Tag Archives: postaday2011

Becoming Spiderman

It was my nephew’s 4th birthday this week! 

So on the weekend, we made a trip into Toys’R’Us to try and find a present.

Being a father to daughters only for 11 odd years, I have been brainwashed into “girl” toys – you know, Barbie, Bratz, dolls, cutesy stuff that is pink in colour, crafty things, diaries and stationery, bags, earrings, headbands, etc. 

But walking into the store with my mind on boy toys – ALRIGHT!  I could buy something like cars, scalectrix kits, remote control cars, boy lego, figurines, fake weapons and more.  Ahh, the stuff I missed from my fatherhood 🙂 

We ended up buying something I could not resist – a SPIDERMAN outfit! 

WITH FAKE MUSCLES!

When he had it on, I could literally FEEL the testosterone radiating from him. 

There must have been something magical about the outfit because as soon as he put it on, he was immediately posing, hands on hips – admiring his unbelievably huge muscles. 

Ahh.. boys…

Failing at Rubik’s 4×4 Revenge Cube

A friend left their 4×4 Rubik’s revenge cube at our place a few weeks ago.

Miss 10 and Miss 11 didn’t even take a second look at it. 

But it was there, on the table… staring at me..  DARING me… to try and solve it.

Everytime I walked past, it was as if it was taunting “COME ON!!  TRY AND SOLVE ME!  YOU KNOW YOU CAN!” in an evil Voldemort voice.

So I tried.

I wrote down the colours, and figured out which ones should go on which face.    But after doing 1 layer, this is as far as I got.

I was STUCK!! Aaarghhhh..   stupid cube.  I knew it..  I shouldn’t have taken up your Voldemort challenge.  Because I’ve now failed!

But aha!  Not yet..  I have a secret weapon – the “internet”.  I quickly punched up “Rubik 4×4 solution” into Google and found a whole stack of walk throughs.

I WILL have my revenge…   when I have some time..  maybe this weekend?  🙂

Online resources for NZ quake info

I can’t stop thinking about the destruction and loss of life in Christchurch due to the large earthquake yesterday.

Is it just me, or has 2011 seemed to have started with an unusually large number of natural disasters?   Cyclones and flooding in Queensland, cyclones up in the North West of WA, flooding in the Eastern States, large storms in rural WA, bush fires in Perth, and now major earthquake damage in our neighbour New Zealand.    The loss of life and injuries, the impact on people’s lives, families, work and income is terrible and saddening.   However, all these events are making me appreciate how precious life is and how insignificant we, as a “species” inhabiting this planet, are. 

The surreal images, personal stories and news footage coming from New Zealand is sad and scary.   My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected and to all those in the search and rescue efforts.  

Initially I had thought there was just one major earthquake/aftershock from the big one last year, but no…   that area of New Zealand is currently experiencing an extremely large number of aftershocks. 

Here are some internet sites that help put the seriousness and instability of the land in more perspective:

Christchurch Quake Map – lets you play back all the recent quakes for a specified day and plotted out on a map in accelerated time.  

QuakeMap NZ – plots out all the latest quakes statically on a Google map.   Yep, there’s a stack of them all centered around Christchurch.  

GeoNet – has a list of the latest quakes

And Google has a Christchurch Earthquake Crisis Response page that lets you find missing friends/relatives, keep up to date with the latest information and has emergency numbers.   Good if you have internet connection, but for those in Christchurch with no power, water and congested mobile networks, not so good.

Yummy Chinese steamboat dinner

On the weekend, we had all of my wife’s side of the family over for a belated Chinese New Year meal together.

The theme for this dinner?   Steamboat!

We don’t have steamboat very often, but it’s a family favourite. 

The best way to explain what steamboat is, is that it’s like a hotpot.  We normally put out trays of various uncooked foods (sliced meats like sliced beef or chicken, balls like beef balls, fish balls, crab balls, tofu balls, etc) and each guest will put what they want into a boiling steamboat pot in the middle of the table to cook their own food.  Then you spoon it out and have it with noodles, vegies and some of the broth – sort of like a noodle soup 🙂

In Perth, one of the best (and only?) places to buy the bits and pieces for steamboat is Emma’s Yong Tau Foo shop in William Street in Northbridge.

I actually hadn’t gone in there before, always dropping Wifey out the front.  But on the weekend I ventured inside this unassuming shop.

