Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dance and show us your miracles!

The Duck Pond in Stadtpark is icing over and it's getting crowded.

The snow pelted down on Saturday and on Sunday it was -11°.

Cate and I went to Stadtpark on Sunday and took lots of photos of snow and Ducks.

It’s not like the snow in William’s land – but it’s good for us. Check his Blog for ‘White Weather’ at


Many moons ago I promised you moving pictures of Ducks on the Blog. I had not forgotten this but simply did not make the time to learn how to move videos from the camera to my PC and then edit them.

The manual for my Sony Handycam has only 141 pages but they are very small and closely typed and as I bought the model that does everything - it is a bit complicated. When I say does everything I mean of course everything except transferring the video to the PC in a usable form.

Now if I was designing one of these cameras the end result may not be pretty (It would probably look like – and be the size of - a toaster) but there would be a higher level of functionality than exists in this particular model. It has a touch screen with many, many software menus – none of which says ‘press here to transfer your video in a usable form to your PC’.

And there was no use asking the PC – it could not even find the files in the camera.

I did manage to get the video files into the PC by a more direct method but then could not get either of my editing programs to do anything with it at all – not even play it – even my steam driven Windows Media Player can do that.

This had me completely bamboozled for some time until I unpacked the dishwasher and ate three McTavish Pure Butter Almond Shortbread biscuits. This restored the circulation to my brain and the penny dropped. I realised that the Sony video files were called mt2s – not something like avi, or mpeg.

It took me very little time after that to discover that Sony and other video camera manufacturers had invented an entirely new format for the current generations of video cameras. Of course they had!

They decided that we did not have enough – or the old ones had boring names – or something. Why do something simple when you have all these software designers sitting around just dying to bugger up the lives of video users all over the world.

I was then able to find and buy online a software program to convert mt2s files to something that my video editing software programs can read. I achieved this eventually.

The next task was of course learn how to use the video editing software. This is proving to be somewhat of a greater obstacle and I may be forced to look at the instruction manual (not that they have these any more – they have ‘help’ buttons and you ask a series of questions to find out what you need to know. I’m afraid that if you don’t ask the right questions you get nowhere).

Merisi commented on the Blog with Sissi’s photo:

“I wanted to tell you that your picture here, with that little lonely cat looking out longingly over Vienna's roofs, is heartbreakingly beautiful, a lone soul looking out for company”

Oh Purleese Merisi. This is the least lonely cat in Wien. Sissi lives with her mother Monika and her Auntie Muffin (who admittedly is a bit of a grouch – especially when Sissi leaps on her from some height). She has a wonderful time here and could not want for anything.

What she really wants to do – and this is what the picture shows – is cut through that damn net and get amongst the chimneys.

Today she helped me put the lights on the Christmas tree and caught me completely unawares. I straightened up and stretched after being down on hands and knees and she leapt from the lounge – a distance of 2 metres and fasted herself to my chest.

Cate was at the Gym at the time but with a bit of diligence and a wooden spoon I managed to detach Sissi without damaging her.

Dr Mordor says there won’t be too many scars and I can pretend I got them dueling.

The Blessed Mary MacKillop is to be made a Saint by the Catholic Church. They have done this on the basis of recognising her second miracle. Someone with incurable cancer prayed to Mary and was cured. This is the second miracle that Mary has performed since she died.

I don’t wish to be a complete curmudgeon – but Mary died in 1909. Two miracles in 100 years doesn’t seem to me to merit a Sainthood – even if you do them when you are dead - and could indeed be deemed to be positively pedestrian.

I mean if you can in fact perform miracles why not splash it about a bit – it’s not as though we don’t need any – I mean where was she when George Bush was President? - but I am probably not the best judge of these types of things - not really being able to grip the concept tightly.

And apparently no points are deducted for all the thousands of people who were dying, prayed to Mary and died anyway. Is there only one column in the performance appraisal (tick for miracle – leave blank for no miracle). It's only the dying, pray, live ones who are counted.

I’m afraid that if Saint Mary was on the new show ‘Dance and Show Us Your Miracles’ she would go out in the first round.

Still – it’s Australia’s first Saint and I shouldn’t knock it. I mean – we have only been at Christianity for a little more than 200 years so give us time.

The existing inhabitants when we arrived had been there for more than 40,000 years and had managed without Christianity – but what would they know.


  1. Appearances, dear Badger, appearances! ;-)
    Still, a great picture, even though I know - of course! - that your cat is much beloved and well taken care off, she's a great actress, wouldn't you agree?

    Have you seen Cédric Klapisch film "CHACUN CHERCHE SON CHAT? Benoît Delhomme's artistic camera work alone would make it worthwhile, but I also love the story (last time I checked on amazon, it was only available second-hand and for more than 200$ *drats*). Still, if you can get ahold of a copy, I highly recommend it (I would then invite myself over to your cat-abode, I'm afaraid, to see it again!).

  2. Well taken care of, 1 f only. Sorry, Cat! :-)

  3. I have some cinnamon snickerdoodles left over from a family event this weekend, I bet the Stadtpark ducks would love them.

    When in Spain I tried t get a definitive answer about which of the countless "Our Ladys" was most powerful or influential, narrowing it down to Nuestra Señora d'El Rocio (where I was staying) or La Macerena of neighbouring Sevilla.

  4. Merisi:Ils ont 'Chacun cherche son chat' a Amazon France pour €9 et j'ai l'achete. Il arrivera en Janvier et puis nous pouvons le regarder ensemble et manger les sandwiches Vegemite!

    Maalie: Cinnamon snickerdoodles?

  5. @ Badger:
    Oh goodie! :-)))

    May I offer to bring something sweet?

    Word veri: "Coned"