Blog

27
May
2019

Read

Miniature Collector

  • April 2014
  • June 2011

These were a couple of Miniature Collector magazines I picked up at a miniature’s fair ages ago and just got around to looking at (believe me, I have as many magazines piled up in the To Be Read pile as there is books). I like miniatures very much and always have, and I like seeing the different miniatures that people put in their collections.

1,411 QI Facts

My black poodle Rosie in a jacket, with the book 1,411 QI Facts to Knock You Sideways
Rosie with 1,411 QI Facts To Knock you Sideways

I am a fact junkie so this kind of thing brings me immense joy. Even better, they always include a link so that you can see the sources of the information. A researcher’s heaven

Life of the Party – Bob Kealing

This book was about Brownie Wise who became the face of Tupperware and also the way she became so high up in management, which at the time was quite unheard of for a woman. She also empowered many other women to become essentially entrepreneurs as they became party planners for Tupperware

Head in the Cloud – William

Poundstone

A great book about knowledge and how to consume it.

Watched

Grimm

3×21 The Inheritance

3×22 Blonde Ambition

4×1 Thanks for the Memories – Louise Lombard has arrived so everything is awesome

4×2 Octopus Head

4×3 The Last Fight – Louise is so awesome in this

Hawaii 5-0

2×22 Ua Hopu

Wynonna Earp

2×5 Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers

The Librarians

2×9 And the Happily Ever Afters

The Flash

3×14 Attack on Central City –  I cannot stress how much I love Cisco.

NCIS LA 

9×6 Can I Get a Witness – love it when we get Nell in the field!

9×7 The Silo

9×8 This is What We Do – Nell is a badass

9×9 Fool Me Twice – yep, confirmed I still hate Joelle

9×10 Forasteira

9×11 All Is Bright – Christmas Nell is one of my favourite Nells. However I didn’t like in this episode that Deeks and Kensi made fun of someone who was clearly struggling while he was living with his mother. Not cool.

9×12 Under Pressure

Shetland 

4×1

4×2

4×3

4×4

4×5

4×6

Lego Masters 

I love Lego, and Brickman is very talented, but some of his judging decisions have been a little bizarre. However I really felt for him when he almost cried having to send the first team home.

1×1

1×2

1×3

19
May
2019

Apologies for the lack of Wednesday post – I had ankle surgery and I am still recovering. I hope to get back to regular blog posts soon.

Read

National Geographic

  • April 2017
  • July 1978
  • December 1937
  • June 1964

April 2017 had a lot of interesting things about the future of human beings and the way technology can help correct problems such as colour blindness. 

National Geographic History – July/August 2018

Singled Out – Bella DePaulo: Really enjoyed reading this. It’s nice to see other points of view especially when we live in a culture that prefers marriage and children over singlehood.

Watched

Grimm

3×17 Synchronicity – loved that Nick had to hold back Juliette as she went for Adalind. That whole scene was really well done.

3×18 The Law of Sacrifice

3×19 Nobody Knows The Trubel I’ve Seen – not sure they really need a new character at this point, but okay.

3×20 My Fair Wesen – still don’t really care about Trubel, but looks like we’re stuck with her for now.

Vera

I cannot tell you how much I love this show. It’s been fantastic since the beginning, but ever since they added Aiden to the show, it has just gotten better. I love watching it and I can’t wait to see more of it!

8×1 Blood and Bone

8×2 Black Ice

8×3 Home

8×4 Dark Water

NCIS LA

9×3 Assets

9×4 Plain Sight – This episode just confirmed I want to keep Harley and get rid of Mosley

9×5 Mountebank -There was one scene in this episode that just ruined it for me, and when Arkady is involved, it is very difficult to ruin an episode. But Callen’s inference that Nell had told Mosley about his alias being compromised was just insulting, to both Nell and to the audience who all KNEW Nell would never share that kind of information with Mosley. Do better, Callen. And apologise.

Black Lightning

1×13 Shadow of Death: The Book of War – well that was a season finale! So glad Jennifer decided to start using her powers – she’s so much more interesting.

