Saturday, December 30, 2006

Back !!!

- Sleepy, have much unpacking to do, have wire up new home thwarter system, have much bloging to be done, still have NYE to survive and other holiday assortments such as family BBQs to attend.

Fantastic relaxing trip.

All the pictures are up on flickr. I'll name and comment on them and write up some accounts of the trip over the next few days.

See ya

Friday, December 15, 2006

Test post via email

This is a short test to see how posting by email works.
Test photo here:
<a href="" title="sometimes
I just sits"><img
src="" width="75"
height="75" alt="sometimes I just sits" /></a>

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Baked

Made me some ANZAC biscuits (that's cookies for you thar' yanks) for morning tea.

I'm guessing there are not many recipes that one can get on the website for a national war memorial . They were .... hard

Now your kids can practice Christian Jihad

story and vidio

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

LibraryThing (2)

Whilst uploading some popular fiction books that are on the shelf at home the other night I noted this about one particular title in my collection:

Members who have the book

1 members have the book in their library.There are 1,090,215 books more popular.

Hmm - so is no one else interested in the history of the provinces under Roman rule around the end of the republic - Octavius through to 100 or so AD, or is it just me? - there are over one million and ninety thousand books more popular :-(

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blue Mountains Fires - the aftermath

With fierce fires still burning in the Victorian high country, Melbourne's hottest December day on record recorded and important Koala habitat being threatened or already lost the SMH has been looking into the management and aftermath of the recent Blue Mountains brushfire.
My feeling is that we should be back burning more in the lowest risk times (winter - before or even during rain) and investing more resources into putting out fires early in the risky times.
It will be particularly sad if any or the enormous Blue Gums die after this fire. They are some of the largest living things on the planet - fire adapted and stunningly beautiful they have seen it all before and should be OK, but if the drought or some other factor prevents their recovery the world will loose one more irreplaceable corner.

The ever readable Barista provides a Melbourne perspective and Flashman has dug up the latest NASA images from space such as this one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Library Thing

So I was having a little play around with librarything after seeing it on Jen's blog and I decided that I like it. I've seen it there and a few other places I just never bothered to click through.
I normally wouldn't have time to be playing with blogging toys like that at home but I've been building a PC for mum and dad - setting up skyp etc which leaves plenty of time to either watch little blue bars to grow across the screen or pick the eyes out of our bookshelf. I just put the newer books up or the ones that will make me look more intelligent, leaving out all the IT and Uni books and the numerous little paperbacks and most of the Spanish books and all the pulp Sci Fi. Still, it's a good start. Presently I'm reading "the book that nobody read".

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

When Australia and New Zealand merge

I'm quite looking froward to the impending merger of Australia and new Zealand. There will of course have to be some concessions on both sides to make it a reality. Australia will have to stop caliming as it's own anything remotely internationally recognisable from the future state of New Zealand (Farlap, Crowed House, Russell Crow) and the Kiwis will have to give up talking in that silly accent.
I am looking forward to Aussie Rules becoming the national sport over there but I am concerned as to what the new currency will be called - "South Pacific Peso", or perhaps "Ditch Dollars"

Monday, December 04, 2006


I just wanted to post another picture of Sean Flying because I think that what he does is awesome.

Little things changing

As the kids grow It's the little things you notice and celebrate.
- Started smiling
- Going from 120 mills to a bit less than 180 mills per feed
- Sleeping through the night
- Really really lovely smiles with little 'guah' sounds.
- Fascinated looking at himself in the mirror.
- Not holding things but just starting to reach (swing wildly) out for items hanging above him

- Started using the word "my" rather than Anna, i.e. 'My shoes', 'Want clean my teeth' instead of 'Anna shoes' or 'Anna teeth'.
- Playing better with other kids.
- Getting colours right
- Putting herself to bed when she is tired.
- Remembering things that she can't see better, like where she put some toy yesterday or which upturned card is which after seeing me turn them over.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bad news guys

She may have an allergy, the good news is that she can overcome it by being exposed to diluted doses, champaign for example, and to maintain resistance after that exposure has to be frequent. or you could use one of these.

More smoke

Sydney, or at least my little part of it is again covered in smoke. Nothing in the news apart from this so I don't know if it is local or back burning or from the mountains or from the Hunter area or what.

-: Update :-
The smoke is probably the result of the combined effect of 67 bushfires in the state, one burning on a 30 km front!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

But at 9am ??

I'm not sure what is weirder about this - that people actually do it or that she did it at 9am??

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Blogging is kind of odd- like Jen's magnificent boobs say - you put intimate bits of your life up there for people to read.
And as Steph noted and I have often thought -you also look at the world through the eyes of a blogger; thinking - I could take a photo of that and write it up, so in some ways it motivates me to be more aware of the moment; I’m sharing it and I want it to be as colourful as possible.
It is a record of what I did in this life – sort of a diary. Mine is about the things that are important to me: Doing stuff, the family, environment, cool science, home life, all the things that I would talk to my mates and family about. My friends and family read it to find out what is going on and what we have been doing and with a click can share our adventures and trials.
It is not anonymous, well not really. There is some meager protection for them in that I don’t put my last name up but there is enough info in the blog in different places to make it a 10 minute Google job to get my work phone number.
It’s a compromise – I write some posts for a specific person and others are less than appropriate for some of the readers (but I post them any way). Some are for family, some are for me (like the tunes I listen to at work). Some are for the kids in the future and most of it is for you, the 10 or so people that regularly read and comment. I don’t post anything politically too controversial because you never know which way the wind may blow and this is a permanent record, also attached to my wife, son and daughter – all of whom have no say in what goes up.
It is also participation in a small but fantastic social network – you guys in the blog roll to the right are to varying degrees either merely interesting people who I will probably never meet (Andrew Bartlett) or are very real friends for whom I have a great affection and share more and know more about than my in real life friends. Like I said in an email to one of Libby’s friends (family?) when enquiring as to the birth of her little girl a few weeks ago – it is amazing (I think I used the word strange but I mean amazing) even when you only know someone through their blog, through a public exchange of paragraphs – how much affection / friendship there is. You poor yourself a bit at a time into those paragraphs and there is often more there than a casual chat with a friend. I sincerely want to meet all of you – how could you not want to have a beer with this man
I'll admit that it is done for an audience: there is a little of the exhibitionist – (i.e. Steph’s blog) – in most blogging but its not like getting thrills showering where some stranger can perve on you because, as I said above most of you are no longer strangers.
This post was prompted by the question Leesha’s put to her readers regarding what did we want her to write. In answering I’m answering to all of you should you ask - Well what ever you want, I don’t want to read what I would write, I want to read about the things that you'll are motivated to write about. That’s what makes this blogging thing interesting.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A brief history of the Australian Liberal Party

