Sunday, 30 September 2012

Day 274: Dinner: Better Than Gardening

I spent today out in the garden nursing a little bit of a hangover. It was forced labour that involved a lot of pine chip shoveling and pulling a bunch of things out of the ground including two very large and very heavy posts. I didn't enjoy it, so I didn't use it for today's photo.

What I did enjoy was making and then eating dinner. As we had Belinda's parents coming down for a few days and we'd bought a roast, I was put on dinner duties. I'd also made a trip down to the supermarket for supplies so I could make a Basil, Bocconcini and Tomato salad to have as well as the baked veg. It was worth the effort and was just what the doctor ordered to help me recover from last nights frivolity.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Day 273: Footy Finals

I headed out to Andy's place this arvo to watch the AFL Grand Final. It's not something I would have done previously but after Andy & Pete took me to watch the Hawks play at the MCG, I've had lot more interest in this historically Victorian game.

Now looking at todays photo you might think that the Hawks had won. Unfortunately this wasn't the case, they were beaten by the Swans in a pretty exciting game that saw the lead change a number of times. The Hawks also lost when the guys took me to watch them at the MCG... I'm wondering whether Pete & Andy will invite me to watch another game with them after this, it could be construed that I'm bad luck based on the two losses from the two games that I've watched with them. We'll see what happens next season.

My photo today was taken after the game, and a few drinks, in Andy's kitchen where we were preparing dinner. Andy had cranked up the volume on one of his playlists which lead to dinner preparation being interrupted with bouts of dancing around the kitchen that could only be described as exuberant, energetic and maybe a little inebriated. I have to give it to these guys, even after watching their team lose the grand final they partied like they'd won. We all had a great time despite the wrong team got up.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Day 272: TGIF

With another week over and a full weekend ahead of me I thought it best to relax as much as possible tonight. The wine helped, so did the yummy (as usual) dinner and kicking back in front of the telly... what didn't help was Henry's latest habit of not wanting to go to bed.

Over the last few nights it's been the same: Bed time comes and Henry digs his heels in and wont go to bed, this is followed by putting him in bed anyway and then listening to him scream for around 10 minutes before crashing out. It's certainly not what anyone could mistake for a good time. I'm really hoping this latest phase doesn't last long, but in the mean time there's always wine.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Day 271: Three Fish, Four Fingers

Not quite. Henry knows how to say the numbers and he even knows how to associate the correct number with the words, but he hasn't quite mastered the coordination required to express the numbers with his fingers.

Tonight we were reading a bunch of books before bed, a few of them were books that count from 1 to 10. While we were reading these counting books Henry was trying to copy me counting the numbers on my fingers, for Henry it was a two hand process that wasn't quite right all the time but entertaining all the same. It was very cute watching his mind battle with his body so I decided to take a photo of it and use it for today's post.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Day 270: Incentives

A little bundle of goodies landed on my desk this afternoon, they're essentially a reminder that this year our big incentive trip is to Hawaii and that the end of the qualification period is getting closer. 

We have a couple of these types of incentives each year and the good thing about this one is your partner is invited as well, kids are also welcome but we'd have to pay for their airfares ourselves... which would make for a fairly cheap family holiday. I'm hoping to make it this year and I'm pretty close to hitting the targets for qualification too but I still have some work to do.

As far as the 'goodies' go: The Hula Girl is kinda cheesy and the cheapo plastic Lei is really scratchy, but the bamboo bookmark with the Ukulele shape carved out of it is pretty cool.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Day 269: Expanding Capabilities

This little gem arrived in the mail today, it's a funky little adaptor that lets me us Nikon F mount lenses on my Nikon V1 camera. I'm now looking forward to actually using this with some of Belinda's lenses and might even look into buying some F mount lenses of my own.

