Thursday, 31 May 2012

Day 152: May Task - Something Beautiful

The weather's been pretty bleak lately but I think that worked in my favour for my photo today. It's a photo of Grant Crescent in Manuka and during the spring and summer time the trees form a tight canopy of green. In contrast, today the photo shows the network of branches against the cloudy sky. I don't think it matters what time of year it is, I still think this is a beautiful street.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Day 151: May Task - Your Personality

This is a tough one, it's not that easy to sum up your personality in a photo. I chose this photo because like me, it's a little bit Canberra, but that's not the only reason. I also settled on this photo because I figure my personality is a bit like the water because it changes to reflect external influences while still having the same basic properties. I think that sums me up about as well as anything else could.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Day 150: May Task - A Number

I don't have a favourite number so I've chosen a number of numbers for today's photo. Going in a clockwise direction from the top right I've chosen the following:

#69 - The number that's been on my cars for the last 3... or is it 4?
#1 - Part of the name of my road bike, the YZF-R1. The 1 also denotes the 1 litre engine capacity.
#450 - The engine capacity and model of my dirt bike. It's a TE450 which predictably has a 450cc engine
#675 - Similar to the dirt bike, this is the engine capacity and model name of my Daytona 675 race bike.

I guess there's a bit of a theme with my numbers... more so in the last 3 than the first, but they are all vehicle related.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Day 149: May Task - The Weather Today

The weather today was, in a word, cold. But that's to be expected in Sunny Canberra at this time of year. I was a bit slack today and completely forgot to take a photo of what, on the surface, appeared to be quite a nice day despite the minimalist maximum temperature. The sun was out and the sky was blue with a few fluffy white clouds floating about which looked very inviting. It would have been lovely too, if it wasn't for the wind making it feel substantially colder than it looked from the comfort of my office window.

Due to my forgetfulness, I took a screenshot of the weather app on my iPhone instead of a photo of the outside world. As a bonus, I think this gives a fairer indication of what the day was actually like. As against an image of sunshine and blue skies that could easily fool an onlooker into thinking it was t-shirt and shorts weather.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Day 148: May Task - Something Sweet

I discovered this flavour of Mentos a couple of weeks ago when I was filling the car up for the return trip from Sydney. I figured that since I liked Mentos and Mojitos I'd probably think that mixing the two together would be really yummy. I was right and I'l buy these again.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 147: May Task - 12 O'Clock

Today's subject matter seemed to be easy enough, I figured I'd just take a photo of whatever I was doing at midday. As it turned out, I missed midday so I had to wait for 12 O'Clock came around again. When it did come around again I was doing the same thing that I would normally be doing at this time of night: Trying to catch up on the blog.

One day I'll get my act together and will be able to post on the day at a reasonable hour... I hope.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Day 146: May Task - Unusual

Belinda had planned on taking this photo for her 'Unusual' post but she ran out of time and took a photo of cheese instead.

It's the unusual goldfish sculpture on Drakeford Drive and from some angles it just looks like a mess of big orange things. But with a little imagination as you drive past, the shapes transform to almost give the sense that you're looking at fish in a pond when there's some ripples on the surface. Pretty clever really.

I took this photo through the windscreen of the car waiting at the intersection for a gap in the evening traffic, it's no where near my normal rout home but I think the photo was worth the trip.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 145: May Task - Something New

I've been threatening to upgrade from the old hand me down Canon since a blog entry in January, I even mentioned it again a few days later in another post about my planned upgrade path.

About a week ago my gorgeous wife became so frustrated with my constant complaining about 'really needing to get a better camera' that she offered me a solution: I'd had Birthday and Christmas presents that were never 'cashed in' so lieu of these she would buy me a new camera. I of course accepted this proposition very quickly and we ordered my new Nikon J1 twin lens kit online. The J1 doesn't have a built in flash so I also ordered the Speed Light flash as well.

Today's photo was obviously not taken with my new Nikon, instead I used Belinda's point & shoot Sony. Now all I need to do is get used to the new camera and take more photos. I've already discovered the flash is amazing and that I can shoot in rapid fire mode at 60 shots per second... it doesn't take long to accidentally take 200 photos.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Day 144: May Task - Technology

This is a fantastic little piece of Technology. As the label says, it's a Quickshifter which for those not in the know allows me to move up through the gears of my race bike without using the clutch or backing off the throttle. Essentially it's a pressure switch that senses when I apply pressure to the gear lever to change up to the next gear, when it senses the pressure it cuts the ignition for a little bit less than a second which unloads the gearbox long enough for the next gear to be selected.

The Quickshifter is great... when it's not broken. This one broke at my last track day which meant I had to remove it and adjust the gear lever so I could still use it, but I had to use the clutch.

I'm now in the process of trying to source a replacement, these little doohickeys are quite expensive when bought locally but substantial savings can be made by buying from the UK or US. So I'm enjoying another of my favourite pastimes: eBaying/Online Shopping.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Day 143: May Task - Pink

'My Giggy!'

They're pink, they're piggies, and they're Henry's. That is all.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Day 142: May Task - Where You Stand

Going off on a slight tangent with today's subject matter I decided to take a photo of 'Where I Stand' my bike.

These are the what I use to stand my race bike up when it's not strapped into the trailer because being a race bike it doesn't have a side stand like a normal road bike.

The one closest is the front stand which lifts the bike from under the steering stem. Unlike other front stands that lift from the base of the forks, this one allows me to remove the forks completely should the need arise.

The one at the back hooks onto the bobbins that are attached to the swing arm and provides most of the stability for working on the bike. These are also necessary for lifting the bike up at track and race days so the tyre warmers can be used.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Day 141: May Task - Something You Can't Live Without

I'm getting all literal again in response to today's subject. Something you can't live without is Birthdays; not because you get cool presents, not because you get birthday cake with a few candles like in my photo and not because you get pampered for the day. The main reason you can't live without Birthdays is because when you stop having them, well it really means you're no longer living.

It just happened to be Daphne's Birthday today and my photo is of the cake that David and I decorated to mark the event. We were only a few candles short of having one for each of Daphne's years but we figured that with this many she probably wouldn't notice. It took a while to light all the candles, despite working in unison with a butane BBQ lighter each. The effect was pretty impressive and I'm pretty sure the effort was appreciated. I should also congratulate Daphne on her lung capacity, she managed to blow every last one of the candles out in one breath... the cloud of smoke afterward was something the behold.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Day 140 : May Task - A Favourite Place

Eastern Creek has been one of my favourite places for a long time now, I've raced it in its old configuration on 2 and 4 wheels and have done more track days there on the bike than I can recall. The proximity of Eastern Creek to Canberra is probably the deciding factor for me that makes it my favourite, if Philip Island was closer it would probably take the gong.

The track itself has been undergoing a transformation over the last 18 months and it's now got a new section that has added a tighter, more technical section to it. They've also renamed it (very imaginatively I might add) Sydney Motorsport Park.

I'm yet to experience the full 'new' circuit so I'll reserve judgement on it until I've had a chance to sample it for myself. Despite the rubbish new name, I'm sure it will still be one of my favourite tracks to ride.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Day 139: May Task - Something You Made

I made these. Some a long time ago, some an even longer time ago. I don't do much with wood anymore but one day when I'm too old to enjoy my current hobbies I'll probably pick the habit up again.

The vase was turned on my lathe that is now in use at my brother Dan's place about 12 or 13 years ago... maybe more, it's the newest of the four items. The block of wood was given to me by my mum, I think it was an old fence post. I left the base square so you could see the aged edges on the wood in contrast to the smooth shaped part that highlights the grain of the wood that was previously hidden.

The bowl was started at the end of high school on one of the school lathes and completed about a year later on a lathe that my brother Dion made in year 10 metalwork. I used two different types of wood that were cut and then glued before turning, I don't remember what the dark wood is but the light wood was the staple of high school woodwork: Pine.

The toy car was another high school project, I gave it some seriously fat wheels at the front and went even fatter at the back, I also made sure it was lowered at the front to give it a more aggressive stance.

