Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Day 305: Full Moon

After taking photos at night and having them turn out looking like it was daytime I decided to try getting a shot of the moon again, but this time I wanted it to look like the moon instead of the sun. It took a bit of trial and error but I finally managed to get a couple that gave some detail of the full moon.

I chose this one because of the silhouette of the trees off to the left of the moon, without that it'd just be a disc in the black.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Day 304: What's That Thing?

I was out in the garage tonight having a bit of a poke around and getting my tools and things sorted for the weekend ahead, while I was there I thought I'd take a quick look under the seat of the ZX14. I found this short cable bolted to the subframe and I couldn't work out what it was for so I took a photo of it withe the iPhone... I think the camera's getting worse on it, the phone's pretty old now and I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade soon.

Back to the cable: I had to look it up in the owners handbook. Apparently it's for securing your helmet to the bike when it's parked, I still don't really get it. I guess with a padlock you could link the D-ring of the helmet to the loop at the end of the cable, but that seems like a hard way to do things and besides, there's a special helmet lock on the side of the bike that opens with the ignition key. That one only lets you lock one helmet to it though, maybe the cable is for your pillion's helmet... as long as they bring their own padlock.

I would have used a better photo if I had one but this is the only photo I took today, the old iPhone 3GS is very limited in it's photographic capabilities.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Day 303: Night Time Photography?

I decided to take some photos on my way home from OzTag tonight, we had an 8:30 game so it was pretty dark when I left Kippax. My photo tonight is on the Coppins Crossing Road about half way along heading toward the Stromlo end and it was actually very dark when I took it.

The moon was pretty full and in the photos I took tonight it ended up looking like the sun, in this one the only give away that it was actually taken at night are the orange lights you can see on the left side of  horizon. I'm not really sure what the lights are though, I'm thinking they must be the lights of either the lights of the Gungahlin Drive Extension or maybe William Hovell Drive because I'm pretty sure that Black Mountain Tower (Telstra Tower) is behind the trees that are behind my car. Either way, without those lights it would be easy to mistake this for an under exposed daytime photo.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Day 302: More Philip Island Prep

Pete dropped his bike over today so we could load it up with mine and they'd be ready for us early next Saturday morning, we loaded his and mine into the trailer and then started working out where to tie our stands and my wet weather wheels down. I like to take the wet weather wheels when going to the track, it usually works well to keep the rain away and when it doesn't I have them there ready to use.

I like having the two Daytonas in the trailer side by side, they are essentially the same bike with only a couple of years difference in age and one having a fancy red R after the 675. The real difference comes down to the one on the right being completely as it rolled off the factory floor and the one on the left being a fully race prepared version. Pete's bike, the right, is certainly the prettier bike but for now I still prefer my one on the left.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 301: Another Day At The Pool

Because the weather was so good today, we decided it was worth taking the kids to the pool so Henry could practice what he'd been learning in his swimming lessons. As usual we all had a great time and getting Henry out of the pool was the hard part, until we mentioned the word 'Ice Cream' that is.

While Henry was working his way through his Banana Paddle Pop, Jenna and I did hand stands and cartwheels. It was an exhausting outing for the Moss family and even Henry looked tired while he was eating his ice cream. The day took its toll on me too, so much so that I may have even had a little afternoon snooze when we returned home. This kind of behaviour is becoming a regular feature of many of my weekends... is it possible that I'm getting old?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Day 300: New Hoop

I'm going to Philip Island with Pete & Andy next weekend and part of my preparation in the lead up was to replace the rear tyre of the Daytona. The old tyre was a few few track days and one race-your-mates at Wakefield old, it had also been fairly well chewed up due to the suspension setup being less than optimal.

Laurie Smith made some adjustments to the existing setup of mismatched spring rates and valving (the front was very hard and the rear was far too soft) before my last ride but it still didn't feel right. Since then I've had both the front and rear suspension removed and re-sprung so they are better matched and next weekend will be my first go on the bike with the new setup.

