31 March, 2010

A Bit of Easter Cheer

I'm a bit early for Easter .... but they're so cute....

29 March, 2010

Macro Monday: The Collector

I watched  a documentary last night about a wildlife photographer which inspired me to see what beasties I could find in my garden.  I have always suspected there is a herd of elephants lost somewhere in the jungle that once was my back yard  (I must clean that up one day), but all I could come up with was a bee doing the nasty bump with my Lilly Pilly.
Hello Ladies!

The bee is not quite as clear as I would like but in my defence, the little blighter wouldn't stay still.  Maybe I need a new camera?  :-)

Have a look at Lisa's Chaos for more macro photos

28 March, 2010

Sundays In My City: Como, Sydney

Not far fom my house is a small park on the bank of the Georges River.  Late Sunday afternoons the park is filled with kids on bikes, dogs going for a walk and the odd wedding.

Come on ... throw the ball ... somebody throw the ball.

Flowergirl has lost interest in the wedding.

Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.

Take a trip around the world with other Sunday in My City submissions.

22 March, 2010

Macro Monday: Fun Guys

My partner only knows one joke:

Why were the mushrooms laughing as they were walking down the street?
     They were just a couple of fun guys ... get it?... fungi ... funny hah?

No, I didn't think it was funny either, but now when I see mushrooms I always think of his stupid joke.  I'm cursed.

21 March, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Shelly Beach

I'm not a morning person.  Not even slightly.  With great sacrifice to myself and those around me who now have to tolerate my foul mood, I dragged myself out of my bed pre-dawn this morning to see what the surf was like at nearby Shelly Beach (Cronulla). 

6:45am Shelly Beach, Cronulla
The surf was rubbish, but a fantasic sunrise made the pain of not having my Sunday sleep-in worthwhile.

7:15am Shelly Beach, Cronulla

7:20am Looking north towards Kurnell

18 March, 2010

I am the Worst

It's official ... I am the worst lawn bowler in the world.  Maybe the worst in the entire universe as I am assuming higher minded being living in another solar system have better things to do with their time than chuck a wobbly ball across the lawn.

Last night was the annual twilight lawn bowls night for the department I worked for in another life. I was delighted they invited me back and I was a little flattered that they still remembered me. I missed their true motive: they needed someone to come last.

I'm not a complete novice at lawn bowls and after last year's dismal effort I was determined this year I was going to impress everybody. To tell you the truth, I fancied myself a little. I was sure that a sport where you didn't have to put your beer down when it was your turn was something I was going to be good at. Alas, I was wrong.  

We played in teams of four people, so I could try and say it was the team that lost. The organisers were wise to this and the teams were rearranged a few time. Every team I was in lost.  I'm taking this very personally.  

I think it's time to retire gracefully from the sport. I have never worked out which way the wobbly ball should turn and I can't face the indignity any more of being asked “What are you aiming at?”. I shall concentrate on a sport I can excel at.  I am much better at heckling from the sidelines.

"There's nothing wrong with saying hard luck!
Just learn to do it without the snigger.

15 March, 2010

Macro Monday: Not so Fierce

I'm going to confess, I didn't take this photo today.  I've been at a French Masters Art Exhibition in Canberra today and cameras were not allowed. Sacré bleu! So many macro opportunities and no camera. I've had to dig into the files for today's Macro Monday.

I wish I knew what type of lizard this is.  I had to lay in muddy stream to get the shot as he poked his nose out from under a rock ledge.

Lizard in the Blue Mountains

By coincidence I'm following the reptile theme on Macro Monday although
I don't think this little fella is going to rip my arm off.

14 March, 2010

Sunday in My City

Sundays in My City is a great idea hosted by Unknown Mami.  Take a photo for your city/suburb/town/street on a Sunday and share it by linking it to the site.  It's a great way to see the world.

There is a hint of autumn in Sydney at the moment.  The breeze is cooler and there is a touch of yellow in the leaves.  The Sydney CBD takes on a different personality on Sundays and you can find a quiet spot to sit and have a chat.

Sandstone stairs at the side of Sydney Town Hall.

To see other submissions for Sunday in My City click here.

09 March, 2010

Out, Out Damn Virus

I have been infected. A nasty nasty trojan invaded my computer and I have just wasted the last three hours trying to fix up the mess. Normally when something goes wrong with the computer I can act superior and blame someone else for breaking it. Not this time. This one is all mine.

All it took was one glorious moment of dumbness. I received an email last last night from UPS telling me a parcel I had send could not be delivered. While this was unusual, it didn't ring alarm bells. All sorts of purchases and sales occur on eBay at our house and I never know what is going on until the courier arrives to either pick up or deliver.

As soon and I clicked on the attachment I knew I had made big mistake. My computer took on a life of it's own. Screens started popping up everywhere and my virus scanner went into overdrive. At this point I took the only sensible option: Turn the damn computer off and went to bed.  I  believe denial is a legitimate solution.

Morning comes with a renewed sense of optimism. Maybe the computer fixed itself overnight while it was turned off. Perhaps it was just a bad dream and it never happened? 

