Thursday, 28 February 2008

Cubist Blogging

Mrs Grendel is blogging about a layout (her hobby) featuring coffee (my hobby)on her blog about her hobby so I thought it only fair that a retaliatory blog about her blog about her hobby's featured artwork featuring my hobby about which I blog.

I'm done.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Ode to a High Pressure System

A strong high pressure ridge dominates,
It lies south of the state and punishes us.
Its so-called ‘moderate to fresh E/NE winds’
Are in reality, a form of climatic torture.

The central and southern parts of the state,
Can expect flies and heat with little relief in the evenings
Whoever said the desert gets cold at night was wrong
For it never gets cold in February here.

Expect fine conditions for this region,
Fine that is if you like the heat and dust.
Fine is a poor word for the weather,
‘Clear’ might seem more accurate to most.

They reckon isolated showers or drizzle,
That’ll be the patchy stuff down south.
Near and east of Israelite Bay, clearing by noon.
Sucks to be them – humid AND hot.

‘High over the bight” how I loathe thee,
Where is our tropical low that brings relief?
Or those sweeping low pressure ridges,
Which bring us the rain?

Summer ends this week,
So we are told by calendars.
I bet that bloody high ignores,
The dictates of the Gregorian.

37, 37, 38 too hot,
The words evaporate.
Sticky keys and apathy
Now dominate.

How the high makes you feel so slow.

Happy Birthday!

Today is my Son's 6th Birthday.

Jnr Grendel Number One was born this morning 6 years ago. I'm very proud of him.

This is him asleep this morning on his birthday - the unflattering big graze and bruise on his face are testiment to his efforts at the party yesterday where he managed to smack face down into the limestone wall at the park.

Junior Grendel Number One has Autism - and while a lot of people don't really notice (he interacts with adults fairly well), as his Dad I do have a few sad moments where I see him really want to join in, but not quite understanding how.

He's loving school though - and his play times with Junior Grendel Number Two go for hours.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Sticky Science

Something commenter 'Snafu' said sparked a thought.

Until recently, much of Mrs Grendel's scrapping was done in the family room - on the big farmhouse table or the bench in the kitchen. It was always collecting lumps of glue and flecks of paint and the scrapping gear seemed to cover every horizontal surface.

This was because scrapbooking requires vast tracts of real estate within the house, much more so than other hobbies. I am permitted a small area of bench within the house for my coffee things, and even then it is shared with the toaster and electric kettle.

The scrapbooking studio recently acquired a large bench in the middle of the room, but even this cannot seem to contain all the items required for a single layout.

I did some quick calculations and determined that in the case of Mrs Grendel, scrapbooking has demonstrated that Einstein was wrong in some of his assumptions about the Universe and it appears that I have found some proof to support Dr Stephen Hawking's position.

You see, the area required for scrapbooking should bear some relationship to the mass of scrapbooking materials within the immediate area.

It doesn't - in fact the imbalance between volume and mass is astoundingly vast.

In fact I have found that the volume of realspace within a given area in relation to the mass of scrapbooking objects seems to decrease as mass increases. This is somewhat not what would be expected if the normal laws of physics were to be applied.

The only explanation for this is that much (if not most) of the materials used for layouts must exist outside of the space-time dimension with which we are most familiar. As the mass of scrapping materials in a region of realspace increases to a point of criticality, the usual laws of physics are suspended and the materials slip into another reality. In other words, we now have proof of the existence of a Scrapbooking substrata of reality.

This of course will be of no real surpise to scrapbook widowers the world over who must have long suspected that something was not quite right about scrapbooking.

The implications of the existance of a space/time substrata are truly incredible - One might never actually know how much cardstock one has on hand, or where that pair of scissors really went (See! I didn’t take them after all, they've just drifted off in hyperspace!).

The danger for the scrapbook widower should be obvious - once our scrappers figure this out they'll realise that we have no real way of figuring out what they have purchased because we can't peer into the extra dimensional storage area to do a stock take.

Unfortunately neither can our scrappers, so they just keep shopping, which exacerbates the problem because as the mass of scrapping matter increases, the extra dimensional storage space increases exponentially.

There is a risk that the very fabric of the universe could be irreparably damaged.

Scrapping must stop!

I fear for the universe.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Why Bother?

Mrs Grendel gets scrapbooking magazines from time to time (actually its more regular than that as see seems to subscribe to several).

Often these magazines, as well as having photos of other people's layouts, will also have a sample of paper in them as well.


It has a fold in the middle, and is not 12 by 12 inches, and yet the layouts pictured show the layout ON A 12 BY 12 INCH SHEET OF THE SAME PAPER!

So why bother putting in an undersized piece at all?

I can't remember Mrs Grendel ever using the stuff from the magazine and I suspect the same may be true for other scrappers.

