Opinion Australia

One man’s view of how the world might be.

Archive for February 2008

Pumpkin's father captured!

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September 17th saw us publishing a picture of a three year old New Zealand girl called Pumpkin (real name Xue Qian Xun) who’s father had apparently abandoned her at a railway station.

We later learned that Pumpkin’s mother had been found dead in the boot of the car outside the family home and that her father (Xue Nai Yin) had managed to evade capture for questioning and was loose somewhere in the USA.

There has been speculation he was trying to earn a living teaching ‘martial arts’ since he was a known expert.

Today we learn that he has been captured and is expected to be extradited to New Zealand to face questions about both his wife’s death and his apparent abandoning of Pumpkin.

To be honest I’m *amazed* that he was found! Seems he was recognised by neighbours after his picture was shown on ‘America’s Most Wanted’. It just goes to show that sometimes there *can* be value in the vigilante type programmes.

In the meantime, little ‘Pumpkin’ has been living In Southern China with her grandmother (Xiao Ping Liu), and seems to be settling down quietly. Best of luck to her.

Written by welshdog

February 29, 2008 at 8:47 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Feb 29th…

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Today is the day when women can traditionally ask men to marry them instead of the more usual practice of the guy asking the girl.

This is based on some obscure reference to the Scottish Paliament having passed a law in 1288 to that effect. Further, it would seem a man who refuses can be fined in the sum of £1, a pair of gloves… and a kiss!! There are no extant parliamentary records to this effect however! 🙂

What’s more it was supposedly introduced by Queen Margaret… who was aged five at the time and lived in Norway. Still, it’s a nice idea.

On the radio this morning I heard a male announcer relate this story and ask his female newsreader if *she* would be asking anyone to marry her. Her response was "Why should I get married? I’ve done nothing wrong!". I like it.

Shortly afterwards the announcer told us about his favourite Tommy Cooper joke which involved him watching his wedding video running backwards. That way he could see himself leaving the church a free man!

There’s a lesson somewhere in all this I’m sure. 🙂

Something that interested me… being of a strange mind… is why it was called a *leap* year. So I looked it up. There are hardly any references to tell us why exactly it’s called ‘leap’ this this might be as good as any:

Divide the 365-day typical year by 52 weeks. You will see that there is one additional day. Thus, in nonleap years, if a fixed-date holiday, such as Christmas, was held on a Tuesday, one knew that the next year it would fall on a Wednesday. But in a leap year, the festival would fall two days after the previous year’s. This skipping of a day is the "leap" in leap year.

Fun Trivia

Trouble is that even after reading that I’m not sure I understand why it’s called a ‘leap’ year any more than I did before. 🙂

Maybe this is simpler?

The noun is O.E. hlyp (Anglian *hlep). Leap year (M.E.) so called from its causing fixed festival days to "leap" ahead one day in the week

Etymology Online

It’ll do me anyway.

Written by welshdog

February 29, 2008 at 8:29 am

Posted in Society

Prince Harry on duty.

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Questions have been asked if Prince Harry should be ‘allowed’ to go on active service in places where could come under fire and thus be placed in serious danger. Last year there was talk of sending him to Iraq, but that was rejected eventually for a variety of reasons, not least the publicity surrounding his deployment.

However it appears he has been serving quietly since Xmas over in Afghanistan with little impact on either him or the local population. Better yet, for him, was the media embargo on reporting where he was and what he was doing

His ‘cover’ was blown today by the New Idea magazine who decided to tell all. The result has been calls for him to be hoicked out of his unit and returned to the UK where mummy can keep a closer eye on him.

Understandably he isn’t too thrilled by the prospect. He has said he is a soldier and his duty is to be where his unit is expecting and receiving no special treatment.

Can’t argue with that at all. He may be third in line for the throne, but he *is* the ‘spare’ and needs to make a life for himself. If this is where he wants to be then leave him alone. The last thing the country needs in my opinion is another Princess Edward.

He’s a soldier. Let him do what he’s been trained to do, just as thousands of less well known men and women do every day.

Written by welshdog

February 29, 2008 at 6:11 am

Posted in Society

Weird weather marches onwards

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The weird weather patterns we’ve been receiving (both gratefully and grudgingly) have continued apace for the last few days. The skies have been *very* reminiscent of September in the UK i.e. grey and overcast. The rain has drizzled down or worse for what feels like months and to cap it all… the temperature this morning was just 12ºC.

Ok we’ll be moving into ‘autumn’ tomorrow and we might expect lower temperatures to develop, but to be this low this soon isn’t ‘normal’. Can’t actually do anything about it of course… just commenting. 🙂

Written by welshdog

February 29, 2008 at 5:49 am

Posted in Environment


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Slight snag. The PDA wireless modem is refusing to connect to the telco WAP… which makes it a bit of a bugger trying to do *anything* online.

Since we’ve had a lot of thunderstorms lately I’m giving the telco the benefit of the doubt and accept the slight possibility there might just be a problem with their towers so I’ll wait until tomorrow to ring ‘support’ about the problem.

Of course, I don’t actually know where, or who, support is/are… which makes it difficult to contact them as well! 😀

Of course this *would* happen just after I was congratulating myself for having got myself all set up for mobile blogging. Maybe someone out there is telling me to stay home?

These little difficulties are what gives life its piquancy (for want of a more Anglo-Saxon based term).

Written by welshdog

February 28, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Posted in I.T and similar

More development.

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After yonks struggling along using Internet Explorer Mobile, I finally ‘bit the bullet’ and bought Opera Mobile which is US$24. Why? Functionality is why.

For simple surfing… *very* simple surfing… IEM is just about adequate. For anything else it is worse than useless. Quite often it’s actually obstructive!

The main selling point for Opera Mobile is that it renders web pages properly even when viewed on a PDA.

The advantage for me is that web forms are displayed properly which allows me for example to write Blog posts from anywhere the phone can receive a signal.

Now I just need some sort of FTP progam to let me send photos ‘on the fly’ and I’ll be set… for now at least. 🙂

Written by welshdog

February 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Posted in General Ramblings

Ok I give up.

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Basically I’m so tired I can hardly keep one thought following the other. I think I’ll just call it quits for now and go get the kids from school. They’ll be standing in the rain, steaming like horses, and waiting to be collected.

I think I really need a good night’s sleep. To that end I had a good shower yesterday and scraped off the fuzz that had accumulated on my face thereby helping ensure the CPAP mask fitted. Trouble was that despite getting to bed at 9:00 p.m. I didn’t get to sleep til gone 12:00 a.m. No idea what I couldn’t sleep but didn’t all the same.

Had "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" to keep me company… and that *didn’t* help me sleep either! 😀

Right. I’m off… have fun.

Written by welshdog

February 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Posted in General Ramblings