Monday, April 1, 2013

R.I.P. Reggie


Permission to use image is required
© Amanda Bown, 2013
It's always sad to see an empty home where a life used to live. A shell of bricks and mortar; wood and iron or in this case - plastic and a furry toy bilby.

After only having him around for a mere six months (or just under), Reggie my Siamese Fighting Fish died last night at around 5.45pm. He'd been battling an illness for about three weeks. We think it might have been a bacterial infection or fish tuberculosis. Whatever it was - Reggie fought bravely until the very end when he died alone in the laundry.

He'd been improving over the last couple of days - his eyes stopped swelling, he started swimming around the tank with more gusto and he even began eating again. Yesterday he lost all energy for life and spent the day lying in the sun in his tank on top of the washing machine (we put him in the laundry because it's the warmest part in the house. He had his bilby beside him and a giant stuffed toy cow with udders keeping him company).

I kept checking in on him but between my 5.35pm and 6pm watch, he let go.

Reggie's now buried underneath a tree that faces to the east, so he'll keep seeing the first rays of sunshine like he did from the lounge room table. He's also buried close to my other Siamese Fighting Fish - Franklin and Fred.

Permission to use image is required
© Amanda Bown, 2013
R.I.P. little Reggie, my little friend. It was an all too short life that I wish I could have done something more to lengthen. My main regret is you died alone, in the dark, in the laundry. You weren't on your table next to the marble dolphin with the TV going in the background.  

With luck, you're now swimming around in a luxurious bowl in the sky with a bright yellow mirror to have mini face-offs with your reflection, a stuffed toy bilby and a marble dolphin keeping watch over you.

Goodbye Reggie. I'll miss you. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just beat it

Permission to use image is required
© Amanda Bown, 2013

I hate it in a can. I hate it in social media environments. I hate spam - especially after my week on Twitter where I had to deactivate my account for three days to stop the f***ers from over populating my followers' list.

Tuesday night was when the nightmare unfolded. It started with one spambot and quickly escalated to 2-3 in a few seconds. It then went gangbusters with 30-40 bots in 20 minute blocks. No matter how fast I reported them, they multiplied like bunnies despite me locking my account. Crazy.

I'm not a huge social media-ite - I'm not on Facebook and refuse to return to it on a personal basis. After three years away, I don't miss it...though it's hard to miss something you never liked, which is what my feelings are towards Facebook - I don't and have never liked it. I admit this is tricky considering I work in the online industry. I know - I'm not normal. I guess I'm partially socially anti-social which is one reason why I rarely blog. However - I do interact with active gusto on Twitter. I like it. It's the perfect medium for me - short, sharp and needs little thinking on my behalf, so it was quite frustrating having to stop communicating for three days because of spambots. 

You see - Twitter is my blog, my Facebook, and to a degree, it's my email and SMS system. I also rely on it heavily for all sorts of information ranging from news and current affairs, tabloid gossip, television ratings, scientific sessions from Dr Karl, seeing what's new in the world of shoes (surprise, surprise), job searches, TV reality show commentary (which I heartily participate in) and conversations with various people who have lots of interesting things to say. So imagine my frustration when I had to shut down to try and stop the march of the spambots who were treading with brute force all over my little patch of the Twitterverse. I wasn't happy.

Despite surviving going cold turkey surprisingly well, I'm back on the Twitterwaves but treading with caution in case I get slammed by the little spambot bastards once more. They're just lucky My Kitchen Rules wasn't on-air during my timeout, or there would have been metaphorical blood and lots more expletives than what I've dropped coming from my corner of the world. You would have sensed it. Trust me. I have a temper, remember?

Now that I'm back, why not check out my rambling musings? I am @missmandamuses and you're welcome to my world in the Twittersphere.

Oh, and the spambots can just beat it 'cause we sure as hell don't want to read or eat it.

PS: Apologies for me dropping a censored derivative of the F-bomb and the uncensored B-bomb. I don't usually swear as much as that, but I was quite cranky when the even happened. Thanks for your understanding.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

An obstuse, nonsensical entry

Let me start by saying this entry won't make any sense at all. In fact - I'm not going to tell you what it is I'm actually writing about.

This is my way of trying to nut something out. 

When you're busy being in the company of your elderly parents whom you're trying to care for; Twitter's 160 character limit is just that - limiting; and talking quietly to yourself (inside your head) just sees you get more discombobulated and angry that you just freak out...well, blogging is just what the doctor ordered. Sort of. 

