Football and Boardgames

Darley v East Point

As the years go by it’s hard to not lament another week passing me by. Saturday morning I put the dogs out to pee and noticed the light in the sky nice and pink, it was about 7am and the sun was peaking and colouring the sky.

We decided to take advantage and jumped in the car to head up the hill in the hope of getting a nice shot of Bacchus Marsh with the sun lighting it up nicely through the mist and fog. But by the time we got to the top of the hill, less than five minutes, clouds had moved in and ruined the shot! Abandoning the plan rather than freezing our butts off we head to Foodworks to get some supplies for breakfast and home to make some bacon and eggs.

While David was cooking the sun came out like a kid at a rave on ecstasy, it lit up the sky with pretty colours. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the street, bare feet on cold, cold asphalt is no fun, but I managed to grab a couple of snaps before my toes froze completely.

Saturday morning sunrise on my street

After breakfast we had to go and get some dog food, we bought the dogs some Supercoat the other day when they had no food left and it’s really just crap food. It’s like dog candy and not really any good for them, the “output” is far greater from this crappy (pun intended) food than the more expensive less additive foods. We have actual evidence of this. So off to Best Friends Pets in Melton. They didn’t have the brand we usually buy, Holistic Select Dog food with fish so we had to pick something else. The doggins, well Bill mostly, can’t eat other meat-based foods, his ears get all buggered up and goopy but he seems fine with fish-based foods. So we decided to get the dogs some Black Hawk Dog Food. Australian-owned, Australian-made dog food that it seems the dogs love.

On the way home we stopped at Foodworks for the second time to get supplies for David’s snacks he was making to take to Troy and Renae’s place. He ended up making rocky road and choc-chip biscuits. We had a bit of a look around and tried to make good choices with the chocolate we bought for the treats. It was hard, very hard to buy Fairtraid chocolate, the best we could do was UTZ which is kind of the same thing.

UTZ is as I said, kind of the same thing… just different, yet another certification program because it seems it’s hard to have one defined certification program, instead let’s split the money across multiple foundations, probably paying the people at the top some nice money.

Home and David got busy making the treats, I helped out with the preparations but he did all the work and the treats were delish.

When the treats were set and cooled we head out earlier than we needed so we could stop at the local football in Ballarat to take some photos before going to Troy’s for dinner.

Eastern Oval in Ballarat hosted a match between East Point and Darley, we arrived just as the teams were returning from halftime. It was freaking cold and windy and about halfway through the final quarter it started to rain so we returned to the car to grab a couple of plastic bags to cover our cameras and keep on shooting. I think i did a little better with the photos this time round, even with the frozen fingers, but more practice and maybe a look for a longer lens is in order.

East Point v Darley
The Darley boys huddle before the game.
East Point v Darley
East Point’s forwards head to their end of the field
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
East Point v Darley
A bit of a biff breaks out
East Point v Darley
Wet Weather Gear for Cameras
Wet weather gear

The game finished just after 5pm, Darley prevailed 78 to 108 over East Point.

Arriving at Troy and Renae’s place it was so different from the last time we visited, the vacant lots that surrounded their home now built up with houses. We caught up, I played some games with Austin on his android tablet then Mario Kart on the Nintendo WiiU before sitting down to an awesome dinner. Lamb shanks on potato with veggies, the lamb so tender it feel of the bone. Renae followed this up with an amazing orange cake with an orange sauce and cream. Were I not in company I swear I would have licked the plate clean.

When the kids had gone to bed we broke out what should become the best strategy board games in 2018, as far as I heard. Starting with Settlers of Catan. The game seemed complex at first but once we were into it it all came together and was a fun game to play. We might have to get that one for ourselves, maybe the Star Trek version? I did OK, the game ends when the first player makes it to 10 points, at one point Troy Renae and I were on 9 points before Troy picked up a development card to take the game.

