Well here we are, back on our land
in central Queensland. I have to say it's great to be back
and we plan to drop anchor for some time, maybe even a year
What that will mean to the already
sparse chronicle updates remains to be seen I guess.
One reason I haven't posted much is
that I've been right into some electronics design, and that
takes up all my time. I do wonder as to the sense of this
however, much as I enjoy figuring out how to create a piece
of electronics gadgetry I think I may look back and say to
myself that I wasted too much time doing it.
On the other hand as John Lennon apparently
said, "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."
A valid point I guess, I've pretty
much always enjoyed what I was doing at the time and I suppose
a lifetime spent doing what you enjoy is nothing to be sneezed
But the other side of the coin can
be seen when I look back at my life and think of the things
I did. I spent roughly half my adult life traveling and taking
photographs and the other half in electronics and computing.
I enjoyed both equally as much at the time but when I look
back it's the times I've had traveling and taking photographs
that I reminisce about, not the circuit boards, control systems
and fuzzy-logic algorithms I designed.
There's a message there somewhere I'm
Till next time then, and remember,
Don't Dream it, Be it!
Wed 4 Jul 2012
We spend most of the day clearing a small area of long grass to
give us somewhere to camp. Then we make a rock pile to drive one
set of wheels onto, this will level the truck.
The pile of stones that should get the truck level.
Thu 5 Jul 2012
First job today is to move the truck to our newly-cleared
site. The rock pile sinks a bit under the weight so I still have
to use a block to get level.
The car and trailer parked out of the way near our container.
Here's a close up shot of the trailer. Note that we added a tool
box on the draw bar. This is very useful for storing ropes and tarps
We also added tie down rings because the standard unit really doesn't
have anywhere to run ropes.
Close up of the trailer.
Then we get back into clearing grass, we have friends arriving
in a couple of days and we want to at least have the fire place
cleared and enough room for them to camp as well.
View of part of the driveway showing some cleared area.
We are removing the motorbike while we are here so we will have
a larger lounge room. I think it will stay removed to be honest,
we haven't used it much since we bought the car and as it's harder
to open the deck when the bike is in place. Therefore we've tended
not to use the deck as much as we would have liked.
So as a few people have asked for me to clarify how the bike fits
and where it goes here are two photos that may help.
In the first photo the bike is in it's traveling position in what
becomes the deck (or just more lounge room) when it's not there.
The two doors are actually parts of two tri-fold doors that cover
the bike when it's there and provide privacy when the rear of the
truck is open as a deck.
In the second photo we see the bike lowered but not yet removed.
If you look carefully you can see the other side of the tri-fold
doors, the pulley on a lifting bar, and two steel wires going up
to the winch.
Once the bike is removed the flap you can see to it's right is
raised and inside there's a floor you can't see that is lowered.
View from the lounge room towards the rear of the truck.
Looking from the outside with the bike lowered but not yet removed.
At this point we have a larger lounge room. If we then open the
rear of the truck we have a deck.
Thu 12 Jul 2012
We drive out to Mount Perry to check out Gavin and Tracy's new
"shouse", a shed with a built in house.
It's a pretty impressive structure and they've worked like navvies
over the last 7-8 months to get it finished. There are still things
to do but they passed the final inspection the other day so the
pressure is off now.
We like it but I don't think we have the stamina to build something
similar. Not that I can't still wield a hammer, it's the bureaucratic
bullshit you have to endure that would do me in.
We chat until late afternoon then leave, realizing too late that
we left a container with 4-5 chocolate biscuits (Mint Slice no less)
in their freezer. I don't like their chances of surviving the night
(the biscuits that is).
Fri 13 Jul 2012
Today it's into Bundy to do some research on our own capital improvements.
We look at containers, timber decking, paving stones, you name it.
The jury is still out though deliberating exactly what we will
We know that G&T are also in town and have organized to try
and meet up so we can get our biscuit container back. It's not that
important we do because I've been informed that they've eaten the
remaining biscuits but that container is worth at least $2 (probably
less than the 5 biscuits it held).
As we pull into the Bunnings car park Chris says I should ring
them. I say I'll do so when we come out of the shop but she insists
so I phone Gavin. "Where are you?" I ask, "Just coming
out of Bunnings" is the reply.
We chat for a short time then go our separate ways. They get McDonalds
and we get to walk around Bunnings getting prices for the various
options we have been talking about.
The plan is slowly coming together.
