31 Aug 2017

My Bike Got Stolen And Some Of The Bikes In My Life

Bike bought in 1995 to go touring with
A thief sneaked into my patio one night a few weeks ago and made off with my Giant ATX 870 mountain bike, which I used to go touring with.

I had lots of happy days with this bike, touring the south west, and also commuting to work with from time of purchase in 1995 till my retirement in 2002.
Camping for the night
I also made a trailer for this bike, to take my dog Fleming out with.
Trailer made out of pvc pipes and discarded wheels
The above photo shows the excellent Blackburn rack (expensive) at the back of the bike, which I am also angry at losing.  Thank goodness I had removed the expensive leather Brooks saddle on it to put on another bike.  That saddle alone cost me about $250.

The Giant is the second oldest of my four bikes (the oldest is in my shed, not currently roadworthy).

The thief had a choice of 2 bikes, the other one being newer with much better components but an unknown brand.  Thankfully he chose the older one.

I was about to renew the drive train of the Giant as it was quite worn, but luckily I procrastinated.  Otherwise the thief would have got a new transmission as well.

My automatic gate closer
When Fleming first joined the family, I needed an automatic gate closer to prevent the gate being left open, allowing the puppy to run out.

Being too cheap to buy a real automatic gate closer, I fashioned one with a screw ring and an old bicycle inner tube (which I have plenty of).

The thief actually untied my inner tube so that the gate won't close and make a noise.  That lowlife seems to be quite an exeprienced thief.

I've had parts of my bike stolen before, when I was living in Neptune Court.
I don't have an actual photo of that bike, just this ad from the web.  Mine came with Shimano 600 instead of Campagnolo.
That thief reached in through a locked metal gate and managed to remove my front brake caliper and one of the pedals.

That Raleigh I got in 1975 in Singapore for S$750 and in the mid 80's I traded it in in Oz for a Japanese aluminium bike, the Sakae Ringyo Prism or also known as the Litage Prism.

I got A$400 for the Raleigh.
Again, this is a pic of the Litage taken off the web as I don't have a photo of mine.
The Litage was another bike that gave me many happy hours touring in the south west and the wheat belt with a cycling club in the 80s.

It was a beautiful bike to ride and was quite unique in that the aluminium frame  was put together with aeroplane glue.

In the end it developed a crack in the frame and I threw it out.

15 Aug 2017

The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos

They came back a little while ago.

Used to be they visited about twice a year, but now they seem to come more often.
They come to eat the berries on my tree - you can see three berries near his chest
Ornithologists tell us their natural habitats are shrinking due to human development and they are forced to come to the suburbs in search of food.

It's a hard life for them, as I see other birds, like the aggressive magpies and honeyeaters chase them away from what they consider to be their territories.
A female - with the striped tail.  Note the chewed branches.  They tend to chew through these and leave a mess on the ground.
I waited a while to try and get a pic of the red tail of the male, but only managed a not so satisfactory shot when it hopped from one branch to another.
The red tail of the male is only visible in flight.
Two females - the one on the right has a berry in its beak.
Grandson B was in his other grandparents' house the other day when he latched onto an unattended phone and made a video call to Grandma C.
The unexpected video call.
I don't know how he managed it or how many other people he called!

11 Jul 2017

Running Dogs

Now, that's a political slur not much heard these days.

Zhaan and Molly spent a fortnight with us while Son No 2 and wife went on holiday.

While I was walking them one day, I realised I hadn't tried my hand a panning shots of moving objects since the 70s, and the following day, took a little camera out on our walk.

Here are the results.
Zhaan, at 1/15 sec

1/30 sec gives a better result
I like to think of this blooper as an abstract piece - entitled "Running Dogs"! ;-)
Portrait of Molly
Furless Grandchild B got baptised, and Grandma C made him this cake:
I love the antique look
A bit of sad news now.

Poor Zhaan (now 10 years old) is very ill.  She has a leaking heart valve and is very sick.  We're about to go visit her soon.

21 Jun 2017

Google Saved My Pants (And Dignity)!

In the frozen fish section of our local Chinese grocery the other day, I saw a nice cut of fish labelled "Escolar Butterfish" about 600 gm in size.

I've never heard of this fish before and decided to get it.
600 gms of potential diarrhea
Fried it up a few days ago for dinner, and just before eating I decided to google "escolar butterfish" as I'd never heard of it before.

Just as well I did.

I found out that it's a beautifully tasty fish, buttery in the mouth (hence it's name) but banned in Italy and Japan.

Went into a bit of a panic, as the Japanese even enjoy the poisonous Fugu fish!

What happens is, partaking of more than 170 gms of this delicious  fish will result in sudden, explosive, uncontrollable orange coloured diarrhea.  Not to mention oily discharges from time to time.

And I was planning to have at least 300 grams of it!

Well, we consumed about 100 gms of it each and all went well.  And so, that fish lasted quite a few days for us.

12 Jun 2017

He's Three Now

Grandson B turned 3 a few weeks ago, and for this occasion Grandma C baked him a fire engine cake as his favourite character is Fireman Sam.

Yes, that's little Grandson B himself driving the fire engine.
And here's the front view:
Note Fireman Sam on his T-shirt.  It wasn't planned, just serendipitous.
Grandma C got his photos printed by a professional cake printing company.

Out of curiosity, I looked for cake printers on eBay and found you can buy them for a reasonable price.
Under $400 for an A3 printer.
Grandson B, however, still shows no interest in learning how to talk.  He understands everyone perfectly, but seems to have no desire to reach out with words.

He is very expressive in other ways, however, as these pictures show.