October 2007 Archives
Stu suggested that I do a post entirely on the birds of Lord Howe Island.. I initially thought there wouldn't be enough to make it at worthwhile post. But as it turns out, I photographed at least fifteen different species of birds while we were there.
This is sort of in chronological order that we saw them.
White Tern (Gygis alba)
Seen all around the pine trees around the main settlement
Flesh-footed Shearwater (Muttonbird) (Puffinus carneipes)
Come in to land at Ned's Beach every evening during summer
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
We photographed this one near Old Settlement Beach
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Also photographed near Old Settlement Beach, but found all around the main settlement
Lord Howe Island Currawong (Strepera graculina crissalis)
This one followed us partway up the walk up to the Goathouse on Mt Lidgbird. One even swooped on Stu on the way down. We had another one follow us between Malabar and Kim's Lookout
Woodhen (Tricholimnas sylvestris)
We saw one of these in the grounds of Blue Lagoon, and a few on the Goathouse walk
Emerald Ground-dove (Chalcophaps indica)
Seen around the palms/grass area on the way to Ned's Beach
Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata)
All over the place - Ned's Beach, Blinky Beach, top of Mt Eliza, even top of Malabar
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus)
Similar places to the Sooty Terns, but up the cliffs a bit not on the ground. This one was at Ned's Beach.
Lord Howe White-eye (Zosterops tephropleura)
Seen near the top of Malabar
Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda)
Seen off the cliffs of Malabar. They didn't really come close enough to get any good photos of them.
Australian Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)
Seen walking up to Malabar. We got an out of focus one of it looking at us but took off when we got closer.
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Seen at Old Settlement Beach
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
At least we think that's what it is :) Also at Old Settlement Beach
Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis)
This bird was annoying to photograph because it would run off as soon as you got anywhere near it. Seen all around the airport, golf course, grassed areas. This one photographed at the lookout park near the main settlement.
We also saw these birds but didn't get to photograph them (or didn't choose to):
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)
Magpie Lark (Peewee) (Grallina cyanoleuca)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
Hybrid Duck (Mallard cross Pacific Black) (Anas superciliosa x platyrhynchos)
I've finally blogged our Lord Howe Island holiday. If you have a feed reader hopefully there'll be seven back-dated entries, otherwise just click on the October archive to see them (in reverse order).
I did also manage to download nearly a month's worth of emails from half a dozen different accounts today. And unpacked nine book boxes, repacked four of them, and left plenty of books all over the lounge room floor. And freecycled my old amplifier and speakers. And got through some leftovers. And we went shopping tonight... Getting there.....
My plans for today included setting up/sorting out emails, blogging my holiday, and Freecycling some things.
But because Telstra are bumheads I didn't get to do these things. They broke our phone line after lunch today and it's not expected to be repaired til tomorrow night. Yay. Another full day without internet, just what I need when I have so much to do. *sigh*
On a lighter note, I did spend *hours* unpacking and tetrising things into cupboards, and found two multi babies in the multi tank...
UPDATE: It wasn't Telstra exactly, it was some contractor that cut through a fibre optic cable.. yayy..
I have Vista Home Premium edition.
This edition does not come with the Local Security Policy editor - gpedit.msc *or* secpol.msc
How fricken retarded is that???
To fiddle with things like your NTLM settings, you have to hack the registry.
Yet another reason that Vista sux.
I'll blog my holiday eventually.
Our last day was a bit of a nothing day.
We got up and got ready, packed everything up, paid the bill, and moved our stuff to the games room.
Headed down to Humpty Mick's for a long big breakfast, then came back and played some pool in the games room.
Around 11:30am they took us to the airport. For a 3pm flight. (!!) Even though the dude made two separate other trips to the airport that we could have come along with. Oh well. We watched two other flights come and go.
Apparently at least one of them was to Sydney. Even though the booking dude had said the day before that our one was the first Sydney flight. sigh. After finally checking in, we went for a walk down to the lagoon.
And then it was onto the plane and home. It was rainy and cloudy so the takeoff wasn't very exciting.
And we came straight in from the south on the main runway so the landing was even less exciting.
Then a mission to get to my parents place. Walked straight onto a 400, but *just* missed the train at Rockdale, so a half hour wait. When we'd been there twenty-five minutes, they announced our train was leaving from the other platform, so it was up and over. Then that train got terminated at Hurstville. So it took an hour and a half to do what should have been a half hour trip.
Dinner was a nice roast beef. Showed the parents the photos on the laptop. Then it was home. Except "going home" from my parents which usually takes fifteen minutes, took three hours. Still doesn't really feel like home though.....
