Category Archives: Musings

Beauty

I am not perfect. I am no spring chicken. I’m no Barbie with flawless plastic skin, legs up to Heaven and an impossible waist. I have wrinkles, stretch marks, freckles, pimples. My stomach is no washboard for sure, but that is not because of diet or lack of exercise. My body bears the scars of many, many experiences a lifetime of living brings.

I like my food. I have an enormous propensity for eating. Where does it go, I hear you ask. It goes to my face, that’s where it goes. My Oriental Moon face, as some like to call it. Yes, it’s a round shape, I can’t help the genes I was born with.

When I put on weight, it goes to my face first. When I lose weight, it goes from my boobs first. Shucks. So, if you see me looking like a lollipop, big round face with a stick body attached, you know I’ve been on a diet. I realised this when one day I found myself stuffing tissue paper into my bra cups, just to look less flatchested. After the last time that happened, oh so many years ago, I decided to learn to love my body, and not try to make it something it clearly isn’t. I chose Health and Exercise instead of Fashion and Make Up. I’m much more comfortable in a t-shirt and trousers and boots, than in a filmy, floaty dress and stilettos.

These days I’m anything between a UK size 12-16. Yes, when we women are close to getting our periods, we can get bloated from water retention and shift up a dress size or two. That’s a fact of life. Embrace it, don’t deny it. You’ll feel better about yourself for it. Yes, PMS is real too, so deal with it, gents, or stay out of our way. 😄

And if anyone dares to criticize your size, weight, looks and appearance…you tell them where to go, sister.

It’s Your body. Learn to love it, because you’re going to be living in it for a long time.

Cosmetic surgery? Sure, go ahead, if you really must. It might fix a thing or three, but you’ll be constantly fretting about your other imperfections, and then you’ll spend the rest of your life and money fixing those things. Have you seen what happens when cosmetic surgery goes wrong, or when someone has clearly had way too much of it?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This sick Society we live in has declared that Beauty should be such and such, and every girl should try and fit into that mold. It will make you attractive to men, so you can catch a handsome husband, get married, have children and live happily ever after.

Maybe our forebears lived that fairytale, but we sure don’t these days. For one, many of us gals are finding that the company of other women is far more enriching and satisfying than the company of men. So, hetero guys, you really need to pull your socks up and change your outlook and criteria, or you’ll be left in the dirt.

Men can be just as shallow as women, if not more so. In the name of research, I signed on to a free internet dating site, to see what the fish were like in the sea these days. Turns out 95% of men still believe that they can attract women by boasting about their motorcycles, cars and boats. Or about their strong affiliations with certain sports and teams. My impression was that these guys are actually searching  not for potential life partners, but for likeminded friends in a sports club. So, why not just go to a sports club?

Gents, if you’re really serious about finding The One, you really should start thinking about what The One may be looking for. You’d be extremely lucky to find The One online, who loves your Harley as much as you do, or will go wild beside you and scream along with you at an AFL match. If that’s what you’re after, my advice is to ditch the internet dating scene and go to a motorcycle rally, vintage car show, sports event, or whatever your poison is. You’re more than likely to find that those places have done you a great favour already by filtering through your potential candidates and presenting you with those who share your passion for hot rods or angling rods.

As for me, I’m just your average 45-year-old Oriental lassie, carrying a few extra pounds, with a Moon face, little eyes, floppy belly, scars and scarecrow hair. But I’m also witty, savvy, intelligent, funny, hardworking, self-motivated, passionate, honest, truthful and always to the point.

I don’t like using my photo for social media profiles. But it’s not because I’m ashamed of my looks. It’s because I know people will respect me more based on what I write in black and white, or over the phone and internet, rather than on what I say in person. Because, unlike a lot of people, I don’t judge a book by its cover, but by what its contents are like. I’m more interested in the story than in its flashy outer wrapping. My own outer wrapping is perhaps not the prettiest, and I find most men tend to look past me or even through me because of that…but that’s a reflection on their shallowness, and not on me.

What they don’t know is just what they’re missing out on, because baby, I’m all about content 😉.

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Real Love is…

Just some thoughts about the real meaning of Love. With Valentine’s Day round the corner, and Romance on the minds of many, it might be prudent to stop for a minute, and ponder on what Love is. And try not to confuse Love with Lust or just plain obsession.

I found these on Google Images.