We followed this up with “Ticket to Ride” a recent game of the year pretty much all over the world. It’s another fun game. Basically you collect tickets which have two destinations on them and you then have to join a path between the two. You have a minimum of two tickets and any you don’t complete you lose the points for. The game ends when someone runs out of train carriages. Troy collected a few tickets throughout the game and amazingly he managed to complete all of his routes. He won for the second time of the night.

A good night, a good catch up, a full tummy and a great introduction to some cool board games. We’ll have to practise and organise a rematch.

We ended up getting home about 2am.

Witness King Tide – Altona

Witness King Tide, Altona

Today was all about making a time lapse for the “Witness King Tides” for the Hobsons Bay Council. The aim of the project, which is going worldwide, is about bearing witness and creating a visual record of the rising seas.

In using the king tide photos as an allegory for these rising seas there is a hope to bring home the message of global warming and the loss of habitat that will come with it. For Altona’s Polynesian community it is also an acknowledgement of the land that will be lost through climate change in the Polynesian region, where it is feared entire islands will be lost in the coming years.

Our camera club, Williamstown Camera Club, was commissioned to create the time lapse and take event photography. A few of us were granted full access to the Altona Surf Life Saving tower, usually off limits to non life saving personnel. We set up our cameras and we let them at it.

Starting at 10:15 am, the bottom of the low tide, and shooting all they way through until 5:10 pm, the peak of high tide for the day. We had to stay on-hand to ensure the cameras operated as expected, were kept stocked with memory cards and power. We also had to ensure that rain wouldn’t impact the task, which it almost did.

In all, we had four cameras going. Ray, Cathy and my DSLRs and my GoPro. They were on tripods on the balcony of the Surf Life Saving tower looking toward Altona Pier and the ocean beyond. The pier serving as an icon and an indicator of the tide’s progress.

There were two small flurries of light rain, during which we stood over our cameras, waiting for the click before frantically wiping the lens clear in anticipation of the next shutter release.

Neil and Brian were in the pavilion shooting the more glamorous events of the day before everyone came out onto the beach for a group shot. They rounded out the day by heading off to locations in Altona Meadows and Williamstown to capture the tide against well known backdrops in these locations.

Witness King Tide - Altona
Witness King Tide - Altona
Altona Beach – Low Tide @ 10:15 am
Witness King Tide - Altona
Altona Beach – High Tide @ 5:10 pm

It was a long day, but a fun day, shared with people from the camera club. Below you can see my first edits, the first just 16 seconds was taken with the DSLR shooting one shot per minute. The second my GoPro shooting a shot every 10 seconds.

448 Photos from DSLR – 0:19

2716 Photos from GoPro – 1:52

Bushwalk • Trentham • Football

Darley v Melton South

This morning started off getting some of my stuff ready for tomorrow. There’s a thing we’re doing for Camera Club, but more on that tomorrow. One thing I did though was set up my GoPro to record photos for a time lapse. Less about what I was capturing and more about making sure I would be able to fit almost a whole daytime onto the GoPro’s card and making sure it would keep going all day. It does and it did, you can see below 3,272 images in a my test time lapse, so we’re right to go for tomorrow.

GoPro Set up and taking photos

Having said that, as you can see, because the GoPro is silver, and we’ll also be shooting through glass tomorrow, we’re going to need to cover the front of the device in something black. Will have to make him a little face guard tomorrow out of some cardboard me thinks.

So while that was all happening, we figured we’d go for a little nature walk, we have so much wilderness around us it seems a shame to waste it. We needed to get out before the rains came so we picked a place and off we head.

We decided to go back to Lerderderg State Forest, however this time we’d go deeper in from our side and looked up O’Brien’s Crossing. Driving along roads probably not intended for our Toyota Camry, we stopped a couple of times where we could find cell signal to check our progress, and we finally made it to the Crossing.

There were a bunch of people camping there by the river with the rv Smokey Point services. Seems like a great spot for it, but at this time of the year everything is constantly damp and the threat of yet more rain is enough to make me not want to go camping around this season. But it seems there are those who live for this stuff.

