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Noisy fan.

The inverter I use to run the fridge when the sun is working has been rather noisy. The fan I ordered to replace the noisy one arrived a while back and today I finally spent a few minutes replacing it.
I only took a guess on the replacement and it is underpowered but I fitted it anyway, if there's a problem I'll get another.

Self confidence.

It's something I lack, I'm not brave enough to pull a trailer into the rapidly filling Coles carpark this morning and pull up blocking access to the handicapped parking spaces, instead I meekly park in the quiet end of the carpark so others in a hurry can gain easier access. Well it sounds good but in reality it gives me a little exercise without me looking like I'm deliberately doing anything, also it's way easier to park in quiet areas as well as less chance of a car bingle.
Maybe if I took up smoking like the driver here I could gain the boldness needed, but the idea of paying so much money for an early death without any positive benefit along the way is just absurd.


Cooking on Boxing day.

I was feeling a bit glum today, yesterday wasn't exciting for me, then I read of a murderer's xmas meal in prison and I became a bit envious, so today I decided I might try something fancy.
I saw an on-line recipe for Spam Wellington so had a bit of a go.
I got a slab of spam out of a can, sprinkled some mustard powder over it, then a layer of sugar, then wrapped half a sheet of pastry mainly around it.
Popped it in a 190 degree oven for 30 minutes, simple, though 200 may gain a better result.

What was surprised me is it was delicious. The tin of spam had been in the pantry for a couple of years and I think I'll grab some more next time I see it on special.

A crowded nest.

I was next door at Peter's place yesterday and he showed me this nest upon his clothes line, they barely fit in but seem almost ready to break out and see the world now.
A few seconds of taking nest photos from an almost oblivious position on top of his steps was enough to be swooped upon but what I could reasonably assume to be a parent bird. I think I can identify it as one of the angry birds I've seen in games. Peter also has treated them with respect, he only mowed his front yard the other day, leaving them their personal space in the backyard.


Merry xmas to all.

Here's me waving from town this morning. Follow the road for a kilometre to find our place.



I just saw this on my neck, give it some time and it'll hurt.

Nice place to be.

I did some washing today, very likely the last for the year, including a blanket that I grabbed on a whim.
Having a backyard view like this was a reason for buying this place, it's nice looking over sugarcane fields and mountains, and always in colour too.


Won't happen this year.

The give way sign that will be placed near the blue parking sign on the right of pic to add some safety to the Tully St extension hasn't been done yet, so with the council now shut till the 6th January or so I'll have to wait to get a picture of it. Hopefully a school bus filled with kindergarten aged children won't be pulling out of it assuming the right of way that they have will oblige a logging truck thundering down McIlwraith St to yield.

Cardwell range upgrade.

After years of work and traffic disruption the highway upgrade of the Cardwell range section is done. The old road ran higher up on the right where they've now kept it to access the upgraded Hinchinbrook Island lookout. Good job overall but the downside is losing the view from the highway, I think our long coastal Highway the Bruce Highway which runs over 1600 km is now reduced to only two views of the sea in that distance, at Clairview and just south of Bowen, this one appears lost now.


Some activity from our council.

I emailed QLD Transport about an traffic control issue 14 months ago,
Naturally it was a council matter despite the intersection being used to divert oversize vehicles, so the matter was passed on to them. Much to my surprise a letter arrived today.
Somehow that makes it all worthwhile, it will stop any confusion that currently exists and may just save someone from grief, but only one since after an event they would realise there was an issue and be motivated to sort it out.
Without any incidents it only took 14 months for my message to filter its way in the short periods between cigarette breaks to the top of the tray. I even mentioned it to a typically muscular and tall policeman who was here when Grace died but he considered me somewhat a fool to worry about it, he considered the road to be a driveway, but it isn't, it's a gazetted road and all intersections should be controlled since the road rules relevant to that were changed in the 1970s
Now Jimmy feels a bit smug.


Odd angle.

I was on my way to the cemetery this morning to check on Grace and I saw this show pony parked with a fair lean outside a repair shop.
Lacking a wheel would be reason enough for the lean, of course conservative Jimmy has to wonder about the effect of using fashionable large diameter wheels with thin sidewall tyres, a meatier more comfortable sidewall may have just bounced off the obstacle the unlucky driver hit. Or it could be that the harsher ride from those wheels combined with our roads that consist of connected potholes combined to induce stress fractures. I'll never know but it added some interest this morning.


Close enough.

I find fingernail polish very handy stuff, but not being a girl I have to find non-fingernail applications for it.


14 months and still intact.

