Introducing 13!

Introducing the 13th Doctor!!! Jodie Whittaker. 😱

Now don’t get me wrong, I have little issue that The Doctor can regenerate into a female form… it’s just the timing of it. I mean, we’ve literally just had the Master appear as Missy… and Michelle Gomez has been (in my opinion) the best Master ever. So it’s that cross-over that has me questioning the timing. Maybe it could have been held off to the 14th.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the story of the Doctor continuing. I didn’t want Capaldi to go, I think he’s really hit his stride over the last little bit.

I’m sorry for all the crap Jodie Whittaker is about to get from all the people who don’t think the Doctor should ever be a woman… but we’ve had precedent now in a few Time Lords changing gender through regeneration.

I guess my favourite response I’ve read so far to those who say “Doctor Who has always been and should always be a man.” Was: “I’m pretty sure Doctor Who is a fictional alien being who magically changes form upon its death, so it can be whatever the writers want it to be.”

Sometimes we take our fiction to heart. We saw similar backlash when Kate Mulgrew became the first woman to take the Captain’s chair as the major character of a Star Trek series, and she was bloody brilliant. We saw the BS when the Ghostbusters reboot was an all-female team. And we’re already seeing a proverbial shitstorm brewing around the new Star Trek TV show that will feature major roles for African American and Asian female characters.

Interestingly, in all the above examples, the crap was delivered before the shows/roles actually had a viewing. People were screaming boycott purely based on the gender of the characters… but I personally feel in every instance encountered so far, that the ladies did outstanding jobs with the roles.

So, welcome Jodie Whittaker to the Whovian universe. Please take care of the sci-fi character who’s been part of my TV viewing life for the best part of its entirety. I’m hoping you have a long and illustrious time as The Doctor and I look forward to seeing what you make of her!

PS: I’m already liking her outfit!
PPS: Joanna Lumley has already introduced us to a female Doctor in the Comic Relief skit “Doctor Who: The Curse of the Fatal Death”. 🤣

UBER n00b

UBER n00b
I did it, I signed up to be an UBER driver. Why? Just for something to do, because I could, why the heck not! Pick one. 
Today I had to attend the UBER office in Port Melbourne to have the car inspected as the final step in my account activation.
At the office there were heaps, and heaps, of people going through the whole process, even though you can do most of it online and save yourself a bunch of time. Thankfully it seems they have a queuing system that means I didn’t have to sit for hours while they went through their signup to get to mine.
After the car passed its inspection (as a new car should) I waited in the office for about 20 minutes before my name was called and my account was activated.
I’ve been booked into the next available UBER 101 class on a Wednesday Night (this one or next) to go through the best practises for an UBER Driver.
After leaving the office I threw the app into “Online” mode and bam, there was a ride nearby and I accepted.
My first ever UBER ride was a lovely lady named Helen, she needed to go from Albert Park to Docklands. I let her know she was my first, she was excited for me.
Helen was a chatter, and she said that’s what she likes in a driver. She asked why I was doing UBER and I said, “Just to give it a go and try it out.” I asked why she chooses to take UBER and Helen replied that she finds UBER drivers nicer, she believes it has to do with folks who choose to work when they want to, rather than those who are on a clock.” She did say that she finds herself reverting to taxis when UBER is surging too high (UBER charges 1.2x to 3+x pricing during peak times) or if there is a cab right there when she needs one (they are easier to spot on the street).
I’m looking forward to doing more trips, not for the money, but for the experience of doing it and interacting with people I’ve never met and will likely never see beyond these brief trips. Dipping in and out of their lives and they into and out of mine.

A Guest Post on Toy Photographers Blog

Why I shoot Lego

“Why do you photograph Lego?”, “What’s with all the toy photos?”, “Your little men are funny… what got you into photographing them?” – Questions I’m asked all the time.

You can find out the answer to that question over at Toy Photographers where I answer “Why?”.

It was a great honour to be asked to submit an article to the site. The Toy Photographer community is a great one. All very supporting of each other and sharing their where, how and whys with each other and the world.

WWIII – Won in a single blast

Mushroom Cloud

Oh man, the things my brain comes up with… 

Last night I dreamt I was heading home from work in a city. I would say “the city” but I don’t know what city I was in.

I was at a major train station and was heading to the regional train lines. Weirdly the trains didn’t seem to have sides to them, spread in front of me were carriages narrow, long bench seats running along their sides. In the seats people were jostling for the limited spaces. Up the centre was a low table-like structure that was really too thin to be of use to anyone, but did make it annoying to try and get past people to find a free space in which to sit.

It was just after 5pm. The train was due to leave at 5:15pm. I head towards the front of the carriage, near the driver, who was not in a compartment of her own, rather she was on a platform just before the end of the carriage. She had a single lever that I assume was used to start and stop the train’s movement.

I had to squeeze myself in between two ladies, requiring one of them to begrudgingly move her handbag from the seat beside her, it was still a bit squishy though and I apologises profusely for my encroachment on her space, but the journey was a long trip home.

