THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I hope not!
One of my pet peeves is crooks stealing jewellery. Usually items of sentimental value. Grandma's engagement ring or locket. Go ahead, steal all the DVD players and Playstations you want, but don't take the sentimental stuff. It can't be replaced.
So, where do we normally put these items? Dressing table? Bedside table? Breakfast bar in the kitchen? Yep, I'm just as guilty. But the crooks, even the dumbest of them, generally don't have too look too far to find our stash of precious and sentimental items.
Where are good places to hide them?
Well, for your not-often-worn items, try a box of laundry powder. Empty the contents, place the items in a resealable bag, pop it in the bottom & put the powder over the top - complete with scoop. Put it in the laundry cupboard. Likewise with a box of cereal.
Don't put them in an empty sugar canister in the kitchen, or in the fridge or freezer. Crooks always look there - usually for money.
For more regularly worn items, pop them in an empty toothpaste box & pop it in the bathroom cupboard. You're in there every day & it's not too hard to get into the habit of taking jewellery off & on in the bathroom.
There are many other places you can hide stuff - you just have to be a bit clever.
As for regular security stuff:
- DO record model & serial numbers - especially for items in the shed
- DO have items engraved or use a black light pen
- If you are a victim of a burglary, DO check out the second hand dealers & ASK about specific items. Crooks pawn rather than sell items because it keeps them out of sight out the back for a month. Also check stores far & wide. Crooks travel far theses days.
- If you have lost jewellery, particularly estate type jewellery, DO check out the estate jewellers. There are a number in Adelaide who are less than scrupulous. Unfortunately the worst of them melt the stuff down. Contact me if you want to know where to start looking......
- If you lose a Plasma TV, forget it - you'll never see it again. Not every crook has one as yet....
In short, let's not make it easy for them eh?
Thursday, January 25, 2007
All of my life I've lived in the company of cats and can't imagine ever living without one! One of the things I've discovered is that all cats are not created equal, however all have left an impression on me in one way or another. Usually it has only been the one cat in the house, but there was a time when I had three. As I was single at the time, I was then known as the crazy cat girl.
Here is a bit about each of my cats, as I remember them.
Sandy arrived well before I did and I don't have strong memories of him except that he was a HUGE ginger puss that if it weren't for his colouring, could be mistaken for a wombat. He used to sleep in the bottom of the linen cupboard.
Then there was Pebbles, a gorgeous and pretty little tortie girl. She was delivered in a basket on the front of a bicycle. To me, she was 'my' cat. After all, I spent the most time with her, as my Brother & Sister were off doing other things, being older than me. Pebbles was my companion. She'd walk out to the front gate with me in the morning and be there to greet me when I came home from school. We used to have little tea parties out the back with pieces of fritz and cheese. I made a bed for her once (like a human bed)and she stayed in it for about 10 minutes. I used to dress her in dolls clothes. God, she must have hated me at times!. She would always sleep on my bed, competing with all my soft toys. She was a gentle, loving and affectionate puss and it was difficult getting up the courage to have her put to sleep when she got very sick when she was 13. The whole family cried for two weeks. We vowed not to get another cat for a while.
So much for that. Within a month we had 2 kittens. Brothers. Totally different from each other. One was Marco, a grey short haired tabby. He was affectionate and friendly but fairly 'normal' and to that end I can't recall any odd little ways he had, except that he used to catch a lot of honeyeaters, much to Dad's consternation. His brother, Polo was a complete contrast being a long haired coffee coloured cat. He had a lot of female cat characteristics and was not well...um...developed. To the point that the vet was unsure which operation to perform when they went to be desexed. He was a magnificent looking cat and had a beautiful nature. Unfortunately Marco was killed in a car Accident a year after we got him :-(
Then came Toby. He arrived in a box and had been taken from his Mother (by someone else) at about 3 or 4 weeks of age. Far too young. His first week or so revolved around the inside of a big box. We fed him with an eyedropper until he was old enough to eat on his own. Toby grew into a tall, long black cat with a patch of white on him. He had a lovely temperament and Polo took him under his wing after the passing of Marco. The two regularly slept together. Unfortunately, Toby met the same fate as Marco, at about 1 year of age.
