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A bit sad really.

Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from cricket, but that isn't too sad, father time has caught up with him just as it doesn't to everybody, maybe sad that he didn't retire a little bit earlier but he still looked like he had the goods, but he was only cheating grandfather time.

The actual sad thing is I'm going to pension this TV off, it's not old and works beautifully but it also acts as a heater in the room and consumes 400 Watts of what is now too expensive, and about to become even more expensive electrickery, of course the heat also means more power used in summer for the A/C to overcome. While Grace was here and we were comfortable we were prepared to spend a bit to give Grace (and Jim) a luxury lifestyle. Now it doesn't matter any more and I've ordered a smaller basic TV that only consumes 90 Watts, it should pay for itself in savings in about two years.
I tried to buy locally but they've been waiting a couple of months for an order for the model I wanted to arrive, so I went online and saved a few dollars, hopefully when I tell them they can use that as good ammunition for their warehouse.


Poor thing.

My neighbour's 4WD got a bit further this afternoon, but not under its own power.
The dry season has browned the grass a fair bit this year, it might be a while before the wet comes yet too.


Way too slow Jimmy.

The 4WD about four houses up the road spewed forth an impressive amount of smoke this morning when it went past, silly Jimmy though went to have a look but think of his camera till almost too late, and certainly too late for the good part of the show.
He stopped, inspected, and turned and went back home, probably with a completely ruined mood.
It created a smokescreen that the Bismarck could have hidden in, but the photo I got was when he was slowing down and was barely producing smoke.
For many years though I've been observing it leaving home and always revving the engine until it just wouldn't spin any faster before changing gear, not in a racing fashion but just casually letting it rev up to the limiter, anyway I wonder if there's any link.
Thinking about it a bit I wouldn't be surprised if it was coolant causing the issue, possibly from corrosion as so many don't bother with inhibitor, or if they're lucky just a head gasket.

Delicious but....

I think these lovely pancakes are also an easy way to increase mass quickly. I think I'll have to go easy on them.


Some sort of flower.

I didn't edit this, the background is just out of focus cement, or concrete for those who've never watched the Beverley Hillbillies. It gave it a nice stark look.

Sunday walk.

These Ducks must have had the same idea as me this morning, take a little stroll around the path at the Tyto centre.
Of course they have a much larger comfort zone around them than I do (and mine is pretty big by human standards), a guess is wildlife can't really tolerate humans wielding cameras with 50 metres, so if you want to shot birds in a clean bloodless fashion make sure you have plenty of zoom. I may have gotten a bit closer than normal because I've always walked with a duckish gait.


This must be what plain packaging looks like.

I suppose there's nothing unusual about it being tossed on the ground, a whole heap of butts suffer the same untidy fate.


Herbert River Men's Shed.

I finally managed to find where the Men's shed lads have nested and went and said hello again. There was a bit of activity making Mynah bird traps, but I ended up taking a camera to their profiles in order to make fancy badges for them. Hopefully they can use me for some camera/computer fiddling around, at least I'm half decent at that, I think I'm about the youngest and I hope it will ease my depression.


Oh how I've softened.

Finally for the first time I'm watching The Sound Of Music, I'm even older than one of the tribe.
Now that I'm a broken down old crock perhaps the time is right. This week is Rogers and Hammerstein week. Carousel on Tuesday managed to strike a chord despite not being a great film.

I should have done this years ago.

Covered the untidy plumbing to the air conditioner.
Maybe one day I'll paint it too.


The switch did the trick on the fridge.

The switch I ordered the other day arrived astonishingly quickly for an Australian sourced part, usually local businesses let things stew for a week before despatching them, anyway after taking a few seconds to fit it, and then another minute to check if the open door chime was going to function, my mood improved quite a heap.

 I'd already fitted my butcher's job of a LED lamp, so no need to play with that any more, it's quite bright enough despite being under driven a bit.

Grace would have loved that particular carton of juice, or at least cheap generic concentrate.

I've become an old softie.

