We Are Geeks Therefore We Shall Google Maybe

Let me tell you. I am in a bit of a quandary.
(Hind sight insert) Oh, and let me also warn you of the plethora of photos at the end of this post.

We have our Bamboo. We have lots of it, and we’ve been experimenting with things. In particular, we’ve created an instrument for one of our daughters. I even lashed out for a saw. A Hacksaw to cut the bamboo easier.
Now, let me lead you to the reason for titling this post as I have.
Both Tina and I are Interweb Geeks. We both know how to effectively use a search engine. Crickey! I’ve been using search engines since before Google was born. I can clearly remember when Google really WAS your friend. Ad free and promising not to cache your searches.
Anyway, getting back to Bamboo for a bit. I bought the hacksaw. It was cheap. I even bought an 18 tooth blade to go with the 24 tooth that came with it.
WARNING. A TRIVIAL TECH TALK FOLLOWS:
Hacksaw blades over here are measured in teeth per 25mm. Which is about the same as teeth per inch. I reasoned that a slightly ‘rougher’ blade might work better. Why? Because both The Legend of the North and his cohort in Legendarianism, ‘The Lad’, had suggested that I just buy a ‘proper’ saw. They warned me that a hacksaw would take ages to cut through the thick stuff. But, I bought a hacksaw. And it works well. For the thin stuff. Of course, to successfully cut bamboo, you need to cut slightly into the opposite side of the tube from where you make your main cut. It’s like ply or laminate sort of. Even though bamboo is round, it has a waste side that can rip and fray as you cut through the bark. To prevent it, make a saw cut on the opposite side of the tube first.
Why haven’t we Googled this stuff yet? I mean I’m a sceptic. I was taught many stories and skills over the years, but always got second opinions. The Internet was my encyclopedia once I learnt how to use it properly. But I didn’t. I relied on my skills. Stuff that has been festering in the far corners of my brain. Just waiting for a chance to have conscious fame for 15 second. But. I was wrong on the saw in part.
So, let me advise you now. A hacksaw is perfect for bamboo up to 30 to 40 mm in diameter. After that, I recommend a good quality, sharp wood saw, with wide teeth. Of course I need to Google that to confirm, but that’s what I reckon 😉 But then, The Legend of the North and The Lad did warn me.
END TECH TALK

So. I am creating a couple of instruments for one of our kids. I had  a ‘Moment’ earlier this week. Just for fun I made this thing. I can’t tell you what it is lest the daughter read this post. But she’s clever. She’ll work it out anyway.
I made this thing for fun. It didn’t work. So I experimented with a little fire to harden things up. Now, I can barely play a Blues Harp, let alone a guitar. But Tina is not only artistic, but musical too. So she tested my prototype. It made *music*.
I have rarely had moments in my life where something I’ve created by hand has reduced me to tears. But when this ‘piece of wood’ was coaxed into making a sound, I cried.
I know it sounds trivial. But one of those other special things that were partially created by my hand (and made me cry) will be the recipient of this gift. And I know that she will be able to create music (if she wishes to) from what I’m creating.
It’s trippy. We’ve created three working instruments based on Tinas knowledge, my woodwork and a little mathematics to tune them. We’re learning to tune bamboo wind chimes by listeming to the prototypes we’ve made already.
It’s weird. I’ve thought about Googling for ideas. Especially when it comes to tuning wind chimes. But I know the basics of tuning. You know. Length. Diameter. Where the striker hits the chime. So I’ve just played. And I’m proud to say say some of my chimes just sing. Others need minor mods and they’ll sing too. It’s like Tinas shell mobiles. Some are designed to move in the wind silently. Others are made to connect, make contact and sing as well. The delicate sound of shells kissing is almost like sea, but far gentler.
Googling is good. But remembering stuff you’d forgotten you knew is a far richer experience.
We are sooo happy 🙂

Random pics follow, including one of the HMB Endeavour replica moored at the leads to Cooktown harbour. She was to deep drafted to navigate the channel into the wharf. She also left a day early, due to the 20 knot South Easters blowing strsight into her bow out there. Apperently the crew had a reall rough night on Friday. The decision was made to depart Saturday morning, rather than Sunday. I don’t blame them either. A 2 metre swell would be rough on that old coal carter, let alone having to cater to the wind. Oh, and we scored a tree ripened Red Paw Paw from the markets. We’re going to sprout the seeds. The ONLY way to eat Paw Paw (Papaya) is tree ripened. Otherwise they just taste bitter and you have to add sugar or honey to re-sweeten it. The best standard Paw Paws I ever ate were grown at ‘Top Garden’ in Cedar Bay in the  early Eighties. The trees were on average five metres tall, with large, bulbous fruit. We didn’t have a problem with flying fox. They may have claimed one or two per tree. The rest were ours, picked yellow with a net on the end of a pole. The sweetest things you’ve ever tasted.
If you have an idea, or a link to something unique bamboo wise, or even some advice we could use, comment or tweet us @UnclechilliMan or @OneGreenBusy

Now, enjoy the pics.

