Thursday, 11 December 2014

Is this the end ...

So if you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed a distinct lack of anything new to read lately (albeit that there's been a couple of backdated posts which you may not have noticed).

There's a good reason for my lack of posting - my life has changed.

You see, I no longer live at Mt Nelson in my compact (but loved) little flat  ...



I live somewhere else.

More importantly though ... I live (at least part time) with these strange monsters now ...



And I live pretty much full time with the cute monster in black ...


I know .. big changes ... but wait, there's more  ...

I now have two of these strange things in my house ...


Strangely, despite being able to fit into the palm of my hand, these strange 'dog' things still seem to  take up 2/3rds of what was once my bed, and I now usually find myself waking in the morning, in some contorted position with no blankets or sheets as the dogs (and kim) assert their rights to what was once my bed.

Yes, my life has changed ... I don't come home anymore, throw my bike inside the front door, discard my shoes and clothes on the nearest bit of floorspace, look at the pile of three day old dishes, carefully,  but precariously, balanced on my sink and chuckle to myself about needing to do them 'someday', as I grab a drink and throw a meal together (on whatever clean plates remain)... and then wander over to the lounge, flick on the television, and turn on the  computer to start blogging whatever nonsense is currently going through my head ...

No ...

My bikes now live under, not inside, the house , and there's now a special basket for wet shoes just inside the front door.  My clothes: well they now have coat hangers and shelves to live in and if they are dirty, apparently, they go in a laundry basket (of which we have more than one which just seems way over the top to me).

I don't think I'm allowed to leave anything on the floor anymore (though I haven't been brave enough to test this) - and I've been informed that the floor needs to regularly cleaned (you'll notice that the word "cleaned" has been hyperlinked for people like me that need to look up what that means).

Also 'regularly', I've now found out, means more than once a month, and I think Kim is trying to get me to understand that it may mean daily.  What's most unfair about this is that Davros (my Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, was not invited to move in with us (although (and I know this is inside a double now triple bracket) he has been smuggled away and hidden downstairs)) and so I actually have to do this "floor cleaning" thing myself.

I also have a dishwasher now.

I've learnt (well I'm learning) that the words "dishwasher" and "washing machine" aren't interchangable, so when I say that "I've thrown the plates in the washing machine" I am apparently not making sense (though I reckon a dish washer is a machine that washes dishes and hence it is a washing machine, so I'm not surrendering on this one just yet).

I've also found out that this washing machine (that does dishes) needs the dishes to be stacked and unstacked every single day (disclaimer - Kim is still doing 50% 60% 75% 95% of this stacking and unstacking, but I'm getting better, honest).

I'm finding that when Kim says that it's my responsibility to take out the compost bin and recycling bins (because she does everything else), this doesn't mean that I should just take them out when they have overflowed onto the floor ... it means I should take them out every day.

Yes, my life has changed.

I haven't been spending my weekends mountain biking and kayaking so I can write stupid blog posts, nope, I've been doing things like assembling trampolines ...

Actually looking at that, it even scares me how dodgy it looks
I spend sunny days inside unpacking boxes and tidying rooms ...


I've been mowing lawns, fixing sliding doors, building kayak storage shelves, replacing broken garage locks, repairing shed roofs and even fixing curtain rails.

Then I've done nearly the exact same thing all over again the next weekend, because, really, there's a reason I used to ride bikes and go paddling and not stay home doing this stuff ... It's because I am sh*t at home repairs.

On other exciting news fronts, we have a veggie garden now ...


And yes, Kim did do 90% of the work (I fastened the net down to some planks of wood - she did the rest), but I'm still calling it our veggie garden.

I do still own my kayaks, bikes and other toys ..


See my pace 17 kayak  in the photo above ... it's trapped (I mean carefully hidden) there in the background behind the garden stuff and I could get at it, really I could.

But, strangely, despite what you may be thinking from this post, the list of things that need doing around the house do seem slightly more important to me than heading off on a ride along some squiggly line I've discovered on a map, because (and I'll never admit this in public) it is important to me that this works, and I am excited about how this will all pan out.

But back to this blog ... the simple truth is that I no longer have a computer parked next to the TV, so I no longer come home and automatically find myself sitting in front of it making updates to Tassie Trails or writing nonsense for this blog, and so posts don't get written.

I'm hoping this will change, and that I will find time to fit my blogging, and my riding, back into this new life of ours, but I think what I'm learning most about this latest exciting adventure is that sometime's its not just about me, sometimes it's about us ...

... and I can live with that.  I really can.  Even if it means some important things go.

Now you have to excuse me ... I have to vacuum the dogs, compost the clothes and put some dishes in the washing machine.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Annoying Detours ...

A while back now, I got *really* grumpy at Glenorchy City Council because they were doing some works on a section of the inter-city cycleway, and as this closed the cycleway, they put up a "Cyclists this way =>" detour sign pointing off down Sunderland Street ... and then basically left you to your own devices in figuring out how, and when, to get back onto the cycleway.

And this sort of thoughtlessness really annoys me ...

I mean, surely it occurred to someone when they put up that detour sign, that there might be a whole lot of cyclists (and walkers) that wouldn't know where they should now go, and what the best way around the works would be, and so you'd think they would put up some signs pointing cyclists (and walkers) back onto the cycleway again as well - wouldn't you?

It was so annoying, and I would froth about it for literally minutes.

Then I'd forget about it completely ... like I tend to do.

And that was OK because I (yes, it is all about me) didn't ride out that way very often.

But now exactly the same thing has been done by Clarence City Council and it confronts me every day, making me feel like a goldfish trapped in a bowl ... without signage telling me which way around I should swim (OK, that analogy didn't really work but I can't be bothered changing it).


Yep, like I suspect many other cyclists, I was happily cycling into work the other day only to find a big "DETOUR" sign (rather unhelpfully positioned 150 metres down a big dog-leg) telling me to go around the worksite, so I dutifully set off to follow the detour... only to never see another detour sign again.

Why is it so hard for someone to think "Hmmm ... maybe cyclists and pedestrians won't know the area, or where we're working, and maybe we should set up some comfort signs to help them navigate their way around the work site ..."

Something like this ...


So, interpreting the above map for you, the blue lines are the what I'd describe as the usual bike routes people follow either into town or around the shoreline, and the red area is where the works are taking place.

The three blue flags you can (just) see on the map near the red works area are where they've erected "Detour" signs (I've helpfully written Detour Sign next to them).

The orange lines are the detours that people seem to be taking, and the red and orange circles are where (if I were doing this) I'd add further directional signs to help people find their way around (the green circles are where I'd put comfort signs assuring people they're going the right way).

I know someone will say "but that would cost sooooo much", but my response to that is they don't need to be big expensive metal signs, just a small, simple, cheap sign would do at each of those points.  Heck a bit of spray paint on the ground would make me happy.

So how about it Mr or Mrs Councilman or whoever else is responsible for this ... make my day and put up some extra signs.

Pretty, please.

==============

PS. I was very pleased to see that the latest detour on the intercity cycleway are well signed, so kudos to whoever did that ...


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Partridge Island

So let's pretend that four adults and four children make their way to Partridge Island for a kayak camping weekend, and then let's play a game called "Which of these things did the Rambler do?"

"No Markus, we're not there yet", heard from the TassieRambler
approximately 15 metres from the launch point with 9kms to go. 
So question one: each adult brought different items to the island, which items did the Rambler bring:

a) A brand new self supporting tent ideal for the different camping options we might come across;
b) A yummy casserole and a cask of wine;
c) Fishing reels for catching dinner and entertaining kids; or
d) 15 boxes of matches, 630 matches, 24 firelighters, 6 candles and a pruning saw.

"The Kids?  No the kids are fine, they're just behind me playing with matches,
now leave me alone, I'm eating this yummy casserole."
Yes, the answer is d.

OK, if you got that one right, then try this: the same four adults and four children go for a walk, which of these statements do you think the Rambler said:

a) "Come check this out, there's bricks from the old homestead over here"
b) "Where's the first aid kit? Zara's been bitten by a jack-jumper"
c) "Now be careful climbing up that tree, and make sure the branches can hold you"
d) "See how high you can get, do you reckon you can get to the top? ..."

"You call that the top - I can still see your face (with binoculars)"
"Four kids up the tree at the same time - now that's thinking
they'll be able to catch each other if one falls".
Yes, the answer is (d) again and I'm thinking that it could be that I still have a few things to learn about risk management around kids, but thankfully (and more due to good luck than good management) we all survived the weekend and although I suspect that Cath, Jon and Kim are all frazzled and stressed from our little sojourn ... I had a great time, and that's all that matters right?

I gave Zara a waterproof camera and appointed her the 'official photographer' for the weekend, but after downloading her photos,I think that there may have been a slight problem with this strategy ...

Selfie
Some seaweed
A sort of lopsided scenic shot.
Another Selfie
Uhm ... the ferry wake.
You have to love the Photo Bomb from markus ..
The mind of a seven year old is a wondrous thing!

Cath McComb has written a brilliant blog on our trip here, so I won't rewrite all that stuff, but here's a photo montage of the weekend from me ...

packing (OK, this is another Zara shot)
Kayaks on the ferry.
Selfies weren't enough ... more photos of Zara had to be taken.
On the Island
Cath fishing.
Searching for bait.
Pretty flowers
Lovely *but scratchy* walks



The McComb's on safari ...


Corrupting the young one's (note the candle)







And that was our weekend, and I'm so proud of me because, as promised, I never once mentioned what happened when Jon did his match flicking trick.

Not once.

The End ...


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Strava ... it's in the details ...

After Kim informed me last night that I was not needed in her Point to Pinnacle support crew today (I have no idea why), I suddenly found myself with a morning free.

I'll give you a second to digest that and come to the same conclusion I did ... Ride Time!


Yep, that's my route above (it's about 50kms) and I discovered all sorts of things ...

I discovered an Archery club which got me thinking about inter-sport compatibility ... I mean a group of people shooting arrows and a guy on a bike ... there has to be some synergy there surely?

Always a concern when you;r riding towards a bunch of archers
who are shooting at targets near you.
I discoverd this dog ...


Which led to me doing this loop ...


As I tried to find the owner to tell them that their dog (which wasn't wearing any collar) was out on the tangara trail attacking cyclists, or more particularly, attacking me (I never did find the owner, so if you know this dog please let them know as I love dogs and would hate to have to report it).

I also got to ride the track between Cambridge and Belbins Road which I've been meaning to check out for a while.


I'll just say that it isn't quite as flat as the highway, but I can see the attraction.

I discovered that Lauderdale has the World's smallest BMX track ...

That little circuit is the BMX track ...
Which is great, because (if Kim doesn't read this) I'll be able to head out for a ride in the morning and come back saying "Yea I just went and pumped out 20 laps of the BMX track before breakfast ... I know, I'm awesome." ... whilst skipping the small detail that each lap would take about 10 seconds and the only real concern would be getting very dizzy.

Lauderdale BMX Track  - It's small.
But most importantly, I got to do this ...

"Rambler" as written by a four(ty) year old cyclist ...
Yes, I confess it, I really did dream up an entire 50km circuit just so I could ride through Bellerive and strava write my nickname along Clarence Street.

I am that easily pleased, especially as I think someone now owes me $5 ...