Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says | The Daily Post

Random signs from travels…

Trash Converters, Palmerston

Cash Convertors is a popular franchise here for trading second-hand goods – this is a clever take on its common nickname – a very cool shop in Palmerston (NOT the one that John Cleese described as the world’s most boring city!) that has (or did last time we drove through that way) an excellent section for pre-loved science-fiction toys and collectibles…

Chalet signs

The Bookabach sign for the Chalet – not sure if it actually gets any attention as most traffic cranks down the hill by where  the sign is…
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Saw this in a mall near El Segundo in LA – I still think it’s quite cool how Americans so openly support their military, regardless of the background politics…

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The Big Apple in Waitomo has finally been given a  new coat of paint and these young ladies had to check it out before making an credible effort at the ‘Big-Az’ ice creams they sell next door…

DSCF6464 A morale-raising site that I thought I’d never see again – best breakfasts in the world at Din’s Diner in Singapore…

Misc

I think this was in one of the opportunity shops I visited on my last day in Florida in 2011…

Salisbury CLAW 024

We had dinner here one night when we were in Salisbury in 2005 for the inaugural ABCA Coalition Lessons Analysis Workshop. Some many of the buildings have their date of origin on them…’1750 and we don’t mean the time…!’

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life | The Daily Post

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life | The Daily Post

Phoneography has been the theme of recent WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges and I find myself here even more limited than I normally might consider myself in some of the challenges…I’m a bit old school and just carry a phone to take and receive calls and send and receive the occasional text. On rare occasions, I might use it for an alarm but that’t it – no bells, whistles or other 21st Century technotomfooleery…

So when the challenge calls for photos to be taken with one’s phone, life becomes a little interesting, more so when we don’t have coverage for this particular carrier at home so I am not wont to carry the damn thing around with me when I am at home – which these days is most of the time. But we persevere and I guess that’s why they call them Challenges and not Easies…

So a day in my life, specifically last Sunday 31 March 2013…seen through a 1.3 megapixel lens…

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Cuddles?

How the day started…we’ve gotten a bit slack and have been letting the big dogs sleep inside the last few weeks…a side effect of this is that one or both of us gets woken with a ‘kiss’ as soon as it is light…

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The drought has been a worry for weeks now so it was good to wake up to moisture on the ground although the Island needs a lot more than this to do any real good…

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…and looking at the eastern skies, the sun is already starting to burn through the cloud…

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Breakfast is first up – well a bit of a clean up in the kitchen first – although it rained that night, old habits die hard and dish rinse water is poured by habit over plants by the front door, baby chestnut trees in this case…

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I’d remembered to put some bread on the night before so here it is all fresh and yummy out of the bread-maker…

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Because the girls are still producing big time we have oodles of eggs for scrambled eggs for breakfast, so scrambled eggs on fresh bread in the order for breakfast…but first just to pop out to the garden for some fresh parsley…

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…and a reminder from the little (in relation to the ‘big dogs’) dog that I’m not the only one that needs feeding…

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So that’s them happy for a while…

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…and them that are exiled to the small coop while the effects of their worm dose wears off…

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and then into the ‘big house’ to feed the general chook population…

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…that’s these ladies…

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And also to check that the new chook waterer thingie is working OK…DSC00037

…while remembering to remove their early morning labours…DSC00035

…before heading through the gate to the Chalet…guests from the weekend had already departed so time for a quick check inside – yup, tiptop, no problems plus a couple of Parrotdog beers left in the fridge – Thank you!!! With the benefit of hindsight, i guess that I could and should have taken some pics of what the Chalet is like inside but, to be honest, never thought about it – next, day in the life Challenge, I promise…DSC00032

And now off over the other side of the Chalet to check on Fred…he’e here somewhere…

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Ah, he is – Fred is prone to wander and some day soon is in for a bit of a shock when the fences get reconnected to the grid…DSC00033

He does a pretty good job though – clearing away the blackberry – he could clear other stuff but he has become a little spoilt and particular about his diet…DSC00034

Pre-Fred, this was all blackberry…DSC00038

…and finally back to the office for work…well, actually, quite a few hours trying to work out how to get these photos off said high-tech phone (in 2006) and onto a computer…it is too old to support native USB connections and the interface software is to old and cranky to want to run on Win7, even after I went and searched and dug-out the old installation CD and connection cables – ah, yup the good old days of proprietary interfaces….NOT!

