Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

We took advantage of good weather and a little extra energy over the weekend to drive to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. This park dates back to 1894, the second oldest in Australia, and the Sydney metropolitan area has expanded right up to its edge - it was only an hour's drive for us. We drove through the park all the way to West Head, where we enjoyed gorgeous sweeping views of the Hawkesbury river meeting the ocean.

Meghan, Oliver, and Barrenjoey Head Shami, Oliver, and Lion Island

You can see Barrenjoey Head, with its lighthouse, behind Meghan, and Lion Island behind Shami. The entire area is a nature preserve and has recently been designated a National Heritage area.

Oliver and Shami Goanna at Ku-ring-gai Chase

Alas, we didn't have much time to spend here before we had to drive back, but we did run into a goanna, an Australian monitor lizard. It was big! And don't miss the forked tongue in the (very short) video clip below.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


After Meghan donated money and sent in her absentee ballot, there wasn't much else for us to do about the US elections besides obsessively following the twists and turns of the campaign. On November 5th (late night 4th in the US), we all watched with an overwhelming sense of relief as the results came in. Here's Oliver congratulating President-Elect Obama as he gives his victory speech!

Congratulations to the President-Elect!

Throughout the election campaign, the news coverage was dominated by trivia like flag pins, tire gauges, and wardrobes, but did you know that the candidates had actual positions on policy issues such as disability? As this post on the blog Crooked Timber says,
Disability policy never swings an election. And why should it? Unless you yourself have a disability, or unless you know someone with a disability, or unless you’re concerned about things like employment or health care, or unless you might get sick or injured someday, or unless you’re planning on aging, disability policy is irrelevant to you.

Well, it turns out that Senator Obama had some really comprehensive and smart disability policies. On the other hand, Senator McCain merely wanted to cut costs, so his policy could be summarized, more or less, as "Don't become disabled." (Again, if you're interested, this post is worth reading.) I guess we'll see how President Obama's plans survive the ongoing economic crisis.