Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Search tomorrow for missing boy 5yo

Just got a SES call to join a search for a missing boy at Nambucca: tomorrow morning - have to be at Nambucca by 6am so leaving from Corindi at 5am. Time was changed for distant units so we left at 6:15 am but Riley was found just before we arrived at 7:30am. A good ending although would have been nice to practise our landsearch skills.

Minnie's first swim

We went for a walk to the dam (~500m) as usual. Minnie enjoys wading but hadn't quite gone swimming before, I was waiting till I go swimming (35+, a nice spot and preferably a blue moon) before encouraging her to try. The dam flow way is covered in rough concrete, under cut on the bottom edge. Minnie fell in and swam to the nearest rock - under the concrete, and wasn't willing to swim out. At that moment a neighbour walked past - seemed a bit confused when I said I had to rescue my dog, since she wasn't visible. I had to take off my boots and wade in to reach her. She is enjoying chasing kangaroos (but I have to back her up for a big mob) and birds. I'm going to take her to obedience training at Grafton on Sunday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

SES Bush Skills weekend

 We camped at Station Creek, the kookaburra grabbed a sandwich out of Ray's hand, and later a goanna prowled around.  Cathy came out for a BBQ, but wimped out on camping out.

 We did some gravel driving, practising in a quarry and doing a vehicle navigation ending up at Jonaas Zilinska's statue (timber cutter and former trapese artist). Cut and winched a log.
Jeff and Debbie weren't really roughing it in their camper.

 This caravan got bogged getting to Pebbly Beach. Thankfully someone else was already winching them out.
 We walked to Pebbly beach.

 A python I nearly stepped on.
 Crossing back across Station Creek.
Thankfully I didn't take any photos before Ray put his pants back on.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Minnie the gardener

Minnie is always very interested in what you are doing. She likes to run under your feet or chase them as you walk. If you bend or kneel you are clearly asking her to jump up and lick your face. Anything you pick up she wants to grab hold of. I've managed to train her to keep off the garden beds although she still occasionally has to chase the water. I have to lock her out of the garden when harvesting otherwise she helps by grabbing a snow pea branch and pulling half the plant out. She also likes to eat asparagus, and today discovered the delights of pick your own arrowroot from the (currently dry) pond. Hasn't rained for 7 weeks here (not counting a 10 min sprinkle), suppose to get 10-20 mm today. I also take Minnie to the community garden at Coffs about fortnightly - put her in a pen where she is harassed by small children. She doesn't like riding in the car and howls periodically for 10 mins or so. Next weekend is the SES bush skills weekend, camping out overnight in a national park so she will be overnight alone for the first time (20m x20m fence around house so hardly cramped).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Puppy school

Off to our second of three puppy school classes tonight. Minnie isn't the star pupil - she hid in the corner and snapped at any puppy that got too close, can't even say she was the littlest one there. One pup with paws that looked as big as her head kept bowing to her and trying to get her to play, but then "patted" her so I can understand a little. I've taken a phenergan as being in a room full of puppies for over an hour really set off my allergies last week. Then Friday afternoon I had a whole torso hive attack, luckily it was better by the morning.

I also took her to the community garden on Sunday - put her pen up against a wall and she had three hours of kids playing with her. Had to keep telling them to give her a break, not put her up to walk on the single brick wall. At least I have the fence around the house now - am thinking since it's not suppose to be cold tonight might try her outside overnight (and have my bathroom back!).

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Neighbour burning off

 Neighbour asked if he could burn off the bottom part of my block near his dam - I said ok but keep it below the house - of course it got away, missed the house and shed just but went through the vegetable patch. Probably lost half of my fruit trees.
Luck his wife came over - while we were trying to save the garden a bit burnt up close to my car.

Monday, July 30, 2012

RFS fun day at Shannon Creek Dam

 The annual Rural Fire Service fun day - four different stands, as well as boot throwing, and tug of war. The standpipe event - Matt (blue shirt) is about to bowl out a hose. Since I'm not official yet I couldn't compete but got to watch.
Halfway Creek Brigade (Ton and Jeanette (live near me on Parker Road), me, Kevin and Laura, Matt). Matt has just started the basic course unfortunately my application hasn't been processed so I have to wait till the Mar/April course before I can get my gear and actually help with fires. We didn't win any prizes but didn't get any penalties either.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coffs Community Garden

 Spent a couple of hours at the Community garden - making new plots including one which will be Cathy's.

