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Electric Ant?

I believe this tiny thing is what is known as an Electric Ant (Wasmannia auropunctata), if so they're an imported pest the Department of Primary Industries want eradicated. I've notified them and after they check their email (that could take a while at this time of year) they may react but I don't see any point, if we have it then the whole town is likely to, so we'd better get used to them.

They pack a huge bite or sting or whatever they whack you with for their size, painful little critters they are, usually striking at night when I'm dreaming of getting to know Barbara Stanwyck better.

Anyway It's really difficult to take a one handed photo of a tiny bug that's crawling on your mouse hand, so this is as good as I managed. Dead ones are too mangled to make a good photo.


Glad I tied our bins up.

Only a little flood this morning, hopefully this is as high as it will get.


Going under.

The river level is going to rise a bit more tomorrow due to rain upstream, so Tru is parked in town where it's a bit higher.
The water's just going over Log Creek bridge now, hopefully it'll wash this horrible excuse for a bridge away, it's stressful enough having to walk across sharing the roadway with cars in the dry but even worse with floodwater and flocks of sightseers clogging it.

At least we on Fairford Rd know where we stand with the local council, invisible. It's also the only road out of town that has a 80 km/h speed limit before clearing the residential area.

Cyclone victim.

The poor 2 fell off the house, leaving just a 3. Jimmy will have to fix it but it has been loose for a while.

TC Tasha rapidly vanished upon crossing the coast north of us, it barely made it to cyclone level.

Merry Xmas to all.

Here's our Xmas photo, taken this morning. My arm hurt to buggery but I had to hold it on Grace's shoulder till the camera shot its load.

Our bad weather is now a cyclone, TC Tasha.



We're half expecting to be flooded this xmas, more rain predicted and the river's already fairly swollen, at least we're at home this time.


Mucking around.

I was playing with the new camera and did this awful video, ruined further by an idiot wandering about, however if you listen to the audio there's a sting in the tail five seconds from the end.

I've never uploaded a video before so be warned even though I reduced the size it's still about 4 meg in size.

Affluence has its drawbacks.

We have pretty well all we want these days so these choccies are about all Grace is going to get for xmas, if she can keep Homer and his secret twin brother away from them.
Normally I don't waste money on fancy yum-yums like these but they were reduced from $20 down to $8 so I loosened the purse strings a bit.

The new Samsung camera is proving very capable but despite only being a tiny bit bigger than the Panasonic ZR1 is nowhere near as pocket friendly.

81 today.

Happy birthday to my Dad Fred and I expect plenty more yet.
Here's a shot I took in August of him doing the thing he enjoys, chopping wood.
I hope he has a better birthday than last year when his Mother died the day before it.



We have so many Geckos around the house that I thought it was time Tru had one of her own, so now she wears a stick on one.
I do get real ones and frogs camp in the door edges pretty often, so Tru isn't a stranger to them.

Wotta mess.

Next year I'm gunna have to put a bit of effort into whacking up the xmas lights.
A few cars slow down so I suppose at least it gives them something to look at.

Great marketing.

Our forebears would be aghast but incredibly there's a market for bottled water.
This was out the front of Coles and caught my eye, it costs 1000 times more than our tap water yet tastes no different nor would it be any healthier, possibly not even as healthy.
Great marketing calling it value pack, it certainly is for the people selling it.


Uncle Laurie O'Donnell has died.

He's the first of my parents' siblings to pass away, except for one that died at birth 8o something years ago. Laurie would have been close on 80 himself and I had heard that his health had been quite poor of late.
Laurie's with his parents and wife Pat in this photo, our condolences go out to her and their family.
In his younger days I believe Laurie was a pretty good Aussie Rules footballer as well as quite a good sprinter. I only met him a couple of times and never really got to know him, he lived in Victoria all his life.



Here's a nice side by side of a pair of lovely cameras. They look similar in size but the Panasonic is much easier to whack in a pocket and is barely noticed, however the Samsung still fits easily into a pocket plus has a wider and longer zoom. Both shall be useful but the Panasonic FZ28 I took this photo with is probably better than either but suffers from not being pocketable.

The Samsung was sold as refurbished but was probably only returned because it has a small scratch on its screen, I don't care about that as I'd only scratch it myself anyway. Pity black was the only choice of colour, as it was when I bought the ZR1.