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A Short Tour of Charlotte Street Cooktown

Please forgive us for not placing photos in with the text of this post. If you know how hard it is to construct a blog post on a mobile phone, you’ll understand why we don’t. 🙂

Today we bring you a short, incomplete photo tour of Cooktown. We’ll start at the park full of tourist oriented stuff. It’s pretty interesting down that way. 40 000 years of history in a relatively small space. Next, we’ll take a stroll along part of Charlotte Street, now considered the main street of Cooktown. Finally we will have a photo of our mighty metropolis’ main supermarket.

The first photo is the Musical Ship with Captain Cooks monument in the background. The ship was constructed in 2007 by The Queensland Music Festival http://qmf.org.au/content/about-us/ and contains a multitude of percussive instruments for all to play and enjoy.

The next pic is the Cooktown slipway. It has been there forever and is used by locals and others to do hull maintenance on their boats. It’s old, but it works well.

Across the road is the local Cop Shop. Next to that (hidden by the trees) is the Courthouse. The building in the distance is the Seaview motel. The Seaview street side rooms have some of the best sunset views across the Endeavour River.

Next up is the statue of Captain James Cook. This statue was sculpted by Stanley Hammond and donated to the Cooktown community by BP Australia in 1988. The next photo is one of the many cairns around Cooktown. This one marks the spot where Capt. Cook beached the ‘Endeavour’ after holing it on the reef South of here. He spent about two months hanging around while his crew repaired the ship. They were the first British tourists to land here.

The next four photos are of Captain Cooks monument. This edifice was constructed in 1887 by a Brisbane company whose name I can’t recall. It’s on the monument base but I didn’t take a pic. On each of the four sides are drinking fountains shaped in the form of kangaroo and koala heads. I like the dog drinking bowls at the base of the fountains.

The next photo is of the milbi (story) wall. This was designed and constructed by local Bama people as a reconciliation project and was sponsored by the Cook Shire Council. This is a must see when you come to Cooktown. The stories on the wall tell of the history and tribulations of the Traditional Owners of this land. Check this site for more info: http://www.jeffress.net/jamworks/celebration/milbi.html

Next up is a tile from the River Of Life walk. A winding path through the park tells the story of the Endeavour River from many perspectives. This tile tells us of the foods available during the year around this area.

The cannon. Back in 1885 there was some paranoia about a Russian invasion. The Council sent a wire to Brisbane requesting armaments to defend town and country against said invasion. The Government sent them this cannon (made in 1803 in Scotland), 3 cannon balls, 2 rifles and 1 soldier!

The next pic is of the plaque marking the start of the National Horse Trail. The trail starts in Cooktown and continues down the coast, ending at Healesville in Victoria, 70 odd kilometres North of Melbourne. The trail is 5330 kilometres long and is the longest of its type in the world http://www.nationaltrail.com.au/ The trail is only for non motorised transport.

The next pic shows the National Trail cairn with the horse hitching post, plus the cairn in the background commemorating Edmund Kennedy’s exploration. I told you Cooktown has lots of cairns!

Now we’ll stroll further up Charlotte Street.

The first is a view South along the street. Today was a busy day as you can see by the traffic. For tbe curious, the first shop on tbe left is The Lure Shop. On the right is the bowls club.
Next is looking back to the Lure Shop and the RSL museum.
Then we have a water fountain. You’ll find these Furphy made drinking fountains all over town. In keeping with tradition, dogs are also catered for with the bowl at the base.

Next is a shot of the ‘new’ Post Office. I think it was built in 1888 to replace the  ‘old’ one that still stands next door and is the oldest European type building in Cooktown.

Then we have a view North along Charlotte Street. The monument on the left was built around 1886 in rememberance of Mrs Watson, whose husband ignorantly built his house on sacred Aboriginal land on Lizard Island. The Owners of the land attacked her and her Chinese servants. She, her baby and an injured servant escaped the island in a beche de mer boiling vat but sadly died of thirst on another island. Search her name for the full story.

Next up is a view of the Sovereign Resort Hotel and one of the old bank buildings. Most of these buildings were constructed in the early 1880’s when Cooktown was thriving on the back of the Palmer River Gold rush.

Next is Seagrens, then the National Bank building.
Now we get modern for a bit. If you need tyres or some mechanical work, this is the place to look for.
Following that we have The West Coast, or Commercial Hotel. The oldest standing pub in Cooktown.
Then we have The Top Pub. It has had number of names including The Cooktown.

Last but not least is our Supermarket. Yes. We have one. It’s a Cornett’s IGA. Not the biggest one around mind you, but big enough for us.
Cornetts started on Bribie Island years ago. I used to shop at their first Bribie store in the mid eighties. Just thought you’d like to know 🙂 .

Now, I have to tell you about the three pubs in a local sense. Over the years they’ve kind of changed personas. All three have variously been the locals, the fisherman/miners or the ‘tourists’ pubs. Right now the West Coast and the Top Pub are in a state of flux. Both are kind of local and kind of fisho pubs. The Sovereign is a tourist pub but sells good beers on tap. Not just the usual XXXX and Carlton. A lot of locals drink there too. I love all three. They all have their own character and all hold good memories for me from 30 odd years ago. Just thought you’d like to know that too 🙂

Anyway, I hopeyou enjoyed this short tour. I’ll take you around the back streets soon.
P.S. Please forgive any typos. It takes long enough to do this on a small screen keyboard, let alone spell-checking!

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