Mon 16 Jul 2012
We've pretty much decided what to do, still talking
about it but meanwhile I'm trying to price the job by surfing the
Bunnings and Masters web sites. What a total waste of time that
is, both their websites are useless.
The Bunnings site has a feedback page, it seems
that they want to know how my shopping experience was so I drop
them a short note.
swear that this website is totally useless, I'm looking for
PVC pipe, there's no top-level plumbing category anywhere
that I can find and in "Builders and renovators"
not a single mention of plumbing unless you count vanities
and toilets. Do builders and renovators not use PVC pipe?
A search for "pvc pipe" brings
up everything but, like the "Light Solar Bollard Flc"
and the "Aquaflow Shower Controller - Std Elec ...".
There is only a single pipe in the list and I know you have
dozens, not to mention 1000s of fittings.
If it helps the Masters site is just as
bad or even worse :)
I never do get a response.
Wed 18 Jul 2012
We have talked long and hard about building a house of some kind, and I did
find a nice one on the web and blow me down if they aren't made in Childers,
only about 50k away.
I was even pretty keen to go down that route for a while but there
are a lot of expenses. $67,000 for the house itself, probably $5,000
for the site works, $10,000 for black and grey water trenches, at
least $5,000 but maybe up to $10,000 for various council tests and
approvals, plus probably $5,000 for stuff I haven't thought of.
If we got any change out of $100,000 I'd be gobsmacked.
And then there's the duplication, we would need two fridges, two
cook tops, two heaters, more chairs, another bed, etc etc.
And we would be forever commuting between the truck and the house
to get something that wasn't duplicated.
Frankly it doesn't seem worth it to us. The only advantage I can
see (and it's a biggy) is that we would have a domicile that was
officially recognized by the authorities. There's no doubt that
would be a good thing, but we just can't justify spending that much
to get the nod from the council.
We have an investment due in a few years, maybe then.
Meanwhile we've decided on what we will do, we need some more storage
and I'd like a bit of a workshop. We need a sheltered area to leave
tools under and we really need to have a water supply.
So the first thing to do is buy a water tank, then we'll get second
container and build a roof between the two. When the dust has settled
I may line the new container and add some windows, that will be
Thu 19 Jul 2012
I ordered the tank this morning then started work digging the pad
for it. It is slow going, not because the ground is tough, but because
I'm not. It's quite plain I haven't done this sort of work for a
The tank base gets started.
Later it's beginning to take shape.
Fri 20 Jul 2012
Man we've spent some money today. The two major items are a new
line trimmer and a new container.
We planned to get a smaller (read cheaper) line trimmer for Chris but when
push came to shove we got one the same as our current trimmer.
Love is having matching line trimmers.
One thing I liked about the Stihl FS90 is that it's almost exactly
the same now as it was 4 years ago. I hate the way things change
every year these days, especially when most changes are cosmetic
or add features nobody needs.
This trimmer works well, so don't screw with it.
We also buy a container and are very happy with the price. We planned
to buy from the people we got the last one from, they are asking
$3500 plus delivery for a second-hand 20' container in OK condition.
But somehow I got onto another mob so we go around to see them
Good thing we do, they will sell us a "new-build" container
for $3500 including delivery. Now new-build is
the term for a container that's only done a single trip and it means
that they should be in good condition. This one is immaculate and
about $1000 cheaper that other places offering them.
It's a cash deal though so we have to go back into town and find
We also bought several other things and although I'm not counting
I reckon we've spent $5000 today.
Sun 22 Jul 2012
The hole for the tank base is finished. It's quite large but not
that deep, in fact I'm not sure it actually qualifies as a hole
because one side is at natural ground level, all I've really done
is a cut to provide a 4-metre circular level spot for the tank.
It just needs about 4" of granite mixed with some cement to
make a nice tank base.
Mon 23 Jul 2012
I've got the stump of the tree that was in front of the container
dug out a fair bit and have just wrapped a chain around it when
Greg turns up in his 5-tonne truck with the reco granite. He drops
the granite and I spot a tow hitch on the back of the truck.
"You don't reckon you could pull this out?" I ask indicating
the partially-grubbed stump.
It takes a couple of goes but before long the stump is free of
The newly removed stump.
Tue 25 Jul 2012
The tank base is finished and we've spread the extra reco granite
in front of the container to give a better walking surface.
The two rocks on the ground indicate the position of the new container.
The finished tank base.