Quite amazing really that this sand sculpture of a Grass Owl family has survived so long, Ingham can be proud of our lack of vandalism, pity I noticed some littering near it after I downloaded the photo.

The lovely flowers have returned.

Last time I wandered here at Tyto the flowers were gone, they must be seasonal.

Blatantly false advertising.

Then I saw the machine that very likely dispensed the naughty can, it's probably a very good money spinner and by charging $3 for a drink I suppose buyers believe they're entitled to litter the area.

A real problem here is the Mother can is only 500 ml, claiming it's 600 ml would normally quickly draw wrath, but I suppose only an old cheapskate like myself would ever notice. If I'm thirsty I find ordinary common taps are a frugal way of ending a thirst when out and about.

Then I got curious.

I think I'm about two generations too old to be charmed by a write-up like this, but I suppose it helps them to up the price to the young and wealthy it's targeted towards.
I then walked a few paces and placed it into the recycling bin that was handy.

Rule #4

I suppose people can't help themselves, possibly this was dumped by a rule #5 felon I saw ride past a few minutes earlier.

The kissing couple have returned.

They went away for a while to get a new shiny coat of paint but have gathered a following it seems since their return.
It appears couples are locking their love behind the couple.
That's sweet, I hope I can soon add to it, but immigration will have to blow some dust off our file first.

Six months is enough.

I've used this razor since returning from my big journey six months ago, It doesn't seem to work so well now so it's time to retire it.
I hope my Olive gets her visa before I go through another razor, although 10 of them only cost $2.49 so cost isn't a reason for moaning.


Always an odd number.

I never had any reason to think about slices of bread in a loaf over the many years I was with Grace but the last year has enlightened me to a most annoying fact, there's always an odd number of slices in a loaf. Also if you're alone and divide a loaf in half to freeze for later then both halves will have an odd number, it doesn't seem to matter what stunt you try it always results in an odd slice left over. Since I tend to use the toaster a bit and they always demand an even number it's quite a waste to use it for a single slice.


ELPH 330 HS modification.

Only the 2nd day and already I can't help myself.
A bit of hot melt glue to aid the grip. Possibly fairly useless but may help on occasion.
A bit more around the video recording button to hopefully avoid accidental recording, something that's already happened too often. Also a dab on the function button to make it easier to press, it's a very useful button. These issues are noted in reviews and this is a workaround.

Already I've noted what the on-line reviews have, it has exceptionally good picture quality, what it has also reinforced in my mind after some test sessions is just how good the Olympus SZ-16 travelzoom is, despite it being generally unknown it has to be near the best of the pocketable travelzooms, lacking only the features of its upmarket brother the Olympus SH-50 but at least matching its image quality.

Naturally I was virtually forced to buy this grey market Canon rather than the local market IXUS 255 HS version, for whatever usual reason locally it's only available in boring black and bland grey, which they call silver in an attempt to put some desirability in peoples minds. Pink is much prettier.
Why did I buy a camera I didn't really need?
Image quality, all test shots I've viewed have been great.
Size, it's tiny so fits easily in a pocket.
Price, not so dear.
12 megapixels, quite enough plus smaller file sizes to save than the usual 16 megapixel compacts.
Maximum aperture f3, it may spook the reviewers but much wider seems to always bring focus and lack of depth of field issues into play, f3 is good and the lens is sharp centre to edge.
No RAW or many other features that some find indispensable but for me just add a layer of complexity for a very minimal return.

The not so good are the button issues I've had a play with.
The wide end is 24mm equivalent, I would prefer closer to 30, but it's sharp at 24 unlike many so no real drama.
The wi-fi is useless to me despite having a home network.
Some firmware things I'm not fond of but a fix may come for them.
The battery has to be charged out of camera meaning a spare is needed, they're cheap but it can be very convenient to be able to recharge from a USB port.
No doubt more things will bug me but the picture quality will ease them.

A whoopsie.

The green string failed on one of my sets of lights on our tree and what I thought would be a simple repair is actually a toss in the spare parts box job, the difficulty being tracing the fault and then refitting insulation, at their price it's too hard to bother.
Anyway I grabbed a set of lights from Coles today and paid the price of not being vigilant enough, they were on the shelf below the white ones and a cursory glance didn't pick up the white on the label but sure enough they were white rather than the multicoloured I wanted. Of course silly Jimmy have fitted half of them before noticing, but at the end of the day it actually looks OK so I'll just leave it now till next xmas.

Tempting price.

It made me look, but in reality it still isn't cheap and I've been disappointed by these gourmet soups before.
The last one I ate had the flavour overdone, too busy. Perhaps subtle hints of flavour are out of fashion now.
Anyway the chicken in it was probably the dry and stringy breast meat so beloved of the hip generation.


