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Pumpkin soap for my patient

2:07 am Filed under: General


Brought Zett home today after the successful removal of an acoustic nuroma in her right ear on friday.
The doctor says that she is recovering better than most, though I suspect a large part of that is Zett putting on brave face to get out of hospital. I can’t blame her though, hospitals are shitty places.
There’ll be no more brave faces though, she’s in my care now and there’s no way I’m letting her do anything for the next 4 weeks.

Blood Moon

8:04 pm Filed under: General

Blood Moon

Last night we had a lunar eclipse, my trusty 300mm lens captured it surprisingly well.

Last Year’s Kilimanjaro Trip

9:12 pm Filed under: General


Finally got our Kili journal transcribed with some pictures up on the blog.

I also found a couple of Swahili words we learned and their meaning. 

Hakuna-ma-ta-ta: No worries mate, cobba, bloke!

Jambo: G’day mate.

Mambo: How are you?

Poa: Good thanks.


5:58 pm Filed under: General

This weekend’s move went pretty well, sure we had to pull the massive couch up 3 stories on the outside with ropes because it wouldn’t fit through the door and the slate/concrete/hardwood cabinet almost killed us getting up the stairs… but all in all it wasn’t too bad.

I must admit she is a little full though, I didn’t think we had much stuff. But when we moved into the house we didn’t have a baby… now I’m starting to think our house in Corowa might not be big enough for long.

Max Helping Thomas With The New Mower

5:36 pm Filed under: General

Mowing with Thomas

I’ve had an awesome couple of days catching up with Max after 3 weeks back in Corowa for work. It’s amazing how much he has changed in that time, he’s his own man now, ordering you around and cracking the shits if you’re not doing what he wants.

Fortunately he’s balanced out all this new attitude with some extra affection, he now gives great hugs with a little pat on the back with his little hands.

He had a great time helping Thomas do the lawns yesterday.

This Blog Needs An Enema!

6:28 am Filed under: General

stainless_steel_enema_kitShe’s backed up with heaps of trips from last year, so Zett and I have bitten the bullet and got our arses into gear, get ready for the PURGE!

We’ve back dated most of them so non RSS readers will miss them if we don’t put a new post pointer to the new old stuff (I presume the RSS feed will pick up new old posts… not sure).

We’ll start it off with the last two posts from our big Botswana trip from last year…. Victoria Falls and the awesome elephant spot at Elephant Sands.


Dirchie Kart Up On XBox Live

4:44 pm Filed under: General

xboxboxart Some time in the wee hours of this morning Dirchie Kart received the last few community votes it needed to pass peer review and went live on the XBox Live Indie Game Marketplace.

This milestone is not signifies the completion the project and a lot of hard work, but also ticks off another personal goal.

Back when I finished Rhys Quest/Dispell I set myself the goal of getting a game published up on the XBox, at the time XNA was only a rumour so I had no idea how I might achieve that goal. Fortunately for me the tools available to me and our direction at work coincided with Microsoft’s direction with XNA and it all came together.

The big question now is where to go from here?

Kilimanjaro – Day 4 Barafu (4600m), Summit & Day 5 Mweka (3100m)

6:42 pm Filed under: General

From Karanga to Barafu is only a few hours of easy walking, more dusty winding trails rather than climbing over rocks.  We were supposed to sleep away the afternoon in preparation for our 10pm start for the summit attempt, but at 4,600 meters there’s no way I could sleep.

We tried to play head to head Tetris on our DS’s but I couldn’t think so Zett wiped the floor with me (we’re usually quite evenly matched), so we sort of just layed there snoozing and tripping till it was time to eat, then layed there again till it was time to go.

Mt Kilimanjaro Visible evidence of the difference in air pressure, we bought these in Pretoria

The first part of the summit climb is a pretty steep and loose gravel path, I see now why you need gators, your feet sink quite a ways into the gravel and would fill your boots without them. It felt like you only get 60% worth of each step, so it was pretty slow going.

At around 4,800m Eloise really started to struggle, she was a real trooper though, she’d struggled every day since the second day and was still pushing herself. At this point though she needed some help, so William started helping her along.