Tue 31 Jul 2012
The water tank arrives. We push it off the truck and place it as
close as possible to the required spot using the truck's crane.
The driver then relocates the truck and we can get the tank to within
a metre of the spot, with a little synchronized pushing and dropping
we actually get it on the base.
Then some manual shoving and it's in the right place.
The tank in place.
After the tank man leaves I notice that the tank is not quite aligned,
it really needs to be rotated by a few degrees. With a rope and
the car and some huffing and puffing we get it right.
Wed 1 Aug 2012
20,000 liters of water arrived this morning. We now have more water
than we know what to do with but still get the guy to drain the
tanker hose into some buckets.
Well old habits die hard and another 25 liters will never go astray.
Pumping 20,000 liters of water into our new tank.
Thu 2 Aug 2012
The new container arrives after lunch. It takes some dicking around
but the driver manages to get it almost where we need it. Unfortunately
the lay of the land doesn't allow him to align his truck correctly
but he manages to get one end in the right place and skew the other
end as far as possible.
We've dropped in onto some logs to make it easier to drag and also
to get jacks underneath when the time comes to get the container
We now have to move that end about two feet, we do have a winch
but I decide to try using the car first.
My first two attempts meet with failure as the sharp edge of the
container just bites into the log. So I use an old de-bogging technique,
I jack the container up as high as I can then just yank it off the
jack with the car.
It works a treat and the container lands in exactly the right spot.
All we have to do now is get it level but that will have to wait
because we don't have the concrete blocks.
Fri 3 Aug 2012
We drive into Bundy to get a heap of stuff, concrete blocks for
the containers and a wheel barrow being the two main items, but
also a ladder and a lot of plumbing fittings etc. It takes about
5 hours to complete the shopping and as always we can't get out
of town quick enough.
Sat 4 Aug 2012
Today we level the containers. The new one obviously needs doing
because the land has quite a slope, but the old one also needs work
because we originally set it up to have a lean so it would drain
water while we were away.
Now I want it to be level as well.
It takes most of the day with various combinations of jacks and
wooden blocks, but finally the two containers are dead level and
sitting pretty on their concrete blocks.
The new container on concrete blocks.
Thu 9 Aug 2012
Gavin and Tracy (hobohome)
will arrive today, they've spent the last year or so building a
shouse (shed/house) on their land at Mt Perry, just 30k up the road
and now they are finally getting back to traveling.
They are heading out to the Birdsville races which start on the
31st so they can't hang around too long and I know they are keen
to get moving but hopefully they can spend a couple of days with
They arrive just after lunch, but all is not well. It seems that
Hobohome failed to make it up one of the nearby hills and when the
engine stalled the brakes would not hold the bus. They careered
backwards down the hill and where eventually stopped by a large
The tree is history and the bus is well worse off for the encounter.
Hobohome looking a little worse for wear.
At this point it's not known how the insurance company will deal
with the damage but it's a fair bet that the Birdsville races are
not on the agenda any more.
Luckily they do now have the shouse to live in should the bus have to be out
of action for repairs, but despite being passed as a dwelling the shouse is
not really set up for living at present.
All the power, cooking and hot water facilities are supplied by
the bus and if that's away so are those facilities.
Anyway we put those thoughts aside for the night and sit around
the fire drinking and talking crap as usual.
Wed 22 Aug 2012
First night without the electric blankets in months. Yay it's starting
to get warm.
Tue 28 Aug 2012
I've done it, I finally went and bought the new solar panels, all
up I have 4x 250W and 2x 100W panels to add to the truck. They will
replace the old 8x 64W panels but the old ones won't be wasted,
the plan is to put them on the container roof and feed them into
the truck's system when we are on the block.
This is partly because we don't want to waste the old panels and
partly because where we park we are shaded for a large part of the
day and the extra 500-odd watts will be handy.
The new 250W panels, these things are huge.
These new panels are huge and for a motorhome you have to be careful
that they will fit. That is often the deciding factor when purchasing
them because although they are all roughly the same area some are
long and narrow and others short and fat.
So some careful measurements are in order and if buying from eBay
et al make sure the size is really as advertised.
Many I found were not.
And speaking of buying, 250 watts is the current sweat spot for
price/performance. These cost me $249 each, that's less than $1
per watt. The panels I'm replacing cost more than $10 per watt a
Another possible issue with such large panels being used on a vehicle
is the strength of the large glass panel. In our case the entire
body is mounted on rubber and gets a pretty good ride but I still
think I'll add some support in the center of the panel.