It's quite a heavy little thing, and it's got all the contact points to bring power to the lens so it will auto focus. The local camera shops were asking a lot of money for one of these and they didn't actually carry them in stock either. By shopping online I saved close to 40% and had delivery within a week. I wonder how long it will be before retail outlets are a thing of the past?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Day 268: The Shoe Coffin

For some years I've had a large box full of old shoes. The box itself originally contained the full aftermarket exhaust system I bought for my WRX, which is 3 cars ago now. Belinda named it the shoe coffin due to its size and it has been one of her pet hates from the time I decided to re-purpose the box for storing my old shoes.

Tonight, we dragged the box out and opened it up. It was a bit like opening a time capsule, I found things I'd completely forgotten about like an old pair of snow boarding boots, my old sprinting spikes and some hotel slippers that found their way into my suitcase prior to checkout.

Of all the pairs of shoes, thongs, boots and slippers in there I only salvaged 3 pairs. The rest really weren't worth keeping. Now I need to get around to disposing of both the enormous box and its remaining contents...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Day 267: Fun In The Sun

I love this photo, I took it at the park that's next to the Freke's house. Initially it was just me and Henry, but when Jenna came over to join us the fun really started.

Henry insisted on going down the slide in a train with Jenna, he was quite assertive with telling Jenna where to sit so they could slide together. I don't think she minded though, in fact I think she was enjoying it as much as Henry was. They had so much fun climbing up the slide and the sliding back down it, I said this yesterday and I'll say it again: I love watching these two play

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Day 266: Excessive Exercise

This morning Jenna took Henry out to the Freke's back yard for a little exercise. For Jenna the exercise involved so many cartwheels that I became dizzy just watching. For Henry it was all about climbing up and down the little doghouse deck that used to be a picnic table, as well as this Jenna attempted to help Henry to a hand stand or two which ended with Henry rolling onto his back and giggling.

I love watching these two play in the sun.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Day 265: Travel Companion

This afternoon we headed off to Sydney to visit Belinda's family and help celebrate David's 35th birthday. Our travel was fairly peaceful and was done in one sitting, thanks largely to Belinda's iPad. Henry has an enormous attention span for the various kids apps that have been installed and they managed to keep him entertained for pretty much the full 3 hour journey.

As I was driving and also hadn't taken a photo of my own today, I've resorted to employing the services of a special guest photographer. Luckily, Belinda is quite good at taking photos, even on her iPhone, and her services were readily available.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Day 264: Meow

I made it home before Belinda and Henry this afternoon and decided to take a little photo shooting safari in the back yard. While I was wandering around the back yard I kept hearing strange little rustlings in the bushes, eventually Daisy emerged and in a rare show of cooperation she posed for me instead of bolting in the opposite direction. She was covered in cobwebs, some small leaf litter and quite a lot of loose fur but the pose was so much like the typical kids drawing of a cat that I had to use it.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Day 263: ...And The Traffic Was Bumper To Bumper

After Henry's messiness on Monday night I came out to the lounge this evening to see his toy cars neatly lined up like they were in a single lane traffic jam. This isn't an unusual occurrence for Henry's cars, they often suffer from bumper to bumper congestion during their travels. I think the cause of tonight's traffic issue was the overturned roadside Lego planter box.

This kind of thing happens on our roads from time to time: something different, whether an accident or a breakdown or something similar on the side of the road makes every one slow to a crawl so they can get a good look at it. It's eternally frustrating when it happens, at least Henry's traffic jams are easy to clear and they've never extended my trip home.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Day 262: Ellie Potter

I made an impulse purchase while we were at the Canberra Centre on Sunday and thought this toy would keep me entertained for a while. Unfortunately Henry decided that I must have bought it for him and he insisted on carrying it for the rest of the day in its box with the little plastic handle like it was some kind of briefcase. I had to hide it when we got home for fear of Henry working out how to open the box and then trashing the toy before I'd had a chance to play with it. He hasn't learned 'Gentle' very well yet.

Jenna was very keen to see it fly tonight so I charged it up and had a little go after Henry's bath. This, in hindsight, was a mistake. The only way I can describe henry's reaction to the Helicopter in flight is to call it Hyperactive Astonishment. He went into a frenzy yelling out "ELLIE-POTTER" while running around in circles all the while not letting his eyes leave the toy as it flew around the lounge room. He became even more amazed when I managed to skillfully land the helicopter on Jenna's hands.

