Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fog Creek and the German Man

Technology can be totally frustrating you know. :)

The other day I downloaded the optional update for my Second Life viewer here on Preciousss (the name I have given the Macbook ;)).

It did not go well.

Everytime I tried to log into the SL servers I crashed the viewer and it would freeze on my screen with that little coloured disc spinning merrily away for an age until I had to use the Force Quit option twice to get it to close.

To say I was stressed and unhappy about this was an understatement.

So in my annoyance I decided to move everything Second Life off my computer to the trash and start again. Empty Trash seemed like a good way to go to get the system clean. That's what I did. I emptied the trash.

I not only managed to get rid of the Second Life application but almost my entire HD as well.

SOMEHOW, all my applications had managed to wind up IN the TRASH and when I hit empty.... I was left with icons and not much else. Skype worked as did Office but nothing else worked.

I was distraught. I couldnt' figure out what to do so I called my Dad who kindly came around on Thursday evening and offered his limited help. I asked Dad because he has owned a Mac for nearly 5 years so I figured he might be a good choice. There wasn't much we could do expect reinstall the entire OS X system back onto Preciousss and hope for the best.

That worked. I had Safari and all my apps working again. Downloaded Skype successfully and again downloaded the Second Life viewer.

To no avail.

The SL viewer still refused to cooperate on Preciousss. It worked fine on the Windows machine over the other side of the room (it is now nicknamed Unimatrix One *grin* or Uni1 for short). But alas and alack... poor Preciousss languished with no real defined purpose in her life... I still haven't reinstalled Office for Mac on her yet or got around to getting the print option to work on the shared network but we'll get to that eventually.

I was really, really blue about it. I just couldn't shake the incredible desperation and feelings of total hopelessness in regard to my computer of all things!

Its' weird you know! I can be quite easily prosaic and pragmatic and such when it comes to the lives of People; I really am live-and-let-live when it comes to people. When it comes to my toys though, I just want them to WORK and when they don't... I get very depressed about them as if they were more important to me than the people they bring me closer to. I wonder why it is that I have this strange and rather distorted view of things?

So anyway.

Martin from Germany tried somewhat in vain, to get me to snap out of my stupid fatalistic thinking over poor Preciousss. It was killing me to think I would "never be able to play in Second Life on her again".

Yes! That is how low I can go! I am stressed over a GAME on a piece of technical hardware with no emotional capacity to love me back and yet I worry over it and fret, while all the while, I have a mother-in-law just down the road whom I adore and whom I may not see for a long, long time very soon. So weird!

We came up with a solution.

And now comes the rave part of this post. *grin*

Martin and I used the Fog Creek Copilot application to effectively give him control over Preciousss for 24 hours.

Yes! He lives in Germany and I live in Australia. Preciousss lives on a table near my front window in Australia. Martin works from his Cave over there.....waaaaayyyyyy over there! But amazing as it sounds...and it IS amazing! ...Yes! He played on Preciousss as if he were sitting in front of her and FIXED my problem!!! *grin*

.........well he is a nice bloke that way really! :) Rather enjoys rescuing damsels in distress I suppose! He is Drache afterall ;)

....but enough of raving about how clever Martin is (and he is clever make no mistake).... I really wanted to absolutely and categorically say that the tiny little thing we used from Fog Creek was simply amazing.

Yes... it was a little slow for Martin but it was Friday night here and cold out..... so internet traffic in Australia at that hour was bound to be pretty heavy. Not only that, we were doing this wirelessly so that makes it even more incredible at how successfully the copilot program worked! At least to me it does anyway.

It was rather like watching a Poltergeist take control of my cursor on the screen and start doing strange things of its own. Maybe it was a little like a mysterious ouiji board glass moving about seemingly without the assistance of any known hand! Even my husband commented on the strange feeling he had watching Martin scoot around Preciousss doing things to her I could never have begun to understand if he had tried to explain them to me in a text chat screen!

That's the beauty of a application like Copilot. Whilst it was HARD for Martin to do what he would have been doubly hard if he had tried to explain it to me in words. The programme made it sooo much easier for us to get my problem sorted.

