-- 14 May, 2006 --

Webcam Wonder

Webcam Wonder
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Homage to Michael Nobbs.
Yesterday I heard about a magical piece of software and a service called Skype. It is a communication service that allows FREE voice communication via the computer. Always up for something for nothing, I downloaded the software and, after installing it, allowed it to scan my Outlook contacts list for other users. Astonishingly, 5 minutes later I was engaged in a lengthy conversation with a writer friend of The Poet's who lives in Canberra.

Today I bought The Poet a webcam with a microphone so he can talk to DN too. No installation runs smoothly so I am waiting for Number Two Son to come to the rescue.

This is the webcam that I bought for myself weeks ago and have now been inspired to install. My installation ran as smooth as silk. Now I am just waiting for one of MY friends to come up with a Skype subscription and a webcam, too.

Posted by robynls at 6:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 16 March, 2006 --

Torture machine

Torture machine
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

You wouldn't think that something so small could create such angst! The gurus say that you should walk 10000 steps a day in order to stay fit and to loose weight. Surely I do that. After all, I stand in front of a class all day, I walk around the room to see what the girls are up to.

On the first day of life with a pedometer I recorded 7622 steps. Not good, but not really that bad. On the second day there was only 2762 - surely a mistake! I must have reset it by accident! The third day was a little better - 4918 - I had to stop off on the way home for coffee and sweets for afternoon tea. As you can see, it is only lunchtime and I already have 3428. Maybe another walk to the coffee shop will help.

Posted by robynls at 11:48 AM | Comments (6)

-- 17 April, 2005 --

About Aussie Rules Football


'Arial ping-pong' is the term used by its detractors. The advertisements exhort us to 'come and watch the big men fly'. Both of these descriptions are, in their way, appropriate to Australian Rules Football - this game which is played seriously nowhere else in the world.

Professional players are extraordinary athletes who can run very fast for a very long way and still bounce the elliptical ball every 6 or 7 strides. They are able to leap to extraordinary heights, sometimes using the back or even shoulders of another player as a springboard, to catch the ball on the full, to take a mark and earn a free kick. Those beautiful athletic bodies clad in their short tight shorts and short sleeved jerseys are a delight to watch.

The half-time entertainment is a whole other thing. The champions of the future, from the Auskick development programs, have the opportunity to strut their stuff on the hallowed turf of the professional arenas. Most weeks the pre-teens take their mini-games terribly seriously as they rush back and forward for 15 or 20 minutes until the second half of the main game begins.

At today's game the juniors were a great deal more junior than usual. Tiny little tots, some no more than 6 years old or so, came rushing out onto a football oval that suddenly seemed so much bigger than it had when the big boys were there. The umpires, only a few years older than their charges, were not so much controlling the game but more guiding the littlies to where they should be and what they should be doing. Players stand rooted to the spot, overawed by the situation. There is little flying going on here.

The little chap shown here must have been at the end of the queue when the uniforms were handed out. No tight little shorts here, his jersey reached almost to the top of his crumpled down socks and the sleeves hid all but the tips of his fingers.

But he was having fun!

Posted by robynls at 8:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 15 April, 2005 --

Making a spectacle of myself

'Constant Companions'
Zig & Tombo Brush Pens on Mont Marte 150gsm sketch paper

I didn't feel the need for eye glasses until I was about 25 or so. I was doing my under-graduate degree at night after teaching all day. In first year classes of 400 odd students, I found that I was having to sit closer and closer to the front of the lecture theatres in order to read the overheads. By the time I had focused on them, the lecturer had whipped them away. I thought that I was just tired.

I can still distinctly remember the day that I got my first pair. After having them fitted, I walked out of the optometrist's office and looked around the small suburban shopping centre. It was like seeing the crispest, clearest autumn morning that I could possibly remember. All of the furry edges on things had gone!

Since then I have gone through innumerable pairs and presciptions. These days I have to wear multifocals to adjust my reading eyes as well as my distance eyes. Nothing is ever at the right spot in the lenses so my head is forever bobbing up and down like those little nodding dogs on the back ledges of cars. I have to lift my head to read the labels on things on shop shelves and then lower my head to see what is in my trolley.

The most depressing thing is what it does to my art. I can't see the reference out there properly and it's hard to get the drawings in the right spot in the glasses. It is handy though when I want to do a tone sketch. If I take my glasses off, I don't have to squint to hard to see the darks and lights

Happily, on my last trip to the optometrist, the cheerful young woman (why do they all seem so young these days?) told me that it shouldn't change much from now on - God bless her! Not withstanding ... I HATE GETTING OLDER!

Posted by robynls at 6:00 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack