Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Aussie/Oz: Necropolis & 1922 Qantas, Canadian Waterbombers, Ghibli Totoro Catbus and other wonders

Make a run for the fun! Yes, it is a Totoro taking off with a sack of acorns: those cute totoro, you can’t help but chase them. More on the fun Totoro’s later!

Thank you to the person who sent me a modern day postcard of Necropolis Station, later known as Mortuary Station, outside of Sidney.This was a train station in marble, carvings, gargoyles, stained glass windows and a bell tower for tolling the dead AND for announcing time to departure mentioned in the blog post “Necropolis: A tale of two Victorian cities”. After the war it was sold from the Sydney Necropolis (still open for business if you wish to be part of the largest Victorian graveyard city in the world) and sent by truck to Canberra where it opened as the All Saints Church in 1958. Here is the 'modern' postcard.It shows, like a bouquet of roses, that Terminus is developing a nice little cemetery of its own in Canberra.

Not only that, Linda found this 1922 postcard from Qantas, Australia’s oldest airline and the world’s second oldest continuous airline. Founded in 1920, the first aircraft was a Avro 504K which carried post, 1 pilot and 2 passengers. According to Wilkepedia, no new planes until 1926, so I went to Qantas directly, because I have an Armstrong Whitworth FK8 from 1922. Qantas took 871 passengers in two planes from 1920-1922, in the Avro 504K and a BE2E both war surplus planes which took a bit of maintaining (pieces would fly off mid-flight but 54,000 km were logged without incident by end of 1921). The Armstrong Whitworth is mentioned here at Quantas, where it was used on the NEW mail service from Charleville to Cloncurry. The AW FK8 carried pilot, THREE passengers and post going 70 mph. Except on the inaqural day, after three attempts, it couldn’t take off, and was found the revs were 50 down, just enough not to take off. So the G-Aude (pictured in the postcard above) was pulled out, it had opened the service the previous day, Nov 1, 1922. I think they had it in the shop for maintenance from yesterday’s flight of the same route. But on NOV 2, with the first paying passenger, some plane needed to get off the ground NOW. Let me know in comments or email if you want this postcard as it IS for the postcard project, and if you like it, it is going sent out to you!

Thanks to Aviatrix (who is now in Cambodia, making life better by building houses), I have a greater interest in finding rare airplane postcards. Like Linda’s find when I was ill: the world’s LARGEST operational flying boat, the Mars Martin (still in production), which seems to be based in my home town, Victoria. Originally the ‘big four’ they were bombers before being sold after 87,000 hours of flying and used for firefighting. Now the Hawaii Mars (bottom drop) and the Philippine Mars, side drop, continue in Canada to fight the dozens to hundreds of fires in BC and in other parts of Canada and the US. In her post on the Clipper Ship card I got her, she invited her readers to request postcards from me. And I would expand that to anyone who is interested in airplanes, whether a pilot or a lover or old or rare planes. Just email me (mpshiel@hotmail.com) and let me know the type of planes, trains, auto postcards you would like. I have two of the Mars Martin (and Linda is trying to find a couple more, so please ask email and ask for one! FREE!). The Mars Martin is an amazing plane, using 4 propellers and in coming down for a landing but keeping the speed at 70 knots, the two scoops below will suck up 7,200 US gallons of water (more than 1 ton a second) in 25 seconds. Due to the added weight, it is a practiced art to keep the Mars Martin at 70 knots, and take off with 7,200 US gallons of water and 600 gallons of foam concentrate. The foam concentrate allows for 21 ‘runs’ of precision drops low over trees (this postcard can be yours!) and then water pick-ups, each ‘run’ takes in total 15 minutes for a full drop, and reload, and ready to drop again. Here you can see a Mars Martin reloading the 7,200 US gallons of water (45 accident free years!)


I also have a postcard of the Canadian Golden Hawks (the flight group before the snowbirds) and it will be sent to anyone who loves airshows and precision flying. So honestly, please let me know. Help me because I have these cool postcards and I want to get them to the people who are interested in them. So if you are interested, don't think 'Oh, I'm sure someone else will want it', just say, "Hey me, okay?" because you would be doing me a FAVOR. If two people want the same postcard, I will try to find another of it, or like it. Let me worry about that!

