Monday, 5 December 2016

EBooks made easy

Creating your own Ebook is quite an easy exercise, and in recent times I have created 3 ebooks covering various aspects of my historical family records, plus this one that records a visit to Europe to see a stage of the Tour de France in 2015
The main text of an ebook is written in HTML, which is the same language that is used on all web pages, but you do not need to be concerned about this, because the source text can be written in MS-Word (or any other text editor) and a software package can then be used to convert it into unfiltered HTML files for inclusion in the ebook.
There are lots of software packages available that are easy to follow, and which create excellent results.  I use Sigil which is a free package only 27mb in size which creates ebooks in the "epub" format. These ebooks can easily be converted to various other formats using Calibre.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Parking - Italian Style

We have all heard of the many narrow roads in the Piemonte area, and the associated parking problems.  It is always best to keep to the side of the road to allow other traffic to pass.
This motorist has made sure that the road is not obstructed.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Stillness of the Morning

Two weeks ago we spent a couple of nights at the Sommerville tourist park near Stanthorpe. It is a large recreational area providing cottages, cabins, and an unlimited area for campers.
It is set on the banks of the Storm King Dam, and this scene in the early morning describes more than I could put into words.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The U3A class

Last Monday we were having a discussion at U3A on websites and I stated that private users have generally gone away from personal websites because they were a bit of a pain to update. I said that there were so many easier ways to publish personal stuff by Blogs and Facebook etc, and that a blog was by far the easiest way to put stuff up for general viewing.
During the meeting, I proceeded to open this blog and make that unplanned entry which took less than 3 minutes, simply for the purpose of demonstrating the procedure.
I think they got the message.
Now I can relax, and tend the animals on the farm.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Toowoomba's biggest day

It is September, and the spring flowers are at their best. This is the season that puts the local gardens trees and flowers on the front page, and attracts a few thousand visitors to the city.
It has been a rough week weather wise, with consistent rain for days, but this morning, the day of the big parade at the peak of the "Flower Festival" it dawned clear and blue. The local Botanical Gardens were crowded.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A 4 year effort

Back in 2012, my old racing bike got close to its "use-by" date. The wheels, brakes, and gear system were in serious need of a major overhaul or replacement, and this meant the expense of a few hundred dollars.
I debated at the time whether I would get the use out of a new bike, but eventually convinced myself that I was perhaps worth it, and I managed to find a good deal on a new racer. It was a Chinese imitation of the popular brands, with a neat modern aluminium alloy frame with carbon fibre forks, and quite reasonable quality wheels and running gear, and it cost just $490.

This week is the 4th anniversary of that purchase, and I enjoyed my 268th training ride, and in that time, my trusty cyclometer has clocked up a total of 9040km.

Saturday, 9 July 2016


First there were 8 balloons, now 4 of them have crashed, including my own.
Who will be the last to fall?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Morning Blast Off

An early morning today to watch the SpaceX Falcon-8 rocket blast off from Cape Canaveral. It was actually late afternoon in Florida and the weather was near perfect. This was a critical launch because the previous attempt resulted in a monumental explosion soon after take-off.  But today was perfect and the cameras followed the rocket as it climbed through clear skies, with its 3.5 tonne payload bound for a rendezvous with the International Space Station in 2 days time.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Big Rigs

Last year I took Ripley to the highway to watch the big trucks grinding their way down the Toowoomba range for the 4 kilos to the flat lands below.
Today it was Sammy's turn to have a look and check out the biggest of them. We were lucky because we saw a couple of 42 wheelers carrying big heavy loads down the hill in low gear.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Lunch at a Country Town

Every now and again we head outside or city, and venture to a nearby small town to test their midday menu. This time it was to Cambooya to the famous Bull and Barley hotel which is now well over 100 years old.  The menu was ordinary but the peaceful sunny day made up for it.
The town is not famous for much, but it is in the middle of some productive farm land, and the large grain silos stand as testimony to that.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Clifton Fly-in

We spent a very pleasant morning at the Clifton Fly-in. They had in excess of 60 light aircraft of all shapes and sizes. Craig parked his Jabiru alongside of other aircraft from the local Lone Eagle Flying Club, plus the dozens of craft that had flown in for the day.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Trucking with Ripley

The holidays are over and we are now left with the memories of the family visits.
One highlight for me, was taking Ripley on a bike ride, just like I did with Nicholas at the same age some years ago. The plan was for Ripley and me to ride down the side of the range and sit in the peaceful surrounds of a little park, amidst the contrasting constant noise of traffic, and watch the big trucks grind their way in their lowest gears down the steep grades of the Toowoomba range.
However, my planned "one-on-one" day with Ripley was somewhat compromised when Leonie and Nicholas joined us, but it was still a delight to spend the time with him.
He is a little boy who needs lots of loving and personal attention. Unfortunately his sister Cameo is an extremely confident and demanding extravert and her dominance must be a constant challenge for Ripley.
It was a good day, and I continued to stay close to Ripley and talk to him as we proceeded on our ride through some attractive terrain along the escarpment where we had great views over the eastern plains. It was only the steep sections of the road that brought us back to reality as we climbed sluggishly back towards home. But that is cycling - as I have always said "on a bike, you only have to ride half way - the rest of it is downhill" - but why do the uphill bits last 3 times longer?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

A Picnic in the Bush

A clear windless day for a picnic at the Casuarina camp site
A real rustic Aussie visitors centre
Lunch at a rather natural picnic table.