It will be interesting to see how the new tyre wears now that the suspension has been sorted, going on past experience with Laurie, the bike will feel much better and the tyre will wear a lot more evenly.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day 299: More Swimming Lessons

Thursday night swimming lessons are becoming a bit of a fall back for me when I haven't had a chance to take a photo during the day. In this one the kids were playing a game of Simon Says where they were supposed to be pointing at their noses and most of them were, but not our Henry. He's a bit funny with the lessons, sometimes he just doesn't want to participate in the little games and other times he's more 'in to it'. Regardless, he has a heap of fun in the water and his confidence in continuing to grow.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Day 298: The Bees Knees

I got home this afternoon to about a million bees buzzing about the lavender bushes that line our driveway. Bees don't really bother me so I thought this was a great opportunity to give my lens adapter a workout using Belinda's Macro lens. I ended up taking 139 photos of bees and that made it very hard for me to choose one for today's post. I ended up choosing this one, which is very similar to many of the others.

It wasn't that easy to get a good photo of a bee, they don't tend to stay still for very long. But when I did capture a few that weren't too blurry the detail was pretty impressive. I like their hairy little legs, the veins in their wings and how soft and fluffy their bodies look.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Day 297: Vino Mofo

I stumbled across an online wine distributer called Vino Mofo a while ago and signed up to their daily specials email communiqué. They always seem to have really good wine at really good prices but I just never got around to ordering anything from them, until they resorted to bribery that is.

About a week ago they sent me another email saying that whilst I'd signed up for the daily specials I hadn't yet purchased anything, and to encourage me to take advantage of their great wine at great prices they would bribe me with $20 off any of their specials. I have to commend them for their marketing skills, it worked. The wine I bought has a retail price of $30 per bottle at your local bottle shop, in a restaurant this would be closer to $40 a bottle. The Vino Mofo price was $15 per bottle but with my extra discount it came down to just over $13 each, now that's good buying! Have I mentioned that I love a bargain?

So the obvious question now is: was the wine any good? The answer: YES. The 2009 Oakdene Chardonnay is exactly to my taste. Now I'll need to try to show some restraint and not drink it all over the next few days... Maybe I should hide some so I'm not tempted.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Day 296: Footy's Back

I've started playing OzTag again after close to four years of inactivity and it's been a little difficult to get back into the swing of it. I knew I'd lost some fitness but I had no idea how much! After my first game, which was two Mondays ago, I could hardly walk for 3 days. Last week I missed the game because I was in Sydney for training but I made use of the Hotel's gym and ran a few K's each day in an effort to prepare myself a little better for tonights game.

Tonight, I felt better and didn't tire as quickly as I did in the first game, instead I managed to perform some extreme exfoliation on my right leg. This is something that I'd forgotten about over the last four years, I've still got scars from some of my old grazes... you'd think that would have been a reminder but apparently not. It's funny how these things slip your mind over time.

My photo today is the after effects of me taking a little slide in the grass tonight. As well as the cuts and grazes there's also a pretty good grass stain on my shin that took some scrubbing in the shower to remove. It did sting a little.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Day 295: Soggy Sunday

It was pretty warm today and when we made it home after walking around Lake Burley Griffin, Henry and Jenna decided to cool down with the hose. Henry took particular delight in trying to wet Jenna, the dogs and even Belinda when she was trying to take some photos from behind the swing set. I played it safe and kept myself and my camera up wind and out of reach.

There were lots of opportunities for photos today and it was really hard to pick just one so I had to narrow it down to my 3 favourites from this afternoon.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Day 294: Aunty Erin's Birthday

We had a bit of a celebration this evening for Erin's birthday, it was all arranged by my brother Dan who cleverly tricked Erin in to thinking she'd have an evening without the kids only to surprise her with a birthday party that included pretty much the whole family.

While we were waiting for Dan to show up with Erin, who was blissfully unaware that we were all waiting for her, we had a bit of fun watching Henry play with his cousin Kinzie. They don't see each other all that often but they still manage to get along quite well, today they had a great time playing in and around the cubby house. I managed to snap this photo of the two playing what you could only describe as peek-a-boo, just without the actual 'Peek-a-boo!!' part being verbalised.

There was however lots of giggling as they flung open the doors and windows to spy each other through the openings... actually, now that I think about it, some of that giggling may have come from me as I watched the kids getting on like the proverbial house on fire.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Day 293: Ice Cream!

We've discovered that Henry has a bit of a sweet tooth... We don't indulge this very often but when we do it becomes very apparent that he is his mother's son. Tonight we allowed Henry to have a full (mini) drumstick/cornetto style ice cream after dinner, he loved it. He even enjoyed offering tastes to us, as can be seen in my photo today.

