Mums

It’s Mother’s Day here and everywhere else in the world that didn’t already do it in March. I was going to do a nice leisurely breakfast for Mrs 6000, but instead, I’m going to drive to Wellington at some ungodly hour and drop some kids off for a hiking competition. They can walk back. After all, that’s kinda the point, right?

We’ll do lunch instead, ok?

This post is just to say a big thank you to all the Mums out there who do an amazing and – all too often – unrecognised job at being the glue that holds families together, the giver of hugs and love, and the organisation behind everything from school uniforms to playdates to toilet rolls for school projects, and (more often than not) all while holding down a full time job.

Mrs 6000 also has to deal with a beagle. And me.

She’s awesome.

You’re all awesome. Thank you, Mums.

Homework

High School is no party, hey?

Today, I’ve been helping the boy with his homework.

I have learned about Teutonic family relationships with specific reference to the inter-generational understanding of the Holocaust, I have assisted with the conjugation of several (or more) French verbs, and aided him with describing the differences between natural and synthetic structures, including the specific roles of frames, solids and shells.
We did some stuff on levers as well. Types 1, 2 and 3.

And it’s not even lunchtime yet.

Oh – and then we both worked out how to apply an unsharp mask in Adobe Photoshop to make a photo of the beagle look like this*:

Because yes. If you’re doing a High School photography extra-mural, you get homework for that, too.

 

* A bit overdone for my liking, if I’m honest, but that was the brief. 

Biosecurity Beagle retires

Incoming from Sword Devlin, Purveyor of Crossword Puzzles to Royalty, the Rich, the Famous and even to Commoners Like You: news of the retirement of Andy, Adelaide Airport’s Biosecurity Beagle, and indeed the last Biosecurity Beagle on the Australian mainland.

Andy the beagle, who single-nosedly detected about 2.3 tonnes of biosecurity risk material over a career which took him across Australia, will return to Sydney to live with his original handler.

It’s no secret that beagles are good at sniffing things out. It’s obviously quite difficult to quantify just how much more powerful their sense of smell is than ours, but I’ve seen a lot of estimates of around 10,000 times. Given this astonishing statistic, I’m astounded that they’re not instantly killed by their own Beaglegas, but maybe there’s some sort of innate immunity thing going on there.

But I digress. Often.

The fact is that Andy has been sniffing things out across Australia for over six years and is now ready (between naps) to sniff the pavements and parks of Sydney. And who knows what he will find there, given his record over the last few years:

2.3 tonnes of biosecurity risk material confiscated.
718kg of undeclared fruit and fresh vegetables.
432kg of meat including dried organs.
8.9kg of viable seeds and live plants.

In the last few months he’s been involved in the South Australia Fruit Fly project, preventing fruit flies from annoying South Australians. And we all know what irritating little bastards they can be (the fruit flies, not the South Australians) (although…).

Useful but little known beagle feature – pull that
little tag on its head and the whole thing deflates for easy storage. 

Andy will be replaced – as many of Australia’s Biosecurity Beagles have been – with a Labrador, because as his handler tells us:

“There is a saying with sniffer dogs that labradors will work to please but beagles will just please themselves.”

Well, yeah. I mean, it’s a beagle. But you weren’t moaning when he found that half ton of illicit beef, now were you?

Because while they may be lazy, difficult to train, easily distracted, difficult to handle, distressingly flappy eared, obstinate, surprisingly unintelligent, constantly hungry, selectively deaf to many commands and requests, and just generally massively frustrating to own or work with on virtually every single level, beagles do have a really good sense of smell.
Far better than your average labrador.

Thus, I predict a massive upsurge in dried organ trafficking and fruit fly numbers coming to South Australia real soon now.

It’s worth noting that Cape Town International Airport does still employ a Biosecurity Beagle – you can see him patrolling the baggage carousels in the International Arrivals hall – and he’s probably the reason why nothing illegal ever happens in South Africa. Just saying.

Thanks for all your hard work protecting the South Australians from viable seeds and fresh vegetables, Andy.
Enjoy your well-earned retirement.

Southern Suburbs water problems today

Thursday, 10th May 2018

As you will read below, if you live in that long, thin sliver twixt the M3 and railway line: we’re talking Wynberg, Meadowridge, Diep River, Bergvliet, Tokai, Kirstenhof, Lakeside and all the way down to Clovelly etc, you might notice some issues with your water supply for the rest of the day. This is why:

Oops.

Feel free to spread the wealth.

Miscellany

A few things that aren’t really worthy of a blog post of their own, but which still need recording on the blog.

FirstlyJames‘ new song is rather good.

From the forthcoming EP Better Than That out 18 May.

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Then, this:
A Family Guy writer has turned Prince George into Stewie Griffin: his 26 bitchiest comments

Ouch.

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Changing subject slightly.
Dinosaur vomit: The physics.

from here.
I’ve been doing so rudimentary calculations and that’s the same force as a 1 tonne car hitting you at 12kph. That might not sound like a lot, but you wouldn’t want to give it a go, now would you?

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Still hungry?
Do you have any eating plans
for the weekend? I do.

I’ll spare you the photos and save your keyboard from drool.
(And hopefully dinosaur vomit too.)

_____

Finally.

Why I’m not about to become a photographer.

Professional wedding photography is dead. Change is afoot. I see it all around me. Photographers who once charged £2,000  for a wedding, now putting themselves forwards for jobs less than a grand. Award-winning photographers getting part-time jobs to supplement their income because they can no longer afford to shoot weddings full time. And it’s all a dirty little secret.

What follows is a rather distressing synopsis of the industry, lamenting the lack of change and innovation of experienced photographers, juxtaposed against the offerings of the “new breed” of wedding ‘togs.

Just stop. It’s time to change. Time to change how you look at your business. Time to introduce a new way of doing things. Because the old way isn’t working. It’s time to strip back to basics, take stock and figure out what the future holds. It’s time to embrace new tech, new ways to get your work out, new ways to appeal to the clients you want.

Lots of advice, but notably no specifics as to what exactly that change entails. And there are some rather scathing comments on what is essentially just an op-ed on an interesting subject (for me at least).

More tomorrow. Probably less disjointed. But perhaps not. Who knows?

Come back and find out.