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Something fresh for Grace

The purple flowers Grace have faded to a sad shade, so on my visit today I changed them for some fresh ones I bought a while back.
Modest flowers this time since Grace was always modest.
An out of puff Jimmy had to get himself in the picture, pity he parked so far away, but Olympus sensibly have a 12 second self timer.
Just a shot, the cane field behind has been cut already.


No cane this season.

After the cane in the field behind us was cut last year it just refused to regrow, so farmer Gary ended up ploughing the field, he's been working noisily of late seemingly readying it for fresh planting.

Always something to fix.

I wanted to find out what a tyre for Cubby weighs but naturally my long disused scale had AAAs in it that had leaked, so not wishing to bother with those pesky things anymore I pressed the soldering iron into service again.
I had bought a batch of lithium cell holders a while back so soldered that in place of the AAAs, CR-2032 cells are readily available and cheap if you don't buy locally, as they can still find a way of pricing a 20 cent cell at $4+

It settled on 7.50 kg after the bouncing stopped.

Big day at Bicol University.

Olivia sent me this just now, somehow they found 15,000 people and dressed them up to make a very large no-smoking sign.
They sure have plenty of people in the Philippines, they have so many smokers (men at least) yet they still found 15k people to get involved.
The Guinness book of records may possibly mention this in a future edition.

BTW Bicol is pronounced in the same manner as former great cricketer Andy Bichel who was the superstar of the 2003 50-over World Cup. For those for whom he is somewhat unknown try saying bickel or in Bicol's case bickol, but being an Aussie they would sound the same.

Some work across the road.

There's been plenty of work at the soccer fields this week, so far they've laid a concrete platform.
Later another mound of soil appeared, more work must be planned as you wouldn't use dirt to prevent the inevitable footprints of every animal within a couple of hours travel.


Nice cake.

This is Olivia's photo, and I guess I should call her Olive. The numbers aren't as obvious as they seem, someone has cryptically rearranged them, enjoy it while it lasts Olive, I get older if I do that.
Pity I couldn't be there to enjoy the occasion, the cake looks lovely.

Just flowers.

Not a real lot of them on these cold winter days.

Something I can't do for a while yet.

At least it's nice to see they gave the charming couple a fresh coat of paint.

A Tyto waterhole.

I finally had another wander about Tyto at lunchtime, the light was good but it's not as charming as an early morning stroll.
Received a letter from the doctor's place today, now I'm unsure whether to ignore it or just tell them I'm not well enough to see them. Maybe they're short of money but I'm not ready yet for another blood test.


Happy Birthday Olivia.

Best wishes to my wife and love who has given me reason to live again.
Pity we can't be together yet but with patience things will happen.
She's also lucky, when I stood there evil Ants from hell quickly gave me dancing lessons, ouch.


A simple fix.

For the first time in years I had a fiddle with my little ear and nose hair trimmer, and it was very iffy.
The connections may have wanted a slight tweak but when I touched the copper one it broke loose.
Press the soldering iron into service and do a quick melt into the plastic.
It works fine again now, I should use it more as it does a fine job with less care than using hair clippers in those hidden places.
Hair, the curse of aging.


Lovely dots.

These dotty plates are lovely, I wish I'd bought some last week when they were on special but stopped myself as I have plenty already.
But they're so tempting.


Tinkering again.

Life is returning to normal after that big adventure, I might be alone again but no longer feel lonely thanks to the wonder of the internet and Olivia who keeps me happy.
Today to hopefully stop stumbling in the dark when I head for the bedroom (or when I inevitably arise in the middle of the night to ease bladder pressure) I wired up an old battery powered sensor LED lamp to run off the solar line that runs the ADSL router.

 As simple as just fitting a 5 Volt regulator, I don't even think I need have bothered with the capacitors.


More tears.

My favourite lavatory paper, the good old one-ply smart buy stuff has been discontinued. Soon enough I shall have to seek another variety, it appears the smart buy is to become two-ply like the snooty brands, not something I'm fond of.


I have a dental appointment today.

After being on the waiting list in Ingham for 10 years my turn to have my teeth serviced has come. Actually they made an appointment whilst I was in the Philippines, then happily rebooked me for today rather than scratch me altogether.
It's too late for many of my teeth though.

It's difficult to take a self photo of teeth.


Olivia wants Jim to brush his teeth, and since I'm not brave enough to refuse I went shopping last weekend for a toothbrush, these seemed cheap enough but I doubt if I needed to buy a lifetime supply.
I already have a huge supply of toothpaste bought years ago.


Frog climbs Mayon.

I spotted this paperweight in our council office, it reminded me of the wonderful volcano I spent three weeks close to.



