Saturday unplugged

I enjoyed a perfect Saturday on my day off. It began early on a cold winter’s morning as the sun came up. Donning cycling gear, then extra layers for warmth, we set out into the chilly morning. A group of us cycled our regular route past paddocks blanketed with fog. We shared a BBQ breakfast to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday.  By this time the sun was up but providing no warmth as we shivered and chatted grasping our warm drinks.

Later my husband bought some fishing gear at a local shop. We climbed aboard some big cruising motor boats in the display room dreaming of escape. Then we went for a coffee and a stroll along Mornington pier. People were enjoying the cold sunny day, fishing, learning scuba diving, walking their dogs, and looking at some dolphins swim by through the flat silvery waters of the bay.

fishing_for_salmonAfter lunch we went to a surf beach further down the Peninsula. While my husband fished for salmon, I took photos, wrote, read, and still tried in vain to soak some warmth from the cold sun. Only a few other people braved the beach and the sea was too calm for surfers. The quiet was intermittently punctuated by the roar of the waves as they broke directly onto the sand.

I walked to the rocky headland following some tiny plovers as they trotted along the wet sand looking for food morsels as the waves retreated. I thought about being unconnected from the internet. I thought about the freedom and liberty I take for granted as my birthright. My awareness of world events brought to my consciousness by the electronic media. It is depressing to hear about recent events in Iran and the sudden death of Michael Jackson, melting ice caps, the financial recession, swine flu, and more world events. Twitter effectively plugs us into the conversation, but how much can we bear?

from_the_headlandMy Saturday was peaceful, glorious, in the world, active, and so much more. Who needs drugs to get high when life is so good? And I wonder why anyone would voluntarily enslave themselves to ridiculous doctrines decreed by others. I guess that’s what the people of Iran are fighting for. I pondered these things as the fog crept slowly towards the land from the sea.

As the sun sank towards the west I noticed some sprays of water in the distance. I thought it was probably birds diving for fish. But as I continued to watch I realised it was a group of whales spouting water as they surfaced. They swam in our direction and passed by about one kilometre from the beach. Their huge dark bodies cresting out of the water and occasionally a large fin or a tale could be seen momentarily. If I had been at home with my eyes glued to a screen I would have missed this rare and awesome sight.

Later at home we cooked a curry for dinner – no fish. We watched Before the Game and then a game of AFL football on TV. This was an enjoyable and perfect way to spend a Saturday in winter away from work, computers, traffic, and worry.sun_setting

eGadgets

Once upon a time there lived an Industrial Designer named Sue. Like many designers Sue loved gadgets. Unfortunately this was before the digital age and before the invention of the GUI.

 

Nowadays Sue works as an eLibrarian, so when the new interactive whiteboard was installed in the library Sue’s eyes widened with glee.

 

What a fantastic tool these are for teachers. Utilising the functions for optimum success is a challenge for teachers, some of whom may only see them as expensive projection screens. Get hold of a light pen and play!! The possibilities are only limited by ones imagination. For an inspirational glimpse of the not-so-distant future watch Perceptive Pixel by Jeff Han.

 

This weekend I flew interstate with my husband to visit our son who turned 21 years of age. The egadgetry of commercial flying is outstanding and I love the whole experience.  I love jets and airports and taking off and landing and watching my own personal TV. I like to watch the progress of the plane on the diagram that shows the altitude and speed. I love looking out the window at the land formations below and the sun light illuminating the clouds inventing new colours and shapes. The organisation of moving masses of people and their luggage, thousands of miles every five minutes is amazing. Our flights were smooth and enjoyable and we were even put on an earlier flight home which was very convenient.

 

By The Way I saw another dolphin yesterday quite by chance in a completely different part of the world. Not this one standing beside my son but a real one in the marina entry just outside the restaurant.

1st life

Standing on the wet sand by the waters edge I talked to a friend about art. We soaked up the warmth of the perfect autumn day. Suddenly a dolphin appeared about 50 metres away. We paused to watch as its arched silhouette gradually disappeared into the golden dazzle. I’ve seen dolphins here before so it is not uncommon. Yet it always provides a spontaneous Zen moment. Who would want a Second Life when an excellent first life is there to be lived? Seeing a dolphin provides a Zen moment far superior than any Mindful Chime on Twitter.

 

The very next day gale force winds whipped the sea so ferociously that boats were wrecked; a dust storm choked the sky; power outages spread across the State; trees fell; traffic was gridlocked; and some people died.

 

The library without power was like a tomb. No power, no PC’s, no lifeblood of a modern day library. It was too dark to venture into the shelves, especially around 363.7 and 551.5. At least we could shelter as the wind raged outside.

 

Watch Sort of Dunno Nuthin’ by Peter Denahy to see how passionate one typical aussie teenager is about life.