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Hobbes

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Culling [21 Feb 2014|08:12am]
So I'm going through my friends list and culling everyone I think is no longer active on LJ. If you don't post or comment, i am assuming the account is inactive. If you are reading and not posting or commenting, speak up now.
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Travel Diary - Day 13 - Tiger Temple and Doi Suthep. [26 Nov 2013|07:48pm]
Today we went to the Tiger Kingdom. Getting to play with a tiger was one of my primary motives for wanting to visit Thailand. This is also something that left me fairly ethically conflicted. I don’t approve of the exploitation of animals for money and human entertainment. But I also acknowledge that tigers are endangered and breeding programs need to exist. Tigers over two years old are too dangerous to play with the public, so this place breeds the tigers, uses them for two years and then either keeps them as breeding stock or sells them to other zoos and wildlife parks.

However, I decided to put my qualms away and just enjoy the experience. Keep my eyes open and talk about it.

Following Tina’s advice again, we paid for a photographer to follow us around and capture the experience. This was good in that we got some lovely photos, but also distracting in that I wanted to focus solely on the tigers and the photographer wanted me to pose for photos. Again, they are catering to a market that wants photos of themselves with tigers.

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Travel Diary - Day 12 - Chiang Mai [26 Nov 2013|06:53pm]
Back in Chiang Mai, in a different hotel near the night market, my knees decided it would be a great time for an arthritis flare up. I’d kind of been expecting this and just glad it didn’t happen in the jungle. Being in different locations can cause immune reactions, which my kind of arthritis is, something about all the different germs and whatever in an unfamiliar place, stress is also a factor. And perhaps the biggest factor is the fact I decided not to take my arthritis medication with me. My meds comprise an injection once a fortnight. The injection needs to be kept refrigerated, the hassle of organising refrigeration (not even electricity in the jungle) combined with not wanting to take syringes to Thailand were a factor in my decision. At least I know the Humira is working. So I popped some Celebrex and lay around most of the day feeling sorry for myself.

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Travel Diary - Days 9-11 - TECC [26 Nov 2013|06:29pm]
Today was the reason we were in the north of Thailand. We headed to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) for a three day adventure with elephants. This place came highly recommended by friends as the place to go for elephant adventures. They are home to a free elephant hospital and provide a living for elephants, mahouts and their families. Elephants and mahouts were significantly impacted by the banning of elephants in the timber industry, forcing them to resort to tourism for a living. This post got really long, so you may need some time to read it.

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Travel Diary - Chiang Mai Day 7 & 8 [26 Nov 2013|06:07pm]
So we left Cambodia and headed to Thailand. Our first stop in Thailand was Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is the major city in the north of Thailand. A regional centre might be a more accurate term. This was out jumping off point to TECC and tigers. If you wanted to visit hill tribes, villages or jungle trekking in Thailand, this is where you go.

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Travel Diary - Cambodia Day 6 [22 Nov 2013|10:21pm]
I guess there are only so many temples you can visit, although there were many we didn't find time to see. On Day 6 we opted to visit Tonle Sap. Tonle Sap is the biggest lake in Cambodia, this is a huge lake that numerous rivers run into and the size of the lake varies greatly between wet and dry season. Lonely Planet recommended the Tonle Sap floating villages in the top 5 things to do in Siem Reap and Nat also endorsed the idea.

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Travel Diary - Cambodia Day 5 [22 Nov 2013|09:52pm]
This was my favourite of all the days I spent in Cambodia. Certainly the tour I enjoyed the most of my whole adventure. The tour was a 75km ride out of Siem Reap to Beng Melea, a temple out in the jungle that is not part of the Angkor Complex and not protected by the UNESCO world heritage listing. This tour was also run by Grasshopper Adventures.

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Travel Diary - Cambodia Day 4 [22 Nov 2013|09:17pm]
There was a group called Grasshopper Adventures that does a range of cycling tours throughout Asia. I can't say enough good things about these people, we ended up doing three tours with them and would happily do more. We decided to start with an easy one to see what we thought and if their bikes were any good. We opted for a 25km kilometre ‘country village ride’. This was an easy ride that saw us leave Siem Reap and cycle around some nearby villages.

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Travel Diary - Cambodia Day 3 [22 Nov 2013|07:57pm]
This morning our alarm was set for 4am. At 4:30am we were in a car heading out to Angkor Wat to watch the sun rise along with hundreds of other tourists.

This is supposed something that rocks up on all those 'top 100 things you should do before you die' lists.

Holding a torch we stumbled through the dark into the Angkor complex and staked out a seat on one of the library steps. Most of the crowd clustered around the edge of the ponds. The predawn light was magnificent. The towers of Angkor framed against the sky.

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Travel Diary - Cambodia Day 2 [22 Nov 2013|06:55pm]
Day 2 began with meeting our driver and a guide, again part of the package. We started with a guided tour of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the big one, it’s the main temple, one of the largest and in the best condition. It was built in the 12th Century as a monument to Vishnu and to the King. However, as Buddhism rose to prominence, much of the Hindu iconography has been adapted to suit Buddha. The temples are all in the same basic design. Square walled compounds, often with a moat, and gates and causeways in the four cardinal directions. The number of towers and levels vary, but the higher the tower, the closer to god. Angkor Wat has nine towers. Apparently even numbers are unlucky. They also have separate buildings called libraries, I think I liked these structures the best.

