A journal of questionable quality

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

more rain, less relatives

Made it to the bay ahead of the storm, late because I had been dithering about whether to go or not, knowing full well that the weather would favor me.

Too much wind for the birds - a good sign - the odd one having a go and backing up badly.

Elected to go the frame way - the 8' Delta needed a flight, and by the way things were looking a fight as well.

Spectra lines didn't manage to hold on the launch, leaving me on my arse, both handles in hand only one connected to the kite.

Another two attempts and I get the thing up, and me into the buggy. Pulled it down in to the window and there is the unmistakable sound of carbon rod fracturing. It stayed stable enough to propel me back and forwards across the park at ridiculous speeds. I like the turns - spin the kite in and hang on.

Eventually too much for me hanging on to the thing - it's screaming all over the sky, thunder is rolling across the bay, visibility, in glasses, is almost zero because of the surface water and spray coming off the bay. Some clown is photographing me from the road - probably to lodge a complaint, I'm too inaccurate to attempt to get near him, power lines near the road have already caused me anguish once when the Ngen decided to luff over top of them.

Survived - better than the kite - still managed to get sunburnt, even in those conditions.

The only thing that could make it better would be the exit of the relatives from this house, and that happened about an hour ago.

I get suspicious of too many good things happening in one week. It's not often you get to attempt to fly a storm AND come home to find your visitors are packing.
Tagged and bagged under:

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Post Secret book

He made it. Frank Warren, artist, visionary, and the man behind Postsecret, has finally got a book together containing 100's of postcards containing secrets not seen on his site.

For those of you who have been under a large rock for the last year or so Post Secret is the place where you get to post a secret, anonymously, that you have never told anyone before, to an audience which includes the entire planet.

It's been a brilliant idea, and now it just gets better with the publication of his book.

Go here - PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives to pre order it from Amazon. Looks to me like it's coming out in earnest next month.

The ultimate coffee table book, comprised entirely of people's secrets, written down on a postcard and sent in.

You will be amazed at what secrets people have. You will see things there that you have done, thought, fantasized about, and there is someone else mentioning exactly the same thing. You are not alone.

It's not too late to participate - all you need to do is go to the site and get the instructions on how to send in your secret.

Do it.

Trust me - you can do it.

Got no secrets? Yes you have.

Tagged and bagged:

still waiting..

Typical spring weather
Sub tropical climates have delicious weather at this time of year. It's hot, it's steamy, it's building for an afternoon storm.

We haven't had this weather pattern for years - seems there was an El Nino effect or something technical, which changed the weather. Made it dryer.

We've got a drought. We also now have daily buckets of rain.

Last week or so hasn't really mattered too much - plenty to do around here.

BrisKites site needed a freshen up, and ended up getting a complete rebuild. The Zoetrope stuff needed streamlining.

Needed to research a weather station for a possible BrisKites installation, needed to check out what we can do in the way of a WiFi connection for the very same place.

Enough stuff to stay busy with.

Looking for 6m wind
But now, with the arrival of the relatives, and a daily reasonable Northerly, and the addition of a 6m JoJo RM to my kite collection, it is becoming essential that I spend some more time down at the bay.

All we have to do is avoid the late afternoon storm that is inclined to boom through the place on a daily basis.

Should be easy. I'm looking for 6 metre weather this week. Want to get that new Jo Jo up and running. It's too good to be leaving the thing all alone in the car while I bugger about with indoor things.

We striking a blow for sanity (and avoiding relatives at the same time), we're making for the bay, and we're looking for wind.

Should the 6mtr prove to be too much for me in these winds you can read my obituary.

still more rain..

Raining relatives
Yvonne is a family girl. Unlike me, who would runs and hides at the thought of any of my relatives turning up, Yvonne seems to consider it a pleasant experience.

For her.

What the rest of us think becomes irrelevant when there are overseas relatives about to touch down on these fair (and now wet) shores.

Yvonne's world takes on a new meaning - relatives mean shopping trips, complete with the mandatory cream bun lunch and cafeteria type coffee.

Relatives mean shopping trips like that every day. Even if it involves going to the same complex, for we are not talking about shopping in exclusive little stores, looking for hard to find things, oh no, we are talking the malls, with the standard collection of supermarkets and the like.

Then there is the arrival home, armloads of plastic bags, all bearing 'bargains' that could not possibly be left there for others to get.

Coathangers loom large. Cheap coloring pencils that always have the lead broken all the way down are also popular. There is no end to it. Everyone gets a bargain.

Stunning to watch.

And, real rain
But, one thing they did manage to bring was more rain - heaps more rain. Too wet to get the buggy out type rain.

The entire place went from brown to green in the space of two rainy days. The place is exploding with growth, everything looks happy again.

The theory is that I should thank the family for coming and bringing the rain. Won't happen. Not now, not ever.

and more relatives
As is the rule with relatives, the entire family (excluding me naturally), are required to pack themselves into the little auto and motor off up the coast in search of the Holy Grail of 'relative visits', The Australian Zoo.

You may know the obnoxious man who owns it - the amazingly happy Steve someone who is famous for shouting 'Crikey' all the time, and for chasing crocodiles about the place for the benefit of television cameras.

Once you recover from the faint induced by the cost of the entry fee you get to follow 100's of like minded people about the place to see the animals, including, naturally, the crocodiles.

This appears to be Yvonne's mandatory 'relative wrangling'. From there they are required to travel further North, closer to the coast and line up for the visit to Underwater World, a place I have never managed to go, but I am assured it has all manner of fish swimming about the place who can be viewed through some sort of clear 'drainage pipe' type structure.

