Tag Archives: wondering

beetle bombing….

8 Dec

Well…we really know it’s Christmas time. ….Not because of the arrival of  Mickey Mouse and his Friends on our neighbours front lawn…. or because the elves encouraging little kiddies to come and sit on skinny Santa’s lap in every shopping mall ….nor the impossible task of finding a carpark within a kilometre of the stores….

No… here in Aus we know it’s Christmas because of the shiny flying beetles that  dive bomb you when you’re at the BBQ, flock to the lights, and take every opportunity to swoop through an open door into the house, only to be found somewhere random, stuck on their backs in their death throws and unable to re-launch and escape.

 

Beetles

 

So I’ve been wondering ….who are these pretty,shiny and harmless Christmas creatures … (I mean ….really) ?? I know we call them Christmas Beetles  but  I thought that was because of their colours. By now you will all realise I am certainly no nature expert….. so you guessed it …I googled!! and thanks to the CSRIO I discovered:

  • The Christmas beetle’s formal name is  Anoplognathus
  • They have a seasonal life cycle, which is either annual or biennial depending on the climate
  • Christmas really IS the silly season for them, because all they do is spend  December to January mating and then laying eggs into the soil surface.
  • They are large glossy beetles often seen clustered on the leaves of eucalypt trees during summer.
  • Larvae develop through three stages , and in warmer areas of the country spend one winter in the soil, (or  two winters in cooler climates).
  • They emerge in several waves late November through to February depending on species, rainfall and number of life cycles they need to go through.
  • They launch late in the afternoon and can fly distances of several kilometres. Most flights occur at dusk, with beetles often attracted to outdoor lighting (hence crashing into anything light)
  • They come in colours ranging from dark brown to iridescent green
  • Thunderstorms can trigger mass emergence as the ground becomes moist enough for adults to escape .

So THAT is why these strange little creatures have been particularly prominent these past couple of weeks ..as if the thunderstorms are not enough to deal with.

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hitting the wrong key….

4 Dec

These past few days , I’ve had a bit of a fascination with….wait for it … ‘keyboards’.comptometrist

Not the musical variety …but the highly functional communication tool that’s allowing me to write this. I have no idea what prompted it  (well actually I might know) … but since tuning in to this fascination … it seems I am being haunted by them…. (keyboards that is).

Since caving to the world of gadgetry and purchasing  my phabulous phablet  last week, I’m reminded that if I’m writing anything longer than 2 lines……..I would rather use a ‘thumbnail dipped in tar’ than type on a touch screen keyboard. It’s silly I know, but there is something comforting knowing that  I can feel and hear the clicking of the keys. …and the tactile aspect is  so much more ‘real’than tapping on a sheet of glass !!

Which brings me to the functional part …how DOES that sheet of glass translate that little ‘tap’  into letters on the screen. I mean …just stop and really think about it ? It is quite amazing technology …but it almost makes me forgive my ‘not so smart’ phone for it’s poor spelling and grammar.

The more you contemplate the humble keyboard the more there is to wonder, ponder and appreciate really….. like ‘why ARE the keys on a qwerty keyboard arranged the way they are’ ? and what key is used the most (tip have a look at the most shiny and faded one) ….. and how often should you actually clean your key board ??? (and how ???)  …..the list goes on.

I began to wonder why I was so fascinated…. and it suddenly occurred to me that it must be genetic. My Mum was a Comptomotrist way back in the 1940’s  ….busily tapping holes in cardboard 8 hours each day …. bet she didn’t use a ‘smart anything’ to help her ….just  good old fashioned  and clunky keys.

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faster than a speeding bullet …

26 Sep

How does it work ? I mean seriously when you stop to think about it this whole internet thing, is bloody amazing…. it just seeped into our worlds, bringing with it a whole new language and putting an infinite amount of useful (and useless) information at our fingertips…. But love it or hate it, you have to admit it’s pretty incredible …even if completely bizarre.

Now I’m not trying to get all technical here, and really it’s a rhetorical question, because I’m not expecting an explanation at all…. BUT today It struck me that I have NO understanding of how it works. I mean who puts all the data somewhere in the first place, so that it can be found within seconds of click on the google icon? videos-internet

Today as we were cruising along the freeway on the sunny NSW coast, 20something daughter took a happy snap and ‘snap chatted’ it to her 20something  brother on the other side of the globe. Now the fact that he replied in seconds (despite it being 1am in Montreal at the time) was pretty awesome in itself, but when I actually thought about it my brain hurt.

I realised that I have NO idea how a photo can be broken down into data …sent around the world… received and reconstituted into an image ….with NO cables, wires or connections….within seconds!

And …what stops the all the signals getting scrambled, and mutating on the way ??  There are an awful lot of decoded photos flying around out there waiting to hit their destination and be instantly  recognisable.

I know this is just one the many mysteries of the modern age …but you’ve got to admit, it is more than a little fascinating, and I bet I’m not the only one ‘wondering’…..

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where is the love ?…

18 Jul

Today is a very very sad day, and not one for nonsense or frivolity… but nevertheless it is a day to wonder.

To wonder at the senseless and stupid things that human beings are capable of….. the death of almost 300 innocent people mid flight simply defies  a scrap or logic or an ounce of humanity.

For a change, words fail me….I’m ’50Something’ ….and have nothing to say, except sorry to all of those grieving families.

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driving blind…

10 Jul

How is it that you can drive the same route every day… yet not actually see what’s going on?

As any regular followers will know, I often comment on the quirky, nonsensical and useless things that catch my attention while driving to or from work… You know, the ‘odd’ numberplate, bad spelling on a street or shop sign, crazy pedestrian behaviour…. anything really.

So you can imagine my own surprise when today I noticed a brand new house en route …  I have never seen it before, yet it’s clearly been under house buildingconstruction for many weeks if not months.

How does that happen?

Now I’m not talking about a new project home in a housing estate …. I’m talking about semi-rural living where generously proportioned homes take prime position on small or medium sized acreage. I know I’m driving to the conditions and attentive on the road; but it seems that somehow the busy and often odd thoughts going on in my brain must block out the more ‘routine’  sights along the way.

I can tell you about the cat laying in the window of a house I passed …. yet I can’t see a house …go figure!

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is cleanliness really next to godliness?…

22 Mar

Today when we stopped for lunch on our way back from the north coast, I sat completely absorbed in my people ‘watch and wonder’ state, and I found it hard to take my eyes off a ‘30 Something’  guy sitting nearby. No, not in any inappropriate way… but for a while I couldn’t quite figure out what it was that was odd about him.

After a few minutes, it occurred to me… he was too CLEAN and too PERFECT.

He was casually dressed… but there was nothing  casual whatsoever about his appearance.ken and barbie His freshly cut, short back-n- sides hair, his face  so cleanly shaven that it was shiny, his plain white T shirt was like an ad for washing powder, and his blue demin jeans where the perfect grade of fade, AND had creases ironed into them for goodness sake (who does that these days?)…Then I got to his feet! He was wearing ‘dress thongs’, but his feet looked like he had just had a pedicure. In fact he almost reminded me of Barbie’s  ‘Ken’.

I know this all sounds rather weird; but he stood out because of his unnatural ‘perfection’… just not in a good way.  I couldn’t help but think he would be SO boring…he really looked like he needed to have  a few of his edges roughed up. You know,  some wrinkles in his clothes or tomato sauce stains on his OMO white shirt.

He left me wondering …how is it possible to be too clean ???

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