the blood test results will be known tomorrow. The vet also told him I have a heart murmur, so I won't be playing the chasing games with my lid rings and toys anymore. Sigh! I guess I am just old.

Today is also a very hot day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

intelligent design, part 3

I previously wrote about 'intelligent design' first on 4 August, and then again on 22 October 2005.

Finally commonsense has prevailed - 'intelligent design' is not science.

You can read the 139 page decision handed down by Judge John E. Jones III here -
Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover School District, et al. (opinion, document 342)

See also - 'Defending Science by Defining It' (Washington Post, 21 December 2005).

If parents or the Bush administration feel so threatened by the teaching of biology, particularly of evolutionary theory, and want young people to be exposed to religious doctrine, then by all means encourage them to go to church, or temple etc.

School and science classes are not the place to plant ideas about religion in young minds. Religious institutions are there for this reason.

If young people have faith and wish to believe in a religious doctrine, they will.

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


Midweek, not long to go before the weekend and a few days break from work for my human. Woohoo!

I better go and tell him to give me a brush tonight. Must look my best for the vet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

brandy for medicinal purposes

Researchers have discovered that drinking brandy in moderation has supplementary medicinal health benefits (for humans) -- and the better quality the brandy the greater the benefit.

So there is some truth in having brandy for "medicinal purpose".

See - media release from Monash University.

My human likes Hennessy XO.

I, on the other paw, am still waiting for my catnip plant.

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


I ate all my raw corn fed chicken wing for dinner tonight so my human was most pleased. The weather is warming up, so I am also spending a lot of time on the floor. I kinda like following my human around and being near him, but not always on his lap, but we did watch an episode of Surface with me on his lap tonight. Mind you, we did miss the first three episodes as my human is such a doofus he forgot it was on.

My annual check up is booked for Thursday morning.

Monday, December 19, 2005

global warming means no more polar bears

Human beings are great at adapting to the environment. They have survived ice ages, ice melts, natural disasters etc and seen another species of human die out (the Neanderthals). They also alter the environment for their own purpose, much to the detriment of many species of plants and animals.

Some governments aren't prepared to do their bit to mitigate global warming and climate change as the economic imperative takes a higher priority. In other words, industry and jobs must be protected at all cost.

Well, if the world heats up more and the summers become even hotter, more people will insist on artificial cooling which uses up even more energy, which in turn will produce more greenhouse gases, leading to further heating.

Polar bears are already in a lot of trouble. Their numbers are in decline. Ice floes are melting and they are forced to swim a greater distance between them, drowning in the process from exhaustion, hypothermia or large waves. Nobody seems to care.

These ice floes are disappearing, and along with them, polar bears

- 'Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts' (UK Sunday Times, 18 December 2005)
- 'Groups sue to protect polar bears' (CNN, 16 December 2005)

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


I spent most of the day alone on the couch (must be Monday again). However, I did manage to go outside for a few minutes while the washing was being hung out and chewed on some grass.

My human was late home tonight, but good for me, he brought back Nell and Declan with him for a quick visit. He must have gone to dinner with them. I wish I was invited too!

Anyway, I finally had raw corn fed chicken wing for dinner. But I didn't gobble it all up at once. When the weather warms up, I don't eat as much. Mind you, I have been drinking lots of water which worries my human very much.

My annual medical check up is on soon, and I think my human wants me to have tests for diabetes and kidney function.

I feel so old, but I'm not ready to leave this world and my human yet. He hasn't got over the loss of my brother Fatty. So if anything happens to me, he will be totally devastated.

Wish me luck for my medical. I should be going this week sometime.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

No, it is not about a mice hunt competition for cats.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! was a 1965 schlocky B-grade film about three thrill-seeking strippers who are out in the desert and come across a young couple. They kill the boyfriend, take the woman hostage and then scheme to rob a crippled old man living with his two sons. They become houseguests of the old man and try and seduce the sons to try and find the money. However, the old man has a few of his own sinister intentions.

Why am I writing about this? My human told me that this cult film is now out on DVD. A bit of pulp fiction.

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


My human is home. Woohoo! It was fun having (uncle) Tim come over to feed me, and let me lie on his lap while we watched videos (Revenge of the Sith and the new Battlestar Galactica etc), but I like having my human back.

He told me he went to Melbourne to attend Elizabeth's birthday (she and Fritz come and visit me from time to time) and also mentioned that Fritz's hip replacement worked out wonderfully and he walks normally now.

The rest of the time he spent with Leah (who also came to visit me once a few months ago). She even bought me a present. Woohoo! Thank you Leah! You can see the picture below.