Happy snap.

It's xmas and a new camera arrived today that I shall be checking out.
A Samsung HZ30W that may be a travel zoom bargain.
Outside the USA it's known as a WB600 but this one came from the USA.

Sunbird time.

It looks like Sunbirds have taken up the bit of rope I left hanging out the back a few months ago for them to nest with.

I hope we have another baby this xmas, they're quite a pretty bird and must do a bit towards pollinating flowers.


This car has been running around with an illegible number plate for ages, I guess he's not worried about the risk of copping a $100+ fine for it here in Ingham, where almost anything goes judging by the number of vehicles without mufflers.

Good nick.

I sighted this EH Holden wagon in Coles car park the other day, we have a few old cars in pretty good nick in Ingham, this one is very nice and being an automatic must be very very rare now.

You may note the shopping trolleys lazily left where people used them. It's only going to get worse until people start thinking of someone other than themselves again.


Another repair.

My computer eyes broke yesterday morning, I imagine my adjusting them for a better fit a while back weakened them. Anyway I wasn't going to lose any sleep over this loss when a new set of eyes only costs $20 or so, but I used a cheap little blowtorch on the break and pushed the molten ends together. The weld has held thus far.


I noticed this nice flower in the yard yesterday, I suppose it's some type of noxious weed but it looks OK to me.


I got this Garnet Brooch as a present for Grace, Garnet being her birthstone.
Nice unit for the small amount of money it cost, I think I'll buy another colour for her too.


At last.

After two dismal but edible failures I finally scored a decent loaf of bread out of the breadmaker I bought last week. Then sat down to a nice low fat Vegemite treat.

New to me.

I haven't seen this bridge to nowhere before, I must explore if the rain will ever stop.


I fitted a fancier bottom bracket to the pushbike the other day, mainly out of curiosity but I'd calculated correctly that its shorter length would straighten up the chainline.
These units are way easier to fit than the usual old time ball and cup ones because they don't require adjusting. That may mean something to a bicycle store that cares about what it sells but the Chinese makers just do everything up bar tight with a rattle gun so no need to worry about the time taken to get it right.

Of course since buying the bike every time I want to use it, down comes the rain.



The rain of late must have them fairly comfortable but one of them must have been suspicious of the fat bloke with the camera, so it hid among the plants knowing I couldn't see it.


Happy birthday Mega.

Yep it's the 9th of November or I suppose culture may rename it 911 but somehow I don't think so.
Anyway here's a shot from about 30 years ago with Mega in the purple jumper, and me in the red jacket.
I think it may have been taken at Amaroo on one of the last Castrol 6 hour bike races in 1981, it was also possibly the coldest most miserable day I've endured due perhaps to being unprepared and unequipped for bleak weather.


Not so pretty now.

Flowers don't age very well.

I tried but failed.

Rhonda drowned her hard drive in beer when she visited, I've since replaced it and her laptop is doing fine again but I had to try and recover data from her old drive since like most people she never backs up any data.
I managed to buy another same model drive on eBay that was dead but thought I may have some luck changing the circuit boards. Sadly that was a no go, so I then went down the last chance routine of internal surgery and swapped the platter. Nope, I suppose the drives had the same fault but I had to have a go, nothing ventured nothing gained.


I did some tyre juggling and naturally the zipper for the spare cover broke despite me taking care not to damage it, I would have saved 10 minutes of toil if I'd just snapped it off in the first place.
Anyway I actually got a brainwave and realised velcro would be a handy thing to fix it.

I was caught in the messy position of tyre juggling, the left front tyre had worn slightly unevenly and was at the point of illegality, also the spare was getting old and needed to be used, so I fitted the spare to the car and spent $105 get a new genuine Zetum brand tyre which has become the spare. I've also given the wheel alignment a slight tweak to hopefully sort things out, also may well improve fuel economy since the steering feels a bit lighter.


Easier now.

I made the trip to the Doc yesterday, which naturally resulted in much pain and another lifestyle change coming up. Anyway this year all I have to do is push a button and their machine spits out a receipt, simple plus it shows how much the taxpayer divvies up to fund my painful visits.