Wed 29 Aug 2012
The old container has some pretty bad rust in the roof. I thought
I'd grind it all back and apply rust converter and bog but eventually
decide to just cut the lot out and patch it with a new piece of
metal, checker plate of course :)
After cutting the roof section out, from the inside.
Before the patch.
After the patch.
Wed 5 Sep 2012
I just realized it's exactly 40 years since I first set foot in
England, so I hop onto Google Earth and go for a stroll down memory
The men's hostel I lived in on Milmans Lane in Chelsea seems to
have gone. I had to do a "midnight flit" (literally) from
there, maybe my unpaid back rent sent them to the wall :)
The Edwardian terrace house I lived in on Warrington Cresent in
Little Venice is still there, but it seems that all the rooftop
areas of the houses are now being used regularly and are set up
as small terraces. We had to climb out the bathroom window to get
access but it was a fantastic spot for a beer on a warm afternoon.
Then I decide to venture further afield. What about Stonehenge,
is that still there? Well of course it is but you can no longer
mingle with the monoliths. In 1972 you could freely walk around
and even sit on the stones, now you have to view from a distance.
I remember sitting in the car park at dusk wondering where the
heck I was going to spend the night. I spotted a small forest up
the road so walked up there and slept under the trees with my ground
sheet rigged as a shelter of sorts.
Man it was cold and I woke in the pre-dawn light to see nothing
but fog. I then sat up and emerged into clear air, there was just
a one-foot layer of fog. It was too cold to go back to sleep so
I decided to try to get some dawn photos of the stones and legged
it back down the road.
The paddock was fenced off even then and I knew there was security
but thought it was worth a go. Just as I was about to climb the
fence I saw a guard heading purposefully towards the stones. Minutes
later he emerged with a person in tow and escorts said person off
There was no cameras as far as I could tell so how they know someone
is trespassing I had no idea, but I figured I had a minute or two
before getting nabbed, plenty of time to get a few photos.
I climbed the fence and bolted to the far side of the stones, by
this time the fog had thickened and the sun was trying to break
through. I got my shots then saw the guard heading my way so I did
a runner back to the fence and made my exit.
Later I walked back into Amesbury, the nearby town.
I can't remember how I met Arthur but he seemed like a nice enough
bloke and his wife was away so he offered me a place to stay for
I stayed there for several days but he got stranger and stranger,
it started with slightly sarcastic remarks that mostly went over
the top of my 18-year-old head but the comments and body language
got worse and eventually even I started to feel quite uneasy.
I used to always carry a large knife with me in those days and
on my last night in Arthur's house I slept with it under my pillow
with my hand on it's hilt.
Next morning he was pleasant again and headed off to work. I waited
10 minutes to make sure he hadn't forgotten his wallet or whatever
then stuffed my belongings into my pack and bolted.
Thu 13 Sep 2012
I get an email this morning from Peter and Marie. It seems that
they are on their way home from the Birdsville races and after an
unintended detour they are now heading past Gin Gin and would like
to stay for the night.
Sounds good to us and I meet them out on the main road just after
lunch to pilot them into the block.
Stan's MAN and P&Ms' Slineaway.
They have Stan with them. Stan is in his 80s and I think a role
model for us all as he's still driving that huge MAN around the
Admittedly I think he always goes with company but if I'm going
at all at that age I'll be pretty happy.
That said it's time for him to hang up his truck keys and the MAN
is for sale, it's a very capable vehicle, Stan took it across the
Simpson Desert a couple of years ago.
Get in touch with me if you are interested and I'll get his details
Wed 26 Sep 2012
We've done some landscaping around the place as well. In an effort
to have at least a small area that's relatively flat and free of
ankle-twisting rocks we "paved" the area between the containers
with the reco granite the other day.
We plan to extend that across to the truck so we have a path and
to contain the granite we'll lay some paving stones.
The front of the new container and the path-to-be.
Here we see the pavers roughly laid out to delimit the path, I
originally planned to have a straight path but decided to go a little
"Middle Earth" and have it all wonky.
The extension leads will be run through conduit and the lot buried
before we put the rest of the granite down.
We've had to upgrade our internet plan. Just a few months ago we
went up to 8Gig and thought all our Christmases had come at once.
Well tomorrow is the start of our billing period but about a week
ago we realized that we would have trouble so we started cutting
down our internet time.
