It’s weird. The more of a life I seem to get, the less inclination I have to write about it. This is fairly normal I guess – after all the blogosphere is renowned (regardless of the actual reality) for being populated by pathetic nobodies whinging about their awful existences. When one’s existence becomes slightly less awful, what’s the point in sitting in front of a computer screen typing on about it when one could be out actually enjoying it? It could be an interesting subject of study – correlating the frequency and length of blog entries with the various bloggers’ standards of living, and seeing how altering those standards upwards affects their blogs. I smell grant money – anyone want to co-author a paper? 🙂
Anyway I’ll start with politics because that always gets me riled up.
The federal environment minister (who suffers from such a total lack of personality that his name escapes me) is trying to get laws passed banning wind farms unless the local population all agree that they want them. This is apparently because wind turbines occasionaly kill a few birds, and there are people who think that they look ugly. Indeed.
Well, speaking personally I totally support these laws, as long as they apply equally to other power sources – coal fired power stations for instance. No one should be allowed to construct a coal fired power station unless the local population all agree that they want it. After all they look pretty damn ugly with those big smoke stacks, and the clouds of soot and sulfur dioxide mess up the washing. If even one person nearby a proposed coal burner objects, the minister should veto the proposal – the same as he’s gearing up to do for wind farms. It’s only fair isn’t it?
(On the bird strike issue, wind farms don’t actually kill that many birds – most are smart enough to steer clear – and quite serious work is being done worldwide to reduce the small numbers that are being killed. Claims that wind turbines are “parrot mincers” are about as accurate as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion)
The Government is also looking at tightening up immigration laws – administering tests to potential immigrants to make sure they have a decent grasp of English and support “Australian values and culture”. Hmmmmm. Kind of reminds one of the old White Australia Policy doesn’t it? Up until the 1970’s anyone wanting to immigrate into Australia had to pass a test in a European language. Not just any European language – the specific European language the examiners happened to choose on the day. So, if you were Italian for instance, and the examiners decided they didn’t want to let any more damn wogs into the country that particular week, they would be perfectly within their rights to test you on your fluency in Polish and kick you out when you failed. It was a very useful way of ensuring that Australia remained full of decent, white, anglo-saxon protestants and preventing our proud English blood from being polluted by the awful huns, gooks and dagoes.
The point is language doesn’t matter. English is the dominant language in Australia and will be for decades – if not actual centuries – to come. Immigrants will arrive in the country speaking all manner of foreign tongues and learn just enough English to get by. Their kids on the other hand will grow up speaking English. They’ll have to in order to talk to their friends, go to school, deal with the Government, watch TV and movies and just generally live in an English speaking society. They’ll learn enough of their parents’ and grandparents’ language to be able to talk to them and speak English everywhere else. THAT’S HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.
As for the whole “support Australian values and culture” thing, as soon as someone can explain exactly what those things are I might be prepared to listen. Answers in one thousand letters or less without using the word ‘mateship’ please.
So yes, basically it’s just another example of the Government’s absolute terror of those foreigners with their funny clothes and funny coloured skin who stand on street corners in groups sneakily talking in their funny languages just so you can’t understand what they’re saying. You know, the kind of people you don’t want in the neighbourhood because they lower the property values.
Right, I’m obviously all riled up now 🙂
So, things I should write about. I’ll start with the sleep study, which I did the Thursday before last.
In the olden days a sleep study meant going in to a lab and trying to sleep in an unfamiliar environment while hooked up to all sorts of strange and bulky machines. In this – our age of modern enlightenment – a sleep study means going in to a lab, being set up, having to make your way home, and then trying to sleep in your own bed while hooked up to all sorts of strange and bulky machines. This is what is known as progress.
My appointment at the sleep clinic was at 3:00pm. Thankfully the strata company managed to get the hot water running around midday, so I was able to have a proper shower (the first in just over a week) before heading off. I had convinced my dad to give me a lift over and back because I didn’t relish the idea of negotiating public transport attached to God knows how many bits of beeping and humming equipment (not to mention the possibility of being identified as a suicide bomber by over-zealous rail guards). We arrived, and after a suitable wait of about twenty minutes I was ushered into the consulting room where the doctor measured my height and weight, filled in a few forms and proceeded to hook me up to enough boxes and wires to make Locutus of Borg jealous.
To start with there were two elastic belts – one around the chest and one around the abdomen – to measure breathing. Attached to the left hand side of the lower of these two belts was a data recorder, about the size of a pack of playing cards. From this a thick, grey cable ran up to the front of the top belt where it met a similarly sized junction box, and here the fun really began because this had round about a dozen sockets of various sorts, each with a tube, pipe or wire emerging from it.
These tubes pipes and wires consisted of – a wire to each of the elastic belts – three wires going to heart monitor thingies on the lower abdomen and either side of the chest – two wires going to EEG brain monitor thingies on the right forehead and behind the left ear – a breathing tube running up behind the ears and down to the nose where it went into the nostrils to monitor snoring – a long wire extending to the index finger of the left hand to monitor blood oxgen levels – a short wire to a ‘position monitor’ on the front of the top belt to show if you were standing up or lying down – a pair of very long wires going down to sensors attached to the calf muscles of each leg to check for spontaneous leg kicking – probably some I’m forgetting.
So, wired up like some kind of techno-marianette I had to go home and find something to do for six hours or so that didn’t involve anything as complex as moving or breathing (why in the name of all sanity was the appointment for 3:00!? Why don’t sleep clinics do this stuff at 6:00!?).
I did make a stop off on the way though. I’d looked up the minimum system requirements for Civ IV and discovered that my computer didn’t have enough RAM to run it. This was obviously a situation requiring immediate remedy so despite my Borg-like state I got Dad to pull into Ross’s Digital Computation Emporium (not its actual name sad to say, I think its actually something simple and boring like “Ross’s Computers”). They had what I needed, but didn’t comment on my EEG probes and finger monitor*The breathing tubes were tucked away for later. which was a shame because I’d spent the entire car trip figuring out things to say if they did (the best one was ‘It’s part of my bail conditions’ :).
So I got home, installed the RAM, watched some Firefly and got so appalingly fed up with the whole ‘waiting around in extreme discomfort’ enterprise that I went to bed at 7:00pm.
Needless to say I didn’t have a particularly restful night. The belts and boxes were restrictive and pokey respectively and the entire system seemed to be making some strange buzzing and beeping noises in my head (it sounds crazy I know but I got up to see if I could find the source of them and they went everywhere with me – some kind of EEG feedback maybe?). I got some fitful sleep, but finally got jack of it all at 6:00am – which is when I’d be getting up on a normal workday anyway – so got up, took it all off, and went back to bed for another two glorious hours of actual slumber.
I got the train back to the sleep clinic later that morning to return the equipment and am currently awaiting the results.
So, that was the sleep study.
Hmmm, now the problem is that after that effort I’m all written out and don’t have the creative energy to write a decent account of all of the other stuff I need to catch up on – on top of which I need to clean up, cook dinner and ventillate the lingering paint fumes from some work I was doing earlier. I shall provide a brief summary as follows and elaborate over the next few days.
- A Most Enjoyable Date with the Lady Purdey at the Red Orchid during which Books were Examined, Crocodile was Consumed and Gelare was Procured
- A Most Horrible and Demanding Return to Work under the Watchful Eye of that Most Dastardly of Employers Lord Carter
- A Bohemian Evening of Entertainments Most Novel at the Church Gallery and Moon Eating House in the Company of the Lady Purdey and Various Friends and Relatives where Art was Appreciated and Many Good Impressions Made by All
That’s it – I’m done 🙂