Five things I liked this week 14/01 – 20/01

1. Lifeline bookfest is on! The southern hemisphere’s biggest second hand book sale. We went on Saturday (14 Jan) as I can’t go this weekend or on the Sunday.  We includes G and Elle. G bought one book, although I also bought one for him as well, but Elle and I both acquired a number, including (for me) some vintage crafting magazines from the 70s.  

2. Yin yoga again tonight.  Very calming. I am thinking this will probably become a very regular class for me.

3. I have started eating veggies for breakfast.  One packet of those steam in the bag frozen veggies, a handful of frozen blueberries and some cheese. Lots of comments but filling, tasty and good for the digestion.

4. A walk in air con last night.  Brisbane is sweltering through a heat wave and so we went to the mall last night for an air conditioned walk.  

5. Not really a good thing- but I am heartened by the significant number of posts about protesting trump on facebook feed. Silver lining that it has woken up people to the need for continuing work on the progressive cause?

A good thing about Australia!

I was going to think of one eventually… it’s the union movement and it’s long term results.

Unions played an important role in early 20th century Australia and were strongly involved in politics.  Their power and impact is waning, in part due to their success, but the political party of the unions is still going.

What their impact has been is good working conditions- something I am so used to I forget how good they are.  Full time workers get 4 weeks annual leave a year, workers in some professions get more. Standard out of the box starter. If you stick with an employer for ten years you get something called long service leave- and once you have hit that point you accrue and can access that.  Government workers can access it from seven years in, which is why my husband has way more leave than me. The industry I work in is also one of the benefits.  Anyone earning more than $450 a month, their employer must pay the equivalent of 9.5% of their salary into a Retirement fund. This is on top of their wages.  Employees can choose their fund, and while it is locked away, it is still their money. Sick leave is available for employees (apart from casuals), minimum wages are high and industry specific and worker welfare is generally monitored.  Not as much as I would like, but  enough to make for a safe workplace.  

Yes all of these can cause issues- the unemployment rate in the 90s was higher than in the USA, but with less pain on the population.  I think the biggest issue is how much we take it for granted, so when employer groups try to strip it back we can forget to gift for it.  That said, public anger over the reduction of worker protections was what unseated the last long term prime minister (Howard), so people do appreciate it.

The Conservative party (confusingly called the Liberals) keeps trying to wind the protections back, but even they won’t touch the leave and superannuation provisions!

Every time I think about looking elsewhere for work, I have to remind myself of the value of these.

Gaming metaphor

When I was younger I used to love playing sim city.  And before that Sim earth. One of the elements was the possibility of inflicting disaster on your city.  Being a risk averse person, who liked the building aspect, I usually turned disasters off.  But at some point, when my city was advanced enough I would turn them on.  Sometimes I would choose specific multi disasters.

Right now, that is what our present reality feels like. A computer simulation where society has gotten to an advanced stage and someone has turned on the disaster option.

Storm clouds moving in

Microblog Monday – miscellany

An assortment of thoughts

My blog has had some Australian wildlife recently. Tonight I got to see another. No pictures though. We were hanging laundry tonight (due to pouring rain on Sunday, not all the laundry was done) and there was a weird bussing noise.  Not a moth but an elephant beetle.  Not dangerous, just large and clumsy. It would fall on its back, wave legs around, get right ways up walk one step and be back on its back. G eventually encouraged it into the garden (with water and a handy hanger).

I have been think about starting a grocery store visit YouTube channel.  Not how to, but rather showing what grocery stores look like in different countries.  Everyone thinks that their grocery is the normal one, but they are all different.  

I have been going through my photos, to find some convincing arguments for Australia. I take a lot of pictures of lizards. I don’t know that they will help.

I just finished “how to be a Tudor”, a bit of non-fiction history light- it’s very accessible and covers off daily life in the period.  I think I preferred the previous book- how to be a Victorian. 

I need a vacation. 

Yin yoga and rain

Not that the two are connected. I have recently discovered yin yoga.  This is yoga where you hold the poses for 5 minutes at a time, and it is very calming.  My gym has at least two of these classes- one on a Friday afternoon after work, and another on Sunday morning.  The Friday afternoon one has replaced the one I used to go to in the time slot.  I stopped going over a year ago, not sure why, and when I went in December, it was yin yoga. Over the break the class was suspended so I went back for the first session of the new year on Friday.

It is really good for destressing and setting aside the thoughts of the week. I then went to the Sunday one today. Very calming.  So I recommend yin yoga.

We have been in the middle of a heat wave- hot and humid. Today we finally got some rain. And of course, being Australia, we got some serious rain. Squalls through the afternoon – which were refreshing as we hung out in my dad’s pool, then torrents as we drove home.  The roads we took home were flooded at two points. One didn’t affect us, but the other required a detour.

The picture below is the other side of the road we were on- it’s a split road, and the side we were on is higher than the other side.  That’s an empty Mercedes. On the good side, because the road we were on is there, and the creek that runs through there is a culvert under it, the car won’t go too far.

Playing old games

So, I wrote about the mini NES we have.  After we played some Zelda with my sister, I remembered that I had downloaded Zelda onto one of my 3DSs. (Yes, I have more than one- that’s probably its own post). So I worked out which one and started playing through. The cartridge we had when I was younger had some save issues, and I don’t think we made it too much beyond the second castle as a result. I have now progressed quite a way though, admittedly with the help of online walkthroughs. I have also realised that I own another version of the original legend of Zelda game, on a game boy advance cartridge. The last year I lived in Japan I bought a game boy micro, in the special famicon edition and at the time they reissued a number of classic games as part of the same anniversary. So I have legend of Zelda one and two in Japanese. Along with a few other classics. I dug out my micro and put it on charge (still works) and the cartridge in there- a second hand copy of Paperboy- a game my brother owned.  I still suck at it.

This was such an awesome toy.