David and I went for a stroll along the banks away from the campers, taking in the river and the sites as we went along. It’s always cool to see the cube-shaped droppings of wombats near the water, it shows there’s plenty around that area. We snapped some pics as we walked along before turing back for the car. The walk on the side we picked wasn’t very long and the clouds above were becoming more gloomy.

O'Brien's Crossing
O'Brien's Crossing
O'Brien's Crossing
O'Brien's Crossing
O'Brien's CrossingPossible Platypus holes? [above]

Just as we got into the car the rain came down. As we drove away from the O’Brien’s Crossing it started bucketing down, and thus an end came to our bush walking for the day.

We decided to head out of Lederderg State Park on the opposite side we came in, take a right and head up to Trentham. Folks talk about the place like it’s a little gem, so we thought we’d better check it out given we were not far away. Passing through Blackwood there wasn’t much to look at; a local pub, corner store and a couple of little shops, the main industry in Blackwood seems to be beer and Bed & Breakfast places.


Trentham was not far from Blackwood, and if I’m honest I didn’t even notice the other town you pass through to get there, Barry’s Reef, maybe it’s just a one street place, off the main? Arriving in Trentham you could tell it was as everyone says, a lovely little town. Well-maintained period buildings line the couple of streets that make up the main part of town. We braved the rain and walked the sidewalks to see what was what in Trentham. Like Blackwood, Trentham’s trade seems to be food and beverage service, however it differs in that it also has a few nick knack stores thrown in. They were all lovely, but all pretty expensive. Clearly this is a tourist town.

We thought about having lunch in town, but decided against it when a bakery was selling a pie with a side salad for $12. At $12 for a meat pie and salad, there’d better be a bunch of salad on the plate. Another time perhaps we’ll partake, but as we weren’t particularly hungry, we passed on the expensive fare.

There is a store in town, I forgot to get the name of, that had some pretty cool stuff in it. They had a little TARDIS, though when I say little I mean one a kid could fit in, they also had lots of Pinocchio statues, movie memorabilia, and other strange curios. Attached was another store selling homewares and the like. Of particular interest was an indian headdress that I wouldn’t mind getting one day as a shoot prop, but at $100 today was not the day.

Maybe we should have checked out the other attractions, like Trentham Falls, but with the rain coming and going we’d decided to leave it to another day with better weather.

On the way home we stopped in at a little nursery, Blackwood Ridge, off the track. A great little set up, but I can’t see how they do much business where they are given you pass two other “nursery and garden” places before you get to his. But he is relatively inexpensive, so we may venture back there when we have our plans for the gardens at the new house sorted.

After the nursery we found ourselves headed toward a local reservoir and decided to check it out, it’s massive and appears to be open for motor boats and jet skis, one of the latter taking advantage of the short run of sun we had, was hooning along the top of the water. It would be a good picnic place, with a park for little kids.

Finally home, we had the pizza left over from last night (we went to Saprano’s) and we took a look at our photos from the morning while I checked on the GoPro to make sure it was still going.

Deciding we needed to retrieve supplies for dinner, we head off to Foodworks, but took our cameras along to stop at the local footy oval to capture some snaps of the game in progress. It was Darley (112) v Melton South(69) at Darley Park. We haven’t taken photos of any local football but it was a good experience. With our limited equipment (certainly not that of a sports photographer) I think we did all right. David will probably add some to his Flickr if he finds any he likes. Mine, below, are blurry at times, but lets just say it adds to the sense of movement. We’ll probably hit up a few more games to hone our skills.

2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
2014 Red Onion Creative Seniors - Round 8 - Darley v Melton South
Still not sure if this dude’s hair is real?

That’s about it for the day, I’m about to turn in, I have a long day tomorrow with the Witness King Tides event, making some money for the camera club, along with other members who have volunteered. It should be an interesting day.

