The mutterings of a rubber chicken

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'll pass, thanks

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I got sent this today. Somehow I don't think I'll be changing my regular brand.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Code red

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So. I took a day out yesterday to attend Baby Cleaningwoman's sports day.

Endulge me in a small brag, please.

BCW came first in her heat and performed none too shabbily in the final.

*beaming grin*

Now, for the offspring of The Janitor, whose idea of physical fitness is 10 pushes of the remote control button, and TCW, whose own athletic prowess relates to how quick she can unwrap a bar of chocolate, this is both impressive and puzzling. In fact, we're thinking about DNA testing.

Unfortunately for yours truly, a focus on the 100m heat made me completely think about the other kind of heat. Yesterday was a scorcher and that English roses complexion has morphed into Angry Lobster. Very exotic, I think not.

One word. OUCH.

There'll be no 'sporting activity' in this household for a while.

Calamine lotion anyone?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Head down, bum up

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Yep, thesis crunch time.

Up for air again soon.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Remembering Paul Robert Eckna

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In memory of Paul Robert Eckna
Aged 28, of West New York, New Jersey

Five years ago, on September 11th, Paul Robert Eckna began his day as an International Equities Trader with Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center, Tower 1.

People were going about their business at the start of another working day. Here, in Australia, most of us were heading to bed. All of us unaware of how the world was about to change. For all of us, September 11th changed the way we perceived our world; for some, the change was on an intensely personal scale as loved family and friends were prematurely taken away.

On September 11th, Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees, more than 60 percent of the company’s entire work force.

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Today, as part of the 2,996 project, I join together with fellow bloggers worldwide to remember the 2,996 precious souls lost on September 11th. For those of us fortunate enough to have been spared the loss of a loved one on this day, by participating in this project, let us strengthen our resolve to never forget the events of this day. Let these individuals be strangers to us no more, let us hold them in our hearts forever.

Let me tell you a little about Paul.

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Born and raised in Garden City, New York, Paul was the son of Carol and Stanley Eckna and youngest brother of Richard and Stephen. Since September 11th 2001, he has become a beloved uncle to Caitlin Leigh and Christopher William.

Paul was a sports enthusiast and had a particular affinity for football. He played for Garden City Trojans in position 77. Later, he played for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Paul had an enthusiasm for life. He loved his work with Cantor Fitzgerald and enjoyed the challenges of his position as an International Equities Trader. Paul, at only 28, had so much promise and so much to live for. A loving family, a large circle of friends, a great job.

Reading about Paul, you learn so much about his personality - his warmth, his consideration for others. It's reflected in the beautiful photograph above.

"Paul Eckna was a very unique and special individual with many talents. I'm proud to say that we were friends, and it gives me a great deal of happiness to know that I had the opportunity to be his roommate while studying at the university."

Matthew Good, friend.

Family and friends were very important to Paul and, from the messages I have read online, it is apparent that the feelings were mutual.

"Paul always had a smile, a funny story, a hug to make you feel special, a glint in his eye that said he was there for you, an open heart and an open mind. Paul was special, he continues to remain special and will hold that place in our hearts and minds forever."

Noreen Loser M., Paul's aunt

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Please take a minute of your time to think about Paul Robert Eckna and to pray for his family and friends.

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Kahlil Gibran

Paul Robert Eckna.

We will never forget.

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Visit the 2, 996 project and remember the lives lost on September 11th, 2001.
Thank you.

Postscript 11/9/06.

Apparently, the 2,996 link is down due to traffic volume.
Please also remember Denis F. Lavelle.

Monday, September 04, 2006


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I am a confirmed ophidiophobic, arachnophobic and herpetophobic. Possessed of an intense fear of snakes, spiders and creepy crawlies in general...and, yes, I moved from the relatively benign UK to Australia. Hmm.

I don't even like to watch these types of creatures on television but, nonetheless, I was often mesmorised by the antics of The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. You'd often find me watching his latest endeavours. Completely horrified yet unable to look away.

Today Steve Irwin was killed filming his latest documentary. The man who tackled some of the most dangerous and venemous creatures in the world was taken out by a relatively benign Stingray. A tragic and extremely uncommon event. Kind of bizarre when you think about some of the situations he placed himself in.

Steve Irwin loved what he did. Animals were a major part of his life. Perhaps it's fitting he died doing what he loved the most? Sadly, he was only 44 and leaves behind a young family.

Steve Irwin was a great ambassador for Australia. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.

Crikey, Steve, we'll miss you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Yum, tryptophan!

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Okay. I can tell the darker mood scared off the only two people that ever read this blog!

Mood is much better. Must have been that kilo block of chocolate I ate this weekend. Okay, so kilo (2.2lbs) might be a slight exaggeration but you can't overemphasise the healing power of chocolate. If this is what's called self-medication, bring it on!

Father's Day here. The Janitor received some nice gifts, including the obligatory underwear. I made the mistake, a few years back now, of introducing him to Calvin Klein boxers when he used to wear Target cheapies. CKs are probably reasonably priced in the US but let's just say here, it's got to the stage where we lock up his spare undies in a security safe.

I should also point out that the fact he wears CKs doesn't mean he bears the slightest resemblence to Travis Fimmel. Unless he has a muffin top alter ego.

A pretty quiet week in all. Lots of work, final couple of weeks of thesis writeup and then it's all over. I'd be extremely happy about that but right now it's way too stressful to even think beyond tomorrow.

I always knew I was pretty pathetic at statistics. I'm thinking of regrading that to absolutely dire. So if anyone knows the alterego of SuperStatsMan, elbow him into the nearest 'phone box and tell him his butt is required over here, right now.