Elementary 

5×20 The Art of Sleights and Deception

5×21 Fly Into a Rage, Make a Bad Landing – This show is honestly one of the best in terms of character progression I have ever seen. In earlier seasons, Sherlock would NEVER have said anything about Bell being a better man, and that in fact, being a better man was more important than a better detective. We also wouldn’t have seen the apology from Bell either. I am so sorry this show is ending with Season 7 because it’s just a gem that has no equal on television.

12
May
2019

Read

National Geographic

  • August 1935
  • January 1937
  • September 1982
  • December 1981
  • November 1976

I like looking at the ads in the really old National Geographic magazines. There is an ad on one of them for telephones – before they were mainstream in everyone’s homes.

Sahara – Michael Palin

Funnily enough I like reading his travel stories but I find his diaries very boring.

Unladylike – Cristen Conger and

Caroline Ervin

This is a great book full of great ideas

The Annotated Pride and

Prejudice – Jane Austen

I love this story so much. I’ve always loved it and I enjoyed reading it again. It was good to have the annotated version because it let me understand a few things that I hadn’t before. For example, I always thought that traveling by post was related to the mail, but in fact it is about traveling with hired horses that change at “posts”. I also didn’t realise the significance of Darcy calling her “Elizabeth” in their walk together – because Darcy is so formal and it was not a done thing at the time between people who were not intimate. I cannot recommend the novel enough, and I really enjoyed the annotated version.

My black poodle Rosie sitting with The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Watched:

NCIS Los Angeles

8×21 Battle Scars – Hetty’s friends are awesome. I especially love AJ Chegwidden and I wish he was permanent.

8×22 Golden Days – More of Hetty’s friends and I loved the toast to Owen at the end.

8×23 Uncaged – Could tell they were going to kill off Michelle as soon as she appeared in the episode. Haven’t seen so much of her since she went up against Sidorov

8×24 Unleashed – more badass Nell! And the thumbs up and the grin – so glad that went into the Season 9 credits

9×1 Party Crashers – Hate Mosley. Sort of indifferent to Harley – I can’t work out what her job is apart from being a PA for Mosley? Also so glad they’re letting Linda Hunt flex her acting muscle

9×2 Se Murio El Payaso – LOVE that Jeff Kober is playing the imprisoned CIA officer in Vietnam, especially after watching him as an American sergeant fighting during the Vietnam War in China Beach

Black Lightning 

1×11 Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion – loved watching Thunder and Hologram!Black Lightning getting applause as they ran down the road. I feel that was really awesome for the people of Freeland to experience.

Arrow:

5×13 Spectre of the Gun – Liked getting the backstory to Rene’s life.

Rizzoli and Isles:

7×7 Dead Weight – Really liked this episode. I even liked the FBI guy that asked Jane to come to give the talk to Quantico

Wynonna Earp:

2×4 She Ain’t Right – No joke she ain’t right. And now Wynonna ain’t right. This should be interesting.

Legends of Tomorrow

2×12 Camelot/3000 – Sara Lance, flirting her way through history.

Inspector Soneri Fog and Crimes 2:

False Papers

Grimm:

3×11 The Good Soldier

3×12 The Wild Hunt

3×13 Revelation

3×14 Mommy Dearest – I cannot begin to say on how many levels I disagreed with the characters to not tell Sergeant Wu about the Wesen. The man has checked himself into a mental health ward – that’s EXACTLY the time to tell him about Wesen and that he isn’t crazy.

3×15 Once We Were Gods

3×16 The Show Must Go On

Thanks Apple!

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08
May
2019

I’m going to be honest here – I love using Apple products. I never have trouble with them; my laptop survived falling down the stairs onto concrete with just a dent and worked perfectly for another ten years, and my desktop is happy seven years later. The price I’m not so happy about – but given I’m only paying about once every ten years for a computer instead of once every five, I’ll go on that with them.

But something happened to me recently at an Apple store that made them rise in my esteem even more.

