Chord separation

30 04 2008

David Pogue’s technology blog on The New York Times website alerted me to this amazing technology. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not… especially if it’s used to ‘correct’ errors made by long-dead musicians.

Anyhow, see for yourself (7 mins).

Half a world away

29 04 2008

I freaked out a friend of mine this morning. She lives on the east coast of the US, and I live on the west coast of Australia. Here’s an edited version of the IM chat we had this morning:

Me: So, when were you going to tell me you were in hospital????
Her: Excuse me??? I just got admitted an hour ago!
Me: Exactly! I’m psychic! 😉
Her: You had to have talked to [husband]
Me: Nope
Her: No one else knows I’m here! ???
Me: Yes they do… keep guessing… not [your son] either… keep thinking
Her: Who?
Me: lol
Her: Heck, they only decided to admit me 3 hrs ago
Me: You drove yourself there, right?
Her: Well, yeah. You got a tracer on my car?
Me: And you have a blood clot, right?
Her: Yes
Me: And you’ve had swollen legs for 3 weeks, right?
Her: Yes. OK, this is freaking me out
Me: And you’re not meant to go up stairs, right?
Her: Right
Her: I didn’t even twitter [Aside: I seriously think she was panicking by now!!]
Me: I can’t keep you in suspense too much longer… who’s birthday is it today?
Her: Oh, duh.

By some weird coincidence, I’d emailed birthday wishes to a friend of hers 24 hours too early. Her friend’s reply email told me the details (including how she’d driven my friend’s husband and son to the hospital just a few minutes earlier), so I decided to play games with her head!

You can run, but you can’t hide! Even from half a world away…

BTW, diagnosis: DVT.


25 04 2008

My nephew got awarded the ANZAC Day Medal in the game-of-the-round between Collingwood and Essendon in front of 90000 people at the MCG this afternoon. And he also got awarded “Best On Ground” by the TV commentators. He gave a terrific speech—short, sweet and to the point. Great game, great haul of 6 goals. I’m as proud as punch!

Thanks, Google

25 04 2008

Google Australia ( has changed its logo for ANZAC Day (25 April in both Australia and New Zealand). Thanks Google!

An engineer’s guide to cats

25 04 2008

Sue, mother of two cats, sent me this link to a great YouTube video (7 mins). I particularly liked the ‘tuna is cocaine for cats’ reference! Thanks for sharing, Sue.

Another awesome voice

18 04 2008

Last year I linked to the YouTube video of the mobile phone salesman who had the most amazing voice. This year, “Britain’s Got Talent” has discovered another one—13 year old Andrew Johnston, a schoolboy bullied at school for his singing. My biggest concern is that this amazing voice will change dramatically when it breaks. Awesome.

Cleaning secateurs

11 04 2008

I caught the tail end of The Martha Stewart Show yesterday (Wednesday 9 April 2008 episode), where she was describing how to clean secateurs (pruning shears, bypass shears, whatever you want to call them!).

So after I’d finished doing some gardening this morning, I followed her simple instructions and cleaned up a couple of pair very quickly and easily. Her secret: lemon juice, salt, and a cork!

Rub a little lemon juice on the blades, sprinkle a little coarse cooking salt over the lemon juice, then rub the lemon and salt mixture into the blades with the end of a cork from a wine bottle—the cork protects your hands and adds a slight grittiness to the mix too. A bit of scrubbing with this mixture and even the stubbornest plant stains come off the blades. Wipe off the mixture after you’re done.

Then to protect the blades and prevent corrosion I squirted a drop of olive oil (any oil should work) on the blades and wiped them clean, leaving enough oil on the blades to protect them.

It works a treat. Think of it as salad dressing for your tools.

Oh, and I added this information to the Wikipedia article on secateurs as there was so little on their maintenance. My good deed for the day!

‘Dem bones, ‘dem bones, ‘dem bones

7 04 2008

I had an interesting conversation with Greg (my butcher) this afternoon and learned something I didn’t know. I popped in to pick up some chicken carcasses (it’s nearly making-chicken-stock-for-winter-soup time), and he said he was out of them at the moment as one of his regulars had come in on Saturday and bought up the last of his supply for the dogs.

I commented that I thought you couldn’t feed a dog chicken bones as there’s a risk of them splintering in the dog’s throat. Greg said that ‘myth’ that only applies to cooked chicken and lamb bones. If the chicken or lamb bone is uncooked, it seems it’s OK for dogs.

I don’t have a dog, and I’m not sure I’d be willing to experiment on it if I did, but I thought I’d share this little snippet of “stuff I didn’t know before”.