The Liberals are the Australian conservative party - slightly to the right of Milton Friedman (think Augusto Pinochet if you don't know your economists). Regardless, this is an instant classic.

Tails from the Anatomy Inspector

I was awed by the job title, but it seams that there is such a thing as an "Anatomy Inspector".

Do you think that it comes with an official looking badge and a car with sirens and lights?
The puerile schoolboy within imagines the scenario thus:

inspector: *cough - hu ummm*
inspector: (authoritatively) "excuse me miss"
miss: (perplexed) "yes, can I help you?"
inspector: (authoritatively) "yes - I am the state anatomy inspector and it is required that you submit your anatomy to me for inspection"
miss: (disbelief) "ahh, right, just stay there - I'm calling the cops"
inspector: (flashes badge) "That won't be necessary, I believe that you will find everything in order,"
miss: (starts to undress) "well, ... ok then"
inspector: *cough - hu ummm*
inspector: (embarrassed) "not, ah, your anatomy - the specimens - the ones in the fridge over there marked toes"
miss: (giggles) "thank goodness, I thought you meant"
inspector: (interrupts) "happens all the time"


With a return to hot windy whether today we are all hoping that the Blue Mountains fires are extinguished or contained and don't spot over. To see just how far ahead of the main fire spot fires can start have a look at the map above. you can clearly see several spot fires near Linden and Faulconbridge that are about 10km ahead of the main fire.
(original image from here)

Go Check Out Sean's Blog

Sean has just finished competing in the 17th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship, Tochigi, Japan, 2006.
He normally does a bit better than he did this year (too much Saki?). No matter, he may not have finished in the money but it sounds like he had a blast. Go there and check out the photos in what has to be the worlds most photogenic sport (except for pole dancing).
Sean - can you arrange for a combination of the two?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Some (random) thoughts on renewable energy.

Nuclear, solar, wind, wave, geothermal, fusion, tidal, “clean coal”, geosequestration, hydrogen economy, global warming, energy storage, fuel cells.

This is complex stuff. Getting it right will, just possibly, preserve the climate within familiar bounds. Getting it wrong – well who cares somebody else, some future generation will pay the price for our mistakes / greed / apathy, so why should I really care?

One of the problems oft pointed out about many sources of renewable energy is that it is not reliable. The sun does not always shine, wind blow or waves run with the power to generate electricity.

OK, so my question is why not store the energy?
Use wind power to pump water uphill in the snowy scheme. That way your not using off peek coal sourced power to do it, your getting it from a renewable.

Why not use renewable power when it is available to generate Hydrogen from sea water and store it for use in fuel cell vehicles? Wind not blowing?, sun not shining?, that’s ok because you have stored enough Hydrogen to get you through.

No water – no problem, just desalinate using wave energy. Perfect solution – the energy is at the point you want to use it. Use high pressure air forced into a tube by wave action focused using a parabolic wave reflector and you have a very low maintenance source of high pressure air that you can use to push sea water through RO membranes.

Roof tiles with solar cells, passive housing and building designs such as better insulation all make a difference. Anyways lunch is almost over so I’m back to work, but please poke around these links:

Update - 28th
Firstly, sorry for the ramble.
Thanks to 'Brian', presumably Brian Meano, CEO & Founder of Fieldstone Energy, Inc. for his link to on a similar technology which I will drag onto the front page here.
I also caught up with a whole bunch of Radio National podcasts that I'm linking to the transcripts (the podcast get taken down after a month but be quick and you can listen)

and then there is all this stuff on Ockham's Razor that I've been reeding past my bedtime

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Australia Burning

Well, my thoughts go out to Mike and others living in the mountains. The whole damn country is burning at the moment. From where I sit the column of smoke rising kilometers above the central mountains is occasionally visible through breaks in the haze and the world is bathed in an weird orange light. Eucalyptus smoke fills the air and a stiff hot wind does little to cool the 38° air and a fine gray ash rains like mercy from heaven.
I look forward to walking down in the Blue Gum Forrest when the park is opened up again, it will, I imagine be a surreal experience.

The CSIRO has an online tool, sentinel, which you can use to zoom in on hot spots anywhere in Australia. I's a little slow with all the voyeurs like me zooming in on black heath rooftops so I have captured a few screen grabs of the fire. Sydney is just to the east (right).

Reports and Pictures
SMH photos and reader photos
SMH news
ABC news

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

So - think you can flip a Sea Kayak ass over tit?

I think this fellow has chosen the wrong tool for the job.

I sipped my beer and though how good life was

Last night I as I turned the chops and sausages on the BBQ and retreated from the afternoon heat under the shade of the lemon gum I though just how good it all is at the moment. Annalise and Adrian are growing and learning and changing day by day and both seem to be doing really well. Work, well its work, nothing worth moaning about. The Cockatoos were screeching out raucous good evenings and the James Squires was doing a decent job defending me from the afternoon heat. Even the ash raining from the sky seamed to be missing the cloths on the line.
I think next time I'll turn the BBQ around the other way so the bung wheel and slope of the paving cancel each other out instead of exaduratign each other and spilling the oil of the hot plate.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thought for the day

Sometimes I fell just like this

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Beer is to the Franks what wine is to the French, or is that Christ to the Catholics? Either way, should some monks want to set up a Trappist type monastery some place in Belgium. Pray to their god and make my beer... well who am I to complain.

