I haven’t ridden this far in 50 years.

IMG_5362So I’ve moved down to Canberra where I live during the week, and head home every weekend. One of the problems with this has been that whichever bike stays in Sydney won’t get ridden, and its not fair to my family to be away all week, come home late Friday and then spend all Saturday riding, before leaving for Canberra mid afternoon Sunday.

I always planned to move both bikes down here, but how do I do that. I’d really need a lift from a buddy or maybe catch the intercity bus.

My mum and dad were headed to Sydney on their way to my sisters, so my dad suggested he rides the other one down. Which was a really good idea.

Except he’s ridden my VFR for a total of about 20minutes in the suburb only (no freeway, no back roads) and not ridden this far (to quote him “furthest he’s ridden in 50 years”). We can’t leave until after 4pm as my wife doesn’t get home from work, giving us about 4 hours of daylight. If it takes us too long we can’t ride on the back roads as the kangaroos are a real hazard around dusk. Then to add to it all, we turn on a bit of a heat wave and we’re expecting about 38C, clear skies all day…. he’s from NZ so not so used to our temps.

But in the spirit of adventure… stuff all that, LETS RIDE! IMG_5363Just about to head off.IMG_5367It was warm, and it took Dad a little while to get used to the higher speeds (and glorious smooth comfort of the VFR, his normal ride is a KTM 690 Duke, he calls a tractor by comparison). I bought a set of Scala Riders several months back and they did great work on this trip. 

Our route took us down the freeway at first, partly to build his confidence and partly trading fun for time so we could do the best bit at the end.

By Moss Vale Service Centre we both needed a stop for a leg stretch, but more importantly some water. It was very hot and no clouds to relieve us. We spent a couple of minutes drinking up and chatting to a bloke doing the run on a Speed Triple.

At Marulan we’d made up enough time that I was happy and we turned off into the country roads. Dad’s first taste of the country NSW on a bike. The comms worked well and I was able to give him general tips and warn him about hazards and tighter turns coming up… I’m sure he was sick of me nattering in his ear. But I was protecting two things very important to me.

And I gotta say he did really well. He enjoyed himself but even he admitted he had the death grip on the handle bars for most of the day – part of that was the pressure of not smashing my VFR I guess. The forested roads gave us a lot of relief from the sun and evening was stretching on as the sun came down – into our eyes.

Then, about 3h15m after we left we rolled up to my garage, safe, sound, tired and thirsty. I usually take just under 3h so we made really good time. This is my Dad, pretty stoked about the whole thing (and quietly a little amazed I let him ride my VFR – so am I)

Time to put the feet up and drink lots of cold cold water. Well done Dad :)IMG_20140209_192423

Sunday. Home. Guild. Flex.

WoWScrnShot_020214_205529It was Sunday. I was in Canberra before 8pm. Guild. FLEX.

I went RAIDING!

I have no idea who that is. I have no idea what I’m doing, I know I died here at some point. And my DPS was just barely more than Navi, who was healing.

So the guild carried me through wing 1 and wing 3(?) and a few bosses. I didn’t make the end of the second wing, I was too sleepy. It had been a late night Saturday at home, a long day and a few hours on the bike.

But I went in at about iLevel 430 and came out at 469! Picking up a new back, shoulders and hands, I was pretty happy with that.

I died a few more times. But we kind of expected that.  One bit I really got sick of was all the small mobs around the Valley of Strength in Org. They just seemed to never stop.

Apart from that, it was great to get a chance to play with the guild. I certainly won’t be raiding seriously with them, my DPS was less than 1% of the top 3 or 4 DPS combined. Orders of magnitude smaller… and I was doing about 5K more than I had before! Yikes, I guess that’s the effect of a 50-100 point iLevel difference.

I don’t think I’ll make next week, I expect to be a little late. But I look forward to raiding again soon and catching up with the guild as well.

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yup, dead again

 

How do I explain this happiness?

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I think this is probably true no matter what it is, when it’s something that you really enjoy. I’m sure some of you get this from WoW. Sometimes I do, but not as reliably as when I’m riding.

As I got into the second hour of my ride back to Canberra, and finally got off the Highway. It was as I rolled merrily through the back roads, the bike eating up the miles and us both leaning into the corners and accelerating out, that I felt that happy, peaceful contentedness come over me. I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

The miles rolled away under the wheels. I know this road reasonably well now. I know there are lots of easy corners, and only a couple that try to catch you out. I can remember these before they come up, so the bike is set up and the corner disappears quickly behind me. I know some people could ride it faster, getting their knees down, leaned right over, running the edge of the tyre ragged.