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A New Perth

This week, in a flurry of publicity and media advertising, Perth officially opened its newest tourist destination, Betty’s Jetty. I mean Elizabeth Quay. 😄

The powers that be apparently felt it justifiable to spend AU$700,000 on changing the name of the Esplanade Rail and Bus terminals to Elizabeth Quay. This meant that, as the Esplanade was the main terminus for all Transperth bus and train services, every bus and train timetable was affected and had to be reprinted to reflect the change of name. Every train line that passed through the Esplanade also had to have new destination posters printed and the old ones removed from their walls, ditto every train station affected (what’s wrong with simply sticking the new name over the old one? It would have cost the taxpayer less money).

And so, Perth, Western Australia, has had a facelift. Tourists used to bemoan the fact that Perth, unlike her iconic sister Sydney, lacked a focal point for tourists.

Until now, that is. I don’t rightly know if a little pedestrian and cyclist bridge counts as a major landmark, compared to the size and majestic setting of the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or if a smattering of eateries and a new venue for the annual Perth Fringe Festival count either.

I took my trusty mobile phone for a photowalk around Elizabeth Quay last week, after another hot and sweaty day at the Dogs’ Refuge. There was one part of Elizabeth Quay that did remind me of the walk around Sydney Opera House. Perhaps it was the series of stepped seating areas, the boardwalk, or the wavy curves of the new Ferry Terminal’s roof. It was lovely to see a ferry coming in to dock. It did remind me of my jaunt to the Sydney Opera House many, many years ago (25 years, to be exact – OMG, when did I get so OLD?!!), albeit on a much smaller scale.

Anyhow, here are some of the photos I took, so you can see what all the fuss is about. Sightseers are able to walk clockwise or counter-clockwise, it’s a more or less a circular walk. You could start from the Perth Bell Tower and walk clockwise, to end back at the Bell. Or, if you’re starting from the Esplanade sorry Elizabeth Quay train station, you could walk counter-clockwise, to the bridge and over to the Bell and back round to Elizabeth Quay. Below is a map I saw on a wall at the entrance gates.

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And here are the rest of my photos. Sadly, just as I was taking photos from the bridge, my mobile phone battery went dead 😕. So, apologies for the lack of photos after the bridge. I will have to make another trip there, I guess…

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Not For Sale

Maybe back in the old days, say 20 years ago, I might have let myself be impressed by rich guys flaunting their wealth. I might have allowed myself the dubious pleasure of being a wannabe WAG of some hotshot businessman/celebrity/sportsman.

Fast forward 20 years and what seems like several lifetimes later, and faced with a similar situation very recently, I found myself laughing instead. One particular phrase of a famous Shania Twain song kept repeating itself in my head – 🎶🎶🎶”That don’t impress me much” 🎶🎶🎶

I’ll call him “Mr Bling” for the sake of anonymity, and to spare him embarrassment. I assure you however, that no matter how bombastic or larger than life some of my experiences may seem, they are, unless I have specifically stated otherwise, based on real experiences.

Mr Bling’s favourite word is “Loaded”, as in “Having plenty of money”. He drives a flash sportscar with individualised numberplates. I’ve given him the nickname “Mr Bling” because he loves wearing chunky gold jewellery around his neck and on his fingers, much like Mr T’s character B.A Baracus from “The A Team”.

I must be the most frustrating, infuriating and annoying potential amorous conquest Mr Bling has ever encountered. Not that I’m in any way interested in a booty call. But Mr Bling seems to think I’m “up for it”, and his lewd suggestions and hints back up his convictions.

The truth of the matter is, when Mr Bling brings out his huge … wad of cash, and slams it down on the table in front of me, and proclaims that he’s “loaded” and has “never wanted for cash”, “always carries around $10000”, and sleeps in his house with “around $38k in cash”, instead of impressing me, it just makes me think of all the homeless people and dogs he could have helped, if he donated that money instead of flaunting it in front of people.

He also believes that because other women swoon and fall at his feet when he throws his cash about, I’d be the same. But I just so happen to be that rare bird that can’t be bought.

Sorry, mate, you can wave your pieces of green, yellow, blue and pink coloured plastic paper all over the place and posture all you like, but🎶🎶🎶 that don’t impress me much 🎶🎶🎶.

Mr Bling thinks he can buy my love. Well, my love isn’t for sale at any price. I give it freely, but only to the few who deserve it. And certainly not to someone who thinks I should be at his beck and call, that I’ll drop everything for him just because he says so. Nope. There are things I have to do and I will do them first, I’m not compromising on my own life because you say so. You have no right to feel so entitled.

Okay, so you finally bought me that cup of coffee…after months of saying you would (what a tightwad! But then again, millionnaires don’t get rich by being generous with their money, right). But that doesn’t mean you’ve bought me. Not at all, matey!

You can’t impress me by showing off your material wealth, and if you even try doing that it just goes to prove that you know nothing about me. And if you, knowing nothing about me, don’t bother to try finding out what makes me tick, then you don’t deserve me.

