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A spruced up Tru.

Tru has had a saggy bonnet, which had become very noticeable in the cold during her recent trip south.
Anyway to pick her up Jimmy treated her to a new set of bonnet struts, so now her bonnet is happy to spring right up again.

More orchids.

Our orchid plant has fully bloomed now, and it still looks much better on camera than in real life.
No matter after looking at my last batch of photos, I think my repair job went very well.

I hope I didn't scare that little spider on the right too much, like many of my shots I never saw it until checking the result.

Voting time.

We had a federal election on Saturday and as usual we used it as an excuse for a drive somewhere, this time we chose Abergowrie where as per usual the school is where the polling booth is.

It's a very fancy school for 20 odd students but I sense they only use the little building where we voted.

One pic shows people who are heading to vote after we had finished, we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves, that adds to the charm of voting late and in smaller places.
The other pics shows a very impressive building for so few students, hopefully we can get some more people in the area again, maybe if they had a decent broadband internet connection available that would help ease the drain of people to the big cities.

Our electorate is Kennedy and because we have an independent member it appears in this cliffhanger election to have gone from forgotten to vital to whomsoever may want to form government.


Interesting for a couple of reasons.

Checking on our State budget finds that they've finally decided to do something to give the residents west of Log creek safe walking access into town, as well as for them to get to the sports fields opposite us.

The kick in the tail is the cost, someone has pencilled in an extra zero at the rear of every project they've announced. Surely you'd think they'd have someone auditing the cost of these scams.

Queensland is broke and I think I now know why. The budget website is here so you can find some rubbery figures for yourself but I am staggered by the Log creek pedestrian bridge priced at $120,000, and $80,000 bus shelters


Post repair.

The lens seems clear enough and the ZR-1 still seems to focus.

Not impressed with the reliance on a USA spell checker though.

Be gone stubborn spot.

The clever amongst you would have guessed what was causing the dark spot on the photos from my recent trip. There was a speck of dust on the sensor, hardly what you'd expect on a fixed lens camera but I was surprised that gaining access to it wasn't too difficult, however my faith is a bit rattled right now.
You buy a fixed lens camera to avoid issues like this, now I've just struck out one of the reasons for not buying a changeable lens camera.

The little ZR-1 Panasonic is an excellent camera to travel with and worth the effort to patch it up, I even used it almost exclusively on my trip, even when the FZ-28 would have seemed the better option to use much of the time. The ZR-1 is just a lovely little unit.

Maybe it's too late?

At least the pain stage has gone for the black stump and hollow ruin that were once teeth.

I got a letter from the health service asking if I still wanted to remain on their waiting list for dental care. I do actually but I wonder how many years it takes to get a standard non-emergency service, it's been seven now.

BTW superglue is a wonderful tool for getting past the agony stage of tooth decay.


Never mind any in-between stages it looks like our local subway slapped a $1 price rise on their coffee in the sort of manner we've become used to with our power bills and council rates.

At $7 for two coffees it's way out of our price range but I suppose $5 was too when you consider there's about 20c worth of coffee and say $1 in sundry costs per cup to make it.


Home Hill.

Incredibly Home Hill has a welcome mat for travellers, the main street public lavatories even have showers and camping is allowed with limits on the street behind.

Ingham could do well to copy this.

I wonder.

With the federal election coming up on Saturday this message is pretty straightforward.

The current government is promising to change its wasteful ways but I sense there's a fair bit of leopard and spots about them.

Sighted near the big roundabout just south of Rockhampton.


It started to rain in the middle of the night and although I left Carinda promptly it was too late to use the muddy roads out of town so I had to drive 200 km south on the only bitumen road before I could begin to head north. I drove through rain all day and lost the mood to take photos and smell the flowers but when I got fuel at Biloela the following day the rain was about to cease, yippee.

Something had to improve my mood.

I'll bet they can lift heavy things.

The local Walgett shire earmarked $25,000 to upgrade the Carinda Tennis courts shown here.
Tennis is a dying sport and Carinda is a dying town, this must have been the work of a genius. A bit of weed killer will keep these courts serviceable until the town is a forgotten dot on the map, I doubt even now if they could find more than six people who could play Tennis in the town. They'll have a big party to celebrate the wasted money, and then Tennis will be forgotten again.

They also chalked up a $5,000 grant for the swimming pool but I see that as money well spent, I also think that more of a feature could be made of it to attract travellers, some free camping grounds would help too, they just might spend some money at one of the three businesses left.

Not the worst house in town.

There's worse places than this in Carinda, a few are condemned but since they still have people living in them the bulldozer can wait a while.

Without a decent broadband internet service and the nearest town with more than just a corner store being 70 km away (on a road that was closed by floodwaters when I was there) it'll just fade away unless it can find a hook to attract some visitors and residents.

How much is a rock worth?

There doesn't seem to be any rocks within hundreds of kilometres of Carinda but I guess somebody must have eased some of the bicentenary handout money to haul one into town back in 1988.

It's good to see the historic graves preserved but the plaque would have been just as useful placed there than wasting money plonking a rock for no great reason.

Dunno about this.

