Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Grand Day Out

One of my mates from school arrived back in Australia after over three years of travelling the world with his fiance.

We had them over on Friday night, wine was consumed & a rather late night was had. So what better way of shaking off a red wine head than doing the rainforest' board walk which is only a few minutes drive from our house.

Good to get the odd family shot here and there, this one is aprox 45 feet off the ground in the Forest canopy

yes Miss H was hiding behind mamma bare
You will note she has taken to poking her tongue out for photos, which makes for the greatest shots.
Little legs tire and require piggy backs

Getting a shot in front of one of the many mountain ashes that tower above

Another family shot, after completing the circuit

Is that a tongue again?

Ok this shot is brought to you by skittles sours - the bribe used to get them all to sit still for 15 seconds and allow for photos.

Miss H made a new friend

After we finished the rainforst walk we when boarded the bus and ferried our guests to another school mates house where they would stay the next night. My other mate's partner comes from a family of dairy farmers, their farm has been in the family for over 100 years, they graze 400 cows on 400 acres of lush green pastures. Her older brother is a former school teacher and now trains students on the ins and outs of dairy farming.

We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the milking shed while they were doing the afternoon milk. The children were fascinated with everything from how warm the milk is to how much a cow wees. I spent some time on a dairy farm as a child and have to say for me personally I was amazed at the technology in place these days.

Attaching the milking machine (when it senses that the milk supply is done it automatically detaches from the cows teat and retracts to the ceiling).

12 cows are milking

Feeling the warm pipes flowing milk straight from the cow

They each took turns to look in the storage tank that can hold 20,000 litres

We then progressed to the calf shed to see some of this springs calves ranging in age from 4-10 weeks.
Most were cautious of the children but one let them get close

A quick play in the hay

The best part about a dairy farm is the mud, and it doesn't matter if that mud is waste deep or ankle deep children have a ball in it.
School mates I have known for 16 years on the left & 25 years on the right.
We stripped the children of their wet muddy smelly clothes and loaded up the bus, bid farewell to our friends and headed home.
It was a great day, some things we didn't get on film were holding the chickens & the delicious spread put on by our hosts (homemade scones and jam FTW).
Mr C who is without a doubt the most energetic of all our children walked straight in the door when we arrived home at 8pm and put himself to bed, that's a sign of a good day in my opinion. The children had fun, experienced new things and wore themselves out in the process.
Until next time, I'm off to catch up on the washing ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Galaxy S

First impression - FINGERPRINTS!!!! Its inevitable these days with most tech being gloss black that finger prints are par for the course. I made sure to go and get a rubberised case and screen protector fitted ASAP

The first thing I did when I got home was to plug in the phone to my home PC and let it install, of course it didn’t, so I went with the Samsung Kies/Driver Update Aproach. I then used the Samsung prop. “Kies” app to load up the phone with some music and video but have since decided to go right through my MP3 collection and re-tag everything, this will also mean I can drag and drop my music and video to the phone as an external drive and song names, album covers etc etc will all work seeemlessly without needing an extra application on my PC.

With PC connectivity sorted (USB anyway – I will tackle blue tooth on the weekend) one of the first things I noticed when using the galaxy is that to unlock the screen you can swipe either way, this makes one handed operation a lot easy than I found with my iPhone.

I also purchased a 16GB MicroSD card bringing memory to:
- 1GB Onboard
- 16Gb inbuild MicroSD
- 16GB removable MicroSD
An unrelated surprise was that a 16GB microSD card that is the size of my thumbnail was actually more expensive than a multiformat DVD player with USB that I also bought at the time.

The Screen – It’s big, bright and very beautiful, I haven’t watched a full movie on it but loaded up several 1.3gb divx avi files and it played them snippits noting great quality & sound.