Free* Leffe to the first that can tell me the odd one out in the photo above.

Thanks to the local bottle'o who have the foresight to sell Belgian beer by the case and thanks to Keiran for the excuse to sit and drink for hours.
Now if anybody knows where I can get a case of this or this I would be grateful

* I'm not sure you can post outside of Australia, or if you can even post it at all, so to collect your winnings you have to present yourself in my Kitchen. Offer expires 1 Jan 2007 or if I drink the case before then.


We had some more visitors for breakfast

Strangers in the kitchen

So I was making breakfast on Sunday morn and I opened the cupboard to grab the Vegemite and what should jump out at me but this...
bloody big vicious gecko
Well, OK so he clung onto the golden syrup but he clung with attitude, right out at me.

(click on the pick to get a close up of the amazing eyes and skin)

Who are you?

Mining the stats

From whence you came.
You are probably Australian (49%) or American (21%) although I have 1 regular reader each in the UK (Hi Lachlan), Colombia (Hola Paula) and one in NZ (G'day Leesha). There are a smattering of people from other places, mostly Latin America (looking for pictures of boys in singlets) and Arabic nations (hello readers from Iran, Egypt, Kuwait, Cote Abidjan, D'Ivoire)

What I know about you.
You are a geek in that not only do you use Firefox 2 but you upgraded the day it came out.

How you get to me
There is a 50/50 split between return readers and first timers. Most of the return readers come back about every three days or so. Of the first timers about a third of you click through from another blog or via my blogger profile, presumably after reading one of my comments someplace. About one third of the non repeat visitors actually view more than one page.

Seek and ye shall find
Most of you find me through Google, either searching for images or for an odd assortment of girls in gumboots, handbag fetish, washing day analysis, boys in singlets, preeclampsia and the occasional scientific name for Australian native plants and animals. Some people come looking for help, for the person looking up "Installing fiberglass wool roof insulation", I hope you found something useful and please where long sleeves. For the person that came looking for "How to manipulate the hernia" - please see a doctor.
Most of the Arabic trafic started after I posted on Horrorism which after the birth photos is the most read post (14% of all traffic) but strangely, you didn't search for that post - you entered the blog directly on that page so the link is being passed around or I'm being monitored by right wing freekoids.
My fav strange search is "the theam of an enemy of thepeople" - where I rank number 5 for a post on jellyfish!!

You are reading more often but I am still, thankfully, a nobody.

I am the second highest search for emunctory, not bad for an excretory organ (in Latin it means to blow your nose)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006


Whilst trolling youtube for an anthem for the Democrat Election win in the US, looking for something about justice and Freedom - something like this, I cam across this nice little tune laced with irony - yes that is a somewhat prescient John in the middle.

- Imagine the size of the mouth on Mary Travers and Steve Tylor's love child.

Sean dun good

Sean came 4th (in the money) in the 2006 Saga Hot Air Ballooning thingo. Ace job Sean, now onwards and upwards to the worlds.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A lesson learnt

This is not a profound tail, but it does end in a death so pay attention. Do you know those little water saver crystals ? No, well they are a little iddy bitty grain of stuff that looks like the silica gel you get in the box with your new electronics or leather goods (think shoes Jen) which when wet expand to huge proportions seemingly stuffing away whole dams worth of water just in a few crystals. With the rain fall in Sydney somewhat less than the Gobi we are all being advised to save water, shower under a drip, wash our veggies in sand and forget about washing our cars. So, after recently planting a few hardy natives in the back yard I had a few crystals left over which I threw into the bromeliads (almost certainly Aechmea gamosepala or Aechmea gamosepala var. nivea) that cling to a tree fern outside our door.

Well and good..
.. well no, see, it rained and rained and drizzled and rained and the little iddy bitty crystals swelled up and got heavy and ripped the bromeliads from their moorings. Oh well Something will grow back into the hole.
This has been a public service announcement.

America has voted

America has voted. We don't get to vote in US elections tho considering the influence that the US has over the rest of the world, perhaps we should.
Regardless, I am pleased by the results. Rumsfeld has fallen on his sword and the Bush administration, whilst still in power will at least be held accountable. Not at all a terrible scenario. The right in Australia wriggles but has more humility in the US. I've work to do, so check back later and I'll put up a pick or two of mum's visit.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Head in the clouds

One of my bestest friends, a man that I love* and the man I am most jealous of in this life once again has his head in the clouds bobbing around in the sky.

Quite literally.

Let me explain,

Sean is the only person that I know who lives his dreams, who plays and dabbles for a living. Admittedly, playtime is more than tempered by the realities of running a business and he is a workaholic or rather a playaholic who has had more 4AM wakeups that a chicken house full of roosters, but play it is. See, Sean builds and flies hot air balloons for a living. His dad (who is also awesome) started the business whish is now a family affair. It is not enough that Sean and his parents run a successful small business and have made significant advances in Hot Air Balloon design, inventing new controllable vents and quiet but blisteringly hot burners but Sean is also a shit-hot pilot. He is one of the best, who battles it out in the skies around the world in a wicker basket dangling beneath 15 tons of hot air suspended by a few slim wires, whilst surrounded by the massive gas bottles that keep entropy at bay. He consistently manages top ranked positions and, with a handful of other Aussies is a real threat on the world grand prix.
Where is he now??? – This a very good question and one that I often ask. Whilst it would not be unlikely to find Sean in Europe, or floating over the Masai Mara, or selling encyclopaedia DVD’s in the Australian outback, or even perhaps flying the worlds largest set of underpants across Melbourne. Currently Sean is in Saga Japan, competing in the Pacific Championships which are a warm up to the final round of the World Hot Air Balloon Championships which will be held in Tochigi, Motegi Japan in October.

I’m pinching this (copyrighted) pick from his blog, which you should read. If you’re a yank and just want to hear a sexy Australian accent or you want to see an exiting landing in what is usually an elegant sport do make sure you check out his youtube posts.