That’s not me, but I’m sure we both have the same smile when we pull up at the end. I can’t think of much I’d rather do, than cruise quickly along a back country road on my bike.

I don’t know what it is for you guys, but I hope there is something that gives you the same feeling.

Ok, I’m 90, now what?

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So I started out hitting up some quests and it all seemed pretty easy on Timeless Isle. Then the chain began, Kill 50 Elites and Kill 5 Rares. That sounded easy until I tried it…. it’s kind of embarrassing being slaughtered by a pink stork.

So I tired the Turtles and that was worse.

I didn’t even go near the others, they were 91 or more Elites.

It was also busy and I’d be setting up to tag a pink stork, laying out totems, letting the doggies out, casting Lightning Bolt… when someone would come past and tag them.

I did manage to kill Evermaw as I was stuffing about.

So off to guild chat for some pointers about Timeless Isle. With some tips I managed to get a few pieces of gear. I also ran several Scenarios and 5man Heroics. These didn’t get me much gear, but the JP and VP helped me buy some more stuff. Hopefully I can be back here in time on Sundays to run Flex with the guild too.

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And in other big news, Dasal arrived. I changed her name to Magdasal, so almost the same. Close enough that I was happy.

WoWScrnShot_012314_214900Once again, McTacky gave me a lift to The Shrine, picking up a bunch of flightpaths along the way. And then back to the start of Pandaria to start the levelling all over again.

Das is going to run Shadow for a little bit, then I might go back to Holy and run through some dungeons. That’s how she levelled before and it will be a challenge to do it again.

 

DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Yeah :)

WoWScrnShot_012114_192548And there it is folks, 90. Of course, it wasn’t just a merry wander from 89 to 90. My last WoW post had me questing in Valley of Four Winds, when I realised that as I was so close to 90 and these zones were for lower levels, I was doing myself a disservice by continuing here. I bravely set out to find my way to other zones. Better xp.

WoWScrnShot_010214_225234Exploring as I did, I discovered some interesting sites, and took some concerning journeys.

WoWScrnShot_010214_063543I disturbed this little guy, I really didn’t want to bash in his head, but he wouldn’t quit. WoWScrnShot_010214_224718

I scaled some more walls.WoWScrnShot_010614_063052Eventually found myself in the Dread Wastes helping out the insect guys. Awakening several of their elders in an interesting chain of quests. I may go back and finish these.

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This soon had my bags full and a friendly guildie (Thanks Mctacky) kindly gave me a lift to the Shrine of Two Moons. It would seem that in my haste I had abandoned a quest chain that would have led me to the city on Pandaria. Here I found a bank and emptied or sold all the assorted items I was holding. This all happened in the days before Fiji and last night.WoWScrnShot_012014_200802Tonight, with 15% to go, I spent some more time running quests for the Insect guys before a hand in put me over the line. And Mabaho was 90! About two months for 5 levels.

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Now this is a cool pair of fist weapons. Pity they’re just temporary.

But what to do? Well first up was to head to the Shrine and pick up flying. 2500G, I remember when that would have been an enormous sum for me. The general improvements in everybodies’ income these days meant it was a simple click.
WoWScrnShot_012114_193239And I was flying again. So the next challenge was to gear up. The suggested Timeless Isle and so a quest later I was on the shores of this unusual zone. I wandered about doing some quests, generally staying out of the way of players and the multitude of Elites. I’m still scarred from the old Vanilla days when Elites were scary, vicious, brutal opponents, not just a bit tougher, maybe have to fight for twice as long as they are now. But it seemed I just wandered merrily about, as other players killed all the mobs and I just found and opened treasures full of purple gear…. Hmmm, Timeless Isle seems a good way to get started!

So what about tomorrow… I wonder if I can slip into a guild run of something.

K.I.S.S follow up

OK. I measured out the distance and went out to find some options at the shops. I came back with a long cable and a connector to allow me to have RJ12 on one end and RJ45 on the other. As I was mucking trying to sort out the tidiest route to run the cable I tried one of the other sockets in the house, which also worked.

Then it dawned on me that the socket I had just tried was an RJ12 not the RJ45. I could run the big long cable without connectors (less signal loss) and put the routers exactly where I had planned in the first place.

Bonus was that the cable would run around the rooms in such a way that I wouldn’t be crossing (and likely tripping or pulling them out) the cables very often.

And all was good…..

