Tuesday, January 27, 2009


There's been a heated little discusion over at Murphs site about racism. But I don't want to talk about that, more about how people are quick to slap a label on a person or a group. Hey I'm guilty of it, I'd picked Murph as a bitter, right wing, red neck yank who just wanted to nuke the rest of the world and maybe even some of the more Democrat cities.

Now I'm not so sure, I think there would be something deeper driving his opinions. He's got a good apreciation of history and it's lessons. I'm not going to slot him in anywhere in my mind though, even if I disagree with most of his opinions.

Here in QLD we get the mother of all useless labels, which school did you attend. I went to a boozy business lunch once where I was asked by three seperate 50+ gentleman which school I had attended, I mean that's just sad.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In love with tech

I have a real facination with technology. In my younger days I was the magpie of tech, swwiping down and grabbing anything that was shiny. Nowdays I'm a lot more considered, but I'm particurlarly interested in things that either enhance business productivity.

Now that is probably sending the 3 people reading this to sleep, but it's an insight into the way I think. Take The Wifes work. They are researchers that use writing tools and statistical packages to analyse large groups of data. There is a large degree of colilbration and meeting. Yet they do things the way universities and research facilities have always done. They use old underpowered computers. They have no easy video conferencing tool set up on every computer. They have no multi user word processor that can track changes in real time, not thru email.

I'd love to get a job at a place like that, not as the bog arse IT guy, telling people to try turning the computer off then on, but as the productivity manager, in charge of streamlining the way people work, so that all that experience is not spent waiting for a document to be emailed to them. (as I write this, my bloody cool app I use to write blog posts is playing up.)

So now instead of going out and buying every shiny toy I see I sit and think how I can use it and whether it will make my productivity better. Tech is not the devil and it doesn't have to make your life worse.
Lantanaland from the iPhone

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Busy as a Bee

Been doing a bit of honey processing today. My 20L storage drum had got a bit crystalized so I cleaned it out and gently heated it to return it to liquid form. I then seperated honey from wax from a batch I took off six combs a month ago. Just a mere 17kg. I've sold it too a bloke who makes mead, he's getting a substansial discount in return for A. Product or B. Teaching me to make product.

Finally I'm busting out a few beeswax candles for a mates wedding. They won't be perfect, but they'll be very environmentaly sustainable and have bugger all carbon footprint.

Then next weekend they'll get robbed in a big way so when I go to NZ I don't have to worry about them swarming while the in laws are house sitting.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I normally get up, cook The Wife breakfast, drink as much coffee as I can, read the net news and blogs, get ready and walk out the door muttering my mantra, phone, wallet, keys.

This is fairly important, I can't live without the iPhone on the road and I need fuel every other day and the chances are I'll be 100+ km away from home when I need it.

Of course when I do forget my wallet and fill my tank before I realize it, it's when I'm doing one call at the bottom end of the coast before going to work on the north of Brisbane.

Which brings me strangley, to food. Normally I work flat out, without breaks, snacking as I go, but on the occasions when I hit midday (I start about half five) and know I won't get home for a substansial snack, I give in to my completely stupid cravings for hungry jacks. It's irrational, because I kicked most junk takeaway years ago and every time I eat there I'm comparing it to my beautiful sour cream burger I pump out at lantanaland.

So- no more HJ this year.

But I'm starving about 3pm as I start back down the coast to my fuel bill and I start dreaming about herbs. Not the herbs you traditionaly grow around Beenleigh in 10 acres of lantana, but kitchen herbs. I grow now chives, parsley, basil, horseradish, coriander, rosemary, bay, lavender, thyme, oregano, chilli and lemongrass. I'd like to grow and make part of my everyday cooking chervil, tarragon, dill, sage, juniper and sorrel. I'm thinking I might get another old wheelbarrow so I can move it around the garden for variable sun. Whatever I do, now is the time to start, I'm off to www.edenseeds.com.au

Oh and if anyone has good cucumber recipes, pass them along, I'm swimming in them.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Monday, January 19, 2009

Clone high

Flinty writing about the cult comic "the tick" got me thinking how much I love the net for ferreting out this sort of stuff.

It's not like you can wait for channel 9 to put this sort of stuff on, as far as I know even foxtel shunned a little gem called clone high. It was a modern day high school with cloned historical figures, Cleopatra, JFK, Ghandi, Joan of Arc. Absolute genius and of course it was cancelled after one season.

Another gem I've just discovered is Robot Chicken. The star wars parodys are just pure gold and someone like the abc should be picking it up for a short break between spicks and specks and the gruen transfer. Unfortunately it's American so there is little chance of that......

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Friday, January 16, 2009

Welcome home

Hear that?
Ahhh that's the sound of me coming home to lantanaland after a week on the road. 2000km in a week. The peace hit me like a wall. Being able to kiss The Wife, cooking in my own kitchen, seeing the Chooks and the ducks and the guinaefowl.
Pure bliss.