Not by enough as it happens because about 4 days ago we got a 100%
usage message from Telstra and had to stop entirely because they
charge like a wounded bull when you go over the limit.
This morning we can't stand it any longer so I ring Telstra and
up our plan to 15Gig. That's $99 per month for our internet connection,
it's becoming a large part of our budget.
Update: Telstra seem to have given us 23gig, that's 15 plus
our old 8 not instead of. They do work in mysterious ways though
and I've often seen anomalies when we change plan. So I guess we
won't know what the real story is until the next bill.
Thu 27 Sep 2012
I love all the wildlife we have here, the other day we were having
a cuppa when a 3-foot goanna strolled past. It was interesting to
watch him partly because it solved a mystery.
You see there are 1000s of small holes being dug around the block
and I assumed is was the work of a nocturnal animal, specifically
a numbat because they do that and we've seen at least one around.
But we caught the goanna red handed, as he walked around in front
of the truck he dug three or four holes, looking for grubs I suppose.
So now we know who's aerating the soil.
We have a lot of bird life here and last time we lived on the block
we had some tame butcher birds and king parrots.
This time it seems to be the magpies that have adopted us. There's
a gang of about 11 that patrol the land, one of which will fly right
into the lounge room looking for a handout.
I oblige and now most of his mates drop in as well. It's normal
to have 6 or 7 magpies drinking from the bowls we put out or fighting
over some water melon. Hours of fun for the whole family, who needs
Which brings me to today's wildlife encounters. While clearing
a pile of rocks I found a tiny snake, about six inches long with
a black and orange head I don't know what type it was but I relocated
him to a safe place.
The next snake we find I am not inclined to relocate though. While
on our customary evening stroll down the driveway we find a python
about 7 feet long. We watch it for ages as it hunts through the
long grass but it seems to have taken a liking to me and keeps heading
in my direction.
I think we'll leave him be.
This is a very good example of one of the main reasons we are clearing
the grass, pythons are OK but what if it was a tiapan or a brown
snake. We want to be able to wander around and not worry about tripping
over such critters.
Fri 28 Sep 2012
There's been some questions about the positions of the containers,
the roof and the tank so here's a drawing.
As you can see the proposed roof covers the area between the two
containers plus it's large enough to provide a sheltered area and
probably a car port as well.
The red lines with arrow heads are 240-volt wiring and the blue
lines are the DC wire from the solar panels I will put on the roof
of the new container and probably some CAT5 cable in case I want
a data connection between the truck and my "office" (the
front half of the old container).
All these wires will run underground in conduit.
Mon 1 Oct 2012
While having lunch we look outside to find a swamp wallaby doing
the same. Unlike the pretty-faced wallabies who are happy to hang
around for hours the swampies only ever pass through at the gallop,
we've never had one hang about so this is a real treat.
On a less pleasant note it seems that our neighbour +1 is preparing
a house pad on his hill. The dozer has been scraping away for 3
days now and there is a huge scar on the land.
Fortunately it's not all that visible from where we are but they
already had two flat pads so I wonder why they need a third. We'll
have to sneak over one evening to have a look around.
I've decided to try and get more of my old photos digitized so
have been scanning slides for two days now. I've done about 400
which is about all I can stand doing for the time being.
I have to say though that without a u-beaut scanner this would
be mission impossible because of the dirt and crap on the slides.
Bear in mind that some of these are over 30 years old and that they
have been stored in whatever folders I had at the time with no provision
for dust proofing or anything. I even had a filing cabinet drawer
full of slides fall from a truck when we were moving house once
in the 90s and get strewn all over the road. I didn't realize until
we arrived at the new house, God knows how many got run over.
So most of the slides look like this.
Male agama lizard, Tsavo National Park, Kenya. With crap.
Fixable but what a nightmare.
But my scanner (a Nikon LS-4000 that cost $3500 about 10 years
ago) uses infra-red techniques to detect the crap and then some
fantastic algorithms to remove 98% of it. Resulting in me getting
an image that looks like this.
Male agama lizard, Tsavo National Park, Kenya. Without crap.
There's often still a little touching up to do but I have to say
that without this feature all but the absolute best of these photos
would be lost because it would be just too much work to do this
manually. It's possible but I would only do it for maybe a dozen
of my favorites, I'd have to forget the rest.