Tiggrr climbing the library

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Tavel Diary - Cambodia Day 1 [22 Nov 2013|12:07pm]
So I'm about to start posting my travel diary posts. I should mention from the start, I largely write these for me, so I can look back and remember. But I'm posting because others might be interested as well. I'm also going to discuss a bunch of the ethical issues we encountered. Given LJ's ability for spam these days, i'll leave these posts unlocked for a week or two, then friends lock them all.

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In which I am old [14 Nov 2012|03:13pm]

So I have a series of appointments this afternoon. I am sitting in a cafe in Brunswick with my laptop working, because I am on work time. The cafe is very crowded and could be less noisy. My thought is - don't all these people have jobs???

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Biking friends - I need advice [12 Nov 2012|10:48am]
So I've decided I need a different bicycle. My bike nerd friends - please advice me.

I brought a new bike about four years ago now. It's a Schwinn Voyager comfort bike. This means its a girly bike with no cross bar, very few gears, a heavy frame and very comfortable seat and its really a ride sitting upright kind of bike. This bike is not built for speed

This was exactly what I wanted at the time. Something that was easy to ride and comfortable and good for pottering around to the shops and back. I do prefer the comfy seat and sitting upright feels a lot more comfortable to me. Also I was never riding more than about 3kms at a time and didn't care about speed.

These days I'm riding my bicycle 15km home from work. I still ride the train in the morning, but I'd like to start skipping the train stage entirely. I've got a goal to ride the 100km stretch of the Round the Bay ride next year.

My riding has changed and my old bike is really not so well suited anymore. I want something with a much lighter frame, more gears so I can handle hills properly and something I can go faster on.

I was riding Fi's bike the other weekend - and have now realised how much faster you can go on a lighter bike with proper gearing. I was able to go both faster and uphills my bike wouldn't manage on Fi's bike.

I think I'm looking for a road bike, or a hybrid, but I'm not really sure.

Please advise me and share your stories and tips on finding the right bike and bike shopping.

I also probably want to sell/trade in my old bike.
That or teach Emily how to ride :)
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I am not a victim [28 Sep 2012|10:43am]
I've been getting annoyed recently by the media coverage of the Jill Meagher case. Its a tragic story and I feel nothing but sympathy for her family and friends. Especially the colleague that offered to walk her home, how bad must he be feeling.

But I'm resenting the media hype that says this means women shouldn't feel safe walking in Brunswick at night. The trying to make Brunswick seem a scary place. Now - my deep and abiding love for Brunswick may also be impacting on my emotions at this point. But I really don't think there is a reason for women to be afraid walking along at night.

Yes, violence does happen and you should still be smart - walk with keys or a mobile phone in your hand. If you feel nervous call someone while you are walking along, and if you do have an encounter, report it - anything that improves police knowledge is a good thing.

But don't decry to the universe that women are weak, that women are unsafe and that women should be scared.

The reality is - abduction events like this one are incredibly rare in Australia.

Statistically males are more likely to be the victim of random violence by strangers in the street than females are.

Sexual assault rates are horrifying - but statistically the abuser is way more likely to be known to the victim. Most sexual assault takes place in private homes, not public places.

You shouldn't be made to feel worried, scared, stressed and weak because you are female.

It was such lovely weather last night, that I opted to ride the two whole blocks along to the shops to get take out for dinner, rather than drive. My kid sister who likes reading mainstream media tried to talk me out of it...

There is talk of holding a Reclaim the Night event in Brunswick. I'm torn - while I like the idea of celebrating that people are safe to walk the streets, I don't like the way Reclaim the Night organisers go about it. I resent the starting assumption that women are not safe to walk the streets, the implications that women are victims. I also don't like the fact that at most of these events males are not welcome to participate.

Feel sympathy for the victim, be smart at night. But don't let yourself feel afraid.
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I want my kittens to be famous on the interwebs! [26 Dec 2011|03:17pm]
We were gifted with a plastic inflatable pool for Midsummer. This seemed like a fun idea.

The kittens think so too.

I am unconvinced kittens, claws and inflatable objects are a good idea

IMG_0549

However - our attempt to protect the pool by providing it with a cover created a whole new kind of awesome :)

See my clever explorer Magellan - he can walk (and hunt!) on water!

All unknown things must be subdued!



How many YouTube views does it take to be famous on the interwebs?
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Dr Mal Malkavian Jones [11 Oct 2011|09:33am]
Dr Mal Malkavian Jones

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A most glorious cat!
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[05 Sep 2011|01:33pm]
We haven't measured Twist in a long time - its actually quite tricky to measure a python because they don't tend to like straightening out and staying still.

So what you do is you find a nice long flat sunny surface and let them bask. Twist spent a nice time in the sun on the front windowsill yesterday. This is an ideal method of deterring door to door salesman, burglars or nosy neighbours.

Anyway - we kind of measured him - I knew he was over 2m - but was surprised to learn he is somewhere around 2.8-3m long

That is a lot of python!

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[30 Aug 2011|08:53am]
Be admiring of the awesome fruit cake baking skills!


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[23 Aug 2011|10:36am]
So I called my mother last night - I wanted my Great Grandmother's xmas cake recipe. This is old school English fruit cake that you make like 3 months before xmas and it keeps forever.

Alas - my mother seems to have lost the recipe - as does my sister. This sucks.

I want a Nana xmas fruit cake recipe - does anyone have one they would be willing to share?

I know I could just google - but family recipes seems nicer.
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[19 Aug 2011|08:42am]
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