Anyway, apologies for those wasting their time reading this somewhat semi-negative piece. If you want to wander down the ol' rabbit hole - be my guest. Just don't ask me questions afterwards because you won't get any answers...

Image by Raja4u via Stock Xchng
..so I have an idea. One of those lightbulb moments. You know - similar to the cartoons where the character in focus looks lost then PING! - a bright yellow light, probably 60 watt, goes off above their head. This is usually followed with a look of surprise and a hand is raised as a sign of "aha! Eureka! Bloody hell - I think I've got it!"

I used to have these ideas a lot. I'm surprised the energy companies didn't try to plug me into a circuit - I could have made a neat stash for them. Unfortunately, none of these bright ideas have ever, ever come into fruition.

I have run this particular concept I'm alluding to by one person. They're in a neutral position yet they think it's a good idea, something that could be quite novel, funny but I'm still not sure how or when to start.

Fear's involved. It's true to say I'm frightened of fear itself. I'm frightened of not having a rigid routine to stick by (thanks OCP). I'm frightened of failure. I'm frightened if I don't do this, someone will beat me to it and then I'll feel worse that someone beat me to it because I didn't have the guts to do it myself.

I used to imagine big. I used to imagine medium. Nowadays - I don't even imagine small. That scares me too because I've always prided myself on having an imagination to do things. It's what I've relied on (to some degree) for work. Now that I've been out of the workforce for over a year - I'm petrified my brain has forgotten how to work and my imagination is now extinct.

So...I have an idea. I don't know what to do with it. How to start it. How to keep the momentum (if I ever find it) going. I need time but I also need money. Dreams versus reality - a battle where reality always wins when I'm in the ring, then regret and sorrow step in as secondary winners. That's when I start hating myself that little bit more for failing to just do it (like Nike).

So what now? I have an idea but what's my brain meant to do with it?

Image by Raja4u via Stock Xchng.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIM: Instagram, be gone!

Wow, two posts in one night. What's happening?

Seriously though - most of you probably know I was on the free social photo sharing community of Instagram. Unfortunately a mixture of constant spamming and the latest kerfuffle over new terms and conditions saw me delete my account.

I was really sad to do this, as I enjoyed sharing my Digital Image Manipulations (DIMs as my friend Natsky and I call them) with other enthusiasts. Thing is - whether it was to dodge the constant scam followers/spammers or to "opt out" of Instagram's new conditions meant my profile was going to be kept in the dark and away from the portion of the public who don't have commercial interests at heart (not that I think my images would appear in an ad for Chanel, but you just never know).

At the moment, my Dad Duck (who is a staunch traditionalist photographer) and Mum Duck are the only people seeing the images I'm creating. I'm not sure whether The Musings Of Miss Manda will be the right platform for my images, but until I find another stage where I can set up a digital easel - this will do.

Here's an image I took today (I copped a lot of road rage {and returned it to one person with a verbal tirade through the window - don't mess with me when I am on a mission} at various places to get this, so I hope you like it).

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© Amanda Bown, 2012

How did you pass the pre-apocalyptic evening?

I literally blinked and missed the big fizzle of an apocalyptic end last night. Mind you, I was busy tweet-plaining about how long it was taking to update the latest software for my iPhone 5.

For the record - it took six hours. Six flaming hours where my life moved with a small blue bar that went...at...a...geriatric...snail's...pace.

No, really. That's what it felt like. I reckon I could have walked over water to South America and back before this update finished.

Of course, when you think about what could have happened if the Mayan prophecy came true - this form of self torture is nothing in comparison to the annihilation that could have happened. I'm thinking tsunami, sulphur spewing, giant meteor, or Pluto being fired from the depths of the Milky Way directly into my bedroom.

Woah! If the world had ended - I wouldn't have seen it hit as I was too busy staring at that small blue line and the achingly slow numerical countdown. Potential small mercies, eh?

Apart from enduring the slowest countdown ever, I was also passing the time re-reading Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. How nerdy was that (if you haven't guessed - I'm a real out-there, party animal. Oh yes, Paris Hilton's got nothing on me...*cough, cough, choke*)?

With all this excitement going on in my little universe, by the time I realised the world was scheduled to end - I'd missed the moment. Whoops.

So, my questions to you:
  • How did you spend what could have been your last night on Earth?
  • Remember the Y2K hype? What you were doing to herald in the anarchy of time going psycho? (For the record with this one - I was partying like it was 1999. Firstly because it was 1999 and secondly - I had a thing called a social life back then. I somehow lost it somewhere between 2003-2007. It never came back).
  • Finally - who says Strunk and White isn't captivating, light reading?