A bit of travel

I’ve hardly driven anywhere since the coronavirus lockdown began – mainly just to the supermarket for food. But today I had a work-related reason – I needed to return a monitor colour calibrator I borrowed to the owner, who needed to use it for his own work. I drove out to his place at Baulkham Hills, and my wife suggested I take Scully for a drive, and maybe walk her around out there for change of scenery.

So we did that, and I ended up spending a couple of hours out there. Enough to stop in for lunch at a bakery, and get more samples for my food blog. And while typing that up I found an old one from last year that I hadn’t blogged yet, and typed that up too.

This afternoon I also did some work for photography standards stuff, downloading documents and voting on a whole slew of ballots to reconfirm ISO standards that are up for their 5-yearly systematic review cycle. And… hmmm, some other bookkeeping stuff related to bills and tax deductions and stuff like that. Fascinating blog material, I’m afraid.

New content today:

More Pirates!

Firstly, Scully is feeling much better today. Her appetite is definitely back, thanks to the barbecue chicken the vet suggested we try giving to her. She seems to like it a lot better than the plain boiled chicken we’d been trying. She’s also active and behaving like normal too. So hopefully she’s well on the road to recovery.

We went for a bit of a walk this morning, a big loop that we commonly do, up and down some hills, through a big park, and then back along the waterfront. Here’s Scully at the marina.

Scully at the marina

She has several interesting bandanas. I think she has a bigger wardrobe than I do!

This afternoon my wife and I played Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! again. This time she’d got the hang of it and the game was much closer. We both ended up on 37 points, and I had to check the rulebook for the tie-breaker condition. And using that… she won!

The other main thing I did today was cooking. I made another loaf of bread using the “sourdough light rye” bread mix packet, and it turned out great again. Scully’s vet had also suggested we try white fish if the barbecue chicken didn’t work, so I’d bought a fillet of barramundi yesterday. Given she liked the chicken, I now had a piece of fish to spare. I don’t normally cook with meat or fish since my wife is vegetarian, but now I had to think of something. I decided to make myself a Thai green curry with fish pieces, broccoli, and green peas, with some jasmine rice. And oh my goodness it turned out delicious. (I also made my wife a vegetable omelette for her dinner.)

New content today:

Scully’s Diary, Day 6 of Operation Nom Nom Nom

its working!! iTs just like the other Puppers said in their wee-mails… i sniffed up this idea last week and decidded to try it out. On mOnday i just didnt eat anything, and also vomited for good measure. ๐Ÿคฎ On Tusday I did it again. ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ Teh vomit was all likwid that time, aWesome!

On Wensday my hoomans took me to the Bad Place, and the peeple there stuck needles in me and poked me in the tummy. but i held firm. i was sooooo hungry when i got home, and they gave me boiled chikkin insted ov kibble – wich they nevah normally do!! – so i gave in and ated some. bUtt i remembered teh plan & vomited it all up agan an our later! ๐Ÿคฎ So proud of myself

i ated a tiny bit on Thusday and Friday… just enough to stave off starvation, but not enuff to please my humans. If i culd just hold out a bit longer, i knew theyd crack. i also hadn’t done a poop since Munday night, and on Thusday i did a big watery one! ๐Ÿ’ฉ Haha!

i was begining to weeken and wunder if this was all worth it, and I should just eat the chicken. But i staid strong and rilly turnd it on this mornig (Satarday). i got the humans up at 5 oclok and made lyke i wanted to go outside for a poop, and then didnt do anything but snif the grass for haff an our!! HAAHAA! ANd then ten minits after i got inside i did it agaiN! and then again!! 6 tymes!

and then they tryed to feed me boyled chikin and i just turned my nose up at it. They took me to the Bad Place again… and the Evil nEedle Lady poked me again and gave me a tablet, YUk!

But then my hyoomans picked me up and talked all srsly to the nEedle Lady and then took me home… and then they gave me BARBECURE CHICKIN ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—


i ate it ALL. SO GOOD. htey were just so hapy to see me eeting anything!! HAHAA! and then tonite tey gave me moAR BABECUE CHIKKIN. tis is so Awedsome. i might not even throw up tonigte!! tummy so full…

Scully ๐Ÿพ

ps.. Hooman #2 wantd me to put this heer:

New content today:

Birdie Num Num

This morning I had a virtual meeting via Zoom for Standards Australia on photography standards. This is the follow-up to the international meeting I had in February, where I report back to the Australian experts on what happened and the progress of the various standards the international committee is working on. Normally we meet face-to-face, but this is the first online meeting of the Aus group under coronavirus restrictions. It went smoothly enough, except that my wife is also working from home at the same time, on the phone a lot, and our place isn’t large. I had to use the bedroom as my virtual office.

Unrelated good news: Scully is definitely on the mend from her illness. She’s eating more and is more active rather than lethargic.

And in other good news, I needed some exercise after my meeting this morning, so I played a round of golf after lunch. The course was busy, and I had a slow pair of what looked like a father and son, about 10 years old, ahead of me. So I had a bit of waiting at each tee for them to clear the fairway ahead of me. And then another pair came up behind me – a girl about 12 years old and (presumably) her brother, maybe 9 or 10 years. I saw their father drop them off at the car park, but COVID restrictions here limit golf groups to a maximum of two people, so the kids were playing by themselves. And they were good! Better golfers than me.