Then, briefly, we had Capone. He was a very little brown and black tabby that turned up on the doorstep and stayed. He was in very poor condition and was emaciated and had several injuries - skin ripped off, torn ears and the like. And he stank! We bathed him regularly, but he always seemed to smell 'off'. He wasn't a very bright cat, and followed in the footsteps of Marco & Toby being killed by a car some months later.
Once again, Polo was on his own. That was until my ex found a female ginger cat & dumped it with us. Sandy was very pretty, but totally stupid and a complete bitch. Not long after that, in fact a week before I got married, Polo vanished without a trace. We think he was stolen. He was a magnificent looking cat and a few days before he went missing he was being admired by a council guy laying the footpaths. The job finished at the same time Polo went missing. Coincidence? I think not.
So Mum & Dad had Sandy to keep them company while I had a cat free year in my 1st year of marriage. It was horrible & I'd befriend every cat I saw. My sister then rescued a female tabby & white kitten. Like Capone, it was worse for wear and Sue took it to the vet where it had an abortion and a hip removed. Her cats didn't like her, so Tibby ended up at Mum & Dads. Bad move. Neither Sandy or Tibby were particularly nice cats. There wasn't much endearing about them at all. To top it off - they HATED each other! This lead to all sorts of problems including the male behaviour of spraying on things in the house and out! One day Dad was out watering the lawn & Tibby sprayed on his leg!. Unfortunately, although they lived on the same busy road as Marco, Toby and Capone, neither of them got run over, despite Sandy's habit of sleeping on the road. They both eventually got very sick and were put to sleep. Mum & Dad were relieved.
After a year without a cat I was going mad. So, despite not being allowed to have a cat in our unit, we trooped off to the AWL to find Jet - a little black boy cat. That's right, I had his name and specifications all picked out before we went. Just as well they had a few black boys to choose from. Jet was the most active & alert, so off home he came. Without fail, Jet was the most magnificent & special cat I have had to date and I could do an entire blog entry on him alone. He was very affectionate with a beautiful personality. The type of Cat everyone wanted to come visit & take home with them. He was HUGE. Not so much fat (though he did get porky there for a while) he was tall and long. We always suspected he had a smattering of Burmese in him as he had a lot of their characteristics. I lost custody of Jet when I left my ex-husband.
Out on my own, I quickly found a pair of brothers, Merlin & Mandrake. Many of you will be familiar with Merlin as he is our current cat. Merlin & Mandrake, though brothers, like Marco & Polo, were as different in personality as chalk and cheese. However in appearance, they were similar, on grey, on black, but with matching white patched on their chest, and on their tummy's between their legs. Merlin was a nervous nellie (& still is) and spent the first few days hissing at me. Mandrake on the other hand was all over me like ants at a picnic. He was into EVERYTHING! Always getting into mischief, getting stuck on top of the wardrobe, between the couch cover and the couch, up trees in yards with Rottweilers, you name it, he's have a go. He used to steal my underwear when I'd have a shower & hid it around the house. He'd climb my leg when I was in the kitchen (lacerations aplenty). Merlin eventually calmed down enough to be an affectionate cat. He used to catch rats and mice - and bring them inside. He'd carry tennis balls in his mouth - when he was still a catten (not quite a kitten, but not quite a cat yet), he'd bring in pieces of wood & bark from the garden and leave a pile of kindling on the family room floor. I was beginning to think he was really a dog. He and Mandrake loved each other. For a while there I also had Jet back with me as my ex had been evicted. Mexican stand offs all 'round and competition for my attention. (she's MY Mum, but she was MY Mum first!) You can imagine! Jet went again & things were back to normal until they were about a year old. That's when Mandrake went missing without a trace. Everyone was very upset. I tried everything to find him, to no avail. I can only hope that he was adopted by another family and not killed. From that point on, Merlin's personality changed. He became nervous again and began insisting to be let out at between 3 & 4 each night. Something he still does. I often wonder if this had something to do with the disappearance of Mandrake. I'll never know. A few months later, I ended up with Jet again following my ex's 3rd eviction. This time I decided to keep him.