Beer, oh dear.

I just checked the last of the beer I bought some time back and it eventually dawned upon me that it's gone past it's best before date.
Only three cans left so I think I shall have beer tonight.
It's hard to believe an old guzzler like me would ever have beer hibernate like that, but I have been brewing extremely cheap prison quality ginger beer for a while.
And yes a very pleasant and comfortable temperature tonight.
For those who like me have a camera fetish, check the EXIF of this photo, and yes it's as good as the reviews rate it.


Roaming trolleys.

I nipped up to Coles near 7 PM the other night and was struck by the number of shopping trolleys wandering about the carpark.
Then observed a mass dumping of cigarette butts near their entry, which led me to think there's a link, but it could just be a nocturnal thing with the trolleys thinking nobody will see them.
In reality this is an example of how the mature generation don't set a decent example for the upcoming generation to follow, we make increasingly tougher laws aimed at the young but they don't seem to have the mentors previous generations had.
For the few minutes it takes to go shopping I have to wonder why smokers can't leave their addiction at home, Grace did for a few years before she stopped altogether but that's a concept very few consider.


Rainbow Lorikeet.

I noticed a bit of noise and found Rainbow Lorikeets were feasting on the seeds of our palm trees, meanwhile in this quite ordinary photo a luscious mango was ignored, I suppose the palm seeds were more desirable to them.


Flame tree flower close-up.

The speckled petal must be very attractive to flying pollinators.

Sinabung sightseer.

As per usual I used Google Earth to check on a place of interest, in this case Mt Sinabung in Indonesia, which is a Mayon sized volcano that is erupting.
Then I noticed they had captured what appears to be a 747 in flight, probably heading to Jakarta.
I'd say flight paths may be a bit further away from it currently.


Impressive artwork.

I wish there were far more things with a classy look like this Man Cave one in our Target store.
I envy the age of decent haircuts and proper combing, though sadly because I'm so frugal and have cut my own hair for 25 years it's been a forlorn hope.
Often I long for the feel of a comb again, perhaps it may happen soon enough.


A serious discovery.

A serious face for testing if an Olympus remote will work on models it's not documented for.
I heard a rumour and had to find out for myself so I ordered a cheap remote shutter that suits earlier SP models in Olympus' range, happily I found that for some cameras it does. It works on my newer SZ-16 and XS-10 compacts but not on my older TG-610 or E-PL1.
Anyway still a very handy and cheap addition.

Real rain.

It's been drier than usual for quite some time so today looks like a catchup day.
I'm even glad I mowed some grass before it hit.


Making a switchmode power supply adjustable.

Something for the tinkerers but take care, anything switchmode can be quite dangerous.
Being just a mere bloke who mucks about a bit I found out about a lovely little shunt regulator called a TL431 the other day, it seems all switchmode power supplies use these and they're effectively an adjustable zener diode. I did a bit of reading and theorising and decided to tackle a power supply. The TL431 is the TO-92 cased semiconductor shown as U2 on this board and the voltage output is set by the voltage divider made by the resistors R7 and R8. It looked very convenient that they printed a box and drilled holes for VR1.
So I removed the R7 3k9 resistor and plonked in a 5k trimpot, then magically it worked.

Boy Flowers.

Not my photo, nor do I have any idea who took it but they're a lovely purple, I'm glad whoever shot it didn't fall for the current fashion of stripping any trace of colour from it.


Another bit of recycling.

The diodes I've been using to give my solar panels a bit of isolation, as well as dropping the peak voltage a tad to ease any overvoltage issues with the regulator, were marginal for the current flow and ran a bit hot for my liking, so I salvaged the rectifier pack from an old ruined alternator.
Much cooler now, and I get the satisfaction of adapting junkbox parts.


Junk science.

I made a new lamp for over my computer desk today. The broom dowel is designed to twist to adjust the aim.
I bought the COB LEDs but the transistors came from a broken CFL and the odd value resistors from my old collection.It underdrives the LED a bit but there's no need for me to be cruel to it.
Many people now insist on buying warm colour LEDs but I take plenty of photos and much prefer cool colour temperature ones.



The flowers must have enjoyed the treat I gave them, many blooms now.

No problems here.

I had a play with the spark plugs the other day, quite a surprise was them coming out without needing a herculean effort, they must have been installed by a true tradesman rather than a shaved gorilla.
No lead means not having the pain of lead deposits.
While I was there I noted my scribbling when I installed the timing belt. In 14 months I've driven less than 2000 km. I've been in a holding pattern for a long time waiting.