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This weekend has been a bit boring and I haven't had any human interaction to speak of, but that's all right, means I saved $ and it is all needed for Finland.  I realise now that WABA (boardgaming club) was on but did not come to this realisation until around midnight of Saturday.  Saturday is when I do my housework jobs and some garden jobs and try to get in some exercise.

On Sunday I had to call my mother for Mother's Day, since the customs of the tribe mean I would feel intensely guilty if I didn't.  There wasn't a lot to say, as it's only a week since I called before, but since I generally have to repeat everything, that still takes awhile.  M had to go through how wonderful it was to get flowers from my brother and his family, but all in all, not too bad.  When M answered the phone, I greeted her in my best Indian call centre operator accent, and did well enough that M almost hung up on me.  One has to get entertainment where one can. :-)

I messed around online, made Scrabble moves and wrote a bit of Pylon.  Am in the middle slump, i.e. not sure of a good ending, feeling that there's too much standing around and talking heads, so I arranged for a sea serpent to eat a surf boat.  Some rain was swept in this afternoon; it has now moved on, but there was enough to give everything in the garden a decent drink.

I've started to consider what things I may do when I get to Helsinki.  I will have four days to tourist before the Worldcon starts, not including the afternoon/evening of arrival when I expect to not do much at all.  There's the expected hop on/hop off bus, which can be combined with a ferry trip, plenty of museums, markets, the Finnish Parliament, the Botanical Gardens and the zoo.  Since I figure my chances of seeing Finnish wildlife are probably fairly remote, the zoo is my best bet, and the same goes for most of the plant life found in the countryside, so the Botanical Gardens sound like they would be worth a visit.  I also like the look of a tour called the Sustainable City tour, where they use the trams and buses to show you around.

One offering from the Worldcon peeps themselves is this trip to a nuclear power plant, which I include here for attendees not on Facebook. [Rob and Leece, looky here!]  I thought (a) when else am I ever going to see one and (b) it's a longer tour outside Helsinki, so I'll get a look at the aforementioned countryside :-)

Would you like to visit a nuclear power plant in connection with your trip to #Worldcon75?

We're organising a visit to the Olkiluoto power station on Tuesday, 8 August, the day before Worldcon officially begins. The trip starts at 8 am from Helsinki and return in the evening.

The tour of the site would be done by bus, as visitors aren't allowed into the reactor building for security reasons.

If you are interested in participating, please sign up or message pr5questions@worldcon.fi.

More info about visiting Olkiluoto here:


rattfan: (Mug Shot)
So my workplace tried to make us celebrate Halloween. Next week, I dodged the Melbourne Cup festivities.

Then I come in to work the next day.

They've got the Christmas decorations out and are asking for contributions to them. Meaning BYO decorations, not money.

I'm going to drill a special tunnel to my desk so I can avoid walking through the office to get to it.
rattfan: (I've borrowed this.)
This weekend has been quite good so far. Last night I went to watch the premiere of Supernatural's season 12 with [livejournal.com profile] vyperdd after work. There will be spoilers under the cut. Thanks very much for the invitation, [livejournal.com profile] vyperdd; I had a good time watching it with you and scritching your dog.

Spoilers for Supernatural 12/1 )

Saturday so far; a hike to get groceries and hopefully burn off some of last night's pizza. Also a successful guerilla gardener raid on the neighbouring vacant block this morning. I had meant to snag some red poppies a few weeks ago, but when I came the next day, the block - and all remaining vegetation - had been levelled! Yesterday I spotted a single surviving poppy plant right by the road, where its days were numbered. As soon as the council mowed there again, it was a goner. Well, it's now residing in a nice pot with premium potting mix and I'm hoping it survives the transplant.

Plant rescue is a definite thing around here. I've got a rosebush from that same block which has now gone into a terrific growth spurt and I'm hoping to actually find out what colour flowers it has this season. One time I went back for another plant I spotted, only to find another resident crouched next to it with tools and a sack, carefully digging it out :-)

Beyond this; sweeping, laundry, the usual clean up. Barnaby's place gets room service tonight, under protest from the rodent tenant.

Also, further news on my goal to reach Finland. I decided to apply for a credit card as backup, since last time I went overseas I encountered trouble from my regular debit card when checking in at a convention hotel. Not what you want after a mostly sleep free 35 hours or so in overseas transit. I'd ticked the "contact by email" box, so of course the bank's minion rang me up at work to ask their questions. Among these, "In the section for middle name, you put Not Applicable. Is that...?" "No, Not Applicable is not my middle name. I don't have one but your system wouldn't let me leave the box blank." Some very literal people must work for banks.

Luckily for me, my supervisor consented to talk to the bank's minion and this, together with the fact that they can just look at my regular account statements to see what my pay and savings are like, frees me from having to show them any more documents. I think. I may even get the credit card.
rattfan: (Default)
Place holding book notes: Last read, Working Stiff by Rachel Caine. All the undertaker jokes you never wanted, in a rather entertaining urban fantasy/horror story featuring Evil Corporation and a way to bring people back from death, which involves the need to keep taking Evil Corporation's medicine in order not to decompose.