I wonder if he will grow out of the sweet tooth like I did... I guess time will tell.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 292: Swimming Lessons

Henry had his first swimming lesson this afternoon and Jenna came to watch. It was funny how watching quickly turned into joining in when Henry's lesson had finished, the funny bit being that Jenna didn't have her swimmers with her. This didn't present too much of an issue once she'd negotiated permission to just jump in with her singlet & shorts on.

It was great to see Henry enjoying his swimming lesson but he saved the real excitement for when 'Naa' joined in. Not sure if I've mentioned Jenna's new nickname before, but Henry has taken to calling her 'Naa' which I guess is the either lazy or just plain cute. I'm leaning toward cute because it's the last syllable of Jenna's name and he says it with so much energy, even Belinda and I have started using Jenna's new moniker.

Taking photos at the pool isn't that easy, the light always seems to be from the wrong angle and because it's not great light I need to use a slower shutter speed which isn't great catching the kids splashing about. Today's photo was a fairly still moment between Jenna and Henry. I didn't notice it when I took the photo, but I really like how Henry's holding on to Jenna's shoulder to steady himself in the toddler pool. I really do have great kids.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Day 291: A Welcome Sky

Last night wound up being a lot later than I had planned and it was followed by a full day of training and an early evening flight home. Today was a big day and I was very happy for it to be over.

Because I hadn't had a chance to take a photo during the day, I pulled up on the way home for this one just near Fyshwick. I thought the colour of the sky and how the moon looked was pretty cool, it was nice of Canberra to put on such a beautiful night to welcome me home. It was getting pretty dark when I stopped, so by using the door frame of the car to steady my camera I was able to hold it still enough to get the half second exposure without too much blur. I'm pretty happy with the result.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Day 290: Early Risers

I was up much earlier than I'm comfortable with this morning because we had an early start for the training course I'm attending today and tomorrow. My alarm woke me up at about 5:45 so I'd have plenty of time to get myself organised for the long day ahead. When I looked out the window of my hotel room I saw that there were some much earlier risers than myself, these guys must have been out there for hours already. I've never really understood the whole getting up early to go fishing thing... I mean I love to eat fish but there are much easier ways to obtain it.

I chose this photo because I liked the way the early morning light looked and also because it's not that often that I see the sunlight at this hour.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 289: The View From Here

I'm off in Sydney again for work, this time it's a two day training exercise which I'm hoping will be worth the two days away from actually doing my job. I guess the next two days will tell.

I arrived to the hotel at a reasonable hour so this time I could get setup in my room and make my way down stairs for dinner in the restaurant. I hadn't eaten at the Sebel's restaurant before and tonight I was impressed, the food was fantastic. The weather was fairly mild tonight so I had my meal in the outdoor dining area which produced the view you see in my photo for today. I do really like this hotel and that's certainly making the need to travel for work a little easier to bear.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Day 288: Good Sleep?

I've copied my wife again and tried a sleep measuring app for the iPhone, Belinda paid a whole dollar for hers but mine was a freebie. I gave it a go tonight and this is what I've found: I went to bed just before 1am, didn't get to sleep until just before 2am, apparently woke again a bit before 5am after around an hour of 'light' sleep and close to 2 hours of 'deep' sleep before being woken at 7am by the alarm that I'd set for 7:30am. This, according to my sleep app, equates to an 82% efficient night's rest. I beg to differ, my night's rest felt much less efficient.

The theory behind these apps is that you go through cycles in your sleep, from light sleep to deep sleep and that it's better to be woken during a light sleep period because you will feel more refreshed than if woken from a deep sleep. This explains the alarm going off half an hour earlier than what I'd set it for, apparently at 7am I was coming into a light sleep cycle whereas at 7:30 I would have been in a deep sleep. I'm still not sold on the idea... and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure that having my night's sleep mapped out so I can see exactly how crap it was is really doing me any favours.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Day 287: Bath Sparkles

Belinda decided to mix Henry's bath time up tonight by putting these big sparkly glitter things in there with him to help keep him entertained. He had a great time trying to catch them in the water and when he did manage to get one caught under his finger he'd slide it up the side of the bath and line them up on the edge. This is a little game my mum introduced us to when Jenna was much littler and it's worked a treat with Henry too. However tonight Henry decided he needed to take these shiny objects with him after the bath and this is how I found them after he'd gone to bed, they were roughly lined up on the couch where he'd had his milk and read some stories with us. I'm not sure if they were intentionally lined up or if they just happened to fall that way, it's probably the former more than the latter... he does like to line things up.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Day 286: The "Arty Farty, Had Nothing Else To Blog" Post MkVII