Another morning, another coffee at Humpty Mick's :) Stu is impressed that he can get such good coffee, and wishes it was this easy to get near his work.
We decided to buy a couple of postcards to send to our works, so got those, then wrote them and went to the little post office to send them. In the back room were a whole pile of boxes with the same address on them. I asked the postie if someone was moving house via post, and she said basically yes - Australia Post is cheaper than other methods of freighting stuff.. scary!
Stopped at the old cemetary to have a look.
Next biked it around to Blinky Beach. It was quite windy and a bit rough.
As we walked down the beach we saw dozens of sooty terns squawking and hovering.
As we got closer we saw two rangers putting up barriers. heh. (later we read that in previous years they've tried to discourage them from nesting there due to them being in the flight path and all).
Wandered back, and went to the museum for a milkshake and to check our mail.
Then back here for lunch of leftover bbq chickie. Had a bit of a rest too.
Decided to brave the winds and blustery weather and go for a final snorkel at Ned's Beach. It was really freaky when the really big kingfish swum past.. they're as big as me and look like sharks when they pop up next to you. Had a good look at the coral and fish, even though there was no sun. I even saw a turtle! It was swimming very fast though, and only glimpsed it. When we were almost frozen we came back for a long hot shower.
For our last dinner we decided to go to Pandanus. It was quite expensive, but the food was very very good. I had a steak and Stu had a mushroom and bacon lasagna. We also had some polenta chips. It was all delicious.
After dinner we decided to try our luck with the uncertain skies and walk home. We went via the mutton birds, but it was very dark with clouds blocking the full moon, so only saw one bird on the road.
Going home tomorrow.....
Still alive. Really. Just without a blackberry. Or a phone. Or a workable net connection. Some people would think "ahhh that's the life" .. but me I'm ... "give me the internet back dammit!!" hehe
Having a great time. Poking lots of animals. Dragging Stu up and down lots of mountains. Rescuing birds.
Be home soon, regular programming will resume shortly...
This morning we decided to have breakfast at Humpty Mick's - bacon and eggs yummmmm.
Had a meandering morning, wandering down to the Environmental Tours mob to go on a glass-bottom boat tour. They took us to a couple of the "holes" in the lagoon. The dude fed some fish at one point which caused somewhat of a frenzy. When we go out further we got to go snorkelling with lots and lots of fish, and lots of very pretty coral. Well worth doing.
Came back and picked up our bbq chook for lunch.
Had a bit of a rest. We were going to go out snorkelling again at Ned's Beach, but I was not feeling like getting cold and wet, so we decided to just wade in and feed the fish. Got some pretty cool photos of them.
We ran into Sue and Keith again and we all wandered up the beach to see the sooty terns. So much fun those little birds.
As we were wandering back I saw a sooty tern hobbling up the beach looking not too healthy. I went over to it and it didn't fly away, so I picked it up. It was trailing its right wing and was quite weak. Decided we couldn't leave it there to starve to death, so decided to take it back to civilisation to see if someone could take care of it. Part way up the road we found a couple in their ute, who turned out to be locals, and they said they knew where it could be taken, and said they'd take it for me. So hope it'll be all right. Or if not, it could at least be put down quickly.
At this point I have to mention Stu's pun .. he said the dude I gave the Sooty Tern to probably used it to make sausages - he took a tern for the wurst .. get it?? ;)
Went to have a look at the sunset, but there were too many clouds, so it was back to watch the mutton birds come in. Lots of fun. Got to touch a couple of them. So soft!
Yet another meal at Humpty Mick's - this time the Jaques Del Mer pizza, with a great big salad. Was all very delicious.
And so ends another day.
Oh, one tragic thing about today - the arrival of the A380 in Sydney for its first commercial flight for Singapore Airlines. This is one really sucky thing about living in Canberra - not getting to see this sort of thing. Not that I could have seen it even if I had been living in Sydney, being off the mainland and all. They're doing daily flights from Monday, by which time I'll have gone home - doh!
Today was another mission to torture Stu ...
First we made our morning pilgrimage to Humpty Mick's for coffee.
Then we got ready and headed up to Malabar. It was a tough (hot) as I remembered it. But the view at the top was the whole point of going, and it didn't disappoint.
Had some morning tea there, next a nesting Sooty Tern, which we wouldn't have even known was there had it not squawked at us.
Then headed across the top to Kim's lookout where we had lunch.
Finally started down the hill and back to civilisation.
Had a bit of a break and did a load of washing.