The knife was also from high school woodwork, the brief was to make a butter knife. Mine turned out to be more of a butter machete. I started by turning the handle and then cutting the shape of the blade using the band saw. I then spent hours sanding the blade into the final shape, during the sanding process I managed to hone the blade to the point that the wood would cut paper about as well as a decent steak knife. I received good marks for it too.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 138: May Task - Snack

I don't snack very often but when I do it tends to look like the photo above. A couple of Arnott's bikkies in the boardroom, it's hardly what you'd call exciting but in the words of my 10 year old: that's just how I roll.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Day 137: May Task - What You're Reading

This is a bit of a collection of the books I've been browsing lately. I do like to read but because I read slowly, I struggle to find the time. 

I've been reading the Stephen King since Christmas, luckily I have no trouble picking up where I left off even after not having picked the book up for over a month.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of Henry's favourites and I get to read this one pretty regularly, although Henry will sometimes skip ahead pages before I can read all the words to him. I think he really likes the holes in the pages where the Caterpillar has eaten through the various foods.

The Rawson Homes brochure is getting a bit of attention lately along with the Googong information pack, together they're forming a picture of where we'd like to be in a few years time.

The little one tucked between Googong and Rawson is the user guide for my new camera, I'm working my way through it trying to understand all the cool features of the Nikon V1... it's taking some time.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Day 136: May Task - Love

How do you take a photo of love? The best I could come up with was taking a photo of a couple of photos of me and my love, Belinda.

The one on the right was when I was ambushed for a photo on the day I met Belinda's parents. I thought it was a bit weird that Belinda's parents wanted a photo of me with their daughter the first time they'd laid eyes on me. I found out later that Belinda had arrange the ambushing so she could frame the photo and give it to me for Valentine's day, we'd only been going out for a couple of months and it was early in 2005. I didn't know it at the time but eventually I'd fall in love with this girl.

4 years later the photo on the left was taken on our wedding day in 2009, there was no ambushing for this photo.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Day 135: May Task - Grass

Today' subject is grass so I took a quick drive during my lunch break to stop on the side of the Monaro Highway and find some grass in the Canturf paddock. The Canturf signs are changed from time to time and the slogan is usually a clever, or obscure, play on the words relating to grass. I don't drive past here all that often anymore and when I do it's usually dark, but I noticed a while ago that the signs had taken to political commentary. I guess that's fair enough considering the location of the business.

I chose this sign over the other one which read "It's Greener than Brown" purely because the grass was more lush behind this sign and even though the grass is always greener with SnapSeed... it wasn't much 'Greener than Brown' at all. The other sign would have been better if today's subject was Irony.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Day 134: May Task - Mum

Being Mother's Day I guess today's subject is no real surprise. Today we had breakfast with my mum, went to the markets at Calwell (they were cold and not very interesting), watched Jenna get her Orange Belt in Karate and had a mini photo shoot in the front yard. It ended up being a fairly full day.

This is one of the few photos from today where both Belinda and Henry are looking at the camera, they're both in the frame and neither one is pulling a funny face. So almost be default, this became my photo for today's subject. I think I'm better at taking photos of things other than people.

Anyway, happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there and I hope you've had a relaxing day whether you're a mum, a step mum, a mum in law, a grandmum or a mum to be.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Day 133: May Task - Something That Makes You Happy

Crackling. It makes me happy. I cooked a roast tonight and having it all come together is a very satisfying feeling. My photo is of the crackling resting on top of the wedges while the meat rested under some foil. I did this because the spuds were very hot and would help keep the crackling warm and also in the hope that the ones underneath the crackling would absorb some of that delicious pork fat flavour. Next time I'll try to find a roast with more skin so it covers more wedges.

The roast, regardless of beast, is one of the few meals I can cook well with fairly consistent results. My favourite is pork though, because crackling makes me happy.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Day 132: May Task - Kitchen

Today's is a very literal interpretation of the subject. I'm blaming the lack of imagination in my photo today on being exhausted and wanting to go to bed.

I'm not a huge fan of our kitchen, it's quite small and becomes cluttered quickly. I am however a fan of the food that come out of our little kitchen when Belinda has been cooking up a storm.

At least our little kitchen is fairly modern, which is more than I can say for the kitchen in our old house... it was pink. Maybe our next house will have a bigger kitchen.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Day 131: May Task - A Favourite Word

I'm staying at Wakefield Park tonight so I'm fresh for a full day of riding my bike around the race track tomorrow. This is convenient for today's photo because one of my favourite words appears on a t-shirt I received upon my arrival this afternoon.

My double bunger word appeared on the t-shirt because it's part of the package organised by Mark (mentioned previously in Day 99's post) for around 60 odd members of the Canberra Riders internet forum thingy that I'm also a member of.

To me, it's pretty obvious why I like the word so much but not everyone understands the appeal. For me it means that I get to ride my bike as fast as I can without having to worry about legalities, traffic, wildlife (apart from the geese and turtles at Philip Island) or whether there will be gravel or oil or anything else on the next corner that shouldn't be there. Apart from the 'speeding with as much safety as possible' aspect of track-days, they're also an opportunity to practice my riding skills and try to improve for my next race... whenever that may be.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Day 130: May Task - Something You Do Every Day

Yep, I'm a good boy. I brush my teeth twice a day, every day. That counts doesn't it? This is why I don't have any fillings, well that and good genetics I guess.

It's not that easy to make a 10 year old electric toothbrush look glamourous, so I focussed on the toothpaste instead. It's pretty fancy hey? I think the photo worked out pretty well.

I don't really have much else to say about today's subject.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Day 129: May Task - A Smell You Adore

Dale: "Oooooh that smells amazing! What are you cooking my love?"
Belinda: "It's just Onions sweet heart..."

Skip forward a few days.

Dale: "Oooooh that smells amazing! What are you cooking my love?"
Belinda: "It's just Onions sweet heart... again"

This happens on a regular basis in our house. Belinda starts a meal by frying up some Onions, whether it's for Spag Bol, a hearty winter soup or any other dish that uses sauteed Onions as a base. 

So the smell I adore is not terribly fancy, but it has a strong effect on me every time. I've started to salivate just thinking about it.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Day 128: May Task - Someone Who Inspires You

Is it possible to be inspired from beyond the grave? I think so.

Peter Brock inspires me in a number of ways; first he was an undeniable talent behind the wheel and his skill has inspired me to push harder when I've been in competition. Second, in my experience he was a genuinely good bloke who always had time for the fans and was more than happy to share his knowledge. This inspires me to try to be a better person (sometimes with more success than others) and also to pass my knowledge and experience on, as I gain it, to those who have less than I do.

Today's photo is of a photo that was taken a long time ago, you can tell because Peter Brock is standing there and I'm wearing baggy jeans.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Day 127: May Task - You

I decided that today's subject being 'You' could really only be interpreted as being all about 'Me'. So I chose to gather a few things that are a little bit 'Me' instead of doing a predictable self portrait.

Running through the things I gathered, there is:
- My helmet (not the mouldy one, this is the one I use for racing)
- My favourite sneakers
- My phone which is a necessity for work and play
- My favourite cuff-links (a gift from Belinda, they're in the shape of steering wheels)
- My sunnies I really hate the glare
- My family (on the screen of Belinda's laptop)
- My 'Mr Grumpy' coffee cup
- My car and bike keys

There were many other things that I would have liked to add to this collection but I ran out of time (if you look closely at my phone you'll see it was midnight when I took this photo) and the collection would have ended up looking like a trash & treasure stall. I am indeed a complex individual.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Day 126: May Task - Bird

Bird, Bird, Bird: Bird is the word.... If you get that tune into your head, I wish you good luck getting it back out again.

Today's subject was the word 'Bird' and again I thought I'd struggle trying to snap a decent photo with my old hand-me-down Canon, particularly if I was trying to capture an image of a real live bird. There are moves being made to rectify this situation, stay tuned.

