I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

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Archive for the 'Random Photos' Category

Small, Brown and Furry

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Well, I got the feature film synopsis in only three days late (that was the assignment deadline I mentioned whooshing past a couple of days ago). I’m not especially happy with it, but I figure I’ll at least get to change it around completely before starting to worry about the scene breakdown.

It was nice to get that out of the way, but it was equally nice to come home tonight and be able to spend about half an hour watching a pair of quendas (bandicoots for you eastern state types) scoot around the back verandah eating whatever they could get their paws on. Mum had her camera to hand and grabbed a few photos, including this one:

Like a rat, but cuter.

I actually wanted to call my Summer Winter of Code project Quenda, but figured it would have been too close to Quanta.

Still, my thought for the day: At least I’m up to date on my assignments again. Until tomorrow, at least.

Take This Car and Drive Downstate

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I decided yesterday that I really wanted to see the lunar eclipse in all its glory, or at least as much glory as could be gotten here in WA, which wasn’t as much as I would have liked, given that totality was reached not long after sunset. My initial plan was to drive a bit away from Perth’s lights and set up camp (metaphorically speaking, at least), with one of the hills around Toodyay being a prime candidate.

That was a great plan until this satellite image came to pass:

Hmmm, that cloud isn’t going anywhere, is it?

So, foiled by mother nature, I decided to get even and drive far enough northeast to get out from under the blanket of clouds that apparently ruined viewing for Perthites. Ultimately, I ended up atop Marshall Rock, which is near Bencubbin. You can view the approximate route I took with the help of some Google Maps goodness — while not the most direct route, it was largely dictated by me chasing the blue sky I could see to the northeast by the time I’d reached Dowerin. Took a darned sight less than 4 hours, 54 minutes, too. (Side note: I’ve thought more than once that storm chasing would be an interesting hobby to get into, but I don’t think I’d dare show my face now at any sort of storm chasing gathering with my first chasing experience actually being for blue skies.)

Once atop said rock, I met a lovely retired couple from New South Wales who were camping in the park and had decided to come to watch the eclipse from the best vantage point as well. So, we sat, we waited for the sun to go down, we worried for a while that it was all a giant hoax, then we discovered that the moon’s appearance had simply been delayed by what looked like some dust in the atmosphere combined with the relatively low brightness of the moon at that point.

Unfortunately, that dust/low brightness situation seems to have put paid to my attempts to photograph the eclipse, even with the usual night mode settings. In related news, I think I’m ready to accept donations to the buy Adam a camera that doesn’t suck fund. Fortunately, approximately eleventy billion people have posted photos in various places, so I shall instead point to this photo on Flickr by evilhamaya as a reasonable approximation of what I could see.

Except, you know, I was sitting on a giant rock in the eastern Wheatbelt. That has to count for something.

Speaking of, I do have one photo which at least shows what the view from the rock looked like before sunset:

The view from Marshall Rock, sans lunar eclipse.

Yeah, I know. It’s not the same. But still, the eclipse was awesome, I’m glad I went to the trouble of driving there (and back, since I have to be at uni at 8 am tomorrow and hence couldn’t stay the night in Bencubbin), and as an added bonus, the Milky Way looked even more incredible than usual, given the lack of ambient light out there.

(Satellite image © Commonwealth of Australia 2007, Bureau of Meteorology, originally sourced from here.)

I Feel Like an Old Railroad Man

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

I wrote this on Sunday morning, mostly from the comfort of a table in Dylans, Albany‘s best diner-café-restaurant thing. No affiliation besides lots and lots of childhood meals there.

For the first time in fourteen weeks, I’ve managed to go two days without needing to work on (or think about) university. The clichés of clean country air and peace and quiet have worked their wonders — I’ve even managed to have two good nights’ sleep in the face of a sleep-talking roomie, so things must be looking up.

Yesterday we went on a hired minivan for a wine tasting trip. (We also took a trailer for the wine, which turned out to not be overkill as I thought, but just enough kill.) Our hosts, David and Anne, clearly know their wine, and we went to a succession of outstanding wineries, most notably Xabregas just outside Narrikup. While the cellar is encased in barbed wire and looks like a viticultural Guantánamo, the wine is fantastic. It’s even more fantastic when you realise that the riesling on sale for $50 a case is actually an outstanding wine in its own right — thank $DEITY for clearance sales! (Like I said, we needed that trailer.)