And it’s like a TARDIS!

It’s a massively packed Chinese grocery shop, and towards the back is a massive counter full of bags of balls and other goodies.  My mouth was watering just looking at all the food, and as usual, we ended up buying way too much!

Way too much to choose from

Wifey had to pull me away from the Chinese New Year food display they had there too – very…  hard… to… resist..  Kueh Bankit…

Chinese New Year delights

If you’re not sure what to buy, I noticed they sold some combination/assorted bags if you want to try different things first.

Or just do what we do – buy a few bags of single items, eat as much as you can on the day, and chuck the rest in the freezer to have with noodles for the next few weeks 🙂

Some of the goodies we bought

Emma’s Yong Tau Foo shop is located on the corner of William St and Newcastle St in Northbridge:  http://www.whereis.com/WA/Northbridge/317-William-St/#session=MTE=

Look for this shop! (Image from Google Maps)

Miss 11 on camp

Last week, Miss 11 was on a school camp for 3 nights.  She arrived back on Friday – pretty tired from early starts and late nights chatting to friends.

Even though she’s not the “noisy” one in our family, the house definitely felt empty and our family missing a piece…

Empty bed
Lonely lunchbox
Expired todo list

Updating the map on the Garmin Nuvi 260W

A few years ago, I bought my Dad a Garmin Nuvi 260W GPS.   It was a good GPS in its day – but I think now its interface is a little basic.

Well, it seemed to be working fine for my Dad until he wanted to go to some place up in Landsdale.   And for some reason, the Garmin GPS just did not want to navigate to a specific address up there.  It was as if the address did not exist.  Actually, it seemed like there were only 2 or 3 addresses on Landsdale Road!   What happened to all the other houses and businesses?

I thought that it would be a good time to update the maps on his GPS.   Luckily, when I registered the Nuvi, we were informed that he could get one free map upgrade!  Awesome!   (Although, I was thinking – shouldn’t EVERYONE get free map upgrades for their GPS?   I’m somehow getting free updates for my TomTom GPS on the iPhone.  Aarghh, it seems that some recent purchasers do get free lifetime map upgrades – http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Automotive/Navigation/E3S5J9V3)

So, the GPS was connected, I pressed the buttons to update the map, but no..   I got an error message saying that there wasn’t enough memory!

What the?!?

I’m scouring the net trying to figure out how to get around this.

There was some text on the Garmin website that said “In some instances, your Garmin product might not have sufficient memory remaining for you to load an update to the same map Data originally included with your Garmin product (or purchased separately, as the case may be), in which case you will need to select reduced map Data coverage for your updates.

Unfortunately, when going through the screens to download the maps, I only have one choice – full coverage of Australian and New Zealand!

In a similar thread on the Garmin website, someone seemed to indicate that the software will assist you in freeing up some space – but I didn’t see any prompt like this, maybe it’s for the Windows version only?

Some other posts on the net start delving into removing or moving files off the GPS.   And I started playing around with this.   One useful thing about the Nuvi is that the files inside it appear as a USB drive.   So I could see that it only had 33MB free of 250MB.   Not good.

I first copied ALL the files over to my laptop, and then progressed to deleting off Voice and Text files for languages that my Dad wouldn’t need and deleting off the example images in the JPEG folder.   I might have even deleted the gmapprom.img and gmapprom.sum files (the pre-loaded maps).

And then it was all OK!  The update worked fine.  The GPS still booted up and had maps on it.

And it found the weird address in Landsdale that my Dad was looking for.

So, if you’re having problems updating maps – check out how much free space there is left in your GPS, take a backup (copy) of everything on there, clear out unnecessary files, and google “gmapprom.img” if you need to move the pre-loaded maps off.

Another D7000 review

Don’t you love it when you stumble upon a great blog or website that you’ve never visited before?

For me – I thought I had seen all the good photography sites out there, but no..  of course not!

Nasim and Lola are a married couple (with two kids) who are both photographers!   They’re reviews are really personal, full of good information and hands on experience with the gear.

Here’s Nasim’s review on the D7000 – http://mansurovs.com/nikon-d7000-review

He’s also written a good article on full frame versus cropped frames here that’s worth a read if you’re having the same problems as me deciding!  http://mansurovs.com/nikon-dx-vs-fx