This Tuesday Can Be Over Now

Today was probably one of the worst days for me ever. First my computer at work craps itself, nothing I can do can fix it. Might have to go to Apple for a look-see. So late this afternoon I was using my personal computer with my work computer acting as a hard drive.

There was constant construction noise all day from in our lane way, blocking off our road, massive holes all over the place, apparently we can expect the noise to continue until next week. New gas works to upgrade yet another thing for the new, almost-finished building up the street. The poor road has already been dug up for drainage and goodness knows what else. This has been a pretty noisy location in which to work.

Then I realised I left the monitor cable at home to connect the computer to the projector at camera club. We don’t use our own projector anymore as the centre has installed a screen and projector, and we use my personal computer, so I didn’t think to pack the camera club computer and stuff today.

In fretting about the cable, I didn’t even consider that I also left the swipe pass to get into the centre at home, only figured it out when I was on the way there!!! No key means no getting in.

I rang everyone I could think of who might know how we might get in, even the community centre manager, who didn’t answer his phone… Finally after like 30 calls to him he called me back, must have guessed it was urgent 😝

Luck would have it while I was on the phone to him, and he agreed we could come pick up his pass, another committee member was ringing to say she’d be a little late, she lives near the centre manager so she could stop in and pick up the swipe card and we’d be in.

In the end we only started 15 minutes late. And then the judge for the night was super quick and it was all over by 9:45, but I was then bailed up by a couple of members who wanted help with Lightroom. 😓 Out of there by 10:20 and had to drop the swipe pass in the letterbox of the centre manager, which is a bit out of the way. In the end it was close to midnight by the time I got home.

Have to get a nice thank you gift, probably chocolates for the centre manager and the member who collected the card, they saved my bacon big time!

Monday 20140609

Dry Lerderderg Gorge

Yay! For most of Australia today is a public holiday “Queens Birthday”. Sorry WA but you got last Monday off.

I wanted to take Elroy out for a flight and David wanted to take some photos so we decided to head out to the local weir/dam to check it out.

Last time we went to Lerderderg Gorge was with Craig and Mark about 7 years ago. On that visit it was a hot summer’s day and families were swimming in the cool waters. Now it’s dry as the proverbial bone.

Dry Lerderderg Gorge
Taken by GoPro mounted on Phantom 2 (Elroy) [above]
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park

Was a bit sad seeing the stepping stones lying flat on the riverbed, no longer needed to avoid the river water as it flows by.

We went across the river of stones and followed the trail down to Grahams Dam. I took advantage of the fact there was no water and journeyed along the dry rocks while David went along the path. I came upon a point with enough water pooled to prevent me going further and I made my way through the bush to the path where David was waiting.

On the way we passed a group of walkers with a cute cocker spaniel / labrador retriever cross. David was patting him and the dog decided my foot was a great place to sit.

A curious thing, I’m sitting on the train writing this and I don’t talk to anyone, yet on the trail in the woods you tend to say hello to anyone who passes… Humans are strange creatures.

After the 1.6 km walk to Grahams Dam we realised it needs a name change to “Grahams Puddle”. There wasn’t much to look at, so we made our way back.

Taken & Processed on my iPhone 5S at location [above]
Lerderderg State Park

On the track we encountered:

  • The group of 5 with the cocker/lab cross.
  • Three runners barrelling along.
  • A man and woman with children strapped to their chest and back respectively.
  • A family of 6 with packs on their back and their staffy.
  • A man we decided was a magician who was clearly filming something in the bush. Thinking he didn’t get much done with all the activity on the path interrupting him.

When we got back to the car park we brought Elroy out for his flight. I’m still edgy when sending him up too high or too far, since the day he ran away I’ve been a little more reserved in his flights. I sent him up the dry river bed and up high for a look see, but nothing too adventurous, far too many trees and hills for him to disappear into should he go AWOL.

After the gorge we visited Merrimu Reservoir for some more flying where there were less trees to get in the way. I also got to practice the tilt control. As you can tell from the video below I still need a little more practice, the aim is to get a smooth transition as Elroy rises into the air… so yeah, I need more practice.

