Texture & Colour in Our Garden

This will be a bit left field for people that read this blog. But as well as loving the Internet, blogging and podcasting I love photography. I would not call myself a serious photographer or anything. I just find it relaxing and fun. This afternoon I came home from work and decided to take a few photos around the garden.

We live in the tropics and we have put a lot of work into our garden. It contains so many colours, textures and varieties I decided to try to bring some of that out in a series of photos that I put up on Flickr.

What I did was try to concentrate on texture and colour. I think the photos are not to shabby actually. I put lots of descriptions in to explain what the photos are of and/or why I took it. It was fun to do and publish. If you are interested take a look at my Flickr page.

Texture 8


You Know It Might Not Be Safe When…

Council ManagementYesterday Adam sent me this picture that he took, what a laugh! He took it "five mins run away", I am guessing from his place. Not sure how far away that is and you can go run for five minutes to find out because I am not.

Anyways the alarm bells would be ringing if you saw this sign. Not a place to take the kids for a play in the park.

You have to laugh though, this is typical Council management. Although I think that for some people this might be a completely reasonable day: Get up (from the park bench), have a few beers (or fifty), go pick a fight or two and win some and loose some, after all that actvilty have a sleep, get up and do it again tomorrow. That day might be so good they get up and do it all again the next day. That means setting up a campsite!

Given that mentality I don't think that the persons that this sign is directed towards give a rats what it says. But at least the Cairns Council can say that they are managing the problem!

That's Council for you!

As a note; this is not a reflection of Cairns as a whole.

Eight Bucks Worth of Advice

Not very happy today. I went to the doctor and it turns out I have infected sinuses. In addition to that I went to the music shop to try to return an audio cord that was faulty. In addition to that I thought I had found a solution to record Skype which worked yesterday and does not work today! In addition to that I had a weird thing on my back biopsied cause the doctor was concerned it might be something "nasty". In addition to that my Line Out on the computer is stuffed.

So I feel like crap. The doctor put me onto some antibiotics to clear up the infected sinuses. Still copious volumes of what can only be described as primordial ooze continues to inhabit my sinuses which refuses to budge. This in turn is causing a headache from hell that is immune to paracetamol. I sincerely hope that it improves by tomorrow. The results on the suspicious thing is pending pathology.

So today I went looking for some digital speakers (I have SPDIF on the sound card as well) and I check the shop that I got my audio gear from. They like every other shop in Cairns does not have Digital Speakers. The guy in the shop did suggest a couple of things I could do to fix the plug in the computer. But while I was there I tried to return a cable.

When I bought my mixer, a Behringer UB 1002FX, I also bought a stereo to RCA cable. When I got it home I noticed that where the two cables can be pulled apart to reach connections the insulation had split. So I took it back to the place that I got it from and showed him what had happened. When I got this cable there were none on the shelf but the guy that served me managed to find a used one out the back that he gave me a 10% discount on. So today this other guy in the shop says:

"… ahhh well we probably sold you that cable with a discount to boot"

So I guess that means that because I got it at a discount it is okay that it is faulty, which is pretty much what I said to him. He then said that even though the wires were showing the cable would work fine. So I guess that means that it is okay that it is faulty because it still works… So then I said that I thought he should take it back and give me a refund due to the fact that the product was not right and that it was not acceptable. I also said that I was actually charged about full price for it. To that he dropped the clanger:

"Well I reckon that you have had about eight bucks of advice this afternoon"

I just walked out. What a wanker. This is no way at all to treat a customer, at least one that you want to come back. I was so shocked at this reply. I will never return to that shop. I am not going to spend any more time blogging about a looser.

So the other thing that I have been doing is trying to find a better way of recording Skype. So I had this brainwave yesterday. I will have to do this in point form:

  1. Connect the speaker out on the computer to the mixer CD/TAPE in.
  2. Connect the headphones to the PHONES socket (so I can hear everything)
  3. Press the CD/TAPE TO MIX button

Without pressing the CD/TAPE TO MIX button I can hear the other person and myself by turning up the volume on the mixer for the phones. But I have to press the "TO MIX" button to record both people in the conversation.

This indeed works, by recording the audio in Audacity. Well it worked yesterday. Today for no apparent reason the other person can hear themselves like you can when you select the stereo mix button. This makes no sense at all. As far as the computer is concerned all the audio is coming from the mixer to the line in as one signal. But for some reason I am getting a stereo mix as the result. Yesterday on the other hand it worked, perfectly. I have no idea why it worked yesterday and not today.

Back to Hot Recorder. And my infected sinuses and a buggered socket on the computer and a computer that acts as it computers do. Without logic that is, so condition normal.

Day with the Family, Waterfalls & Butterflies

Well something totally different, last Sunday the family and myself went out for the day! It was great; the kids walked all over the place and slept well that night.

We drove up to a place called Kuranda and took a look at a local river waterfall, which is still raging after the huge amount of rain that we have had up here over the last couple of weeks. We had never seen it in flood before. This is mainly due to the fact that access is a problem after a lot of rain, we get a lot of landslides and after cyclones we get whole trees across the road! So that was cool and the rainforest is always beautiful.

Cairns Birdwing ButterflyNext we went into town and had some lunch, we all had a very Australian lunch with pies and sausage rolls on the menu.
Then we took the boys to the butterfly house, which was amazing. It is the largest aluminium external framed building in the southern hemisphere and is the biggest butterfly enclosure in the world. And that’s to say nothing of the butterflies. They have all native butterflies including the great picture I have here of the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly, truly beautiful. The other one that I wanted a picture of was the Ulysses Butterfly, but they were too high.

So after all that we headed off and we had a wonderful time as a family and the boys loved it. The biggest bonus was that they went to bed early and slept peacefully with great memories, us too for that matter.

The one thing that struck me about the whole outing is that when were are busy people and we are so caught up in our everyday lives, we have to make time for each other. Families don’t just happen and they don’t just stay together without working at it. We are closer to each other for the bit of effort that we put in this last Sunday, maybe we need to do it more often.

Strange Frog Happenings

Frog InvaderOur house has been invaded by frogs! The last two nights we have been inundated by baby green tree frogs, they are everywhere. Every hour or so I have to walk around the house, collect the frog and put them outside again. They mainly end up in the kitchen, as this is where the light is on.

This year we have had a fair amount of rain and I think the frogs are loving it and each other. They have bred like rabbits and now the babies have hatched the place is lousy with them. The reason that they are getting in the house is that we have an open house with no fly-screens so they just hop in through the windows and doors. I pick up about four to five each time. I don’t want them locked inside as they will certainly “croak” (eww bad pun). We are happy that they are back as the last couple of years they have not been around in great numbers in the last two years that have been quite dry in comparison.

It had to happen, but I was going to insert a picture into this post but right as I was going to take the picture the camera battery went flat. I will have to put it in later.

Well later has happened and I have charged the camera and I have taken a picture of one of the many frogs. To give you an idea of scale the frog is sitting on my middle finger. We think that they are white – lipped green tree frogs. I am stoked with the photo – click on it to look at the full sized image.