I have to get ankle surgery on the 17th of May and naturally, after visiting the surgeon for a checkup where he had fun manipulating the ankle, it was pretty sore. I’ve been using a walking stick and I’m not moving a lot because it’s still painful.

However, the Apple store near where I am had a class on using light and shadow with your phone camera. I rely solely on a phone camera for my photography because chronic pain makes lugging a DSLR and accessories around painful. 

I went to the class and had already learned some new things when I found out that part of the class was the group walking over the road to a park to take some photos. I explained that I wasn’t able to do this because of my ankle, and I expected the class to end there for me.

Instead, the person who was taking the class, Sheldon, told me to give him a minute and then he brought back another person – Samantha – who would sit with me and take me through more camera concepts.

So instead of walking across the road on a bad ankle, I ended up with a one on one class on the camera with my phone, as well as the freedom to ask any questions I wanted about any available Apple product.

It was a great session and I learned all kinds of things, including about my camera in my phone, and some things about other Apple products that I use.

So I just wanted to throw a shout out and a hearty thank you to @appleaustralia, Sheldon and Samantha for giving me a great class last Thursday. Thanks guys!

05
May
2019

Read

Picture of Rosie, my black poodle, with the book “The Uncommon Reader” Copyright to me.

National Geographic

  • July 1983
  • March 1975
  • January 1983
  • December 1982
  • November 1964
  • May 1964
  • November 1983

Really enjoyed the article in the November 1983 issue about restoring the Last Supper and what the restoration revealed.

The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett

This is an interesting little book. It involves the Queen finding a travelling library on her back lawn, and how she becomes so interested in books that she starts ignoring her other jobs.

My Life With Bob – Pamela Paul

It’s so nice to find someone else who keeps a log of every book she reads. Mine is on my computer (simply because writing can be painful with fibromyalgia) and I keep list along with whether I finished it and whether I liked it or not. This was a great travel through the books and experiences that shaped her life.

Watched

Grimm

3×3 A Dish Best Served Cold

3×4 One Night Stand

3×5 El Cucuy (the look of shock on Renard, Nick and Hank’s faces as they find out the scary monster Wesen is a little old lady is PRICELESS)

3×6 Stories We Tell Our Young

3×7 Cold Blooded

3×8 Twelve Days of Krampus

3×9 Red Menace

Black Lightening

1×8 The Book of Revelations (Well, we knew Gambi’s secret had to come out at SOME point)

1×9 The Book of Little Black Lies (Mum and I have decided that Anissa is the most intelligent person on this show).

Agents of Shield

1×1 Pilot (Lola is awesome and so is Maria Hill)

1×2 084 (Melinda May is also awesome)

The Flash

3×13 Attack on Gorilla City

NCIS 

15×19 The Numerical Limit (I feel since the last episode they’ve really upped the game. The show is good again)

NCIS LA

8×16 Old Tricks (Always know it’s coming, but I still always cry when I see Hetty get Owen Granger’s letter and the special credit at the end of the show)

8×17 Queen Pin

8×18 Getaway

8×19 767 (Let’s be honest, Cheryl is the real hero of the episode)

8×20 From Havana With Love

Hawaii 5-0

2×20 Ha’alele

Rookie Blue 

6×9 Ninety Degrees (I love Marlo and how she’s progressed through the show. Her comments on mental illness were spot on).

6x10 Breaking Up The Band

6×11 Epiphanies –

I’m going to miss this show, because Gail was my favourite character. I was annoyed that they took Holly away – that would have made the last season perfect. So glad Oliver still has Celery – she’s so good for him. I loved Gail in the final scene, standing up the front like Oliver’s enforcer.

I still find it interesting that every single character has progressed throughout the series…except Andy McNally. She showed in the last two episodes that she’s exactly the same as in the pilot. Everyone else (including Duncan/Gerald) has progressed.

So…big thumbs up to training boss Gail and her place as Oliver’s right hand-woman (guns and shoes!), but big thumbs down for dropping Holly out of the show. Not going to forgive for that one, showrunners.