Of course the first thing Martin said when he got connected to my computer was "myyyyy precioussssss" which made me laugh out loud for the first time in a number of days! :) It was very cute and funny and I appreciated it because well... you don't just hand over the full rights to your computer to just "anyone".... You have to totally trust the person who says they can help and yeah... Martin totally proved his trustworthiness to me helping me out with this stuff. :) I wouldn't recommend anyone using Copilot unless its with someone they trust implicitly to do the right thing. :)

I am feeling so much better now. :) My lovely Macbook is almost back to normal. Once I can print my documents etc on the wireless or shared network, it will be even more wonderful. :)

So now I'm back in Second Life when I'm not doing other things, zapping around the grid, window shopping to my hearts content again and/or watching Martin's avatar build things (one does need some patience for that though which I don't often possess but if I can put in my 2c its not that bad really to make things in SL from scratch). I won't be updating the viewer again until I absolutely have to but in the meantime its fine just the way it is.

Thankyou sooooo much Martin AND Fog Creek for making it possible. Bliss :) Off to actually do work on Uni1 now. :) Blogging is such a good excuse to slack off. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The ethos of dying

My Mother-in-law faces imminent death.

As we make her comfortable in her home for her final days on earth, we seek to protect her and closet her away from pain, suffering and the many miniscule duties that she no longer needs or wants to do or can do.

She is 82 years old and is ever so ready to depart from here now. She prays for a quiet death in her own comfortable bed, just drifting off into endless sleep without rancour or torment for herself or others. She longs to be in the arms of Jesus, in the room he promised he would have prepared for her. It is unique to her temperament and talents.

I imagine her room in heaven consisting of mainly kitchen and pantry :) My Mother-in-Law was ever the cook. She cooked to "rest". It was her haven from the madness of life. The clutter of flour, pastry, vegetable and fruit, strewn across her benchtops cheered her and satisfied her soul. Cooking food that made her family, friends and others far and near happy and content soothed her and gave her hope.

She will cook in heaven! I have no doubt of it. The everlasting feast in Paradise will include the culinary skills of my beloved Mother-in-law in amongst the dishes on the table.

Who said Heaven was going to be boring with nothing to do? Whoever said that going to Heaven was the kiss of death to all things scintillating and wonderful? EVERYTHING will be beautiful and wonderful and it will all taste divine! Literally! It was how it was meant to be in the beginning. We only get a shadow of the wonders of food, perfume, colour, light, humour and joyful exuberance here now. In Heaven, everything will be a bazillion times more than it is now; a feast for the senses and no overload either :)

Heaven by its very nature will satisfy beyond all imagining. Our unique skills and gifts, even our learned skills will be made use of in heaven. It's inevitable! How can it be otherwise when here on earth now, it is in the deepest joys that you will find a person content and happy in their what they love to do and can do well.

So my MIL waits patiently. She creeps ever forward toward the door of Death and pleads for entrance beyond its mysterious face.

What do I want for my MIL?

Peace. Rest. A soul found worthy of spending eternity with Jesus. :) (Yes! I do believe he wants us all there! Why and How I don't comprehend or understand. I just think that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain if we do). I also want that my husband - her youngest son - will be cared for as he grieves for his dearly loved Mum. It is HIM for whom I hold the deepest concerns really but that is a blog for another day :)

......It's incomprehensible isn't it? How can we really know what lies beyond death? We don't of course. Death rarely gives us answers from behind its doors. Death is both a sacrifice and a gain. It is not duality of spirit although certainly a conduit to change. Death can be a welcome thing and it can sting like a thousand pins.

Some deaths kill joy and hope. Some deaths gently ease the furrows of worry and distress. Some deaths merely needle and other deaths change life on earth forever. Each small part of death makes way to more and more LIFE in all its abundance and hope. Yet...we still fear it for we do not know.

As we resign ourselves to these last few weeks with our Mum and Mother-in-Law, we shall do our grieving in living rather than after she has left us. At least I think we will. It's hard watching someone die and it is a relief - almost - when death finally takes them home.