Merlin & Jet tolerated each other, but there were no fights so all was well. Intill I moved in with my now husband. There was not enough room for both of them and jet was 16 years old by this stage and his health was failing. Jet eventually ended up with Mum & Dad, who had always loved him & were happy to have him. He lived until he was 17 and a half.
Now we are left with Merlin. I love him to death even though he is one of the most stupid cats I've known. He's a character, that's for sure.
However, I'm thinking I want another little black boy kitten called Raven........
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I'm wondering if I'll ever get to the point where I no longer have bad dreams & feel unsettled following a sighting of my ex-husband (against whom I have a restraining order). Saw him on monday night after a long period of not seing him at all and hoping/praying that that meant he was no longer living in the same area. Wrong! The dreams aren't nightmares, just leave me feeling stressed & pissed off - much like i felt when we were together really. This weeks bad dream consisted of me starting a new job (currently on the cards) only to discover that my ex worked at the same place. Wouldn't that be dandy? What to do? leave? wait for him to get sacked, which invariably happens? Dunno. It was only a dream. This cycle really pisses me off & I really didn't have any idea just how badly he affected me, and continues to affect me. You'd think I was a victim of long-term physical violence. I wasn't, but it feels like it. I just don't want to deal with his bullshit any more & i wait with baited breath after each sighting expecting him to resume stalking me, in one way or another. He probably won't. He's seen my better half, and must know he'd come off second- best. But he's more subversive than that...and that's the problem. I think he realises, after two attempts, that putting in unfounded Police Complaints about me, is not likely to result in me getting sacked.
I just wish he'd drop off the face of the planet.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Why is it that when I take the stairs at work, I can feel it in my legs - I can feel it doing some good, but when I climb the stairs at home, I feel nothing. Does this mean I can only get fitter at work?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
The world lost anothe wonderful person recently. A colleague of mine, Peter Hibbard. He was a natural leader and was great to work with and for. The type of guy you would have walked over hot coals for. We worked on catching Bikies. It was a fun time. Even the bikies respected him. He was successful, reaching the rank of Superintendent at a relatively young age. As well as being highly committed to his job, and the people he worked with, he was also a loving husband and a wonderful father to his two daughters ages 14 and 17. Last Thursday week, he took his own life. He was 46.
I, along with approximately 350 others, attended his funeral on Thursday. It was very emotional as Peter had touched everone there, in some way or another. The resounding message in the service is that the Police need to ensure that it looks after it's staff as they are under an enormous amount of stress and pressure - more than most professions. The other unanimous feeling amongst those who knew him was that Peter always made time for you - whoever you were - colleague, family or friend. And upon the Pastor making this statement, I thought 'He never made time for himself'. I may be wrong, but I don't think so, and I believe it contributed to the situation that he found himself in where he thought suicide was the best option.
Many people do not understand suicide, and never will, unless or until they find themselves in that dark place where you consider it a realistic option. I've been close to the same point Peter was at, so I have some understanding of what may have been going through his head. I have no doubt that he felt like a failure. He had been successful for so long, from when he was a child, that when he could no longer do it all, because of his illness, he considered himself of no further use to anyone. There was probaby alot more to it. There always is and nobody will ever really know what was going through Peter's mind. I know when I was at my worst it was the physical pain as much as anything that I found difficult to live with. It wore me down mentally as well as physically. I sought help and quickly recovered. I don't know if Peter sough help. I am aware that he had been on leave, but I don't know if he was receiving medical attention. I suspect not. And society, and the Police culture have something to do with ones reluctance to seek treatment, because people experiencing anxiety, depression and other stress disorders, are seen as weak, unreliable and unpredictable. I've recently felt the full brunt of this myself at work and as a result I no longer have any future in the organisation - all based on the ignorant opinion of one person.