You probably wouldn't guess it, but this is one of our laundry baskets in the bathroom. I thought the angle, looking up and into one of the down-lights made it interesting. Originally I was just going to get a close up of the weave. I tried that but then by fluke I tried shooting the camera up along the woven twine type stuff from down almost on the floor where I couldn't see the view finder. When I looked at the screen I liked what I saw much better than the plain old close up.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Day 285: Playing With Food

Boo! This was Henry having a pre-dinner game of salad peek-a-boo with some cucumber from what was planned to be our side dish. He ended up eating most of the cucumber out of our salad before the rest of dinner was ready... of course this was after covering his eyes with them and then taking little bites out of them until they were too small to cover his eyes. Although our salad was a little depleted by the time dinner was ready, it was an easy (and pretty healthy) way to keep him occupied while it was cooking.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Day 284: Domestic Supplies

A little parcel full of more online shopping arrived today. Nothing too exciting though, we stumbled across a special deal on dishwashing tablets at a stupidly low price so we stocked up. As well as the washing supplies we found some really cheap 32GB SD cards so we bought one each of those as well.

Now we'll be able to take thousands of photos of our clean dishes for roughly the next 6 months without having to clear the camera's SD card or buy more dishwashing stuff. Life is good.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Day 283: Playing Cards

Tonight Jenna brought over some cards to play with Henry, it didn't take long for him to get the hang of taking turns to flip over two cards to see if they matched but he did like returning to the same cards that he chose last time. With a little help he started to get used to picking different cards and when he found a pair he'd yell out "Same!".

It's funny how little kids don't have any volume control when they're playing, everything is yelled rather than said. Henry is the same, his volume dial seems to get stuck at 11 when he's caught up in a game, just plain excited or he's saying (yelling) "Hello!" after bath time.

The post bath "HELLO!" has become a funny little ritual, it started before daylight savings when it was already dark by the time we'd finish bathing Henry. Once we have Henry out of the bath he turns off the lights and we both say "Oh no! Too dark! I can't see, where's Henry?" as we walk from the dark hall into the kitchen where the lights are on and this is when Henry's volume hits 11 and he yells out "HELLO!!!!". The funny thing is that now it's light until well after bath time he still yells out "Hello!" as we enter the kitchen.

I digress. Back to today's photo. Henry and Jenna played memory games tonight and I really enjoyed watching Jenna teach Henry a new game. I'm sure I've said this before and I'm sure I'll have occasion to say it again: I'm a very proud dad and I love how Jenna and Henry play so well together.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Day 282: Trailer Treats

Today was my second Monday off in a row; we get a bit lucky in Canberra every so often and we end up with two consecutive four day weeks. I spent this Monday off repaying the debt I incurred by going out on the dirt bike last Monday while Belinda and her parents painted the house. Pretty good deal hey?

My repayment involved removing the bifold doors between Jenna's and Henry's rooms, giving them a couple of coats of paint and re-hanging them. This little chore took almost the full day and between coats I got a little hungry so I fixed myself a bit of a snack to gnaw on.

The weather wasn't great today so I had to do the painting in the garage which wasn't such a bad thing as I was able to keep my snacks within easy reach and away from the dogs by using the trailer as a table.

I love my trailer, it's been so handy for so many purposes; it carts gardening stuff around, has helped us move house, regularly shifts bikes to and from various places including the track, the forrest and the shops that service them, it's a great place to rest your beer after a ride and today I used one end of it to rest the bifold doors on while the other ends were on a plank between two ladders and also made use of it as a handy little table for my snacks. Is there nothing this trailer can't do?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Day 281: Cool Kid Slide Skills

Henry loves his slide and recently he's discovered that there's more than one way to climb to the top. Today he was showing off his newfound climbing skills quite a lot, I don't think he actually used the ladder more than twice.

This is obviously how the cool kids climb up their slides and Henry is no exception, especially with his hoodie up and his sunnies on.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Day 280: Pod People

The kids disappeared shortly after rising this morning and this is where we found them. They were snuggled up together in Jenna's bed playing with their iPods, or at least in Henry's case with Belinda's iPhone that he'd stealthily 'borrowed'.

