The Noswonky Web Log:

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Sunday, April 30 2006

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The weather was very nice this morning, so we decided to sit out on the balcony at Epitome. However, as there were no tables set up, we demanded that Daniel the waiter set up a table especially for us!

Lone table on the balcony

Then he told us that he lives at Riverview and that he thought he saw us near his place a couple of days ago. I quizzed him on the exact location, and it turns out that he lives right behind Mother's house! He knows her name too!

Daniel - who lives right behind Mother's house


I don't play golf. I've never played golf. However, today I stood briefly on the golf course of the Lane Cove Country Club to take these pictures.


It seems that the course is divided by a gully which is spanned by this narrow bridge. As I stood there marveling at the engineering achievement involved in spanning this chasm, I was startled by small white projectile whizzing through the leaves of a nearby tree and crashing to the ground in the nearby undergrowth. It wasn't a birdie!


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Saturday, April 29 2006

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Lemon and Fish

Yuko has been eating hundreds of tiny fish. Each one has little eyes that look at you! Meanwhile, a big lemon from our tree sat in the kitchen.

Big Lemon
Tiny fish

From Message
5744 Days Ago
This must have been an extremely slow day

From Message
5744 Days Ago
The lemon was pretty exciting.

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Friday, April 28 2006

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City Coffee
Epitome Coffee




Pencil Sharpening

Mother has a lot of pencils and she needs to do a lot of sharpening. So she decided to move to an electric sharpener. I took her to Officeworks (the one at Artarmon - not North Ryde) to buy one. She purchased a battery-powered, made-in-China device for $12.90. She also bought a stylish pink "green" bag.

Green bags are not all green

The device is basically just a conventional manual pencil sharpener mounted on a rotating platform which is turned by a little motor.

Mother sharpening


In the evening we took Mother to Maroo at Eastwood.

Mother and Noswonky at Maroo
Yuko at Maroo

Yuko examines the fire-making facilities

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Thursday, April 27 2006

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Water Under the Bridge

There was not much water under the bridge today..





We went to Epitome so late today that it was difficult to decide whether to order breakfast or dinner. It was dark by the time we left...

Yuko at Epitome (note other tables are set up for dinner)

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Wednesday, April 26 2006

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Coffee is Good


Trip Cancelled

I received confirmation today that my anticipated trip is cancelled. Therefore the $252 I paid for my passport (including priority processing fee and photos) was unnecessary!

It does mean that I can now attend the wedding of [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted] in May. Although we had already sent the RSVP, Yuko made a phone call and confirmed that it was not too late to change our response.


I went to the City this morning where I saw a skeleton...



A few days ago I added a facility to ChesSOS to allow users to make donations using their credit cards.

Since then the money has been rolling in, including an envelope containing a wad of cash which arrived in the mail today addressed to "ChesSOS" with no indication as to the identity of the sender...

Envelope containing wad of cash

From Message
Laughing Mole
5747 Days Ago
Don't you know you're not supposed to send wads of cash through the mail?

From Message
5747 Days Ago
You're not getting a cent off me (yet), I'm broke :(

From Message
5747 Days Ago
Re: "Don't you know you're not supposed to send wads of cash through the mail?"

I know. It should be done with a courier and a brown paper bag.

Re: "You're not getting a cent off me (yet), I'm broke :("

No problem. :)

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We went to the city by ferry at about midday to observe the ANZAC day activities. We were surprised to find that there were still some marchers marching.

The Turks were out in force and receiving applause from the crowd.


We walked up to Martin Place where there were a lot of people gathered near the Cenotaph.


We had lunch at a cafe in George Street not far from the Quay. As we sat there, Yuko photographed the passers by, including lots of diggers and members of the armed forces.

Yuko photographs soldiers and diggers


On the ferry going home, Yuko befriended a couple of ex-servicemen. She apologised for Japan's attacks on Sydney during WWII and they said not to worry about it!