After the rest we biked over to Old Settlement Beach to go snorkelling. There is a deep gouge in the bay where coral grows and fish congregate. These cute little black fish were curious and came up and nibble on our fingers. There were tonnes of other awesome fish. We also saw numerous butterfly? lion? fish, two stingrays, and probably the highlight - a huge sea turtle. It was seriously as big as my body. Stu saw it first and we swam behind it for a while. Exceedingly cool. After I started getting numb fingers we headed back.
For dinner we decided to go to Garden Court up the hill. We had sizzling pepper beef and satay chicken and nasi goreng (to keep the rabbits out) and it was all delicious. Oh yeah, the entire caraffe of wine..! The waitress was the same one from the Coral Cafe at the museum the other day. Pretty funny, but she was lovely.
The dude that took us back here took us down to Ned's Beach to see the mutton birds all over the road, so I got out and touched one, very cool :) Came back thinking we might get to see House on Imparja (they mix channel 9 and 10 - outback television), but they were showing "The Farmer Wants a Wife".. oh well. Saw some of the New Inventors though.
So after brekky we headed down to Humpty Mick's for a coffee and to try and decide what to do today. Which was somewhere between wanting to *do* something and wanting to *sit*. Which proved to be frustrating for both of us. We ended up doing more sitting than doing.
Eventually we headed off to the island museum which was very interesting.
They had an internet kiosk there for $2 for twenty minutes which wasn't too bad, but it was very slow, especially for cia mail. We had lunch at the Coral Cafe.
Came back here and did some more nothing. Well Stu did. I went down to Ned's beach to photograph the Sooty Terns which were nesting. Well nesting is exaggerating it a bit. They just lay their eggs on the ground. And chirp agitatedly at you when you come near. Very cool. Took an awful lot of photos of them.
Next we wandered down to the lagoon and dodged some raindrops to go out snorkelling. Completely spectacular. The coral was a little dull in the bit of the lagoon we went to, but we saw plenty of amazing fish.
We stayed out for nearly two hours and only came in when my fingers started to go numb from the cold. I'd like to go out on one of the cruises that go out to the outer reef where the coral is more spectacular.
Then had another go at getting my card-reading cd burner working. It's an Apacer Steno, and is a great idea in principle - a stand-alone cd burner with inbuilt 6-in-1 card reader. Except that it doesn't read two out of the three brands of memory cards I have. Not particularly useful. Maybe that was why it was returned to Ted's and why I ended up with it second-hand. blah. stoopid thing.
So off to dinner - this time at the bowling club for their fish night. We sat with Sue and Keith, who we kept seeing - first on the plane, then outside Thompson's Store, then at dinner last night. So that was quite pleasant.
And so ends another day .. must be about bed time :)
Well woke up and it was all cloudy, so lay in bed for another hour or two.
Eventually we got up and had breakfast, then went down to Humpty Mick's for a coffee. Then we wandered up towards Old Settlement Beach and had a look at the Catalina crash site, and said hello to all the cows.
Wandered down to the beach and decided we wanted to come back to do some snorkelling later. Then went up to a bit of a headland which has a nice view of the lagoon and a little park area.
Went on a mission to Joy's Store to gather supplies and wandered back to our room to have lunch.
Then it was on to the base of Mt Lidgbird to do the Goathouse walk.
Via a nice view of the lagoon..
Oh. My. Goodness.
It was very hard work. We got very hot. And sweaty. Took about two hours of intense and not so intense climbing, some of it with ropes.
The view from the top was pretty impressive. Although Stu didn't go to the Goathouse itself as it was literally on the side of a cliff. Took a whole stack of photos.
Then headed back down again. On the way down we got some cool photos of some woodhens. One of them was happy to scratch around us, letting us take lots of photos.
Just when we thought it was all over, we still had a half hour bike ride back :( I actually stopped on the way back to take some sunset photos.
Then it was off to dinner, once again at Humpty Mick's. We still haven't been anywhere else :) I had a vegie lasagna (I was having veggie cravings) and Stu had salt and pepper squid. We also had a couple of beers each. It was all very yummy. Then back here to crash.
So our day started *very* early. We were up at 5am for a 7am flight - ouch!
We caught a little Dash 8 100. The plane wasn't full, and was a bit late because they'd decided to use a different plane. We were in the second back row (eight of nine). So the flight was relatively unevenful. But when we came into land we circumnavigated the island anticlockwise. And we were on the right side of the plane. I really really should have swapped sides and taken the unoccupied seat on the other side of the plane. I didn't. I was stupid. Bumheadfull. So that was very upsetting. Can't believe I didn't do it. *sigh*
So we got picked up by a minivan from Blue Lagoon and had a mini tour of the island. Our room is very nice. It's quite basic, but it's relatively modern and spacious.