K.I.S.S

Well after a non-stop drive down to Canberra, I’m finally in my place here… and probably should head to bed very soon.

I spent the afternoon building desks and unpacking, connecting computers, after carrying all of it upstairs. I then spent some time trying to work out why the internet wasn’t working. About 1930 I logged a job on the service desk and waited…

and waited…

and waited…

and waited…

I was just about to turn in for the night (about 2130) when the Tech Support guy rang me back. He was very helpful and we eventually established that the phone jack in the room I have set up as a study, isn’t connected to the phone line in the house.

So now I have the modem in one room, wifi to the iMac here and the server with my iTunes library and Time Machine backup is currently off the network (no wifi card in it).

I see several choices.

  • move rooms (means dismantling both desks and beds and swapping them, then putting them together again and setting it all up….. ugh). Though having the ensuite in my study sounds kinda cool.
  • get a tech in to look at patching the port in the study (I don’t think that would be cheap…)
  • some sort of complicated multiple router setup, I could do it easy enough, and I think I wouldn’t even have to buy anything, but I’d still have wifi to the internet.
  • What about a crossover cable to the server? Or is the iMac port smart enough to switch over itself. Of course that works until the new computer and PlayStation get set up here as well, grrrr…

Hmm, maybe I should just measure how long the phone cable needs to be to reach from that room to this one … heads off to start counting paces around the house.

Remember the principle – Keep it Simple, stupid.

 

 

Bula Fiji

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Well we farewell Fiji early tomorrow after an awesome holiday. Mrs Mab has had a fantastic birthday, the girls have had a lot of fun and had some new experiences. We all had some great food and time to relax.

The Fijian people have proved just as friendly as their reputation says. I might not remember anything much from my last visit 30 years ago, but I hope it’s not another 30 before we visit again.

As a tech aside – I brought along an Airport Express as the room has free internet on Ethernet, but no wifi. Any router would have done the same but the small size and the iOS management tool made it an easy run. So Mrs can do her Facebook and Words with Friends and happy wife, happy life :)

Okay, but where’s the coconut juice?

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We left yesterday to spend a week in Fiji, a family holiday that coincides with Mrs Mab’s birthday.

Enjoying the beach life so far, some things are a little expensive if you stay on the resort but there are plenty of options outside as well.

It’s warm but not as hot as Sydney, more humid though. But not uncomfortably so. We’ve turned the aircon off in our room – too hard to adjust to outside if we keep it on.

The girls are having a great time but we’re all a little more redder than I had hoped. Oh well – more suncream is the only thing to do.

Strangely we’re having trouble finding coconut juice. Really weird because I can see them hanging from the trees around us. If only I knew how to get up there….

When we get home I have only a couple of days before I must finally start my work in Canberra and we see how the family copes split apart. I’m sure wife will be fine. I hope the kids make it easy.

Seems that wasn’t a last ride after all

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 5.50.21 pmUp early, beat the crowds, beat the heat, beat the cops, and be home for lunch after 5 hours of one of the best roads in Sydney. Sounds like a plan.

I was invited to join a couple of mates very early Sunday for a Breakfast at Grey Gums… and maybe a bit further after breakfast. So 6am finds us meeting up a a nearby petrol station about to head up the Putty. It would seem that my last dash up this road wasn’t to be the last. This one might be but who cares.

So we made Grey Gums in easy time. The carpark was a bit empty. Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 5.49.47 pmBut the lack of vehicles didn’t give us a hint of how many flies there would be. Made breakfast interesting. Ah summer, in Australia = flies.

So we’d made it here. Some quick maths and we turned north, we should easily be able to head up to the top of the Putty and still make it home for lunch. This lead me up to the 10 mile Putty again. I really wish this patch was much closer to home, or I could get a day up here doing a few laps.Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 5.52.00 pm

It’s picturesque – but then I’m not really looking at that.

After fuel, another roll down the 10-mile and it was back to Grey Gums. What a difference a couple of hours can make. On a nice day, on a Sunday, the first Sunday after double demerits has finished and the holidays. Almost a perfect storm. Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 5.53.40 pmWith so many people the flies were spread much more thinly so our snack was more comfortable. It was getting warm and time was starting to run out, so we headed homewards.

And I was home in time to head out with the family for Yum Cha.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 5.54.32 pmOne of the bikes I rode with, a BMW HP2. Very nice and there was a fun moment as we both leapt away from the lights at high rev, quick shifters (no need for clutch with these) blipping….. then we were good boys again.