Twitter Toy

I have been slow to warm to Twitter and still remain only lukewarm. But as the tool has gained in worldwide popularity the usefulness and relevance has also grown.  It is possible to find topics of conversation relevant to your own interests. Here are some of the “people” I follow: Carlton_FC, AFL, NASA, stephenfry, DHughesy, KevinRuddPM, nolimitsforme, zen_habits, cshirky, miracle_virus, Eckhart_Tolle, alaindebotton, ALIANational, francophilia, marwilliamson, GrandDesigns09, ngv_melbourne.


I have learnt how to use the tools of twitter, so that I can talk the lingo and stay in tune. These websites have great information about how to do that: Twitter chats; Blogging Twitter and other stories for beginners; #FollowFriday the anatomy of a twitter trend; Top 7 twitter comands; The most popluar twitter acronyms; TwittEarth; The Bamboo Project in which I’m almost convinced of the value of twitter. I look forward to #FollowFriday and #MusicMonday and I often tune into conversations that might interest me.

I see no value in reading updates like “having coffee with friends” or “got the kids off to school” etc etc. And I won’t monopolise updates with meaningless information like this, unless I see it as offering a view on life that might help in some way. I do like links to interesting articles, live football score updates, emerging news of world events, suggestions for music, books, movies, and events.

Linking my twitter to my mobile phone is something I prefer to live without because it would annoy me to receive a barrage of messages that are irrelevant to my life, and I have a life in the real world that is busy, fulfilling, and I value it more than my cyber life. For businesses and ornganisations I see that twitter and facebook play an essential role in the marketing, advertising and promotion programs along with an online presence of a website and blog.

I also have not linked Twitter with Facebook or LibraryThing even though I am aware of these functions. I use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and family and sharing photos with them. I use Twitter for a more public presence and therefore try to keep my updates on a more professional level. Ultimately I see Twitter as a new toy that is novel and fun to play with.

The Dog Beach

As I walked along the beach near my home enjoying my daily exercise on a beautiful morning, a big black dog walked straight at me staring me down. I’m not a dog-lover by nature and instinctively raised my arms to my chest to avoid being licked or sniffed by this dog I didn’t know. The owner of the dog declared as she followed her leash-free dog from some distance, “This is a Dog Beach!” Really! I thought this was still a public beach open to everyone including the dog-less folk.

dogs_on_beach“My beach” has truly gone to the dogs. Not only is it the nearest beach to my home, but in the long uninterrupted stretch of sand and perfect water from Mount Martha to Rye, I believe it is The Best Beach for sitting, contemplating, paddling, swimming, wandering and picnicking. Well it was until recently when some public servants in their “wisdom” declared this popular spot to be a leash-free zone for dogs. So inevitably it has been inundated.

Last summer we had quite a few very hot days in a row with temperatures in the mid 40’s (Celsius). Thousands of people flocked to the beaches looking for relief. And they brought along their poor panting dogs totally ignoring any signs stating times when dogs are actually allowed on the beaches in the long daylight-saving days and evenings. I felt sorry for the dogs in their furry coats but it was absolute pandemonium at the “dog beach”. Dogs were everywhere darting happily amongst the people. They swam, dug holes, chased seagulls, chased each other, chased balls and children, then cheerfully peed and pooed oblivious of the people relaxing on nearby towels. The dogs had a ball!

I feel I have been effectively ostracised from “my own beach”. Who made this decision? Obviously dog lovers! I have heard no public complaints aired about this. Am I in the minority yet again? The silent majority have successfully bullied their actions into being once again with no thought or consensus. I am not against dogs or leash-free zones, but why they gave this perfect spot to the dogs is beyond my comprehension.

I wonder if this is how the koalas feel. Or the aboriginal people of the past? Or the smokers of today? (I am not a smoker, or an aboriginie, or a koala!). I feel powerless and without voice in this matter. I am being pushed out and will have to find an alternative beach elsewhere.

There are no officers employed to police and enforce the dog visiting times. And so the times are ignored by many dog owners. As a leash-free zone for dogs at given times, it is now totally a Dog Beach: The Best Dog Beach for Dogs in the Southern Hemisphere. What spoilt happy mutts.winter_solstice

If this is all I have to complain about in my life then things are pretty great.