Instead of aiming for something with feathers, a beak and a penchant for pooping on my car, I tried thinking a little laterally: My image involving the word 'Bird' for today is my skateboard which is in great condition largely due to its lack of use. Regardless I really like my skateboard and I'm happy that Tony Hawk put his name to my deck via his company, Birdhouse, which meets today's brief twofold with reference to a bird being 'Hawk' and the word itself in the company name 'Birdhouse'.

As far as I'm concerned: Mission Accomplished.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Day 125: May Task - Fun

I struggled with 'Fun' as today's subject. It's not like I don't know fun when I see it and the easy way out would have been walking into the garage and taking a photo of one of the bikes because for me that's the best fun you can have whilst keeping the subject matter suitable for public consumption.

Instead I found the word fun on a sign and used it for my photo. I had to crop it a bit, otherwise it wouldn't have made much sense... in fact it might even have been considered a little insensitive. Regardless, this is my interpretation of today's subject.

I wonder how many can figure out where I found this sign and why it might be a little off colour for today's subject if I'd used the full sign?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Day 124: May Task - Something You Wore Today

Today's subject, whilst easy in theory, was not all that interesting... I tried thinking outside the square and taking a photo of my deodorant, my wedding ring, my dirty socks on the floor or even the stupid grin I was wearing while trying to think up an original idea for today's task. In the end I gave up on originality and chose to get all literal on the subject by laying my work attire out on the floor for my photo. That's right, it's my well worn, maybe even a little beat up business suit. Nothing fancy, nothing original, just my take on today's subject matter. Tomorrow is going to be fun... literally, the subject is 'Fun'.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Day 123: May Task - Skyline

Today's subject is 'Skyline' and when the clues said 'where the sky meets land, can be buildings, the beach, forest, whatever!' I took 'whatever' and ran with it.

My take on 'Skyline' is the photo above: it's the engine bay of an R33 Skyline that has been built by a local performance shop. It's much more me than some lame picture of a landscape and as far as I'm concerned it still fits the brief.

So how did I stumble upon today's photo? I was doing laps of Fyshwick thinking that because I see so many Skylines (the cars) every day that I'd find one pretty easily. It turned out that I was wrong... it's always the way though: When you're looking for something it's never around. Eventually I saw this one parked out the front of Dynamic Tuning Services with DTS advertising all over it. I went into the shop and asked if they minded me taking a photo and the response was along the lines of 'it's covered in bugs... can you use the engine bay instead?".

I was happy to oblige and I think my photo is pretty impressive: There's been a lot of time and effort put into this Skyline and in my humble opinion it's as beautiful as any landscape, sunset or cityscape that you're likely to find.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 122: May Task - Peace

For the month of May I've been talked into doing a set subject for each day's photo, so for the next 31 days you'll be subjected to my take on the list of subjects. I know Belinda and Peta are also doing this so it will be interesting to compare our interpretations on the subjects set each day.

Today's subject was Peace and for me it involved a brief visit to the Australian War Memorial. Why go to the War Memorial for an image of Peace? Allow me to explain my thoughts:

With ANZAC day only being only 8 days ago, it was fairly fresh in my mind and it got me thinking about how lucky we are today to live in a time and place where we enjoy the freedoms of peace time. 

My take on today's subject is an image is of the 'Simpson and his Donkey' statue at the AWM. John Simpson Kirkpatrick was, essentially, a pommie backpacker who fell into the Australian Army trying to find his way back to Geezerland. 

Google says that despite being a pom, his attitude was pretty bloody Aussie; he was an independent individual who would do anything to help his mates. He exposed himself to enemy fire in his efforts to bring the wounded back from the frontline and these are the actions that cut his life short a mere four weeks after his arrival on the shores of Gallipoli.

It's an amazing story and quite horrible really, but without the efforts of guys like John Simpson Kirkpatrick and the many others like him I honestly don't believe we would be enjoying the peace in our country that we experience do today.

So this is my take on today's subject matter of 'Peace', tomorrow's subject is 'Skyline'.