I found these quotes on Google Images, that echo the sentiment that Money cannot buy Love. Enjoy!

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The New Bullies

Social Media can be a great tool for bringing about an increase in business traffic. It can serve to alert many people to the existence of a product, service or cause.

But it also has a very ugly side. One that seems to be rearing its head more and more frequently these days. And I’m not talking about how our Media feed is being manipulated so that we only see or know about what They choose to let us see or know. They’re not even trying very hard to cover up the real news these days. And why? Because generally, people are stupid and lazy and can’t be bothered to scratch under the surface, to peel away that very thin veneer of a facade, to uncover the Truth. The Elite are almost guaranteed that the sheeple masses will soak up and bask vicariously in the glorious scandals and “news” of celebrities, and not be inclined to look elsewhere. If it does not appear on your Facebook feed, it never happened, right?

But I’m not going to harp on about that. Not today. Today I’m calling out the New Bullies On The Block. Yes, the playground bullies of old have grown up and migrated to Social Media, where they’re having a whale of a time.

These days I find myself holding back from making comments about any posts I see online. The first thing I do is check the Comments section. I can then gauge by the level of “flaming” going on, whether the post is going to be full of online trolls, or real human beings, with a modicum of respect and common sense. If it’s the latter, then I might post my comment.

Sadly, we’re living in a world full of trolls. You can’t post anything up on your own Social Media feed, without attracting these lowest forms of life. No, I don’t mean to insult amoebas. I mean the ones that have nothing better to do that jump on your back and try to pummel you to death with Their Opinions. And, being the malcontents that they are, these heinous creatures will then sit and wait for other unsuspecting people to come along and dare to make a comment. And then they’ll set to with fangs bared and claws out, ripping to shreds any dissenting views. They must have really ginormous Egos that require constant buffing and buttering up.

Many a forum thread or post have had to be deleted by either the original poster, or moderators, because these bullies have so effectively hijacked them as to be unrecognisable. What may have started out as an innocent statement, has been turned into a maelstrom of seething discontentment, like a pit full of vipers.

Why? Why do people feel the need to troll? Why do they need to take to Social Media to vent their frustration against something else? Because rarely is their anger really about the subject or person they’re flaming. These cyber bullies have other ants down their pants, but have turned to Social Media as a means of releasing their angst. Welcome to the world of Virtual Psychiatry, where you attempt to heal yourself by tearing someone else a new a**hole to bits.

Even the most inocuous Pages can be filled with the most horrendous wolves in sheep’s clothing. Everyone’s out to get something for nothing.

Even a post selling off some books can turn into a playground full of bullies. Where the seller perhaps needs to sell quickly, in order to get much-needed cash, and has named their terms. You’d think this transaction would’ve gone smoothly without notice, but you’d be wrong. Instead, these new playground bullies decide that they don’t want to respect the seller’s terms, so they try wrangling different terms, their own terms to be precise, advising the seller of their own requirements, and they even start arguing amongst themselves and talking as if the seller isn’t in the conversation. Brazen? Yes. Cheeky? Definitely. Rude? Oh, most certainly. Enough to drive people away? What do you think?

It’s becoming rarer and rarer to find decent human beings in this world. Mostly, they’re the ones living away from our technologically advanced but soul-sucking, materialistic world. Or, they’re the ones who realise where Society is going wrong, and are managing to keep their heads while everyone else is running around like so many headless chickens. When you come across people like these, (the ones still owning their heads, not the headless chickens), hold tightly onto them because they are as precious and rare as hens’ teeth these days. I’d rather have just 1 of these “real” people as a friend, than a million “the lights are on but nobody’s home” vapid, vacuous, vain, empty sacks posing as human beings. I recently uncovered 2 diamonds in the rough, and they are definitely worth holding on to.

Why do people feel they can misbehave so freely on Social Media? Is it because of the relative anonymity the Internet provides? Is it because anyone can set up any identity they like, hell why not create a dozen different profiles, and let’s go take our anger and frustration out online, and bring others down to our level so we can feel ever so slightly better about ourselves for the next 5 minutes? Why do some people, especially the younger generation, feel so entitled? And get so aggressive when their bullying is called out?

Here’s another example of the sort of attitude that makes my blood boil. It’s not on Social Media, this example…it’s far worse than that. This is a real life example.

Someone’s just been asked if they would like to sell their car. Let’s call them the Seller and the Buyer.

Buyer: How much do you want for your car?
Seller: $5000
Buyer: I’ll give you $2000
Seller: But you asked me how much I wanted, and I said $5000.
Buyer: Hey listen, I’m just trying to help you out here. $2000 is my offer, take it or leave it.

