In The Name Of Love


Today’s Daily Prompt, “Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.”, comes for me at an opportune moment. In a little more than a month my daughter Jessica will be turning 21 and I will be giving a couple of speeches. These will, of course, be tales of love and pride.

I am immensely proud of Jessica and have been for many, many years. Read my post ‘Person of The Year’ for an example of my daughter’s capacity for love.

I look at Jessica now and see a strong, intelligent, capable young woman whom I love deeply.

It does seem a little strange to feel pride at her and her achievements. What did I do? defines pride (in one instance) as “pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself” and I think it is the reflected credit we are talking about when we say we are “proud” of someone.

Is my pride a pride in achievements? Jessica has achieved many things in her 21 years, she has been a success in such things as debating and dance aerobics and I am happy and pleased at these but my pride lives at a deeper level than achievements.

Is my pride a pride in actions? Jessica acts as a good person, a good friend and a loving daughter and grand-daughter. I am happy that this is my daughter but my pride is more than this.

I see the whole person in front of me and it is this image that fills me with pride. Despite she has not lived with me since she was 3 I spent many years doing a lot of driving between Sydney and Newcastle so that we could spend time together and I would like to think that during those weekends and holidays I had a fair amount of influence on Jessi. I tried to show her a wide and varied world, I tried to show her an accepting, caring and loving person.

So when I look at Jessica and see a fine woman with a strong sense of self, a loving heart and a fine mind with much promise and the energy and skills to carry herself forward to anywhere she wants to take herself I feel a strong sense of pride. More than this I know that no matter what she chooses to do and where she goes in the years to come nothing will shake my love and pride.

Rubbish Retail

dick smith

dick smith (Photo credit: sensesmaybenumbed)

All you people who complain that it’s the GST and the Aussie dollar that makes us all buy online, I’ve got a story for you.

I broke my Kindle. I tripped on the back step and, as well as collecting some bruises, I slammed the Kindle on the floor and got coffee all over it. I thought it was going to be OK, but two days later it refused to charge.

Wednesday morning I gave up and went looking to buy a new one. Unfortunately Amazon only sells through a small number of retailers locally and none of them offer overnight delivery.

Dick Smith does carry Kindles, but my favourite Dick Smith store was out of stock. The young man on the phone suggested I try “Click and Collect” — where I buy on the web site and it tells me which stores I can pick up from. (That might be why it’s my favourite Dick Smith: good staff there.)

“Click and Collect” told me that a nearby store had them, so I paid my money and set off to the shopping centre for my morning errands and shopping.

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Déjà vu

English: WordPress Logo

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess it has to happen. Coming up with a Daily Prompt seven days (or is it six?) a week must be a hard thing to do and a constant strain. I don’t envy “michelle w” the task.

Today’s Daily Prompt is “If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?”

Back on the 7th, just two weeks ago, the Daily Prompt was “If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?”

Not identical but quite similar.

While we are looking at prompts lets go to the site ‘Plinky’ which also offers a prompt every day. Scroll down and have a look at the prompt for July 14. Look familiar? Yes, there it is, our Daily Prompt for today with exactly the same words.

I’ve also seen this happen in the opposite direction where Plinky “borrows” a prompt, sometimes changing a word or two, from our Daily Prompt.

I’ve seen the similarity on a few other occasions, though this is one of the few times I’ve had a look at the date stamps to attempt to sort out exactly what happened.

I wonder if what has happened here is that after the first Daily Prompt about the nomadic life Plinky borrowed the idea, changing the words a little, and then Michelle saw it and thought “That’s a great idea” and in her hurried state didn’t recognise her own handiwork?

What do you think? Is it OK for this borrowing to be done, particularly without credit? Did you notice the similarity? Do you think my theory might be right?

Oh, and by the way, I answered the first nomadic Daily Prompt here.


Bill Clinton talking at TED conference 2007. H...

Bill Clinton talking at TED conference 2007. He won TED Prize 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Daily Prompt: “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

The heart of today’s question is what is the one life change I’d like at the moment. I have a whole list of them but the chances of this blog triggering most of them is slim at best.

Falling in love would probably be at the top of my list, I’m a romantic and always enjoy being in love, not to mention that when you’re suffering depression one of the nicest things to get is a good cuddle – makes you feel much better.

A full time job would be nice. At the moment I’m making do with short jobs for old colleagues and past customers but something more stable and lucrative would be nice.

I don’t think either is a likely result of my writing here.

I write here because I enjoy it, I find writing a relaxing pursuit. I also find it helps with my depression to let some of the thoughts inside my head out and onto the screen. So I don’t do it to change anything or gain a life experience.

That said if someone from TED was to read my posts about depression and invite me to talk I wouldn’t say no. That would be an amazing life experience, giving a TED talk.

Of course everyone who writes would love a book contract so I would be over the moon if some publisher reading this blog was to decide to offer me one.

But let’s inject some more reality. Neither of those is likely to happen. How about a more likely outcome?

The life experience that I’d like from writing this blog is to strike up a conversation with my readers. I really enjoy every comment I get here and would love to hear more from you. If you are prompted by one of my posts to write a few sentences I’d enjoy reading them. If you don’t want to make a public comment then feel free to drop me a note at tonyw at honestpuck dot com.

Love Story In 140 characters

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I recently saw an activity on Soul Pancake: Write a love story in 140 characters. So here it is:


Eyes across a restaurant table. Hearts interconnecting. Souls together. Life together, shared moments. Bodies intertwined. Forever Yours.


137 characters, including spaces and punctuation.


My Little Secret


anxiety (Photo credit: FlickrJunkie)

Today’s Daily Prompt : Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

That’s a hard one. Most of me and my life is an open book, I don’t have much hidden away.