02
May
2019

Today I’m talking about spoilers – or these supposed spoiler-free things. Therefore this post WILL contain spoilers to Avengers Endgame and Avengers Infinity War.

It’s a particularly important time for spoilers, considering all the effort Marvel has given to discouraging spoilers with their #Thanosdemandsyoursilence hashtag all over social media.

In principle I agree with the concept – most people like the surprises that come with watching something for the first time so they avoid spoilers like the plague. My friend is like this – she was religiously avoiding spoilers before she saw Avengers Endgame (which was probably made easier because she’s not on social media anyway). 

I however, am quite different. Having anxiety and going spoiler-free is not really something, in my opinion that is compatible. I am someone that would have been wrecked if I had gone to Marley and Me. Luckily I was saved from this tragedy by the people that kept graffitiing the words “the dog dies” over all the movie posters.

However if you are someone that needs these spoilers, it is not easy to necessarily find them. I found it very difficult to find spoilers for Endgame – I REALLY did not want to go to the movie without finding out who died in advance – it just makes the movie experience really unpleasant for me. I was lucky enough to see Infinity War fairly late so I discovered that Gamora died before I watched it. If I hadn’t, it would have been awful.

Remember I am someone who tears up in movie TRAILERS – I did not do well when the trailer for “A Dog’s Journey” came on while I went to watch a movie recently. I also teared up at the Dumbo trailer (but then again, I had already been traumatised by the animated version so I knew the live-action would be worse – another reason I am NOT seeing the live-action Lion King).

I am not going to say where I got the Endgame spoilers because I do not want to get anyone in trouble but I appreciated finding them.

It interests me also that people can be quite vicious about people who ask for spoilers. Some people think that there is some atrocity if you need to find spoilers before you can see something. Well to that I say, I’d rather not have a triggering episode when I see a movie – movies are supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT. 

This is why I also find the website “Does the Dog Die?” Quite useful. It is a website that users can contribute to in order to help others out. I’ve been saved from some traumatic animal killings and anxiety-triggering episodes by this website, and I have contributed myself to it. It’s a great website and I cannot recommend it enough.

In closing, I want to remind people that in general, not spoiler other people’s entertainment experience is great – I never told my friend anything I found out about the Marvel movies and she really enjoyed them all. However, please remember that spoilers HELP some people, and can help them prepare and/or make informed choices about their entertainment. 

Let’s not get mean or nasty about this – respect that some people don’t like being spoiled and some do. There’s room for everyone and EVERYONE that makes content (including you, Marvel), needs to respect that.

28
Apr
2019

What I Read and Watched This Week – 21st to 27th of April

Read:

Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein

I love Linda Fairstein’s books and I always eagerly await the next one. This was a two years wait but as always I was pleased to get it. I first discovered her work when I found one of her books in a charity second-hand bookshop and I’m so glad I did. I think my favourite book will always be Death Dance – I have three copies – one I bought in Paris, one that she sent me autographed, and one I preordered.

It’s What I Do – Lynsey Addario

This is a really good look at what being a war photographer entails. She works for different outlets and has mainly worked in the Middle East, so there is a lot of information about what it was like to work after 9/11 in these areas.

The Amazons – Adrienne Mayor

I watched Wonder Woman so of course I’m interested in Amazons. It would appear that most of the Greek stories come from Scythian peoples that often had fighting women among their group.

The Book of Forgotten Authors – Christopher Fowler

It is amazing the number of authors we forget – I had forgotten quite a few here, some of whom wrote one book that made them famous, or contributed to screenwriting movies.

National Geographic

  • June 2018
  • August 1969
  • August 1969
  • August 1983
  • May 2018

The June 2018 issue was devoted entirely to the concept of waste and particularly plastic waste. Apparently half of the world’s plastic waste comes from just five Asian countries. The biggest plastic waste problems are straws, plastic bags and one-use coffee cups.

I was talking to my friend about this the other day, and she said that when she was recently in Malaysia, they gave her a straw that was made out of sugar cane fibres. What a great idea! Using a waste product to create a product that would normally just go to landfill – or even worse, in the oceans.