Hear that?
ARRGH fuck!!
That's the sound I made when a young fox woke me up at 3am, eating my guineafowl chicks. It only got 3 out of 8, by luck.
That's the sound I made at 4am when it got into the duck pen and chased my ducks around and I spend an hour patching the pen.

Welcome home beeso.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Worms or Golf

I've been out worming and fishing today in weather that, had I a few more days here at The Island, I would be nothing bit playing cards and drinking tea.

However I have a grand total of a day and a half here so I'm not going to waste it sitting around. The funny thing is I loved it, the waves and the beach, the driving 20 knot wind that turned the rain into whole body acupunture.

For those who haven't been worming it's a lot like golf. You need a great deal of patience, a degree of technical skill, but once you can get the feel for them you can feel like Tiger Woods. It's a lot more fun than golf.

You can say what you like about tropical QLD but I was out in the wind and rain in footy shorts and a shirt. Gotta love it.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reboot the Beeso

My parents have a little fibro shack off the coast of central Queensland. I'm not talking the whitsundays here it's a basic open room, but it has a kitchen and a bathroom. It's what it represents - pure karmic peace.

The Island is the one place that I go to that I'm instantly relaxed. Because it's not a postcard perfect bit of coast, it's not that crowded. It's a holiday village of about 150 houses, with about 10 permanant residences. But I know how to read the tides and where to get bait and catch fish. There is nothing better than fresh whiting for breakfast. I love the fact that I can be on 5km on a beach and feel crowded by someone at the other end walking their dog ( The first time I went to Byron bay the beach really freaked me out - so many people! ).

The funny thing was as a kid I hated it, there was no real mates my age and I didn't really like fishing. As I got into my teenage years I liked it more and once I moved to Brisbane I developed a real soul longing for it, especially the little things like the empty beach and the deep black and silence when the neighbours generator went off at 10 pm. So every year I treked back to Gladstone for a recentering, if you like, a karmic enema. Except last year. Last year I spent the week on lantanaland, doing a bit of work, but mainly doing that bit of recentering. Lantanaland is not yet The Island, but I feel it will be one day, it has that same sense of peace, of an island in a storm. My guests know it, two of my great friends spend half their time here napping in various bits of lantanaland.

Despite having my own bit of that peace, I'm still excited that this weekend i'm getting two unexpected days on The Island, expect a very chilled out beeso come Monday.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Monday, January 5, 2009

New arrivals

Got a pleasant surprise when I got home today. My guineafowl eggs which I bought and had posted to me have hatched and at first glance I have had a better than 50% strike rate.

That's a pretty good strike rate and I'm keen to use more fertile eggs because I've lost a few good chooks and ducks this year to various foxes and snakes. This way I have a bit more margin for attrition. It also utilizes my silkies, they are great mums, but pretty useless as egg layers.

Guineafowl are great permaculture birds, they'll have a crack at a snake, will forage for insects and love eating ticks, which lantanaland can provide by the bucket.

So all in all I'm excited by their arrival.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gotta love technology

When I first started this blogging caper on Jspace I bought this app for my iPhone that let me write posts offline and post them once I got back to a wifi. Very handy for waiting in the car or train or suchlike. Only problem was that it didn't work with Jspace, which was a shame.

But now that I'm shopping around for where i'll park lantanaland, I've discovered my app will post to all my blogs at the same time! Sweet as!

Now I just have to set them all up.

-- Post From My iPhone

back to lantanaland

We are back home in lantanaland after a week visiting friends in mackay and hervey bay. It was great fun, playing with the baby, playing golf on the Wii, mowing lawns, kayaking at Hbay. Even travelling with an eleven week old was surprisingly easy, early starts, but I am up before 5am every day anyway, so no biggie.

The closer we got to home though, the more I could feel the pull of lantanaland. We've only been here a bit over a year, but I feel a real connection to this little patch of land. I've made a lot of changes in that time, mostly small, but enough that I feel like a bit of my soul has seeped into the soil.

The next big change might me coming soon. A bloke has seen my ad offering a year of agistment in return for my boundary fences being fixed up. This is great deal for me as I can't afford the fencing myself and I get a bit of grass to manure transfer for free. With every change it becomes ours more and more.


The Wife and I have been up in mackay visiting one of my oldest mates. Him and the missus have a new 11 week old baby. It's really interesting having no experience of young kids, observing the different living pattern. It's been a great time, mainly because he's an awesome kid and that he's fine to be passed around. He's not cuddle discramatory, if you give him one he's a happy boy.

After a mad week pre Xmas it's been good just to chill out, the most stressful thing I've done is a spot of mowing on pauly's huge ride on, which can turn on a 20c piece. Awesome.