That Nude Photo

30 05 2011

People have seen that one nude photo of me in the shower floating around online, and I thought perhaps I would write about why I did it. I have never been the one to flaunt my body, I’ve always been a very insecure person, which got worse after puberty. If I went swimming anywhere, to a water slide for example, I would have left my t-shirt on… which was probably a good thing when you consider skin cancer.

When I was growing up in the 70’s there were lots of calendars around, of naked women, and I suppose I just sort of took it as normal, before feminists weigh in here, please take into consideration that I was a kid at this stage, around ten or so. And at this point I came to wonder why there were calendars of Women, but there were no Men, I found that very odd.

I suppose I felt both sexes deserved equal time.

I really had nothing to base my sexuality on, anything male seemed to be hidden away, or Men would appear in porn magazines merely to emphasise the sexuality of Women, but never alone, never by themselves, or with other Men. Not that I saw any of this until I was around twenty something. I just didn’t have access to that sort of material, which was sad because I really wanted to know.

Perhaps if I had lived in San Francisco things would’ve been different.

One thing that stuck with me was hearing the guy who created the Love Sexy cover for Prince saying something like “Female sexuality is an easy thing to photograph, while Men, were extremely difficult” as though my sex were sort of neutral, too dull to be photographed, not impressive, and kind of worthless.

Then I got online, and suddenly there they were, all the pictures of Men that I had imagined should have been on calendars in local shops, and should have been hanging up in grimy offices and so forth, It was an awakening.

What I liked most about these photographs were that the models were a lot more confident about their bodies than I was, and I felt after seeing them, a lot more at ease with who I was… but perhaps if I’d seen these images as a teenager, it would have helped things a lot more… but obviously there was no internet, as we have now, way back then.

It was 2005 when the cancer was discovered, and I feared that with the operation and treatment, that my body would change, so I wanted to take some photos of myself, before the operation, in the nude, not to be shown, just for my own purposes.

Before a bowel operation, a patient goes to see a stoma therapist. a stoma is a bit of your intestine which sticks out of your body, and a special collection bag is hung from this, which collects your waste, it’s not as bad as it sounds, the stoma is only about the size of the tip of your thumb, and the bag fixes to your body a bit like a band-aid, and is changed every couple of days.

The stoma therapist teaches you a bit about what a stoma is, shows you a model, and then works out where the best place for your stoma will be… so it’s not directly under where the belt of your pants would be, for example.

An “X” was marked on my body with a texta, and covered with a patch of what looked like clear masking tape, after my operation I would wake to find a stoma there, and a bag.

One morning when Mum went out shopping with my Sister, I set up my camera and took full frontal shots of me, which nobody would see but me.

After the operation I felt that with the stoma there, and the smell, and the minor accidents I was having with it, that I had become unclean, I wouldn’t touch food with my bare hands, I even used a spoon to eat twisties.

But as time went on and I became more adept at looking after myself, that feeling went away, and I began to return to normal.

Then Joe came to visit me from the US, we had planned this holiday months ago, but only a few weeks earlier Mum had passed away, so I was still in a strange mind-frame.

We stayed in this lovely cottage at Mt Dandenong, which was actually for new couples, I think, but it was right in the forest which is exactly what I needed, I love the forest and the sound of bellbirds.

The light was beautiful on the inside, and I felt like taking some photos as I had been doing frequently throughout the holiday, then I realised that I could probably take some nude shots.

I wasn’t prepared to do frontal shots as I had the horrible bag on, and I really didn’t want to do that anyway. I just wanted a lovely photo of myself having a shower in this gorgeous bathroom.

So I snapped a few photos using my Pentax SLR on a tripod and I used a timer, No flash was used as it would have spoilt the lovely yellow lighting there.

I never had the opportunity to photograph nudes, something I’d quite like to do, and so I really enjoyed doing this, I think in part, the photo was to say “This is me, I’m confident, I’m in one piece and I’m ok”.


BTW: I had a reversal done in 2010, where the stoma was “removed” (put back inside where it ought to be) This has caused it’s own problems, but about eight months later, things are much better than they were. and showering is so much easier.

iTunes Sucks

28 05 2011

A few days ago while I was in the City, Melbourne, I was using my iPhone to keep in contact with a friend who had come to visit, She was here from Sydney, and a little lost.

Just as we were almost together, My phone locked up, it put itself into a state which I could not break out of, called a “Recovery Loop” in which all you see is a screen asking you to plug it into the computer and connect to iTunes.

So I thought this was OK, I could go home, connect to iTunes and everything would be fine since I backed up regularly.

