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May 2011

It’s those ~#@#%^} kookaburras again…

They’ve gone and done it again, just when I thought they’d given up on their plans to torment me into early insanity, the kookaburras show up again.  This morning it was about 5:30am, I guess that's not bad compared to the 4:30 average from January and February – but still it’s pitch black out there at that hour.  What in the world can they be hooting and hollering about when they can’t even see each other?   
 
They’ve also invaded the house… allow me to explain with a story.  How many of you Custis / Hahn / Ewing’s can remember about 30 years ago someone gave someone a “bag of laughs” as a gag gift at Gram and Gramp’s house in Lincoln?  It was a little plastic device inside an orange bag, and when you pressed the button it played a recorded loop of uncontrollable laughter.  I’m sure it got annoying in about thirty seconds if you were over the age of say 16… but for us kids, we must have pressed that thing 200 times a day.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that eventually the “bag of laughs” mysteriously got lost. 
 
So any way, in our house the other day a stuffed kookaburra showed up.  I shouldn’t say it showed up, Wendy bought it and the boys torment me with it.  When sitting silently it’s cute enough, but press its little wing and it plays the same recorded loop of uncontrollable laughter that was in the bag of laughs thirty some years ago… I swear it is the exact same loop of laughter.  What I can tell you, is that it is most certainly not funny anymore.  And, while this kookaburra has yet to go missing, he is currently buried in a bucket of sea glass, where I hope no one finds him.

Cold!

It just sort of crept up on us, and we were definitely not ready for it, but it is suddenly COLD in Australia.  It always messes with my mind a bit to think that the northern hemisphere is headed into the heat, while we're starting think about going skiing (no joke, they got a nice dumping of snow in Australia's snowy mountains last week while Alex was nearby in Canberra).  Typically I really like this time of year, but either I'm getting old, I'm unprepared for the cold to set in, or both (easy people).
 
Don't get me wrong, it's not like Minnesota cold, but the difference is that you expect cold in Minnesota, and people are prepared for it with things like heating systems in their houses, and extension cords that dangle out of the car's radiator.  Sydney is not prepared.  In our house, we have two fireplaces and a heating system that is supposed to keep the place warm.  They just don't work -- which might just be because our house is full of giant holes and has not one single piece of insulation.
 
To be fair, the difference between cold in Sydney and cold in Minnesota is probably an order of magnitude, which was illustrated to me just the other day....Here in Sydney, Wendy asked me to start the car and let it run to warm up for a while before we left.  When we lived in Minnesota umpteen years ago, Wendy asked me to plug the car in to make sure it'd start.
 
At least it's been dry and beautiful here -- hope you're not too water-logged where you are.         
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