Sean, Wendy, Phil, Tem - if you read this, good luck and have a fantastic competition.

*in a manly standing around the BBQ drinkin’ beer kind a way

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Smell of Smoke

I can smell wet ashy bush fire smoke. Smells close. I can't see it, but I can smell it inside, outside, around.

I reported it to the local fireies who just dropped by.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Pictures of clouds


I'm a manager.
I think that means that I'm not supposed to stuff up the little things - like paper work.
On that front I've never had much luck - or rather never had the perseverance and level of care to get the attention to the fickle detail right. Which led to the following email from the Executive Officer in the section of the uni I work in:

"I've had a look at the leave forms and apart from sighing heavily, the alternative would appear to be banning you from ever filling in another one.
However that would just be encouraging you, so can you let me know when you'll be free and I'll come up and visit you in the hope of getting this sorted out nicely?

Many thanks

Head hung quietly in shame I await form filling 101 reeducation... again.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Congradulations Libby

News via Rowen ....

Congratulations Libby. It must have been a marathon labour. I look forward to more news probably after she has had a years rest.

Friday, October 27, 2006

elo Gecko

Phyllurus platurus
Say 'elo to the Southern Leaf-tail Gecko Phyllurus platurus.
They are restricted to the Sydney Basin, living in weathered sandstone outcrop and on the sides of brick houses. They are a large lizard so when they stand up tall on their legs and arch their back and hiss/bark at you it can give you quite a fright as this little fellow did just before he(?) lunged at the string that hangs of the camera. He kept his tail tho'
General scientifical stuff here (search the PDF for platurus) and here. For a fantastic read about how geckos pile up their poo you have to go here (what else do we pay the CSIRO for?).


Made the move to beta blogger
something funny going on with my passwords in doing so :-(

likes: labels, speed
dislikes: now everything points to gmail - I was comfortable with the hotmail account.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A blogger friend has gone into labour

I got word that Libby is in labor. I didn't start reading her blog until after this classic post but have dropped in nearly every day to read her and share the bits of our lives we choose to blog about. Which in Libby's case is just about everything.
Best wishes to you Libby and your family and I hope that everything goes smoothly.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Photographic Awards.

The photographs from the Fairfax Photographic Nikon-Walkley Finalists are up on the SMH website.
I particually like this photo essay of some country chicks droving.
Go look now, it's good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thats Aussie

This has got to be one of the most Aussie photos I have ever taken.
It's a Blue Tongue lizard, drinking nectar from a Banksia (blechnifolia) sheltering under the isopogens (anemonifolius) .
Blue Tongues are the biggest lizard in the skink family, they are viviparous, big, this one is about 30cm, and very cute. I think that it may be a Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Common eastern). They even have a beer named after them.
This lizard lives in the gardens in the town-house complex.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The wildflowers are out

Over the long weekend I managed to get in a ride through the National Park at our back door. Naturally Annalise came along for the ride.
We followed part of the great north walk north from Terry’s Creek up to Browns Waterhole then all the way through the fords and creek crossings up past Fox Valley to just below Thornleigh where there was a large fallen tree across the path that I could not pick the bike up over with her in the back. It’s a nice ride, if a little rocky and rough along some of the fire trail. Coming back we took the exit up the ridiculously steep hill to the Canoon Rd netball courts and back down Kissing Point Rd and down the long winding fire trail back into the park.

It’s probably the most challenging I’ve done on this new mountain bike. The handling is a little sloppy with a 12kg toddler on the back and some of the steeper hills are a tad more challenging but it is nice to be out getting some exercise.
Many of the wildflowers are out and after the rains we had a few weeks back its looking great.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Neighbors drop in for breakfast

We had the neighbours drop in for breakfast on Saturday.
These wild Rainbow lorikeets are a regular visitor and are cheeky enough land on you and accept fruit from your hands. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo are a little more timid, preferring to graze just out of toddler reach. Recently we have been getting a few Crimson and Eastern Rosellas but they have been too quick to get a good photo.

Monday, September 18, 2006


The most viewed article in the online version of "The Age" - the largest circulating 'proper' newspaper in Melbourne had this article about Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth today. It is titled and whimsically concludes that the wrong man is president and muses about what may have been.
Writen by the UK jurno Jonathan Freedland and origionally published in The Guardian.
Full Text

The wrong man is President

Jonathan Freedland
September 18, 2006

Al Gore's film reminds us how the US Supreme Court changed the world.

I AM ashamed to say it took a movie to make me realise what, above all others, is surely the greatest political question of our time. An hour and 40 minutes in the cinema watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is what did it.

I had heard the warnings and read the reports: for two decades environmental activists have been sounding the alarm. But, I confess, none of it had really sunk in the way it did after seeing An Inconvenient Truth. I can think of few films of greater political power.

It should be a perfect yawn. A souped-up lecture delivered by a middle-aged, thwarted politician who was best known for being dull and wooden. Yet the film somehow gets right to your gut. Methodically, using graphics, photographs and the odd bit of computer animation, the former US vice-president sets out the case that the climate is changing, with human activity the most obvious culprit. By the time he's done, you accept that we're facing a planetary emergency, you agree that global warming is the greatest threat confronting the human race and you desperately want to do something about it.

It is a model of political communication. Gore assumes no knowledge and starts right at the beginning. He has a brief, childish cartoon to explain that the thin layer of atmosphere that surrounds the Earth — like the coat of varnish on a wooden globe — is being thickened by vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The thicker that layer becomes, the more heat gets trapped in, so raising the Earth's temperature.

He supplies the numbers, with graphs showing the steady increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and the accompanying rise in temperature. To convey how high the CO2 figure stands, he walks along, tracing a line projected onto the screen behind him that goes back 600,000 years. Then he has to be raised by hydraulic lift to reach today's number. He announces that of the 21 hottest years ever measured, 20 have come within the past 25 years. And the hottest of the lot was 2005.

