computer graphics

Life is a bit sameish at the moment. I get up, drink a big glass of water, do stuff on the computer, maybe have a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast/brunch, do more stuff on the computer and so it goes. Until I go to bed and get up and do it all again. So I thought I'd post a unicorn from my Pinterest board of unicorns and as it happens, it's quite topical.

We are not an Apple family. PCs and Android all the way, but now I find myself contemplating buying an iPad, not just a tablet but specifically an iPad. It feels like crossing over to the dark side. Grace's school now has a one to one iPad program and although you can use the school iPads, if you don't have your own, you can't take them home. And I don't think, given what I have seen of the school's approach to technology, that the kids will go much beyond the basics at school. And I want Grace to be a competent and imaginative technology user. There's more to it than educational apps. We're talking about making a blog together and I'm thinking that might be a good way to pull a few things together over time. In line with the school's approach to technology, they are taking the children on an excursion to the Apple store. Despite how wrong I feel it is to expose children to such slick marketing in the guise of education, we are letting Grace go. And we have said she can get a t-shirt. How my little PC heart quakes. G is going to go as a parent helper, so we will get all the dirt.

Sigh. I really wish Grace was more into the idea of changing schools.

Oh I think we might go and see the new Bindi Irwin movie tomorrow. I'm quite looking forward to it really.

shirking not working

I feel like I shouldn't be writing here. I'm in one of those must work every spare minute type of situations. Kind of partly my own making, partly not. It's a collaboration, and it's paid so I guess there's another reason why I should be working not shirking. Who knows. Anyway, I guess I can own the feeling that I have bitten off a bit lot more than I can chew. Something I was pretty upfront about. But I think I somehow glossed over in my mind how hard the learning curve can be.There has been some very hasty learning, lots of crash testing, much googling and watching of youtube and vimeo. Oh, and the super scary reset this morning. But just right at this minute, right now I do think we more or less have a website the client might be happy with. There's still a bit of work to do but I can see it. And if no-one likes the colours (I'm trying to do bright but I think my tastes really run to murk) well, I can easily work up another colour palette and enter some numbers in boxes. I seem to be entering a lot of numbers in boxes, padding this, nudging that, checking my notes and having moments when I think the internet or my computer is broken. But it has all come together. Even better than I expected.
My neck is cricked and my walk today wasn't long enough. I'm thinking I might take Tuesday off and go for a swim and a spa. The boundaries between working and not working have become even more unclear. Just then in the middle of my blogging time I had an idea about how something might appear on the phone, so had a look and a fiddle. Another task crossed off the list. Half way towards making a decision about how I might present the images. This afternoon I had a nana nap and spent a lot of time thinking about the difference between padding and margins. One day soon all this is going to be second nature and I'll be able to whip up snazzy little websites at the drop of a hat.


Grace is eight now and has quite obviously entered middle childhood. She still likes playing with her Sylvanians and soft toys but has also developed quite an interest in the news. Behind the News on ABC3 is a favourite and I know I complain about some of the shows on ABC3 but BTN is great. They talk about most of the news, including issues like refugees in detention, at an age appropriate level. Everyone seems to comment on how lovely and well behaved Grace is. And she is. Except perhaps when she is not, which really is not very often. Indeed she is delightful company, full of affection and joy. With an occasional touch of anxiety which it is possible she may have inherited from me. Grace is becoming more and more competent with various bits and pieces. And evermore independent. After much family discussion we decided that she is allowed to cross some of the non major roads around here on her own and she is very careful about it. Sometimes she rides down to the local convenience store for milk or bread. Of course I worry if she is gone more than five minutes but oh, she is so proud of herself. As are we. And it is useful and helpful too. I asked Grace what her favourite thing is and she says her favourite thing is Artic Foxes.
- We had a party for her last weekend. A big party in the park. Grace wanted to invite lots of kids from school and their siblings. We didn't worry too much about it, the park is spacious, lots of parents stayed and it is just some food and games. Right? We made mountains of fairy bread, a big fruit platter, nori rolls, hummus and cucumber and carrot, pastries and a big birthday cake. There were also potato chips and a big pot of home made raspberry lemonade. The icing on the cake was a bit sloppy but otherwise the food went pretty well. Gerard was well involved in getting the party organised and Mum helped me heaps too. Luckily the rain held off.
- We had organised lots of games. Musical pillow cases, the chocolate eating game from my childhood and of course, the home made pinata. And games were where we came a bit unstuck. Grace invited quite a few of the boys in her class and while the girls wanted to play the games and follow the rules, a couple of the boys were really disruptive. Indeed after one boy ran off with the chocolate from the chocolate game, I had to warn him that if this behaviour continued that I would have to speak to his father. I expect some rowdiness and high spirits at a birthday party and the warning that I would speak to a child's parents is not something I do lightly. And I would expect that once I gave that warning that that the child in question would pull their head in. It has always  worked in the past. But no! It got worse. We had spitting in the punch and elbowing of another parent who said something, we had stealing of lollies from the little kids when the pinata burst, we had my mother trying to protect the little children in the pinata scrum and the lie that my mother slapped a child, we had a few children colluding in the lie and a child riding past my mum and yelling liar at her and then some children played a game in a corner of the park in which my mother was tried and the sentence was to "kill the old woman". Needless to say, the parent was spoken to, it was established that my mum didn't slap anyone and the child apologised to me and Grace after school on Monday.

