General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

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30 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  November 4, 2018

    Bluey & Sweety have both quietly visited the lawn below the kitchen window, via their viewing platform of the low trellis opposite, for the wheat breakfast before 6 am this morning, and each taken their wholegrain bread pudding piece back to their babies, arriving and departing 12 minutes apart.

    There was a particularly beautiful crescent moon low on the Northeastern horizon, above the large forested hill, as the dawn ended and the sky was getting light. The skies look clear and blue; might be a nice day. Yesterday was miserable and wet. Lawns need a mow so will do that when they dry out.

    Given the current rhetoric and drive to promote women into positions of authority, I was musing earlier about ma. She was complaining a little bit about pain when I visited her in hospital yesterday. But she’d had a shower and a hair wash with help (she got a new, shorter style recently and it really suits her), she was whispering what she’d learned about other patients, she giggled a few times, her speech was very clear, she was totally up with the play (“so, what’s my blood pressure?” and she actually LOOKS great! The care and monitoring she’s getting is excellent. I’m feeling very confident.

    But what’s interesting is that the Senior Consultant Surgeon who saw her is a woman, the surgeon who actually operated on her is a woman, one of the two assisting surgeons who assisted in theatre is a woman, and several of the nurses who have been on her shift are men. Most of the GPs in my local medical centre seem to be females. So it certainly seems to me that the number of women in positions of responsibility in the Medical field is more than healthy. In fact one might say they’ve got it sewn up. 😎

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 4, 2018

      Oh my giddy aunt 😮

      Just looked over the fence because I could hear the sound of Pook mothering going on over on the far parenga.

      @ Kitty. You know how I told you poor little Angel is a triplet ….

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 4, 2018

        You don’t mean that…..

        Well, I read that there can be 18 in a nest….

        The SPCA sent some things, and one was a card for their tree, with the name of an animal to honour to be written on it….mine is covered with names, inc. Angel and other pooks.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 4, 2018

          18 in a nest where there are several hens, yes. But my little purple young ladypook – the only breeding female around here – has just had quadruplets – and although we sadly lost poor little Angel, the other 3 of them look like they’re doing just fine ! 😎

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 4, 2018

            Yes, it said that they had communal nests, not that one poor girl laid 18 eggs. * What a good idea, pookibbutzes.

            Three ! I can’t believe it ! (faints with envy) Do any of them look like you?

            * talk about the Oo-Aa bird, so called because it lays square eggs

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 4, 2018

              Do any of them look like you?
              Yes ! One of them is extremely good-looking ! 😉

              The original nest was some distance away under cover to the South. But they refresh the bedding of their pooklet nests every day and before long there’s quite a rubbish tip of old bedding and leftovers below it, and they then just move and make another one somewhere else, seeing the pooklets will just follow them happily along after a few days walking experience.

              It looks like Bluey has just built a new nest, cleverly concealed in the foliage, on the parenga directly opposite my place – probably so they can do food deliveries in double quick time by direct flight, bank to bank, via the shortest possible route – which is what they were both doing this morning.

      • Gezza

         /  November 4, 2018
        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 4, 2018

          Not at all happy with the zoom or resolution on my Nokia 5.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 4, 2018

            I can see them ! I can see them !

            I can hear them !

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 4, 2018

              Oh good, that’s the main thing, Kitty. Thanks. They’re very tiny.

              I’m still re-setting my body clock after the late-nighter in ED with ma last Saturday/Sunday. Just had a couple of hours’ nap. And realised there are no “calling cards” my patio ramp, there’ve been no visits since this morning from either Sweety or Bluey, and there’s no sign of activity at all on the opposite bank.

              So maybe they were all just passing thru when I watched them this morning and they’ve all moved on further down the bank – probably Northwards. The pooklets are very mobile from their first few days of age and have no problems travelling large distances unseen in the blackberry broom, ferns and other low canopy foliage.

              Bluey must have taken big brother Alex off somewhere else today to let mum get the tiny tots organised. I’m sure she let them have a little play over there to show them off to me: they generally like to keep them under cover.

            • Gezza

               /  November 4, 2018

              … And … Sweety just turned up on the low trellis and silently flapped down under the kitchen window for her wheat dinner. She was ravenous ! Doesn’t usually gobble it all up as quickly as that ! Probably had a very busy day, with 3 little kids to entertain – and to pull out, chop up, & feed ‘veges’ to all day.

              Bluey called from in the foliage somewhere too. He does the night shifts in the nest with the kiddies. Possibly he’ll turn up too, although once he calls bed-time to the bubbas, he usually stays put.

