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Sunday, March 1, 2009

JACK HILLS: “I often feel older than the rocks here,” declares a weary Payton L. Inkletter, when asked about the adage ‘as old as the woman you feel’.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

01st to 04th March 2009:

Sunday: I found myself, after rising early afternoon, chained to the computer more than I wanted, preparing the linked page ‘Progressive (Cumulative) Stories’ in readiness for the text of the first story, ‘Venty Still’, which began as a prologue written last August by my daughter, Say H. aka ‘Baby’ Inkletter. It was a warm humid day, reaching 33 Celsius. Just when I would have ventured out, I heard the local Mormon elders who think this is their second home calling in, so I remained discreetly chained to the keyboard, tweaking the online page, while Janny entertained them in the lounge; I deftly managed to avoid another pointless palaver; that’s a bit harsh of me: make it rather another time consuming chinwag, where they are itching to tell me all about the Reformation and join me up to the one true church, and I am trying politely to avoid the stultifyingly immature idea and if that fails, expand the reality horizons to that of the invisible family of God, unrelated to any earthly institutional affiliations, which by almost all church membership cardholders, cannot be adequately processed.

When they had left, I took vittles to Pa pree, and returned in time for My Beloved and the first Sixty Minutes story about Greg Norman and Chris Evert; whatever else I think about him based on next to no knowledge other than the sensational media, at least he didn’t divorce to marry a far younger woman, the foible of many ageing wealthy men.

I began the big blood and bone once weekly fertilizing of the bamboos out the back and sundry waterings front and back, before coming back in for Compass at half nine, but as I began watching it, I heard Janny vomiting in the laundry, poor possum, and went to her aid, pressing her lower back and cleaning up after. For some reason she is vomiting everything up several times a week now, as though the Byetta is disagreeing with her system more not less; we must try to get to the bottom of it all and achieve a management of its use that eliminates the vomiting. So I recorded the remainder of Compass to watch another time.

Back to the computer, working on the linked site, and preparing the text of Venty Still for my dictation planned for later for the audio I want to do. I began the recording after one a.m., and finished it, breaking it up into about 5 segments, but first take only take for each, and had it recorded about one and three quarter hours later, the actual finished file being about 65 minutes in length. Unfortunately, only a quarter the way in I took a tiny sip of tea, and it went down the wrong way, and the coughing fit hurt my throat, so the remainder of my recording was done with a damaged and ticklish fractious throat – thems’ the breaks.

Immediately upon finishing the recording I went for a very late walk, after three a.m., but I had to get out for a change of pace. I was able to listen to the five segments on my iRiver T10 mp3 player on the walk, and despite the lack of practice (first take only take, straight from the computer screen, uncomfortable twisting sitting arrangement to be able to be close to the microphone, hurt throat, torturous words – Venty Still has some challenging sentences to speak aloud – it scrubbed up acceptably I reckon.

Once back I got cracking with my two wonderful freeware software tools, MP3DirectCut and 123AVMerger, and Venty Still audio in one long file was eventually born. I got it uploading to 4shared.com while doing the dishes in the kitchen, and the first attempt took almost an hour and it stalled at 97%! Fortunately the boffins at 4shared then had, in their near infinite apposite wisdom, an advert staring at me about broken uploads and invited me to download the 4shared Uploader program with its ‘resume’ facility should something go wrong. So I downloaded it, installed it, and tried again, this time it went perfectly, and four times faster it seemed.

Next I posted and tweaked the huge text of the story within the infernal Blogger editor, that abomination that should not speak its name, and finally I worked on putting in links around the various sites of mine, plus a dedicated posting at the Main Site to announce the story’s arrival. Phew! No wonder daylight had arrived hours ago by this stage.


02nd March 2009:

Monday: Carrying on from the last entry, I now had Venty Still delivered in rude good health, text and audio, with links and dedicated postings here and there. Now it remained to be found, and my bet was that Gladys Hobson would be the first to find it, and later I will confirm that indeed she did, but I had a sleep in between, but more on that shortly…

After all of this imprisonment at the computer and the kitchen sink, for the kitchen now sparkled like a new pin, I was hankering to go outside, despite being so tired I could sleep standing. Once outside I got pruning lavender, tying back and training bamboo culms, and the like, and my second wind arrived. Speaking of wind, there was some awfully gusty squalls happening periodically from early this morning, and the sky was grey, misty, and trying to rain. It cleared a bit as the morning wore on.

