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A sad special day.

It's Grace's birthday today, pity it's also rather meaningless now but I brought her a flower from the yard.
I would have much preferred to have given her a special day. Also hard to believe my legs filled those shorts only recently, they seem to be one of the few signs of my weight loss.
On a positive front her row is looking fairly good now. In the background you can see the signs of Ingham's Italian heritage with the splendid tombs.


It works but does play up.

I was lucky enough to be able to mow shortly after the flood subsided but naturally my rough mulch plate decided it was time to fall off again.

It's a bit of a horror but it works real well and doesn't fall off often enough for me to get too excited about affixing it better.


Australia day.

26th January, despite being pushed down our throats for the last generation it means less to me now than before. The real Australia day is the 1st of January but since that's already a holiday it isn't going to happen.
Anyway it's an excuse to show off my green and yellow splash on my specs that break up the gloomy black.
I suppose a real celebration may be to wish Joan Leslie a happy birthday, star of one of the greatest movies of all time Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Interesting this year with it falling on a Saturday they've reverted to having Monday as the celebrating public holiday, with luck it could spell the end of the pall of gloom thrust upon the poor workers when Bob Hawke cost them a public holiday when it fell on Saturdays by pushing the actual day rather than the traditional Monday afterwards.

The spot on my cheek at the bottom of picture is a thing called Bowen's disease, it's a fairly harmless cancer type thing that can be slightly painful/discomforting but does serve as a good excuse to avoid shaving, which I get around the bother of annoying whiskers by just running the hair clippers over my face, easy peasy.


A good day coming, hopefully.

The water level has receded plenty overnight and I expect the traffic will start pottering past again shortly.
I'll be heading downstairs soon to wash out some tools that went under, I know I had a good file on the bottom shelf of my tool trolley.
I took a few shots in the early dawn and was surprised how many were usable, considering they were hand held at a fairly high ISO, I'm really enjoying the Olympus SH-25 MR that I've adopted as my main camera, though I suspect I'll grab the updated model when it's released in a couple more months as it has the very handy extra zoom, though may not have a decent colour option, but at least a non-black one.


As per usual.

Something had to expire.
The power supply to the front room router that the webcam run through gave up the ghost, I do keep spares of these so it was simple to get things working again.
These things don't cost much and are a throwaway thing but it has a blown fuse top left and the large capacitor has a bulge, I'll replace them for a bit of fun later, who knows, maybe it'll work again?
I found a couple of 6.8 µF 400 V capacitors and paralleled them, close enough I'd hope, plus I grabbed a fuse unknown value from an old compact fluoro. Apply power.....KABOOM.... I think I shall just salvage the lead now and scrap it, at least things like this are cheap these days. When I first started working a transformer was the best part of a week's pay.

Still wet.

He must have gone into town to get smokes but what was very nice was doing it in a quiet unhurried manner, unlike the many Ken Warby wannabes.
The water is still as high as ever, if they could ever jump through the maze of paperwork hurdles in this green age, it'd be nice to see a bit of clearing done on the mouth of the Herbert river, of course a couple of dams upstream would be the icing on the cake but the taxpayer kitty is quite empty now.

Even higher.

Not much rain today but the river's still pushing things up a bit.

I'm really glad I moved Cubby to higher ground now, hopefully it'll be undamaged when I see it again.
Not much happening outside today, usually flooding is a trigger for those with an importance streak to big-note themselves, but only a couple of boats and tractors have bothered thus far.


I forgot the mower, but luckily the water hadn't risen to damage level so I was able to drive it to my pickup point and raise it out of the muck.


The rain may have stopped, and you can see the reason for tying up the rubbish bins here.
It was a bit unfair though as yesterday was garbage day, but wisely I never bothered putting a bin out.


The driveway now has about 40 mm of water over it, so I'm quite relieved that I moved Cubby earlier.
The water trigger my brain to remember to tie up the rubbish bins so they don't float away, something I should have though of earlier.
I've emptied 221 mm out of the rain gauge so far today, something over 400 mm since Saturday, so I suppose flooding can be expected for us.



The water's still rising, now it's just over the bridge. I may not have needed to move the car but it has given me some peace of mind.

I wimped out.

The rain we've had since Saturday raised my concern enough to move Cubby the car to higher ground, I still doubt if we're going to have drama but I like the idea of perhaps getting some sleep without worrying about it.
I took this shot walking back over Log Creek, if it gets over the bridge then I'd be in trouble.


The wet season seemed to start on Saturday, maybe we'll even get some flooding again?


Stamps found.

I knew we had a booklet of stamps about the house somewhere, I found them today, Grace in her careful manner had written stamps on the container but it was among the clutter and I couldn't ask her, I've put them with the stamps I bought at Xmas and now alongside the cards.
From memory the tomatoes in this did nothing to aid whatever I was making, but at least they were a food ingredient that didn't blow much money.

Cooking for a change.

I don't do much cooking these days, it's no fun alone but I was feeling hungry on Saturday and grabbed some meat.