Ryzza-Mae Dizon is a superstar of Philippines TV where cute is still allowed. She seems to be on every show in the daytime, I couldn't understand a word she said but her timing and delivery coupled with her cuteness make her a favorite, I was always asking Olivia if Ryzza was on.
If she had said tubig and patay a lot I may have understood a few words, as that's about all I picked up on my trip, but the locals tend to understand english pretty well.
tubig = water and patay = dead, patay is a favourite of news broadcasts worldwide, what can be a shock to Aussie eyes is seeing the patay on the road in vehicle incidents on TV, sends a shock message indeed.
Daytime TV in the Philippines still has an ingredient that vanished many years ago in Australia, entertainment.

And back to fixing things.

A few months after the other side of the TV did this, it was this sides turn.
But since I'd done it before this time was easy, undo a few screws and use a little tool to drag the tape out of the way.

Back to normal at home.

I just can't help looking for well priced goodies.
It made a good feed too.



A nothing photo for sure but it was the first (and only) time I have ever seen the north star, quite a few people on this planet take it for granted but for me it has always been out of sight.
On my last night in the Philippines we had a lovely couple of drinks near Daraga church on the top of the hill. Mayon, which was behind us in this photo nearly blocked us seeing Polaris, which soon was obscured by cloud anyway but at least I saw it. What was extra special was seeing the Southern Cross and the Pointers at the other end of the sky, seeing the icons of both hemisphere at the same time was special to me, and the night was special to Olivia and myself.


New cement.

I popped out to the cemetery to see Grace today and saw they had laid a new concrete header row, done to match the length to the others, pity Grace's bit is just a wobbly add-on to match the other rows, even the chap who mounted her plaque moaned about the surface.
Her death may have stopped the marriage but it doesn't stop the love and caring.

Unclear to me.

I saw this and was most confused, I thought it may have been an anti-seashepherd sticker, which would have astonished me, but the silent majority seldom do things like that, so I suppose they must support their illegal activities.

In a Cairns park.

A couple of giant strawberries that are shaped like toadstools.
Quite pretty but areas like these are now the domain of smokers, so one has to be careful where to step, and monitor the wind direction.

Cairns harbour.

It had a lovely look when I wandered about wasting time waiting for the bus to Ingham.

Smoking permitted.

So the bin took advantage.

The plane I flew from Darwin to Sydney in.

It must be a recent one as it has the fancy wingtips, the plane I flew to Cairns had older plainer ones yet was a 2007 model.
What I found most interesting was both jet engines rotated the same way, boats and propeller planes would tend to have counter rotating engines.
In total on the adventure I flew in eight aeroplanes and they were all Airbus A-320, indeed a very popular plane, which must also be considered a good one from its record, at least my flights were all under 5 hours.

This is wonderful.

Sydney airport has a free internet booth, happily I was able to send Olivia and my mother an email from this.
Darwin also has an internet machine but at $2 for 8 minutes it can sit lonely.
Terminal 49 is where I departed to Cairns.

Legazpi airport.

It may not be a major airport but it sure is a good one for taking photos, of course being an airport everything you do or say is a criminal offence but everyone uses their camera here.

Ready to come home.

Olivia snapped me at Legazpi airport looking calm and happy in anticipation of more flights and airports to come home again.

Back home again.

Incredibly after all the food and drink I enjoyed during my adventure I managed to lose weight.
I have plenty of things to catch up with but that will take a bit of time to peruse before I can post some more stuff.
Good news is I now have an appointment to see a dentist, the paperwork arrived while I was away, maybe when they saw it had been a decade they decided to blow the dust off my file.
Bad news is my foot is painful to walk on again, I had thought Olivia had cured it but not to be, I think it must be a plantar wart.


Australia network.

This mess is a photo I just took of our hotel's distribution of the cable network's Australian network channel. If it was a private subscription it could easily be cleaned up, but the real mess is the junk content they broadcast, and the politics and pressure that led to them getting the contract.
The tenders were called and they lost, there was an appeal and the decision to award the contract to the competitor was upheld. Then the minister threw out the result and re-tendered, the holders ABC lost again, so the minister threw everything out and awarded it permanently to the ABC. Just like sport viewing has been in Australia for many years the viewer is the loser.
There's something fishy about the deal for this.

I may be a few days till the next post, my adventure is nearly over.



In Australia a 20 mm raised edge on a footpath will have the legal whizzes licking their lips, here footpaths vary from non-existent to pure evil like this cliff face that ruined my toes and damaged my hand on barbed wire when I was going the easy down direction. Jeepney's are cheap, nobody walks.

Daraga Post Office.

Service's ~100,000 people, ~40 PO boxes.
Ingham  ~10,000 people, ~~1000 PO boxes.
Mail service Ingham, quick and reliable, mail took over two months to reach Olivia from me.

American influence?

Spotted on an A/C in Jollibee at Daraga, I suppose the USA influence they have here resulted in putting F on the temperature notice but I don't think people who are not American have any idea what a F is anymore, so they appear to set it at 18 C, which is still way too cold, though it was much warmer in Jollibee.
At home I set the A/C to 28.

In the words of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

I've been guilty of saying "come again" every time I hear thank you, maybe this is why they laugh.