We will miss her though. She is currently busy passing on her favourite recipes to anyone who is interested :) Explaining the notes in her handwritten recipe books and discussing the finer points of boiling and baking custards, puddings, roasts and other delicacies. I imagine we shall not eat quite the same again until we all join her at the Eternal Banqueting Table. :)

As I write this I am wondering if I sound a little flippant and if I dishonour my Mother-in-Law with this post. I do not intend to. Death maybe a prosaic and fundamentally practical issue for me, but I do still cry at the loss of those I love. It is hard to lose those you love to unforgiving death. It totally hurts to be bereft of that life in them that you loved so well. We miss them - sometimes very acutely. For christians, we do have the small comfort that we know the separation is temporary. That can be a small comfort though not a big one; "Temporary" can be an awful lot of years without.

I love my Mother-in-Law. Deeply. She has grace, wisdom, gentleness of spirit, honour and unselfish service in every pore and every fibre of her humanity. She has laughed a lot in the years I've known her despite losing her husband and her only daughter to cruel diseases. She still laughs even now, as she battles with her own cancer.

She LOVES. It was very very rare for my MIL to not love and want to care for another person. She GAVE of herself, her time, her possessions, her produce over and over, always considering those who had less as more worthy of more. She was/is frugal, honest, truthful and abounds in Wisdom and gentleness. She is astonishing really. I expect her funeral will not be a small one when it finally comes. :)

So anyway. Enough now. Grieve not for my mum in law but for her sons. Her three sons, one of whom is my husband. They will be orphans once she leaves and that can be tough to accept too. No child imagines being without their parents!

God speed you home Marion Ruby Pitman with all my love :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Be kind to a weary woman week.

It seems that many many women in my age group are just plain TIRED!

A whole week should really be dedicated to women in general...not just a Mothers Day :)

This week was hellishly busy. I can feel the beginnings of a cold sneaking into my nose and throat. I'm run down and weary. Trying too hard to fit everything I WANT to fit into my days and hours. But I am fine and reasonably content. This week wasn't as busy as I expected it would be but nor was it a "cruise" either. There will be busier weeks ahead I'm sure of it!

It's just the way things are.

Women were made to manage a vast number of things. Many of those things are directly or indirectly the result of the doings of other people. We pick up after our families, extended families, friends, distant relations, workmates, bosses, volunteer organisations, groups, clubs, schools, committee's. We clean, we wash, we smooth/iron out things from emotional trauma's and miniture tragedies to the clothes and the bathroom basin. We listen to stories, we tell stories; we shed tears, we wipe tears; we plan, we implement and we negotiate all manner of organisational conundrums.

Depending on our innate or learned level of personal organisation, we can get a great deal done in a day.

Thing is we often DO so much that we forget to just STOP and BREATHE and just feel something other than overwhelming exhaustion.

There is no joy in being a middle-age and being like this. None at all! Many women thrive on being hyper-busy. They love the kudo's it brings them; the raison d' etre for their existence is to prove how capable and "helpful" they can be.

Other women - and I count myself amongst this second group - get incredibly stressed and overwhelmed when they have just way too much to do in a short amount of time. Some of us in that second group handle it through being really organised and a liberal dose of humour, some just flounder and become very depressed that they can't do it "all" like they think they should be able to.

It's just a matter of perspective really....and yes being organised does help enormously. Not everything can a wife/mother/daughter/sister/aunt/cousin/best friend/friend/volunteer/workmate/employee say "NO!" to; however, we can say "No!" a lot more often than we do.

I guess it boils down to making SPACE to move and to feel our buried emotions, that in a crowded life, often get neglected and ignored. It's fine to come home after an enormously busy week like the one I"ve just had, and feel slightly elated at having some time to be mySELF and to be proud and content with everything accomplished this past week.

It's equally fine to come home as I have after other busy weeks and go to bed sobbing out of sheer frustration and over-tiredness. Not every busy week comes with a sense of accomplishment - some are just "shitty weeks" and that is fine too.

Life doesn't stay the same unless you want it to. This shitty week may give rise to some really great weeks down the track so one needn't assume that what couldn't be accomplished this past week defines one as a woman.

Still! It can be tough to get a busy week into perspective. Last Sunday, when I was configuring the outcomes I wanted to achieve for this week, I felt tetchy, irritable, stressed-out and morose. I didn't want to face this week really, it scared me at how full it appeared it would be.

But now I'm here at the other end, it's okay. Yes it has been tough but I survived and made it through because I made good enough choices about things and said "No" whenever I could.