In the afternoon we did some housework and I finally got to watch Frozen (2013), not to be confused with Frozen (2010), or Frozen (2005), both of which appear to be thrillers and in one way child-friendly.

Frozen Movie Poster

Frozen (2013) is about two sisters, one of who is enchanted with a power to freeze the very air, a power she sometimes has trouble controlling. It’s a cute movie, but it has complex subplots that kids may not get; Elsa’s relationship with her sister and a sense of betrayal one cannot mention for fear of spoiling the movie.

Two plots missing from the movie, at risk of a small spoiler… We never find out how/why Elsa is enchanted and we don’t find out why Kristof has no family, unless that happened when I ran for a pee-break? Weird these two things were left out of the movie.

Of course these subplots tend to go right over the heads of children and those old enough to question them are probably old enough for a conversation about them. Odds are though kids won’t even notice them given the spectacle of colour and all the singing. There was a lot more singing in it than I expected.

Overall, I really liked it, I’d watch it again.

Other than that I processed a few more photos of my sisters wedding. I should probably share them with her and Peter before I share them with the world.

A few more shots from the dry riverbed showing some of the different types of rock found there

Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park

Sunday 20140608

Lazy days Sundays tend to be, more washing and cleaning. We skipped breakfast and head off to visit Sue and family. Lana had done a dash to their other house, so we missed seeing her.

The plan was to have a visit, then go to the new Nespresso store in the city, afterwards dropping Sue home before we went to Costco on our way home… didn’t quite work that way.

We visited for a while, caught up with Sue’s mum who’s recently been given the all clear from a diagnosis a year ago, almost to the day. It’s been a tough year for the girls, they handled it with aplomb.

We also met their new chicken, a pretty looking thing who flew over the fence one day recently and hasn’t felt the need to leave.

Sue's Chicken
Sue’s Chicken

The city was pretty busy so we skipped the Nespresso run after driving into a carpark doing a few laps and driving out. We then dragged Sue to Costco where we stocked up on supplies before getting a slice of pizza each. I got to say, I don’t mind the cheese pizza and at just $2.99 for a massive slice, you can’t go wrong. We took our pizza and sat at the base of the Melbourne Star ferris wheel to eat.

After dropping Sue off we stopped at the nursery in Rockbank to look for some indoor plants, they didn’t really have anything that caught our eye so next we tried a nursery in Bacchus, if you’re after roses, seems that’s the place to go… We weren’t.

The rest of the afternoon was, for me, spent relaxing on the lounge with Joey and Bill sleeping on/next to me while I caught up on Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey. I love that show, since its first incarnation with Carl Sagan way back when I was hooked. Seems at one point we had a glut of science shows, heck, we even had ads for chocolate with science in them. Then they all went away. Good to see they are coming back.

Street Art in Brunswick
Street Art in Brunswick
Street Art

Antique found at Sue’s

Saturday 20140607

Dronie - A selfie courtesy of Elroy

Today started as a usual Saturday does for us, up early, out the door to breakfast. This was our second time to Baby Black Espresso Bar, it may have been our last, we weren’t so impressed with the food. I had the Veggie Patch, the eggs had a strange, or rather unexpected hint of Mexican flavour through them. It wasn’t the case last time, making it all the more unexpected. David had the French toast which he didn’t love, but I didn’t mind the small part I stole from his plate, but could understand how a whole serving of it could be too much.

Veggie Patch from Baby Black Espresso Bar
French Toast from Baby Black Espresso Bar

We went home and I then decide to take Elroy out for a quick morning flight, it kind of looked like rain was in the cards for the afternoon and the wind was picking up so I thought I’d get out there while I could. David opted to stay home where it was warm and finish downgrading his computer. We’d installed the OS X 10.10 Beta and boy is she buggy (as betas often are) so David reverted back to 10.9.3.