That is just rude and disrespectful.

Society is sick. And we need to start reversing the trend, before it’s too late for all of Humankind.

Are you with me or against me?

Is this going to open up a whole new can of worms?

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(Image source: http://www.sinfest.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=3824&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=65 Which, incidentally, provides a rather good example of the type of flaming or bullying that goes on in online forums. It’s by no means a new phenomenon either, as this site harks back to 2008 or even earlier).

Always Read The Label

Stereotypes
Put people in
Neat little packages
Create nice little labels
And tags
So that
When you see someone
You know how to
Adjust your attitude
Make a little mental note
On how to treat that person
Always read the label

If they fit the pigeonhole
You can file them away
In a safe place
Inside your head
Along with all the others
So that the next time
Another one comes along
You know exactly what to expect
It certainly makes life much easier
And less scary
When you know
Who or what you’re dealing with

Until someone comes along
And upsets your apple cart
And turns your Nice Plan
Upside down and inside out
By not conforming to any
Of the rules you’ve set for them
By being completely different
By doing everything contrary
To what you’ve learnt
And to what Society
Has drilled into your head
And now your head is screwed

This is not an abnormality
This is not a blip
Humans are not pigeons
That fit neatly into pigeonholes
For your convenience
Do not adjust the person
But do adjust your attitude
And prejudices against
The very labels you have imposed
Upon others, as
There are others Just Like You
…always read the label

The only labels we need have
For people should be
Good or Bad
But even then the very yardstick
By which we measure them
Is never completely unbiased
Depending instead on everything
You’ve been taught from young
And again, depending on
The very things we would like
To NOT discriminate against
How’s that for irony?

So, one person’s Good
May be another person’s Bad
When viewed through
The highly distorted lenses
Of Race, Religion,
Sexual orientation,
Culture, Gender
Political affiliation,
Even Occupation
And Life Philosophies
One man’s meat
Is another man’s poison

So, what should we do?

Start again, start afresh
Start with a clean slate
Start with our children
Before it’s too late

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Which Planet Are You On?

The Kid and I were watching the TV series “Supergirl” the other night, and something one of the characters said to another made me sit up.

Kara is Supergirl, and her Aunt Astra, who was imprisoned on Fort Roxx, a floating space satellite maximum security prison thingy, has contrived a confrontation with Kara. In a nutshell, Astra was regarded as a terrorist on Krypton because of her revolutionary activities, and when she got captured she was sentenced to life imprisonment on Fort Roxx. When the Planet Krypton exploded, Fort Roxx was knocked out of orbit and landed on Earth. Kara herself had been placed in a space pod as a 14 year old girl, and sent to look after and protect her baby cousin, Kal-El…unfortunately the shockwaves from the demise of Planet Krypton also knocked Kara’s pod off its intended trajectory, Earth, and she languished in space for years, before ending up on Earth. By the time Kara got to Earth, her baby cousin Kal-El, had already grown up and become the superhero known as Superman.

Here’s a transcript of the conversation that construes between Aunt and Niece. This is in Season 1, Episode 8: “Hostile Takeover”.

Krypton is dying.

Our core is unstable. It has been for a long time because of how we’ve harnessed it for power.

We became greedy. And now the oceans have changed, and the weather.

I’m trying to get people to stop and see what they’re doing, and in doing so, I’ve had to do some difficult things.

Now, those of us who grew up on the Superman stories know exactly how it ended for the planet Krypton.

All just science fiction, right? Therefore not relevant, right?

But…Astra’s words have a certain ring of truth to them. Just look around us. Look at the human race. Look at the effects of our wanton disregard for the gifts of Mother Nature, our exploitation of Her animals, plants, oceans, minerals etc.

What have we done to our own Planet Earth???

Isn’t it time we stopped and started to think of ways we can SAVE our planet? Instead of continuing to plunder it for its resources, just to feed some greedy, grasping, profits-before-people corporations? Money isn’t even real!

Or…will those who dare cry that the emperor wears no clothes simply be locked up, just like Astra was? Will the Elite simply pay their minions to silence the revolutionaries, the rebels, the ones who dare speak the Truth?

If we do nothing, then Planet Earth is doomed to the same fate as Planet Krypton. Only this time round, it isn’t going to be science fiction, it’s going to be fact.

WAKE UP!

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Dog Enrichment Toys

Since I’ve recently become responsible for providing Enrichment Toys to some of our more needy dogs at the Refuge, I seem to have developed an interest in researching different types of Enrichment Toys for dogs.

Enrichment Toys for dogs, cats and other pets come in different styles and levels of “difficulty”. I use the term “difficult” very loosely, because really it’s not fair to compare a dog’s ability to a human’s. Dogs lack opposable thumbs, for one, and only have their snouts, mouth and paws with which to open or close anything. Whereas we as adult humans would think nothing about twisting the top off a jar of pasta sauce, or using a peeler to peel carrots.

So, what “difficult” means for dogs in the context of Enrichment Toys would be more akin to “How long does it take the dog to figure it out?” As in, how quickly can Rex learn to push the treat dispenser in such a way that the kibble within falls out so he can eat it. Or, can Rex figure out how to use his nose and tongue to push the treat along the maze until it emerges so he can gobble it up.

There are many, many different types of Enrichment Toys, also known as Puzzle Toys, Slow Feeders, Activity Toys, Boredom Busters, Enrichment Dispensers etc. Some are very simple, consisting of one piece only, such as the ubiquitous Kong:

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(Image: Google Images)

Others are complex and contain many different parts, and require the dog to stand on levers to release the treat. There’s even an ambitious one that works using centrifugal force…you put kibble in the middle of the flying-saucer shaped dispenser, and when the dog nudges or rattles it around, the kibble within spin out. An example is shown below, designed by a Swedish woman named Nina Ottoson. You can read about Nina’s personal story here, and check out her many products for “activating” pets (her own term for it) here.

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(Image : Google Images)

You only have to Google “dog enrichment toy”, or “dog activity toy” to find hundreds of examples of both manufactured and homemade DIY versions of such toys.

At the Refuge recently, we had 2 of these funky flying-saucer treat dispensers. One was given to a dog named Wolfie, whose technique was to chew on it. I tried the other out with a greyhound named Pi, and he amazed me by thinking outside the box. Instead of nudging the dispenser around, like I was expecting him to, Pi’s technique involved stamping down on the side of the flying-saucer disk, and making it flip over and over, so the kibble dribbled out. Clever Pi!

Quotes on Why We Need Art

Yesterday I wrote about why we need Art, especially in this mad new world of ours, where Money is God.

As I did my online research, I discovered many quotes on why we make Art, and why Art is important to us all. So today I thought to myself, why waste a good opportunity to share those quotes here with yourself.

(The following images are curated from Google Images):

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The Genetic Studies of Dr Elinor Karlsson

For anyone interested in learning how dogs can truly be Man’s Best Friend and even save his life in more ways than one, the work of Dr Elinor Karlsson is essential reading. As part of my ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology course, I had to do some light reading on this subject. It’s exciting and intriguing, and I wish I had more Science residing in my brain cells, but hopefully here is a summary of Dr Karlsson’s scientific ambitions, in a (very small) nutshell:

Why are the genetic studies of Dr Elinor Karlsson and her team so important?

The main principle behind Dr Elinor Karlsson’s research is the premise that humans and dogs share not only many common genes but also a wide range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, narcolepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, heart disease, eye diseases, deafness etc. On top of that, these diseases also display clinical manifestations that are remarkably similar in both humans and dogs. Dr Karlsson hopes that by mapping the dog genome, and by getting dog owners to contribute towards a doggy DNA pool (the Dog Genome Sequencing Project) for further research, she and her team will be able to pinpoint exactly where diseases can occur in specific breeds of dogs, as in the exact location or loci on the dog’s genes, and how to prevent/treat/cure them, and, ultimately, how to transfer their findings to human research and testing.

Dogs live alongside humans and are exposed to similar pollutants in the environment. Diseases occur spontaneously in dogs, just as in humans, over the course of their lives. As dogs have a lifespan around 7 times shorter than humans, diseases of “old age”, such as cancer, manifest earlier in dogs and run their course in a few short years. Treatment for dogs necessarily proceeds more rapidly, and results are seen faster. Clinical trials that might take 5-15 years tested out on humans, will only take 1-3 years in dogs. So, it is hoped that dogs can provide a suitable testing ground for new and novel therapies. If it works on dogs, it might just as well work on humans. Dogs could REALLY prove to be Man’s Best Friend, in more ways than one.

More information on Dr Karlsson’s research can be found on this link, which makes for intriguing (if rather scientific) reading: http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/leader-of-the-pack-gene-mapping-in-700103

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(Photo of Dr Elinor Karlsson taken from this site: http://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2015/12/wall-street-journal-umms-study-of-canine-dna-may-yield-discoveries-to-help-people/ which gives people the opportunity to help Dr Elinor Karlsson’s work by contributing their own dogs’ DNA to her growing database for further research. Photo by Michael J Butts).