Missus InkleI’msorefromvomiting surfaced, and made me, at my greedy request, cheese, crackers, and sliced pears, with coffee, then, after taking her cornucopia of drugs, returned to bed, which technique sometimes stays her nausea. I settled in to watch The Midday Report on Aunty, and then Missus InkleI’mupnow joined me to catch a bit of that Drs show, the yankee one, something to do with Dr Phil’s spawn (doubtless with the McGrawl drawl), about children with high cholesterol and such. I eventually hit the sack toward two o’clock, with Missus InkleI’msometimesverynicetoPayton rubbing sorbolene into the skin of my pachydermic feet, powdering my bottom, and generally being nice to me (which always worries me…)

I went out like a light, had a pee break before dark, then went back out like a light till the alabaster dragon woke me, by arrangement, about ten o’clock. She had picked up Pa pree soon after I hit the silks, and entertained him here, fed him, and returned him about 9 this evening. The day was cold for early March, and this night is lovely and cold. Pa pree was so cold he insisted, apparently, on closing up all the windows, which is a bit counterproductive, for it’s the best way to naturally cool the house in preparation for the forecast increasing heat of the next few days, when doubtless he’ll want the airconditioning on when he’s over. Janny and I have become very adept over the years at using the windows and doors, curtains and outdoor blind for climate control, and we feel that just because we have an airconditioner in the lounge room now we shouldn’t stop using our age long proven methods at natural cooling and heating to assist matters.

Lateline saw Tony Jones interview Bettina Arndt, author of ‘The Sex Diaries’, with Emily Maguire, writer of ‘Princesses and Pornstars’ about findings from research with a hundred Australian couples on the subject of their sex lives. I think Bettina Arndt had some surprisingly sensible understandings and recommendations that I, and enlightened males like me, with the occasional female, have realized decades ago, and she summed it up very well when she said to the effect ‘monogamy then rationing!’ The toooftensubzerodragon and I attempted to have a mature discussion of the issues, but tonight was apparently not the time to try to explore the merits of the arguments covered on Lateline, so it was shelved for now into the too hard and stiff basket…

I will expand on this much more in my ‘The Marriage X-files’ revision when I eventually get around to it, but, stripped of most of the nuances for the purposes of this account now, it is a very great societal pity that it appears so few married women understand consciously the win-win probabilities that come from enlightened mutual management of the male sex drive, which imperative biology has thrown, like a hot ember among the tinder dry scrub with a forecast strong wind brewing, smack into the middle of male-female relations, and assured that it is tweaked such that it is to influence, and dictate – especially in the youthful male and his older immature ‘uncles’ – his everyday thinking and behaviour far more than hers: it’s not rocket science, despite it obviously being so for the Women’s Movement, who for four of five decades have been more comfortable simplistically, and thus invalidly, viewing the subject of sexual relations as an adversarial phenomenon. Imagine an enlightened marriage between two average beasts, Jack and Jill, in which two general kinds of sex were shared: Jill regularly gifts, graciously, briefer physiological release sex; and Jack and Jill (probably less) regularly share longer, more intensely physically and psychically satisfying for both, sex. Jack is not hankering and pestering for sex, Jill is getting satisfying sex when she wants it. Both understand what they are doing, and why, and it is a mutual decision.

Imagine the ordinary marriage between two average beasts, Mack and Mary, in which Mary rations the sex, and Mack pesters for more, in which Mary rarely gets deeply satisfying sex, and Mack is never happy with the quantity. This is sexual warfare, and both sides will not get what they want.

Imagine Missy, a wily (married or single) woman who has designs on Mack. She knows in unawareness that Mack, even though married – because married – (odds are) will be sexually frustrated. She plays the sexual card, and charms the underwear off them both, wreaking havoc eventually with the marriage Mack represents.

Rerunning Missy’s attempted designs on Mack, with Mack and Mary in a marriage blessed with enlightened mutual management of Mack’s sex drive: Missy tries, but finds her sexual charms strangely less potent than she’s used to. She gives up, assuming that Mack’s marriage to Mary is a front: Mack must be gay. Anyway, as I said, I hope to expand on all this eventually in my revision of my The Marriage X-files.

I discovered that, yay, Gladys Hobson was the first to find Venty Still, bless her woolen socks, and she had already posted a comment, two in fact, one being at my Myspace page, which I might visit once in every three or four months. Baby Inkletter found it after I alerted her by email that I had finished it, and I’m awaiting more than the lapidary ‘*gulp*’ she shot back by email.

Time for a walk, it was half two, and a big day of visiting and car traveling coming up tomorrow; somehow I’ve got to get tired enough to sleep enough to function.

The walk was hard, but invigorating as well as exhausting, if that makes any sense. For the second time in a week my hands stung with cold, and we are just two days out of the last month of summer! I had time to think on my walk about Gladys’ suggestion in her first Venty Still comment that I consider not opening up the story, and instead first test sending it to sci-fi publishers. My initial thought was, no, I don’t want to go to the effort, but now I think I’ll test the waters a bit, and if it takes up too much time without a bite, I’ll drop the effort and go back to progressive.