One reason I've been doing this is that I'm worried that either
the scanner will break one day or that a future version of Windows
will not have drivers for it. In either case I would be stuffed
so it makes sense to at least get the raw scans done, even if I
don't work on the images to make them look good right now.
Wed 3 Oct 2012
We go for our afternoon walk and see yet another snake. This one
is about 4 feet long and unlike the sluggish python we saw the other
day this bloke can really motor. Thankfully it's motoring away from
Thu 4 Oct 2012
We work every day on clearing the land. Every day but not all
day by a long stretch.
Because we both stay up until at least 2AM (sometimes 3) and both
have our own computer interests it's usually mid afternoon before
we get our arses out of the recliners and into the overalls.
Scenes showing cleared and uncleared areas.
A small lantana plant on the right.
That said we are getting a lot done. The above photos show some
parts of the driveway with the left side cleared for about 20 metres
down the hill away from the drive and the right side not cleared
at all. The difference is actually more pronounced than seen here
but that should give you the idea. And below two shots of finished
Some totally cleared areas.
Whenever we fire up the line trimmers we have an audience within
a couple of minutes.
Our resident kookaburras know that they are in for a free lunch
when we work because of all the bugs we disturb. They place themselves
in mortal danger by landing right near the spinning head of the
trimmer. They even perch on the arm of the trimmer itself or on
Sometimes I look up to see six or seven of them just above my head
on a branch, or I feel a rush of air as one dives past my head to
grab a tasty multi-legged morsel.
Kookaburras waiting for a free lunch.
Results of a couple of hours work.
In the last photo you can see the trailer being put to use as was
the plan when we bought it. That's the sticks and lantana from an
area only about 20x20 metres, divide that into 25 acres and we have
some work ahead of us, not that we'll be doing the entire block.
We're using the trailer to transport the junk to an area where
we burn it. We're leaving the cut grass in place though, much as
I'd like to remove that fuel as well it's just too much work.
Sat 6 Oct 2012
It's all quite over at the neighbours so we decide to walk over
for a sticky beak at the new house pad, only to find that it's a
Wow, it's a monster, or at least looks that way being perched on
the side of the hill as it is. I don't know how they will keep it
full, even the dams with good catchments struggle around here and
this one is almost at the top of a hill.
They also have some shipping containers and they are open, I yell
out and there's no response but it looks like someone is around
so we make our exit back through the bush to our block.
As we return we notice the sun setting through the smoke caused
by all the burning off.
Sunset through the trees.
Sun 7 Oct 2012
While sitting at my computer I catch some movement in my peripheral
vision...it's our goanna mate.
He walks under the truck but just before entirely emerging from
the shade afforded by the motorhome and re-entering the hot sun
Just long enough for me to get a couple of photos. He's about three
feet long, not large by goanna standards but a decent size.
Our resident goanna.
Mon 8 Oct 2012
Boy we're using some fuel these days, what with the constant line
trimming and using the generator every day (parked in the shade
for most of the day).
Plus we haven't filled the gas bottles for about six months and
we just changed over to the last one the other day.
So it's into town to fuel up.
Loaded up for a fuel trip into town.
We still have the cradle I built for the Landcruiser, it will hold
8 jerry cans securely so I use that in the trailer. I also tie down
three gas bottles.
I hope we don't get rear-ended.
Wed 10 Oct 2012
I'm constantly being asked to join various photography sites, I
have no use for them in general and anyway they aren't really designed
for my style of photography or indeed my lifestyle.
Here is most of today's response to the last invitation.
The site seems to
be mostly Toronto/northern hemisphere based and as such of
little relevance to me in the Australian outback. Also, as
a nature photographer I am not selling a service as is common
for say commercial or wedding photographers and the site appears
to be for those with a “service”, in the account
setup it even says that you have to be “offering something
that is face to face, we do not accept purely virtual offerings”.
I spend the majority of my time in the bush, the only things
I come face to face with are animals, birds and the occasional
lost tourist. I only have virtual offerings.
Also I don’t have an address, these
sites never have an option for “located wherever he
likes”, and choosing a town of convenience will just
show me 1000 miles away from a potential client when in fact
I may be near the same town at the time.
I am always being asked to join listing-style
sites but my circumstances are unusual and I always have the
above or similar issues, at least yours does acknowledge the
existence of Australia, some don’t.
Thu 11 Oct 2012
It's raining today so we can't work. Now as you may know I'm not
a big fan of rain, mostly because it's so wet, but also anything
that gets me out of work has my vote.
