I do enjoy action photography although I find it quite difficult. We used to go regularly to the Australian Grand Prix when it was held in Adelaide and I took many photos there, most of them still not on the computer as this was in the days of film.
Between 2010 and 2017 I practiced my skill at capturing moving objects at cricket matches at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. I went to a lot of games in that time always striving for the perfect capture, when I wasn’t busy cheering for our team or groaning at some awful play that is. The photography part was always fun even if we lost. Here are a variety of shots from those years.
I was quite pleased to see that today’s prompt was about birds as I already had a draft on the subject. So here, as they say, is one I prepared earlier.
I’ve often mentioned how much I enjoy the birds that visit my garden. I think that I’m quite lucky that as I live in the country we get a wide variety of birds although not all of them visit me. Some prefer the tall gum trees of adjacent properties and some I spot just flying past. I am always trying to photograph them but rarely succeed. Here are a few of my attempts.
Of the garden visitors of course the most common are the sparrows, starlings, swallows and honeyeaters. I have a soft spot for sparrows although some consider them vermin.
Less common visitors are the blue wrens and robins who only seem to be around in winter time. I have seen Zebra Finches too but I haven’t managed to photograph any of these small birds successfully. I have also had occasional visits from a pair of Green Rosella’s and once a flock of ducks but they had escaped from a neighbour’s garden so I can’t really count them I suppose.
The plover family dynasty has adopted the plot of land adjoining my driveway and I often see them looking for food there or flying around shrieking. They are quite vocal birds.
Out for a stroll with mum or dad.
Plover (Masked Lapwing)
Masked Lapwing, commonly knows as a plover. These are common in my area.
In the neighbourhood category the crows are the ones I hear most often. Their distinctive “Caw, caw” call is easy to pick. Surprisingly I don’t see or hear magpies nearby but we do have kookaburras. They prefer the taller gum trees or perhaps a power pole to perch on. I also hear seagulls as it is not far to Port Huon where there are plenty of fish and sometimes flocks of noisy Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. Sometimes I’ll even see an eagle flying overhead. They are too far away for me to say what kind they are.
I was a latecomer to coffee. I’m British. We drink tea. OK I know lots of Brits drink coffee but I came from a tea drinking family.
We used to use real tea leaves and brew a pot several times a day. We drank it at breakfast, lunch and dinner and various times outside meal times. If someone came over the first thing you did was to put the kettle on for a cup of tea. I actually still do this when Naomi comes over and so does she if I visit her.
Instant coffee was the only type I had ever tried and until I met David, it ran a poor second to tea . David didn’t drink coffee or tea when I met him. He never took to tea except for the short period we were on the Trans Siberian Express. Even David could not resist tea in a cup that looked like Sputnik. He would drink coffee though so that’s what we had, instant coffee.
I was the one that turned him into a coffee drinker. My bad.
Actually I remember the exact time and place where we first had percolated coffee. It was in 1990. Scotland, Fort William, there was a tourist information centre which had a cafe attached. We ordered coffee. The waitress brought us two cups and a plunger. It cost us a pound, or maybe a “poond”. We really liked it and when we returned home to Australia we bought a plunger ourselves.
A favourite coffee place of ours was in Adelaide’s Central Market. A cafe called “Charlies”. We used to go to the market either on Saturday mornings or after work on a Friday to buy our meat,fresh fruit, vegetables and ground coffee and afterwards we stopped to have a Cappuccino. Sometimes on weekdays if I wasn’t working I went there with my mum too and if David was at the market alone because I was working he’d stop in. The guys that ran the place got to know us by sight and we never needed to tell them what we wanted. If they were busy David would just indicate whether he wanted one or two coffees by holding up a finger or two.
Occasionally during that time we’d go to the city to meet up with some people we knew before going to someone’s house to watch Formula One motor racing on TV. On those occasions we sometimes went bowling first and then went to a cafe which I think was in Goodwood or Unley or some inner suburb for supper where we’d order Vienna coffees and cake. Good times.
Coffee still plays a part in my social life as I meet with friends once a week for coffee at a local cafe.
I do drink it at home too, sometimes tea, sometimes coffee depending on my mood. I still have a plunger, I have had several drip filter machines but they always seem to end up leaking all over the kitchen counter.
When I was a child in the sixties people used to say that in the 21st Century we would all have robot servants and we would eat little pills instead of food.
Thankfully the second part has not come to pass and we still have access to fresh tasty food. I don’t like swallowing tablets so I’d probably be anorexic by now if I had to eat a dish of pills at every meal.
Robots really have become part of our lives though and in some ways it seems that the science fiction writers got it right.
When I think of robots I can’t help but think of Isaac Asimov and his robot stories. David introduced me to his favourite SF writer when we first met and particularly to Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
In his later years Asimov played around with his laws a bit introducing a “Zeroth Law”. I also see there are many articles discussing whether these laws are possible or even ethical. I am not going there in this post. I am simply mentioning them.
The thrust of his idea was that humans were afraid of robots and the laws were there to make them feel safe. He actually wrote a lot about different ways that robots might develop because of this in his stories and some of it seems not far off the mark. U.S. Robots, the fictional robot manufacturer in the books turns to making small gadgets rather than humanoid robots because they are less intimidating.
As well as industrial robots which have been around for a long time we now have robots that help us around the home but don’t resemble us. Roomba for example. Nobody is scared of a little vacuum cleaner. You can put your cat on it and make a YouTube video. Outside there are pool cleaners and lawnmowers saving us tiresome chores. On the Ovation of the Seas we saw a robot bar. These are an adaption of the industrial robots that are used in manufacturing but they are cute.
Scientists are still working to create lifelike robots or androids but we are a long way from having a robot butler to take care of our every need. My guess is that it won’t happen in my lifetime although we may well see them in jobs in hospitality perhaps information booths but even this would be a bit of a gimmick as we’ve become used to dealing with automated, voice only services now. Would an AI receptionist be more popular or would we all become Luddites and want to destroy them as they took more jobs away or out of sheer frustration that they didn’t work properly?
Television and the movies have given us some positive role models for robots and androids. Robbie of course and the robot that was the best part of “Lost in Space”, terrible show, fun robot. R2D2 and C3Po are much loved if rather human in their behaviour and of course Star Trek Next Generation’s Data is probably the ideal of how we would like to interact with artificial intelligence. At least I hope so.
My favourite Asimov robot story was The Bicentennial Man and in it I think he was saying that we wouldn’t accept robots that were better than us but perhaps we should be more worried that they might be programmed to be just like the worst of us.