After many trials and tribulations and slings of outrageous fortune, I finally managed to achieve the mission using the common interface of Bluetooth between the phone and my trusty netbook…and this is where I spent the rest of my day working on various projects….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

The entrance to the Lodge when we arrived in 2004...

...and as it is now, looking back the other way...

Yes, sports fans, it’s another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge post…all that maintains my presence in the blogosphere recently…I’m enjoying my first real weekend off since February and so, apart from checking for booking requests for the Chalet, have been staying offline and recharging batteries… This is the busy period for ASIC and so much of my time is spent hammering the keyboard managing our part of the programme and also drafting various products…maybe too much of this work has got me in a mindset of thinking I need blog posts to be more like articles so I might look at going back to more but smaller items just to keep up the steady patter of ambient noise… Please don’t forget though that it is the bi-ennial Scale Model Expo in Lower Hutt, Wellington this weekend, where this will be on display (with Hawkeye UAV sponsoring a prize as well)… …from the 2009 Expo…

By land...

...by air...

...and by land again (couldn't find any good shots of ships from 2009 ( they were there just my dodgy photos)...

Keeping above the radar horizon

Real life has really been impacting on my post-writing time in the last fortnight or so… definitely not part of the annual plan which is for 3-4 contemporary posts each week…such is life…so this post is really just to keep my profile above the radar horizon…

On the up side I have been accepted to enlist into the RNZAF and I have been very pleasantly surprised at how painless this process has been on the Air side…what has been tying up a large proportion of my time is the getting out of the Army Reserves in order to join another service…which has not been anything like as simple as you might think…

31 March is also the end of the commercial financial year here and I have been doing the year end accounts for Carmen’s business – this is the first time I have done it all from scratch and getting all the bits and pieces organised into a coherent picture for the accountants has been ‘interesting’ – that’s interesting in the same sense as the Chinese curse…and, yes, I am getting soft: while renovating the study, I’ve had to shift the computer down to the dining table. An upside of this is that I can have TV or a movie on while I am working as I do seem to function better with some background activity; the downside is that the chairs around the dining table are hard wood and not that comfortable on butt or back…any extended periods of work tends to become feats of endurance…like I said, getting soft…

Winter's first snow 9 June 2010

Winter is quite clearly here now so we’ll also gearing up to run the guest house over the ski season so are doing final tidy-up and touch-up projects around the property before the season opens…

I’m off to a workshop on aspects of hybrid war next week (touch wood and so long as the snow doesn’t close the road) and am thinking that the nights, rather than spend them in the bar, might be an opportunity to progress so paper projects like the Kitakami which is a rather unusual looking cruiser with four gun turret and ten quadruple torpedo turrets, designed against the requirements of naval battles like those around Guadalcanal in 1942 and 1943…this can be my night time away project…

…and the big 1/32 Heritage Aviation Vulcan will remain my at-home spare time project…this thing is a real pig…it was my gift to me after Carmen sold a property in 2008…at the time it seemed like a great project and an impressive attention-getter when completed and on display…as one of only 25 models built it cost and arm and a leg and it’s size meant that just getting it to New Zealand from the UK was a major pain..

…but that pain was nothing compared to finding that it only bears the flimsiest resemblance to any version of the actual aircraft and that by the time all the errors are fixed, I might as well build it from scratch…but…due to the cost involved and the lack of a local market to sell it on (especially since it’s reputation as model now precedes it), it has had to become a builder as the domestic issues arising from keeping this level of investment as a hangar queen in the garage are just too great. So, slowly, piece by piece, I’m building it as close as I can get it to an original straight wing Vulcan before they started to do all sorts of ugly things to the wings…with parallel build threads on Large Scale Planes and Paper Modeling – a completed build can be seen on Britmodeller

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho…it’s not snowing or raining at the moment so it’s off to (outside) work I go…

View from a roof

…we have guests in the Chalet at the moment, indirectly the cause of my drenching on Thursday morning; being the top host that I am, I had gone to set the fire prior to their arrival so it would be cosy inside. I couldn’t get the damn thing to burn not even after half a pack of Lucifers and bringing some guaranteed dry wood over from the Lodge – the air would have turned blue if the room hadn’t been full of smoke  already. We’d only had the chimney swept a couple of months ago so I was not impressed and with the crap weather there was no way I was going up to check out the flue in any detail.