But what brought gasps from the audience were photographs of glaciers, then and now. Once clear, beautiful ice, they have turned, in a matter of years, into blue water or dry dust, from Peru to Italy. The evidence of a world warming up appears before your very eyes.

And, Gore explains, there are consequences. Some doubted it, but that was before the world took a "nature hike through the book of Revelation", with floods in Europe as well as tornadoes and hurricanes across America, culminating in Katrina last year.

Many, especially in the US, were prepared to accept that carbon emissions are making temperatures higher; they could even see how that would affect nature — glaciers, plants and the like. But they were still sceptical about what that had to do with human beings. With Katrina as the precedent, Gore shows them. And he explains that as glaciers melt, sea levels will rise, eventually flooding land from Florida to Shanghai, Holland to India. In Calcutta and Bangladesh, he says, 60 million people would be displaced. In Manhattan, ground zero would be ground no longer. The site of the World Trade Centre would be under water. More gasps.

The range of emotions this prompts begins with shock, then anger, directed by Gore at those corporate interests that, with their political servants, have sought to keep this inconvenient truth from the public, especially in the United States.

The stand-out case is that of Philip Cooney, a former lobbyist for the US oil industry, who wound up — despite no scientific training — as chief of staff of the White House's environment office. From that perch, he set about rewriting papers by government scientists, turning firm conclusions into doubtful possibilities. He literally got out his pen and changed "is" to "may". He was caught and left the Bush Administration, taking a job at ExxonMobil.

But Cooney is just an unusually blatant example of what is a continuing campaign by Big Oil to cast doubt over climate change.

Gore notes that of 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on the topic in the past decade, the percentage that express doubt over the cause of global warming is zero.

Soon anger gives way to determination to act. The former vice-president is aware that Americans, in particular, could move "from denial to despair", believing first that there is no danger and then that there is nothing that can be done about it. Gore tries to be more upbeat than that, ending his movie with a rapid — probably too rapid for non-American audiences — guide to action.

It worked on me. Four months after I saw the film, I find myself looking at the world through its lens. I now notice office buildings at night, aglow with electric light; or hotel rooms abroad, frigid with 24-hour air-conditioning even when empty. I read about the roaring economic expansion of China, building a new coal-fired power station every five days. I see all this and I fear for our planet.

The film leaves a more direct political thought. You watch and you curse the single vote on the US Supreme Court that denied this man — passionate, well-informed and right — the presidency of the United States in favour of George Bush.

But you also remember what that election turned on. The conventional wisdom held that Gore and Bush were so similar on policy — Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the pundits said — that the election was about personality. On that measure, Bush had the edge. Sure, he couldn't name any world leader, but the polls gave him a higher likeability rating. If you had to have a beer with one of them, who would you choose? Americans said Bush, every time.

Even that was not enough to give Bush a greater number of votes: remember, Gore got more of those. But it got him closer than he should have been. And the world has been living with the consequences ever since.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Birthday Dinner

Wednesday night found us in the revolving restaurant at the top of Australia Square. I highly recomend the blue swimmer crab for the starter. Counting amongst the birthday spoils, apart from dinner and babysitting (gracious abuelos) were a flash pare of sunnies, a massage, ca$h and some lovely cards from Annalise and Adrian.

I might just add that it is raining, really raining, the kind of rain we seldom get in Sydney any more (gracious El Niño). Annalise may yet get to wear her gumboots again.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodile man reported dead

the SMH is today reporting that Steve Irwin has died filming underwater, "killed by a stingray barb that went through his chest". Crikey.

I'm saddened, especially because he did alot to promote conservation, but I can't say I'm suprised. How does one lament the passing of a man who with ADHD anticks simultaneously poked sticks at dangerous creatures and reinforced the stereotype of Australians being a pack of drongos in kaki shorts?

Fathers Day

El domingo por la mañana Innie, Diego, Danielito, Margaret, David, Annalise, Alex, Don Gon y yo fuimos a Yum Cha. Era muy bueno. Ahora tengo una bariga gorda.

Sunday found the usual suspects gorging themselves at the local Yum Cha, needless to say it was rather awesome, but now my pants are a little tighter.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Planet haters get their way

Pluto is no more, relegated to a minor dwarf planet a mere Kuiper Belt Object.
This week the International Astronomical Union has done away with poor old cold Pluto.
I fondly remember sitting with dad on our deck as a child making scale model solar systems out of gum leaves. Part of a life long fascination with science that eventually lead me to university to study science with a view to becoming an astronomer.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mi profesora de español

Hola Mariella !
Mi profesora español visitó hace varios días. Está aquí con la pequeña muchacha.


Thanks Ms Fits

Sunday, August 20, 2006


So we finally lost our eBay virginity, selling a Fridge and a few other white goods and furnishings.
I still can't see how to:
a) Remove an item from the listing should you think twice about selling it and?,
b) Set the postage to "Will arrange for local pickup only (no postage)"?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dads here

Dad is up from the South Coast for a few days. He has been helping my sister out with an art show and is staying at our place tonight before heading home giving him an opportunity to see his grand son and grand daughter. Oh, and the little man is up to 1270g.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How to make chocolate milk

Bad design

Alternat title: A little something about flicker that pisses me off

Recently, logging into flickr I noted that two wonderful web friends had added me to their contacts. I then attempted to reciprocate the favour and add them to mine. So I started looking, and looking and could not find a way to add these people as a contact. Whilst I am no longer a hard core web programmer code hermit type I currently manage web technologies and build websites when required, so I know how _not_ to make a site. And abstrusely hiding functionality is one good way to piss off your users. And ces que la fungus were they thinking when they wrote the help. Imagine if you will you have the question in mind – How do I add a contact when you visit the FAQ, here is the section:


1. Why do I need contacts?
2. What are the different types of contacts I can make?
3. Is there a limit on the number of contacts I can have?
4. How do I invite my friends into Flickr?
5. Can everyone see my age or my real name or my email address and IM names if I enter them in my profile?
6. How do I remove a contact?
7. Another Flickr member is making me uncomfortable. What can I do?
8. Someone is blocking me. What's up with that?