I reckon there may be a whole industry waiting out there for someone to collect all these odd sized pieces and turn them into origami spacecraft.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Because 'Infamous' means 'more than famous'

Yes - the media have discovered the Scrapbook Widower - In Canada at least. Remind me to say nice things about Canada. Oh yeah - We need more maple syrup! Can you guys stop hogging it all and send it down under to us?

It's kind of nice to know one's efforts are not ignored.

I love the quote from one of the other Scrapbook Widowers out there:

His solution for how expensive it all is? "Make a lot of money," he advises husbands. "Scrapbooking will still be stupidly expensive but you won't notice as much. How to make 'a lot of money'? Hey, don't expect me to solve ALL your problems."

Saturday, 16 February 2008


I'm going into the clairvoyant business.

After last weeks blogging effort I almost have to - I suggested that a scrapbooking novel might be an idea, and lo, there are several.

I predicted that scrapbooking paper would make a good spacecraft, and the Japanese are rolling out (or is that unfolding?) their plans for origami space flight.

Currently I have a better record that most the crackpot self-designated prophets who made big calls about the millennium that we are still waiting on for a result.

SO - prediction time, and in the tradition of newspaper horoscopes I shall make my predictions vague and generally applicable so that I can guarantee success.

  1. Australian scrapbooking will continue in 2008 with steady sales of digital cameras and photo paper driving ever more people into photo preservation. Growth will be slower than previous years.

  2. Lurid 1960's prints will continue to annoy Mrs Grendel who has only boy children to scrapbook.

  3. I'll be sent in disgrace from the studio on at least one occasion for some as-yet undetermined infraction of the sacred scrapping space.

  4. Mrs Grendel will obtain at least one new cutting implement in the next 12 months

  5. The junior Grendels will refuse to pose for photos at some crucially cute moment.

  6. Digital scrapbooking will not become dominant over paper scrapbooking although there may be a new digital photo frame designed for scrapbook display released.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

I'm Sorry

And I'm glad we've finally heard that from our PM.

No, saying sorry doesn't solve the problems but it is a damn fine starting point. We might not have caused the problems but we do have to fix them.

For those overseas who read this - and don't understand, today Australia's Prime Minister has just apologised to Aboriginal Australians for the policies of past Australian governments that caused a lot of pain. The apology itself might seem hollow given the state of indigenous Australia at present, but many have seen it as a necessary step.

The tears pouring down the faces of some of the elderly Aboriginal people in crowds around Australia give the lie to the previous government's claim that saying "sorry" didn't mean anything.

It did to those people.

Now there is work to get on with.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Weird Coincidence!

Remember a couple of days ago I mentioned the aerodynamic qualities and potential spaceworthiness of scrapbooking paper?

It seems that I was not really very far off the mark.

In today's Melbourne age there is a story about paper space planes.

OK - my remarks may have been in jest, but seriously, am I good or what?!?

A spacecraft made of folded paper zooming through the skies may sound far-fetched, but Japanese scientists plan to launch paper planes from the International Space Station to see if they make it back to Earth.

Earlier this week, the University of Tokyo researchers tested small, origami planes made of special paper for 30 seconds in 250 degrees Celsius heat and wind at seven times the speed of sound. The planes survived the wind tunnel test intact.

The theory is that paper craft, being much lighter than space shuttles, may escape the worst of the friction and heat that much heavier space shuttles face on re-entry to the atmosphere.

"Paper planes are extremely light so they slow down when the air is thin and can gradually descend," said Shinji Suzuki, a professor of aerospace engineering.

Suzuki said the technology might one day be used for unmanned spacecraft.

Sometimes my psychic abilities scare even me!

Subliminal Scrapbooking Messages

Its all a plot and I have proof!

While watching 'Wallace and Gromit - a Big Day Out' with the junior grendels on the weekend I saw the evidence that for nearly two decades scrapbookers have been infiltrating their message into the media and subversively making scrapbooking converts.

This goes some way to explaining the popularity of scrapbooking today.

It was weird - almost as if everything around me slowed down as I watched Wallace raise the camera, snap a shot and utter the fateful words - "One for the album eh boy?"

I am certain it was not a photo album he was referring to!

Wallace is the scrapbooking type - just look at his wallpaper, he obviously has a penchant for colourful paper products, and as an inventer he'd obviously want to keep a good record of all his acitivities.

This of course makes Gromit one of us - one of those who lives with a scrapper, but does not scrap himself.

Gromit is one of the Brotherhood and you can see by the way he (frequently) rolls his eyes that he too suffers along with us.

I do however harbour a suspicion that Gromit may be a secret scrapper, a character carefully placed so that in due time his habit shall be revealed as a goad to the rest of humanity who have not yet taken up the paper craft.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Beaver Invasion

Or some other busy critters have turfed out the packrats, or perhaps packrats can reform, although I suspect that may be only temporary - Mrs Grendel has been clearing out her Scrapbooking stocks and I have just roasted a full bag of green beans and I'm about to make up labels for the 8 packs of beans I now have.

