Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I bet you didn't know this!

I received one of those 'shared emails' recently and decided it was too interesting not to share and just 'delete'. I'm rather a fan of WD-40 - I know it's good for squeaking doors but.. I had no idea it would perform such miracles as loosening arthritic joints (I am yet to try it although the left knee could do with a spray (!) while I am writing this!) The main ingredient is fish oil - perhaps we could squirt it down our throats (only joking!) instead of swallowing a mountain of fish oil tablets. I was also surprised that there is actually a website for it - here.
WD-40 - just so you know what I am talking about!

Firstly what is WD-40 - other than having a funny name, and using fish oil?! Well it means Water Displacement Number 40 (silly old you not knowing that!) The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. It was created in 1953 by 3 technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound (whatever that means!) They were successful with the fourtieth formulation (if at first you don't succeed then try, try again!) - hence WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East one of the founders (I hope they made loads of money!) says there is nothing in WD-40 that will hurt you.

So here are just a few uses - the website states there are over 2000! (I haven't test run ... but this will get you thinking!)

1. Spray on a spotty water-marked shower screens (plastic or glass!)
2. Protects silver from tarnishing
3. Removes road tar and grime from cars
4. Removes spray paint which has vandalised the duco of a car
5. Cleans and lubricates guitar 20 strings
6. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery
7. Keeps flies off cows (just what I need!)
8. Restores and cleans blackboards
9. Removes lipstick stains (useful for collars!)
10. Loosens stubborn zips (no comment!)
11. Untangles jewellery chains
12. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks and polishes up cook tops (no excuse now)
13. Removes dirt and grime  from the barbecue grill
14. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
15. Removes tomato stains from clothing
16. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble  floors
17. Keeps scissors working smoothly
18. Removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Just remember to open windows if you have a lot of marks (too much hooten annie square dancing in your house!)
19. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors (the only thing I have ever used if for!)

20. Remove dead insects or they will eat away the finish on your car
21. Remove crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean cloth
22. Lubricates sticking window tracks and makes them easier to open
23. Restores and cleans leather car dashboards 
24. Restores and cleans  roof racks on vehicles
25. Lubricates and  stops squeaks in electric fans.
26. Lubricates wheel sprockets (?!) on bicycles  
27. Lubricates fan belts and keeps them running smoothly
28. Keeps rust from forming on saws, saw blades and other tools.
29. Removes splattered grease on stove
30. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
31. Lubricates prosthetic limbs (thank goodness I haven't needed to - yet)
32. Keeps  pigeons off the balcony (they hate the  smell) - I wonder if it works for possums?
33. Removes all traces of duct tape
34. Spray it on arms, hands and knees to relieve arthritis pain
35. WD-40 attracts fish so why not spray a little on live bait or lures 
36. Use it for gnat bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch
37. Spray garden posts around the sides to stop slugs/snails eating the plants
38. Removes chewing gum from everything

Sometimes 'mistake' inventions turn out to be amazing. Rather like the 3M Post-it Notes (discovered in 1968 because Dr Spencer Silver attempted to develop a super-strong adhesive but 'accidentally' created a low-tack reusable pressure-sensitive adhesive!)  Stories like Mistake Out (Tippex) (invented by Bette Nesmith Graham in 1956 to cover her mistakes on the typewriter. She sold the company to Gillette in 1979 for US$47.5 million - woo hoo) What a success! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

It's been Hell for Cadel

Just 2 years ago thousands of Melbournians Yelled for Cadel in Federation Square after his extraordinary win in the Tour de France. He did it without the help/support of his team mates who are primarily there to ensure that the leader of the team is supported and nurtured along the way on each stage of the journey. I watched the other night as the current winner Chris Froome 'hit the wall' and needed our own Ritchie Porte incur fines in order to bring food and drink to him inside the 'no food' zone of the race. Chris Froome has been supported all the way along by his team mates riding in a block to protect him on this extraordinary bike race. 
Cadel riding into Paris after winning the Tour de France in 2011
When I reflect back to the race won by Cadel I realise how remarkable the feat was. Yes of course we knew it was remarkable (not just because he was the first Aussie to win le Tour) but because he virtually 'did it alone'. 
Thousands welcome Cadel to Melbourne
Last year things didn't pan out for Cadel but after a third in this year's Giro Italia we thought he was on his way back to the podium. But he totally ran out of puff - and legs - finishing in 39th position (his worst ever result) in the final overall classifications (169 riders completed this gruelling 3 week race over more than 3250 kms - unbelievable).  At 36 it seems he is human after all - he is doing what all of us do as we age! - going slower!
Thank you Cadel for changing the face of cycling in Australia
Having watched this race for the last 10 years and needing a holiday afterwards to catch up on my beauty sleep the race never fails to surprise. This year it was the tiny 23 year old Colombian who won my heart and others.  Nairo Quintana Rojas not only came second beating former drug cheat Alberto Contador - he also won Best Young Rider and King of the Mountains in his first tour. As Cadel summed up his worst Tour "... that's sport" we see Quintana and of course Chris Froome celebrating. I hope they all go and put their feet up for a while! I'm certainly going to put mine up - and get some sleep before 1 a.m. for a while!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The bucket list!

