Saturday, 11 August 2018

Wait till tomorrow

It was a long wait yesterday, and after a couple of holds in the countdown, the launch was aborted with just 1 minute abd 55 seconds remaining.
It is now rescheduled for today and at the time of this blog, it means another wait for 13 and a half hours before hopefully it will blast off on its massive journey to the Sun, reaching speeds never before attained by a spacecraft. This is the ULA Delta-IV - the heaviest of the current range of active rockets. This 3 stage rocket produces the enormous thrust necessary to push the small payload towords Venus and then towards the Sun.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A Clear View

If this was a normal shopping centre in a major city, it would be crowded with eager shoppers. But our city of Toowoomba is not normal. This is the view at a busy time during the day - where are the people you may ask? There are over 200 shops in this complex - they cannot all be profitable.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

A Road Journey

Our journey to Canberra by road, passed through many well known towns and landmarks. But the astute observer can see an even greater number of sights along the remote areas that reveal the true nature of this vast country.
The loneliest job: A safety roadman holds up the traffic at one of the many roadworks locations. This one outside the town of Boorawa.
Cattle grazing on the roadside: Due to the dry season, graziers have been forced to feed their cattle along the roadsides. This large herd near Barraba was a definite hazard for motorists.
The postman's destination at an isolated road to nowhere.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Cubes and Planks

I have a friend that I have never met. He is Erhan from Turkey, and he has a website showing the numerous puzzles and problems that he has invented. 
Today I learned that he has recently died, and in his memory I am showing you the latest wooden puzzle that I made from his instructions. It is titled "Cubes and Planks" and it is constructed from 9 components, and it is quite hard to assemble.
I found that his instructions for assembly were a little hard to follow, because the orientation of the cube changed which caused some confusion, and also the 9 components needed to have the direction of the grain shown, so that the grain on the assembled individual cubes would be consistently in line. So I have drawn my own solution which addresses these problems and hopefully assists others who want to make one of these puzzles.
The details of the 9 components can be found at his website:-

Monday, 2 April 2018


Unseasonly Autumn
We are already into April and we should not be experiencing warm sunny days in the mid 20s during this Autumn.
This scene greeted us today as we went for a walk in the botanical gardens.  The garden beds are all barren of flowers as they wait for the new planting in a couple of months time which will transform the whole place into a mass of colour.  In the meantime, the trees will remain the focal point of this beautiful setting.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Extremes Below

Observers of this blog will note that I have included "Blind Descent" in my list of favorite books. I have always followed the extreme tales of the great mountain achievements, but I never realised that adventures below the surface are equally if not more extreme and dangerous
This is a fascinating description of the efforts by a number of teams to find the deepest cave on Earth. It explains the traumas of exploring in absolute total darkness, where the possibility of an accident or fatal tragedy is ever present, and the near impossibility of a rescue or a recovery. from such remote confined locations, thousands of meters underground.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Its on Again soon

Yes its that time to start thinking about the Tour de France.
This year it covers some of the country that we are familiar with - especially stage-18 which goes through a section of the French Alps that we visited in 2015.
For that previous tour we saw stage-17 at Pra Loup near Barcelonnette (near the bottom of this map). The following day we drove north to Briancon, on the same roads that the tour will follow this year in the opposite direction.  The roads around the Lac de Serre-Poncon and over the Cote des Demoiselles Coiffees were quite spectacular.  I just hope that the SBS live telecast will start in time to show the riders traversing those areas.