I gave my Dad (Fred) a hand to put up a new aerial mast for their free to air TV. The transmitter is a fair distance and a good aerial is needed, I don't think this is one.

Fred thought the new longer mast was strong enough not to need stay wires. Since it is a fairly windy area I sense it will resemble a pretzel after the first good blow. Free TV has so little of value on it though that it wasn't worrying me.

I think he would have been better served placing a higher gain aerial on the existing mast.

I used a crooked camera angle for the 'before' shot, and they look as bad now as they did on the old Batman TV series.

Destination reached.

My wandering finally rolled into my parents place at Carinda NSW. There was never much point to the trip, I just wanted to get away from the noisy dogs next door for a bit but seemed to have gone from the frying pan into the fire as they for some insane reason have a rooster to keep their chooks company, thus rendering sleep kaput from about 03:30 in the morning. I imagine the whole town would willingly part its head from its body.

Carinda is not a busy place and the sheep here seem comfortable with the pace of life and were wandering around. In 20 years time it's difficult to picture more than a handful of people still here.


Spotted in Coonamble.

Spelling computer that way certainly got my attention, so I suppose it achieved its purpose.

It seems a high enough price for the puppies too.


Early morning at Thunderbolt's rock near Uralla NSW showed conditions were icy, this is something we never see at Ingham.

The bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, Fred Ward used to hang out here a bit before the police terminated his career and saved the taxpayer an expensive trial by shooting him until such time as he was dead, back in 1870.


This tractor isn't going anywhere in a hurry but is sure to cheer up plenty of people for a while.

Found at the southern end of Stanthorpe, QLD.


Cunningham's Gap.

I came this way for the scenic view and the McPherson range is always very pretty.
I've put a green spot in the sky over where I think Cunningham's Gap where the road passes over the range is.

The photo and many others too are a ruin because of a speck on the camera lens that took me too long to discover, another D'OH! moment. At least the weather was nice on the downward trip.


They were building the new bridge here when we had a comfort stop back in 2005.
Now there's almost no evidence that there was ever an old bridge. I couldn't get a photo from the same spot due to someone camping there, it's one of the few travellers rest areas that still allow the purpose for which they were created.

We've had no new dams or power stations in Queensland for 20 years, now that we're broke chances are there won't be any new road bridges for a while either.

I'd say this place is named after the rather unusual lungfish that has its habitat here.



These lovely flowers at the bottom of the main street, as well as the pristine public lavatories that even had soap help travellers like me to get a real positive view of a town, like these at Monto.


I had a wander along the main street at Monto on the trip down, always liked the place and checked out a few places when we were wondering if we'd have our current home bulldozed.
I'd have to change car if we lived here as LPG isn't available but for us it's just a bit too far away from major towns.

I was sure I'd seen the Quality meats fellow singing 'barbershop' on 'The Family Guy' TV show sometime.


Here's a photo of the driver's eye view of what I had to entertain me.
The map based GPS tag teams very well with a street based GPS.

I was about 765 km by road from home, near a spot on the map called Kunwarara that used to have a roadhouse.



On my return trip quite my chance I stumbled across Uranus, it rained the whole day of that part of my journey so I wasn't in the mood to exit my little spaceship and get photos but I had to snap Uranus to complete my planetary tour. Pluto is no longer considered a planet so I never bothered looking for it, generations to come will wonder why we ever counted it as one.

Uranus was tucked away at a rest area on the Newell highway north of Coonabarabran, well away from the others I'd found on the Oxley highway.

The Smugglers Inn at Nyngan appear to be pioneers in advertising by carving out a banner on the surface of the planet.

A safe distance.

I stopped on the road to Coonamble, about 15 km from the Sun (which doubles as the Siding Spring observatory), it still puts on a good show. The road from there is quite scenic but I was to scared to stop due to a sign indicating it was a national park and being in NSW also an indication that they'd want to pry some money out of your wallet for driving in it, luckily I didn't come across any bushrangers but my nerves were well and truly rattled and I wasn't game to stop.


Just over the rise from Mercury this big dome rose in the sky, it had a big gravitational effect but sensing it would drain a person's wallet we beat a hasty retreat.


Only a short hop later I whizzed by Mercury, but things were warming up and I sensed something big was coming up.



Things were warming up and I did a spacewalk near Venus.

All the weight I've lost over the past few years really does seem to be from my legs and bottom, can't win them all.


I was enjoying my planet hopping and next up was something very familiar.

This must be the only display on Earth that features a view over Australia, all movies prior to Apollo 17 hover over the USA, and since then over the Mozambique channel.


After Jupiter everything is tiny but my eyes were well tuned now to finding planets, and they were becoming much closer together.



Further down the road Jimmy had to stop in a hurry to avoid bumping into Jupiter, it's a big bugger and pretty hard to miss.


Somehow or other I missed Uranus, maybe it was off in a different part of its orbit? but Saturn had a gravitation that drew me to a halt.

I had a little journey.

I'm just back from a trip to visit my parents, we must live a fair way out as after a couple of days travel I noticed I'd just slipped underneath Neptune.

I expect to post plenty of more piccies from this foray into the distance after I settle back into my routine.

This shot was taken on the western edge of Gunnedah, NSW.