We had a look through the island information and then went for a walk down to the lagoon.
Walking around some of the rocks we found a little puddle of water with some baby fish and crabs in it. There were some catfish-looking fish, and some cute little green fish about 4cm long.
On the way back we got some lunch - toasted sandwiches from Humpty Mick's. After lunch we went on a mission to find our bikes. In the grounds of the resort we saw a Lord Howe Island Woodhen!!! Too cool! It was just scratching around under the palms. Then the bike dude came and we hired a couple of bikes.
First order of business was a trip to Ned's beach to go snorkelling and feed the fish. There were plenty of sand mullet, but heaps of bigger fish too. It was amazing to swim with them. We also swam over some of the reefs to see other tropical fish. After feeding and touching the fish, we went for a walk down the beach and found plenty of sooty terns nesting with their eggs on the ground. Entirely too cool.
Then it was back here for a shower and an afternoon siesta, before heading out to watch the sunset (it was a bit too cloudy) and then watch the mutton birds come into land. Absolutely crazy.
Next to find some dinner. We first tried Garden Court at Lorhiti, but it wasn't open Sundays, so ended up getting a pizza from Humpty Mick's. It was a really good pizza (Leiutenant Henry) but I've got salad/veggie cravings now..
After dinner we went to Ned's Beach to see the mutton birds come into land. While brilliant in the air, they're not to good at landings. They kinda skid to a halt then skidaddle off into the bush. Quite amusing to watch.
My blackberry is a brick here. There is no mobile phone coverage. There are no phones in our rooms. Apparently there is an internet cafe somewhere. We really are cut off from the world.. woot!
ok so haven't done one of these in a while. Must be the underwhelming responses I get...
Answers from last time below...
When I asked Stu the one thing I should do today, he suggested clearing the hallway. So that's what I did. Of course that meant completely emptying the study cupboard of all the computer stuff, sorting it all out, and fitting it all into the boxes of computer bits I'd brought down. The end result was pretty good though. Not finished yet, but at least there's a lot more room in that cupboard now. Also put away other piles of stuff lying around the place, so the hallway is clear!
Tonight started going through the kitchen boxes. This is a bit harder, because I have to decide what I will use here, and what needs to go back into storage.
I did manage to clean the bath and vanity.
I unpacked a few boxes and found lots of my bits and pieces.
I went into the city and lunch with Stu, Damien and Mishi.
I bought petrol.
I cooked a kangaroo roast and some yummy baked potatoes for dinner.
I made a mess.
I spread clutter all over the house.
I got stressed at the mess.
I didn't sort out the computer cables.
It was very hot in the car when I got back to it after lunch.
So Friday the removalists showed up and did a dropoff of stuff here, then we all trundled along to the storage place where they dropped everything else off. Had a good game of tetris getting it all in.
Saturday went out for breakfast and shopping. Spent the afternoon organising.
Sunday was lunch at Scotty's and dinner at a work colleague of Stu. Damien brought pictures of his recent Turkey trip.
Today I finally made the spare bed (literally), as well as put sheets on it. Put the two spare single bed matresses under it, and found three Veriton boxes fitted perfectly as well, so filled those with single and double bed linen, clearing enough space in the linen cupboard to get that pretty well organised. Then it was onto the kitchen, where my mission was to get the entire contents of my pantry into Stu's already full pantry. Spent most of the day on it. Got almost everything in, and it all looks very pretty now...
Cooked turkey steaks with fried onion, zucchini and bell capsicum. Was very yummy. Prolly used a bit too much oil tho.. oh well...
And Vista still sux...
ok so I've been using Vista for less than a day now.
It completely and utterly sux.
I should have listened to everything I've ever heard and gone with XP.
Problem 1: Crap backup
You don't get NTbackup anymore. You get some other homegrown Vista backup. Which is crap. You can't actually choose a folder to backup. You can just choose the type of files to backup. Completely and utterly useless. Apparently people have complained so much that Microsoft has made ntbackup available for download for Vista. Unfortunately it only does restores of XP files. To do actual backups you still need to grab ntbackup from an XP machine. This of course doesn't let you do system state. Presumably one of the other recovery options lets you recover the actual system if it gets lost. Haven't read up too much on that.
Problem 2: Moving Files
In every other (Windows) operating system released by Microsoft, moving files on your hard drive was a simple drag and drop and would be done in a split second. Now when you move files it sits there and *calculates* all the files you have to move. WTF???? I aborted a move of about 10gb of files after it said it was going to take 90 days to complete. Only to find it had moved about half of the files after about 5 minutes. Did the other directories piecemeal so that I could watch them go. What a piece of frigging crap.
