Friday, December 24, 2010

It's bark is worse in this light

Eucalyptus saligna forms a continuous hybrid with E. pilularis
The three 50m trees in our backyard are probably slightly towards the saligna end of the spectrum as the branch forks are more open than the pronounced, upright V's of the blackbutts and the perminant bark just covers slightly more than a quarter of the main trunk. The rest of the smooth bark (an infra-red reflecting adaption to frequent fires) sheds annually.
Why the science lesson?:
Our backyard is covered in a substantial layer of bark.
These photos were taken the day after we mowed - less than 24 hrs.

Off on holls down the coast - I'll take some photos for you so you know what you are missing out on.

Any way, Merry Xmas, and a 'appy new one.

Chat next year.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


My daughter who does gymnastics at a fairly well regarded local gym school that has turned out several international (i.e. Olympic level) gymnasts is building its international level coaching and, a week ago invited my daughter to try out..

She has been has been asked to train with their International Development Program.

This is a big deal. The gym is, as I said, well regarded, families relocate cities to give their kids the opportunity to train in these programs with these international coaches. It just so happens that it is the most local gym to us. We only ever intended for gym to be something fun for our kids to do that would give them a good basic kinetics and help develop them physically. We've watched the elite kids training and said over and over to ourselves that we will never get involved in that - the tens of hours a week that those kids train, the injuries, the childhood lost.

And now she has been asked to try out - and been asked to continue in the highest stream, we don't know what to do:

On the one hand this could be a fab opportunity for her to develop her confidence and physicality, on the other hand it's an enormous ask of a 6 year old, the time commitment, the opportunity cost, the family focus and commitment required, all for what exactly? The chance to compete on the world stage and the minuscule chance that it would be rewarded .... do you deny your child a chance like this when offered?

A dilemma

Friday, December 10, 2010

Conversation with a 4 yearold

4 year old: "Dad! I found a worm crawling outside."

Me: "Hold on, I'll get a knife and fork for us."

I get the knife and fork and run outside with him.

4 year old, looking up at me, puzzled expression: "Why didn't you get two plates??"

The Antikythera mechanism (in Lego)

The Antikythera mechanism is a mechanical computer thought to have been built around 150BC or slightly later. It accurately predicts a range of astronomical phenomena such as eclipses. Mechanically it is more than a thousand years ahead of it's time. Which makes me think yet again where would be we technologically today if not for the decent into religious fundamentalism of the dark ages.

Some cleaver bunny has built it out of lego:

(p.s. I'd put $100 bucks on it that it was built by a bloke, a chick would-never be gh33ky enough to do this)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Human tails for young fairies

On some of the longer car trips we have been undertaking recently we have been listening to the first of the Harry Potter audio books. For the most part they are beyond my little man (he's 4) but he's been asking some fairly detailed questions that show he's been getting more of it than I thought. It's unusual for our kids to get any TV but last night we played about half of the first movie as a treat. Having listened to the story and now seeing it it's been great to see how they've really got into a fairly complex story.
If they don't have nightmares I may give them my version of Snow Wight and the Seven Dwarfs.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A few days down at the beach house

We were going to go up to Fingle Bay for a friends 40th but the starter motor on the $x$ carked it and couldn't be replaced in time so instead we headed south to the beach house at Rosedale. We copped a fair bit of rain and a huge swell - and me w/o my board :-(
I made do with the old shark biscuit and managed to catch a few although the swell ended up being so big I was too tired to fight it and ended up missing even the easiest of waves. Photos for those inclined or with a fast connection are here else these ones are prolly the best:
I love the look on his face when I try to catch him
She smiles most of the time regardless.
Me on the esky lid

And finally a shaky cam of me not catching any waves - too busy watching the dolphins swimming past. The surf here was about 1m, through the day it built to over 3m of pounding crunching nastiness.