I just chucked in some risoni, a tin of tomatoes, curry and a pack of french onion soup, wasn't great but stuck to the ribs OK, I think leaving the french onion soup out would have helped.


I slipped out to the cemetery on Saturday and installed the vases for Grace.
The wet season also seemed to start on Saturday so I had limited chances to grab a fancy photo, but any excuse for me show things will do.


Rough as...

Happily the new motherboard arrived on Friday and has me up and running again.
Since I'm a constant tinkerer I've opted for a messy bare setup this time.
I suppose the old board might have warranty but I always doubt if they're worth the paper they're written on, factor in freight and the near certain knowledge that they'll blame me for updating the bios, it isn't worth the stress of pursuing. I am annoyed that it had a green LED on board that was supposed to indicate things are fine, the problem was going to be either the CPU or the motherboard and naturally I took the wrong option.
A warning for people who may buy a Asrock FM2A85X Extreme4-M motherboard, when you see the lovely big heatsink for the CPU mosfets don't rub your finger along it or you may slice your finger off like I did.



I found this in the back of the fridge, I had no idea it was there and I can also be certain I never bought it.
Since I still have a desire to lose some mass I think I'll eat it, the worst that can happen is a complete purging from every orifice, with resulting weight loss.
I have no idea what dolphin safe means but because they're dogs of the sea I have doubts whether I'd fancy eating dolphin.

The furnace.

I should have put this with the last post but nevermind.
The fumes do smell, if you have a wife expect a few whacks with the rolling pin, hmm better make that umbrella, I doubt if rolling pins are that common now.


Now that I finally have the flower vases for Grace's grave I've had to nut out a way of mounting flowers in a secure manner.
What I've done is create plastic bungs made from melted down bread tags and bottle tops, then turned with a taper that tries to match the taper of the vase. Don't try this in the kitchen like I did if you value your marriage, and if you do then this really could end in fire, but then I do have a history of crazy projects.
The mould for the bungs is a stainless steel salt shaker, just in case someone is as mad as me.
The centre hole may not be wide enough but I plan to take a drill with me to the cemetery in case I have to enlarge it.
Hopefully it'll work.


Hopefully Rhonda and Bec will approve.

I had resigned myself to believing the green cemetery vases supplied to most other graves were something that newcomers to Ingham like us were not supposed to know about, but after replacing the girls' flowers in the holes I had drilled to take the imaginary vases a council ute pulled up to do a minor chore (which naturally involved smoking and making sure the engine was never switched off in case the cabin warmed up), so I asked him about vases, he didn't know but the other idling all day ute nearby had an operator who was able to give me a couple, now all I had to do is work out how to fit the flowers securely in them.
Now if the council could just manage to update the online cemetery record so Grace's birth town Parkes is spelt correctly I can have closure. Seven weeks ago they said it'd be done in a couple of days and I'm too scared to ask again after I copped a reaming for questioning them a couple of weeks ago.



And into the stand it goes and that pretty well finishes the Hobart Hurricanes this year.
The purple were the team Grace and I cheered for but no drama T20 cricket is about fun and there's always next year.

Colour in the car park.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some coloured cars when leaving Coles this morning, pity the light wasn't good for photo taking and I couldn't stand in peoples way snapping too long, but I'm hoping it's a sign of things to come, for way too long car makers have been thrusting blandness upon the public, often offering black, white, three shades of grey, and a bland tone with just a hint of non-grey.
Like any shopping car park the public love to park as close as possible to the entry, but there's a few in Ingham who are like me and park in the quieter areas, there's a logic to it that has never been considered by many.


Fixed, well sort of.

It looks like they showed some enterprise and just remounted the broken lamp fitting at Tyto, I have to query why they didn't get both tubes working again while they were at it, but perhaps they're resigned to it getting damaged again shortly anyway.
This lamp was also covered by our local newspaper who correctly bemoaned the vandalism, it isn't something we want or are used to in Ingham.

I'm still waiting for the CPU to arrive so I can see if my main computer will spring back to life, meanwhile I'm just slowly limping along so sorry about the generic filenames on the photos, I'm waiting till then to rename them to my Jimmy code.



My new computer I put together a fortnight ago became as dead as Julius Caesar yesterday. No post no beep, about all I have is a motherboard green light, I think the CPU has died, I'm getting far too used to problems. This was chosen because of price and power consumption with reasonable inbuilt graphics, now it appears to be just a ruinous expensive bit of silicon. It was never overheated nor was even overclocked, it started crashing randomly a week ago when not even under stress, now I think it was just trying to say it has issues.
I've ordered a base model low power chip to replace it, until finances and mood improve enough to move up again.
Meanwhile I'm using a back up notebook to be online.

Three metres.

It's very depressing to me to see littering anywhere but the lemonade can under the bush was only some three metres from a recycling point. There was a bit of rubbish about Tyto this morning due in part to the council probably taking time off, but people should have enough morals not to just discard stuff without thinking.