The loss of Peter is significant and it is a terrible waste. I know that sounds awfully cliche, but I've been thinking about Peter every day since I heard the terrible news, and haven't slept well since the funeral.
My thoughts are with his family.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A little red jacket.
Do you think I can find a little red jacket, tapered to the waist, short sleeves, in my size? Noooooooooooooo. Tried one on today & it would have been perfect - if it was bigger. It was a Large. It was smaller that items I still have from when I was a size 12. What hope have I got??? Yes, I know Target have little red jackets, but they are the wrong style and look silly on anyone bigger than a size 10. Yes, I'm aiming to lose weight, and I have started to - though you can't notice yet. But being perfectly honest, I will probably not get to a 12. I'm aiming for a 14. However, due to my build (large round ribcage) I'm always a size bigger on top, which means that even when I get back to a 14, I STILL won't be able to get anything to fit! Yes, I could try for a 12, but to be honest, I'll lose my tits and, well, I've grown rather fond of them. :-)
So, if any of you have seen any little red jackets that aren't made for fairies, please drop me a line.....
Oh, an when I find the little red jacket, I want a pair of red shoes to go with it:-)
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Does anybody take up chewing Nicorette Gum rather than taking up smoking?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I had an encounter with a guide dog today. We were walking toward each other & I was wondering which way he was going to lead his/her master. I discovered that guide dogs don't always lead their masters around obstacles - they STARE THEM DOWN UNTIL THEY MOVE!!!!
Monday, January 08, 2007
During my time working for the Police, I've noticed something interesting. The proportion of left handed police officers appears to be greater than the 8-15% of the general population. I don't know whether this is purely a South Australian phenomenon. Unfortunately I don't have any statistical evidence, yet. Mainly because doing an organisation wide survey and analysis doesn't really help to catch crooks and is one of those luxury 'what if' questions. I'd love to do a study on it. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the proportion was in the vicinity of 20-30% - at least. As an example, I was in a meeting today with three sworn officers. I was the only right handed person in the room. This is quite common for me. In larger meetings (I'm generally the only civillian) I've noticed the Lefty's make up about a third, if not more, of the people in the room.
Given that the people I end up in meetings with are senior officers (S/Sgt and above) is left-handedness peculiar to those who have the drive and ambition to progress to higher levels within the police force? Or is it just a Police thing?
Has anyone else made any similar observations? Does anyone really care if lots of Police Officers are left handed? Probably not.
So you can now go back to whatever it was you were doing....
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Many, many years ago I used to do wedding photography with my now ex-husband. This was a little venture we embarked on so he could recoup the money he 'borrowed' from me to buy himself a flashy new camera etc.... Nothing but the best - Nikon. We plugged away at this for about 5 years, working in partnership. Initially I would act as his assistant and then do all the post production stuff and assembling of albums. Very time consuming work. Also very expensive as we found that we needed two of everything - in case something stuffed up. We never really made any money and we encountered far more 'Bridezilla's' than sweet blushing brides. Our favorite weddings overall were the last two that we did before calling it a day in 1995. That penultimate wedding was wonderful, despite it being a 40 degree day. The couple were 'older' and professionals (he bride a neurosurgeon). They kept it simple - a ceremony and garden party at the Walkerville home of a friend of theirs. A beautiful old house with wide verandas and large gardens. It was stunning. By this stage of the game, I too was taking photographs, my style being more artistic and candid than those of my (ex)Husband. I took quite a few during this wedding - which was shot entirely in black and white. One of my images was entered into that Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) Awards. My Ex submitted two images from that wedding - one of which we were never sure which of us shot as it was taken at a time when we were swapping cameras (his a medium format and mine a 35mm). Both that shot and mine won bronze awards. Unfortunately I only have in my possession a couple of images from that wedding as I 'lost custody' of all of the other stuff. Here is the image for which I won the award.
It was a real pleasure shooting that wedding, the couple were lovely and everything was casual and unfussed. Everything ran smoothly as it wasn't choreographed to the enth degree. I always hoped that if I married again, my wedding would be similar - and it was. I'd seen enough weddings to know exactly what I DIDN'T want.
