Posts for year 2008

Still “notadad”

While we spent 9 hours of Christmas Eve in the Mater Mothers’ antenatal ward as a precaution (her BP was up and our OB was being properly cautious), we’re still in “not parents” mode. Hence, “not-a-dad” on facebook.No news yet.

Visit to Tiantan – Temple of Heaven

Yesterday I visited Tiantan – the Temple of Heaven, which is about 2 km south of Tian an Men.

I found it to be a really peaceful space – probably helped by the “keep off the grass” signs – I spent about 5 hours wandering around, looking at the various parts of the temple and its grounds, looking at the tourists…. despite having really sore feet at the end of the day, I actually felt quite quite refreshed by the experience. Such a beautiful surprise to find this oasis of calm in such a busy city.

I took a few photos of course, and I’m really glad that I borrowed Chip’s 10-22mm lens – it really made a difference:


I was also really pleased to get some detail on the ends of the blue-glazed tiles that are just everywhere:


This is a short gallery of my favourite pictures from the day:

Bees gone!

This morning (rather early, actually) I called the DPI, and a little while later received a callback from the on-call pest person (I think that was the title) with the name of three local apiarists to contact.

I rang an apiarist called Peter (who is also listed on the Bindareepage), he came over this afternoon and removed the swarm for us, gave me a heap of information about bees and how to handle them, and also some advice about what I could do to help bee-proof our house. Really great bloke, if we ever need bees removed again I’ll certainly call him first.

While he was working, our next-door neighbour got home, saw what we were hanging around in the front yard for, and mentioned that they’d got some pest eradicators in to their place yesterday afternoon …. because they had bees in their wall cavity. By an amazing coincidence, that’s about the time when I noticed we had a swarm of bees in our front yard. Hmmmmmph!

While Peter was working I took a few photos (Canon EOS400D, 75-300m EF 1:4-5.6 IS):


Wandered downstairs this arvo to refill my glass, and was surprised to hear a buzzing sound from the loo. Turned out there were bees inside, and quite a few more outside in the patio area. Promptly closed all the doors, making sure codercat was inside, then went to call J’s parents for advice. They said to close the doors and wait until sundown.

When J got home, she parked her work car out the front under the grevillea as per normal, and when we got to the front door, codercat bolted out. Not such a problem…. except that I noticed there were manymany more bees out the front than out the back. Turns out, we’ve got a bit of a swarm thing going on:


Thar be movement

J’s been feeling the kicks and general movement for a while now, but tonight was the first time for me. Put my ear to her tummy and listened…. got kicked twice in short order! Also heard the fluid movement sound – a bit like a bubble bursting, a bit like when you’ve just had a really large glass of water and hear your insides gurgling.

We Can Has Oven Now Plz!!

A few weeks (ok, closer to 2 months) ago, our oven died. The grill was still ok, but that was about it. Got ourselves a new one from HardlyNormal at Oxley, and finally got it installed this morning. I’ve been thinking that we could get the microwave oven put on a shelf on top of it – there’s certainly space available since the old one was nearly 1m high (combined oven and grill rather than integrated grill). Maybe when the electricians come back to do the outside work that the rain prevented today….


We Can Has Oven Now!

Really looking forward to having lasagne tonight, and for J to make one of her amazing pavlovas… mmmmmmmm.

Preserving photos

A few weeks ago while visiting E+T (and clan) the topic of baby photos came up. E+T mentioned that they had been unable to find any photos of T before he was about 5 or so. I thought we had a few, so a few days later (when I managed to remember) J and I had a wander through our old photo albums to see what we could find. Since J and I are going to be parents in a few short months (15.5 weeks today, I believe), we thought it would be nice to have some pictures of what I was like when I’d just popped out.

Turns out we didn’t have any of my photos prior to when I was about 7, although I did have one photo of me, Dad and T in a sling on Dad’s back – so T was about 1, maybe a bit younger.

Mentioned this to Mum, who went through her + Dad’s collection and sent down one album for me to go through, and she’d gone and put some explanatory post-it notes on the outside of the plastic sleeve.

So here’s where it gets tricky. The photos in the album are from about 1968 to 1976. They’ve been printed on what was standard photographic tech for the time, and stored in a decent quality (again, for the time) album. That means: the paper and glue were not acid free.


Add to that the propensity for these old photos to have stuck hard to the glue backing each page, and you’ve got a conservation nightmare.

Fortunately the pages are all removable from the album, so I’m scanning each one separately (600dpi, PNG format) and stashing them on my photography zpool for later working over via The Gimp to separate into separate images. When I’ve got this all done I’ll burn to CD and send out copies.

One thing that’s been quite scary just on flipping through the pages is just how alike Mum and A look. There are several photos of Dad with rather wild sideburns, a few of me running nekkid in the back yard, some colour and b+w shots from Mum and Dad’s wedding… and finally some photos of the northern approach to the Warringah Freeway with a speed limit sign showing “45″ – I guess that must have been pre-decimalisation of the roads.

I’ve got a few long evenings ahead of me to get these pictures ready for consumption, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.