Quite sad really, vandals have broken the lamp fitting on the left from its mount. It's a pretty easy thing to patch back into service, just a couple of mudguard washers would put it back ready to be ripped off again, but since the ratepayer/taxpayer will be paying I suppose a new fitting with an amazing profit margin will be pressed into service waiting to be ripped off.

I was a bit out of puff when visiting Tyto this morning so only went far enough to check on the submerged shopping trolley, I was very pleased to not see it today, I'd had a lot of doubts if I had the puff to extract it.


I can't have a trouble free day.

With the battery sitting pretty and nicely charged I thought I'd better give the old inverter a run. Hook up the leads, sparkle, hmmm don't like the look of that, switch on, nothing!
Argh it seems the old Hodge luck never changes, leave it for a while, do something else.

Open it up and see nothing obviously amiss, decide I probably wanted a new more grunty one anyway so order one, at least they're not expensive these days.
Look a bit more into it, it seems the sparkle when connecting was just the pair of capacitors on the right of shot that charge up as soon as the leads are connected, regardless of being switched on, so that lead to some simple head scratching leading to the obvious, check the switch! Bingo the switch was faulty, to be fair about it this inverter has been under floodwater in the past and this may have caused resistance dramas in the switch, anyway I was very impressed by its simplicity, in the past daring to dismantle a switch usually resulted in endless frustration with springs and things going every way they want as long as it's not the way you want. This one was great, clean up the contacts, add a little silicon grease to the pivoting and sliding bits, then success, Now I wish I hadn't rushed into that order.

And there was light.

I spent way too long doing a bit of wiring today, but I'm a pensioner so time hardly matters.
Firstly went to Supercheap auto and bought a 10 metre power lead is is most frustrating as it cost $8.50 and I cut the plug and socket off it, it's incredibly painful when simple light duty figure 8 cable locally costs $2+ per metre and is something that is also most difficult to buy online, maybe traders think everybody lives in the big city where everything is available within a few minutes drive. Anyway that was run down to the router so I now have a solar powered internet connection, hopefully this will come in very handy sometime.

Next up I made a 12 Volt light for the play room.


This used a fair bit of recycled stuff, a new IEC lead that was superb quality but since I have a few of them and as it had a british power plug I gave it the chop. The lead to the lamp was something I'd already recycled 20 years ago on something I've long forgotten about. The lamp is a H7 base car LED lamp, I shall probably change that to something more directional shortly. What's painful is I could get way more light by just taking off the board that closes off the window, but that would allow way more noise ingress than I'm comfortable with.


New eyes but too plain.

New eyes arrived in the mail today but the plain black is just too plain, I began seeking a orange and white to go with the black and resemble a Crushers jumper, I started with yellow and it wasn't right, so then tried carrot top and that looked red and I was looking at an Austrian flag, hmmm no I may get ribbed about that so off it came and on went the Australian yellow and green colours, or close enough.
I must have inherited the desire to play with nail polish from grand daughter Bec.

I had the cylinder and sphere not quite right for comfort before, so put a bit more effort into the job this time, very happy I be now. This set for going out and another weaker set with blue arms for computer/TV. By buying two the burden of freight is reduced so the two pair only tallies up at about $30 total for both. I rather like this style but there isn't a lot of choice at that price mark, with most of them looking far too modern and trendy for my taste. I'm glad the internet has freed us from paying local prices for eyes, this eye mob call themselves omnioptics now.

Project progressing.

I did a bit more today than my energy level allowed but I thought I'd grab a bit of afternoon sun.
I took the rough as guts approach of just tying the panel down with fencing wire, buffered by a bit of foam packing, though I did get fancy and put the cable into some conduit so the sun won't damage it.

The boards under the battery are genuine USA as I recycled them from the mower case. I blew money on a new battery and swapped it over on Cubby.

I suppose tomorrow I'll buy a new extension lead and cut the plug/socket off it.

I actually rather like spider webs (or at least the spiders who put so much effort into making them) so there's no danger of me using that web destroyer in the background.

New project.

I'm going to grab a bit of solar power in a low voltage setup for a few things in the house, hopefully next time a disaster whacks the mains power I'll still be able to stay on-line.
The most annoying thing to me is the cost of wiring, it defies logic for it to be way cheaper to buy a mains power extension lead and cut the plug/socket off than to buy some inferior bare ended cable.

Working out how to mount the panel is still something I'm getting my head around.


Green again.

The little bit of rain we've been getting very recently has greened things up again, I'm almost tempted to think the wet has started but I'm not confident of that yet.
This shot shows some of the lovely walkway at Tyto, and a bit of the cane exhibit on the left.

Still there.

The trolley I saw nine days ago still awaits collection, wait much longer and it'll be a fixture.
At least this time I know I haven't been ignored because I used the internet to advise them as I told them in person, perhaps they just checked my importance level before ignoring me.

I must check about and see if I can find something hook like so I can drag it out myself.