Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Morning Musings - round the blogs

This morning I have deliberately set time aside for a wander around the blogging world, looking especially at blogs on my visit list.

IMGP0018_edited To start with one that I have not mentioned before, Adventures in Timor Leste. The sub-title says it all: TRAVEL HOPEFULLY, AND HAVE A BACKUP PLAN: The online diary of a family working in Timor Leste (East Timor) in 2009.

The writer is an Australian now on secondment in East Timor. The photo shows the official offices in Dili where he is working. 

On his English, ESL ...and more blog, Neil's featured post is On welfare issues with Korean-Australian students.I remember this post well. It's hard to believe that it's coming up on two years since it (the post) began to grow like topsy. The issue that Neil addresses - cultural conflicts and pressures - is just as relevant today.

Tatoo Parlour On Neil's Modest Photo blog, he has chosen this one for his archival post.

Working in Parramatta just at present, nearly every second person seems to have a tattoo. In the case of some of the blokes, their legs and arms are covered.

Its actually a bit off-putting if you get a big bloke who is also tattooed. It can become a visual threat.

It has been a little while since Niar last posted. Then she hoped to find the time to do some more blogging. I wonder how life is in Djakarta?

The Indonesia elections are on at present, with the early quick count results putting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party in the lead. This reminded me that last November Niar reported on her own experience as a quick counter.

In What is your inner economist?, Winton Bates explores Tyler Cowen’s book “Discover Your Inner Economist”. Like Winton, I would normally not read a book with this title. Who wants to discover their inner economist? Apparently its quite good, title notwithstanding.

Ramanaclip-image001-thumb1 drew my attention to this one. It is a photo of the tear drop, a Russian present to the American people in memory of the 9/11 attacks.

I found the story a bit obscure. The core appears to be that no-one knows that it is there.

Checking around, it appears from a story in the New York Times (30 June 2004) that the decision to build raised some controversy in New Jersey mainly on aesthetic grounds. Then Artinfo carried a story in advance of the unveiling, while there are other stories as well. Now, all of a sudden, there is a burst of stories asking why no-body knows.

In  Life is hard and vodka’s cheap. Why not drink yourself to sleep?, Marcellous starts with his accounts, proceeds to the memorial service for Jorn Utzon, the original architect for the Sydney Opera House, then ends the day with a performance of  Lady Macbeth of Mstensk.

In a funny way, this post reminded me just how much I am an outsider in Sydney. You will get a feel for this from The Sydney Harbour Bridge - a mixed symbol and Bill Hughes - a personal memoir. I just don't react in the same way.

In WTF - career counselling for toddlers?, Legal Eagle had an example of what I think of as the growing insanity within our society, the emergence of a world of measurement and intervention, an obsessive desire to do things right, and a growing fear of failure.

I picked some of this up in  Belshaw’s World: Seven deadly sins of performance measurement, a post that Lynne kindly picked up with a link.

I do not know properly how to get this message - the problems with current systems - across in a way that will influence action.

While I can work within current systems - the work that I am doing just at present actually has the words "Planning and Reporting" in its title - I sometimes find it hard. We plan when we should be doing, do when we should be planning, worry about things that we cannot affect, ignore things that we can change, focus on the wrong things.

I am generally results oriented and can be stubborn, so I have not always made myself popular. I must say, though, that the pleasure of actually getting something through is still there! We just have to Fallen treetry to keep the faith, I guess.

Finishing with a photo from Lynne. This shows the branch that fell on their house during a recent storm.

This is in fact a very North Coast New England scene. Green and open.

As you might imagine, I know the coast very well and have done so over many years. There are parts that I have still to visit, parts that I have only visited once. Despite the recent spread of suburbia in  a huge strip from Newcastle to the border, this is still a place made up of very different worlds.

Looking at the photo, I felt that Lynne and Peter had a very lucky escape from serious damage.           

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