But... it would be nice if someone would just help out with the washing all the same! :)

So to all Husbands, boyfriends, lovers and kind to your weary woman whoever she may be. Don't leave your flotsam for her to pick up, she has enough of that in her life as it is and doesn't really need to have to pick up after you.... but she will

...coz that's what we do.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Our beloved cat of 8.5 years was euthenized today (Saturday 16th June 2007) just after midday.

Billy The Cat came to our family Christmas Eve 1998. He was cute, beautiful and great fun with a winning personality for a mere cat.

He grew to be a BIG cat...weighing in on average around 7.5kg (about 16.53lbs) with the most magnificent fat thick furry tail :)

He was independant and not really a "snuggly" cat although he did love his brushing sessions with "Daddy" each day.

He took to my old teddy bear I got when I was one year old. He used to cart it around the house at night howling with it as if it were prey in the wild, teddy firmly clenched between his teeth. Then he would "Kill" Teddy with passionate intent. It was like watching a miniture tiger carving up the family kill for the feasting. That poor teddy got so mauled I had to recover him many times so he looked nothing like what he did when I first received him.

Teddy will also be buried with Billy today in the old fishpond which is pretty much useless now with the drought. We shall fill it with soil and plant a shrub in it to remember our beautiful cat by.

For the past 12 months our cat has suffered regular and untreatable seizures. This past week saw him suffer through maybe close to 15 + violent and excruciating convulsions. It was never pretty to watch Bill have a seizure but I got innured to it and accepted them as a part of his...our lives. But this week brought too many and his temperament changed to that of a very haunted, anxious and aggressive shadow of his former self.

We watched the entire process of his passing away; my husband, my daughter and myself. Only our son has missed saying goodbye to Billy as he had to play footy in Nati today. I'm sure this will be something he may or may not regret as the years go by - we don't know yet.

Billy hated the Vet this past couple of years. He growled and whined constantly. His passing away was no different really. Feisty and opinionated to the end, our cat went to his next home with a deep growl in the back of his throat. It doesn't worry me to remember him this was absolutely and positively our Billy expressing his displeasure as usual. :)

He had a lot of names over the course of his life. Here are some of the nicknames he's had over the years.

Bucket Features

Loved and doted on, our cat passes into memory and time for us now. We shall never replace him as a personality. Time will tell if we replace him for another pet. Right now... another pet just seems too much like hard work. I want to rest from the constant vigilance having a pet requires now, not only to savour the memory of Billy, but to just rest from having to THINK about his welfare and needs.

He is seizure and pain free now. Thank God for his life and for the gift of joy that he brought to us all these past 8.5 years.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I wouldn't want her job!

Young Ms Hilton gets a lot of press.

It seems the Pirahna's in media hype just can't get enough of the girl with a ready pose for the camera and an all too ready gaff in Underwear Mis-management.

She's had a pretty sheltered life our Young Ms H.

All things considered, she really doesn't live in "our world" with all its issues of money, time and place, work and family. Life is very different for Paris and her siblings; it always has been and always will be.

Sure! Most of us enjoy poking a few sticks at her. We ingraciously imply she has no real intelligence; we assert she has far too much money than can be "good" for a person; we unceremoniously judge her sexual behaviours as being stupid, foolish, slovenly and misguided.

Many of us are quite determined to bring Ms H down a peg or two million, just so we feel she is on a more level playing field with the rest of us.


I just feel incredible compassion for her really. Probably a subtle mix of pure pity in there too but seriously...? The girl hasn't got it "all". No one has! Not even the four or five homeless people who begged for a few coins for food and a bed when we were in Melbourne on Saturday morning this past weekend. If someone claims they have it "all" - you'd have to wonder if they need psychiatric care! Happiness is as transient as the moment in which you exist! It's not wealth or fame that gives us our life - it's our being and our attitudes that make our lives what they really are!

Still! Ms H has all the trimmings of a providential life. She has lived a life so alien from my own, that I cannot even begin to comprehend her daily conundrums, decisions she must make, problems she must solve, attitudes she must endure. Her life is its own entity. She has access to tonnes of cash but... the pressures that that places on her every single moment of her day must be enormous!