I also have some retro and rare car postcards, from the Cadillac to 1913 Electric cars and this Pierce Arrow postcard here,showing that yes, life is better, indeed, life seems to be better with a Pierce Arrow. I will admit the woman in the chair looks like she is saying, “Thanks Irene, that was a GREAT series of orgasms, I am just going to feel the glow.” While Irene, who is a Butch in the Sheets, is offering her tea with THAT smile of intimacy before the Pierce Arrow takes her home. I think that is called having ‘Lesbian Goggles’. All these can be yours!

But for those who like their women Noir, Hard Boiled heroines, there is a bunch of Femme Fatales postcardsI got them in recently and would LOVE to send them good home (or a 'naughty' one!) – just let me know.

Oh, and for those who Love the ocean, and the interaction of water and light, there is a series called Water Light Time. The book is out of print and costs $150, but they made some postcards (also out of print) and so if you love the sea, let me know so I can send them to you.

I like giving gifts. And thank you for those who send postcards and gifts, I think you know the joy that giving can bring. Sure these postcards may be a bit rare but what? I am going to save them for retirement? I asked Linda if she thought even if we got a different diagnosis, I was going to live a LONG time (like 4-5 years). Nope. So please, while I still have some energy, and I have these beautiful things to give away, lets get at it.

I like beautiful things too, that’s what my wishlist is about. It has everything from Ghibli’s Kiki stamps to put on postcards, to the series Lie to Me season 2 (finally out on DVD!).I did some research and found out why I like Lie to Me so much. The two writers (a female pair that write together) who wrote for Joss Whedon, and wrong the last seasons of Angel as well as Dollhouse Season 1 were pulled and put on Lie to Me instead of writing Dollhouse season 2. That’s because when Fox brought them in they told Joss they had got him the writers, but unlike the actors who were under Joss’ production company, Fox had signed the contract with the writers. So they renewed season 2 of Dollhouse but pulled the writers to create Lie to Me. I like these women writer (much like the woman who wrote Life, and the one who wrote Mercy – women writers seem to ‘click’ with me), they are intellectual but also emotionally challenging.

As for Linda, I work to get her stuff. Psssst! Don’t tell Linda but I recently ordered this amazingly adorable music box from Japan for her.It is from the Ghibli Studio’s film Kiki’s Delivery Service about a young witch who must learn away from home and stays with a family bakery while she learns to fly and does her delivery service. Here she is filling in on a slow day, a bit bored with her ‘familiar’, a cat called Jiji, who talks (if you haven’t seen the movie, please do! It has a Zepplin in it!).So please don’t tell her, I want it to be a surprise. Cool though.

I spent yesterday, when I wasn’t at the doctors working on people’s presents. Linda said last year I sent out loads of presents but didn’t get much connection in terms of Winter or Solstice gifts. And with us having two NEW medications to pay for (more on that tomorrow), she wants me to keep it simple. So I am trying to give out really cool postcards as gifts to START with. But I won’t know who to send what postcard to unless you tell me, okay?

On the wishlist, I also put books of animals up close (I got her Polar Obsessions book for helping with Ebay, she loved it – the guy has the only close pictures of Narwhales, plus he was taken under the wing of a mother sealion, who kept trying to feed him dead penquins), and romances. She has a new book on caregiving as I am getting weaker. I put up some Hello Kitty special wooden chopsticks, the new Pop Picture book (I like people to read to me when I go neuroblind or look at pictures when I lose language). But also a manga on BURMA (yes, Burma manga!) called Burma Chronicles. The manga, high rated and awards, is a story over time of the people of Burma observed from a husband who draws while his wife works there with Doctors without Bordersit is about $10-13. What amazes me, is while I have a hard time leaving the apartment I can still learn about the world! So I think if you want a glimpse into Burmese culture and life as it changes under the regime, as I do, this is one manga to get! Plus there is a manga about the Canadian North by a famous Japanese artist (what do they think of moose?), and The Next Continent, a story of Japan moving forward to making a moon base (I SO would love this, wouldn't you?): Japanese Science Fiction – I love it. Also on the wish list is a non-fiction book of stories by a psychologist, much like Oliver Sacks, a book I hope will help me understand some of my childhood, called: the boy who was raised as a dog – about childhood trauma. I was trained as a dog, which drew me to this, leg taps to heel, whistles to come, to walk 3 paces ahead, to be silent and on point. You may think it odd, but it is my memory and life. Recognizing yourself as property, as a thing to be used and what can come from that, in term of how you are treated and view yourself is hard. It isn't low self esteem, it is the knowledge that rebelling would probably result in being put down (Is this true? Probably not, but if a person is treated like a dog, and the dog is too much of a burden and put down, what does the child think they have to do to survive?). I want to read these stories and see.