I always seem to be mentioning 100 things/trips/projects/blah blah blah to do before I die in this and richmondrambles. I think cartoonists are also 'onto it'. It seems only a few years ago that I saw the first book including the words 100 things to do ...... and now they are everywhere on every conceivable subject. They have spawned babies!! Everyone is on the bandwagon.
Leunig (The Age) "Bert is making his bucket list: a catalogue of all the things he never ever wants to do again before he dies" 
But for me a list seems to give impetus to 'just do the things you want to do/go where you want to go/live how you want to live/blah blah blah - and of course have an ever-enquiring mind. Some of the lyrics of 'Do what you want" come to mind
so do what you want to do
be what you want to be
I seem to be mentioning my father a lot recently (I don't know why but I guess he played a pretty significant part in the way 'I live now' - what with nerping, travelling and basically living life to the full (sometimes to overflowing!). He always had a list well before bucket lists were fashionable. I remember as the time was getting closer for the 'things to do before he died' he ticked them off (there was another list just in case). If I recall it entailed 'The Fall in Canada', 'Back O'Burke' (I couldn't believe they had a website!!) and 'The Black Stump' in far west New South Wales (who knows why). Even as his health deteriorated there were little adventures closer to home which became his tick-off achievements.

How often do we hear people saying "I want to do this before..." but never do. And yes I understand that often that is due to economics, family pressures - but often it is just that the impetus 'to do it' gets lost in the day-to-day run-of-the-mill of life. This is sounding like a lecture! But what I was taught growing up was that if you see an opportunity - grab it with both hands and run with it. The destination is not always what impacts the most - it's the little things that occur along the way that often have the most lasting impressions. 
Weldon - another cartoonist (The Age)
Do you have a list? Go-to-it. Make a list. Add to the list. Tick off the list. Explore. Nerp. Have fun!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Barramundi on a Parisian rooftop

I'm an avid fan of Aboriginal Indigenous art and was thrilled to read that one of my favourite Paris Museums - the Musee du quai Branly - now has its roof covered in the scales of the barramundi fish (delicious to eat and now to see)! Created by indigenous artist Warmun woman Lena Nyadbi she travelled to Paris for the 'opening' and viewed it from the Eiffel Tower. This specially commissioned painting of Dayiwul - the ancient fish of the Dreaming is a monumental piece of art - almost 700 square metres. 
View from the Eiffel Tower of Dayiwul Lirlmim (Scales of the Barramundi) (Perthnow)
I was fascinated to read that the scales are the diamonds that were scattered on the ground prior to the Argyle Diamond Mine changing the landscape - oh what we will do for a pink diamond. As Nyadbi said after seeing her art from above "I saw my Dayiwul by the side of the river, ready to jump in the water". The Seine will never be the same again!
Lena Nyadbi - what a face, what a smile, what talent! (SMH Katherine Griffiths)
This is Nyadbi's second 'instillation' at the Branly - her first was the embossed footprints on the east story wall of the museum. With wonderful philanthropic assistance from our very own Harold Mitchell, Scales of the Barramundi will  now be seen by more than 8 million people per year who visit the Eiffel Tower. And it will be visible on Google Earth!! Art and philanthropy - what a combination.
Up close and personal - these diamonds are forever (www.warumart.com.au)
Tres bon et merci beaucoup Lena et Harold.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Is France for you?!

Mes amis I was amused to receive the following list from a fellow blogger. You will find it here on My Mélange. Of course we Australians would never expect France to be like this! It never fails to surprise me when travelling to discover that some people want their trip to be like home! Well if you want that then stay home. Part of the fun of travelling is to be confronted by differences (even restaurant times!). So enjoy this list - I know you would never expect any of the following! 

Hotel Verneuil Paris - Room for two - just - but oh so pretty

  1. The French sure do love their cigarettes.  If you don’t like cigarette smoke, France may not be for you.
  2. If you expect to be fussed and fawned over at dinner by wait staff who act like your new best friend and offer up their name, France may not be for you.
  3. And if you may become upset and impatient when said wait staff let you relax and enjoy your meal rather than shoving you out the door, France may not be for you.
  4. If you need to touch and riffle through all the merchandise when you’re shopping and you think the customer is always right, France may not be for you.
  5. If you expect the French to smile, hold the door for you (a complete stranger) and speak to you in English, France may not be for you.
  6. If you don’t like cheese - the smell of cheese, the taste of cheese. It’s a country of over 365 cheeses and if you can’t handle that much cheese, France may not be for you
  7. If you prefer Paris sidewalks to be free of doggie doo, France may not be for you.
  8. If you’re not big on etiquette, using your manners, or going out of your way to be polite in a foreign country, France may not be for you.
  9. If you like mega-sized portions and leftovers, France may not be for you.
  10. If you think aloof, private and reserved translates to rude, France may not be for you.
  11. If you have no desire to learn a bit of the language or culture before you go, France may not be for you.
  12. If you’ll be highly offended when you try to speak your best French, but you’re answered back in English, France may not be for you.
  13. If you’ll throw a hissy fit when the classy restaurant you’ve been looking forward to dining in won’t serve you at 3:30 for lunch or 5:30 for dinner.  France has set hours for shopping, dining, banking and other services, France may not be for you.
  14. If you’ll be uncomfortable when Parisians blatantly stare at you while sizing you up on the Metro, France may not be for you.
  15. If you can’t sleep in anything less than a king sized bed or stay in a hotel room the size of a house, France may not be for you.
  16. If you might ask a waiter for a phone book to call the health department to report the women sitting at the next table in a bistro who’s dining companion is her dog, France may not be for you.
  17. If you’re not greeted with the same sense of urgency as you’re used to in other parts of the world (ie, the U.S.), France may not be for you.
A bientot