With the return of decent weather (finally) over the weekend, I made myself the ACC poster boy yesterday  and hopped up to see what the story was and discovered some enterprising sparrow had managed to cram 8 inches thick of pine needles down the flue – and it was crammed: I had to chip it all out with a screwdriver…

View from a roof 009This is not a journey I intend making too frequently so I made the most of taking a few pics from this vantage point…it’s always difficult to get good shots of the Lodge due to the bush and this isn’t one of the better ones…not until Lotto Day when we can go fully down the Alternate energy path and tell the Lines Company to get their crappy lines and poles off our property!!

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Once that happens it will be a major improvement all the way round. The TV aerial on the far side needs to go as well – it has been years since it has done anything but rattle in the wind – the only reason that it is still there is that it is a long way up (and down) on that side of the Lodge…the spa area on the far right is about to get a major ‘tough love’ pruning effort as it is just a little too encroached by scenic beauty at the moment. The two windows are the spare room on the right and the bunkroom on the left. In the next round of renovations, the bunkroom will become the study/library, and the current study/library will become another bedroom on the sunny side. The mega-renovations planned for some time will lift the roof from a point around the top right corner of the spare room window to enable the installation of en suites and walk-in areas – the extra head room will also allow a proper rear staircase with a mid-level landing…

Fish for Dinner again…

Dinner last night was a bit of a mixed bag….fish again because Carmen had the same ‘let’s have fish‘ flash as I on Friday and had picked up some snapper on her way back from Te Kuiti…I found a recipe in the Healthy Food Guide book and semi-modified that to suit. I say ‘semi’ because I didn’t actually adjust it as much as I should have; in fact, apart from halving the quantity of fish and pan-baking instead of oven baking it, I kept all the quantities of spices etc the same. As the twins would say ‘uh-oh’…I served it up with a good serving of tabouli but, man oh man, it was hot!! Too hot for the taste of the fish to really come through. I have some issues with the recipe and wonder if the HFG team actually made it before they published it as the picture in the book just looked like normal baked fish (clean and white) when the marinade is actually very dark. I wondering perhaps if they have skipped out a key ingredient like some form of cream to take the marinade from a paste to something that will actually be enough to cover the fillets AND be poured over the fillets – even using twice the quantities there was barely enough to paste over each fillet…

In Other News

I was checking the blogstats with morning and noticed an incoming link from an unfamiliar site – thinking perhaps I had made a break-through in the blogspace I clicked on it. While it was beyond me to find any connection between it and The World…, M|O|N|G|K|O|L was a fascinating  and diverse read; Memoirs of Saigon brought back many memories of my brief time in Vietnam a decade ago, in particular the bubbling friendliness and hospitality of the people of south Vietnam – I don’t think the writers  of the Lonely Planet on Vietnam had ever visited the place, or certainly gone any further than the bars of downtown Saigon. My deepest regret is that I did not purchase the painting I saw in a  gallery in Saigon: using just four colours, the brown of the rivers, the orange of the dust, the bright green of the foliage and the blue of the sky, it encapsulated my first image of Vietnam as we made our approach into Tan Son Nhut. I was saddened by Cambodia: A Country For Sale – at the time I was in Vietnam, it was still relatively untouched by the depredations of the big corporates and multinationals. One of the reasons that I am not sure I want to return is that in ten years all this may have changed and I don’t want my memories tainted by sights of such a beautiful nation going the same way as so many others…Coming Anarchy this morning has a graphic image of that way….

The Strategist has also picked up on the ‘Always Blow on the Pie‘ story – if you haven’t had a look already, please do…Peter’s latest post regards ‘modern slavery‘: I am less than sympathetic…these people choose to have these lifestyles and it reads to me that greed (in the form of £200k bonuses) is the primary motivator. If you can’t stand the heat…but before jumping out of the pan and emigrating to New Zealand…(to be continued)…

Cheeseburger Gothic has the next of JB’s insights into the perils and pitfalls of being a writer: anyone with aspirations of writing even casually should track both these posts and the ones on a similar theme by Steven Pressfield. Having collected a lot of DIY writing material of varying standards and usefulness over the years, I can recommend both as key resources for budding or even experienced writers…

B-4

I have been fairly consistent in my stated aim of doing some minor work on the B-4 each night. It has turning out to be a rewarding and fun build: although relatively simple in construction, each sub-assembly looks delightfully complex. I’m working on the assumption that it should be able to be assembled almost fully before painting so except for some minor fiddly bits I will put on last – to save me refixing them last after snapping them off with careless handling – I am building it pretty much out of the box…progress so far:

B-4 203mm build 001