              Sweety took her little bread chunk straight up and over the fence & I could hear her flight departure announcement almost immediately & in the minute or two it took me to get out to the fence she’d disappeared into the bushes.

              I coulld hear the tiddlies’ whistling little anticipatory chirping though very clearly though, there’s a light norwesterly breeze. It’s coming from the bush above Alex’s Beach – the rocky little beach below the nest they made for Alex when they had him a couple of months ago. That’s a good location. Gently sloping, hummocky bank, lots of cover; less likelihood of one of the little ones falling over a little cliff and into the water like the other day.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 4, 2018

              I can just see them, and the pee-eeps are very clear. Aren’t they enchanting???

            • Gezza

               /  November 4, 2018

              Yes, they are. And I’m wrong above about the new nest location. Sweety returned and got another little bread chunk. She took it away furtively – one look at the babies is obviously all I’m allowed just at the moment. She walked a long way along the top of two neighbours’ high fences, and as I leaned over my fence to see where she would cross the stream, she flew up and in a big semi-circle disappeared behind the leafy branches of an overhanging tree, flying some distance downstream.

              She never crossed it. Bluey also arrived got some food and walked back along the bank calling as he disappeared. I get the feeling that either they are going out of their way to throw me off the scent and crossing a long way down, around the bend, out of sight – or, more likely, they have somehow got the little ones (they CAN swim) over to this side of the stream.

              There was just this delightful little scene of big bruv Alex whingeing and whingeing – walking forlornly along the far side of the bank – with his dad calling back “Come over here, son”, and Alex whingeing “No: I dont’ want to daddy, I feel much safer here – you come over here, please please please, daddy !”

              And then Sweety walked over the shallow rapids and gave the poor little tyke some food when he ran down to see her. 😍

              I never mowed my lawn in the end. The lovely morning turned into a grey day with a cold wind & I had a nap instead. The sun’s out now but it’s still cold. 5 adult pooks kept my whole back lawn well trimmed but after the loss of Pickles, Jojo and my beloved Aspen, that’s not happening any more. It’s looking very messy with long clumps and seeding couch grass. I’d better get on to it tomorrow morning – weather permitting.

              Ma had 3 hours straight of family visitors; she’s totally knackered, poor thing. Hope she has a quiet night. She was slurring her words on the phone. If that happens again I’ll have to get everyone to co-ordinate with me. She’s 91, that’s a huge operation and she’s still well inside the high risk envelope. Even she said it was too much when she rang me.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 4, 2018

              Visitors are a mixed blessing; and being able to visit at any time isn’t always a good thing. 3 hours of visitors would tire anyone after an operation. People don’t realise just how it takes it out of the patient.

              I remember once when the parents of the bride or groom had a prang on the way to the wedding….they were in hospital, but not seriously hurt, so the wedding went ahead and the wedding party and whanau came to the hospital. I will never forget the bride, groom and attendants sweeping down the corridor…

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  November 4, 2018

    Alf the cat has just walked in, had a cautious look around and slipped out again, unmolested by Fido. I can’t help wondering if I am going to acquire a cat.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 4, 2018

      Although I’m giving you upticks, I’m not seeing any upticks from you for my wildlife reports. If the ratings remain low I will have to cancel the series, Just saying,

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 4, 2018

        I mowed this afternoon and liberated quite a few of the Helawi tribe…it was reaching rhe stage where it was an embarrassment. The poor old moa really earned its keep, and sweat was pouring off me, Why I don’t just pay someone, I don’t know. My verge is a killer (my verge??? hollow larf)

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 4, 2018

          Rain coming, just what’s needed to make the lawn grow again. Well, that time spent mowing was a total waste.

          I’m glad that you didn’t waste time and energy on yours when you’d be doing it again in a couple of days after the bloody rain.

          Reply
  3. duperez

     /  November 4, 2018

    Gezza, been out and about but now have time to answer your questions about camera settings etc. It’s manual and it’s trial and error for this learner. You mentioned tracking and getting focus. The challenges of the different types of movement say between the dog show today and bees are interesting. (I’m trying to master macro.) Dog show from this morning, bee in October. Sometimes I have a ‘eureka!’ moment then I see something on some site and put highlighter on the L plates!

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 4, 2018

      Those are lovely, duperez.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 4, 2018

      Thanks duperez. Macro’s for closeups – Yes? I can get quite good still pics but I’m only using mobile cameras – 2 3G Mobiles and a Nokia 5, and mainly for video clips because I find them more interesting than still pics and there’s so much animal action I’m trying to capture.