So where the fungus does it say how to add a blumin’ contact. Retards.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Art irritates life

They have heaps of stupid posters up around the wards of babies and flowers and kitschy crap. Its fucking irritating.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The fearsome all blacks

There are few clashes in world sport fought with as much passion as the Bledisloe. Rivalry there may be but the physicality of rugby union and the nature of the NZ-AUS relationship provides for a spectacular confrontation.
It is about far more than bragging rights, it is about national pride.
There is a close but respectful relationship between Kiwis and Aussies. We have a shared history and similar cultures. Our militaries fight on the world stage under a single banner; ANZAC. Like brothers we present a distinct but generally united front to the world.
Amongst ourselves there is insatiable competition. The Kiwis, being the smaller politically, economically, geographically and by population always have something to prove and sometimes seem to define themselves by their relationship with Australia. As for Australia – being the bigger nation, we focus more on our relationship with the world and generally go about thinking a lot of ourselves. It is obviously unthinkable then that little New Zealand beat us at anything (not related to sheep), or should I say beat the crap out of us at anything, which they do all too often on the thugby field.
Here then are the mighty All Blacks doing the haka.

background reading

Leave Pass

The medicos have given Alex a leave pass for a few hours today, so we are off to the park with BabyGirl for a while. Mmmmm fresh air.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm just mad about nephrons

Just had me a stake and kidney pie. Lite on hoof and big on yumm

A year in the life of a blog

This Blog is One Year Old (- about two weeks but I'll forget then), thats like about 30 in blog years!!

108 postings
6/29/2006 I have just received the following sad news ......
6/29/2006 Ducks are creepy
6/28/2006 White Goods
6/27/2006 ROBBED
6/26/2006 Team Itilia
6/26/2006 Bowling Club and Yarramalong
6/23/2006 Kewell
6/22/2006 World Cup
6/20/2006 The long and the short of it.
6/19/2006 Grandmother New Dress
6/19/2006 Meeting of the Champagne Club
6/12/2006 The post holiday post
6/02/2006 The pre holiday post
5/29/2006 Installing fiberglass wool roof insulation
5/25/2006 "the accidental search result"
5/23/2006 What is it with the Japanese and raw eggs?
5/19/2006 We exist now
5/19/2006 Horse Play
5/13/2006 Rosdale
5/13/2006 Pincushion Hakea
5/13/2006 Flower
5/13/2006 At the Air Raid Tavern, Moruya
5/13/2006 Wearing Dad's Shoes
5/13/2006 Water
5/13/2006 The Moruya Markets
5/04/2006 Ultrasound - May 2006
4/28/2006 Gardening
4/26/2006 Don Gon has a blog!
4/21/2006 Playing House
4/21/2006 Sitting Down with cous', watching the game
4/21/2006 Bush Walking
4/21/2006 Meat cooked in beer
4/20/2006 Away
4/17/2006 Empanadas
4/13/2006 Wedding
4/06/2006 Ultrasound - March 2006
4/05/2006 A tad busy
3/28/2006 Brad’s Bucks
3/27/2006 BabyGirl con el sombrero grande
3/27/2006 So where the B'jesus are you ??
3/14/2006 Keeping with the Mars theme
3/10/2006 The little rovers that could
3/03/2006 Organising a Bucks
3/02/2006 Catch a Cold, cause and Ice Age
2/20/2006 Camping
2/20/2006 Something else to worry about
2/16/2006 Don't think I'll be riding home in this.
2/14/2006 'A change 'or 'Me sombrero nuevo'
2/13/2006 Some prick nicked my stuff
2/03/2006 Cool Pic
2/03/2006 The Judgment of Paris
1/31/2006 Australia Day Long Weekend
1/17/2006 Babies and toddlers are being encouraged to wear sunnies
1/16/2006 30th
1/13/2006 What we did over Xmas
1/13/2006 It is a bad day
1/12/2006 Rain everywhere
1/12/2006 Sydney Grogblogging 3 - January 28th
1/06/2006 New Years
1/06/2006 Tuross
12/21/2005 Heading Down to Tuross
12/20/2005 Back pain?
12/19/2005 Bath Fun
12/19/2005 Smacks for you
12/05/2005 funny
12/05/2005 Walking
11/27/2005 We are supposed to be a at a xmas party today
11/22/2005 Cool Beach Baby
11/17/2005 On the beach at Tuross
11/17/2005 Back at home
11/10/2005 Fiveday week extinct - PM
11/07/2005 Cheney Seeks CIA Exemption to Torture Ban
11/04/2005 The times we live in.
10/31/2005 Curra Moors - Royal National Park
10/26/2005 Hand Drawn Holograms
10/21/2005 First Steps
10/19/2005 My first Nigerian email scam
10/18/2005 Telemarketers - do-not-call register
10/14/2005 Gosh Mar... I'm a commie!!
10/13/2005 Human rights in Australia
10/12/2005 Ana came to visit
10/11/2005 Dad came to visit
10/11/2005 Camping with the Subaru 4X4 club
10/11/2005 Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease
10/11/2005 Pop a water balloon in space
10/04/2005 I am not Zaphod, or, How unpopular is it possible to be?
9/20/2005 Combined 1st Birthday
9/20/2005 Banksia blechnifolia - 20th Sept
9/15/2005 It's your world - reclaim your public space
9/13/2005 Skiing pt 2
9/13/2005 Skiing Winter 2005
9/13/2005 Baby Girl at parents house
9/12/2005 Lachlan visits from the UK
9/08/2005 Banksia blechnifolia
8/17/2005 American Hypocrisy
8/02/2005 Almost standing up by herself
7/28/2005 Back at work
7/22/2005 I'll have the lobster thanks.
7/21/2005 more nothing
7/20/2005 Poverty, Steep Streets, China Town and Batman
7/19/2005 The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in S...
7/19/2005 18 July 2005 Flying from Sydney to sanfrancisco ...
7/16/2005 (Untitled Post)
7/16/2005 When your 9 months old standing up is the best fu...
7/15/2005 Again, just testing. I took this photo of some iv...
7/14/2005 A big hola to one and all. The first few posts he...
7/14/2005 Emunctory: Any organ or part of the body (as the k...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I have just received the following sad news ......

