Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Commutin' Scooter

Having decided to rent a house a bit further away from my place of work than we'd ideally like, a second vehicle was on the cards. Given the high price of petrol (*snigger*) -- actually I mostly just believe in having sufficient for my needs -- I thought a scooter would be the ticket. Since the freeways I take have a tendency to clog quickly and often, having a smaller vehicle than can go slip through is a great boon. Though one must ride very defensively, lane sharing, as it's known here, is considered acceptable behaviour. In addition to lane sharing, motorcycles are also permitted to use the car pool lane and this helps reduce the danger to me and the time to ride.

I picked up the new bike for what I think was a very good price. The guy threw in a jacket, two helmets (one of them a child's), a bag for the seat, a pair of gloves and a service manual, confirming to me that he was in fact going 'cold turkey' on bike riding. The bike is a 1988 model and had only 9300 miles on it. Basically, it was owned consecutively by two older guys who rode it a couple of times a month and then brought it home to polish it. I've already let the bike know that she won't be getting that sort of treatment from me.

As one bike-course instructor told me, "A commute doesn't get much sweeter than a southern Californian highway on a motorcycle." I think I'm tending to agree.

Oh, and if you don't think this is a scooter, you should see the ones that ride past me!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Book Explosion

Since we shifted to the new house which until very recently contained no television set, there has been a veritable explosion of reading by the children. Part of this has been the discovery of a very decent town library and not so much to distract them. Our children really do love to read, though sometimes television helps them forget it. So here is a list, supplied by each child, of what they have read recently.


  • Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Scorpia and The Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
  • Series of Unfortunate Events, Nos 1-8 by Lemony Snicket
  • Black Duck
  • By the Monkey's Tail
  • Small Steps by Louis Sachaf


  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azskaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  • Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda


  • Into the Wild by Sara Beth Durst
  • By the Monkey's Tail by Kerrie O'Connor
  • Dexter the Tough
  • Series of Unfortunate Events, Nos 1-8 by Lemony Snicket
  • The Unseen, Spyhole Secrets and The Magic Nation Thing by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • Junie B. Jones, First Grade (At Last)
  • Inky the Indigo Fairy
  • The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda


  • Inky the Indigo Fairy
  • The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda
  • Junie B. Jones


  • Clifford Saves the Day and various other Clifford books.
  • Barbar's Birthday
  • A couple of Clarice Beans
  • A couple of Charlie and Lolas