Most of the children didn't know what was going on and had a great time at the party. So the party wasn't ruined for them. Mum was actually quite philosophical and big about it. I was kind of shell shocked and lay on the bed for an hour afterwards, deep breathing, thoughts spinning through my head. I wondered if we had done something wrong with the party. Too many kids, too much sugar, games that were too rough and competitive. There is some discussion amongst the parents about the wisdom of pinatas and I'm not convinced we should do them. However Grace and Gerard really enjoy the annual pinata making ritual. It should also be pointed out that when Grace was upset she didn't get many lollies from the pinata, the girls all gave her one. Even one girl who had only got two herself. So we did a general re-distribution and the girls were happy. For all their intense girl world interactions, those girls are really very sweet to each other. Anyway if there are any future pinatas, Grace and I have agreed that the lollies will be gathered and put in a communal bowl for a grown up to allocate. But yeah, I could change my mind on this, but I don't think we will be having another party with boys until Grace is at least sixteen.

strange fruit

Out in the backyard, you can tell Autumn is here. The tomato plants are still going but have crispy edges and no good tomatoes. No green tomatoes either this year which means no home made chutney for my cheese sandwich lunch. On the up side there have been many delicious figs to be picked and eaten in the glorious Autumn sunshine when I'm brave enough to step through the (probably not any more) snake infested pumpkin vine. And we have a pumpkin. A big Jap pumpkin grown from the compost. Also from the compost and most intriguing of all, three very small cantaloupes. They don't seem to be growing any bigger but I'm wondering if they will still ripen? Maybe I should cut one open and see.
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And the last strange fruit has been the babaco. A friend gave me the babaco tree for my birthday some years ago and I kept it in a pot. After we moved here I planted it in the ground. The first couple of years it didn't do that well and lost some limbs in the wind, but the pruning seems to have resulted in stronger growth. Last year it started flowering and now has lots of fruit. I've been watching one particular fruit turn yellow from the kitchen window and the other day it fell to the ground. At first I was reluctant to try it, it seemed so strange and unlikely to be growing in our backyard, so it probably over ripened a bit. But when I did cut it open for a taste, I found I quite liked it. Very juicy, a bit sour and sweet with a lemony, strawberry, champagney taste. Would be very good as a juice too I think. I offered some to G and he spat it out. Wonder what Grace will think. - -
In other news I am planning to go and buy a new camera lens today. Not happy with my photos and needing to take photos for this website I am working on. Can't justify a new camera yet, so I thought I might see if I like using a prime lens. Maybe it's not the camera but me, but a new lens seems like an easy way to change things around a bit.

no more google reader

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm pretty sad that Google Reader is going. It was easy to use, not fussy and the app worked perfectly on my Android phone. I'm doing the Feedly thing but the Android app is crap (you need to log in each time and it is sloooow) and it seems harder than it should be to subscribe to new blogs (perhaps I'm missing something). Bloglovin' doesn't even have an Android app. So I thought I would sign up for both and go with the one that I find least annoying. Maybe another option will surface?