Although I was annoyed because I almost missed making contact with my friend, and I couldn’t take photos to show friends who would have loved to see what Melbourne was about.

I came home and connected to iTunes, iTunes told me that all media (songs, videos and photos) would be lost and did I want to proceed, and I thought that would be ok, since the backup was there, and I have already been in a similar position where the phone was reset and to my relief everything was still there.

So if the phone went back to factory settings, I felt it was ok to assume that my backup would take care of everything, I could re-load all my stuff and life would go on as before… except for the loss of a couple of photos I’d taken before the iphone locked up.

Except it didn’t, I was horrified to find that my 3000 odd photos and videos had all been deleted, not just off the phone, but from the computer as well.

In fact, I was to discover later that unless a setting in the background of itunes is set, to send photos into iphoto, then you haven’t been backing up your media at all, which is what I thought iTunes had been doing the whole time.

I did NOT want to use iphoto, because… When I save photos or songs or whatever I have, I like to keep them in a folder where I can see them, and not allow a program to tamper with my stuff… the photos are mine and I want to manage them personally.

I was horrified to discover that all iTunes was doing was backing up any mp3s I had, (which aren’t important to me) my contacts, some notes, my apps and that was basically it.

I was annoyed that all my voice memos were gone as these were notes on my personal life and history, I am hoping they were backed up with other mp3s.

But mostly my photos which I take daily as a kind of personal diary of what I did each day, I upload the best ones daily to twitpic or flickr, but there are some which are basically notes to myself or general records of the day, these were gone.

What was fortunate though was about a month ago, I had decided to do a manual backup of my photos, which can certainly be done… these were all copied to a folder, in the way that I like… in a safe place where the hated iphoto can’t get to them and tamper with them.

So rather than losing a about two years worth of photos, I had lost most of a months worth… but managed to recover quite a few from “The Cloud”.

When the phone re-started, there were no apps on it, except for what a basic phone comes with. I see the apps on itunes, why didn’t they transfer to my phone?

I think iTunes should read the contents of the phone each time you sync, show you in a list what’s there and what needs to be backed up, and back up everything, as I wrongfully assumed it was doing.

There should also be an option to back up self-made content, to a separate folder.

I’m also concerned about apps which contain personal data, I have a security program with all my passwords on it, where do they go? or what about “time flies” an app which saved day-to-day notes? or even saved games, how are those… are those backed up?

I am left feeling that Syncing, which is something we’re advised to do on a regular basis, is really only a sugar pill… take this and everything will be fine, well my friends, it isn’t.

I had considered that if iTunes had wiped everything off, and that’s a big fault there, it shouldn’t have wiped ANYTHING off the computer regardless of the state of the iphone, that perhaps the backups of my Mac which I made with “Time Machine” may assist me, and I will have to do some more reading about that.

This has left me feeling quite sick, I have never had this experience with my old but reliable Palm T|X,

For those with photos on their iPhone, I strongly advise you to do this:

Plug your iPhone into your Mac and Launch Preview, You can find Preview in Spotlight (magnifying glass in the top right).
Preview does not appear as a program, but look at the top of your computer screen and you will see “Preview” listed in the top left of your screen. From the File menu navigate down and select “Import from iPhone”. Select “Import All” to get all the pictures, otherwise individually select pictures and click ‘Import’. I think you can save them wherever you like from there, this avoids iTunes and iPhoto completely. You can then copy a folder (and I would advise you do make a backup backup) and burn a dvd or send a copy to an external hard drive.

On a PC your phone should open and simply let you get to your photos, I remember doing this but can’t quite recall how, but Google it and you’ll find it.

This personal stuff, your photos, videos, voice notes and anything written or produced by YOU is critical data, I remember how the Beatles had written a song on a scrap of paper while flying somewhere, and it became one of their classics… what if they’d used a phone or tablet and it failed, it’s just not good enough. “Self produced work is critical data” You can always re-download a song if it’s on itunes, that’s no big deal… but if it’s your photo, your video, voice or written work that could be the only copy in existance,
anyone producing any sort of operating system today must take this into account and put the users work absolutely first, way ahead of backing up apps and songs. (Unless they’re yours of course)

As the phone is out of warranty now, I am beginning to research jail breaking, as I have read that I can use a program which is something like iTunes but a lot better, we shall see.


News from Oklahoma

25 05 2011

Here’s an e-mail I received from @Eva2009Sophie, A friend I’ve known for years who lives in Oklahoma, USA.