The last place we went was Zarephath Wines. It’s an interesting winery, as depending on who you ask, the six people who live there and run it belong to either a commune or a cult. Either way, they seem to have an unhealthy obsession with building and launching boats.

At any rate, despite a couple of slightly iffy moments (the guest book which asked for basically every personal detail except blood type and tax file number was an interesting take on the idea), the expected big push to consider their movement didn’t come, thankfully. Better yet, the wine there was pretty good too, if not quite as good as Xabregas.

Princess Royal Harbour, a rainbow, and an example of Albany’s fickle weather

Today most of the group have gone up to the Porongorups again to check out a bamboo farm before lunch, but I’ve decided to be difficult and have instead come into Albany by myself. The Albany Car Classic is on, which has caused a few annoying road closures (why can’t we walk down the eastern footpath on Aberdeen St, if no cars are crossing it?), but my mission was to come to Dylans and test out their pancakes once again.

Happily, Dylans is just as good as I remember. In fact, apart from a few minor things (such as newer posters on the walls), it’s really exactly as I remember. It’s actually a little weird walking in and seeing everything as it was fifteen or more years ago. For a brief moment, I felt eight or nine again. Still does just as good a trade as it did then, too.

I need to walk back up shortly towards Dog Rock to get picked up, so I’d better go while it’s not raining. (The sun’s shining now, but I lived in Albany long enough to know that’s just a sign that it’ll probably rain again in five minutes.) I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend being just as relaxing as this; the only problem is that I’m not sure I’ll want to go back to Perth tomorrow and worry about my last scriptwriting assignment.

Damn. So much for three days without university-related thoughts.

Deciding What to Buy Based on the Hotness of the Threadless Model

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I need more T-shirts. Of course, by need, I actually mean want, even though I don’t have room for them, but the Threadless sale caught my eye, and now I’m considering dropping a few dollars. Never a good thing, particularly given the search criteria I’m using.

Really, I think the fact I’m considering it despite my poor student status is due to the fact that I feel like I haven’t slept properly for ages. The weather co-operated last night enough to allow for the final scene1 for the film project to be shot, so I now get to spend three crazy days in a cramped editing suite with the director and sound dude in a frantic attempt to get the visuals completed by both the due date and (more importantly) Friday morning, so I can go to Albany for the long weekend before panicking about my final TV scriptwriting assignment.

Sleep deprivation ho, then.2

Anyone have a shovel and some lime?

1 Last night’s version of the make-up is at right (well, hopefully — your mileage may vary if you’re reading this via a feed), and it’s a far better photo than last time. We re-shot the scenes from Friday that I was in, so the different blood patterns are OK. Yes, the blood looks fake in that photo, but that’s due to it still being wet and being directly under a rather bright fluorescent light when the photo was taken.

2 Obviously, I haven’t started my Google Summer of Code project yet, but the schedule I proposed didn’t have me starting until next week anyway. At this stage, I should be able to stick to that, even with the scriptwriting assignment running far, far later than I originally anticipated.3

3 I’ve got to stop putting footnotes in my blog posts. Seriously, it’s sad.

Thank God I’m Not a Method Actor

Saturday, May 26th, 2007


One of the downsides of studying film is that you occasionally get roped into actually appearing on the other side of the lens. This is one of those times. Brilliant make-up work from our art director, Lauren, though — people who knew I was wearing make-up were wincing in sympathy.

And I get to do it all again on Monday. Curse you, weather!


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

How did I spend my Sunday morning?

Lift Off!

Apologies for the murkiness of the photo (there are better ones, I’m sure, but I’m limited to what my father snapped with my camera for now), but that basically sums it up. Off into the wide blue yonder with the benefit of some rather hot air and a balloon. As it turns out, it’s good fun — and surprisingly quiet and gentle when the burners are off. (Balloons also do a rather good job of scaring sheep, as it turns out. Cattle just seem to be curious.)

Well, good fun, apart from having to be in Northam at 5:45 am on a Sunday. The only other downside was that I missed the end of the World Cup final. Still, highly recommended.


Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Orange Sky

The sky’s not supposed to be that colour, right? Nice to see some rain, though, even if it is from some storms.