I adore these rag dolls Grace acquired back in our Lithgow days, They looked a bit dirty from years of being neglected but looked washable, so I gave them a gentle cycle wash and happily it worked.
Golliwogs aren't politically correct these days but it looks like a gingerbread man with an *ahem* black complexion so I shall call him Binge and I think he shall sit on the fancy TV chair.
The cuter one looks like a peasant and I shall call her Penny, and I think she shall ride in the car with Jim.
At least until I give them to Rhonda, they were special to Grace despite being neglected for a while.


Water bill.

It's just as well we're (or I'm now) light water users, our local council has rather sneakily raised the price by 91% over what I saw we were paying in 2005. I'll bet a lot of people wish their pay or pensions had managed to rise by that much. I suppose much of the rise has been for the required by state law fluoridation that has yet to happen, nor I think likely to happen, far easier to take the money and do nothing so as to please the scaremongers. Too late for my teeth now anyway.

44c per kl in 2005, 84c per kl now.


Usual Hodge luck.

The fridge light died this morning (something I don't need any more of), since I'd been meaning to change the fluoro over to LED for some time I threw together a circuit that worked when testing but not in the fridge?
After a bit of checking with the meter and a bit of head scratching I realised the switch was the villain this time instead of the usual suspect short life lamp.

I did a quick search online and didn't want to pay the ransom price, so I ummed and ahhed about repairing the switch or just plain pensioning the old fridge off rather than put good money after bad, but a quick search on eBay found one that looks right for $16.90 delivered. That much I can spend without considering whether to cut my losses.

 This is the home brew LED circuit I knocked up, it's to be supplied via a low voltage transformer patched into the circuit. The TO-220 is an LM317 wired up for constant current. The resistor is an overkill but was in my box.


Solar eclipse, well almost for us.

Not wishing to blow money on fuel or be subjected to the predicted traffic heading north to the total zone I stayed home and just made a study of the lighting effects in our partial ~97% zone.
All the camera settings were a 1/400th and F4.5, it doesn't happen very often but sometimes there's a reason to use the manual setting on a camera, and it certainly wasn't to make these shots look nicer, that's why camera makers employ clever people to program them.

About as dark as we got, a very weird experience.
Almost over and now overexposing a bit.


The solar eclipse was about to happen and sure enough...rain.
But it was only a shower and we got lucky.


A matter of taste, or lack of.

Talk of bruschetta and fancy wines is beyond Jimmy's scope a bit, with him back to the single life again he's about to fall back to his cheap bombo days.
My liver's had it easy for a while, this should give it a bit of a workout.


Smug Jim.

Forgive a bit of indulgence, the lovely purple shirt arrived too late for Grace to see it but I ordered it from China as a test to see if I could now fit into a fairly normal sized shirt. A win though it's not a loose fit, nice colour and I think I may order more.

Jailbird Jim.

Missing the number plate though.
Just showing a much less blimpy Jim than he used to be.
I use jail not gaol because it's an American spelling that makes more sense.

A lesser Jimmy.

What's happening? A decade ago I was 118 kg, I suppose it's a result of less food and booze because I certainly can't blame exercise.

Xmas bling.

I bought these balls a fair while back thinking Grace may wish to add a bit of decoration about the place at Xmas, I suppose not, but I strung them together this morning for the sake of doing something.

The end result was a surprisingly nice blob.


CFL Vs LED confusion.

I tested the new LED in the kitchen with a home brew light-o-meter which is just a solar panel left over from an ant destroyed thingy.
Anyway the CFL scored a 968 while the LED scored a 724 at the same position on the stove, a clear win to the CFL as it was a quoted 25W versus the LED at 24W
But then Jimmy thought "lets measure the power consumption" but it was dark and opening the door to get gear means bugs in the house, so I waited till this morning.
My el-cheapo and possibly highly inaccurate power meter ran the CFL at 17 Watts but the LED at only 7.
Now I have to say the jury's out on this one, as a compromise I put the LED in what normal people would call the dining room. I think I shall wait for the next LED release to have a play again.

Red light.