      If something’s happening I whip out whatever mobile’s handy and often need to be quick so there’s no time to stand around playing with whatever limited choice of different auto-settings I’ve got. My 3G Samsung and Sony Ericsson mobiles are only 2 megapixel cameras, both produced different coloured clips and images – the Sony Ericsson is the best natural colour reproduction, but the only have 2x zoom and it’s not really a zoom lens. If I enlarge the videos it’s still the same limited number of pixels and so any detail is lost as bascially in enlarges the pixels and makes the images “bocky”.

      To get some of the closeup videos or pics of my pukekos or ducks or eels I’ve had to let them get used to me and I’m taking them from 1-3 feet away from the creatures themselves.

      The Nokia has a 13 mp camera but I cant even find on the web what the “zoom” range is. It might be 4 x zoom. Same thing – not really a zoom lens as such – and at maximum zoom, it blurs the images, dammit. Also it doesn’t have video stabilisation when filming, you have to stabilize the captured video afterwards – which gets rid of the inevitable shaking, but introduces shimmer and also reduces the resolution.

      The sods did an Android system for Nokia update in October that reconfigured the whole damn camera and its settings and made it worse. Christ knows what farkin idiot millennial Instagram addict overdosing on Red Bull thought they were doing there !

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 4, 2018

        Drat ! * If I enlarge the videos it’s still the same limited number of pixels and so any detail is lost as basically it enlarges the pixels and makes the images “blocky”.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 4, 2018

      @ duperez

      The top image – the doggy – have you used a spot or centre-weighted focus setting for that one?

      And the bee one below it (superb) – is that one a macro setting?

      What movement settings did you use for both? Can you remember?
      – – — – – –
      I find the Nokia with the higher zoom capacity and 13 mp camera frustrating because there’s a small range of “Manual” resoluton, distance, focus, and light type & level auto settings you can choose for the still pic camera – but when you choose video you basically get resolution, & Video or Slow Motion – there are no other settings.

      If I choose the highest available video resolution (1080p) the mp4 files are huge – too big to work with sometimes if I want to add the clips together and make a short movie sequence in a video editing app and upload them to my Vimeo channel. They’re even a challenge for Windows Media Player to load and play.

      Reply
  4. duperez

     /  November 5, 2018

    Dog: Centre (I think.) It’s meant to track. Speed 1/1250th
    The bee was with Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens. The main thing was the speed: 1/2500th sec.

    Experimenting with speed yesterday: This one 1/800

    This one 1/1000

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  November 5, 2018

    Fantastic action shots there duperez. They’re both great but that top one is major triumph.
    The detail in these images when clicked on is stunning. I can see the individual hairs in that black dog’s coat. You’re a bloody talented photographer, dupers. I take my hat off to you, truly. 👍👌

    Reply
  6. duperez

     /  November 5, 2018

    Thanks for the feedback. If you have good gear all you have to do is set it up reasonably, be in the right place at the right angle and push the button at the right time. (Not trying to be smart) I got a couple yesterday that I’m really pleased about because they capture the ‘something else.’ (Won’t put them up as they are about the people now.)

    You get the something else element in sports. The drama, the gymnastics, the athleticism, people being in their absolute own personal head space, emotion and perspective while being inextricably part of something else with other people. The momentary frozen and sort of irrelevant in the overall event. The irrelevancies of life in split seconds. I can look at old shots and without emotional ties to events appreciate the humanity of what’s going on. Like these : Check the faces, check the involvement.

    National League final:

    I usually give these to organisations to use. Only have hockey ones on this ‘puter at the mo.)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 5, 2018

      Done properly it’s an art form matey. You’re definitely an artist. How many do you take before you decide the ones that capture what you were after or what you like the most – and do you use any photo editing software – or are these straight from the camera to your computer?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  November 5, 2018

        I haven’t taken dog show ones for a year or more so was really happy with yesterday. Just checked and I took 238. I sent 131 to the club for their Facebook.

        Some were just of the surroundings, some were rubbish so I reckon getting that many usable ones was good. And obviously I took several of some, like the attached pair with the two dogs. Took five because they were cute, sent one. The little brown fuzzy thing I took seven of, one was no good but I only sent them four. Given that I reckon the strike rate was good.

        I edit on iPhoto which is the standard MacBook programme. Mostly trimming, straightening.

        Cute little brown fuzzy thing. I get a buzz out of the community sharing and people getting to see themselves or their dogs that they normally wouldn’t get. And then they can share further. I know some of my rugby ones have been seen all over the world.

        Reply

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