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Monday, April 24 2006

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Honey and Jam

Yuko successfully separated the honey from the wax, not by using the traditional centrifuge method, but by heating. The wax melted and then solidified into a flat sheet, and the honey could then be poured off. This morning she ate it.

Honey after separation

She has also made some more lemon jam using the lemons from our lemon tree. I'm not usually a jam eater, but she persuaded me to try it. It was adequate.

Jam tasting


Yuko printed some of yesterday's Epitome photos at the photo shop and gave them to the Epitome staff today. Some of the pictures are now on the Epitome notice board.

Pierre looks at his photos

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Sunday, April 23 2006

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Mother Gives Us a Biscuit

We went to Mother's house and she gave us an ANZAC biscuit.

Mother thinks about giving us a biscuit

Biscuit - having been given

Japanese Comedy

Tonight I happened to catch a comedy program on NHK (the Japanese satellite channel). It was called "This is a COMEDY Program" - a very appropriate title.

The set of This is a COMEDY Program

One of the stars demonstrates how the show got its title


As the day ended the Sun sank slowly in the western Riverview sky...

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Saturday, April 22 2006

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Coffee 1
Coffee 2


Yuko said she had a dream last night. In her dream, I did something very bad. She said that what I did was so bad that she couldn't tell me what it was! But she said that I should apologise for doing it!

I refused!


The Epitome Photo Gallery is getting a bit out of date, so today Yuko took some pictures which may be added to the gallery in due course. Here's a preview...


We went over to Waverley to sus out the church where the wedding of [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted] will take place in a couple of weeks. It's possible that Yuko will have to make her way there alone, so she needs to get familiar with the area.

The Church

Unfortunately, there was a wedding in progress while we were there, so we didn't go inside.

Then we drove towards the sea in a random fashion - not knowing where we were going. We ended up at Bronte Beach where we observed people frolicking and surfing. We also had coffee (see coffee 2 above).




Today it was cold enough to prompt me to pull the electric heaters out of the cupboard for the first time this year...

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Friday, April 21 2006

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God Save The Queen!

Hose and Roof

I discovered what happened to Mother's hose...


I also saw a building which had to have its roof held on with string.

Roof secured with string

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Thursday, April 20 2006

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New Parking Meter

The new parking meter at Lane Cove is now operational. Fortunately, the charges are the same as before - 50c/hour.

Yuko's Pictures

When Yuko went walking today, she ran into Niki from Taiki.

Niki from Taiki
Niki from Taiki

She also ran into a spider...



Mother took us to Hawks for dinner

Mother looks whimsically into space

There was a long chip

Leaving Hawks


In the evening Yuko began prancing around the house quoting Shakespeare.

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me!"

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Wednesday, April 19 2006

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Yuko ran out of jam, so she ate some of the honey that was given to her a long time ago by the chef at Epitome.



I went to the city, and then I went a bit further where I saw some seagulls and aeroplanes.



When I got home, Yuko had gone to Epitome to meet her friend so I watered the back and front gardens...


The front hose reel is mounted on a bracket on the wall but is has been loose for a while. I took the opportunity today to fix it with the standard materials... a piece of wire...


Secured to bracket with wire

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Tuesday, April 18 2006

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Party Aftermath

There was a football in our driveway this morning. I assume this is a remnant of last night's wild orgy of drugs, alcohol and ball games.

Job Market and Duck

While browsing the paper today, I noticed that the job market for wheelwrights seems to be picking up. I think wheels are going to be the next big thing, and as the technology develops everyone is going to want a wheel! I might have a chance to get a foot in the door of the wheelwrighting sector based on the ad below...

I hope these jobs are still available as I noticed that the paper was slightly old...

Then... I met a duck...


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Monday, April 17 2006

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Speed Limits

The standards of the local road painters are slipping...

Chess and Humiliation

I spent several hours programming for ChesSOS and released a new feature late in the day.

I should also mention that I have suffered the humiliation of being beaten by Yuko in this game. This is the first time she's ever beaten me without a handicap. She finished with two queens and a pawn to my lone rook! She was very happy indeed!