They've both got a bit of an iPod/Pad/Phone addiction which is handy when you want a little quiet time because they'll happily amuse themselves for hours with their chosen 'I' device. Of course there are always two sides to the metaphorical coin, so other times these Apple products can be ultimately frustrating. This morning it wasn't handy but it wasn't frustrating either, it was just really cute seeing them both totally engrossed in their own little worlds and at the same time loving each others company.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Day 279: The End Result

During the week while Belinda has been on school holidays, she and her parents began painting the house. I was a little busy on the public holiday Monday and had to work the remaining four days so unfortunately I wasn't able to help... which is probably a good thing because I hate painting and I'm also not very good at it. I lack the patience to make a decent job of it.

The trade off for getting out of this particular chore was to clean the roof gutters (a job that hasn't been done since Henry was born) and also to remove, paint and re-install the bifold doors between Jenna & Henry's rooms. painting but at least it won't require so much finesse as is required when trying to avoid roller marks on the cornice or paint on the window frames.

I have to say that Belinda and her folks did a great job, I will also take the opportunity to thank them both for coming down to lend a very much appreciated hand.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day 278: Dinner With Friends

Robbie and Damon popped over for dinner tonight. Unfortunately, due to the roughly 4 hour trip between our place and theirs, it's not that often that they can just drop in. I think that because we don't get to catch up all that often it means that when we do, we tend to make the most of it. We always enjoy their company, the conversation and more times than not quite a few drinks, tonight was certainly no exception. It's a shame I have to work tomorrow as everyone else has the day off... I think I'd really prefer and probably appreciate a sleep rather than getting up to go to work.

My photo today was taken post dinner, I'd forgotten to take a photo all day and then with our visitors over it kind of slipped my mind until it was pretty late.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day 277: The New Coffee

The 'Gang' as Belinda calls them have moved the coffee venue and changed the day. It used to be that the Canberra Riders group gathered on Monday nights at a cafe in Fyshwick which made it easy for me to get to on the way home from work, now it's held at a little pub on the University of Canberra campus which is over the other side of town and it's on a Wednesday night instead. This has made it much harder for me to get along to catch up with the folk on the forum.

I was actually able to ride my bike to work today and the conference I was attending finished up a little early so I made the decision to get along to the new coffee. It had been a while since I've made it to one of these catchups and it showed, I only recognised a handful of people there and nobody recognised my bike. It was good to catch up with the guys (in a non gender specific sense) I knew and have a 'coffee' with them, if you look closely you can see what's left of my coffee sitting on the tank of my bike. It was even better to be out on the bike for the first time in ages.

My opinion of the new (to me) bike is changing, at first I was happy with how it rode but didn't think it was a very pretty bike. Tonight in the sea of grey and black bikes that were at coffee I thought at the very least it stands out in the crowd, even if it's not the most gorgeous bike I've ever seen. I'm still thoroughly enjoying the ride, and while I'm on it I don't have to look at it. I think I should ride it more often so I can spend less time looking at it in the shed.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Day 276: Local Landmark 7

I pulled in here between meetings so I could grab a quick photo for the day. It is of course the National Library of Australia.

I found out that the library was founded in 1901, in Melbourne, it was moved from Melbourne to Canberra in 1927 but the collections outgrew their new home in Canberra and some of the collections were stored in boxes in a grain store at the railway station, in the nurses quarters at the old Canberra hospital, in a morgue and in an old laundry. The current building was opened in 1968.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Day 275: Labour Day Ride

Today was Labour day so I spent the day riding around Tallaganda on the dirty Husky with Andy, Pete and Matt. Andy had recently upgraded his bike from the old XR400 that he'd owned from new to a fancy Husqvarna that makes mine look a little dated.

He says it's been taking a little getting used to and I guess that's easy to understand with the new bike having brakes the work, roughly 3 times the power and modern suspension that allows him to choose which part of the trail he wants to ride on regardless of ruts, roots or rocks. There is however one part of the new bike that hasn't taken much getting used to for Andy and that's the magic little button that starts the bike, you see the old XR was a kick start only bike and this was the main reason for the upgrade.

I only took a few photos today because the new camera is much less portable for taking out on the trails than the old Canon and the photos I did take were of Andy's XR so he could advertise it. So today my photo is likely to be the last one I'll ever take with Andy's old bike in it.

As usual it was a great day out with the guys, only this time I came back a little jealous of Andy's new toy...