It was freezing up there in the middle of the night, you had to balance out what you wore so you didn’t sweat while you were walking.  It was really uncomfortable to stop for more that a minute, so Zett and I took good old reliable Oswald and went ahead at a nice steady pace. We only met back up with Kiwi and Eloise up on the summit itself.

At one point I heard a loud crack, as if a rock had hit me in the head light, this small thing highlighted how screwed up everyone’s head space was. I ask everyone if they heard it and all I got back was weird stares, and confused looks, it was as if everyone was stoned out of there minds and in there own little world. 

I only found out once we were back a the hotel that it was one of the batteries in my headlight exploded from the cold and altitude, lucky for me it didn’t stop it working.

Mt Kilimanjaro summit at dawn Mt Kilimanjaro summit at dawn

The really tough gravel part finishes at Stella Point, from here the trail flattens out to nice hard pack trails. Here we rested for a little bit, had a little food and got cold, Ozzy said “Only 200m to go” after an hour or so we realised he meant 200m vertical assent not of trail left to walk.

I struggled my arse off on this last bit, it seemed so stupid to find it so hard to walk up such a flat easy trail, but I couldn’t get enough air in. It was around -20 degrees at this point, just on dawn, if you pant too much the freezing air actually hurts your lungs so you’re stuck in nasty catch 22.

Mt Kilimanjaro summit Mt Kilimanjaro summit

The summit was surprisingly not too crowded, once we stopped for a minute we realised why… It was f’n freezing!!

Even with your fleece glove inners on, your hands instantly froze up when you took them out of your pockets, trying to take a photo was a real task. We were only there for a few minutes when Kiwi turned up, in pretty good shape also. To our suprise a few moments later we saw Eloise plodding up the trail, porter under each arm head slumped down.. but still walking!

A massive effort, but we still had to walk all the way down,.. I had a cracking head ache and was feeling quite nauseous as this point (as well as still tripping balls), Killian said the only way to feel better is to get lower so we headed back down.

Mt Kilimanjaro Mt Kilimanjaro

Now that the sun was up things started to warm up quite quickly and we could see what we had been walking up all night. Not unlike what I imagine the surface of the moon would be like, grey gravely sand and rocks as far a the eye could see. We developed a weird half skiing style to get down the loose sand and gravel trails.

I felt like I was remotely controlling my body from a control room behind my eyes, like I said before I’d been tripping since before we headed off, now that I was really exhausted it was worse.  I didn’t start to get my senses back till after our much needed 2 hour power nap back at Barafu camp.

We still had to drag our sore and tired legs all the way down to Mweka camp before we could really rest, everyone slept REALLY well that night.

 Mt Kilimanjaro Mt Kilimanjaro

The last day was a really nice gradual trail through some beautiful forest, and it was done.

 Pota Shitta, the porters lugged this around for us the whole time Mweka Camp, with the whole crew The path down Porters having a much needed wash

Kilimanjaro – Getting There & Around Moshi

3:32 am Filed under: General

The following is transcribed from the journal I wrote while we were traveling, the detail thins out a bit after we actually start climbing because the altitude effects my brain making writing almost impossible.

Our trip here was pretty uneventful, even the transfer through stinky Nairobi airport went quickly and without incident.  Our bags all arrived with us in Kilimanjaro airport and the hotel was just an hours mini bus ride through to Moshi.

The next day we spent stooging around the hotel, broken up with a quick look around Moshi, which was surprisingly not very touristy but very African. Basically a general shit fight everywhere with every second shop the identical crappy little general store, fabric shop or electronic goods store all surrounded by a constant swarm of clapped out push bikes, motor bikes and cars.

Mt Kilimanjaro From the Plane Utility Tuk-tuk At least he's safe Moshi Markets Moshi Main Street Masai Vendors BananasPorters waiting around for a trip Mt Kilimanjaro from our hotel

One entertaining thing we saw were these bikes converted into machete knife-sharpeners, where they have a grinding wheel running off the back wheel. So the operator mounts and peddles the bike backward and grinds away.

By the end of the day we were a bit over all the waiting around, at 5PM we had a hike briefing and met our guide Killian. He seems to be a nice jovial kind of guy, with plenty of interesting stories about different parties he’s taken up the mountain.

Apparently he took the crew up to film the Kilimanjaro IMax movie.

2:51 pm Filed under: General

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