Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well, the old PC finally died...it was kinda old and horrid in the end but like your favorite old shoes it felt good.. I'm stuck with this new laptop which I dislike..but it works!
I took the good advice offered by others and backed up pretty much everything, but this little machine would never hold the 120 programs I had on the other machine let alone the thousands of photos and video. The old machine was 2.25Terrabites...(2250GiG)
It finally died on Boxing day...looks like I'll be searching for a new top end machine this month (sigh!)
I hope your Christmas went well for you and the new year lifts you up even more...

How are you going with your new years resolutions?

About 20yrs ago I got sick of people asking what mine were, so I made a resolution to NEVER make a New Years Resolution again...and I've stuck to it. How many people can say they've never broken their resolutions? LOL


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Whyalla hailstorm

This is my footage taken of whats left of my front yard and street. The area where I live got it easy compared to many...such is life!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Great Storm of 2011

Whyalla was pounded by a huge hailstorm at 8pm last night, cars wrecked all over the town, trees smashed and brought down, heavy flooding and the power went out. Just now the power was restored..22hrs later. I was lucky because my car was under cover but two of my daughters cars were extensively damaged.
My garden was smashed with the trees stripped of leaves and that nest which had a baby bird in it yesterday...empty today. (feelings of sadness sweep over me)
I took 8 min of video which I will process soon enough...

This car was at the end of my street, windows smashed, all the panels dented. Probably a write off.

Men never really grow up do they?

Our local mall, the Westlands was completely surrounded by a lake.... including inside

Some hailstones were as large as this, but most were golf ball sized.


Thursday, December 15, 2011


This PC is about to die, it overheated badly while recently editing a friends very bad video footage from a holiday in New Zealand. 6 hours of vid which took an entire day to edit and burn and cook the motherboard etc. It's going now but for how long?
I have a nice laptop but it does not have my favorite web shit on it, my stories and my pictures... when this one dies I will have trouble posting worthwhile stuff.. (dont you say a word..)
Bear with me...

*I took a cheap package tour across the Bass Straight to Tasmania. I should have read the fine print or at least suspected something when it was so cheap… or when they took us past the big boats and into a small dark yard at the end of the docks.

Sure enough I found myself chained to a rowing bench with sixty other suckers who also thought they were onto a bargain. With the drums beating and the lash snapping around our ears we made our way out into the open sea.

I turned to the bloke next to me “Strewth, I hope they're going to fly us back”

He says: “I don’t think so mate, they didn’t last year”

*I’ve been divorced for some time now so I’m nearly over it enough to tell you the story of how it all came to an end.

We were up before the judge seeking a divorce and after hearing both sides of the story the judge gave his verdict.

He glared down at me, “You have obviously neglected this woman and failed in your duty to her.” He scolded. “I thereby award her the sum of $150.00 per week.”

“That’s very good of you, your honor,” I said. “I’ll try to slip her a few bucks myself from time to time.”

*Fred Farmer went to take some money from the bank, he took a slip from the counter and filled it in before getting in line. When he finally got to the front of the line the Teller noticed that Fred had filled in the form using a pencil. “Sorry sir but you’ll have to ink it over.” And gestured back toward the counter.

Fred took his form and went back to start again.

After a time Fred had made his way to the front of the queue and again presented the penciled form. “I’ve thought it over, and I still want the $50.00.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Six Hours...Bah!

After the Epoxy coating was put on and rubbed I took a recommended short cut by using car body filler to fix the tiny marks here and there just because I’d got carried away by this stage. Of course I used a really good brand of the best marine type, then sanded it to perfection before putting the first coat of two pack primer over it… (gulp!)

The two pack primer melted the filler and the whole sticky mess had to be scraped and sanded off.

The company who made the filler (3M) and the paint company (International Marine) got their heads together and discovered there was a chemical in the still curing Epoxy* that reacted with the Filler only when exposed to another chemical in the primer. They duly made notes for their information sheets… (Lucky me, making scientific/chemical discoveries in my shed)

Thankfully I’d only had to put filler in a few places so the re-sanding then repainting wasn’t too nasty.

*Freshly painted and glossy

I’d picked out a beautiful dark blue two pack paint which took weeks to get here, I went in and checked it but (foolishly) waited a few days until coming back to pick it up. When I did come back the paint was missing, gone! One of the workers at the paint store had stolen the paint (no one knew who) and they could only order more…or I could take what they did have. With Winter fast approaching I couldn’t wait weeks more so I went through their stock and picked the least nasty paint they had, which is an awful sort of crème. The other reason I couldn’t wait was that I had all the materials and permissions for a new shed and just weeks to have it up and finished, I had to finish the canoe because it had to go outside in the weather until I had a shed to put it in.

*Close enough to finished...

I had the usual dramas putting on the four coats of two pack paint but after what I’d already been through it went smoothly enough.

Finally finished and with 11 coats of epoxy, primers and paints it was put in the water just once in our local marina before being plastic wrapped and put out in the back yard for the long three months of Winter.

The shed is finished now and complete with boat racks close to the roof so I can simply slide the canoe from racks to the boat racks custom made for my trailer and back again… every thing is perfect except for that one little kick in the tail….

*It's one and only time on the water.

During Winter I took a fall off my Yamaha, a seemingly small incident except that I came down heavily on my left shoulder. I felt something give immediately but tried to ignore it hoping it would go away but after several doctors appointments, x-rays, scans and eventually three Cortisone shots into the shoulder I have to admit it isn’t getting any better. There are three new tears in the shoulder to go nicely with the one that was already there. I cant lift my arm above my head, cant lift weight (like the canoe) and certainly cant paddle a canoe until at least three to six months AFTER my full shoulder reconstruction sometime in the second half of next year!

