Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable | The Daily Post

The WordPress Cue (via Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable | The Daily Post)

You might think “companion” refers to a person with whom you share experiences, but the definition is much broader:

A person who is frequently in the company of, associates with, or accompanies another.

A mate or match for something.

A handbook or guide.

A member of the lowest rank in an order of knighthood.

Hmmmm

Well, yes, I must admit that my first thought on seeing this challenge was to fall back on some tried and trusted cute-az pet pix but then, I went on to read the instructions. This, in its own right, was something of a novel experience because, as most modellers know, the instructions are only really there to mix filler on and generally ignore until fully committed to a irrevocable and erroneous construction path…at this point, the instruction become the targets of rage and frustration because they are clearly WRONG WRONG WRONG and written by IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS.

Anyway, the thought of a handbook as companionable set me off on another train of thought, one which arrived at it destination without derailment or other misadventure…

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When I was in Vietnam in 1999, this Lonely Planet book was my constant companion. As a guide book it was off dubious value as I suspect that the author(s) had not actually visited many of the places that they wrote about. If they had, they must have hit Vietnam at its absolute worst as my experience was totally the opposite to the crime-rife doom-laden country that Lonely Planet described…

It was used however for its maps and its canned history (up to around WW2 – after that, lots of pinches of salt) of each region and major town and for providing a background to more contemporary current events i.e. since WW2. My experience then and I cannot speak for now, is that I had not problems finding interesting things to do and see the whole time I was there just by being polite and friendly and simply talking to people.

The LP book however was also useful in some instances where my natural charm was found lacking, for example, bashing bugs…

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Another of my constant companions on that trip was my trusty Minolta 7000i 35mm camera which I lugged around the world for fifteen years before it was replaced by a less trusty Fuji S602Z in 2002. I say ‘less trusty’ because its off/on switch suffered a catastrophic failure in 2009 (after only seven years) and it would have cost more to repair than to replace. Although I paid $NZ2k for the Fuji new in 2002 (and that was well under the RRP!), its more capable (and much smaller) replacement in 2009 was only NZ$120.

I always like to travel with a camera – the current Fuji A220 is great as it fits easily into a pocket and is not as obtrusive as the 602 – as you never know when something photo-worthy may cross your path…Murphy’s Corollary to this, of course, is that truly photo-worthy events only occur when you left the camera in your other trousers…

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And my third constant companion is a notebook and pen…the (a) pen not shown here but I think that I can safely leave this to your imagination; of course I suppose that I could have left the image of a notebook to your imagination as well but I’m not sure how far that would have flown in a photo challenge post…

As much as I would like to trust my memory, Murphy and cold hard experience have shown that if I do not write down cutting insightful thoughts as and when they occur, the original will be lost forever and anything reconstruction from threads of memory later will not be nearly as good as the original thought…so…I always carry a notebook wherever I can. Whether it is lined of blanked pages tends to vary, but looking back I think that this is more driven by availability than anything else – certainly I do not feel driven to stick to the lines on a lined page, although that may be more a comment on my handwriting style than anything else.

I also like to keep my old notebooks and this one dates from the turn of the last century (that will sound better and better as time goes on) and planning of the 1999 and  last of the Cotillion Balls in Wellington. I used to write in pencil so that I could erase any errors, typos, or changes of minds (mainly the first two) but as propelling/mechanical pencils became more popular, I tended to ‘lose’ them more often and regressed back to using whatever pen I could acquire from the most convenient source. So, getting back to my notebooks, I have a largish, totally unorganised pile of notebooks and legals pads with all sorts of notes and ideas and mental sketchings scrawled across their pages. If you are looking for the key to world peace (watched Miss Congeniality the other night), it is very well captured somewhere on this pages…

So, there you have it, my three ‘companions’….

Daily Prompt: Tables Turned | The Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Tables Turned | The Daily Post.

Are you as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?

Just because, I usually tend to the the do-er than the do-ee when it comes to writing and taking pictures. I’m not sure because this might be because I have a strongly sense of history and the need to record more than those things that are not earth-shattering historic events (those are good too!). Maybe it’s juts because I like writing and taking pictures. I’m not really uncomfortable on the other side of things; it just doesn’t happen that often…

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DISCOMFORT.