In particularly poor countries too, where people can often only afford to purchase one sachet of a good such as toothpaste, nobody makes the sachet packets recyclable, and in Manila, there is apparently a blanket of them. Why can’t more companies get onto this?

National Geographic History Volume 4, No 2.

I really love the National Geographic History magazines and this was not an exception. I liked the part on the process Picasso went through to create the painting “Guernica”. I also particularly liked the (perhaps apocryphal) story that when a Nazi showed Picasso a photo of Guernica that he asked the artist “Did you do this?”, that apparently Picasso replied “No, you did.”

I also really liked the article on The Phoenicians who were most famous for creating the purple fabric dye from sea snails. Their entire economy was based on this (at the time) extremely expensive fabric.

Another article was on women in ancient Rome, and I found it particularly nice that surrogacy and fostering were “embedded in Roman ideas of motherhood”.

Smithsonian Magazine – May 2018

I really enjoyed one of the articles in this on Albert Einstein and his travels to Japan. I hadn’t known he had traveled to Japan, but apparently he went in 1922 to go to Egypt, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan. The article was very interesting about his visit, and it also mentioned that his travel diaries from this trip were being released as a book, so I shall very much look forward to finding that and reading it.

There was also an interesting article on a man called Eusebio Leal. He is Havana’s official historian and is quite popular for all the work he has done preserving Havana’s historic buildings and streets.

Watched:

The Librarians 2×08 – And the Point of Salvation (loved this episode – they’re all stuck in a videogame and it’s up to Ezekiel to save them all!)

NCIS LA

8×09 – Glasnost

8×10 Sirens (love Nell being a badass with Carl. Also love Hetty’s driving – I KNEW she taught Nell how to drive like that!)

8×11 Tidings We Bring

8×12 Kulinda

8×13 Hot Water

8×14 Under Siege (don’t mess with Hetty Lange. Or Nell Jones.)

8×15 Payback (another great Hetty Lange and Nell Jones episode. And anytime AJ Chegwidden is on the show, it is fantastic.)

Grimm 2×17 – One Angry Fuchsbau

2×18 – Volcanis

2×19 – Endangered (loved the Wesen in this episode. They were so beautiful. And such a great parallel with endangered species)

2×20 Kiss of the Muse

2×21 The Walking Dead (she knows! Juliette finally knows Nick is a Grimm, and it was done with great comedic hilarity)

2×22 Goodnight, Sweet Grimm

3×01 The Ungrateful Dead

3×02 PTZD

Inspector Soneri Fog and Crimes 2 – Parental Rating

The Blacklist 4×15 – The Apothecary (No 59.) – Love Samar going into Panetti’s office and just telling them how it’s going to go. She’s my favourite character on this show (along with Aram).

Black Lightening

1×5 And then the Devil Brought the Plague – The Book of Green Light

1×6 Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder

24
Apr
2019

Dear Skechers

We are the first to admit, we have issues. We have flat arches, we are wide and we belong to someone with fibromyalgia. We try to work as hard as possible to be as useful as possible, but as you can understand, life is not easy.

We had read a post on The Mighty, a wonderful resource for those with disabilities, and it said that Skechers was one of the best shoes for people with chronic pain. Naturally we enticed our owner to take us to the first store we could see them in, which was a Myer store. 

They had a lovely display of all kinds of different shoes, all different types of colours. For our first shoe, we selected a black pair of wide fit Skechers. 

Skechers, as soon as we put these shoes on, it felt like we were walking on air. Those memory foam insoles were a soothing balm to the aches and pains that plague us constantly. We felt that we were able to do anything, go anywhere and participate in everything! Our owner even felt the ability to start exercising again because she wasn’t in so much pain with her feet all the time.

Skechers, you have created a miracle product. You have made us so very happy and given us life again.

Thank you so much.

My feet.

22
Apr
2019

Read:  

National Geographic:

  • October, 1930
  • July, 1977
  • June 1977
  • February 1977
  • March, 1976
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2014
  • September 1951

I realised my National Geographic pile was getting out of hand, so I thought I better start and tackle that. Strictly speaking, all my “to read” piles were getting out of hand, but I had a migraine earlier this week and for some reason the only thing I can read is magazines – so National Geographic it was.