The trouble with this toy is that the little rechargeable battery in it only lasts for around 10 minutes of flying. Flat batteries, very much like the concept of 'Gentle', are a phenomenon that Henry doesn't quite get yet. Henry was quite upset as he sobbed "My Ellie-Potter" over and over again which wasn't a lot of fun just before bed time.

A new rule had been intorduced in our house: No Ellie Potters between bath time and bedtime.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Day 261: Messy Monday

Henry seems to ramp up his messyness on Mondays, I think he knows we're tired after our first day back at work and he feels it's his duty to make us work harder. Is it really possible that a 2 year old can pick up on our exhaustion and then use it against us? Maybe my lack of sleep has given me a dose of paranoia and I'm reading too far much into this mess of Lego... either that or Henry is an evil genius.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Day 260: Every Dog Has Its Day

Today was Dog wash day, which is something we usually outsource to the local Dogworld but because the weather has been so nice over the last couple of days we decided to take care of it ourselves. Henry even helped. After watching Belinda wash and rinse Rex, Henry helped rinse Milly off by tipping jugs of water on her like Belinda had for Rex. He's a quick study.

I like this photo because it caught the water splashing off Rex's back as Belinda was pouring it on, you can also see how much Rex was enjoying it all and Henry intently taking it all in.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day 259: Such A Nice Day Today

We ventured into the city today to do a spot of shopping and hang out at Glebe Park for a while, unfortunately we left the stroller at home but then fortunately we discovered that the Canberra Centre has free stroller hire... which would mean you're not really hiring. Thinking this was a great idea we filled in the forms and borrowed a stroller, unfortunately Henry didn't want to sit in it. At least it was good for carrying the shopping.

After a bit of lunch we headed over to Glebe Park, sans free stroller, where Jenna and Henry took advantage of the playground. I snapped this photo while we were there and decided to use it for today's photo, mostly because it's very much a snapshot of our family life. Henry's taken off for the highest part of the playground with no fear, Jenna's shadowing him making sure he's ok and Belinda's there watching over them both and grabbing some great photos while she's at it.

It's times like this that I feel so lucky to have such a beautiful family.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Day 258: Ver'geten

After all the excitement of the last couple of days I was quite happy to get home, unfortunatley I was exhausted and arrived home in time to have dinner and crash out on the couch. To add to the misfortune I hadn't taken a photo since 11:40pm last night. I could blame being tired after an intense two day conference laced with a big night out, but the truth of the matter is I just forgot to take a photo.

In the place of a photo from today, I'm putting a photo of a page from Belinda's Dutch/English Dictionary. I thought this would make a change to the normal Arty Fart type photo I take when I "Ver'geten".

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Day 257: Big Buddha

After a full day cooped up in a conference with about 40 colleagues from all over the country, one of the guys from Melbourne suggested the few of us staying at the same hotel should head out for some dinner. The night started out at Chinta Ria for an impressive feed for relatively little money, a good sign.

From there a group decision was made to head off to some trendy bar called Ivy for a quick cleansing ale before retiring to the hotel. This plan was fine for a while and it was just as well we'd all had a cheap dinner because the drinks at Ivy weren't, the roof top pool bar was pretty spectacular though. Before leaving Ivy a few of our group headed back to the hotel, the rest of us stayed for one more round before walking back.

Along the way we thought it was a good move to stop in at another trendy bar called Establishment, it was on the way after all and the walking we were doing was thirsty work. Some time around 2am the few of us who remained decided that considering we had the start of another full day of conference to contend with in around 6 hours, we should probably call it the last round and head back to the hotel. Not such a good sign.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Day 256: Not So Local Landmark 2

Last time I was in Sydney for work I forgot my camera and ended up posting a crappy photo of Luna Park taken with my iPhone. I hated not having my camera and swore I wouldn't leave it behind the next time I was away with work. I'm back in Sydney with work for the next two days and this time I came prepared.

My flight was a little late this afternoon and I didn't get off the plane until just after 8pm. I ended up catching a cab straight to a little restaurant with a couple of colleagues for dinner, If you're out around the Rocks I can recommend both the food and the service at Sailors Thai. After dinner the decision was made to walk from Sailors Thai to the hotel we were staying in and along the way we passed this little scene.

I really like this photo, there's so much going on in it: The bridge looks great from this angle, there's a cool starburst from the lamp on the left, the crushed car in the centre of the roundabout is different and the Australia Day flag on the right was being blown by a bit of a gust of wind which blurred its edge in the long exposure photo. Have I mentioned that I love my Nikon? So glad I didn't leave it at home this time.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Day 255: Dragon

This is Henry's dragon, he doesn't have a name... in fact I don't even know if he's actually a he. Henry likes to point to his dragon and then to his book about a boy who wishes his little brother was a dragon and say "Same!" and "Dragon!". He also likes to push his dragon over and say "Oh no! Fall down boom!".

I just think this particular little rubber bouncer toy is cute... so I made it my photo for today.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Day 254: Belinda's Been Busy

This is an amazing improvement on what our bathroom looked like yesterday. We had things piled up on the floor in front of the bath left over from when we did a big bedroom clean up a little while ago. I have to admit I didn't have much of a hand in this transformation, my input really only involved taking my stuff that had been shuffled from the bedroom into the bathroom to its final storage location out to the shed. Belinda really has been busy.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Day 253: Lanyon Laziness

After a substantial sleep in Belinda suggested we take Henry and Daphne down to Lanyon Homestead for an afternoon coffee. I hadn't been there before so didn't really now what to expect, what I found was a little cafe that opens onto a big paddock. Henry had great fun running around in all that open space while we were waiting for our coffee, which wasn't bad even if it did take a long time to make its way out to our table.

Today's photo of Henry was taken at maximum zoom with the sun behind him and I'm still getting used to which settings work best in which conditions, this one worked ok but it's a little grainy. I still wanted to use it because it's just so Henry, he was having so much fun and you can see it written all over his cheeky little face.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Day 252: Dolphins Before Dawn

I'd walked past this sculpture/water feature thing so many times yesterday that I just had to stop and take its photo today... well actually it was taken on my way to bed last night, but it was sometime between 3:30 and 4:00am so I figure it counts as a photo for today.

I'm pretty impressed with how the photo worked out, it was very low light when I took it and if it wasn't for the nice flat hand rail on the little foot bridge that crosses the pond it never would have worked.

Other highlights of the evening included a fantastic dinner under the stars, many bottles of Moet, a stand up set by Peter Helliar and then more drinks at the bar with said comedian. Today on the other hand consisted of lots of Powerade and lots of waiting at airports. It's been a long day.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Day 251: Daydream Dusk

After a full morning packed with corporate team building type stuff focussed on collaboration, lateral thinking, resourcefulness and a weird pirate/survivor theme, work put on a great lunch and gave us the afternoon to ourselves.

I spent most of my afternoon underwater on my first ever Scuba Dive, it was fantastic. Being my first time I had some extra briefing before getting into the water and also some extra attention while in the water. As we waded in, I was shown how to clear water from my goggles while still underwater and also how to blow any water out of the mouth piece (I'm sure it has a proper name...) just in case it came out of my mouth. Then there was the dive where I had to hold hands with the pretty Swedish girl who was there to make sure I was OK 10 meters under the surface. The visibility was around 5 meters (another reason I had to hold hands with the dive instructor) so a lot of the fish were only shadows until you got up close to them and could see them in their full colour, there were a lot of them too. Most of them would have made a decent meal too, I was surprised at how many and how large the fish were just off the shore in the coral at this end of the island.

My photo today was taken after the dive, a few quiet beers and a wander around the island. It was taken from the rocky bay that we waded into for the Scuba Dive. I took a bunch of these, playing with the settings on the camera but I chose this one because I managed to capture a seabird flying above the sun. This was, of course, pure and unadulterated fluke.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Day 250: Hard Work

It's a tough job, but some body's got to do it.