I wish the pharmacy could run like this, I still have the chore of having to sign for my pills, very hard when you can barely write. Well I can write but I can never read what I scratch.



At least my day wasn't ruined after I dropped Rhonda off at the Townsville airport, but I'll bet both drivers here wish they hadn't gotten out of bed this morning.


Rhonda bought some flowers for Grace while she was here on the weekend.
If Jimmy wasn't so cheap and mean it might cross his mind sometimes, but don't hold your breath.


A visit.

Rhonda is visiting us this weekend but she was on the other side of the plane so I missed her in this shot of her plane taxiing.



I had a chance to change Tru's springs little while back so started with the saggy one.
Three days later I could move again but the wet came back so the other side remains postponed for a bit longer.

Age does weary, that one took me all day to do a 30 minute job. My arms still don't function properly and have lacked a fair chunk of movement since February.

I'm now feeble, slow, lack eyesight and stamina but I'm trying to remain independent.

While I was spending forever under Tru I noticed her intermediate and rear mufflers were both in a sad state, the intermediate I already knew was ordinary but now that the rear one is also crook it prompted me to order new ones, luckily Supercheap Auto's online shop has had a drop in price, yay done, pity I didn't order new gaskets from them too as the local Supercheap store must be selling platinum coated versions judging by their price.

Green Ants.

Spotted this Green Ant nest and about a million others in the tree that hovers over the Azalea I planted. You get used to them here but you don't go around shaking the trees if you can help it.


I felt sorry for this plant the other week, as well as the mint a while earlier off to its right.
The supermarket had them reduced and they were both looking rather sad, but I planted them and gave them a bit of tlc and they now seem much more comfortable.

Off with the fairies.

We shelled out $20 to get a fancy coverage of the Olympic games that finished last night and have been solidly watching it for its 11 odd days.

It's worthwhile to pay extra for events like this if you've any interest, as you get to see what you want to, rather than what the free broadcaster thinks you want to.

The sports as always were amateur and lacked the professional and commercial need to entertain but it still has to get a plus mark.

Minus marks go to the scaremongers who ramped up security so much that the spectacle of a crowd was missing to many events. Also minus marks to the rich countries who often must have splashed out big money on uniform designers and ended up with drab grey and black colours. Plus marks to the poorer countries who couldn't afford fancy designers and used bright colourful uniforms in their country's colours, yippee for the carribean.

Boos to the British who just don't understand England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not countries and to impose itself on the other commonwealth countries like this is just bullying. If England can compete then Queensland and Alberta have the same rights.

I think the lass in the photo scored a couple of medals, good ones too, at the games.


Change out of 100

I should feel like I'm a teenager again as I was about 16 the last time I was less than 100kg on an honest basis. Pity only my thighs, bottom and possibly genitals have lost mass as I was happy with them, In fact I would even be happy if my genitals put on weight.

I've been back on the booze a bit lately so it's a bit of a surprise to be still losing (or as the university educated would spell, loosing) weight, maybe I have the cancer? but there's two things that can happen if that's the case, 1/ I find out about it and die, or 2/ I don't find out about it and die. I'd sooner not know.



I done some mowing today and noticed a water leak in a pipe at the side of the house, D'OH!
Initially I just bunged it up with a tap but then I noticed it fed the taps in the backyard that I actually use so I was lucky enough to have enough length to be able to shorten it and whack it back on.

One of these days I'm going to sort out the plumbing mess that I'm not happy with.
Now we can expect a massive water bill next time as well as the wrath of the greenies for wasting, although I suppose we still use less than they do.


New lavatory lamp.

I got sick of waiting for the antique olde style bulb to expire in the lavatory so have now replaced it with a new LED lamp before it was due.
That el-cheapo "savings" brand lamp had served us faithfully for the 7.5 years we've lived here, plus however long it had served its previous masters, enough to leave a guilty feeling.

I've washed the old one and laid it carefully away in the cupboard, hopefully away from the eyes of suspicious customs officers who may want to slap a $100,000 fine on us for owning one.


Jimmy burnt a hole in our good plastic bowl the last time (ever) he tried to make popcorn.

At least he had a go at patching it last night, it works but looks crap. A bit more work forthcoming. The brown patch is a bread label that I've melted into it.