During any of these visits it is mandatory for the kids to require feeding. This will be done in a similar fashion to the shopping center eating - cream buns, fatty chips, and anything else that can be shoved in.

The high point is they manage to stay overnight on the Saturday, giving me a bit of time for myself (and the cat) to lay about in an environment that is silent and unmarred by the crashing of children destroying things.

So, while it might have rained, and while I might have had to work over the weekend, the arrival home to a silent house made for a great weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rain - yes rain

Just when you get used to brown grass
We are bad Brisbanites. We have been using too much water. Everyone has been using too much water and now we must be punished.

So says the savagely twisted Brisbane City Council - the one with two mayors because they couldn't agree on who should do the job, remember?

The dams are at levels lower than they should be. It's all our fault. It's not the Council's fault for doing no preplanning, it's ours for using the resource, and paying for it as well.

It rained on the weekend. Never bothers me. I work the weekends. Keeps me out of the way of people. Keeps people out of the way of me too.

It hosed down - all Friday night. Most of Saturday. Almost none of Sunday. Today we managed overcast and threatening. Tomorrow I would prefer fine and clear - something to do with being given a 6 mtr JoJo race kite to try out courtesy of BrisKites.

The rain has produced, already, new grass everywhere. Just when you think it's never going to be green again, one day of rain and the stuff is leaping out of the ground again.

None of this will help Brisbane's dire predicament, we are still being threatened daily.

The rates bill arrived today. We are using more water than anyone else in the area. So are all the neighbours. Seems the council may have seen fit to tell a few little “porkys” about us being the bad people.

I don't see the problem. We pay for the water we use. Always have. If we have to pay for the stuff it seems to me we might be entitled to do anything we want with the stuff. I can understand if they were piping it in free. I might take a little bit more care, but when I'm paying, I'm using as much as I want, under the consume and pay principle.

It doesn't alter the fact that we have a local body who are unable to do anything along the lines of planning. A reactive system, rather than a proactive.

A bit more rain would be nice.

Monday, October 10, 2005

the Orkut experiment

Orkut madness
The offer (penultimate post) is about to be suspended. We got so much traffic I was spending holiday mornings sending out invitations before we could leave for adventures.

I figure we have done our duty by everyone, and it's time to give the poor old a rest.

Of itself - what is it with all the Portuguese? I was stunned to find some of the communities I wanted to get at were not available in English. Seems to me that I have two choices, learn Portuguese, or look harder for more English communities.

I'm contemplating making a community of my own. There seems to be still scope for an aging, overweight kite buggyer with a underwear fetish. Seems there is scope for any fetish imaginable actually.

Google Reader
On matters Google, we notice today the availability of the new , an feed aggregater for RSS feeds.

First impressions - good stuff. Makes Google more of a one stop shop for me, having Gmail accounts, a Froogle shop, obviously Blogger, a site mapped by Google Sitemaps, and somewhere around here, Google Earth, I think, as well as keeping a Google search history.

It needs driving for a bit to see if it's a performer, but I suspect it will be, and I'm pleased to be using it.

Get it, subscribe to a few feeds (including, naturally, the mighty Zoetrope offering), see what you think. I think it's a runner.

Buggys rule the bay

One good thing to come out of the holidays - an extra location for the buggy.

Raby Bay. The Southern bayside community. Perfect for owners of large vessels to moor right at their back door. Perfect for anyone looking for a sea breeze - including an aging, possibly portly, buggy driver in search of good wind.

As you can see - the weight - it has remained. Decidedly so. Not so much that I need a bigger kite to power me, but enough to equip me with the most terrifying accessory - jowls - hideous.

I can now agree that three days on a bike before two weeks of pigging out, McFlurry eating, chocolate munching, cigar smoking days did not seem to have any effect.

Courtesy of swimming I now have shoulders to rival a quarter back, with a waist more suitable for sumo wrestling.

We have already proved buggying DOES NOT remove weight. Pity.

This new park is considerably closer than the original, and is right on the bay - a glorious location as long as they don't decide to enforce the “all vehicles” ban that appears on the sign.

Holidays end..

So, the holidays ended
Reality hits - hard
Two weeks holiday - over. Gone. Been there done that.

Two weeks without any kids. Not even Yvonne's. Hers went to stay with their Dad, the others got tossed to various carers.

Sleeping in. Days don't start until about 11.00am. Finish whenever.

the Kite Buggy
Checking out a few new locations, finding one particularly appealing down on the bayside. Managed a few visits there “just to make sure”. Small problem with pedestrian path winding through it, but evasive action is always good. Expect to get thrown off there by the local council within an hour of declaring it the new spot. It happens.

coffee, shoes, phones
Scouting locations for Sperry TopSiders, for a camera, for a webcam, for a new printer, even managed a new Motorola - RAZR V3 - fancied the thing since it came out, now I have it. Managed to take a few photos of my nostrils while getting the hang of the thing.

Checked out all the new stores, plazas, boutiques, all the same, all desperate for business even if they give attitude.

The coffee supplies needed replenishing. Required a trip to the best place in town - Merlo, there to take up the offer of free coffee while they do your grind, and a quick tour of their humidor, the home of the mighty . Naturally left with one, now looking for to help me out with it. Phone me Monica.

First day back
The boring part. Spent installing software to drive the various goodies we accumulated. Nothing goes easily, no one really expects it to do they? The camera, the webcam, the phone, the mouse, and anything else that appeared. Place looks like a electronics store. Wires everywhere. Most things work, the ones that don't will respond to manual force I'm sure. We are truly a product of the 21st century now. Sad really considering I prefer a life outdoors.

So, the holidays ended.