Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Further adventures of MegaCat and Terror!

Gingy is definitely living up to his nickname of MegaCat - currently he is nearly 5.5kg and is only 6 months old. He hasn't finished growing yet! Smokey has learnt a new trick - how to turn the kitchen tap on. The other night there were a few loud crashes and then the sound of water running. The kitchen tap had 'mysteriously' turned itself on, quite hard (and on the hottest setting). Expecting to be told off, Smokey ran away from the scene, but gave in to curiosity and returned when no scolding occurred. Thank goodness this is the only 'lever' tap in the house, and from now on I think I'll have to be careful to leave it set to cold. An amusing habit of Smokey's is jumping on top of anything that Gingy goes into, be it boxes, doonas, pillow cases, bags, etc. Gingy doesn't seem phased at all, thank goodness. Smokey sits there watching and waiting till Gingy's head disappears from view, then gleefully pounces on top. He is certainly a terror!

About faces - education and politics

My brain has been jumping from topic to topic recently - 'tis a sign of nervousness in me. So, here I am writing down some of my thoughts...

Last night on Insight (ABC television), there was an interview with Peter Costello where various disability groups were present in the audience. It was primarily regarding what the current government were doing to help the disabled (including physical and mentally handicapped, elderly, single mums, carers, etc). There is a new policy of 'encouraging' these groups to continue working, past the normal retirement age, and for single mums, once their children are attending school.

Most of the questions asked by the audience were nonsensical, an example was given of a single mum, with a toddler (not school age) who was also caring for her disabled mother and brother. As carers are actually provided an allowance, and her toddler was not attending school, she does not fit into the normal 'single mother' category that the government are encouraging to work. (Not to mention that the description of the toddler's behaviour indicated some serious problems which were not presented as such. Possibly ADHD, and certainly a lack of respect of the mother by the toddler, also in reverse from the mother to the toddler).

Only one audience member picked up that Costello didn't actually answer any of the questions - he skirted them very adroitly, which I was quite disappointed at. Apart from showing his skills at avoiding answering questions, and highlighting the general public's inability to ask intelligent and relevant questions, this show was a complete waste of time. A pity, really.

In one of the loos today I saw an old campaign sticker that commented about the government's lack of support for women returning to the workforce, and couldn't help thinking that this is just one of many 'about faces'.

Speaking of about faces.... I'm appalled at the curriculum cuts made in high school - if the two students have reported it correctly, matrices are no longer taught in Maths Methods or Specialist Maths, and in General Maths it's often left as a homework exercise for the students because "it's an easy subject"! Long division disappeared a couple of years ago (I don't know if it has returned), and I'm left wondering, what's next in Maths?

The lack of language skills shown by students who have gone right through the education system in Australia from start to finish, is completely appalling. Often the overseas students surpass their ability to summarise and use grammar correctly.

Having said that, there are some overseas students who have only scraped through the entry English exams, that really should not have been allowed to pass.

Anyhow... I'm now worried about how next week's CSE1301 prac will go, as it assumes knowledge of matrices in order to teach the concept of 2D arrays.... ug....

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Evoutionary language

On the way to work today, I passed a bus stop advertisement that said:

    Do you like to text?

This was the first 'official' printed form of the verb 'text' that I had come across. This started me musing on how when this generation of primary school children get to University, they would not understand 'correctly' if we asked the to "write a piece of text". We would get submissions in that horrid language which evolved for only one purpose - to fit as much content into as few letters as possible. 'Text' these days seems to refer to both the language (often spelt as 'txt') and the act of writing in that language ('txting').

I must be getting old, as language evolution like this surely has been happening all through my life, but this time I've actually been rather shocked and horrified.

Friday, April 8, 2005

Has anyone heard of a feline-chef certification program?

Recently, whenever I have been preparing food, be it cat food or human delights, Gingy has been sitting on the stool watching my every move with such incredible intent. I think his goal in life is to become the first human-food feline chef!

Gingy's also been terribly dependent recently as we are both away for most of the day, plus recently, weekends and some evenings, so they have been missing their regular playtime with their humans. It hasn't fazed Smokey at all, and the effects are somewhat lessened by providing them with Real-TV (my bedroom window with the net cutains drawn aside, the can watch birds insects flit around).

However, it's a little worrying that Gingy spends a lot of his time pining when he can't find his humans. I'd hate to think what he would be like without Smokey to keep him company!

Friday, April 1, 2005

New diagnosis

*sigh* water retention gone... probably due to a combination of things including stopping the continous pill for a week, eating loads of asparagus, drinking plenty of water, resting, drinking various herbal concoctions.

However.. the ankle pain and swelling has remained, and although is currently manageable (on the days I'm not on my feet much), I know what is going to happen next week. At the end of each day I'll crawl home in agony and crash in bed cos my feet are killing me. I did buy new sneakers today, which may help with the arch pain, but not with the swelling. The doc said there is most definitely inflammation around the ankles (and quite bad at that), and is most likely rheumatoid arthritis. I was not prepared for her saying that, as I was hoping it was just my body stubbornly not letting go of the fluid. I don't need yet another auto-immune disease to add to my already high pain levels! She doubts that it could be caused by the hives, but doesn't want to refer me off to a rheumy specialist till the allergist has had a look at me and taken loads of tests.

It's kind of interesting (in a morbid, depressing way), endometriosis, adenomyosis, costochondritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, hives and CFS are all disorders/diseases that focus on the body attacking itself. So it would make sense that RA would be the next thing to develop, as my body is currently a crazy war zone of all of the above. And I'm going out of my mind at the moment trying to deal with it. *sob*