The centre plot is Cathy's.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vet check

Minnie had her first vet check, vaccination and microchip inserted. She weighs a whopping 1.55 kg. Vet found no problems, and she barely whined during needles (that microchip needle is huge) despite a big build up by vet how most puppies scream. Back in 4 weeks for next vaccination and start heartworm treatment. Might join up for 3 week puppy classes starting 8 Aug. Left her at the vets for a few hours while I went to Tursa and shopped (mainly puppy stuff). Still not sure about final size, even though she has blue heeler colours the vet said her blue heeler pups were three times her size at that age. Need to work out a tick treatment - have already found one on her, but frontline/advantage seems very expensive and you still have to check them daily (takes 2 days attached to cause paralysis).  Pig ears are a big win, ok for now when a small bit is enough but don't want to be buying one every day at nearly $3. Have to do more research on feeding to balance nutrients and economy, the vet pushes Advance dry food "all she needs".

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mad Minnie

In this unselected video within 20 secs Minnie chases her tail, falls backward off path, tears around and runs straight into the stairs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Minnie

I keep forgetting to take a camera out with me. Already getting messy in the bathroom so I set up a pen on the verandah for day times. I am trying to take her out regularly (as soon as she first makes noise) but takes a few calls before I really wake up. She managed to fall/jump off the verandah (<1m) and growled at me and stayed away for 5 mins despite me being a couple of metres away at the time.  Definitely an alpha pup which could be difficult. In the video you see my sock toy - she likes to bite/shake it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Minnie the Tenterfield Terrier

Nine weeks old - neighbour Lisa has her brother. Booked in Wed for vaccinations and microchip - had her first worming treatment. She complains every time I leave her but according to the puppy websites that should calm down after three days if I totally ignore it. Not going to be an indoor dog (so Cathy can visit without calling an ambulance) but since it's cold keeping her in bathroom for now.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SES update

 Sandbags on fence to dry. After Australia Day flash flooding around Woolgoolga when we couldn't make and deliver sandbags fast enough we have a cunning plan to pre-make them and store them in a shipping container in Woolgoolga. Untreated sandbags only last a couple of weeks once filled with sand so these have been treated in copper sulphate solution.
 More drying sandbags.

We have a new sandbagging machine on a trailer - so big it won't fit into our main shed and we need to build a ramp in order to get sand in the top. This is the start of the ramp, it will have a bay for sand behind it.

I have also joined the Halfway Creek Rural Fire Service Brigade.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SES general rescue exercise at Coffs Harbour

My SES unit (Corindi) was invited to Coffs unit for a GR (General rescue) exercise - a large scale industrial accident. This is the scenario we got (was random, victims scattered around). The bad news for Jeff (team leader) was that we couldn't use chainsaws (Jeff loves chainsaws). It turned out to be one of the toughest - made worse because of a mis communication that we didn't bring our own gear so had to beg hard and long to get anything. We did get him down but it took a long time. I think we learned a lot and I hope I never have to do it in real life (but I hope I have learned enough that I can help).

Winter Garden

 Bed 1 - garlic chive, red potato second generation from Bunnings seed (turns out they sprouted too soon), a rogue tomato, leeks, bunching onion and cabbage.
 Bed 2 replanted onion, coriander, um rogue tomato, capsicum at back. Recently cleared out Chia self seeded, collected some seed.
 Bed 3 Tomato (2 shop bought = mistake can't take frosts), old silverbeet, old corn, a punnet of sweet peas on left side (not visible).

 Bed 4 Perennial bed - Cut down asparagus (one out of synch plant still sending up shoots), strawberries, invisible perennial basil, hopefully aloe vera still alive and rhubarb at the back.  
 Bed 5 Mostly new - carrots, broccoli, silver beet, onion, leek, basil going to seed, and 3 cabbage seedlings.
Front celery from last year (never looked like shop celery), relic silver beet x 2; old dying roma tomatoes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Phone land line

The trench has been dug and phone line laid though still need to get a boring crew out to bore along the verge to the nearest pit on my neighbours place. I'm planning to get incoming calls only. I also have a new mobile (same number) because all the senior SES guys have gone away this week so I'm duty officer and had to get reception inside the cabin. Of course my old mobile couldn't work with the antennae. I was told it was a $30/month plan, $20 of calls and $10 for the flash touch phone, however just got my bill for the first 7 days of calls, plus $35 for the next month and its $56. Will have to chase it up because it's not what I was sold. I've been unwell for 10 days now - I thought it was food poisoning but its not getting better so heading into Grafton hospital to get it checked out.