I've also got a one book "to be read list." Well, two, since this is The Dagger's Path, number 2 of Glenda Larke's series beginning with The Lascar's Dagger, and it's been so long that I've decided to reread number 1 first. At the moment I'm reading Vernor Vinge's Children of the Sky, a sequel I only knew existed when I saw it, to A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999). Given those dates, it's probably fair enough that I'd stopped looking for another one.

This is a long weekend coming up with no plans except to keep going with current gardening project and my exercise efforts, so I may well get the reading done. I'm feeling whatever is the opposite to adventurous and far-ranging at the moment. I had an encounter with a prat on the train this morning and while I could certainly have managed things better myself, it's left me in an edgy "maybe I'll just stay home for the rest of my life" kind of mood.

This particularly chilly and wet winter seems to have been going on for awhile now and Perth has gotten out of the habit of them.

On a more cheerful note, thanks to a huge map of the world which has appeared at work, I now know where Finland [Helsinki is the site of the 2017 Worldcon] is. I knew vaguely, but not to any degree of certainty. I've also read about Helsinki, its tourist attractions and its weather, which in the northern hemisphere August [summer] is warmer than what we have right now [winter/spring], but not by much. If I make it there for Worldcon, I think I'll take my winter jacket. I've also been checking out costs of flights and accommodation. The flight cost isn't too bad and that Finnair airline looks remarkably pleasant, for a 12 hour trip in a tin can. There's a 5 hour trip in a Qantas tin can to Singapore before that. I'm now debating just how many nights I can afford to stay in Helsinki. It won't be a hugely long holiday, but at least the days will have a lot more daylight than I'm used to.
rattfan: (Default)
The nail biting question: Does Australia have a government yet after voting last Saturday?
Well, no.

They're still counting.

For ONCE, everybody is anxiously waiting for Western Australia to finish rather than declaring it on the day before our polling places have even closed! [Time difference; two to three hours depending on whether those who have daylight saving are having it].
Ha. Ha. Suffer, Eastern States :-)

This does not, of course, include any of my personal friends who live there. Seriously, though, it's a good feeling to matter for once, whether on a personal or political level. Looks like the Liberals will get back in, but will need to negotiate a lot more than they thought they would. This is the very situation they called the double dissolution to avoid. They called it potential chaos, but all it means is, well, you'll have to talk to people to get things done. Talk and listen.

Since then, I've worked in the gulag two days; gotten another good review, but 16 words average short of a pay rise. I kid you not. Work provided a lunch on Wednesday to thank us for all the overtime and then an afternoon tea for something else, that just happened to fall on the same day for our office. I was not rostered to work but had a couple of things to do in town, so I arrived, ate lunch and chatted, went off to get a haircut and buy some groceries, came back for afternoon tea, visited the library and went home.

I'm having a bit of a rest, so took Thursday as well - they didn't ask me anyway - and today had mostly a pyjama day. Did a bit of gardening, mostly pruning, and a guerrilla gardening venture, i.e. removing a likely-looking plant from the overgrown vacant block on the corner and adding it to my front garden. Surrounding gardeners have pretty well picked it clean of the good stuff, though I think there are still poppies growing on the mounds of soil; I just don't know where until they flower again. I did score a small rosebush last summer.

I went up the road to collect my new passport from the Post Office and on the way started chatting to a lady in her front garden. Wow. All I said was, "Working hard?" after "Hello," and half an hour later I know a whole lot more about the history of this suburb, plus the personal adventures of her family and neighbours (g). I thought people like Carla were made up. Seriously, she was great and I love history, so it was fascinating to hear about her neighbours, such as the woman with a cow, who took the cow up the street to pasture every day, some 60 years ago. Bassendean was half bush then, plus fields and market gardens, and Carla seemed to know where all of them had been, within the area we could see. I kind of wish we still had all those animals around here, and the gardens. There are still some market gardens about, but not like it was.

A brief book blog note: Last read, Devoted in Death, book 41 of J.D. Robb's Death series. One of the better ones, involving two thrill killers who channel Romeo and Juliet. The book used the gambit of revealing who they were at the beginning, and then followed the police investigation. Very intriguing and full of the usual quirky black humour, such as Eve Dallas wanting to charge somebody for "Driving while stupid."

Also read, Jo Walton's My Real Children, which has made me want to go read more by this author, except it seemed to be the only one the library had. It was compared to the movie Sliding Doors, where one choice creates two very different worlds, both for the character and for, well, the world. It was slow and rather depressing to start with, dwelling on the limitations placed on the viewpoint character by her gender, society and era, but became fascinating. It made me lose sleep. I may even get myself a copy to keep.


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September 2017



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