TARDIS door furniture

I thought that I might get the door furniture installed and the LED light strips also. I’d ordered 25 white LED strips from Jaycar a couple of months previous and had received them by courier (living out in the sticks, a surprising number of companies refuse to deliver to Post Office Boxes).

So opening the package, I discovered that I was short sent. B*m. A quick call to the good people at Jaycar and the balance is due to be sent out to me. meanwhile, I used the spare time to have a further contemplate about how exactly I was going to attach the strips to the insides of the windows. I decided to use the unexpected extra time to make a number of slats to brad to the inside of the frames thus allowing the strips to be mounted 90 degrees to the glass panes.

I used the balance of the afternoon to start on the door lock. Surprisingly, I discovered very affordable Yale locks ($20!) at Bunnings. Running out of time, I discovered that I needed a shim because the door timber I used was about half the width of a typical door. Next week’s problem.

TARDIS windows installed

It’s taken a heap of fiddly work: creating a jig to make identical slats, sourcing & cutting identical slats, sanding to finish, routing half-laps for fitting, discovering I’d used the reverse face instead of the ‘beauty’ face, nailing, gluing, sanding (again), painting (repeat x3+), and fitting the glass panes.

But it’s done!

A few of the frames were a tad snug requiring the Graham Garden “Just one small delicate finishing touch” of a belting into place with a spare two-by-four. And I’ve discovered a few gaps in the frame which is not surprising as I’d rough routered the sandwiched layers two years ago now and (at the time) crossed my fingers. So a small amount of remedial puttying and possibly a bit of extra timber filling to block out stray light from the inside.

I’ve sourced some LED strips from Jaycar for the windows (ala Ecclestone’s TARDIS) and  signboxes and found some white LED Christmas bud lights which I’ll use for the roof light.

Sculpture by the Sea

Capping of an unexpectedly longer than anticipated trip to Sydney, I’d caught up with Aunty Cindy who’s recently enthusiastically embraced a Nikon D7000. She’d organised to meet up with some friends who do night photography with longer exposures, and playing with the effects of light.

Barbarically, this meant a 4am start after celebrating grandad’s 89th the previous night but I thought: “what the heck”. I could always sleep on the plane (which indeed I did – I was snoring before the safety announcements).

Circular Quay

What can you say or shoot about Sydney that isn’t a cliche? Harbour views. Meh. Harbour Bridge. Meh. Ferry ride. Meh. Opera House. Meh. Centrepoint tower. Meh.

Still, it is all spectacular, not the least bit for the fact that people are expected to be tourists and are less suspicious with photography. The challenge I found was to shoot different aspects and angles, a few of which I’ve included. I especially like angles of ‘the coathanger’ which play tricks with your mind in 2 dimensions.

I do always find bare Windows desktops in public places (which I assume should be actually doing something other than displaying a desktop and tasktray notification) amusing…

Sydney Harbour Bridge

I took a Ferry ride from Cockatoo Island back to Circular Quay via the scenic (and probably spectacularly expensive harbour-side properties) route. I happened upon a spare seat at the front which gave me the opportunity for some snaps, although I was slightly timid partly for the signage that claimed no liability for wet gear or passengers, but mostly for the liklihood of going in the drink when concentrating on some shot or other.

As it happened, the forecourt of the Opera House that wasn’t being dug up for renovations, held a display of the Sony World Photography Awards. A number of which (the movement ones in particular) I liked, but like the art heathen I am I failed to appreciate others.


Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour has come such a long way from what I remembered of it in the late 80s. That pink shopping centre chic on one side and the aquarium way over on the otherside are almost lost in the vibrancy of buzz going on. I remember grandma at the aquarium (way back when) going to each of the exhibits in turn saying (in Chinese): “that one’s nice, that one’s nice, that one’s delicious, that one’s nice…”

A ferry terminal from which to do a round trip to Circular Quay via Cockatoo Island, and more restaurants and cafes than you can poke a bread stick at, my favourite discovery was a gelateria next to Imax which served black sesame gelato. Not quite as nice as the ones we had in Kyoto, but still very yummy.

A walk all the way dorn Sussex Street to Chinatown to find some dinner, I was disappointed at the vibe of the street and mall offerings, so ended up going up into a food court and getting some Japanese from there. Which was all the more disappointing for its gooey tofu and half cooked gummy over garliced gyoza. From another stall I’d hoped for a bubblecup but got an oversweet lychee tea with stodgy pearls in it. Good thing I had a kilometre to walk the experience off.

Sydney CBD

Having finished my meetings for the day, I decided to get some air so grabbed the camera & went for a bit of a stroll. The Four Points Sheraton at Darling Harbour (which does an absolutely gorgeous seafood buffet) was a pretty location, but all the moreso as the room I had faced a multistoried carpark and traffic as opposed to the (soon discovered) Darling Harbour itself.

I discovered from one of the local attendees that a Banksy and others exhibition was being held at Cockatoo Island, so thought I’d do a recce do find where and when to catch a ferry. First stop, I zigged instead of zagged and ended up in Sydney’s CBD so took the opportunity to have a look around. It was only upon reviewing the pics that Anna pointed out they were a bit Jeffrey Smart…

Geelong photoshoot

A meeting of diaries finally coincided that I could catch my good mate Kev, and have a bit of fun with his new D5100. It has an amazingly fast and responsive focus typical of most modern DSLRs. We played with a variety of lenses, from the stock 18-55mm to my 18-200mm workhorse, the 35mm f1.8 and the 85mm micro. I used both of my D300s and D70 bodies, but had completely forgotten that I’d whacked the D70’s ISO setting to its maximum of 1600 which gave a very noisy/grainy finish to all of my day’s shots. An easy enough beginner’s mistake… The D5100 like the D300s laugh at an ISO of 1600, but I was trying to make the old D70 feel not too unloved.

Final interior coat

A second interior top coat which I’d decided to apply by roller. I’d made maybe 5 minutes progress starting with the ceiling then planned to work around and then down. At this stage I had the paint roller tray in my left hand, standing on a saw horse with the roller in my right hand looking upwards. The natural poisition of the left hand tends to follow the angle of the rest of the body, so I soon discovered that I’d covered myself with white acrylic!

After an hour’s worth of this, I decided that a brush might be the better option, so ended up again at Bunnies with credit card in hand. I purchased a premium ‘rat tail’ 75mm wide synthetic brush which gave a very satisfactory finish. I’ve now finished the interior as much as I’d wanted to, and yet the artiste inside my head keeps whispering “one more coat”. At this stage, I’ll ignore the inner voice as I’ll miss the whole of next week for meetings.

Before finishing up, I couldn’t help myself but to dry fit one of the window frames.


Glass panes attached

Amazing what you can accomplish when you’re under the gun. I was hopind to set aside a few hours to silicone in the glass panes, lovingly placing each piece with care & precision…

As it happened, I just ran out of time (insert ironic music here), and so ended up with about 35  minutes to glue in 6 panes for 8 windows. Let’s see, that’s (using fingers and toes), less than one minute each. If it were prescriptions, I could fire them out that double that rate, but this? I guess my time starts now…