Then today he went to visit Bella's human Michelle (who also visits me from time to time). He told me that Bella (a Balinese and very very furry), wasn't that friendly to him. Just as well!

Apart from my human coming home, is that fact that he bought me a present! Woohoo! It's a CD - Green Day's American Idiot


Thursday, December 15, 2005

supporting my team

I was so chuffed when my football team, the Brisbane Lions Football Club sent me a certificate of appreciation for my support (see below).

Here is a picture of Clark Keating marking (catching) the ball in round 15 against Collingwood (see below).

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


I was kinda deprived last night, so to make up for it, I woke my human up at 4am this morning to demand a cuddle under the covers, though didn't stay there long. Then 10 minutes later, I did it again. That'll teach him!

I think something is happening. There is a bag on the loose and my human seems to be fussing and organising things. I don't like the look of it.

If I end up abandoned this weekend and the computer is turned off, I will not be able to update my blog (I am unable to use my paws and claws to turn on wall electricity switches). Stay tuned on Sunday night...

Hmmm... I wonder if he will come back early from work today? Probably not. *SIGH*


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Proof that dogs are stupid...

A cellphone collar for dogs so that their humans can phone and talk to them. And for lost dogs, the finder can phone their human.

- 'Fido's First Cell Phone (Wired News, 6 December 2005)
At 3 inches long, the PetCell is too unwieldy for your average feline. Although the company is working on further miniaturization, the battery has proven to be a formidable obstacle.
Still, Robb wasn't ruling it out. He said optimistically, "The kitties will have to wait."

- Pets Mobility (for product information)

As if us cats need such a ridiculous contraption.

Give us a normal cellular (mobile) phone - a catphone. We might choose to not answer the phone, in much the same way that we choose not to come when called.

But clever kitties will sure send SMS text messages like:
- yr're L8. i'm hngry
- i'm cold. u 4got 2 turn heatr on
- i've just thrwn up a furbal
- com hm now. intruda alert

Proof that (some) humans are stupid. Some humans are not happy with hands-free for their cell phones. The unwieldy cords have given way to cord-free blue tooth. But what do stupid people do? They want to plug an old fashioned handset from a landline telephone to their cell phone. Yeah, the phone itself has been getting smaller in size for years and now they want chunky.

See for yourself
- Retro Phone Handset (ThinkGeek)
- Fred Cell Phone Receiver (Fred Flare)

Bring back the brick!

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


I spent a little bit of time on my mat outside today. Then my human came home early and gave me an early dinner. Then Merlin's humans Kim, Jordan and Liam came over for a quick visit, then my human left with them.

Later my human came home and I could smell that ginger/siamese Jimmy on him. Hmmph. But my human had an enjoyable barbeque with Jimmy (and Lily's) humans. What? Another barbeque?

But I did have some good news, the Brisbane Lions Football Club sent me a certificate in recognition of my loyal support. Woohoo! They also sent me a bandana. Double woohoo! I'll get some pictures up soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

some songs about music

A little while ago, I wrote about songs about Mondays. Tonight, I thought I'd write about songs about music.

A lot of songs are about love (boring), or they tell a story about something, but the most obvious topic would be about music itself.

ABBA - Thank you for the music
So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

No, ABBA, thank you for the music.

Kiki Dee (and others) - I've got the music in me

Actually she sings that over and over and over. Perhaps she does have the music in her (and the others who sung the song).

An old one, Julie Andrews (and Mary Martin etc) - The sound of music
The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears...

All together now "aaahhhh!" Very joyously sung too!

Village People - You can't stop the music
You can't stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Take the cold from snow, tell the trees, don't grow,
tell the wind, don't blow, 'cause it's easier.
No, you can't stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Take the spark from love, make the rain fall up
'cause that's easier to do.

Did people actually listen to this song? The words are dreadful!

Scissor Sisters - Music is the victim
Hell if music is the victim then so am I
Of lovin' and a cheatin' the snake gon' bite
I beg and I scream and I cuss and I cry
If music is the victim then so am I

It makes more sense with the rest of the lyrics, and fun.

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


I spent all day on the couch today as my human picked me up off my mat on the deck and insisted that it would be cooler inside (even though it wasn't that warm in the end). I didn't move all day until he came home (well except when I threw up a long fur ball outside the bathroom).

I had a nice long brush of my fur last night. It was great.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Australia's day of disgrace

A terrible thing happened yesterday in Sydney at the beachside suburbs of Cronulla and then Maroubra.

Stupid drunken idiots went on a rampage to go beat up people with "Middle Eastern" appearance.

This made the news all over the world including BBC News and USA Today (amongst hundreds of others).

The riot was a planned retaliation organised via text messaging on mobile (cell) phones in response to the bashing of three lifesavers by a bunch of hoods the previous weekend. It didn't help that the reporting focussed on the bashers' "Middle Eastern" appearance.

Discussion of the incident on talk back radio (listened to by mostly uneducated ignorant people) helped to incite "racial" tensions.

The young "white" "Australians" who were appalled by the behaviour of the "Middle Eastern" "Australians" at the beach (of the previous weekend) behaved in an even worse manner by choosing to take "revenge".

Any sort of violence is unacceptable and unAustralian. Truly disgraceful.

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


I nearly convinced my human to stay home with me today as he was feeling poorly again and was so late this morning. But he went to work anyway. Dang! Not only that, he had to make up for getting in to work late, by coming home late. Double Dang!

Well, I better go and get my fur brushed now.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

hey diddle diddle

An old mother goose nursery rhyme goes:

Hey, diddle, diddle!
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

I've been scratching my head with my back claws, but I cannot seem to work out what this rhyme is supposed to mean.

What was a cat doing with a fiddle?

Cows can't jump so high.

Dogs do not have a sense of humour.

Crockery and cutlery cannot run (nor have legs).

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


I had a wonderful day today. I tried to stay on my human's lap as much as I could, but he had things to do like chores. We did watch Empire which had been taped from Wednesday night.

Later, Susan who now has two cats visiting her where she lives, came over for dinner of Hokkien noodles with duck, snow peas (mangetout) and asparagus. Then they watched What's Cooking? (directed by Gurinder Chadha, who later directed Bend It Like Beckham). Such a cool film about Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. The good thing was, I managed to nap on her lap for most of the time. Woohoo!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

London without those old red double decker buses...

Those old red double decker buses that plied the streets of London are no more (except for two heritage routes - Number 9 from Royal Albert Hall, via Knightsbridge and Picadilly, to Aldwych and Number 15 from Trafalgar Square, via Fleet Street, to Tower Hill).

My human told me he loved those buses and the first thing he wanted to do during his first visit to the UK many years ago was to ride a double decker bus (it was in a town near Cambridge, but the bus was green, but it was the same type).

My human recalled to me how he checked out Notting Hill whilst sitting upstairs in a London bus once. He also prefered to travel from Knightsbridge to Gloucester Road on the double decker bus even though it was only one stop with the London Underground on the Picadilly line.

There was something about getting a sense of distance and location from above ground compared to the the Underground.

The end of an era.

- 'Routemaster makes final journey' (BBC News, 9 December 2005)
- Routemasters - Last Stop!

There is also a brilliant scene in the old classic film, To Sir With Love where Mr Thackeray (played by Sidney Poitier) is riding one of these buses. My human loves that film, even if it was way before his time.

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


I had a lovely day today. I chewed on some grass when the washing was hung out this morning. I even had a nap on my human's lap when he fell asleep on the couch (and that was not long after he got up!).

He did leave me for a few hours tonight though (something about another barbeque) but thankfully I had my dinner beforehand. What is it about barbeques?

Friday, December 09, 2005

giant fish x2

Two giant fish from me tonight.

Firstly, UK's The Times recently reported that giant jellyfish (200kg/450lb) are invading Japan.

I would call it Neptune's revenge on Japan for its overfishing and depletion of fish stocks, in particular of tuna species (by the way, did anybody tell Jessica Simpson that tuna is fish and not chicken?).

See - 'How do you tackle an invasion of giant jellyfish? Try making sushi' (The Times, 7 September 2005).

Secondly, NPR (US National Public Radio) recently reported on the Mekong giant catfish, the world's largest freshwater fish (which has been known to eat dogs and deers). NPR reported on Zeb Hogan's visit to Cambodia for National Geographic. Fascinating stuff. This fish is also endangered.

646 lb Mekong giant catfish (but this one was caught in Thailand and not related to the NPR story, but is the species in question)

Check out - 'Tonle Sap: The Flowing Heart of Cambodia' (NPR, 6 December 2005).

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


Friday means the weekend is nearly here! My human was late home tonight (something about a barbeque), and forgot to leave the computer on for me, so I had to wait for him to return and turn it on before I wrote my blog.

Not only that, my dinner was late (but tonight I ate the whole raw chicken wing).

Thursday, December 08, 2005


The word of the year declared by the New Oxford American Dictionary is podcast.

The term is defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player".

The word is derived from a combination of "broadcasting" and "iPod".

It will be added to the online version of the dictionary during the next update early next year.

LINK - 'Wordsmiths hail podcast success' (BBC News, 7 December 2005)

I have found that 'subscribing' to podcasts is a good way to catch up on radio reports that one would otherwise have difficulty in listening to live at the time.