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, 29 June 2006 4:52 PM
Subject: soccer assault?

An Australian man has been arrested in Italy for an assault on a local
man after the World Cup soccer match between Australia and Italy.

Witnesses say the Australian was 20 metres away when the incident

The victim suffered a fractured skull, a cardiac arrest and has
developed diabetes as a result of the incident.

He is expected to recover in a few minutes.

Ducks are creepy

Hitchcock was onto something when wrote The Birds. But I think he would have had more impact if he used ducks. Ducks creep me out. Here they are creeping. Sitting an’ creeping. Watching me on my way to work.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

White Goods

Out with the old and in with the new. In an impulse purchase that we had planned for months Alex stopped by the white goods section of a department store when on a baby cloths mission. She picked up a low water use front loader washing machine with more technology than the space shuttle and a bigger, quieter more enviro-friendly dryer than the old one. With shop deals, credit card points, cash back from the manufacturer for a double purchase and from the government for a water efficient purchase they almost paid us to buy them.
Anybody local want to buy a used washer and dryer?
Now, if only we can get a pair of expedition sea kayaks in the same manner.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Team Itilia

1am tomorrow we take it to Team Itilai.
Below is a vidio of one of their training sessions.
--update-- hidding the html because it starts everythime the page loads

Go th'rooooos !!!

Friday, June 23, 2006


Way Kewell, through to the final 16. Even the reff could't stop them however hard he tried.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup

Australia vs. Croatia
Friday 23 June @ 5:00am (AET)

carrrrrn goTh'roos !

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The long and the short of it.

Some primal fibre someplace in my being is vibrating in harmonic sympathy with the turn of the seasons. As I sit here I imagine that some distant Celtic ancestor could not possibly imagine that a future descendant of theirs would not be painted blue and engaged in sacred ritual on this day. Timed by the movement of a shadow cast by a great stone monolith torches are lit and howling painted deadlocked tribe call out to natural forces as real to them as the air they breath.
So should you feel the sudden urge to run around in a forest it is probably a similar ancestral memory stirring, happy Solstice.
(Send photos)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Installing fiberglass wool roof insulation

I spent Saturday crawling and wriggling around in a friend’s roof helping to install insulation. It is dangerous and difficult being both physical and mental torture. The air quickly becomes filled with millions of minute glass fibres that itch and burn on your skin and are most probably carcinogenic or lead to silicosis. You have to take immaculate care to only weight the joists otherwise you would wreck the plaster ceiling which is only made from paper and chalk after all. The trusses that make up the roof confine and limit movement and the reduced vision through the foggy goggles made for head banging back wrenching fun. There are all the lights and electrical wiring waiting like punji sticks to electrocute you and whilst we wore masks and enclosed goggles to fend off the fibres we could see very little through the goggles and had to keep removing them and I am not sure how effective the masks were at doing anything other than helping to create a feeling of hot humid claustrophobic enclosure. I have thrown out the fibre contaminated clothing including my underpants. The beers afterwards were well deserved.
Sunday we went to a friends place for a BBQ which was infinitely more relaxing.
We are now counting down the hours before we fly away on a holiday to Port Douglass – Just north of Cairns, Far North Queensland, more commonly named “EF EN Que”

Friday, May 19, 2006

We exist now

Until last night if you used Google Maps to define your world there were no streets in Australia. However in an orgy of asphalt every road in the entire continent was constructed last night. See, there are now roads.
Suppose we'll have a road toll now.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pincushion Hakea

We have a Pincushion Hakea (Hakea laurina R.Br.) growing in our garden, ours is still a small shrub, now about 2 years old, that has not flowered yet. This is the tree it seeded from in a garden in Rosedale. I think it has one of the most spectacular flowers I have ever encountered.


The film, Water is rather good. Go see it. Made me cry.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Helping El Colombiano in his garden tomorrow (Saturday).
I anticipate sore old man back and nanna knees by the end of the day - picks tomorrow night.
-- Update --
5 tons of soil and about 2 tons of grass latter I'm officially pooped. Everything is sore.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Meat cooked in beer

Alternate title: Don't take a photo of this, I don't want anybody to see how much I'm eating!

We have one of those huge cast iron casserole pots in which you can slow cook bits of beast to make the most wonderful meals. It is so heavy it has cracked the glass topped halogen stove (possibly added to by my using a heat disperser the wrong way around). We've done a variety of dishes now, my favorite being slow cooked barrrr lamb (shoulder) in red wine. A few days ago we tried out lamb slow cooked in beer, Coopers Dark Ale to be exact. We feasted on non trivial yummieness.

recipe on request

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A tad busy

Two major system crashes this week.

Monday, March 27, 2006

So where the B'jesus are you ??

This is gold, I saw it on the SMH, rather funny.

The origional is here if you have not seen it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Keeping with the Mars theme

As one does I was reading slashdot the other day and came across a post on Google's new toy - Google Mars. It is way cool.

Landing site of the Spirit Rover in the floor of Gusev Crater

Largest "V-Dub" bonnet in the solar system. If you had a mons like that it'd be hard to hide it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The little rovers that could

The mars rovers are still going strong. There once was a time that when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I'd reply that I wanted to be the first geologist on mars. That was about the time that I thought my favorite colour was ultra violet.
Sitting here looking* at these fantastic pictures is almost as good as being there (except you can breathe).