The final humiliating position

Activity on the site has dropped a tad in the last few days, but I suspect it's just due to Easter.

Wild Party

In the evening there was a wild party next door. I peered over the fence and saw a gathering of young people drinking enormous amounts of alcohol and generally behaving in a rowdy manner.

The music was loud - blasting the whole of Riverview. Surprisingly a lot of the songs were from my era (1970's) so I danced along to those. But when they played James Blunt I called the police and had them raid the place.

Party (viewed through our window)

From Message
5756 Days Ago
I would have played on for a possible stalemate draw. I am playing on valiantly, if slowly, in a couple of games in which I am in a severely losing position. Is that bad chess etiquette?

From Message
5755 Days Ago
I would have played on, but my opponent "encouraged" me to resign.

As for the etiquette, I think it should be ok to play on, but a lot of chess players do consider it bad etiquette to continue in a "lost" position.

At the elite levels, they resign very early - sometimes when only down a piece.

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Sunday, April 16 2006

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At Epitome, Chubba was suitably adorned for Easter...


Yuko wanted to photograph animals. So we went to Koala Park.


This bird spoke to us, but I told him he needs to work on his vocabulary.

Yuko keeps her distance...
...but then has a balance problem caused by an errant roo.

Yuko keeps her distance
But I like to get up close!

A few years ago Yuko had a bad experience at Circular Quay involving an aboriginal man who was dressed as an emu. Ever since then, she has had an emu-phobia. So when I saw the sign below, I thought it was a good opportunity for Yuko to face her fear. We sought out the emus and Yuko bravely got within one metre of the savage birds.

Yuko shot this picture in defiance of her phobia

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Saturday, April 15 2006

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Computer Problems (II)

After being impressed yesterday by the speed with which my web host problems we fixed, I was unimpressed this morning when I was again unable to login.

I sent them another email, and got another quick reply and the problem was fixed again in a couple of hours. But then in the evening, the problem came back for the third time!

I sent another email and decided to wait until it was fixed before posting yesterday's or today's blog.


Mother asked me to have a look at her wind-up clock which she bought for $10 at a garage sale a couple of years ago. It has been stopping withing a couple of minutes after starting the pendulum.


Before I went round to Mother's house, Yuko gave me this home-grown lemon to give to her...


Not being a clockie I had no idea how to fix Mother's clock. However, many years ago we knew a dude (my cousin's other grandfather) who was a clockie. Mother told me that he used to fix most faulty clocks simply by cleaning them with methylated spirits. He used it because it would clean and then evaporate leaving no oily residue.

So I turned the clock upside down and poured some metho into the works! Then I hung it back on the wall, gave the pendulum a push... and lo!

It worked!

Mother also showed me her new gadget. It's a device which allows her to get help in an emergency. She wears a small device around her neck which has a button on it. In an emergency where she can't get to the phone, she presses the button. This causes another device connected to her phone to call a special number which is answered by someone (from the company) who can can arrange for help to be sent and can inform the appropriate people (me).

The box

She has to test it periodically, so she tested it while I was there to show me how it works. She pressed the button and the device made a lot of beeping noises as it dialled. Then a woman came on the line and addressed Mother by name. Mother then spoke to her. It's basically a speaker phone with a remote controlled speed dial.

Mother speaking to the operator

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Friday, April 14 2006

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As it was Good Friday, we had hot cross buns for breakfast instead of our usual Turkish pide.

The carpark at Lane Cove was almost deserted. Epitome was one of the few businesses open.

Car park


It's full moon again. Last month clouds thwarted our lunar photography ambitions. But today there was minimal cloud, so we decided to make another attempt. I consulted my Starry Night software and found that the Moon was due to rise at 5.40pm - just a few minutes after sunset. So we went to Collaroy, arriving just before sunset.

There was a bit of cloud near the horizon, but we set up the tripod, and soon saw the Moon rising out of the sea.

Moon rising

Yuko took this picture...

Then, we went to the Thai restaurant Hob Nob. At a nearby table were four guys who looked like they were high school age. They were discussing their sexual experiences at Schoolies and elsewhere in voices loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear. But Yuko, having a non-native-speaker's ear for English, couldn't understand a word.

Food at Hob Nob

By the time we finished dinner the Moon was quite high...

High Moon

Computer Problems

In the evening I was unable to login to my web host, although my web sites were still working. This made it difficult to post yesterday's blog because my usual upload was also broken. I was forced to use alternative and more cumbersome methods to upload the blog and pictures.

I lodged a support request and was moderately impressed when they answered it (and fixed the problem) within a couple of hours. They said my IP address had been automatically blocked by a program on their system which had identified it as bad.

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Thursday, April 13 2006

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As I was making breakfast, I observed through the kitchen window that there was a package - a box - outside the front door leaning against a pillar. I brought it inside. It was a package for Yuko from Japan.

It contained kimonos and other items of clothing which Yuko had left in storage in Japan until she recently requested they be sent over.

Box leans against pillar
Yuko extracts contents



Although my trip is now in doubt, today my passport arrived...

An odd thing happened when I photographed it with flash...

Without flash
With flash

I also went to Macquarie Centre to renew my driver's licence.


Of course there was a trip to Epitome.


In the evening, Mother came to our house for dinner. We drank strawberry wine which was supposed to contain lumps of strawberry. We didn't find any lumps, but the wine was nice.


Mother brought dessert - a lemony slicey thingy.


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Wednesday, April 12 2006

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Art Gallery


We went to the Art Gallery of NSW.

Art Gallery

We went into the Archibald/Wynne/Sulman prize exhibitions, but we didn't look at the paintings much. Yuko wanted to see the Photographic Portrait Prize photos and it was included on the same ticket as the Archibald.

There were some very interesting photographs on display, and some that just looked like family snapshots. Yuko was mesmerised.

After viewing the exhibition we had coffee and cake at the cafe inside the gallery.

Of course there was a ban on photography in the exhibitions, so we could only take pictures outside.

Yuko photographs dude on horse

This was my favourite piece of art...



On the way home we stopped at Epitome, mainly so that Yuko could use the Internet there for dubious purposes (she likes to access certain sites from an IP address other than ours!)

While at Epitome, we saw a dog...




By the time we got home it was almost dark, but as it was watering day, and we hadn't watered for a while, Yuko told me to water the garden in the dark...

Night watering

Trip in Doubt

Although on Monday I said that it seemed certain that I would be going overseas, it now seems very uncertain!

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Tuesday, April 11 2006

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We sat outside at Epitome over on the far side of the plaza (see coffee picture). However, Yuko had some difficulty connecting to the network and we thought we might be too far from the base station. So we moved inside and it was ok.

The owner of Epitome came over and admired Fujiko. He said he had just bought a similar tiny PC and was awaiting its delivery.

Yuko with Fujiko


When we went walking we saw a tree in a cage. Are they worried that it might run away?

Yuko beholds caged tree

It was late in the day and the shadows were loooooong....


As Yuko photographed a dog's arse, I photographed her shadow...

Yuko photographs dog's arse


Yuko wanted a photo of Orion for her blog. Although the sky was a bit bright (the Moon was big), I shot a few images with the 350D and got something recognisable.

Orion in the western sky
(20sec, f3.5, ISO 200, 18mm lens)

From Message
Matthew Wadwell
5763 Days Ago
G'Day Peter, As an arborealoist will tell you, that tree is a kind that is deadly to humans (you never know when it will drop a branch on you), and so it needs to be caged to protect the general population.

Just be glad that you didn't get too close to it.....

From Message
5762 Days Ago
Thanks for the info. I think there are some other deadly trees in the area which are not caged. We'll keep clear of them.

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Monday, April 10 2006

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North Ryde

In the morning I went to North Ryde where I took today's first coffee picture. The coffee was not bad (the cookie too).

On the way back, Epping Road was gridlocked due to a crash at the intersection with Centennial Avenue.

Gridlock on Epping Road

When I finally reached the scene, it looked pretty bad. However, it was hard to get a good picture without taking my hands off the steering wheel at a critical moment - so I only took the picture below while stopped at the red light.



It now seems certain that I will be overseas at the time of the wedding of [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted]. So today Yuko asked me to mail the RSVP when I went walking. Yuko will go to the wedding without me.

Posting RSVP (and another mystery letter)

I varied my walking route today and went to Linley Point instead of Longueville...

The gate leading to Burns Bay was open, but I didn't go through...

Gate to Burns Bay

Instead I went under the bridge...


Yuko Connects

In the afternoon Yuko connected to the Internet at Epitome with no difficulty using Fujiko's new wireless card.

Yuko Connected

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Sunday, April 9 2006

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Computer Man II

The Computer Man came to Epitome again this morning. He had installed a new wireless card in Yuko's little computer. This time it worked and Yuko can now connect to the Internet at Epitome She's very happy!

He brought his camera - a Nikon D70. It was a nice looking device.

Computer Man

I then became the target of a gaggle of paparazzi...



As the weather was nice, we went to Collaroy to eat Thai food at the beach. First we ordered takeaway food at Hob Nob. Then, while waiting for the food, we walked on the beach.

Hob Nob
Yuko's footprint on the beach

The sea was angry tonight! As we stood on the beach a massive wave came up the beach and engulfed us. Well... we almost go our feet wet...

Click for animation - Massive wave engulfs us (0.49MB)

Evidence of the sea's fury

Then we ate the Thai food...


On the way home, Yuko fell asleep in the car...



In the evening, I invented a sock dryer...

Sock Dryer

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Saturday, April 8 2006

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Carpark Utopia Ends

The pay carpark at Lane Cove is often the only place we can find to park on Saturday mornings. For the last few months the ticket machine has been broken and the parking has been free. But this Utopian situation could not last!

Today we noticed that a shiny new machine has been installed - and it takes credit cards! This does not bode well for the pricing which used to be 50c/hour. Fortunately the machine is not operating yet...

New ticket machine


At Lane Cove we met Mr. Hooker Bear...

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Friday, April 7 2006

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Exciting Day

Yuko wrote a shopping list...

And I shopped.

She also told me to go to Epitome. So I did...

Dixie at Epitome


In the evening we went to Maroo...

Mother and Yuko outside Maroo

Mother tried to use chopsticks...


Then we went to the Korean supermarket.

Mother in the Korean supermarket

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Thursday, April 6 2006

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Coffee (note computer man and tiny person)


Last night it was very, very, very windy! In the morning, there was a scene of devastation outside...

Wind damage

No Chess at U.T.S.

Today I visited my old university... UTS...

I had read on a web discussion forum about a new giant chess board that they have there "most days". It said that a lot of chess players had "come out of the woodwork" to gather and play. There was even a picture...

Chess at UTS

I thought I might be able to hand out some ChesSOS leaflets there and boost the membership. But when I got there, it looked like this...

No Chess at UTS

I guess today was not "most days".


I went walking later in the afternoon when the shadows were long...

Computer Man

Yuko has not yet been able to connect her little computer Fujiko to Epitome's wireless network. So tonight she arranged to meet her Computer Man at Epitome so that he could trouble-shoot on-site. We therefore decided to have dinner there too...

The computer man looked at the problem...

Computer man looks at problem

He decided that Yuko's network card might be incompatible with the network. To test this, he wanted to try a newer card. However, he needed to install the driver for it, and the computer had no built-in CD drive.

We therefore embarked on a series of attempts to transfer the CD data to Yuko's computer by various means - using my computer's CD drive, his USB hard disk, a USB key drive, an extra battery etc. But all of these attempts failed for various reasons.

The scene at the height of the confusion

He ended up taking the computer away with him. We'll meet him again at Epitome another day.

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Wednesday, April 5 2006

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We went to the RTA at Macquarie Centre today because Yuko needed to renew her driver's licence.


She likes her new licence picture more than the old one...

Satellite Man

A couple of days ago, the satellite receiver stopped working. Since then Yuko has been unable to watch Japanese TV. Today the Satellite man came to fix it.

Satellite man

He fixed it!


As usual, we went to Epitome in the afternoon. While there, we could smell fire. As we returned to the car, the smell became stronger. The air actually looked smokey and we could see small specks of ash falling from the sky! It's difficult to convey this in a picture, but here it is...

Ash falls from the sky at Lane Cove

As we drove home we could see a smokey haze on the horizon.

The sky was a bit red and smokey

Yuko wanted to go looking for the fire, but we didn't. Later I heard on the news that backburning was taking place somewhere. They didn't say where.

Wasp and Fish

Yuko photographed a wasp nest which is hanging from our Christmas lights.

Photographing the wasp nest

Wasp Nest

She also bought some new fish...

Fish in shop
Fish in bags

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Tuesday, April 4 2006

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It's becoming a pattern... we go to Epitome, I drink coffee while Yuko goes off and spends money. Today she came back with this cooking pot...


We went walking together (which is unusual) in the afternoon. Yuko wanted to see the site of the boatshed fire. Of course she crossed illegally into the prohibited zone...

Yuko on the wrong side of the tape

Meanwhile, I saw an aeroplane up in the sky... and the moon too...

Plane and Moon

...and the Sun sank slowly in a general westerly direction...



On the way home, we saw a picture of a dead dog...

Missing... presumed dead

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Monday, April 3 2006

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The Harbour pool at Tambourine Bay was fuller today than I've ever seen it. Water was pouring out the side...

Water pours out


Today I went for my passport interview. I failed! They said my head was too small and I needed a new one. Fortunately, a dude was on hand to produce a new and bigger head for me on the spot...

Pinhead vs. Regular Head

Of course I couldn't use the new head until I get it signed again by [Name Omitted].

Lane Cove

In the afternoon we went to Epitome. The weather was very pleasant indeed (see coffee picture at top) and we sat outside in the plaza.

Yuko still can't connect her little computer to the Epitome network, so she called her computer man about it. He said her network card may be incompatible with Epitome's network. He will come over one day to check it first hand.

I connected without difficulty and fixed a couple of outstanding bugs on ChesSOS.

Dixie in Lane Cove Plaza

While I slaved over the hot keyboard, Yuko went off shopping and came back with this ropey scarf...

Ropey scarf

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Sunday, April 2 2006

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Newspapers were sold out today! But the coffee was arty.


Daylight saving has ended, so I adjusted the clocks...

Epitome Online

I had some difficulty connecting to Epitome's network today. Andy (Epitome's manager) assisted me and we successfully connected my computer (Dixie). However, we could not connect Yuko's computer (Fujiko) because it doesn't have the same menu options as mine. For example, there seems to be no "Show Available Networks" option! So we couldn't even see the network!

Andy assists

Mother and Moon

Mother called to say she was having a problem with her new VCR. So I went around to her place and pressed the ON button on the remote control. After that, it worked.

Mother was watering (legally) when I arrived

Meanwhile, Yuko took this picture of the crescent moon while she was out walking...


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Saturday, April 1 2006

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Epitome Online

I was blogging (offline) at Epitome this morning, when Andy the manager came over and asked me to try connecting to their wireless network. He typed the network password for me, and lo... I was on the network (and the Internet)...

He then scrawled the network password on the table cloth for me to use any time...

Network password

Andy said that this is a new service for customers. You just have to ask for the password which will be changed every day to prevent bastards from accessing it from nearby.

Yuko was very excited! Epitome now has Bardelis beaten!

Lane Cove Workmen

Yuko went wandering in Lane Cove village and photographed these workmen doing renovations in a shop...

Typical Lane Cove workers


The sky was clear in the evening, so went outside with Yuko's SLR camera and tried photographing the Southern Cross (Crux).

The camera on legs

Southern Cross (30 seconds, f3.5, ISO400, 22mm lens)

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