I've decided that when I pull out the roaster I'll choose a bag of beans and roast all the beans in that bag - at most this means four batches as I can roast enough in each batch to dispose of 2.5 kilos of beans in four runs.

Today it was a veracruz organic coffee from Mexico:

I don't really need to make these labels, but I do like to mark what coffee it is and when it was roasted so the labels might as well look good at the same time.

Meanwhile Mrs Grendel is going to have a scrapbooking garage sale - I am not even going to ask where any money is going to go from what she sells because I can already guess!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Perils of the Packrat

Mrs Grendel will be the first to admit she is a packrat. I usually take a little longer to make the same admission - but it is true.

Being a packrat is great - you can always find that whosiwidget to fix the whatsitzimmer or that old copy of your high school yearbook.

I've even got copies of my father's high school year book - and copies of my grandfather's Royal Geographic Society magazines from the 1930's.

Some things keep pretty well for a long period of time, others actually gain value, but most things just seem to slowly decay or get eaten by something - the slow biodegradation of history at work locally.

Mrs Grendel's packrat tendencies carry over to scrapbooking and from time to time she gets a scrapping 'thing' that is 'just too good to use on a layout'. It gets put aside, a valued scrapping treasure that she likes to admire and imagine a creative use for.

On occasion an opportunity to use the 'thing' on a layout presents itself and it gets brought out and placed for all time upon a page.

Except when it crumbles and falls right off.

Are scrapping things supposed to do that?

The items in question are rub-ons and Mrs Grendel has a collection of some really cool ones - to cool to use on photos of me, so they get saved for more important things, except that now in some cases they get saved too long.

I thought this was supposed to be an archival thing? what's with the crumbly bits? Ok, truth be told they seem to stay on once stuck on, but if you leave them too long in the packet then apparently all they are good for is looking at in the packet.

I recently placed a moratorium on buying more green coffee beans until I can roast up my current 40 kilos or so - I reckon Mrs Grendel needs to use all her stuff too!

Perhaps I can squeeze just a little movie screen into the room. . .

Friday, 8 February 2008

The Right Spot

Junior Grendel Number Two has joined his big brother at school and has just finished his first two days of Kindy.

Already he is showing signs of great things to come.

The teacher has placed dots on the floor and told all the children that these dots mark where you go to sit down for story time.

When story time arrived and the kids all headed to their dots, Junior Grendel Number Two duly arrived - with a chair, which he placed right over his floor dot. I can't imagine how the teacher explained the concept of sitting on the floor to him.

He's always been a big fan of comfort.

Murder Mystery

Well, crime fiction has covered a lot of topics over the last 150 years or so, but as yet I don't think there have been any murder mysteries based around scrapbooking. Surely the time is right (and the market ready) for an intrepid scrapping sleuth to emerge and declare "The CM consultant did it!" or similar.

Perhaps a srapping spy novel with microdots concealed beneath the seemingly innocent pages depicting a childhood holiday?

No takers?

Scrapping Sci Fi?

Fantasy - Elven scrappers (they use oak leaves) or dwarves (slate - what else!), Orcs (carve it into other orcs or hapless humans they manage to catch).

Mills and Boon must surely have spotted the open field of eager readers.

And of course - a western is a must "Scrappers of the Rio Grande" perhaps. . .

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Too hot for hobbies

The last month has been a scorcher. I can't believe that Mrs Grendel has actually been managing to scrapbook.

Following the abortive attempt to aircondition the Scrapbooking Studio (formerly known as the future site of the Home Theatre), we have been subsisting with a pedestal fan as the only cooling method.

I imagine most scrapbookers can immediately see the flaw in using this method when you are engaged in stick small pieces of paper to bigger pieces of paper. It is like working in a confetti test chamber, except that the confetti is of an almost lethal size. I still bear the mark from an encounter with a rogue sheet of pastel patterned cardstock that displayed aerodynamic qualities that should be of interest to NASA.

Ok, perhaps it is not quite that bad, but I still can't figure out how you are supposed to carry out a hobby when all the components are starting to look like props from Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory.

Surely the melting point of scrapping glue can't be so high as to keep stuff stuck to other stuff? Given the current heat wave over here in Perth NASA may as well send a permanent research team because if they are having trouble keeping tiles stuck to shuttles during re-entry then I think we might have a glue for them.

I can already see the new generation of shuttle - a harlequinised, cardstock coated (and highly aerodynamic) form, plastered with vellum-mounted photos of the astronaut's kids and held together with acid free glue.

Hey, acid free glue - does that mean no more Major Tom?