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Christmas Island: long photopost and bek's bad luck saga

Posted on: Sunday, 11 August 2013 @ 11:02pm
Blatting about
More specifically

Back in Perth now and this post is going to be a long one.

The holiday has been great because I was home and crap because in the second week, I got a swollen gland or lymph node that pressed onto the nerve of one of my back teeth and caused a LOT of pain and made eating difficult, and the kids got sick.  In the third week the kids recovered and I got sick (two days completely out of action and just general misery, persistent headache and neverending mucous production for the rest of the week and continuing as I type).  I am feeling slightly bitter about it and thinking it's brutally unfair but at least I stayed there the entire time unlike a certain Christmas where I got medevac'd.

Fail summary

  • Linux can't hot plug monitors.  My Cintiq stopped acting like a Cintiq, I blew up a desktop environment trying to fix it and spent a day rebuilding it (just the desktop environment, not the whole install).  After fixing it I borrowed my sister's MacBook Pro.  Unity on my account on that laptop is still dead, but that's okay because I like Cinnamon better anyway
  • my usb stick died taking out two weeks of progress with it.  It had been working perfectly fine the previous day
  • the kids got sick, then got better
  • my tooth started hurting, think a nerve was pinched
  • I got sick
  • I got REALLY sick and slept for two days
  • recovered somewhat, tooth still hurts
  • while sketching a fanpiece on Sprat's MBP, I got reminded the hard way that Gimp has never been able to select muliple layers because apparently nobody wants to do such a ridiculous thing
  • on the last night, just as I'm hitting the hay at 11:30pm, Tao wakes up crying because his ear hurts.  There is a massive wad of gunk in his ear which we figure is probably causing the problem but run him to the hospital in case it's an ear infection.  They recommend putting a few drops of oil in to lubricate the lump (they would have done it at the hospital but they were out of the stuff they use).  Did this, he's now fine aside from screaming during landing

Last day

On the last day Mum remembered that there was chocolate cheesecake that she forgot to pull out on the night of Dad's birthday so she pulled it out so we could have some before going.  Just before I got into my piece, I felt my nose about to bleed (it had been doing that quite regularly recently)  and put my hand to it, saw blood and quickly grabbed a tissue.  The tissue filled and eventually I thought it had stopped, so removed the (fully saturated) tissue to check.

Blood flew all over the floor and onto my shirt.  I had a moment of "Uh...uh..." and then decided to stop the blood flow and clean up later.  Which was good in theory except the blood did not stop for about 20mins.  Sprat in the meantime cleaned up the blood on the floor as it was drying.

I finally got to my cheesecake after everyone else had finished theirs, and noticed that Cub had left a tiny portion of his third piece on his bowl on the table.  After finishing my piece I took the bowls to the sink, and took Cub's to the bin (at this stage a plastic bag hanging off the door handle) and scraped the morsel off into the plastic bag.

It caught on the edge of the plastic bag, bounced out, splatted into the door, slid down and landed on my foot.  I exclaimed "Oh no, how could that go so horribly wrong," in exasperation and went to get a cloth to clean up.  Sprat came out to see what happened, I explained, she stood there shaking her head as I tried to clean up, and after I informed her that some of the cream had sunk into a groove in the door and was really hard to get out, she shook her head in amazement and walked off.  Mum in the meantime had overheard from her room and was pissing herself laughing.  Meantime I was worried about getting on the plane with the amount of bad luck I've been having.

Not over yet

Obviously, we made it back to Perth in the appropriate number of pieces.  The fun wasn't over, and when I went to turn on my iMac, it didn't.  I tried it on several sockets on the powerboard and then in the wall itself with no joy.  Somehow, despite having been off for three weeks, I either had a busted power cable or power supply.  Fortunately my in laws had been by to see us and they ran it up to the shop for me as it was not too far away from where they lived.

I was rather pissed off by this stage, and lost my temper when Josh once again flamed me for my decision to stick with the Apple products.

Enough of that now.  Have some photos and a video.

Ethel Beach

Running gunning shot out the car window of booby birds in a tree

Epic shot of Ethel Beach

Ethel Beach at sunset, featuring my gorgeous Little Big Boy

Kids playing at Ethel Beach

Kids playing at Ethel Beach, Dad taking photos, and I finally got my horizon line straight

Composition practice

Little Small Boy and a "rock castle".  I couldn't work out what was wrong with my composition, Josh says I should have done it portrait

Booby bird on stump

Booby bird on a distant stump taken with the 55-200

Greta Beach

Sadly Greta Beach (which manages to collect a lot of rubbish dumped from boats and just generally just washing around the place) was trashier than usual so I can't show you the photo I took of the turtle nesting holes because they're almost impossible to see for the trash surrounding them.

Sprat and our cousin Gerald did find an eel/sea snake/thing trapped in a rock pool and I decided that was the only thing worth showing off as the crap on the beach just depresses me at the moment.

Eel trapped in a rock pool at Greta Beach

Eel trapped in rock pool at Greta Beach

Eel escaping rock pool at Greta Beach

Did I say the eel was trapped? It sure showed us idiot humans

Tai Jin House Museum

I took a few shots inside the museum but I don't think any of them came out particularly brilliant (too many reflections in glass being the thing that bugged me the most).  I only took photos in the main room, and didn't take any in the corridor (which was mainly occupied by a timeline) and the smaller room partially because I couldn't find a good spot to stand and take a photo and partly because I had to pay more attention to a certain 4yo.

It was worth the visit and I learned a few things that I didn't know such as the islanders didn't have rights to own property til 1991 (I was 10 then ffs, all I could think was a very lame "...really?").

Anyway have these two photos that were supposed to be stitched together into one before I realised that by the time I had conditions I was willing to work under to do it I would have forgotten to do it.

Kampong from Buck House balcony

Kampong from the front balcony of Buck House

Cantilevers from Buck House

View from Buck House top front balcony

Home sweet home

I was feeling pretty rotten and cranky and the weather was reflecting my mood with the on/off rain.  While I was trying to concentrate on packing I heard an awkward knocking on the front door and found Albert crossing in front of it (the "knocking" had been caused by his legs hitting the flyscreen on his way past).  He scurried under the chair as soon as I popped out with the camera and started tapping his legs at me.

Albert the robber crab hiding under a chair

Albert hiding under a chair tapping his big attack legs at me

Hastily cobbled together video of Albert. Please excuse my voice, I'm still a bit under the weather.  The player seems to be a tad dodgy (hurray for experimentation on a live site, I'm not on my usual machine so debugging it is tricky), so you may need to right click and show controls if it doesn't do it automagically.  Also it's an ogg file, the codec is worth a download if you don't already have it, because free and open and decent quality for size.

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