Fish and chips

Cathy and William waiting for fish and chips at Yamba.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shed and Vinnie moved

A neighbour (Rod) wanted to buy my shipping container and as part of the deal poured a new slab next to the house and moved my 3m x 3m shed over. He has done a great job - nice and high, with plastic liner so hopefully it will be alot drier - on the wood floor it was always completely damp. He also dragged Vinnie the camper van over next to the house. I've had a busy time emptying out the huge amount of mostly junk (like 2+ years of recycle rubbish) out of the shipping container.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Storms and snake

Have had a lot of stormy weather - Saturday Coffs got hit by high winds, blew the roof off several houses (including one 92 yr old from a caravan cabin who rang 000 and turned up at emergency on Cathy's shift - nothing acute medically just no roof). Corindi got asked to assist so I turned up at Coffs SES but the rest of the team only got part way before they got jobs in upper Corindi - lots of trees down which took them hours. I headed up to meet them but Paul rang to say duty phone wasn't working so instead I headed to unit to take  calls (didn't get any).
On Monday there were more scattered storm cells - one skirted right by my place and went on to knock trees down on the highway at Halfway Creek. I went out on verandah to call back Paul about possible chainsaw jobs in Coffs in time to see a python disappearing into grass from under the cabin. I think I better do some grass cutting.

Monday, February 6, 2012

 The arrowhead is flowering in the bathtub.
 A pretty moth on my broom handle.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

 At 9am Thursday morning I noticed the creek was breaking its bank below the cabin (picture 1). Since I was suppose to be doing a solar power course up at Nimbin on the weekend I spent 15 mins packing camping gear and food for three days in case I couldn't get back home. Then I drove to Corindi SES - there was already water over the Pacific Hwy north of Corindi but I got through.


Less than an hour after I goto SES the requests for assistance started coming, earlier on we got thirty at once in a single refresh (update). Ended up with over 70 jobs, 11 Corindi members turned over the day, and lots of RFS and fire brigade support who made a huge number of sandbags. The Corindi creek broke its banks and flooded four houses which had to be evacuated (and we had to figure out what to do with them).
I stayed at the unit overnight since my neighbour Peter had rung to say the bridge near my place was 2+m underwater. The next day we finished off the jobs and packed up at 2:30pm. I drove back to Parker Rd to find there was still 50cm of water over the bridge and I had to wait 2.5 hours for it to go down. Several others crossed much earlier but it would be too embarrassing to get stuck on a flooded bridge in SES uniform.

 Here is the view from cabin once I finally got home at 5:30pm, creek is still over its banks.

I rang the course providers (Rainbow Power) and told them I couldn't make it, they run them ever 6 weeks or so, so hopefully can go to next one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do I really need a pipe crossing?

It's been raining steadily for days here (>100mm) and more to come, the Orara river to which my creek flows is in flood, and the creek is only a few feet from going over the nearby bridge (cutting me off from the highway).

My pipe crossing driveway (cost $5610) doesn't have any water flowing through it, not surprising since it's on the crest of a hill - thanks to the council for forcing me to over engineer!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Goanna and rain

 Caught this guy in a rat trap - from the look of his tail its not the first trouble he has been in.
We have had heaps of rain here and more forecast. The creek is up but still a metre or more to go before it goes over the bridge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pump troubles

30 Dec my pump stopped working in between cooking dinner and washing my hands afterwards (yummy lamb chops kindly donated by Cathy by her forgetting to take them home on Christmas day). The pump was very hot so I disconnected the wires (before I remembered it had its own circuit). I wasn't entirely surprised because the plumber had admitted he had never installed one like that (although he took the manual home overnight) and it had been noisy and seemed to flutter on/off. Also I didn't install a pressure accumulator because they guys who sold it to me (Rainbow power company who did my solar system) said it didn't need one as it's variable speed. Not a great time to get hold of the plumber (he did get back to me about 10 days later), but I also left message for my neighbour Peter (who was in Darwin). Back to lugging water and wow does a flushing toilet use alot of water. Six days later Peter got back to me to say his friend Jason would come around to look at pump. Turns out when I powered it up it worked! Jason explained they have a overheat cutoff. The next day I had a shower and after turned off tap could hear a humming - sure enough it was stuck on again. When I went out I could see it was leaking slightly onto the wires. Hopefully adding an accumulator and making sure the wires are not underneath any leaks should fix it.