So we sit inside and listen to the rain on the roof, which is pretty
good in itself but what makes it perfect is the wildlife around
There are about six pretty-faced wallabies grazing within a few
metres of the truck. Then there are four magpies, two crows and
two currawongs eating (and squabbling over) the water melon chunks.
You can't help but love these little critters.
Sun 14 Oct 2012
Gavin and Tracy turn up today. They are now back on the road after
trying about eight weeks ago and having the accident that grounded
Here's hoping they have better luck this time, which given that
so far they haven't hit any trees I guess they already have had
better luck this time.
Wed 17 Oct 2012
A while back I mentioned that the kookaburras take a few dangerous
liberties with our line trimmers in search of the disturbed insects
and I was worried that one or more of them will get hurt.
Well it was only a matter time, and today one of them did get clobbered.
It landed right on the spinning head of Chris's trimmer and when
I arrive on the scene there is a pile of feathers and a bird on
the ground with it's right wing all askew.
I approach but it flys off, albeit with a few less tail feathers.
I hope that's the only problem but there's nothing we can do either
Fri 19 Oct 2012
While clearing today we see our poor kookaburra mate, he seems
active enough in the search for insects we disturb so I guess he's
OK. He does look a little strange without any tail feathers though
so we christen him "Shortarse".
Sun 21 Oct 2012
Last time we sat here on the block we counted over 50 species of
bird which we were quite happy about. There is all manner of feathered
wildlife around but we've never seen any emus.
Until today that is. While sitting in the lounge room doing nothing
in particular guess what strolls right past without so much as a
by your leave, three emus large as life.
Shortly after our goanna mate swaggers through the camp as well.
One of the three emus.
Our resident goanna.
Mon 22 Oct 2012
I've always been a night owl and of late so has Chris. We normally
hit the sack sometime between 1 and 2 in the morning but today (or
is it tomorrow) when at 4:30AM I say "That's it I'm off to
bed" Chris says "Why bother?"
Good point, so I just make us both some coffee and carry on.
Thu 29 Nov 2012
I guess it's time I started on installing the new solar panels.
So this afternoon I remove all of the eight Unisolar panels.
That'll do, maybe I'll do some more tomorrow.
Mon 5 Nov 2012
More wildlife shots from the loungeroom.
Goanna on hind legs.
Friar bird having a drink.
Fri 16 Nov 2012
We went for a walk this afternoon as is our custom, or at least
that was the idea but about 50 meters from the truck there's a nice
dead tree I've been meaning to move to our "bird" area
to give the little darlings something nice to perch on.
So I decide to go have a look at the tree and gauge it's weight
to see if I can move it myself.
When I get to it I see a snake wrapped around the trunk with it's
head in a hole.
Snake in a hole.
It clearly has a hold of something but can't get it's head back
out so after some time I get bored and move on.
I return a while later to see that there's been some progress,
the snake has it's head out and also part of whatever it's trying
It's obviously never going to work though and when the snake sees
me it lets go and climbs higher up the tree.
I now have a look in the hole to see a tree frog peering back out
at me, apparently none the worse for the experience.
Snake in a hole.
The snake up on a tree limb.
Sat 1 Dec 2012
We are making a deliberate effort to attract wildlife to the immediate
vicinity of the truck. And it's working quite well.
It's quite common to have six or seven magpies warbling away under
the window. The currawongs uses to be bluffed by the maggies but
there's two of them who frequent the place now as well, and often
as not they bluff the magpies these days.
Then there's the friar birds, they drop in for a drink and sometimes
And we're finally starting to have some parrots drop in, just a couple of lorikeets
so far but I can hear them in the trees and I think they are working up the
And then there's the other animals. I have mentioned the goanna,
swamp and pretty-faced wallabies before but now we know that the
swampie also drops in for a drink and to eat some of the bird seed
But we also have other visitors.
I've been installing new solar panels over the last few weeks (well
one can't rush these things) and I leave the ladder up against the
truck over night.
Wet maggie waiting for the currawong to finish eating.
The other night I could hear it rattling so I went out to investigate,
only to find a possum peering down at me from the top rung.
Typical, a few hours earlier and it could have helped with the
We now have two possums regularly visit at night to sample the
bird's food and also two numbats (I think). Every night we go out
to the landing to watch the cute little fellows.
