Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dog Bone Soup – on sale for 99c

No, I haven’t suddenly taken up butchering! Dog Bone Soup, by Bette A. Stevens, is one of the best historical novels I’ve ever read. I gave it 5/5 stars when I first reviewed it, and I still give it 5/5. Here’s a short excerpt from Bette’s blog:

“BOYS, GET IN HERE. Hurry up!”

We set the groceries on the table and ran in to see what Mum was so worked up about.

“President Kennedy’s body’s back in Washington. Look, they’re switching from the Washington to that Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. The world’s at a standstill and no wonder. I can’t believe that someone’s gone and killed the President…Sit down. Watch.”

“What’s for dinner?” I asked when I handed her the change.

“Good. We have more than a dollar left for the week.”

“What about dinner, Mum?”

“I’ll fix us some supper, later. We had plenty of hotcakes to tide us over this morning,” Mum sat there, captivated by the news.

Coverage went on all day and long into the night. Willie and I went out to cut and split fire wood for the week. Then we grabbed our fishing poles and ran down to the brook. I figured if we caught something, we could have a nice fry for supper, even if I had to fix it myself.

Willie peeled and cut potatoes while I figured out how to mix flour and cornmeal and get the fish going. I set the fish on the stove to keep warm while I fried up the potatoes.

We never did get Mum away from the darned TV.

https://4writersandreaders.com/2022/11/22/dog-bone-soup-99%c2%a2-thru-november-27th-holiday-sale-remembering-thanksgiving-1963-excerpt/comment-page-1/#comment-66766

If you prefer a trailer, here’s a short, two minute video to watch:

Or go to Bette’s blog and check out the entire post here.

Whatever you do, I strongly suggest grabbing a copy of the book while it’s on sale. 😉

You’re welcome,
Meeks


Woman builds her own Hobbit home

I just stumbled across this video on Youtube and started drooling…I want!

cheers,
Meeks


Why? Because it’s Whittier…

I stumbled onto this video about Whittier, Alaska, by accident, but I kept watching because it reminded me of how I imagined life would be in the Undercity, except above ground. 🙂

So what’s so special about Whittier? It’s the fact that all 200-odd residents of the town live in one building, a building that contains a store, police station, church and pretty much everything you’d expect to find in a small town. Oh, and in winter, the kids go to school via a tunnel that connects the two buildings!

But wait, there’s more! You can only reach the building by boat, or via a long, rather scary tunnel. The tunnel is only open at certain times of the day, and at 6:00pm it’s closed to cars so the trains can come through!

If I’ve roused your curiosity, please watch the video:

At about 12:13 minutes, the lovely lady doing the tour of the building points out photos from when the building housed the officers of the US army stationed in the town. A little later on she mentions that the reason everyone withdrew from the shore was because there was an earthquake followed by a tsunami that washed much of the original town away.

At about 15:50 minutes, the tour guide casually mentions that they had to get a self-closing mechanism installed on a ground floor door because…bears would wonder in when residents forgot to close it. <<picture me with my jaw on the ground>>

That bit about the bears actually got me thinking about my Undercity concept. If the doors topside were like those big, self-opening doors installed in shops, what if a kangaroo came in to check things out? Or maybe a wombat looking for a pre-dug hole? lol

Okay, my imagination is getting a little carried away now. I’d better go outside and do some work before it starts to rain, again. Huge swathes of Melbourne and Victoria are flooded at the moment, but as we’re on a ridge, we’ve had no issues.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Meeks


Cat Training

If you’ve ever been owned by a cat, this post will make you laugh until you cry! Thanks, Cage. 😉

Cage Dunn - Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-Tall-Tales

“And how is the new cat going?”

It’s a question with an answer that involves a lot of eye-movement, a mouth like a gulping goldfish, and weird noises.

Can a cat be trained? In all my experiences with cats, whether mine or within the household I lived in, or fosters, I’ve had only one cat (before now) that was a bit difficult – and that was in one area only (he shredded our lounge chairs, but only the backs and only at night so we didn’t see him do it, so of course he could look innocent when confronted).

This new cat isn’t a mature 5.5 yo. He’s a kitten. With sharp teeth, sharp claws, and a daredevil attitude that’s managed to get him into trouble at least three times – that we know of.