The best way to 'subscribe' is through Apple's iTunes (which you can download for free). They have a menu for podcasts.

My subscriptions are:
Australian ABC Radio - Dr Karl on triple j; and
NPR - 7am and 7pm news summaries, All Songs Considered, Books, Movies, Music, Pop Culture and Story of the Day.

If you have any favourites that may interest me, please send me a message.

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


Thursday - another dull day. I didn't feel like my raw chicken wings for dinner tonight. Just not hungry I guess.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

democratic freedom in HK

Some political commentary from me tonight.

There was again another march by tens of thousands of people (63,000 by police count, 250,000 by protest organisers) in Hong Kong demanding a fully democratic political system.

Hong Kong is now an autonomous area (Special Administrative Region) of the People's Republic of China (since 1 July 1997).

Why didn't these people demand their democratic rights before, when Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom? They knew that 1 July 1997 was looming, and by the time they thought about it, it was too late.

LINK - 'Thousands march for HK democracy' (BBC News, 4 December 2005)

Well, at least they do have the right to protest and demonstrate.

In so called 'democratic' Singapore, it illegal for people to protest or demonstrate, and they only have one party rule. Is that really a democracy?

What is President Bush doing about it? He seems to be fixated on freedom and democracy (how many times have you heard him say it?). He needs to send in troops now and topple these regimes, then introduce free and fair elections!

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


I'm a little bit better today in that I didn't require my back fur to be cleaned.

It was a lot warmer too, so I spent all day napping on the couch.

Wednesday nights are great for TV viewing, especially the cooking programs. We watched Food Lovers' Guide to Australia first, and then Surfing the Menu where Bender and Curtis ate a crocodile fillet. They said it tasted more like veal than chicken. I agree!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

shameless exploitation by an airline for free publicity, over a missing cat

About two months ago, Emily a tabby from Stapleton, Wisconsin went missing. Apparently she went exploring at a nearby paper company warehouse and ended up in Nancy, France via Chicago and Belgium (a 3 week trip).

Thankfully she was wearing a collar and her vet was contacted.

Last week Emily flew home from Paris via Newark in the BusinessFirst cabin of Continental Airlines. The airline even provided an escort (an employee). Then from Newark to Milwaukee.

Emily with escort leaving Paris (photo by Christopher Ena)

Of course, the airline shamelessly milked the story for all it was worth. Obviously they alerted the media.

Silly silly cat. BusinessFirst on Continental does not have fully reclining seats which turn into a flat bed. She should have refused the first offer from Continental and flown via Singapore or Bangkok, then Sydney to LA on Qantas where they do have fully reclining seats/beds in Business Class. Better still, in First Class.

Continental Airlines BusinessFirst seat

Qantas Business Class Skybed

Qantas First Class totally flat bed

'Emily the Stowaway Cat Lands in Wisconsin' (Washington Post, 1 December 2005)

'Stowaway cat arrives home from France' (CNN, 2 December 2005 - includes videos)

*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 my deck/porch, then had a nap on my daybed. My human left very early today for work, but thankfully came back earlier too.

My tummy isn't so well today and messing up my fur, so my human is making me a chicken and potato broth.

Monday, December 05, 2005

a music quiz

I have a treat today for all my readers. It is a music quiz.
There are apparently 75 music bands represented in the picture below (click on the picture for an enlargement - when you are in the picture, click on the 'hamburger' at bottom right to make it bigger).

To get you started, you might notice Guns and Roses at bottom left.

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


The weather is warming up now. Being Monday again, I was left alone all day with the radio for company.

At least I can look forward to a long brush of my fur tonight. I think we are also going to watch Mean Creek tonight.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

a piece of Australia in Baltimore

Australia has lots of very unique animals that are found no where else in the world.

Many zoos worldwide feature popular animals like kangaroos, koalas (which are not bears, by the way), Tasmanian devils (vicious creatures only found in the island state of Tasmania), dingos, and emus (pronounced eem-you).

From mid-December, visitors to the National Aquarium in Baltimore (in Maryland, USA) will be able to visit a recreated river environment of northern Australia and see some other unique animals. Some of these include frilled-neck lizards (not frill lizards, it sounds so girly!), Johnston's freshwater crocodile, flying foxes (a fruit bat), galahs (a pink coloured bird like a parrot), and fish like barramundi (delicious).

Of course nothing beats seeing them in their natural environment (I haven't, as cats are not allowed into national parks, but my human has). But if you can't make the long journey from the US to Australia, then a trip to Baltimore may be really cool.