Problem 3: Mysterious Permission Denieds
When I was moving some of my files, at one point it barfed and said permission denied moving the files. No explanation why. I moved on and did other directories and came back to the problematic one later. I tried moving the subdirectories themselves, only to have it finally say it couldn't move the putty directory because it was in use (I was actually using putty at the time). Why it couldn't tell me this when I was doing the upper level directory I don't know.
Problem 4: Stoopid views
If you have a directory with mostly images, it decides they're photos and makes stoopid views accordingly. Like with tags and ratings and "date taken". Give me standard columns dammit!! So I set my views back to the way I like them and say reset folders. Except that it won't do that to *all* folders, only folders of the same type was what I'm in now. Picture folders are their own type and you have to do them separately. So I try going to an upper level folder and going customize and setting all subfolders to be this type and CRASH EXPLORER!!!! Strangely enough, it seemed to actually reset all the sub-folders to the default style I'd set, even though it had crashed.
Problem 5: Memory
Vista is bloatware to the max. To the point of only running it for less than 24 hours and it had completely run out of memory. I have 3gb of physical memory. You'd think that would be enough. Apparently not. It seems you need to reboot every six hours even with 3gb of memory and not actually *doing* anything. When I got back from dinner it had gone into powersaving mode and couldn't be recovered. The hard disk was churning away, but nothing would come up on screen. No frigging idea what it was doing. Ended up cold booting the bastard.
Problem 6: Weird IE translations
WTF? Every time my mouse hovers over a word I get some weird translation of what it means in some other language?? Huh??? What is that? How do I turn it off????
Really really pissed with Vista (and James). I should have listened to my heart and gotten XP.
Made it alive even. Which was useful. Especially since I felt like I was falling asleep most of the way.
The car took about an hour to pack. Good thing I'm good at Tetris! It took about 5 minutes to unpack.
It was very sad leaving my flat for the last time. Hope I haven't forgotten anything.
Got here about 12:30am.
Had a bit of a sleep-in today, then went shopping, and then to look at our storage unit. Even more Tetris on Friday... Spent the rest of the day trying to find homes for things.
Vista is taking some getting used to ....
For some months the fans on my computer have been working overtime. I hadn't really thought too much about it.
Today I vacuumed the front of my computer - the large grille that was caked in dust.
Straight afterwards, the computer was suddenly silent. It's obviously had emphysema for months, and is finally breathing easy again.
Have had the boy here all weekend helping me clean and organise for the impending move. Did a trip to the city on Saturday, had some brekky, visited the new Hobbyco store (very disappointing in its range of plastic models), and Abbeys (utterly pathetic computer section). Chorizo pizzas for dinner Saturday, yummm. Today was church, more cleaning, and my last Sunday Night Dinner at Alan and Marylon's.
Tomorrow chaos ensues when the removalists turn up to pack things.....
Well didn't really get any cleaning done today, but did get quite a bit of sorting and tidying done.
A dude came to replace the smoke detector, so I can rent out this place legally now. My mum braved the 37° heat and came from the station to pick up some of the things I forgot to take over last night. The study floor is bare. The living room floor is bare. All my Lego (except a few bits I forgot) is all packed away. The main thing left to work on is the perimeter of the study which still has piles of stuff that needs to be sorted. Even convinced a freecycler dude to take both MMX 233s (he only wanted one). So only my original Pentium 166 (conspiracy) to chuck out. Will take it to the parents for whenever the next council cleanup is. Took my 486 to their place last night.. I paid $1400 for that computer and really only used it for a year or so before paying another $1400 to get the P166. And they'll both be thrown out at the same time 11-12 years later... *sad*
I think I might have more meals to be eaten than I have food in the freezer so that's a good thing (although I might have to have a couple of veggie-only meals :) ).
Definitely cleaning day tomorrow....
Some photos that got banked up during my last weeks of work.... (lots more to come in later posts :) )
Four "generations" of Blackberries. The last two are technically the same generation I think. There's a 7290, an 8700, 8800, 8300
Best opening ever in Spider Solitaire
The massive pile of crap we chucked out at work the other week. And that wasn't even everything, there's still much more to be tossed.
Look mum I can see my house from here! Well perhaps, but maybe just the roof
The pile of paperwork I tossed from the filing cabinet on my second last day
My 2cm long finger nail! It broke yesterday. It has been growing for about nine months
Happy .. something .. !
It's hot today. Nothing exciting except for how dry it is - 10% humidity! I've not seen it that low on the weather pixie until the temperature has been 37C.
Saturday was similarly dry - 12% humidity at 21-23C.
Very odd for Sydney. Maybe not so odd for Canberra...