The only thing really hidden is my internal life and even most of that has been told. I feel the only thing most people would find surprising, that most don’t know, is how much of the time I’m scared and frightened.

I try hard to project an air of calm and confidence but when I’m talking to you I’m scared of saying the wrong thing. If I don’t know you when we start talking I’m frightened that you’ll find me weird or strange, too different to like.

With almost every task I undertake I’m scared of failure, anxious that I’m going to do something wrong. Professionally I’m OK, when I’m working on a systems task or fixing a computer problem I start out believing I can do it. It only takes a minor setback and that anxiety is there, though it is in the back of my mind and usually well controlled.

I have the same problem in my relationships, I’m full of fear. I don’t think my partners ever knew how anxious I was.

I’m anxious that as my lover you don’t know how I feel, I’m scared that I’m not open enough. I’m frightened that I’ll get left, get hurt. I’m frightened of hurting you, I’m nervous I’m asking too much, I’m scared about not doing enough, I’m fearful of controlling and I’m concerned I don’t leave room for you. A litany of anxious thoughts.

Of course there are times when I don’t feel anxious, frightened or scared. They are the moments I can relax and I treasure them all.

For the sake of the nation, the media should do its job

I would find it hard to put it any better. When will the Australian media stop talking about Labor leadership and start talking about the real issues facing Australia.

The Conscience Vote

If you’re a reader of Fairfax newspapers, this is what you woke up to today:

‘It is time for Julia Gillard to stand aside as leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, as Prime Minister of Australia, so that vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate can flourish once again. Ms Gillard should do so in the interests of the Labor Party, in the interests of the nation and, most importantly, in the interests of democracy.’

No, really.

You’d expect to read something this pompous from the likes of Andrew Bolt or Gerard Henderson, both of whom are known for their grandiose language and outrageous sentiment. But from The Age? Offered not as one journalist’s opinion, but as the endorsed view of the entire newspaper?

It gets worse.

Assuring us that the paper ‘does not advocate this lightly,’ the editorial went on to say:

‘The Age’s overriding concern is that, under…

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Just Another Bloke



Today’s Daily Prompt: “Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?”

The tag for my blog is “Just another blog” and that goes with the self-deprecating humour typical in Australia. Of course I don’t really think this is just another blog, I hope that the writing you find here is better than average and that the content pleases and often makes you think.

So what would my personal tagline be? How about “Just Another Bloke”? No, I think not.

On my business card I have the title “The Macintosh Guy”. Over the years I’ve worked at large organisations where most of the computers run Windows and I’ve been supporting or administering a smaller Mac fleet so I’ve often been known as the Macintosh guy, the Mac expert. Seven or eight years ago when I was working support at Sydney University it was a compliment by my fellow workers and I grew to love it. When I was at Newcastle University most of the people I shared an office with tried to make it an insult (yes, they were those sort of people) but by then I owned it so strongly that it never worked.

So that might be a possible tagline. It doesn’t feel right for the Tony Williams that writes here on this blog though. As well as my passion for computers I also have a passion for reading and writing and that’s what this place is for.

Since I learnt to read while on a beach holiday when I was almost four I’ve loved books. My parents and older brother spent a lot of time on that holiday reading and my Mum bought my brother a great magazine called “Look & Learn” and me one called “Treasure” that was mostly pictures with captions. She insists that a the beginning of the fortnight I couldn’t read and at the end I was reading the magazine without help and the hard part was getting me to stop.

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Jump Right In

Today’s Daily Prompt: “What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?”

Risk. Strange thing risk. One person’s risky is another’s safe and secure.

I don’t often think of my actions in terms of risk. I’m more likely to give in to anxiety than to feel that something is too risky. I know that sounds the same but it isn’t. Considering risk is a rational decision, anxiety is an emotional one.

There is one place where my anxiety is tied to risk. When it comes to my relationships with women I’m always too anxious, to aware of the risk of pushing for what I want. I’m never prepared to risk losing a friend to push for romance, I don’t want to risk losing romance to push for a sexual relationship.

Just ask the women I’ve dated. I move so slow there are sloths laughing at my lack of speed. I wrote the short story ‘The Kiss’ as a semi-autobiographical exploration of how one woman I was dating decided to take matters into her own hands.

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April Is Not The Cruelest Month

Colourful Spring flowers

Colourful Spring flowers

Today’s Daily Prompt is “For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?”

I’m a Spring person, particularly here in Sydney.

T.S. Eliot starts his famous poem “The Wasteland”:

April is the cruelest month, breeding 
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing 
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain.

Even Eliot’s epigraph, before these lines, is one of desolation, the ancient Sibyl only wishing to die. In Eliot’s England April can be cruel, teasing with a false Spring before Winter’s final burst of cold, just enough warmth to take Winter’s protecting blanket of snow.

Sydney, on the other hand, has a more temperate climate and the first day of Spring (in our case October 1) is usually a herald of several months of superb weather before the boiling heat of Summer.

Chaucer had it more right for me in the opening of his “Canterbury Tales”:

When April with his showers so sweet
Has pierced the drought of March to the root,
And bathed every vein in that liquor
Whose blessed power engenders the flower...

Here we have a Spring that is providing the life of rain and warmth and that is Spring for me.

Autumn and Winter in Sydney are strange, sure there are colder parts of the world but in a way the colder months are more comfortable there as society and the spaces it occupies are built for the cold. In London or Boston everyone readies for the cold and snow. In Sydney it seems that the cold weather catches us unprepared every year.

That’s why Spring. In a town with a moderate climate a moderately warm season is the best for me.