I really enjoyed the January 2019 issue because it was about the Future of Medicine. As someone with various chronic illnesses, it was interesting to see where medicine is going. Naturally the high-tech medicine is something we are already seeing, but I was particularly interested in the possibility of tailoring treatments to an individual’s DNA.

Revolutionary Ride by Lois Price:

This was an interesting book, in the style of Dervla Murphy, of a woman who rode her motorcycle through Iran (published in 2017).

Watched:

We’ve been watching Grimm at lunchtime – getting kind of sick of the “I can’t remember you” drama, but I do love Monroe and Rosalee. Also saw a movie this week – Shazam was awesome!

Shazam

Grimm:

2×10 The Hour of Death

2×11 To Protect and Serve Man

2×12 Season of the Hexenbiest (getting really sick of the relationship drama here!)

2×13 Face Off

2×14 Natural Born Wesen

2×15 Mr Sandman (the entirely most gross episode I’ve seen so far)

2×16 Nameless

Elementary: 5×19 High Heat (Love this show. So sad it’s ending in Season 7)

Rizzoli and Isles 7×6 There Be Ghosts

NCISLA:

8×06: Home Is Where the Heart Is

  8×07: Crazy Train

  8×08: Parallel Resistors

Criminal Minds:

13×19 Ex Parte: Tara was so good in this episode – really quick off her feet

13×20 All You Can Eat: Nice to finally meet some of Garcia’s family

13×21 Mixed Signals: Again, we get more backstory on Tara and how awesome she is.

Inspector Soneri: Fog and Crimes 2: Doll House

17
Apr
2019

Let’s talk about disability.

It’s not a very pretty word, but it’s one of the only ones we’ve got to describe it.

The Oxford Dictionary defines disability as:

  1. A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
  2. A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law.

(Online Oxford Dictionary: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/disability)

Am I disabled? Yes. I have a laundry list of disabilities, but most of mine are considered “invisible” disabilities. What’s an invisible disability, you ask?

Invisible Disability, or hidden disability, is an umbrella term that captures a whole spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges that are primarily neurological in nature.

(Disabled World https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/)

So, my “invisible” disabilities are fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and hypermobility syndrome . Fun combination, huh?

Disability is often included as an afterthought. Because legally it “has” to be included. Take, as an example, building a high-rise or, in the case of Queensland’s utter ridiculousness, a fleet of trains.

Queensland decided to buy a fleet of trains. However it was only after they received them, that anyone realised that perhaps it would be a good idea to comply with the Disability Act and retroactively make them disability compliant. It will cost them 150 million dollars. (Easton, S., 5th March 2018)

Surely it would have been cheaper to think of this beforehand? But this is how disability works. No one wants to talk about it, no one wants to see it. In fact, sometimes I think everyone would like all disabilities to be invisible. It’s the way people don’t know where to look when they see a person in a wheelchair (hint: at their eyes). The way people reach out to pet service dogs (seriously, who just pets a dog before they’ve been introduced? I don’t pet your kids!). And of course, it’s the way people find mental illness something they just don’t want to talk about.

Hey, over here! I’m talking about it!

There are some important facts to remember about disability that you should always remember:

  1. People with a disability are human. Please treat them the same way you would like to be treated.
  2. People with a mental illness are not crazy. We are not all violent. Mental illness is not an excuse for murder, mass shootings, or being an incompetent President.
  3. Please don’t pet service dogs. In fact, don’t pet any dog without asking its owner. The dog could be frightened of people, or be at work. As I said earlier – I do not pet your children – do not pet my dog. (And yes, I understand the difficulties of this because ALL THE PUPPIES, but just be courteous about it).
  4. If you don’t understand a disability, LEARN. Google is your friend. And you might find that by understanding it, you are less freaked out by it (but I don’t know why you would be – you can’t CATCH a disability. It’s not the flu).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.