A lighter note - Thank you, thank you to the person who sent the Skelanimal blanket. I can now wash my other one! And I LOVE it. I used it to keep me from getting frostbite yesterday as I took Indy to the Doctors and back. With the rigid suspension, Indy does far better than I on these horrid curb cuts (think of a stack of egg crates going to the doctor and comes back….mush). Wham, Bam, I am a pinball getting slammed back and forth and someone up there is happy I am racking up ‘bumper points’. And BOO to Linda to pointed to my leg and suddenly with intensity asked, "Is that a SNAKE?!" (God, to be unable to move limbs and have her do that!) It turns out she wanted to know if that was a skelanimal snake or not. I begged her, "Don't DOOOOOO that!"

Finally, something SOOOO cute and cool I had to show you for YOUR gift list. First is a set of Totoro puzzles. There are four, come in a special holder and they go from 15 pieces up to 80,so as your child improves and grows, so does the complexity. It is pretty reasonable ($39.95) on Amazon, imported from Japan. Adult puzzles from Totoro, Kiki and Laputa are about $12-18. But the best was kept until last: a CAT BUS. And not just a cat bus, but a cat bus with Totoro passengers! How 'too cool for school' is that?There is a large grey, a ghost white and a tiny white that is sewn into the door. You (or a child) can put the totoro’s or anything into the cat bus to give them a ride. The two smaller ones are connected by string, so they can’t get lost. This is the medium size, and there is a small size – but only one of each, so if you know a child who loves Totoro (and the only children who don’t need to see the film, My Neighbor Totoro!), here is the ultimate toy.

Tomorrow, I will talk about the dull stuff like pills and stuff, but today is for gifts, and stories. I hope you saw something you like (if so, let me know) or saw something you might like to get someone. Giving is fun, honest.

And remember, don’t tell Linda about the music box!


Baba Yaga said...

Hmm, the cat bus strikes me as rather unnerving.

Yes it's a splendid thing to be able to learn about the world without having to/being able to go out into it. The printing press was a wonderful invention.

I hope the boy who was raised as a dog does prove enlightening. You remin me (and admittedly, it's rather a different matter) that my mother's theory of child-rearing was based on grandfather's theory of sheepdog-training: you have to let them misbehave occasionally so as to keep the upper hand. She plaintively observed, "You don't know how difficult it is to make a child misbehave who doesn't want to". You'd have thought that indicated that she already had the upper hand (I desperately wanted to be good, and could never work out how to do it), but evidently that didn't occur to her.

Now, we're all agog to know whether you have a GP, and actual treatment.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Baba Yaga: I thought the cat bus was rather sinister before I saw the film, then I just thought it was well, even more unpredicable. But in the Ghibli Museum the one attraction that is completely full at all times is the Catbus. I like it because it forces me to look at things the way a child does (the whole movie My Neighbor Totoro does that), where the terrifying is funny (a giant Totoro yowling at you), and a bus that goes fast and everywhere is a fun special event far better than a regular bus. The fact the Bus climbes up trees like a cat is a plus for children, and as kids, constantly waiting for parents or for buses in the rain, buses are boring and known, while the catbus (which still seemed a little too 'maybe I'll let you out and maybe I won't' at the end) represents all the figments of the 'other'. In many ways characters like the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts are strange and horrific as adults but just characters as children. Though I don't know if the modern version has the queen of hearts killing with such zeal.

I too only wanted to do what was right, and it seemed if I ever did what my gut was telling me would be interesting (like pulling on the clothes iron cable when I was on the floor to drag it down on me from above) my parents seemed to find 'bad' - I remember my mother saying, "The foods you hate so much now (I was 3) you will end up liking as an adult" - no actually I still hate stewed spinish, liver and brussel sprouts.

My father's adage was, 'Never ask a question you don't know the answer to.' which it turns out is the FBI's adage as well. I am not sure how you train a sheepdog - Linda said they had one, and they didn't train him at all, but they had to trade him as he was running the cows all over the place (and they were losing weight, thus value) - plus when they had friends over or people, he would herd the children around as well.

Stephanie in Victoria said...

One time I was driving through BC, near Salmon Arm, when I got to see one of those Mars bombers in action. We were travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway where it hugs the shore of Shuswap Lake when the giant plane came down, skimmed the water then rose off again with a full load.

