Tone-in-oz just doing it anyway

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 minutes, a small fortune

I hope a test aint a waste
and the speed ticket was not fun either

I had to take A DAY OFF WORK TO do a special eye and brain test in the Big Smoke, and took some speed-sailing gear in case I was out early. I thought it was test three, the BAER, on the handout as the specialist seemed interested me in lying down for a few hours while technicians attached wires to me. Or a VEP or/and BAER.

No. Not that one, or the other one either. It was a VEP test. Not even a ten minute test. At their lab. In the city, well, nearly inner suburban.

Five minutes to hook two electrodes with thick glue to my scalp, stare at the monitor steadily with one eye, then stand up and read a poster a few yards away, [right eye - poor - two bottom lines hazy].

And That Was That. Out by 10:20am.

But that's not the only story.

That morning I arose earlier than usual, took off by 6:30am to get there by 9:30am. Yeah,  to drive through the frantic city bound traffic at the PEAK HOUR.

First, a petrol stop, [yeah, lack of planning there!] then off.

Bypass the land-slipped town and did not watch the hundreds of speed limit signs on the curvy country road... I was not watching the signs...

Pinged twice as a bluey followed me over the limit.  No idea he was there- how long was he there for, at least a minute or two at least, but long enough, and dang it if a lady driver had'nt flashed headlights at me a few minutes earlier...

The LAST time I went this way, a few months ago, I would have been fine.
Since the landslip, the road I wanted to use has been tagged and re-signed, with a big reduction...

I then noticed him, and he put the flashing lights on. Pulled over and got the licence ready. Bugger. "Why were you over the limit?" I was pregnant? Enjoying a country road? Did not realise that the limits were changed? As he went back to process my licence and registration, I was red from embarrassment and fury.

He came back and was almost laughing I think. He was so polite.
"Well, you were over twice and guess what else? The car registration was due last weekend..."


"That could be a 655 bucks fine, but if you keep off the tollways and try to use your smartphone to pay as soon as possible, you will be okay..."

See? Nice, polite and so good.Maybe just a warning?

"But I will have to give you this one [a pink slip] though, so you only have this to pay- the speed fine"
"Uh. Um, well thanks", sort of... RRHGFRGH and %^#@ )(!*

As there was a child minder at home I called him to get the bill off the refrigerator and could he afford pay it for me ASAP? No explanation for why I remembered it...
"Yes, no worries."
"Thanks, see you as soon as I get back!" I said, fingering the spare cash I could have left at home for it.

So I cool off and REALLY WATCH the GPS- [speed limit data not updated of course- too cheap for that!] and get into the city traffic about an hour later.

The ABC radio traffic update warned me off the freeway- I knew that spot of trouble well, so took off on a different route.

Still late, not believing the GPS as I was looking for the wrong road just minutes away from My Destination... Lost me a few minutes as it insisted I was headed the wrong way in its muffled mode [woman, Irish, nice, but still a know all GPS thingo].
She was right as in Muttley like.
I turned the car around.

Got to reception after parking the wagon on the 2nd parking level [out of 5- so lucky], explained I was finally here late due to traffic problems, and told by a beautiful young woman, "Don't worry, it's okay..." Ahhh. Alright then!

Sat down to read for the indubitably long wait, read half a page of my Asimov mag and "Mr Marvin?"
Bugger- "Hi".

Off to the test, as above, a short test. Out by 10:20am and minus another hundred bucks for the test.

Oh well.
$9 for 37 minutes parking...

Oh well.

Took off. Time for Me Time after all.
Some speed-sailing at Sandy Point, if I could get there WITHOUT speeding!

GPS informs me, 1pm ETA, good.
On the way, avoiding traffic, through an industrial estate, mainly small to medium garage like shops, I spied a HOBBY shop! Squealing of tires NOT- "Just a quick look" and spent 5 minutes there, yum, and spied a model my uncle might want.

Got back on the road with all my money safe. Stopped for a Cornish Pastie, with sauce, that was not there in the end- did not squeeze the bloody bottle HARD enough, and arrived at Sandy Point. 1pm.

The tide was IN. Lack of planning. Severely!
Stuff it, I needed a bathroom quickly, and plowed through the small pools between me and relief...

Set up a sail, spoke to another sailor- "Not great".
Oh well.
From the files, but example- tide---  IN
Buggered around with the sail and mast rghrgh and got on the water, and planed fast enough down the course.
Up the course, there was only enough to slog back to shore...
Unpack and take off by 2:45pm.
Get back to town home, pay Son#2's dental bill, lucky for him and me they could see him at such short notice (Thanks) then off and reclaim the medical bill, go home and the gels get dropped off, with a pizza, and they kindly let me have two pieces...

What a bloody day!
Four hundred bucks for a 10 minute test. A ticket. A very short sail. And Is the optic nerve on its way out?
I better "fail" it... Or pass. Whatever.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

lightspeed and galaxies

Time travel
again a new experience

Looking at NASA space pictures, like the ones from the Hubble can be humiliating.

My desktop display has a few at this time, and one has a few billion galaxies dotted around in it.
Not a few, billyans!

When you think about it,  Andromeda Galaxy, the closest galaxy to The Milky Way, is only two million light years away, and it is calculated by some people both are to collide at some time down the track well after we are history. Lightyear- how far does a photon travels in one year Marvin? About ten Trillion kilometers... Oh.
The one measurement New York bankers might prick the ears up at... gotta be a percentage in that somehow !

I hated thinking of/about infinity when I was very young. Like also thinking that [a] God has you, and you, and you as well as me on his mind 24/7 and is all around us and knows what is going  to happen etc etc - both ideas are plain creepy and scary. Then and now.

Recent reports are of some starlight that is {another} calculated to be as old as the universe! That calculation is supposed to be close to 12 or 14 billion years old. What's a few billyan tween friends?

But really, it's colossal.

Driving a car to the moon, [yeah, try it Bill Gates] is a bit of a trip too. The average Earth-Moon distance is about 385,000 km, so allowing for drink and bathroom stops every two or three hours, a sleepover some where, it would take thGriswold Family about [tap tap click tap lose page, get it back] about forever. Even, say, at 60mph without a stop could take more than a few months...

Back to the galaxy thing, and time travel. Swiveling your eyes over the picture the galaxies don't look far apart, but it has to be several millions of lightyears between them.

Even looking around the night sky, there is all those photons coming at ya from a long long time ago. And if there are Others on Another Planet around the Milky Way a bit, and they can see the same thing as we do, that is a LOT of photons being spread around since time started.

Maybe that is what dark matter really is, all those freaking photons....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

FLW, not TLAs

Weird Words
Four letter everyday words
I may have written up word play thingos before, like four letter words that end in ASH for example.
There are quite a few! And then there are there five letter words ending in ash. But never mind.

TLA- three letter acronyms amuse me no end too.
BHA- Bottom Hole Assembly [nothing to do with derrieres mind!]
RLD- Red Letter Day

But then there are the everyday four letter words to do with us.

Arse, coff, pooh, pi*s, d**k, an*s, **n*, fart, larf, tits, kiss, lick, cute, ugly, eyes, ears, feet, f**k, fool....

the washing day dragged out

Do you remember to take out the washing to the drying line?

And. When was the last time you were asked- 
"Dad? Where's my washed jeans?"

This weeks' washing was ready in the laundry basket. Nearly all of it was ready to GO!
As I lifted the lid to load up the 7kg capable washing machine, there was a flurry!

"Daddy! Wait, hang on, I forgot last night!"

The plan is to wake up as early as possible on a Saturday, head down to the combined space saving but ergonomically-not designed bathroom-laundry industrial complex, and do a weeks' washing. In one morning.

However. If one is awoken later in the day, and it's raining all weegen, one is are buggered.
It is all dragged out until the next day. Or the dryer rule is invoked, breaking the ubiquitous and /or customery "Quick, it's raining, gotta get the clothes back of the drying line again!"


If one is awoken mid morning, reaches the aforementioned room, lifts the lid to load....