Telstra ruined my day today, I had to change the phone line into my name, I managed to do what I could a few days ago and even pleaded with them to take care my ADSL connection wasn't messed up.
At 08:00 this morning my modem lost validation with my provider though the ADSL service was still active.
Call provider, sorry it's being provisioned by Telstra, they have to send them a code.
Call Telstra, yes it's being provisioned and will be completed by the end of the day. Correct at 16:00 it was done and the light turned green, what hurts is someone at the office must have noticed it was Jimmy's line and put the delay routine into overdrive, must make sure that he's the last customer we flick the switch for today.
My spite will see me moving the phone service over to my ISP Exetel.



I'd pretty well forgotten this order, I'd noted Grace could use a new mouse pad and Jimmy's Hello Kitty one is looking tired, so I'd ordered a couple of nice colour ones, pity they arrived too late.
I've yet to work out which room to put the new lamp into but I hope it's fairly bright, I'll find out upon nightfall.



While Rhonda and Steven were here for Grace's funeral, I dragged them on a little beach tour of our area.
The little pocket Samsung WB210 that gained a whole new lease of life with later firmware is proving very up to the task for web photos, sure it isn't perfect but it's very capable.
First Forrest Beach, vinegar being for marine stingers, they used methylated spirits for many years until some genius did some research and found it was possibly the worst thing you could apply to a sting.
Then back to Victoria Mill where they got a close up view of a short sugar train.
 Then the loco Homebush in its usual lair, this is the loco seen in the 2008 film "Australia" that starred the legendary Hugh Jackman.
Next Taylors Beach, that actually smelled of the sea, and I don't mean that in a bad way.
Then Dungeness where Rhonda is about to see what appeared to be crocodile tracks in the mud. I left sooner than I would have because some very noisy work was being done, I do prefer peace and quiet but I can't expect nor control that. The peak in the background is part of Hinchinbrook Island where in WW2 an American pay plane the "Texas Terror" crashed killing all aboard, we do owe a debt of gratitude to the yanks for what they did to help us.
Lastly a short little hop to Lucinda where the quite longish sugar jetty appears to be pretty well repaired now after Cyclone Yasi ripped it apart.
Another view of part of Hinchinbrook Island from the old jetty which gladly the public are allowed access to.
I hope my writing is half decent now, I no longer have my trusty spell-checker to help me out.


Sheltered Jimmy.

Though Jim had done the cooking for a few years, Grace still made the morning coffee.
Just as well Jim had heard her say three spoonfuls a few times or he may have been wondering what he was doing wrong, it still doesn't taste the same though.
Budget constraints are bound to reduce the TV package too whenever I can figure it out.

A timely bloom.

Peter next door's Fire (flame, whatever) tree is abloom now, a timely reminder of Grace every year.


Another fridge find.

This expensive looking bottle of plonk was left in the fridge by someone of far finer taste than Jimmy.
It was fairly flat but Jim still had a rather pleasant glass to polish off the remainder.


Stuff-up Jimmy.

Found some cream left behind in the fridge so turned it into a custardy like filling for some not so healthy treats, pity silly Jimmy put the top layer of bikkies wrong way up.

Verdict: definitely the wrong type of bikkies, should have used crackers.

I must also thank all those who have helped me and have sent messages of condolence, now it's time to see just how hopeless Jimmy can be in his new phase.

Healthy Jimmy.

Something amiss here, going to the trouble of making fancy topped bikkies just for himself. At least there's a solid dose of salt to liven the taste buds and make the health gurus shudder.


Fancy job.

Jimmy played phone games this morning, he removed the cordless phone as well as the VOIP set up that had no use for a couple of years. Finding a suitable bit of scrap wood Jimmy mounted the ordinary plain phone properly back where it served as the VOIP one in the past. It will now serve as the phone when required, but that won't be often as he has no desire to plug it in, Grace came to loath the phone ringing as much as Jim but now my nerves just can't handle it since it's usually just a call that's distressing.
I do email, Skype and even facebook but have no desire to filter spam on a telephone.
This is part of Jimmy's plan to reduce power consumption, the cordless was always on charge despite not being plugged into the phone line.

Older and perhaps wiser?

My mum left an orange in our fridge when my parents left, in years gone by since oranges are too messy to eat I would have just left it there till it got into a ruinous state. This time Jimmy juiced it and had half a tumbler of orange juice. Maybe he can survive being single again.