We copped our fair share of crap - like the abusive phonecall from a grooms Mother who complained that there weren't enough photographs of her son. We tried to explain that he REFUSED to be photographed on more than 5 occasions and our hands were really tied as we have to comply with the wishes of the bride & groom, within reason. We suggested she take it up with her son. Then there was the bride who wanted us to make her look like Claudia Schiffer. We tried, but there's only so much you can do. We were photographers, not plastic surgeons. She was a bridezilla. Everything was haphazard and all over the shop. She spent the day screaming at everyone and stressing that things weren't going right. I had to repair her bouquet when that started to fall apart. I carried all sorts of gear, florist wire, florist tape, needles, cotton, safety pins, a battery operated fan, rubber backed fabric for the wedding party to sit on so as not to dirty their outfits - have NEVER known of anyone doing that before. I tried to cover all possibilities - and I had to make use of them regularly. Several girls got dresses from a particular bridal outlet and often the alterations started to fall apart mid-wedding.
And don't even talk to me about grooms and groomsmen! Grrrrrrr............Perhaps another time
Then there was the time we very nearly got completely ripped off. Only an error with our bank saw them honour the cheque we were paid. Nobody else that provided services to this particular wedding, including the Grand Hotel. It was a couple from Queensland. The groom was allegedly a barrister, the brides family, wealthy and from Pasadena. They arranged everything by phone at the last minute and kept stalling payment. We received the cheque the day of the wedding. We had asked for a bank cheque - it wasn't. They had a lovely wedding, gorgeous reception, beautiful dress, great flowers. None of it was paid for I believe. Our cheque bounced, but the bank took too long to bounce it and they had to honour it - so they were out of pocket. Needless to say, they never saw their photos.
It was fun at times, very hectic for the most part, but I got fed up with the Bridezillas and felt I could never meet my own expectations regarding my photography and my ex certainly couldn't and that began to frustrate the hell out of me. I've sometimes thought of doing it again. Perhaps for the Advertiser so you can swoop in & swoop out again without having to deal with all the bullshit.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I'm having a bad hair day. Tried out a new 'No Frizz' shampoo & conditioner to try & tame my curls. Guess what? My hair is MORE frizzy than it normally is! I just gave up this morning and as a result I look like a fluff ball. A delightful look.
I'm going to have a go straightening it on the weekend in practice or Wednesday. I have a job interview and have always found I'm taken more seriously when I straighten my hair than when I leave it naturally curly.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I'm talking about Wolfmother. I've come to like their music, which is hardly surprising really.
Before I came to recognise their music, everyone kept telling me I should listen to them, that they were really, really good and sounded a bit like Led Zeppelin. Hmmm.... This I had to hear. I've been listening to Led Zeppelin since I was 8. I grew up on them & their music runs through my blood.
However when I heard 2 or 3 Wolfmother songs it struck me that yes, they did sound familiar, but it wasn't led Zeppelin they sounded like - it was Black Sabbath! Certainly the more sophisticated & somewhat less gothic songs of Sabbath, but Black Sabbath nonetheless. The vocals are far more similar to early Ozzy Osborne than Robert Plant.
Speaking of Sabbath, I've recently rediscovered a Black Sabbath Song I always loved - Planet Caravan. It popped up on a CD we got. I'm going to have to trawl through my collection again & burn off a CD of Sabbath Favs for the car I think.
Anyway, back to Wolfmother. Does anyone else hear the resemblance to Black Sabbath?
Why are bandages white? There is no way on this earth you can keep a white bandage clean! Bandages should be black. Not only would not clash with you outfit, but they would stay looking clean.
I went to bed with a lovely clean white bandage on my finger last night & when I woke up this morning it was grey. Why? We have black sheets.
Anyway, I have more use of my finger now and it's tingling, itching and stinging, all good signs it's healing. It still hurts though - particularly when a tray of chicken fillets falls on it as happened last night while I was doing the food shopping. I think the checkout chicks at the front of the store heard me yelp!
It's bloody inconvenient though & I'll be glad to get the stitches out. I think.
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