We’ve had a massive tornado outbreak, multiple huge tornadoes, we went to an
underground shelter and rode it out..whole trees are down here in town and
power outages but we were lucky…the town of Piedmont, west of Oklahoma
city was wiped out and lots of other towns too….they’re searching for a 3
yr old little boy right now 😦 hope they find him and he’s OK and the
national weather service, which happens to be out of Norman, near us..they
said something they rarely ever say, they said get ready NOW because its
going to be a historic tornado day in Oklahoma and they were right…ugh
my roof has shingles off , Now definitely need a new roof, it’s just unbelievable
There’s even a tornado warning in Dallas Texas right as I’m typing
this..its 9:44 pm here…Several people so far are reported dead and they’re
searching for others..anyhow just wanted you to know we’re ok, love and kisses
to you xoxo

Via Michelle Crismon.


Considering religion and kids

25 05 2011

Religion, like McDonalds, believes in getting to kids early, in order to subdue their minds to their way of thinking.

I met a teacher online some time ago who said that it was harder to get students to think for themselves rather than simply learn, and I think he’s right, so many of us will refer to a book, and point something out and say “The author says this, therefore it’s true” and it might not be, there are cases where a book has been printed, and a mistake has been found, and fixed in the next edition… but that last book with the incorrect item in it could remain in the family or school library for years.

Not so much of a problem if you’re getting your information online, but it still pays to check your facts, whether you’re a scientist or journalist, or just a random person looking for important information which needs to be accurate.

I think we should teach kids, at a very young age that facts are important, and not to believe it just because an adult told you so, which kids often do, and grownups will often do too.

I would like to walk into a class where there are very young kids and draw two circles on the blackboard, one pink and one blue, To point at the pink circle and say “this circle is the blue one”, with a strong tone in my voice, seemingly very sure of my own facts and importance.

Now kids would immediately see that I was wrong.

I wonder how long it would take for me to be corrected?

Then I would ask, if nobody said anything, “What’s wrong with what I just said?”

The plan would then be to say that sometimes people are not always right, sometimes they seem to know what they’re talking about, but sometimes, we can still be wrong, and this is the nature of people.

Sometimes kids are wrong, grownups can be wrong, the police, politicians, priests… and sometimes books can be wrong too, it’s very important to think for yourself and not be told “this is how things are”, to have an open, questioning mind is a very good thing to have. Some people don’t want you to have an open and questioning mind because it upsets them… and I’d like you to think about why that might be.

Then I’d wave and leave, and hope that I’ve planted a seed.


Sleep Walking

13 05 2011

When I was a cub, I was a somnambulist, One who goes for midnight walks and doesn’t even realise it. It used to really freak out my poor parents.

I was probably around five at the time, and although weird people stealing kids in the night didn’t seem to be much of an issue back in the 70’s, (our back door was never locked at night) a missing child has always been a concern.

One night, Dad found my bed empty and went looking for me, only to find me out in the garden, walking around barefoot under the lemon tree… with muddy feet and muddy pyjama legs.

Back then, My Sister lived in the house next door, and we had a gate between the fence so we could visit each other without having to go into the street and take the long way around.

So on another night, the phone goes at our place, It was my Sister telling Mum that I was banging on her back door, and yes, I was completely asleep.

I’m not sure which night it was, because obviously I have no direct memory of the events in question, but after one nocturnal escapade, I woke up in my Dads arms as he carried me back into bed.

I remember waking up and feeling safe, and asking him what was going on, and he told me, softly, to go back to sleep.

This was one of my fondest memories of my Father.

Mum had had enough, but really wasn’t sure what to do, so she bought a chain for the back door, which is still there today… this was used to make sure I couldn’t get out, apparently I could reach the doorknob at that stage, you know I’ve never really thought about that till now, If I couldn’t reach the doorknob, then I must have been standing on a chair to reach it… I suppose.

Of course the chain didn’t stop me sleepwalking, there was still this need to go outside and do my thing.

So, trapped inside the kitchen on another night, I rifled through the cupboards trying desperately to find a hole that lead out into the garden, to no avail.

My parents heard the pots and pans crashing around on the lino and ran out to see what was going on, just me… I was promptly taken back to bed.

Then in grade three, a camp to Ocean Grove in Victoria was organised, and I wanted to go. Mum had been happy to let me go on all daytime excursions with the School but… with the sleepwalking, things might be a bit iffy.

There was a meeting for worried parents who were about to let their kids go on a camp for the first time, and I remember Mum speaking to our Vice-Principal, Mr Kidd, Who was a great bloke… and he assured Mum that we’d all be locked away safe at night, which we were… this wasn’t a camp with tents, more like a Dormitory, with bunk beds.