Now you might be thinking I’d be pretty upset about that but I can see the irony in it...

I will eventually get to use the boat and maybe even catch a fish or two from it but the point of it was the challenge to build the boat and whether I can use it or not, I took the challenge and achieved what I started out to do and I feel pretty good about that!

* the Epoxy cures over several weeks but can be finished off well before that.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best Birds

This year has been busy…

I've had to clear out and tear down my 20 year old shed to build a much bigger one, as all this was done a few things went missing. A few tools taken by someone who thinks they need them much more than I do, some paint obviously taken by neighborhood kids to paint their bikes etc and a few very strange things too...

*I cant claim to know what kind of bird built this nest but that sure is an egg...sunny side up or easy over?

Among the strange things that went mising I noticed a lot of my plastic cable ties had vanished, I put that down to kids as well. They can be lots of fun you know, putting them around your fingers or wrist until the blood flow stops and the appendage goes numb...or better yet, someone else’s wrist..

..but I digress, as I was wondering around my back yard the other day I found the thief and my cable ties.

I am temped to snatch them back but I cant… They’ve been put to a better use than I would have done and I just cant take them without running the risk of taking a life.

Although we live between the sea and the desert, sticks aren’t that scarce here, we do have twigs to build a nest with… we do have grasses.. Hell, I’ve got a back yard full of nice big native trees planted especially to attract birds.…but in this plastic age and knowing just how long plastics can last I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised that the birds are looking ahead to nests that last forever and can be used over and over for generations...

A close look at the nest shows plastic zip ties, plastic rope and even multi-strand stainless wire...at least this bird shows good taste for quality materials.

Evenings are especially noisy at my place as hundreds of tiny birds hop about in the trees taking their turn at the bird bath. Many people have commented that I must have a big aviary judging by the sounds coming from my yard but I don't believe in caging birds, I'd much rather watch them doing their thing in peace...except lately. A new kind of bird has found my place much to it's liking and early morning and evenings it's trill warbling song can be heard inside with all the doors closed as it goes on and on until nightfall.
A lovely sound of course but I can see a day, sometime in the future, with head pounding that I wont like it very much at all.
Oh well, that's what I get for encouraging them in the first place..


Monday, December 5, 2011

The six hour canoe

So the pics in the last post about this canoe looked like it was about finished eh?...

That’s what I thought too.

But then I still had the front and rear bulkheads to make, fit a deck front and rear to keep the water out and make room for storage and floatation, then add strengthening strips to keep me on the inside and the water on the outside when I stood up or hit a rock. (Remember this entire boat is made just 6mm or ¼ inch thick)

Again this called for lots of wood glue, screws and a liberal sprinkling of Silicon bronze ring nails. (don’t ask)

*With the bulkheads in, the reinforcing done and the joins all epoxy resin coated and rubbed back.

By the way, the glue dried on my hands in minutes and felt like a second skin which had to be picked off bit by bit for days each time I got even a speck on me, bad enough? Not a bit of it, it also had the strange effect of staining my skin black, this black hands thing lasted pretty much the entire time I was making the canoe. (a harmless enzyme reaction to moist skin) I know what you're thinking…gloves? The glue is so tacky that the gloves fingers stick together within seconds of touching the glue and tear rather than separate…I was like a seal spreading the glue with flippers..

*The first coat of resin inside the boat all done, now to let it dry, rub it back and do it again!

I had something of a crisis of doubts here as it dawned on me that I had to coat the entire boat with the same resin and sand it back three times to encapsulate it.

I stopped work and went back to the web for information, on a forum I found an American who specializes in making these boats, he gave me the information I needed BEFORE I started.

He starts by coating the original plywood sheets with the resin before cutting them up thereby saving himself the huge job of coating and rubbing the boat. It’s much easier to paint and rub a flat sheet and you can use power sanders if you do it on the flat.

*Second coat done...now just one more coat (after rubbing it back)

Three coats of Epoxy Resin were required with a complete overall sanding of every millimeter between every coat because the epoxy dries glossy and the next coat wont stick unless the previous one is sanded… all while wearing a chemical respirator to avoid the poisonous fumes and dust. In fact nearly everything required a respirator, the wood dust while cutting or sanding is dangerous, the Epoxy and the paints are dangerous and anything to do with Fiberglass is dangerous… it was like ‘Darth Vader builds a boat!’

*Three coats of epoxy, holes filled and sanded, hollows filled and sanded and three coats of white 2pack marine primer. Now all I have to do is put the decks on and prime them before the actual painting starts. (enter huge list of doubts here)

Note: I haven't even started the outside of the canoe yet...still raw wood!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to satisfy your partner...


Caress, chat, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix, empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humour, placate, stimulate, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle, excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch, toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice for, ply, accessorize, leave, return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, treat equally, spackle, oblige, fascinate, attend, implore, bawl, shower, shave, trust, grovel, ignore, tease, defend, coax, clothe, brag about, arouse, acquiesce, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help, acknowledge, polish, enticing, tempting, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear, understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim, nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, super-glue, respect, intimate, entertain, calm, allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt, commit, lecherous, enlist, pine, cajole, murmur, snuggle, snoozle, snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, serve, rub, rib, salve, bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey, hanky-panky, crystal blue, persuade, flip, flop, fly, don't care if I die, swing, slip, slide, provocative, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize, humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, risqué, keep on rockin' in the free world, wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry, knead, fluff, fold, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle, amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize and worship, and then go back, Jack, and do it again.


Show up naked ... with beer.