So, normally this is a pretty light-hearted blog, but today there’s a couple of serious matters I’d like to air. Thanks for bearing with me, and no bigs if you choose to come back tomorrow instead.

First, RIP Lidia Bachiella. Lidia and I were schoolmates, and though we were not exactly close, her passing at the young age of 43 from a brain aneurism saddens me immensely. She was a happy person, and her loss will leave an immense hole in the lives of her family, friends and colleagues. With time, the grief will pass and that hole will be filled in by the good memories that Lidia has left behind, but for now those affected must deal with the shock & pain of the sudden death of a loved one.
Please, make the time to take the time before you no longer have the chance. All you leave behind is memories, so make them good ones.

Lidia’s passing has made a difference in a positive way as well – as a registered organ donor she has already helped at least four other people in need. If you’re not an organ donor, you should be. Please please please, get your license changed, get yourself registered, and make sure your next-of-kin knows your wishes and agrees to uphold them.

A lily for Lidia.

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Not to be morbid or obsessive, but my next topic doesn’t travel too far from the last one.  Norman ‘Chubby’ Chaney was a child actor in the 1920s & 30s, a star of the legendary ‘Our Gang’ films. You can read all about his career and so forth by clicking through those links.  Chubby died young, at the age of 21, and is buried in an unmarked grave. My friend Mikal has started a campaign to get Chubby a decent memorial, and you can find out more about it here. You know you can spare a couple of bucks, so be a champ and contribute.

You’d like to think of Chubby happy like this, wouldn’t you?

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Now, I don’t want this post to be all grim and sad, so lets see what else I have today.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m taking my parents (who are here on holiday) to the zoo next Monday. There’s a poem starting to coalesce in the dim dark recesses of my mind about that, but whether it will spring forth like Athena from the head of Zeus or not remains to be seen.

Taronga Zoo has a bunch of elephants, but none of them can play the harmonica like Shanthi.

Speaking of parents, its Mother’s Day soon – don’t forget to write, call, email, visit or otherwise mark the day properly. Don’t care who you are or what you do, you’d be nothing if your mother hadn’t done her bit first. Let her know how much you appreciate it.

Here’s an old joke:
This guy goes to the doctor. “Doc,”he says “you gotta help me. I have terrible flatulence, and it happens everytime someone touches me.”
“Really?” asks the doctor. “Never heard of this before – let’s see.”
The doctor pokes the guy in the arm, and he immediately pops one off.
The doctor pokes him in the leg, and he lets rip another one.
“Fascinating!” mutters the doctor, and he proceeds to prod, poke and nudge the patient in various places, with varying pressure, and at variable frequency, for the next twenty minutes. And sure enough, whether the contact is light or heavy, high or low, rapid or slow, the man farts every time. Every. Single. Time.
Finally the doctor leaves the room, only to return with a wicked looking implement – a stick about 6 feet long, mounted with a metal hook.
The patient looks fearfully at this tool, and asks the doctor “Wh-what is that for?”
And the doctor says “I need it to open the skylight. It stinks in here, Mr Fartypants.”

Cheers,
Darryn