She let me go, and there was no problem… as far as I know, I never walked in my sleep again, which in a way is a bit sad somehow, because I was quite fond of my little oddity… although honestly, I suppose it wasn’t the safest thing to do.

Mr Kidd was brilliant too, He would tell us stories around the fireplace in the large hall which was mostly used for eating… it was like Hogwarts without all the finery and the magic. But the food was really good, funny how I remember that.

Years later I heard a story concerning another child and their sleepwalking.

In the 70’s we had a holiday home at St. Leonards in Victoria, and our neighbours were friendly and would ask us in for a cup of tea now and then, their house always seemed to be in a state of being built, rather than done, I think it was something for the Hubby, a builder, to tinker with after retirement.

They had an open fireplace, which was handy as some nights down there were bitterly cold.

The Wife had asked her Hubby to set the fireplace up so all she had to do was come out and light it, to get the house warm before breakfast.

He did this, but when She woke, there was nothing but ash.

This confused her Husband who swore that the fireplace had been loaded with wood the night before.

This happened over several nights.

One night, The Husband had had enough and decided to curl up in front of the fireplace and guard it.

During the night, their Grand Daughter, who would sometimes go with them, appeared… and quietly lit a fire, then sat in a comfortable chair until the fire went out. Then she simply got up and went back to bed.

With this in mind, do think about safety if you have a sleepwalker at your place, Hide matches, poisons and so on,
Make sure doors and windows are locked.

And don’t be afraid to ask a professional about it, should it be giving you a sleepless night worrying about what your kids might be getting up to.

If I can offer any comfort at all, it’s that we generally grow out of it, I did…. I think.

Read Susan Fujikis recent experience with sleepwalking.


On Sex

8 05 2011

Reading your post about doing things other than watching TV, Although naturally using the Internet is fine.


There’s an idea.

Do they sell it in jars at Coles (Supermarket)?

It’s funny how sex seems to be this amazing cure all for lifes shortcomings.

I’ve seen these people bashing their heads against a brick wall because they’re supposedly not normal, because they’re not getting any. Next thing they’re in relationships and being depressed, and having babies, and not enough money is coming in, they’re screaming blue murder at each other and hurling objects and getting black eyes and a lawyer.

I’ve seen (and heard) this first hand, Neighbours abusing each other and relations having divorces.

And somehow, because I’m single and wish to stay that way, and live with my cat and dog. I get sneered at.

And while it’s true that life isn’t perfect, I can pretty much do my own thing.

Perhaps I’m too lazy or inept, but honestly, what’s the point?


Link to blog.


4 05 2011

Today I needed to go shopping, and as I don’t own a car, I called a taxi.

This process has always worked, Phone, Tell them where you are and where you want to go, they tell you that it’s on it’s way, done!

Now, there’s an iPhone app which is called “13CABS”, and the idea is that when you want to go home again, you tap it’s icon, it locates your position via GPS and the taxi is supposed to come and pick you up… it’s supposed to, but usually it doesn’t.

And I think I’ve worked out why.

On the way, there were electronic messages heard in the taxi, a robotic female voice would ask the driver if he was prepared to take a passenger from wherever they were.

When these came through, thrice while on the way out, the driver pressed a button and the voice said “You have declined the passenger” or some such phrase.

So what I think is going on is that after hailing a taxi on 13CABS, The app tells me that a driver has been notified, but then when he pushes cancel, the request is not passed onto another taxi as it should be, but is totally cancelled.

This leaves the would be passenger constantly checking their iPhone for updates to see if the taxi is really coming or not.

If you don’t check and it’s cancelled, you could be left standing there until you do, I was left standing for over an hour.

The App sounds fine in theory, to find yourself on the side of a road somewhere and not know where you are (I tried GPS on the iPhone and was told I was in Egypt, I have no idea why) and have a taxi come and pick you up, well it’s a great idea.

I was standing on a road beside a major shopping center, but telling the taxi company I was somewhere there was no good, as the shopping area is vast, and I’d be a mere needle in a haystack, and there was very little signage… and I was freezing my arse off.

I wound up phoning my neighbour instead who was kind enough to pick me up, fortunately he knew where I was by description of the area.

I tend to get lost easily, I didn’t inherit that Pigeon-like sense of direction which my Dad had in abundance.

But I got home anyway, Thankyou David.

Our little family is back together again.

As for 13CABS, It’s as reliable as asking a cat to look after a salmon for you, I will never use it again.


* Tonight a friend told me how to make maps find me, in Australia. and as it turns out, hitting the little arrow icon in the bottom left does work. I’m sure I must’ve tried it before though, how could I have missed it?