Discomfort is when…

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…when you are big enough and bad enough to jump up on the trailer but too wussy to jump down again…

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…you realise that your new nephew’s happy gurgling means that he wants to bring something up – and it’s not a new subject for conversation…

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…you realise that not only are you being watched but that you have been watched and it’s unlikely that you will ever see that bone again…

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…you realise that you are the only one that wants to play balloon games…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves | The Daily Post

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Didn’t have to look too hard to find these curvy pics from our 2005 South Island tour…the Moeraki Boulders are a popular stop about half-way down the east coast of the island…

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Even the reflection and seaweed are curvy…

…and some others in a similar vein…
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This is in a shop in Manchester Street in Christchurch from the same holiday – all gone now – we thought that something along similar lines might make a nice entrance feature for the front door of the Lodge…

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…and totally unrelated to anything Kiwi, except for the one that was wandering around Salisbury at sun-up, some street corner curves as pigeons do pigeon things first thing in the morning…we were in Salisbury for the first ABCA Coalition Lessons Analysis Workshop (CLAW) and most of use tried to get out in the morning for a run and some fresh air…I’m not sure if the blurriness of the image is down to me or the pigeons…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting | The Daily Post

My take on fleeting this week is of moments that you can never get back – they are there, then they are gone…fleeting…this week, just for a change I have used video instead of photos so I hope everyone is cool with this…

As you grow up, you can never quite replicate the thrill of being chased by a big blue ball…

In all fairness to the adults present, this was the chasee’s own idea…

That fleeting moment of victory…

Of course, it didn’t take Kirk the puppy long to grow up (currently weighs in at just over 50kg) whereas Pepe the spaniel stayed around 10kg…we had to sadly rehome Pepe in the end when he kept stealing toys from the big dogs…

And that fleeting moment of rapture when you realise that ISN’T an Airtrainer on approach…

Nothing quite like having a Merlin living nearby…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape (from reality) | The Daily Post

1990s parties….

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Tank, tank, tank

It was near the end of basic training and all the soldiers were getting ready for the war. A soldier came charging up to his corporal and said ” Corp, Corp, we don’t have enough rifles.,,what am I going to use for the war?

The corporal grabbed a broom, sawed off the bottom, and handed it to the soldier. “Here, use this instead.” (yes, we all know that this bit is BS because any infantry corporal would already have at least one Handle, Broom, Soldiers, For the Instructing Of immediately to hand)

How is this going to work?

“When you see the bad guys coming at you, just point it at them and say ‘Bullets bullets bullets'”.

So the soldier ran out with his new “rifle”. But soon he came running back “Corp, we don’t have enough bayonets!

The corporal tossed a piece of string at the private. “When you see the bad guys coming, throw this at them and say ‘Stab Stab Stab.‘”

The soldier was all ready for his war. He was sitting in his hole, hating being out there, when he saw an enemy creeping along the top of a nearby hill.

He grabbed his broom, pointed it at the bad guy and said “Bullets bullets bullets” and he fell down dead.

Wow! this really works” he thought. He started going through the bush when another enemy jumped out so he threw his string at him and said, ‘Stab Stab Stab!‘. The enemy fell down, dead.

Pretty soon, he saw another guy rampaging through the woods. He pointed his broomstick at him and yelled, ‘Bullets bullets bullets!’ Nothing, so he did it again, ‘Bullets bullets bullets!’ The guy was running at him now. He threw the string, Stab Stab Stab!’ The enemy plowed him over, mortally wounding him.

Then he heard the big guy mumbling as he went past him “Tank Tank Tank.”

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The Cabbage Heads

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says | The Daily Post

Random signs from travels…

Trash Converters, Palmerston

Cash Convertors is a popular franchise here for trading second-hand goods – this is a clever take on its common nickname – a very cool shop in Palmerston (NOT the one that John Cleese described as the world’s most boring city!) that has (or did last time we drove through that way) an excellent section for pre-loved science-fiction toys and collectibles…

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The Bookabach sign for the Chalet – not sure if it actually gets any attention as most traffic cranks down the hill by where  the sign is…
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Saw this in a mall near El Segundo in LA – I still think it’s quite cool how Americans so openly support their military, regardless of the background politics…

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The Big Apple in Waitomo has finally been given a  new coat of paint and these young ladies had to check it out before making an credible effort at the ‘Big-Az’ ice creams they sell next door…

DSCF6464 A morale-raising site that I thought I’d never see again – best breakfasts in the world at Din’s Diner in Singapore…

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I think this was in one of the opportunity shops I visited on my last day in Florida in 2011…

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We had dinner here one night when we were in Salisbury in 2005 for the inaugural ABCA Coalition Lessons Analysis Workshop. Some many of the buildings have their date of origin on them…’1750 and we don’t mean the time…!’

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern | The Daily Post

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1930s US Army aircraft markings

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Sunrise over the Plateau

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Reflections in a window, Alexandra, VA

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Lighty things at LAX

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Slates on the roof of the bell tower of the Flanders Museum in Ieper. An accidental shutter click…

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Iron fencing outside St Patrick’s Basilica, Oamaru

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Light show on the roof of Fremont Street, Las Vegas

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change | The Daily Post

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These stairs were a Trademe score…I noticed them on the ‘closing soon’ page with 20 minutes to run and after a quick phone confab, we tossed in a bid for $2k fully expecting to be outbid by all the watchers ( the stairs are, after all, genuine rimu – and the spiral hand rail is a single piece) and were blown away to pick them up for the mere $600…

We were further amazed when we met the seller in Wellington that he had intended to only list them once – after being nagged into it by a friend – before converting them into firewood. He also threw in, at no extra costs. a complete set of rimu kitchen cupboard doors which had been destined for the firewood heap as well. Even so, he had meticulously itemised and numbered every piece so that the joiners were able to re-assemble it with no difficulty. They did have to take all the parts to their workshop some 55km away as that was the only place with a high enough ceiling to assemble and work on it.