So anyway, they came up behind me as I was waiting to tee off at hole 3. I decided to let them go ahead of me, because I didn’t want the pressure of people coming up behind. I told them that they were better players than I was. After we all finished hole 3, the kids teed off on hole 4 (after a bit of a wait for the father/son pair ahead of them). This is the intimidating hole I’ve posted before:

Hole 4, par 3

You have to hit your tee shot over the creek. I’ve lost a fair few golf balls in there. Anyway, the kids hit immaculate tee shots, the boy landing just off the green and the girl landing on the green. I think they both two-putted for pars. The tee for the next hole was still occupied, so they sat to wait on a bench, facing back towards hole 3, and me at the tee. So they were watching me play.

I hit the tee shot sweetly and it sailed high in the air… bounced right on the green, and rolled to a stop about 2.5 metres from the hole. Not bad! I walked over to the green and lined up the putt… and sank it! I scored a birdie! Only my second one ever, after last week’s. As I walked off the green to my golf bag, the girl called out, “Well done!”

I could have played it cool and suave, but I actually replied excitedly that that was the first birdie I’d ever scored on this course.

But how cool is it to have a stranger watch something you’re doing and spontaneously burst out with a genuine, “Well done!”?

New content today:


I don’t believe I got any sleep at all last night. Scully was restless and I was concerned for her health after yesterday’s visit to the vet. She kept moving around during the night, which she doesn’t normally do, and eventually got up around 3:30 and wanted to go outside for a toilet.

The good news was I got to see the spectacular conjunction of Jupiter, Mars, the crescent moon, and Saturn, high in the sky. The bad news is that I was tired and mentally worn out all day. I’d planned to write some Darths & Droids strips for discussion with the writing group, but by evening I’d only managed to write one line of dialogue.

But the other good news is that Scully has started eating today and has not vomited at all, and is this evening looking much perkier, after spending much of the day resting quietly.

New content today:

Lightning and vet

Today was busy and exhausting. Workwise, I found a cool new Proof that the Earth is a Globe, that I didn’t even have on my list already, thanks to a reader. It was so cool, I wrote it up today!

In other news, I was preoccupied with Scully, who hasn’t been able to keep any food down since Monday night. She’s been sleepy, and refusing almost all food, and vomiting a few times. My wife took her to the vet today, and they did a blood test and x-ray, which both turned up all clear, so they suspect probably a stomach bug of some sort, which should hopefully resolve in a day or two. She’s got some anti-nausea medication to help keep her food down, and she’s eaten dinner with some gusto, so hopefully she’s okay.

Also, I baked some scones today, since my wife expressed a desire for some, and I thought it was a good idea to spoil her today.

New content today:

Golf and birdies

My golfing friend contacted me this morning and suggested we engage in a friendly COVID-isolation-compliant round of golf this week. (Golf alone or in groups of 2 is allowed under current rules here.) He suggested the pitch-and-putt course where I first learnt to play, and I suggested why not this morning? So we met up there and played 18 holes.

He granted me a handicap of 18, one for each hole, and we played match-play style, to see who could win each hole. And then we decided to jackpot the halved holes, in the style of golf “skins”. As it turned out, my game seems to have progressed to the point where this handicap was a little too generous, as I won 12 1/2 points to his 5 1/2. (And if we’d played standard match play, I won 6 holes to 4.)

On the way home I stopped at my favourite pie shop to get some pies for lunch, and took the opportunity to do some walking around that area for exercise. I also took my camera.

Australian magpie

This is an Australian magpie. Check out the claw on the rear of the right foot.

Australian raven

An Australian raven.

Silver gull

My walk took me past a beach, where there were plenty of silver gulls around.

Australian pelican

And some Australian pelicans.

I didn’t get home until mid-afternoon, and spent most of the rest of it sorting through the photos I’d taken and cataloguing them into my database.

New content today:

A walk in North Sydney

Today was Easter Monday, a public holiday. Although with the current COVID restrictions on going anywhere, it didn’t feel much different to any other day. I made a few comics in the morning, and then after lunch went on a long walk, around the North Sydney area. I took a bunch of photos, and when I got home I looked up the history of a lot of the places I’d photographed and turned it into another virtual walk album I(click to see photos and commentary).

I’m learning a lot about the history of my area by doing this. And I hope it’s interesting to other people, who might also not be able to get out very much.

New content today:


My wife surprised me with a new board game today! Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! This is a game we saw being demoed at the Spiel game fair in Essen last October, and at the time we thought it looked cool and interesting.

We played it this afternoon, and it worked pretty well with 2 players, although I expect it’ll have a bit more strategic depth with more players.

Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates!

This is the board at the end of the game. I also took some photos mid-game which had more interesting board states, but the shafts of sunlight made the photos way too contrasty.

I also spent more time trying t compile the code I was struggling with yesterday. I seem to have made some progress, managing to compile versions of the required libraries and run a test program, but I still haven’t integrated them into the program I want to compile.

This afternoon my wife and I also had a FaceTime chat with her nephew, who is currently working in Paris, and of course dealing with the COVID lockdown restrictions there – which began just a couple of weeks after he started his new job there! He seems to be going okay though, having lots of Zoom meetings with his new co-workers.

New content today:

Howling wind

This Saturday evening I’m sitting inside, happy not to be outdoors as the wind howls outside. The forecast was for high winds today, and it was right. It was warm in the middle of the day, but blustery. Now it’s cooled down a lot and the wind has picked up even more. I can hear trees bending and rustling.

I spent a lot of time today trying to compile an old program that a friend of mine wrote some years ago. He tried to help me in an online chat, but we’re still stuck at sorting out some library dependencies. Ugh… this is why I hate programming.

The other thing I did was make a couple of new Darths & Droids strips. I’d hoped to get more done, but got stuck in that mire of compiling code.

New content today: