OK... time to get moving
So after 7 months, which included healing and investigation of technical equipment changes, we've selected the next walk: The Main Range Circuit down in the Australian Alps, with a couple day walks thrown in to make it interesting.
One of the recommendations from the medical experts was to minimise exertion as much as possible, so we've investigated and purchased:
- Aarn Packs that are meant to minimise the walking effort.
- Pacer Poles that are meant to maximise walking efficiency.
I'm still finalising the itinerary, but there are some big days with lots of ups and downs to look forward to, which means that we'll need to do some specific training so that we'll enjoy the walk.
Oh... the other thing that is really neat is that we'll be able to link up with our Wedding Anniversary and spend it at Yarrangobilly Cave's House after we finish the walk
I've been using SpiderOak to backup my documents for a long time now (nearly 4 years), and have blogged about my experiences a couple of times... but I've always thought the SpiderOak concept was awesome (Zero Knowledge for example), and the software just keeps working... but I've recently discovered that SpiderOak (the company) has amazing customer service as well.
It's not easy selling stuff and maintaining what you sell over a wide geographic area and customer base and keep customers happy. If it was easy Buffer (another favourite of mine) would not have to blog about it so often (for example). Buffer has built up their own almost cult following for happiness in their own ranks, using simple but effective methods. Buffer has its simple 10 Values, which I'm not sure if SpiderOak know or implement, but they seem to be doing them none-the-less.
The reason I'm being so positive is that I had an extremely positive encounter: I had reason to contact their Help Desk because of some issues with my account, and have been blown away with their timely (read: quick) and over-the-top (read: generous) response: clear and direct to my need.
It is encounters like this that forge a strong relationship (4 years with the same software is indicative of a good relationship I think ). Not everything is smooth sailing with SpiderOak (is it ever with any software?), but exemplary customer service is what smooths over the rough spots and makes me feel like a valued customer... and that's on top of great software!
If you don't know SpiderOak...
SpiderOak offers off-site, secure backups, with sync and private sharing. The SpiderOak application runs in the background, quietly sending your encrypted backups to your off-site storage.
This is what I love about SpiderOak... it just keeps working in the background and gives me a heap of assurance: plus I don't need to worry (too much) about privacy issues as even SpiderOak don't know what their storing for me!
We originally found Yacon over on Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery. Came with some great creds, so we thought we'd give it a go.
We bought three plants, that came in a pot and were planted out in our front garden in a not too fertalised position.
The plant is a relative of the Sunflower, at least its Daisy heritage is easy to spot:
Come harvest time, it was a simple matter of letting the tops die off and digging up the tubers:
Three buckets full, which weighed in at 19 kg from the three plants.
We saved the 'seed' tubers for planting next year (well, in a couple of months now).
We've been experimenting with different cooking, or not as the case may be (they're great raw as well). But they cook nicely, retain their crispness and mix with lots of different flavours: Strawberry was the most recent hit But they're great in mixed vegetables as well (like stir-fries).
The other thing that's impressive is the harvest time: winter fits nicely when our garden is often a little bare, so it fills a good gap.
They say they get sweeter as they age, so we're anxiously waiting to see if that happens. Currently the flavour is pretty subtle (if you didn't like it you'd probably say bland).
Young eyes look into my soul
through a lens, off the paper
from a previous century, just yesterday
Fifty years and nothing's changed
except you're here, I'm there still
our own lifetime, filling yet
I know that look from long ago
the soul that's here, growing still
from there to here and here, so near, to where?
A soul to walk with on life's paths
A soul to fly with, flutter-by the breeze
search our goal, chase our home
ride the wind, a turbulent grace
stretching out and finding us
falling in and finding Him
Sharing pain up tortuous hills
tormenting summits, promises fulfilled
joy landslides, in sublime surprises
my most dangerous storm
my safest harbour
my greatest adventure
and deepest peace
when I open my heart
when I open my arms
when I open my eyes
I know that look...
A soul to walk with...
A soul to fly with...
I've started working on a new piece, which has the working title of I Know Sandi. It's felt very good to get my teeth into something with a little bit of traction: since the recent medical hiccups life has felt a little discombobulated...
Not much to say yet, I'm still collecting bits and pieces... but it will be multimedia; somewhat like the wedding mosaics I did for Keren & Danni and Nat & Mon... though with a stronger animation component.
ps: It's a secret — don't tell Sandi
Oh, that reminds me... if you have some photos of Sandi that you wouldn't mind me using you could email them to me.
Jesse's been working hard on getting the plans ready for a Preliminary DA meeting with Council. Some aspects have not been particularly easy, fitting the dwellings in and around the site restrictions (but I guess that's a design challenge :) ).
Here is the Preliminary Perspective taken from the Highway.
Well, instead of stepping out on Six Foot Track walking to Jenolan Caves and back for our 6th week of training... I was taking Sandi down to Emergency at Nepean Hospital.
After our wonderful wet walk over Mt Solitary Sandi developed pain in her shoulder and then neck that got worse through the week until Saturday morning after a sleepless night when I pulled the plug.
Nepean admitted her to the Neurological ward as some oddities showed up on the CT and MRI scans, and it seems that a previously undiscovered haemangioma had bled (though they weren't sure).
This poem was written over the days that Sandi was in hospital.
We'd actually purchased The Packas about 10 months previously, but up to this weekend had only used them as pillows: they are good pillows, but not really why we bought them The previous 4 weeks of training was in hot and dry conditions, this weekend was humid and drizzly with showers and storms — perfect really
After 4 weeks of feeling like we were dying of thirst, it was an amazing experience to spend 3 days walking in the rain. One of the enduring images of the last four weeks is the one from last week where Sandi collapsed on a rock 'table' on the track (looked uncannilly sacrificial): it was another hot day in another hot weekend (probably in excess of 38°C )
This weekend's walk (an easy 33km over 2½ days: Google Earth track) started with drizzle, then a shower... more drizzle and a thunder storm... more drizzle then a patch of blue sky before being enveloped in cloud. What a privilege it is to walk in the rain!