With Elroy, I wanted to find somewhere high, with a good view below to fly him from. The good thing about our home is its proximity to open land. I drove over a nearby hill, noting the good launching points but wanted more. I continued along a couple of dirt roads and came to a very, very steep gully road. One of those ones you look at and wonder if your car is going to make it up the other side… It did. But at the base of the gully was a cool location to fly Elroy, sadly it was also a bit of a wind tunnel and I’d easily lose control of him, so I abandoned that plan as soon as it started up his rotors. Not to mention the only place to take off and land was the road that didn’t have great visibility given its high sides.

Elroy and I went to back along the road and I launched him off the road near a water tower on the hill where some Dissolved Air Flotation Systems were being installed. The view ahead was the Bacchus Marsh West Golf Course and the regular flying place, the pony club.

Flying nicely. Even with a slight cross-wind, I sent Elroy to take a look at the action at the pony club and then across the golf course, all the while videoing the flight. Turns out, on observing the captured footage, I have crappy depth perception at great distances. Where I had Elroy hover, over what I thought was the horses performing in the ring was probably close to 200 metres closer to me than I thought. I’d pointed the camera down and all I got was the bush below. 😓

I then went over to the pony club, at ground level and practised launching and controlling Elroy’s ascent while moving the camera pivot, still trying to get a smooth transition from face to looking down shot. Stupidly I’d forgotten to put the GoPro back into camera & photo mode, so I want capturing video, just photos every 10 seconds. Lame!

When I’d exhausted Elroy’s two batteries I went home, put the memory card in my computer and reviewed the footage… Tried to edit some in Adobe Premier and After Effects, but sadly After Effects isn’t working on the new OS. So all I got was dodgy footage, no special effects. Kind of a fail. I think I’ll be reverting my home computer too.

With the inability to play around with the video, I got onto editing some of my sister’s wedding photos. Finally taking a look at the files they gave me back as selections.

Jenn & Pete complained about a year ago that the only photos they had were pixelated and to be honest I’d never noticed the pixelation in their printed photos on the wall, but they were right. Funny thing is, as I said I looked at the photos on the hard drive they gave back to me and they are the original and some of the edited files, all of them able to be printed beyond the size they have on their walls, so I’m guessing something went wrong when they set up their printing.

Irregardless, I’ve learned a bunch in the four years since the wedding so I’m happy to give the photos another tune up. You can see a couple here. The group shot I had to paste someone in, can you tell who?

The Wedding Party In Fiji
My little Sister on her wedding day

Friday 20140606

Robocop 2014

Work… then to Bunnings to finally pick up our house keys. We had to order them in, they are registered keys requiring ID and proof of home ownership before you can get a copy and then seemingly a 2-week wait.

Pizza night is pretty typical for Friday nights, had Grant Pizza Place – I really like the Twisted Caesar Salad Pizza, yep they put salad on a Pizza. David’s keen to try another pizza place next week, not because there is anything wrong with Grant Pizza Place, just that we have like eight pizza places in Bacchus so we may as well try them all.

We tried to watch That Awkward Moment but couldn’t get into it, once we’d seen the bit with Zack Efron’s attempt at horizontal urination we turned it off, it was like it was trying to be a chick and blokes film wrapped into one, it didn’t work for me. So after that I watched Robocop (2014) while David played Mario Kart on the Nintendo WiiU’s game pad. Kind of cool you can do that, means no taking over the big TV when you want to play your game.

On Robocop (2014), why do they keep remaking movies? And messing them up? As they go, this one wasn’t the worst of the recent remakes. It failed for me in that it didn’t have a clear villain. It didn’t have the menace the 1987 version had with both the company men and the other robot units.

It feels like they throw these out to get the nostalgia viewer and throw the action in (often over the top) to attract the new market, usually sacrificing the story.

They’d be better off saving the money of the remake and put old 1987 movies into theatres as movie marathons.

For me, Robocop (2014) was OK. I’ll most likely not watch it again.