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It may sound strange but downsizing seems to come with age. There are so many things that just seem to complicate life; one of these was the number of computers that I was using. It was very interesting when I was younger as hacking was considered the norm and was quite interesting. But I now just think that although I never interfered with peoples programs it was still an invasion of privacy. When WiFi became the norm it was very interesting logging on to everyone that didn`t think of a password, but now everyone has wised up to this fact. Wardriving was considered the norm and many people made special antennas to hack into commercial WiFi networks. Now I use just one computer and my other one is connected to the TV for films that haven`t got onto DSTV yet.

My feral cat still keeps bringing me presents of which I am not willing to eat yet as things haven`t got to survival mode yet.

The veg ggarden is producing more Patipans than we can eat, even supplying my family. As you can see some have got so big overnight that the look like pumkins.

The one on the left is the normal size you get in a supermarket. The grow so quick that I don`t know why they charge so much. One of the large ones is enough to feed both of us without using the pips. If they are cooked with bacon and eggs they are very much like mushrooms, you just have to slice them right.

My Wife thinks this feral is pregnant but I don’t think so, but we put a bet on it. J

I don`t find power cuts a problem because I love fish fingers. J

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This New Year’s Eve was the quietest for many years. The firework display on the beach was very loud but not very interesting. Fireworks seem to be getting louder but don`t last very long. This year there were very few hot air balloons floating across the sky, probably because they caused too many fires last year. I wish the people next door would use charcoal or braai wood on their fire as the smell of the briquettes is terrible and permeates the whole house. It must leave a funny taste to the meat or whatever they are cooking. I have been experimenting with Solar Ovens again on the days of good hot sun and have had some good results. We even cooked some bread rolls for the braai in old baking powder tins. The original was a cardboard box lined with aluminium foil. I have made the permanent one from wood with glass mirrors inside and it works much better.

I was thinking of Alice today and came across this .gif file which lightened my mood with a smile; we never got to walking on the beach but did walk the bush a couple of times a day when we stayed on the farm.

The Bees seem to love the Lavender and Perennial Basil in the garden which seems to freak my Wife out when they come to the table.

When metal detecting on the beach the other day we found quite a few large meteorites, smaller ones are easy to find with a normal magnet but they are normally very small and look like gravel but stick to the magnet. The best thing to do is put the magnet in a plastic bag and tie it closed with string and then pull it through the sand or where the waves break on the beach.

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Although the veggie garden is providing a lot of food the weather is very strange for this time of the year. The Patipans are prolific as is the Swiss Chard. Usually by this time of the year we have harvested many crops of bush beans and have plenty for bottling but I don`t think there has been enough sun. Although there are a lot of tomato plants, mainly beaf steak with a few yellow pear shaped ones. The smaller yellow tomatoes are quite prolific and grown right through to the winter. I have tried all types in pots and they grow very well. They were very good in the UK when grown in ` Grow Bags `. In SA they can be grown in potting soil bags with a bit of 2.3.2 mixed in. Two plants grow in one bag which is useful if you are in a flat with a balcony. Carrot seem to grow in most soils but it is best if the soil is fine. Green peppers seem to be growing better in pots than the ones in the veggie beds, but that is also their position in the sun I think.

Last year a full packet of Echinacea seeds were sown but only one plant germinated and has grown into a large plant. It seems to have spread since it was replanted into the sunny part of the garden. I am hoping to grow more this year so as to make my own drops or making tea out of the flower heads like with the Chamomile that grows in the more shaded areas.

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I make a lot of bread but when I cut a slice it always seems to go on an angle. This is a great problem to my Wife as she always cuts the next slice after leveling the loaf off at the end. This then causes me a problem as the loaf is finished much quicker. Having done quite a bit of woodwork I made a mitre block for the bread and now the slices are always straight.

My Wife has started making Sauer Kraut and it is difficult to get jars to make it in. She has tried pickling jars but they are too small and do not make much. We tried using plastic containers but they made too much and we have had to give most to friends and family. Looking through the cupboards I found a hotel style pickle jar and cut it down so it is straight inside and allows a disc to slide all the way down, That means that there is always pressure on top of the cabbage. This now holds one green cabbage and half a red one which makes lovely pink Sauer Kraut.

I made a wooden right angle on it`s side so I could turn the bottle and then cut the bottle with a diamond cutter in my dremmel whilst turning the bottle.

I tried out a solar oven by making a loaf in a small tin and it worked very well as the sun is still hot.

This is an upside down cake made in a solar oven made with a cardboard box and aluminum foil. The only problem is that it cooks but doesn`t brown the crust and was a little soggy. I will have to make a bigger parabolic reflector type like the small one I use for making coffee.

At mid day it takes about ten minutes to make a coffee. J

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The cloud out to sea looks like the mountains that the sun used to shine over a few months ago. When the cloud lifts it is now sunrise, but it`s a bit later than publicized.

The sky earlier was about the time of sunrise but it was mostly cloud.

This was the sunset the other night, but I was a bit early.

The moon last night was also covered in cloud, but made a good photo. I took some sequence photo`s and they made a good animation, showing the clouds moving across the moon.

It`s amazing what interesting photo`s can be taken of the sky, it`s just a matter of looking up. I am probably lucky in many ways of having the time, and a good place to take photo`s. Every sunrise and sunset is different, as are clouds and the moon setting. The moon last night was in the same place as the sun used to be a few months ago when I took sunset photo`s from the car park.

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first cameras

I have tried with all the digital cameras that I have to try and get some night photo`s with very limited success. While I was watching the constellation of Orion move across my field of vision I started to think of some of my early photographic memories. My first thought was of the Ensign full View that I got in 1950, it took a 120 Kodak film which was 21/4″ square. Latter I got a twin lense reflex which had a lot more settings. They took very good photo`s but in those days there was only black and white . It was quite late in the 50`s when they got colour films and they were expensive. In the 60`s I got a 35 mm SLR Miranda Sensorex which I still have. With this camera I took a lot of photo`s with time exposures some were quite weird and started my investigation into UFO`s. I don`t believe in little green men in flying saucers but I love experiment and investigate unusual things in the sky. A lot of my photos have been used by UFOSA for lectures and I think they were misrepresented. Most of these were taken in the mid 70`s and I would like some comments on them. Most were sent to NICAP in the USA and they can`t give me a good reply. This is of of them and were taken around the Southern Cross with a time exposure of 10 minutes.

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These are some time delay shots of the night sky. The straight one is a shooting star the other has not yet been explained. These were taken in Cape Town many years ago on black and white film which was rated at 1500 ASA. I was taking pictures around the Southern Cross with exposures of a few minutes.You can see the effect of the Earths spin by the elongated star tracks.
shooting-star

This next one was sent to NICAP in the USA who do research into Aerial Phenomena. With this comparison you can see it was traveling faster than the spin of the Earth. I sent a copy to the newspapers but they contacted CSIR and they said it could not be published. At that time there was a UFO reported landing in Beaufort West and it was fired on by the SAP, so they were sensitive times.

comparison

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