WTF?! Last weekends  load of washing!!!!!!!!!!
[a BLACK load, jeans etc- From The Goths of the clan]

Semi dry, and a bit whiffy. Has to be semi washed and fully rinsed all over again.
Reason left behind?
Wet weegen?
Not really, working on the painting job may have distracted one...
No real excuse, it was just forgotten I suppose.


And then one finds out that-

THERE IS NOT ENOUGH washing detergent for four loads of washing!!!



Not enough pegs to hang all this self inflicted work out to dry!

Can it get worse?
Thanks heaps.
Well that's settled.

A late afternoon exchange prior to this:
"Where's my shorts for school?"
No respect, just a demand.
Put away? In the basket still? I don't know... I cannot sort all the worlds problems out!
But now we all know why there was no shorts or work duds- drying in the washing machine...
Why do the three of them wear SHORTS in WINTER?
The three of them!
Winter uniform for schools is long black pants- not jeans, not chinos, not dress slacks, not tracksuit pants, not swimming stuff, not thongsflipflops, just sensible warm clothes and shoes and socks etc!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stenciling- as in drafting

Up to about 1991

When I was working in the oil-patch...

All useful data gathered by logging geologists when a petroleum exploration well was drilled were ultimately drawn up as squiggly lines on translucent (plastisised[?]) draughting paper, either A3 or A4 size according to columns. At well TD, or when the reaching Total Depth, the sheets were edited, and joined together for the client, there on to be used in a blueline copier to produce a Log of up to 5 to 20 meters, depending on the scale used. We never actually produced 1:1 scale apart from actual core logs... Imagine FAXING that bugger. And the cost if by Marisat back in the 80's!!

This was before desktop personal computers were the usual useless decoration in the logging shacks.

The Log.

I was a mudlogger, an engineering geologist, abnormal formation pressure detection detective. Also a plumber, carpenter, electrician, computer programmer, installation specialist, in the end a surveying specialist in logging or measuring while drilling and almost a directional driller too BUT...

The Log... Back then...
Drawn by hand, with stenciling pens, and using stencils, templates, drafting boards, set squares, rulers...

Geological descriptions were typed in the righthand column- cos faster than stenciling...

But drilling parameters, dates, events, formation tops were all stenciled in.

I am posting this, LATE, because yesterday was the eighth of August again...


I was offshore Bass Strait, on a platform, looking for oil or gas, maybe just oil.

Rig 19 was old, noisy and annoying. The logging shack was mounted on the drill floor BEHIND the draw-works. A long way away from the shakers too.

And the rotten bastard on the opposite shift left me to stencil in the date on the "log"

It was 1988, August. And the eighth day of August.

To stencil "8", there was two circles in the template to create "8". 

So one had to be Careful to make it straight. And it was the fine 0.25mm pen size as well.

But really. Marvined...



Argh. Not happy Jan/Marv!

greeting card for the century

Cheap day.

Do you like this one?

Send off a blank greeting card joined on a string to a pencil, with eraser on its end. Recipient makes out what they want to read, from you, and everybody feels good. And wealthier.

Or this one? Probably a little less subtle. More personal?

Recipient's name printed/penned inside, signed by you, with empty boxes or lines to fill in events.

A few bland diagrams of for example- a tree, a bunny, candle on a cupcake.

Together or on post-it-notes to swap around, suitable for the event required. On the inside or the front.

With the attachment as above.

The other thing is to cut costs further by sending instructions by email, rather than using snail mail, to the intended recipient of the greeting card to make it as instructed above.

Either way its a win-win situation.

No massive profits to the bloody greeting card dupers or to the post, there is money in your pocket for the ISP bill and less useless processed native timber floating around, or on the road or in the sky.
Let's keep the processed timber for the bathroom?

So the point of the card is you have named the recipient, and it's signed with Yours Faithfully, Sincerely, best regards, thanks in advance, truly yours, BFF, etcetera etcetera. With a few little pictures on the front or inside, you have the year covered.
All your recipient has to do at the right time of the year is just rub out the last event/year and fill in the blank.

An ultimate recycling project.

They will always thank or think of you for being a planet saving thoughtful/less tight-ass whenever they dig it up.