My life has its own contingent pressures, but fame isn't one of them and nor is vast amounts of wealth. I have no clue as to how those two things can change a person nor do I want to. How does one cope with all of that privilege, infamy and wealth? How does one manage to negotiate the tempestuous waters of Life's Aquarium as someone notable/notorious? Paris Hilton IS, quite literally, a pretty goldfish, living in a large, clear fish-tank, with our grubby fingers tapping on the glass at her, constantly pressuring her to perform her tricks and NOTICE us!

She's a young woman who just wants to party and have fun? Sure! She's most definitely like many other 24 year olds, at least hormonally! :) Still! We've not had her place in life, her background, her heritage, her childhood nor her current exposure in every magazine under the sun! Who would WANT that life? Really? Who would want to be so flagrantly exposed either deliberately or otherwise?

I don't!

I just feel intensely sorry for Ms H. She might not have "any brains". But maybe, just maybe she does! Do we really KNOW her? No! Should we? NOOOOOOOO WAY!!!! Let the woman have a little bit of dignity in the end.

Perhaps we could all practise our obession with privacy for ourselves by allowing her that same privilege! This is why I've not linked to any stories or images in this blog to Paris herself. It's a rather feeble token gesture on my part, in trying to give her some privacy - a commodity in which she seems to be very poor indeed.

I would give everything I had to never be famous...ever! :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

When movies are just too good :)

Home from our weekend away in Melbourne and I've finally got some time to write about our movie experience we had last night.

in a word...


Greg and I only just made it to the Sunday evening showing of "300" at the IMAX theatre at the Melbourne Museum.

I don't go to IMAX that much as the movies they show are generally in 3D. I can't enjoy 3D movies because I don't have Binocular vision (I'm blind in my left eye). This occasion was a rare one where the movie was accessible for me.

I didn't really know what to expect from this movie. I had a sketchy synopsis in my head and I knew it has an Aussie Actor (aka David Wenham)in it - which was the clincher to convince my husband it might be worth a look :)

Well.... this is one helluvua movie!


It is Legend, Myth, Epic Tale and Fantasy all entwined into one. It isn't a complex story and yet.....?

Lets just say that the script has a marvellous je ne sais quoi quality to it huh? Of course it's "simple"... but then this is about the action not the subtleties of plot nuance :) Don't see this if you are wanting to think... see this movie if you just want to be left spell-bound by a enthralling Story

I was captured by it! Obviously! :) It is a grand story too, full of blood-thirsty horrors of war and all manner of gross evils. Very Good and Very Bad all clearly delineated and expressed in word and digitally enhanced skin-tones! :)

Thing is, I think the characters are quite wonderfully portrayed. The cast in this film is superb really, playing their roles with delicious undercurrents of pathos and humour, drama and sensitivity.

It's gory but it's also probably, THE sexiest movie that Hollywood has produced in yonks too! Oh my! All those naked Spartan male chests? T'was enough to make a girl go weak at the knees! *shiver* *drool*

It could have been the whole IMAX experience that made this movie have such a wow factor for me; I realise this, but at the same time, I do think that this simple over-sized story lends itself very well to the over-sized surround-sound experience of the Giant Screen too. It just WORKED!

The marriage of special CGI effects and real-live actors
makes this movie very visually exciting and for its type and style, it works beautifully. Of course, it will probably become "ruined" by massive merchandising in the form of video games and such but for the film itself, this kind of blending of artificial with actual, makes for an interesting and exciting appeal to the senses.

So okay? Did I like it? You bet! Bloody AWESOME Fun in my honest opinion.

Go see it (preferably on a really big screen. I promise you'll not be disappointed).

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I got it! I got it!

I am sitting in our motel room in melbourne here typing this blog on our new Macbook laptop computer *grin*

I am hooked into the hotel's broadband connection which is really REALLY slow but hey? Who's complaining.

This will take some getting used to though. I have much to learn about using the OS X operating system but so far so good.

When we get home, it will be frustrating not being able to use it straight away off our broadband connection at home as we've yet to purchase a wireless router for home but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle to arrange within the next week or so.

I have big plans for this puppy! :)

One of the first is finding a name for "her" (Yes... its a she!... PB's Little Sister no less... which isn't really easy to explain unless you know bat...*grin*)

So! This is wierd and strange and I have none of my favourite sites bookmarked on here yet and well.... I am just so excited I can barely contain myself *grin* *BOUNCE*

Okay.... so I'm now officially one of those Mac Geeks ...almost anyway.