So I put a caveat at the start of ‘Venty Still’ soon after getting back from my locomotions, as well as had something to eat, trying to get drowsy, all the while writing this very diary, which of course, acts to wake me up.

I took my life in my hands and slunk in beside the alabaster dragon, with white comforters to ease the pain (of my head, not the emotionally devastating pain of the fear of being compromised in my sleep), near five o’clock.


03rd March 2009:

Tuesday: The alarm clock went off almost an hour late, so it’s on the blink obviously. Missus Inkletter and I got cracking, trying to come to life for the day’s travel about the city, with our plan to visit two folk who have been in hospital or still are, and my mother, but due to health problems of mine, this cranking up took a lot longer than expected, delaying our leaving time and necessitating a reordering of the visiting.

So the delay meant a bit of watering was done by moi outside, and I was able to admire my largest ever Bambusa balcoa shoot, now about a foot and half high, and promising, if it can but beat the coming winter’s arrival, to be by far my highest ever culm upon it’s maturity.

Finally my health challenges were overcome sufficiently to leave the house, and we set off for Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, where we visited Meg Deeler up on the seventh floor of G Block. The poor thing looked terribly unwell, sitting in a chair by the bed, having just had a nurse or whoever attending to her, tubed up to more drips than ferns beneath a waterfall. We spent a half hour with her, and she could only mime or write words to us, due to her tracheotomy, but she was very appreciative of the nighties that Janny had made for her, and smiled at some of my horsing around. Neither of us had ever seen her so ill, and her head and system was probably swimming with chemotherapy and what not.

Our next destination was cousin Vee’s in Kardinya, and blow us down if he did not walk out to greet us before we’d got out of the car! Just two and half weeks since his 8 hour throat cancer operation, and he looked amazingly good. We had never visitited him at his home before, and we spent toward two hours chatting with him and his wife Leah, and mother-in-law Coralie, as well as, briefly, the two children. Vee’s scars were long and numerous, from having his jaw split in half, his neck peeled back, his arm raided for vein and flesh to graft inside his throat, and his leg shaved for skin to graft onto his arm. But if I had to describe him in three words: rude good health. We left about five struck by the massive contrast between our two recuperant visits today.

Towards six we arrived at sister Mary’s in East Victoria Park and spent time with Mum, then Mary who arrived, and then, briefly, Michele, back from panel beating, and batching while wife Elizabeth is guiding a group of holidayers on holiday in the USA, including the Grand Canyon. Mum was looking tired and old, poor thing; I used some olive oil to ease a plastic sticky covering from a dressing on her arm where last week she had a growth cut out, and I recommend olive oil for the job: take your time, and keep rubbing, using a tissue or such, the oil into the leading edge of the lifted adhesive, until it comes free, including where the scab might be clinging to the dressing. It looked good when we got the dressing off.

Maximus Coccioli, the giant American Rottweiler, actually whimpered repeatedly and put his tail between his legs when he saw me, and while he went to Mum and Janny, he would not come near me. This was most odd, as each other time he’d ever seen me he’s been all over be like a dog possessed, overly much so at times. I surmised that since I’ve last seen him he had been hurt by a man. Well, I wasn’t wrong, for Mary let me know that Michele and a friend had to sit on him and struggle with him to remove a fish hook from his mouth the other day, which he had swallowed at the beach.

He came good after I threw the plastic bone for him a few times, and then it was like old times, and he became a big nuisance sook wuss; all 55 kilograms or more of him, big pup he is.

Janny and I got home a bit after half seven, and settled in for a typical Tuesday night. I caught The 7.30 Report, and how brutal and inhuman is the latest terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team! I can only hope that the cricket loving Pakistan nation will so turn against the Islamic fundamentalists – whether or not they are responsible for this particular barbarity – infecting it like a metastasis that it will mark a critical turn in national life. If only…

I watched only my second ‘Lead Balloon’, which I wish I’d caught from the beginning of the series, for I’m finding it very good and funny. To the computer for a while, then back for Foreign Correspondent, introduced by Mark Corcoran, as he so often does, in the plural; does he do this deliberately, or is he a bit daft? If you know, let me know please. The report was on Antarctica, and the increasing exploration by China and others, joining Australia’s presence. How good would it be if the United Nations could be in control of it the great ice covered south land, its exploitation, everything. I would support Australia giving up its massive 40% territory claim to the UN.