LINKS - National Aquarium in Baltimore
Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibition updates
Escape to the Land Downunder about the exhibition

Unfortunately, not many people get the opportunity to see a platypus (even in Australia). Now that is a wierd looking animal - a fur covered mammal with webbed feet like a duck, a duck bill, which swims and also lays eggs. Also, they don't live in northern Australia so will not be part of the Baltimore exhibition.

A platypus (pronounced plat-ee-pus as in pussycat)


My breakfast was late! I didn't mind in the end being a Sunday, and I got a morning cuddle.

I had another visitor today. Martin, the human, who belongs to the two Great Danes (Barney and Sophie) in the house behind us, dropped by for some help with a job application (he'd just finished a research masters degree). As I had nothing to contribute, I insisted on sitting on his lap and showing those dogs who is boss! (while my human gave him tips on how to write applications for government jobs).

Later on I sat laid on my human's lap as he watched some more of Buffy before he did chores.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Temple de la Sagrada Família

One of the most interesting looking buildings in the world (on Earth anyway) is the Temple de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain.

This basilica was designed by Antoni Gaudi (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926). Construction began in 1882 (laying of foundation stone before Gaudi took over the design).

Today, this building is still incomplete. But hey, lots of buildings in Europe took hundreds of years to complete! Even in its incomplete form the building is one of the most recognised in the world for its neo-gothic architecture, and it is considered to be Gaudi's masterpiece.

The last time my human visited Barcelona, he said it still resembled a construction site!

LINK - Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (official site)

Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (imagine all the places a cat could hide in there!)

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


I nearly forgot to mention, my human and I watched Star Trek Nemesis last night. We will miss Captain Picard and his crew.

The road adjoining my street (at a T junction) was being resealed this morning with a new layer of bitumen. I looked out the window and saw all these trucks. Bitumen (or tar) is a bit smelly though.

I went outside to chew on some grass this morning when my human hung out the washing. It was sunny, windy and there were dark clouds. Funny weather for summer!

I also had a visit from Spike and Sooty's human Tim this afternoon. Spike and Sooty meow more than I do, so I made up for it by claiming their human's lap. Tim and my human watched Batman Begins and I even got potato chips! Woohoo! They also played around with my computer (something about real life aliens... heh heh heh, tell me something I don't know). After he left, my human and I had a nice nap together on the couch.

Tonight we are watching bits of the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on DVD, the box set of which my human recently bought), and Empire (taped from earlier in the week).

Friday, December 02, 2005

everybody wants to be different and end up being the same

A most ridiculous holiday craze is sweeping the US. Please let commonsense prevail and let it stop there.

What is the craze? Read more from Washington Post.

These people are trying something different to make a statement, and appear different. But as so many are doing it, they are all ending up the same.

These crazy people are also spending up to US$700 for this craze, and when commonsense returns in 2006, the old adage, a fool and his/her money are soon parted would be an apt description.

What is it?

An upside down Christmas tree.

*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 my deck. I was so surprised when my human came home early as I usually wait for him inside. He told me he left work early to beat the big storm, and to procure my fresh chicken wings. In any case, he missed the initial big downpour, but could not avoid the rain. He told me it was the thunder and lightning that was scarey.

Friday night, so the weekend is here! I wonder what movie I can persuade him to watch on the couch?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

save Jupiter Hollow!

One of the best comedies ever made was Big Business (1988) with Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin as two sets of identical twins switched at birth. My human just loves that movie. I do too, as I get to lie on his lap when he watches it laughing.

So in the mix up, the twins end up pairing up with a stranger, rather than their identical sister. In the mix up, both the red haired ones end up being called Sadie (Bette Midler - who also turned 60 years old today - happy birthday Bette!), and the dark haired ones are both called Rose (Lily Tomlin). But they are switched! What a pairing of comedians!

So one pair of non-identical Sadie and Rose grow up in Jupiter Hollow, and when Moromax (a big corporation in New York) threaten to close down the local factory, this set of Sadie and Rose (Ratliff) go to the Big Apple.

Unbeknownst to them, the corporate types they need to confront are another set of non-identical Sadie and Rose (Shelton). So the confusion is hilarious when they finally meet their real twin.

An oldie but a goodie!

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


After all the rain we've been having, today turned into a fine warm day.

My human was late coming back from work. He told me he was checking out a sale at the mall. Hmmmmppphhh.... To make up for his tardiness, I am going to refuse to budge from his lap tonight. When I came to use the computer to do my blog/diary, I also meowed and meowed for him to come over to let me sit on his lap (so he is reading over my shoulder - he is so impatient, I can only type so fast with my little paws and my nose).