Mon 10 Dec 2012
All solar panels finally installed, the theoretical max input is
51 amps and today I noticed 48 at one point. So it looks like it's
You know that sound you get when an air line comes off, the sound
of high-pressure air escaping?
Well imagine my surprise to hear that start while making coffee
at about 10PM tonight.
I look in all the usual places but then I remember that we've been
parked here for a few months now and the truck can't hold its air
for a few minutes, so what else holds high-pressure air?
Tyres, that's what.
Sure enough it's the right front tyre and it's going down fast.
Now there's a panic to get a jack under either the axle or the hub
before the rim settles onto the tyre. But I can't find any of our
large jacks. We last used them to lift the containers and I don't
remember seeing them since.
Still there's no time to search now so we grab a couple of small
car-sized jacks and get them under the axle.
That will do for the moment.
Tue 11 Dec 2012
I go out to the car to get something from it and bugger me if it
doesn't have a flat tyre as well. What's going on here?
Later a car approaches, a fairly uncommon event for us.
It's the local rural fire brigade bloke coming to tell us that
they will be burning off soon on the neighbour's property. He also
wanted to have a look at the place because he remembered it being
waist high in grass.
He is well happy with our clearing and says that even if a fire
gets to us it will pretty much stop when it hits the cleared area.
"What about canopy fires?" I ask.
Well it seems that we don't get them up here because the trees
aren't close enough for the most part.
That's really good to know because there's nothing you can do about
those fires except pack up and leave.
So we feel pretty safe with regard to fires now.
Sat 15 Dec 2012
The birds are really starting to appreciate what what we're doing
for them. Today, within a half hour or so we have two doves, two
pigeons, two crows, maybe seven or eight magpies, a couple of friar
birds, four scaly-breasted lorikeets, a blue-faced honey eater and
last but not least seventeen rainbow lorikeets.
Rainbow lorikeets love the watermellon.
They don't mind the seed either.
They are fast movers.
One thing that's been interesting to see is the demotion of the
magpies. They used to bully all the other birds (well except the
crows) but the rainbow lorikeets have certainly got their measure.
Often a lorikeet will be quite happily eating at one plate of seed
and see a magpie at another. Even though a magpie is 3x the size
of a lorikeet the plucky little parrot will hop over the chase the
maggie away just for the heck of it.
The honeyeater will go to great lenghts to drink while hanging
upside down, why I have no idea as it would be a lot easier to just
stand on the ground next to the water dish.
Only if the water level is too low for it to reach will it drink
from ground level.
The lorikeets often do something similar, but they are more pragmatic
and if it doesn't work straight away they drop to the ground.
We've erected a really nice dead tree I found not far away, the
idea being that it will provide a good perch for the birds (not
to mention make it easy to photograph them) and that indeed seems
to be the case. It's temporarily tied to another tree at present
but I'll set it into a hole soon.
Thu 20 Dec 2012
We're really happy with the solar panel performance, despite not
getting sun all day in this location we haven't used the generator
since we finished the panel install.
So imagine my surprise when I get up on the roof today and see
that one of the panels isn't even plugged in.
Sat 22 Dec 2012
We're leaving on Sunday to visit friends for the Christmas/New
Year period so have spent the last few days clearing up.
Today however we drive out to Gavin and Tracy's (hobohome.com)
for a BBQ. They have been on the road almost as long as us and have
also somewhat settled on their land.
However they are making noises about going back to WA and they
may not be here when we get back so we decided to have a few drinks
and a chat in case we don't see them for some time.
Their land is high up with views forever, it's nice to sit under
the awning and watch the (somewhat obscured by clouds) sunset.
||26 Sep 2012
||26 Sep 2012
||27 Sep 2012
||28 Sep 2012
||30 Sep 2012
||01 Oct 2012
||01 Oct 2012
||02 Oct 2012
||02 Oct 2012
||02 Oct 2012
||04 Oct 2012
||04 Oct 2012
||05 Oct 2012
||North Carolina, USA
||06 Oct 2012
||06 Oct 2012
||06 Oct 2012
||12 Oct 2012
||13 Oct 2012
||28 Nov 2012
||Pacific Northwest, USA
||28 Nov 2012
||03 Dec 2012
||03 Dec 2012
||09 Dec 2012
||09 Dec 2012
||13 Dec 2012
||Luis F Cabana
||18 Dec 2012
||17 Dec 2012
||North Carolina, USA
||18 Dec 2012
Post a comment