Now saying it's tough is a bit of an exaggeration... but saying it's a job isn't, my work really does know how to reward its staff.

I took todays photo this afternoon while I was relaxing on the deck of a big, purple catamaran with a Corona in my hand. This particular catamaran is allegedly the fastest boat of its type in the Whitsundays, but going by its name I was having my doubts. The boat has been named after possibly the worst car Holden have ever made the mistake of putting a Holden badge on: the Camira.

I'm sure it really is a fast boat, but in the gentle breeze we had today there wasn't much opportunity to find out. Instead we had a leisurely cruise in the afternoon sun from Hamilton Island to spend a couple of days on Daydream Island. Not bad for a day on the payroll.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Day 249: Spring Has Sprung

It's a sure sign spring is here when Commonwealth Park is closed off and the Floriade Ferris Wheel is lit up. I only noticed this as I was heading home from the pub tonight and I assume Floriade will be in full swing within the next couple of weeks. For now though, there's only fences and mounds of dirt... so far as I could see in the dark anyway.

I had a few attempts at this photo and it's times like this that a tripod would have been handy. I ended up sitting the camera on a rock wall so I wouldn't wobble during the 2 or so second exposure. It seemed to work out ok.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Day 248: Pretty

Belinda spotted this little visitor in the one of the trees across the road this afternooon and since I had my camera handy I decided to make the most of the blog fodder opportunity that had presented itself. I have no idea what kind of bird this is, and I couldn't even tell you what sort of tree it's sitting in with all those pretty flowers but I think it made for a pretty picture.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Day 247: Twiggy Trees

On a little drive at lunch time today I found these mostly nude tree trunks and the contrast against the clear blue sky struck me as being photo worthy. I've decided to use the manual settings on the Nikon as much as possible and to experiment with the different settings. I still don't really know what I'm doing but through a little trial and error I'm ending up with images that I'm happy with. Although sometimes for the first couple of photos I forget I've left the camera in manual mode and that I need to adjust it to suit the conditions.

It was such a nice day today, it's really startin to feel like spring is here at last. Maybe I should have taken a photo of the blossoms that have started coming out to give that 'spring is in the air' kind of feel, but then again I'm pretty sure this nice weather will lull us into a false sense of security only to snap back to the cold. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Day 246: Father's Day - Playing Plumber

Belinda has been telling me that the hot water system's been leaking a fair bit lately so today I finally got around to taking a look at it. I thought I'd try flushing the pressure relief valve which only resulted in spraying hot water all over my sneakers and increasing the flow of water onto the path. It was then that I decided it was time to turn the gas and water off at the heater and take a trip down to Bunnings.

A little while later I returned with a new relief valve and a roll of plumbers tape. While I was fitting the new valve Belinda thought it a photo of me doing Fatherly things on Father's Day would make a good photo. As Belinda was about to shoot, I quickly tried to pull my jeans down at the back so I could really look the part of a plumber for the photo... unfortunately my belt was too tight and I was unable to achieve the desired But Cleavage. I'm not sure when I'll get the opportunity to play plumber again, but when I do I'll be sure to wear more appropriate clothing.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Day 245: September Selfie

Being the first day of the month, I decided I'd join up with Belinda and her mates and take an extra photo a day for their September Photo-a-Day list. Today's subject was 'Me, Now' so I took this self portrait sitting in my favourite corner of the lounge. The 'Me, Now' subject for the first day of the month ties in with the 'Me, Then' subject for the last day. I'm still thinking about what to do for that one. At least of got the rest of the month to come up with something.

Unfortunately it's the only photo I took today so I now have to use it for my blog as well... I may end up using more photos from September's list for the blog but I'll be trying to avoid it most of the time. The main reason being that the last time I did a list of set subjects for the month (that was for the month of May) I didn't really enjoy being locked in to that particular day's subject, it kind of stifled the opportunity to post up those interesting things that you stumble upon from time to time.

Anyway, today's photo should be the first and last self portrait for this project 366.