Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Bandicoot Menace

They aren't the brightest of creatures.

Spoken Word

http://alonetone.com looks the goods for hosting audio.

Erosion - E J Pratt 

Satan - Mervyn Peake 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Blender n00b doodle

Blender gives spectacular results but has a massive learning overhead.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Lovecraftian Christmas.

Not that I mind. Since I extirpated the rats in the walls and threw open the Summer Palace to the full blast of Nature's fury there has been a change of fauna. A rather reptilian one. It's quite the Jurassic Park. Last night  I noticed a geko, all nocturnal and Golemesque footpaddedly clinging, to the window pane. It's eyes were huge.

This beauty, however, is very much the predatory creature of the blazing daylight. It lives under the bed.

Rustlings against the tin roof portend the arrival of a larger one.

I am tempted to try to get some footage to put together a short.

The Land that Time Vaguely Recalled? ?

Bush Fire Brigade

I have been involved in the local Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade since mid year and have done my training and had a play with a few controlled burns. It is quite fascinating learning how to steer a fire and just how close you can get to the flames with the excellent PPE they give us. The boots are epic. Last week we put out a fire on a property and it was gratifying to see how relieved the lady and her two kiddies were.

My limited web design skills are going to have the dust puffed off, as I have taken up the job of updating the SVFB Site.

 Here is a pic of the fire truck -  the light is crap and it ain't publishable - it's just a snap.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Affter freezing your arse off in a tin shed - Sweet Rain

 I set fire to a few grass trees yesterday, after sundown just to remind my self what it was like to  bathe in the infra red spectrum.   

Cold as it is , there were still smoldering wisps from the leafy peaty forest floor this afternoon - remaining flammable. 

In summer it is like being surrounded by  napalm satchels.  

This morning there was a convincing sheet of ice on the tin roofing ,  under my sleeping breath, it  rose and froze.  

As the sun cleared the tree line this morning, the inner sheet melted and  created plinking puddles in the morning (late morning)  floor board return to a world that wasn't staring into temperatureless  space. 

But now sweet rain ..   

Precipitation from out side the house where it's smackin on tin all night.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Regolith Geochemistry

I just got back from a field trip with W. A. School of Mines which was a blast all round.

I caught up with me 'ole mate Kim and, turns out, the rumours concerning underground workers making sexist jokes at the expense of our beloved PM were utterly without foundation. Boy Oh Boy ! Imagine my relief !

Intriguingly, Dr Bob Fagan, our Geochem tutor, showed us a new(ish) technique of gold prospecting. It uses minimal equipment but can go well up the investigative pathway when you are considering regolith hosted nuggety gold in places like the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

The old timers with the dollies, pans and ponies would have been looking for the classic Clondike placer "downstream from the motherlode" and this strategy would have lead them directly away from the paydirt.

My attitude towards prospecting is the same as fishing. I don’t like fishing but I do like catching fish. This is a key concept. Gram nuggets are scarcely worth bending over for.

The nub of what Bob was on about - Gold Prospecting Information to Help You Find Gold

I work for a company that builds EM Geophysical instrumentation for ground regional survey work. I am fascinated to know what sort of geophysical techniques are built into these top end recreational metal detectors. I have just finished my Post Grad. Diploma in Exploration Geoscience and since my background is in Electronics I am mostly interested in the Geophysics side of the field.

Gold just gets more interesting the more you learn about it. It requires a comparatively low concentration ratio to take it from background to minable. About 300. 

If it were an order of magnitude higher in background, we would see auricrete as well as the usual calcrete, ferricrete, silcrete outcrops scattered round the scrub and think nothing of them.

The value placed on gold with respect to it's actual utility is just another one of those utterly insane things we humans do.  The process of finding gold, using more smarts than sweat, is one thing, but a whole other vista exists in the Tenement game. "Two Up" makes far more sense.

You can almost imagine the element chuckling away to itself at us dumb humans playing all manner of permutations of the Long Con on each other, since the times of the Pharaohs.