It was so amazing to see something so big, powerful and graceful in action close up.

cheryl g said...

Those airplane postcards are pretty cool. You find the most interesting postcards. The ocean postcards are especially beautiful. I also think the Hello Kitty chop sticks are very cool.

I am really intrigued by the manga about Burma and the one about the Canadian North. I love manga where they give me glimpses into other cultures and their history.

I love Totoro and I think Catbus is really cool.

wendryn said...

Airplanes! and Kiki! and Totoro! This is, like, the best post ever! All the airplanes have their canopies towards the sky, though, so they're not doing anything fun. (I do like flying upside down!) I've loved the catbus ever since I saw Totoro for the first time. The view of it coming through the rain is one of my favorites, though I'm not sure why.

It isn't, of course, your best post ever - you've written some truly amazing things - but I love all of those things, and this post made me very happy. :)

The Necropolis pictures & history are fascinating, too.

I probably won't get to the manga, but if I do, I'll know where to start.

*hugs* to you, Linda, and Cheryl!

Raccoon said...

I now know a lot more about airplanes than I ever thought I would.

And looking at the covers of some of the old pulp, with your influence, make some of the titles _real_ interesting!

Stephanie in Victoria said...

BTW, there are copies of Burma Chronicles available at the Victoria Public Library. I'm going to check it out.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Stephanie: thanks, I took it off the wish list and put it on the hold list for the library! The company that does it is Drawn and Quarterly which does the Japanese view of Canada and a lot of alternative manga geared to adults. Mons P.L. used to do manga about mountain climbing and other ones about adults in nature and the city - the Missing Girl is one, about a climber coming down from his hut, to the city to save a lost girl in Tokyo, the daughter of a friend who died on the mountain.

Raccoon: I hope the airplane stuff wasn't dull, I learned a lot trying to research and then condense it into a few sentences. I actually saw the Mars Martin in action in California - it was when the San Gabriels were on fire just when I moved down like 1979/80 maybe, and the planes were down on tour and helped put out the big brush fires as California uses helicopters and I think these carry 20 times or more the payload. The idea is to create a 'wet blanket' - a mile of damp soaked wood - not to put the fire out but so that it can't burn the dry timber, or the dry brush and get hot enough for embers, so they carpet the area making it like the woods after a rain. Sorry, now even more info!

Yes, I do wonder with pulp covers and titles exactly how many innuendo's they were trying to get past. But like "The Girls of 3-B: Small town girls with big city passions" it can be easily read that they don't need to leave the apartment at all!

Wendryn: I am glad you liked it, I worked hard to try to make it interesting - knitting for the knitters and planes for the flyers - the ghibli museum has now 7 short films (not 2 when I went) and one is about the small girl meeting a baby catbus, and them being friends (while the mother giant catbus visits them at night). Sadly, they are not for open release, but I have seen stills and it is very cute.

Maybe I can find something that will tie into planes that fly well upside down and then tie that into baseball and that would be another good post for you!

Cheryl: I put the Burma book on hold, thanks to Stephanie - I have really been curious about Burma and could have smuggled across the border, but I was with Linda and that seemed like a 'bad idea' to subject Linda to (me? Well, I have done more stupid things than that - but I have always wanted to see the last Raffles Brothers Hotel which is in Rangoon, so I follow Burma/Mayamar as close as I can) - I also like cinema from asia but with some of my workers, like someone from Vietnam, I only have 1 film I have seen from there, and none from Burma, lots of Thai films, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Afganistan, but none from Laos that I know.

Neil said...

The postcards are all wonderful, Beth. I don't know HOW you find those things...

The Cat Bus doesn't do much for me, though.

Love and zen hugs,

Neil said...

I must apologize for not being around in the last few weeks. My Beloved was organizing and cooking for a pirate tavern that happened last Saturday; and I was helping as best I could.

And I have been enjoying a stinkin' cold. No brain cells left to communicate coherently with...

But I'm getting better, and I can think today. I think.

More love and even more zen hugs!

Aviatrix said...

I'm not in Cambodia quite yet, there's one week left before I leave. I'll send you a postcard from there for sure.

rachelcreative said...

I love your blanket. Although I would freak if someone said is that a snake and pointed at my leg too!

I'm sure Linda is going to love the music box. Shhh I'm not telling.

Anonymous said...

Quite interesting and informative topic