As 5:15 passed and we approached the newly announced departure time of 5:30 people were becoming agitated.

5:30 passed and 5:45 was our new departure time. The locals were getting restless, a few had abandoned their seats, deciding to try and find an alternative way home, no reason had been given for the delay, just that it was ongoing for the time being.

A lady across from me, now with a space beside her, was noticing that the lady I was sitting next to was still annoyed about my proximity, regardless of my many and continuing apologies, or perhaps because of them, and she offered for me to come sit next to her, which I did.

I was striking up a conversation with my new friend Kelly, when a further announcement was made at 6:15 that there would be no services returning to service today.

There were large screens in the station that were visible to all as the carriages had no walls, the screens came alive with red lights flashing. Images were flashing across the screen of an attack in a city. A nuclear weapon had been used decimating a pocket of the city on the screen, not the city I was in.

This was replaced by a man on the screen asking the question… “How many weapons does it take to bring the world to attention?” Answering his own question he responded “Oh so many… but only one needs to detonate.”

“You have seen the power of the weapons we have, you will bow to our will, or you will die.” Everything was shut down. Everything went dark.

The following hours news spread that the aggressors had developed a new deployment method for nuclear warheads. They were basically housed in firework-like contraptions. They were easily launched into the air where they would detonate causing massive destruction below them, radiating for kilometres into the surrounds.

It was identified that over the years, after the US removed the sanctions on Russia with regard to their production of nuclear weapons, Russia had been at work. They had managed to be involved in projects all over the world that had allowed them to bring these miniaturised weapons into the major cities of the worlds. They had been installed undetected and were basically being used to control the world. At any time they could send one off, as they had demonstrated.

So with just one detonation we had the start and the end of war, and new world leaders…

Clearly my brain has been over active of late. It should be noted that my dreams are mostly linear, it felt like I was there for the entire time, the conversations with my fellow travellers, the fear, the bustle of the crowds, all of which I left out of the detail above for as much brevity as I could, all happened.

My dreams are lucid, I know I’m dreaming, and I can choose to wake, or not. In fact prior to this dream I had another which I chose to abandon.

Equally as detailed, about a visit to a Japanese-inspired house that had been converted to a restaurant and small bed and breakfast. It was beautiful, but then something happened that I didn’t like so much, so I woke up and left that dream behind.

The image above is from Flickr’s The Commons project. “Atomic Bomb Test

DJI Phantom 4 Battery DOA

DJI Phantom 4

Boy was I about to make an idiot of myself.

I contacted DJI the day I received my new batteries for my Phantom 4 from them and let them know I had received a DOA (Dead on Arrival). I was requesting info about where I could get support in Australia as I didn’t want to have to send the battery back to Hong Kong.

You may not know, but it’s a pain in the ass to send a lithium battery anywhere, especially when it’s not installed in a device. They are considered a dangerous good and can’t be sent via regular post… though they can magically be delivered by regular post.

The cost to send it back to Hong Kong for service would have been around $90 which would have pretty much negated my whole reason for buying it from there in the first place (cost saving).

On my first contact with DJI they said Nope, we can’t help you, you bought it out of your region so you can’t get support for the battery in Australia, nor directly from DJI, you need to go back to your dealer to get support. They don’t have global support for their products. 

On that advice I wrote them a semi-heated note the next morning saying how bad their service was and how I’d expect more from a global company, and how even had I bought it from DJI directly it would have come to me from Hong Kong because that’s where they are for our region.

And then I didn’t hear anything more. I was annoyed and saddened that I’d have to send this unit back to Hong Kong, at my expense because it had arrived DOA.

This morning I was ready to rail on them because of their lack of response. I was going to go full social media blast angry.

Then I clicked on a link in the original reply saying they couldn’t help, it lead to their support ticket site. I didn’t know my login, and requested a password reset.

Logged in and saw a bunch of replies from Alice, who was my rep at DJI… there was even one five minutes after her initial email saying “nope we’re not going to help” this new reply said… “We’d love to help you, checked it out, the dealer you bought from does have a presence in Australia and our Australian support team will come and collect the unit, test it and send you a replacement.”

I never received the notice via email… her other correspondence, which I also didn’t get, was basically her reiterating that reply and asking when they can come and get the faulty battery.

So while I do have to apologise to DJI for all the bad things I have been thinking bout them for the last few days… I would like to say, something in their system is broken.

Long story short, I bought from their prices were almost a third less the cost of a battery directly from DJI and DJI are supporting the replacement… YAY.

Of course some folks have said that DJI take around 6 weeks to get you your replacement item, they insist on testing the returned item first. So I’m still in for a bit of a wait for the battery to come back.


Print Delivery

My prints came today from my panoramas of the Split Point Lighthouse. They look nice. I did a cropped version to the print size and also a couple of full versions (one in metallic).

I’m impressed with the quality of the larger print given they were taken with a drone… but then, it is a 12MP camera and this is a few photos stitched to make the pano, so it’s more like a 40 megapixels.