Away again, and back for Lateline, Tony Jones interviewing Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organisation’s Director-General, and it was pleasing to hear his confidence that trade protectionism will be kept in check by the WTO’s monitoring of the trade policy developments worldwide and their reminders to nations to fulfil their commitments to freeing up world trade. I hope he’s more right than wrong. One of the big hopes for improving our global society is world trade, and its welding of national fates to each other. We all sink or swim, so let’s swim.

Letterman’s musical act this week is U2. My how Bono behaves like he believes he is a legend in his own mind! Yes they’re good, but a less inflated Bono would do wonders for them. Katie Couric was gorgeous as usual, but how naughty of her to complain of the non-manifestation of the 8-10 inches the weatherman promised last night.

I was as tired as all get out, but I soldiered on somehow, and my night achieved: a kitchen clean up, a late walk, emails, including one to Fremantle Press offering Venty Still so far, with the promise of development of it to novel length, and before leaving the computer I edited in some action and dialogue as per Gladys Hobson’s suggestion, which I will keep doing until its descriptive passages are broken up a few times with these brain resting and stimulating stretches. So I was mighty weary by the time I crept in beside the alabaster dragon, daylight a couple of hours old by then. It was a long shot with Fremantle Press, because I don’t have the 40,000 minimum words yet, nor in printed out manuscript form – I simply gave the website address of Venty Still – but then stranger things have happened in the world of publishing. It would give me much gratification to be published by a Western Australian publisher, if the happy day of standard model publishing ever arrives for me. On my walk I thought of a good direction to take Venty Still in. I reckon I can make it a hell of yarn.

04th March 2009:

Wednesday: Missus InkleIneedyoutotakemetothelocalshops - cozmylegisbad woke me after five, and let me know she didn’t want to risk driving given the leg pain she experienced overnight, and a bad stretch of it shortly after she got up this morning, while I slept on, having not long hit the low thread count polycottons. We think the unusual seating of yesterday’s marathon visiting we did, and the bending over to hug and hold poor ill Meg Deeler for long stretches of time might have brought the back nerve induced leg pain on.

So we picked up Pa pree, and I drove the little people to our local Dewsons’, then it was back home for a few minutes’ outside gardening titivation until My Beloved and the ensuing huge Aunty marathon that has become Wednesday evening. Kerry Kezza O’Brien had the interesting task/privilege of interviewing our Prime Minister, Kevin Integrated Circuit Rudd. I like the man, don’t get me wrong, but I also would like him to speak a little more like he’d had a few too many now and then, and stumble a bit with his sentences, just occasionally, and thus remind us that we are not listening to a pixie robot giving a pre-determined rendition in perfection. He managed to use his technique of asking questions and then immediately answering them several times during the interview. To his credit Kezza pulled the perfectionist up when he imputed that Turnbull was for leaving everything to the free market, that is, do nothing, by reminding him that Malcolm Turnbull was just saying the stimulus package needed to be done differently. I think politicians would advance their careers better by not twisting the words of the other side, and they all succumb it seems.

I thought The New Inventors measuring cap invention would win, but of all things, the Super (pooper) Scooper won, to make it easier to pick up horse shit from paddocks. As always, Spicks and Specks brightened the night, and then the treats kept coming, with Chandon Pictures, which really tickles my fancy, and the cream on the cake was Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul: Whitehouse and Enfield know their craft so well.

I took Pa pree home after ten, then returned to watch Leigh Sales interview that oxygen starved at birth gorilla Joe Hockey again, in his role as Shadow Treasurer. Hockey is another one of these naïve politicians whose behaviour suggests they believe that attack upon just about everything at any cost furthers their personal ambitious causes. I don’t know how many times I’ve suffered his ludicrous indignant little set mouth and face in Question Time as Turnbull or whoever lambasts the other side, just as Julie Bishop’s face used to be negatively entertaining as well. You’d think from the looks they pull that the greatest heist was being pulled on Australia by the Government, no matter the subject. My recollections are that the Labor Opposition were not quite as childish, but that would not be hard to achieve given the ambience and comportment of the current Opposition. They really need to grow up.

Letterman finished again with U2, and it was the second performance of the U2 week, and Bono was more bearable.

I began writing, and put more dialogue into the Venty Still posting, via the back door of the HTML mode, to avoid the Compose mode smashing all the existing formatting to blazes, as well as went for a late walk, cleaned up the kitchen (another marathon), and hung out washing, and it was daylight by then. I also struggled during the wee small hours with some of my health issues, costing me quite a bit of time and discomfort.

I did some watering of the bamboo – a cowboy job – and then I was very exhausted by the time I came to bed, again daylight some hours old. I wrote out a birthday card for my brother just before retiring, realizing that if I don’t mail it before six this evening, it will miss his day. I had the misplaced hope, given Janny’s bad leg, that she might post it today if she had to go to the shops, to save me the job.


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