Sunday, December 20, 2009

The End

Well, there it is. I'm shifting to a shiny new blog called Upside Down Under, and found at

Upside Down Under

I've been contemplating starting a new blog--this one feels like it's gotten a bit oldish. I've changed a lot since I started it. Plus I've just moved to a new city on a new continent, so it feels like an excellent time to start a new blog.

After a couple days of contemplation, I thought Upside Down Under might be a night name for the blog. Unfortunately, someone already used that name for a blogspot blog, on which they posted one post back in 2005 and were never heard from nor seen again. What to do, what to do?

Learn how to use a whole new blogging service? Grumble grumble.

Put a dash in the name? So inelegant.

Actually buy the domain name, and then *pay* for blog hosting service, or do a bunch of research to figure out how to do it for free. More grumble.

Things I've noticed:

I no longer have a sense for the where the sun should set. Nor the proper locations of any constellations. I realized I had a very layered map of Seattle and Western Washington and all of Washington in my head, and I have this relatively bald two dimensional one layer missing-big-chunks map of Melbourne in my head. But it's growing. I'm constantly noticing things I simply don't know, which I used to know.

I'm *pretty* sure the sun is setting south of west. That makes a certain sense, since the sun sets north of west in the summer time in Seattle, so .... it being summertime here .... hmmmmmm.

Christmas at summer solstice is simply wrong on multiple axes. Don't get me started. It's silly on it's face. Christmas is meant to be the winter solstice celebration borrowed/appropriated by the Christian church. Hence lots of lights (because it's dark) etc. etc. etc. The Europeans who first came here should have figured this out and celebrated Christmas in July, at the winter solstice, like sensible people.

I'm barely beginning to get a sense of where the traffic at intersections might be coming or going when I'm walking. Certainly nothing like enough confidence to jaywalk.

There is this *enormous* section of car sitting out there on my left when I'm driving, for which I have very little sense. There's not *enough* car sitting to my right, which leads to me hugging the left side of my lane. I mean *hugging*. The person in the passenger seat is left with a sense of being way too close to the left edge.

There is this little formula where the direction of the inequality sign is now reversed. In Meadowbrook, Seattle, Washington, USA, it went (number of people picking up litter)*(average amount of litter picked up per person) > (number of people littering)*(average amount of litter dropped per person). In Broadmeadows, (Melbourne) Victoria, Australia, the inequality sign is reversed. What this means is that in Meadowbrook, if I see litter, I pick it up, whereas in Broadmeadows, I generally don't bother--it seems to big a job to begin. Alas. I wonder if the direction of the inequality sign and the magnitude of the inequality is generally correlated with average income in the neighborhood? I hypothesize that it is. I also strongly suspect that my hypothesis would turn out to be incorrect, if we researched it.

It's very nice that people here speak English. I suspect this would be far harder if they didn't. Nevertheless, it feels pretty difficult. I have no sense of AFL or cricket, although I'm beginning to gain one. It's harder, somehow, to eschew professional sports from the outside than it is from the inside.

It's kilometers and liters and degrees Centigrade here. These are far more elegant and sensible than the silly American systems. In spite of that, I have little sense of them. No one can tell me what the equivalent of the American term "mileage" is here. "Kilometerage" doesn't seem to work at all. I did see an add for a car that boasted X kilometers per 100 liters. What does that *mean*? I have to work it out, which is the work of a moment, thank the FSM, but I didn't have to work it out before.

Apartments and houses are rented by the *week* here. I have to work that out too.

Stage 4 water restrictions are in place. The reservoirs are 38% full. People are aware of this, and the washing machine has a hose attached to it for the grey water to run outside to the garden. I keep catching myself with water running in the sink as I clean, directly into the sink rather than into the basin which sits in the sink to catch the water so it can then be carried out to the garden. This is going to take some getting used to.

Okay, 'nuff for now. If you have any ideas on the new blog thing, let me know =)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I can think of at least ... well ... 2 people in Seattle I could call up and they would gladly join me for a beer later this evening.

2/1000000 beats the pants off 0/4000000.


Maybe I'll go eat some worms.