The first one was trying to bust through the front door. A security door with…

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A sweet start to the day

No, not a biscuit or a cake. This

Morning all!

-Meeka saluting with a coffee-


Queen Elizabeth II

I just woke up and learned that the Queen had died. As an Australian, there could be only one person who fit that description – Elizabeth II.

I’m not a monarchist, but I remember singing ‘God Save the Queen’ at school in the ’60s, so she has been a part of my life for…most of my life. It seems to me that she was a good person, and that is how I will remember her.

Vale.

Meeks


The tiniest Aussie van-house

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of Tiny Houses for years, but this one literally blew my mind:

I’m not sure I’m tidy enough to live in such a…neat…space, but I totally fell in love with the aesthetics of it.

Still smiling,
Meeks


Did I just meet a neural network??

Someone by the name of Darren Alexander-Beckett followed my blog today so I popped into his blog to see what he was about. I found a number of posts so I started reading one…and almost fell off my chair. It looked like English and almost made sense, but in a dream-like, mash-up type way.

So I looked at another post, and another, and it finally hit me…I was looking at the writings of an AI/neural network!

I’ve read about these types of programs before but never expected to see one right here on WordPress. I was so astonished I left a comment asking if that was what it was.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly smart, but the outcome was surprising. When I followed the link back so I could grab the URL, the posts were gone. All that remains is this: https://nowpastthefuture.wordpress.com/

The posts that used to be on the ‘NowPastTheFuture blog have disappeared so someone, and I really don’t think it was the AI, caught my comment and within SECONDS did away with the evidence.

Why, oh why didn’t I take a screenshot when I had the chance? -kicking self-

Anyway, if anyone has any ideas as to who or what might have created this blog, and why, I’d love to hear about them in comments. Prank? Experiment? A test of our gullibility? I really don’t have a clue, but I’m still buzzing with excitement.

cheers,
Meeks


Victorian Government Electricity Rebate – $250

Just a very quick post about the $250 rebate offered by the Andrews Government here in Victoria.

Click the ‘Submit a $250 Power Saving Bonus application’ button.

From there you will be taken through a number of pages that either request information or ask you to accept terms and conditions.

One of the things you will be asked to provide is a PDF of your electricity bill. If, like me, you receive your bills via email, you will have to download the attached document that details specifics about your bill – i.e. how much energy you’ve used, how much it costs, any solar contributions, etc. That attachment is the PDF they’re requesting. There is also an option to submit a hardcopy of the bill but as I didn’t select it, I don’t know how that would work.

I know the government is trying to get people to use the Energy Compare website – it’s pretty good actually, and I’ve used it in the past – but I can’t help wondering how pensioners without computers, or the skills to use them, are supposed to access this rebate. Smartphone perhaps? But what if you don’t have a smartphone, or don’t know how to use it for things other than making a phone call?

Having spent the last five years of my working life helping to teach computer literacy to Beginners, I know there are a lot of them.

I’m also a little puzzled about why this rebate isn’t being shouted from the rooftops. Then again, I don’t watch much TV so perhaps that’s why I didn’t know about it [thanks for telling me, Megan!].

Anyway, the rebate exists so put in your application and get some relief from the bill shock we’re all experiencing.

cheers,
Meeks


Why the flamingo stands on one leg

Just read a fascinating article about flamingos, and the physics behind that odd, one legged stance. Apparently, all warm blooded creatures lose more body heat in water than in air, so for an animal like the flamingo that feeds on bottom dwelling creatures like crustaceans, the longer it can stay in the water the more it can eat. Therefore…standing on one leg reduces heat loss which then allows them to feed for longer.

But the truly fascinating part is that standing on one leg is a learned behaviour. Mother flamingos teach their young all sorts of social behaviours, including that tricky skill of standing on one leg. The picture below shows a couple of flamingo chicks practising how to ‘dance’ like the adults:

(Credit: Tambako The Jaguar/flickr)

Oh, and that bright pink colour? Apparently that comes from the flamingo’s diet. 🙂

If you’re interested in why things are the way they are, I’d highly recommend reading the whole article: https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/flamingos-stand-on-just-one-leg-and-physics-is-the-surprising-reason-why-c3fac3514cc1

Have a great week,
Meeks


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