* More

The caption in part to the image linked to above reads:

The panoramic camera aboard NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity acquired this panorama of the 'Payson' outcrop on the western edge of 'Erebus' Crater during Opportunity's sol 744 (Feb. 26, 2006). From this vicinity at the northern end of the outcrop, layered rocks are observed in the crater wall, which is about 1 meters (3.3 feet) thick. The view also shows rocks disrupted by the crater-forming impact event and subjected to erosion over time.

images and text from here, text from 07-Mar-2006

Friday, March 03, 2006

Organising a Bucks

Choose between:

White water rafting
– 90 mins
- 8ppl per raft
- $72 per person for 90 minutes
- Check it out:
- at Perrith

Paint Ball
- 16 klms north of windsor along the Putty Rd near Wilberforce / Colo River
- Full Day
- various packages but for example 400 Paintballs - $95.00 but ranging from $60 – $135
- Playing Fee (12 - 20 action packed games on 6 - 10 different fields)
- Equipment including paintball gun and all gas refills, full ear / eye protection and Camouflage overalls
- Special uniform on request (Buck, Hen etc )
- Unlimited BBQ lunch and Tea and Coffee
- can do nasty strippers at this venue

Kayak On The Central Coast
- Full Day ONLY DAY LEFT IS 26 March, max 20ppl
- ~$90
- Central Coast, NSW.
- full-day. Trips start at 10.45am and conclude at about 4pm.
- Glass of wine & buffet lunch
Suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers. Some degree of fitness would be an advantage.
Minimum of ten people on the day.
Ph (02) 4324 2867

Yachting Regatta At Twilight
- $95
- (Minimum 14 People max 18 ppl)
- Sydney.
- 2 hours in duration and runs from 5.30 - 7.30pm. Expect to be on the harbour for 1 - 1.5 hours

Other ideas:
weekend away:

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Catch a Cold, cause and Ice Age

BBC is reporting research from a Dutch team who argue that the Black Death lead to the Little Ice Age.
They posit that plague killed so many that trees grew on abandoned farms, soaked up carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse warming which cooled the atmosphere, tipping the world towards Ice Ace.
Cool !!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Something else to worry about

You'd think that at my age I had enough to worry about. Now I learn that I've suddenly crossed an age threshold at which ant stings become toxic. Bugger

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

'A change 'or 'Me sombrero nuevo'

Its not every day you make the decision to part with something personal that has been with you for ... well for your entire adult life and then some.
My old Akubra was truly an old friend. For 20 years it has kept the rain and sun off my head. Through just about every adventurous pursuit you can manage in the Blue Mountains. Camping and snow treks in several continents including walking the length of Zion National Park in Utah, and climbing in the Denali area of Alaska I wore it every day for years as a geologist in various parts of Western Australia and think I set a trend with it at Uni. In some outback pub some place I got Ted Egan to sign the inside. At the time he noted that about 20 years ago a boy had asked him to do the same in Alice Springs. I told him I was that boy, that the signature had long since faded but that he was singing the same songs. In it I have sat by campfires and rivers and dirty café tables in dusty foreign lands. I had some damn good days in that hat.
After all those years it is getting on, it has perhaps too much character. With its floppy dirty brim, missing band, burns, stains and crushed in top it may not be as iconic as the bush tucker man’s but I was recognisable in it.
The in the sales during the sad closure of Gowings I took the opportunity to purchase a new hat. Its fits my slightly bigger, or should that be fatter head. Shades me better and looks, well, it looks new. I’ll post an update in another 20 years but somehow I don’t think they will be quite so adventure packed as the last decades.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Some prick nicked my stuff

Unfortunatly a similar thing happened to me as happened to The Other Guy. Namely, some prick nicked my stuff.
Broke into our garage by pealing and bending back a metal door, wrecking it so we can’t park in it. Apart from a junk computer worth zilch they nicked my bike. A red GT Palomar about 6 years old slick tires and new cassette style rear cluster. The thing is the back cluster on most bikes is now 9 speed and the cassette style is new, like a year or two old. You have to love your bike to bother looking for a 7 speed cassette with an extra high ratio at that, 9 on the smallest gear. I bet it’s the only GT with a new chain and that cassette style cluster in NSW. You park it at the Uni, at the local school, at the local shops, at the station – I see it - I’m watching for you prick. Replacement value was just about equal to the excess so it’s not worth the insurance.
It was my car tho’, it’s how I get to work. So a quick trip to the bike store over the weekend netted a nice new aluminium GT with disk breaks. Its MEGA. Does everything, even turns !!

The new bike

The damage

Friday, February 03, 2006

Cool Pic

Reading club troppo the other day and came across this amazing photo from NASA - Astronomy Picture of the Day. It's the Aroura over an erupting volcano in Iceland.

The Judgment of Paris

I'm probably falling fowl (more on water birds later) of copyright but they put a new picture up on my wall yesterday. A surrealist impression by James Gleason; “The Judgment of Paris”.

Reminds me of Geiger
Basically a bitch of a goddess, Eris tricks three other narcissistic goddesses into squabbling over whom is the fairest. Girls never change. Not nearly brave or stupid enough to get involved Zeus appoints the mortal, Paris (think Orlando Bloom) to make the call. In a mythological version of a wet t-shirt completion all three chicks strip so Paris can have a perve and in the best tradition of the Australian Wheat Board, each attempts to bribe him. Now whilst the others bribed him with power wealth and kingships, Aphrodite offered the love of Helen – the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris was up for this, and in a shameless Disney rip off gives the fairest of them all an apple. Snow White would have been proud. This of course, as we all know eventually led to the long and tragic Trojan War where Brad Pit kills Eric Bana. Now why he thought Helen was the cutest is beyond me. In what is probably one of the first cases of bestiality her mother had sex with a swan and laid an egg from which hatched Helen. The woman whose beauty launched a thousand ships probably had duck feet and feathers.
The whole story is here

No classic painter could pass up the opportunity to paint three naked chicks, some though it so good they did it more than once.
Renoir did it (twice)

Rubens did it (twice)

And Lucas Cranach who is a complete unknown with no sense of depth, did it (4 times)

I have to say, Gleasons is showing the girls in their true form.

Images from Here, Here and Here

Friday, January 13, 2006

It is a bad day

Nothing to say, just wanted to do a Friday the 13th post.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rain everywhere

Hopfully some of this ends up in the damn dam

radar image from here:
----- it dosn't look like it had much efect at all -----

graph from here: