66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.


The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.


I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track


My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flower power ... a good way to go

Sounds like a small thing, I know, but jeez, flowers in the house make such a difference.
I managed to haul my sorry arse to my favourite flower supplier at the market on Sunday and got the usual four bunches … sometimes it’s more, never less …
I kind of take them for granted (OK not really) but they are always here.
I bought some chrysanthemums (some yellow ones and some purple ones), some white snapdragons and some red carnations.
When I staggered into the bathroom just before seven (I like to think I recognise one seven o’clock a day and it’s not the first one) they gave me a real lift … damned fine things they are. Then again when I wandered through home before starting my arvo gig, I was sitting at the dining room table typing and got a real buzz out of the chrysanthemums … there’s a kind of peaceful but colourful thing happening with them.
When I’m cooking tonight, I reckon I may get the same hit from the snapdragons in the kitchen. Or perhaps the bottle filled with speargrass.
The last batch of chrysanthemums and orchids I bought lasted for nearly three weeks (it helps to change the water occasionally). They’re a really cheap way of putting a bit of good cheer into the house … and it’s not a poncy thing to buy flowers (OK, it would be if you were buying yourself red roses) when you’re a single, badly dressed, unkempt bloke. Quite the contrary. Most women (and there are lots … come on fellas, get in there and buy) who are buying them (flowers, not single blokes … then again, what would I know?) say something to me or at least have a pleasant smile. And that can only be a good thing. OK, it is a good thing.


Can anyone explain to me the ways of the internet? Cop this … I have an Optus landline, Optus cable TV and an Optus wireless stick modem … essentially I’m an all-Optus house.
Why then is it so that I can’t (OK, it’s very rarely) get internet reception. I rang the Optus help line a while ago, explained the situation and the very helpful woman put some tests into place.
She suggested I close down my laptop and reboot it. Too easy. I told her that I had reconnected to the interweb thing (she was monitoring my machine) and she said: “No you’re not connected as far as I can tell. There’s no signal.” So I asked the obvious question. “Why do you keep charging me in that case?” She laughed, but I’ve gone way beyond laughter. There are times when it can take 10-30 minutes to get a connection.
Her only suggestion was that I take the modem into an Optus shop and get them to run a test on it. Good theory, but I haven’t done it yet.
Last time I took delivery of a new Optus modem, it simply didn’t work. I took it to the Optus shop and got them to test it (yep I took my laptop with me). It didn’t work, they told me. Perhaps the bloke had done a degree in stating the obvious. I did, however, take with me a Telstra modem that I had used when I travelled far and wide around Australia. Plugged it in and, surprise, surprise, I got perfect reception on a Telstra modem in an Optus shop.
“Sure, it looks as if we’ll have to replace the modem,” the bloke said. All good then?
Well, no. “Sorry but it’ll take about seven or so working days to have it delivered,” he said. “No it won’t,” I countered, “Just get one from stock. I do kind of need the thing for work and I’m not prepared to be without (as much as I hate it) the internet.”
Can’t be done was the official response.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
As I went to post this blog entry, I connected to the network and I noticed a security scan message. It read: We cannot check your security status now because your PC is not connected to the internet or the security scan is temporarily unavailable. Please connect to the internet and click retry, or try again later. Yeah, right. Then a message saying, in essence, cannot find your security scanner. Make sure the path or internet address is correct.
Yeah, right again.
Do I take the modem in for a check or do I just suffer with internet speeds (a term I use loosely) that would shame Cliff Young (to the younger among you, he shuffled his way to winning the Sydney-Melbourne ultra-run a million years ago)?
Any suggestions? And no, I can’t break the Optus agreement without succumbing to some hefty out-of-pocket expenses. Or can I?


Crikey has moved offices from the seventh floor of the building down to the sixth floor.
It’s a pretty flash departure. All white and bright, windows (with real views) and the brightest lighting in history a great office all round.
And the bonus? Coming down a floor means that we don’t have to travel as far to work. It’s just a little time saved, mind, but every little bit helps when we’re dealing in times mean extra time under the doona.


And in the best news of the week so far, Cold Chisel was in the studio today (day one) to put down its new album. Glory be.
While on the subject of CDs, this week it's a must to spend a night putting my CD collection into alphabetical order. Sounds anal, I know, but I'm sick of not finding the music I want to hear when I want to hear it.

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