Above you see us as the assembled stairs are delivered back to Raurimu, as we head-scratched and considered how to get them in through the front door (fortunately a double door) and into position (assembled, this thing wasn’t light!!). We managed though:

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…and these are the horrible things that we got rid off in favour of the spiral – the drop down the central beam was a good metre or so – awesome with small children – NOT!!!Le Spiral 004

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change | The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture | The Daily Post

 

Two cultures at the same time, adjusting to learning all about electronics and stuff in a trade environment…

Post Office Technical Training Centre Christchurch Year 1 course

….while also learning a new green culture Wednesday nights

and weekends…

 

Burnham Training Depot TF Basic and Corps Training

…not too many photos from those days, well before the advent of anything remotely digital (and affordable), relying on a little 110 camera…
View from Telecom mast near Invercargill

…view from a Telecom tower ‘somewhere in Southland‘…

Home Sweet Home, TF Annual Camp, Jan 84, Tekapo

…’home sweet home’ somewhere in the Tekapo Training Area January 1984

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture | The Daily Post.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life | The Daily Post

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life | The Daily Post

Phoneography has been the theme of recent WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges and I find myself here even more limited than I normally might consider myself in some of the challenges…I’m a bit old school and just carry a phone to take and receive calls and send and receive the occasional text. On rare occasions, I might use it for an alarm but that’t it – no bells, whistles or other 21st Century technotomfooleery…

So when the challenge calls for photos to be taken with one’s phone, life becomes a little interesting, more so when we don’t have coverage for this particular carrier at home so I am not wont to carry the damn thing around with me when I am at home – which these days is most of the time. But we persevere and I guess that’s why they call them Challenges and not Easies…

So a day in my life, specifically last Sunday 31 March 2013…seen through a 1.3 megapixel lens…

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Cuddles?

How the day started…we’ve gotten a bit slack and have been letting the big dogs sleep inside the last few weeks…a side effect of this is that one or both of us gets woken with a ‘kiss’ as soon as it is light…

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The drought has been a worry for weeks now so it was good to wake up to moisture on the ground although the Island needs a lot more than this to do any real good…

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…and looking at the eastern skies, the sun is already starting to burn through the cloud…

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Breakfast is first up – well a bit of a clean up in the kitchen first – although it rained that night, old habits die hard and dish rinse water is poured by habit over plants by the front door, baby chestnut trees in this case…

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I’d remembered to put some bread on the night before so here it is all fresh and yummy out of the bread-maker…

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Because the girls are still producing big time we have oodles of eggs for scrambled eggs for breakfast, so scrambled eggs on fresh bread in the order for breakfast…but first just to pop out to the garden for some fresh parsley…

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…and a reminder from the little (in relation to the ‘big dogs’) dog that I’m not the only one that needs feeding…

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So that’s them happy for a while…

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…and them that are exiled to the small coop while the effects of their worm dose wears off…

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and then into the ‘big house’ to feed the general chook population…

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…that’s these ladies…

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And also to check that the new chook waterer thingie is working OK…DSC00037

…while remembering to remove their early morning labours…DSC00035

…before heading through the gate to the Chalet…guests from the weekend had already departed so time for a quick check inside – yup, tiptop, no problems plus a couple of Parrotdog beers left in the fridge – Thank you!!! With the benefit of hindsight, i guess that I could and should have taken some pics of what the Chalet is like inside but, to be honest, never thought about it – next, day in the life Challenge, I promise…DSC00032

And now off over the other side of the Chalet to check on Fred…he’e here somewhere…

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Ah, he is – Fred is prone to wander and some day soon is in for a bit of a shock when the fences get reconnected to the grid…DSC00033

He does a pretty good job though – clearing away the blackberry – he could clear other stuff but he has become a little spoilt and particular about his diet…DSC00034

Pre-Fred, this was all blackberry…DSC00038

…and finally back to the office for work…well, actually, quite a few hours trying to work out how to get these photos off said high-tech phone (in 2006) and onto a computer…it is too old to support native USB connections and the interface software is to old and cranky to want to run on Win7, even after I went and searched and dug-out the old installation CD and connection cables – ah, yup the good old days of proprietary interfaces….NOT!

After many trials and tribulations and slings of outrageous fortune, I finally managed to achieve the mission using the common interface of Bluetooth between the phone and my trusty netbook…and this is where I spent the rest of my day working on various projects….