Nope. It's busted. Totally stuffed.

The sneaky thing about this trojan is it appears to have disabled my main virus scanner and then took over the default Windows virus scanner. It dutifully told me I had been infected and started flashing increasingly urgent messages telling me I was at risk of a) having my personal details stolen, b) having my banking passwords stolen, c) causing a nuclear meltdown and triggering global destruction. (ok, maybe not the last one but that's what it felt like) . I could stop all of this by upgrading my Internet security. All I needed to do was send my credit card details.

I can understand how people get fooled into giving their card details. It is incredibly frustrating when your computer doesn't work and upgrading the security seems like a really good idea. Lucky for me the credit card is already maxed so it was never an option.

Three hours later I had resurrected my main virus scanner which was then able to find and remove the trojan. The process is a like chemotherapy and some pretty important files were killed along the way. My computer is now limping along as I try to replace these files. I'm doing lots of re-installs.

08 March, 2010

100 Years of Dust

Sydney Town Hall was opened to the public after renovations last weekend.  The waratah in the photograph is part of the brass staircase.  It was easy to miss as the staircase is dominated by a stunning stained glass window (definitely not a macro photo). 

The light inside the Town Hall was tricky and it was only when I viewed this photo at home that I realised that the Council had not been wasting the taxpayer's money on cleaning.  I can't blame them.  I wouldn't dust it either.

The Waratah is a flower native to the Sydney region and the floral emblem of New South Wales.

Enjoy some more macro photography at Macro Monday

Exercising the Vocal Chords

I've had several attempts at writing this blog but I'm struggling to describe something that you have to see to believe. Imagine you are in a room with hundreds of nuns, a Nazi, a few goats, boys in lederhosen and girls in white dresses with blue satins sashes all singing Edelweiss as if their lives depended on it. Is this a nightmare that haunts my sleep? No, this is Sing-a-long Sound of Music. The best fun you can have with someone elses clothes on.

I have a dark secret. I love the Sound of Music movie and it's nice to know I'm not alone.  This movie brings out the the closet Maria fans and they are willing to dress up for their night of nights.  Some of the costumes were astounding, particularly one woman who wore a bridal dress.  The dress was so big the ushers had to help her when she moved around.  I hope she didn't use public transport to get home.

This is an interactive show. You don't get to sit back and hum My Favourite Things under you breath while watching Austrian scenery. You're part of the show. As we sat down we were given a bag of tricks to be used during the movie and a quick training session on when to use them (as if we didn't already know!!)
  • Flash cards to wave in the air during the song How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria.
  • A piece of curtain material to wave around while shouting “behind you!!” at Maria while she worries about the children's lack of play clothes.
  • An invitation to the Captains Ball - the social event of the year.
  • A plastic flower to wave while singing Edelweiss.
  • Streamers for when Maria and the Captain first kiss.
You must also:-
  • Hiss when the Baroness appears
  • Boo the Nazis
  • Go “Ahhhh” every time Gretl speaks
  • Bark like a dog when ever Rolf the Telegram Boy appears. (This one makes more sense when you are there) I never liked Rolf. I always thought he was a bit slimy and Liesl could do better.

Most importantly you have to sing.

We sung every Do-Re-Me, yodelled along with the Lonely Goatherd and tries a bit of Latin with the Nuns. The audience was out of key and never in time and it must have sounded brilliant. My voice was a little worse for wear the following day.

We are already planning out costumes for next time. I read about a guy at the San Francisco production who went covered in black balloons. Apparently he was the Lonely Goat Turd.  We have to top this.

07 March, 2010

Arrival of the Queen

Sunday afternoon yacht races were interupted when Queen Mary 2 cruised into Sydney Harbour.  It's difficult to convey the size of this ship with photographs but she is too big to fit under the Harbour Bridge.

Other Scenic Sunday posts can be viewed here.

01 March, 2010

Macro Monday

I love photography but lately I haven't spent much time with my camera lately. Bad Vicki. I was admiring the Shelle's damn fine photos on Fair Dinks and saw she posts macro photos to Macro Monday.

I also noticed a tiny bug happily munching his way through my herb garden and now I have my first Macro Monday post. 

A word of advice for this hungry little hopper ....
Dude, you're eating my garlic chives.  There will be no lov'n from
the ladies if you eat these.
  You're gunna stink!
The flowers are about 1cm across and the grasshopper was tiny.

Check out other Macro Monday posts


Someone stole the last two days of February.  I thought I had plenty of time before the Blog This Photography Challege was due to close.  I looked at my calendar this morning and, damn, March happened while I wasn't looking.  I hate it when that happens.

It may be a little presumptuous of me but I couldn't decide which picture to use so I am entering three photos taken around the same time.  I took these photos late one afternoon while on holidays in Papua New Guinea.  At low tide the locals collect shellfish on the mud flats.  The sunset caught the clouds of a thunderstorm building in the distance and there wasn't a breath of wind to ruffle the water.  

If you would like to see other entries in the Photography Challenge or to cast a vote visit the Blog This site.