Android OS – The phone/OS was clearly designed for someone coming off an iPhone, for me it does so many things similar to the iPhone, but just a little better and with a little more freedom, like allocating mp3 tones as ringtones or to specific contacts, I remember to the whole MP3 convert saga to get an MP3 as a ringtone on my apple wasn’t worth the hassle.

Apps – Haven’t really delved into this aspet as yet, I went straight for the Facebook App, like the Iphone FB app its very easy to use however I did note the the ‘like’ function has been omitted, no biggy.

Connectivity – I immediately connected the Galaxy up to my home WiFi and noted exceptional speeds when used around home. I also configured my email accounts and added some regular internet favourites.

That’s all I can report for now, this weekend I will be redoing my music via drag an drop to external device and using Kies less if possible, I also plan to setup a few things on mamma bares so she can get email connectivity and her ringtone of choice (OK Go’s “Here it goes again”)

(I promise thats the last tech related post for a while)

Until next time

Friday, September 17, 2010

Updated Tech in the House of Love

I’ve been satisfied with my iPhone 3G, I bought it the week after they were released in Australia and found myself immediately impressed with the many uses and ways in which it took over from my laptop. Accessing things like email, IM, Facebook and general internet were great.

We had our issues, not necessarily the iphone itself but more so the compulsory itunes requirement to sync my data, more than once after an update I found myself restoring my music database. A task with 100gb of music I don’t want to repeat. I also found the phone limited, setting up MP3 ringtones was pokey, I couldn’t watch any of my video content as the device only supported mp4. It wasn’t expandable, didn’t multitask etc etc I could whinge more but I wont

Fast forward 2 years and after waiting and waiting for my Carrier to stock the new iPhone4 I decided to take a stand and look elsewhere

Enter the Samsung Galaxy S…….

I’ll let you know my thoughts in a few weeks, I also got one for Muma Bare, twas high time she got spoilt with some new techo.

Until next Time

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I Like The Way We Do Things

Deciding to home educate was one of the best moves we have ever made. Its hard to believe I was aprehensive at first. Some of my most memorable days have been "Learning" ones.

Its not just about handing a child some paints or playdoh and calling "unschooling" (I loath that word) its about giving them freedom.

Freedom to wear Brown corduroy overalls and a mustard turtleneck without fear of being teased
Freedom to have a bean bag camp out
Freedom to use your Mums camera and come up with gems like this - Reflection in nannas toaster, sponsored by vegemite
Its the Freedom of freedom, getting out in nature, getting dirty,

getting cold and wet....
Freedom to decorate & re-decorate
& photograph your results (pic by Miss L age 6)

Freedom to create something truly unique
Lego transformer by Master B Age 10
Freedom to turn off the lights
Freedom to use flour,
Freedom to work together
Freedom to make the meal Dad traditionally always makes (and do a better job I might add)
Freedom to embrace the failures. Sure it looked crap but we iced it and ate in nonetheless
Freedom to try it again

Master B now has biscuits, shortbreads, cakes, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, home made pizza dough, sausage rolls, and much more that he can prepare on his own and cook with little or no supervision. He knows the importance of cleaning up afterwards, of safety, and of presentation. There are fathers out there who cant or dont cook, dont or wont clean, are happy to sit in their own filth and are not an asset to their family. My son is already an asset at age 10, not because its a chore, not because we make him but because HE WANTS TO and that makes me proud beyond words.

Most of this learning was child led through success and failure. Its great to see the younger children following in their own individual ways. T doesnt show as much of an interest in cooking but is eager to help his brother and excels in other areas like design, L is very artistic.

Is homeschool working? Well if smiles are a judge then I think so.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dads Day

I had an awesome fathers day

Started off with breaky in bed
So edible
View from the lounge, it didn't matter that the weather was against us
We got to drive through floods to get to our destination (the children were very excited about fording flood waters)
The peaceful stream was quite a torrent
Dont do it (he did)
Top of the world
Harumpf (being left behind)
Chubby bubby
The end of a hard day
Until next time...........