The truly wondrous thing about gold is that a process that spans our lifetimes deposits the merest whiff of it in the ground. You gotta stick around.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Summer Palace Makeover

My old job has done a bit of a Karen Carpenter thanks to Swannie and his mob of clowns dishing it out to these rapacious miners. Rigs are parked up in Kalgoorlie and mineral exploration has gone down the gurgler. 

Time to trade Paddy Hannan for James Clerk Maxwell and give the inner geek a bit of a frolic, I reckon. 

Am gonna try my hand at a city job for a while and see how that goes. The old Summer Palace is going to have to be home for a while so I thought it time to give the place a bit of a makeover. 

I was in the right place at the right time when a crane was being scrapped down at the Freo Wharves and I scored some stairs. You can see the crappy old cement ones half demolished. I have some big plans for the Summer Palace over the next few months. It will be all Raspberry Pi, Altium and Oasis Montaj for me for a while so I might as well get comfy. 

If I must work in town - Keep " working stiff " hours, then I need to roost up with the Koolbardie and the Wardung. It is tempting to medicalise common ennui, so in this instance I yield and claim Seasonal Affective Disorder i.e. I hate Winter. The more light the better, who cares how cold it gets?

Raspberry Pi sound recording setup.

What a view !!

A cheery inferno dispels the chill. 

gone is the "collapsing ceiling and reek of rat's piss" motif ... something a little more cephalopodic for the bathroom ...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tribute to Philip Hodgens

A little known but brilliant Australian poet of the 90s.

This recording was to test my sound gear and audio web publishing.

A work in progress.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Multimedia Project

I used to dabble in voicework / theatre / TV once upon a time and am thinking of resurrecting that capability.

I own a Rode NT - 1 and a Behringer  Eurorack 602 A. I have a half decent computer / soundcard with Ubuntu on it since I dont like using pirate software for things that may relate to my employment. LightWorks for Linux is in the alpha test phase now but there are other packages such as Openshot. Kazam work well for screen video capture.

I also own a JVC Everio gz-hm330saa camera. I should be able to produce reasonable quality work with that gear.

First thing I need to do is set up a recording studio. Last one I had the mic in a dinky back room to cut out computer fan noise. It was impossible to sync voice with video with out some serious buggerizing round with monitors. This time I will either duct the case with an outside extractor fan or more elegantly look to peltier devices or heat pipes. Maybe just get a Raspberry pi ?

I would like to do some documentary material on electrical geophysical instrumentation as my industry project for semester II at Curtin.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sickness Country

"As for nuclear power, the indigenous people in the NT grew up with knowledge about the “sickness country” and that they had a responsibility to ensure it was not disturbed. We would do well to listen to them."
That the Jawoyn had some gnostic sense of epidemiological folk wisdom which picked up the presence of environmental uranium is something you often hear repeated.

More likely antinuclear campainers impute "sickness knowledge" to Indigenous people, if it happens to coincide with Uranium ore deposit and concomitant political imperative. Otherwise the myriad taboos and proscriptions transmogrify into "spiritual heritage".


The blog author Director of the Canadian chapter of the International Medical Geology Association makes no claim of causality just coincidence, makes some chiding remarks about consumerism and spruiking up the creation of Kakadu National Park .

"If that wasn't bad enough, the Jawoyn people's mythical Bula, transplanted thousands of kilometres from home, began to cast a pall over those living in the shadow of nuclear power reactors at Fukushima and infected the spirit of global financial markets." is not particularly florid compared with the tone of the rest of this tract of bilge. 

KABOOM goes the economy, off goes the Gieger counter, that spotty dog has tipped over the rubbish bin - the whole catastrophe, ergo, there goes Bula again and the wise Jarwoyn stand back shaking their heads at the folly of the gubba.  

However, would we know if Bula were to go ahead and prototype a fast breeder reactor as part of a strategy to develop a fuel cycle which can utilize Thorium? Who are we to fathom the ways of Bula? Ekeing a living as a hunter gathering is not some noble savage, " Living in harmony with Nature". It would be a bloody tough life, more like "Dying in harmony with Nature". For us as comfortable middle class Westerners to ventriloquise the Jawoyn with own political agenda is patronizing in the extreme.  

This whole "sickness country" meme needs to be hauled into the light of day to cop a healthy tan.