POEM: Dear Sun

Dear Sun,

I watched you raise your weary head
From the hills of Adelaide that were last night’s bed.

You rose up quickly, faster than expected,
Before 6.30am it was like you’d not even rested.

My camera caught your beauty,
your radiant explosion of orange,
You drew breath as you appeared as if a bride arriving for her marriage.

Mornings dew melted on grass around me, Flowers opened to grasp the first ray,
And garbage trucks rumbled along Kingscote Jetty,
a reminder that it is Wednesday.

Poem about these photos of this morning’s sun [08.Feb.2017] rising over the mainland as I sat at Kingscote Jetty:

Kingscote Jetty

Kingscote Jetty (First Sun)

IMG_8789

Kingscote Jetty

360° View of Kingscote, Kangaroo Island

I never expected standing in the middle of the road to shoot a video would make it so popular. Yet I am glad that I can, and that you like that I can! 

Not making sense? Here is the my early morning 360° video of the thriving metropolis of Kingscote on Kangaroo Island!

Because you all liked it so much, I will be shooting more like this at other locations over the next few weeks, both morning and evening!

Thanks for watching my videos. Take a moment to Like the video, subscribe to the channel, and tell all your friends! 

Life is getting better every day!

Capturing the Most Ferocious Animals in Australia 

For the last four years, pretty much since my first son was born, we’ve visited Cleland Wildlife Park every Saturday morning.

Whilst it’s been for the benefit our boys to (1) tire them out for a good night’s sleep that night so my wife and I can have a  peaceful evening, plus (2) to show them Australian wildlife up front and personal. Oh, there’s fences for the Tasmanian Devil, the Dingos, and the DropBears (Koalas), but the Ducks, Potoroos, Wallabies and Kangaroos can be patted easily. Just beware the Emu! 

I’ve taken my camera along nearly every time to catch the more ferocious animals in action or asleep.

Unfortunately tomorrow will be our last visit for quite some time. (My regular flat-white coffee will be gotten at Chocol’Art in Kingscote from hereon.)

At least I will have these memories to show our kids how much fun we had together… 

… and that we go again later this year! If not, we will be going to the many National Parks on Kangaroo Island as time permits. Watch out for more videos of me and my boys with wild animals around Australia!

First Visit to the Hope Cottage Museum

On Monday afternoon (30.Jan.2017) I decided to take my Canon EOSM with 22mm Lens with me on one of my daily exercise walks.

Originally I had intended to walk into Kingscote to get a coffee at Chocol’Art, but somehow I chose to go in the opposite direction: I went up the hill – and discovered the Hope Cottage Museum!

I had been told about the ‘Museum before, and you’d think that after visiting KI so many times over the last 20 years I would have visited already, but I had not yet.

So I readily paid my coffee-money (seriously, it costs so little) to step backwards in time to the yesteryear’s of Kangaroo Island.

Hope Cottage, built in 1859, is the restored home of Charles and Michael Calnan. The brothers, aided by a ship’s carpenter, built three small cottages from local stone. They were named Faith, Hope, and Charity. Unfortunately Faith has long since gone, but the National Trust have restored maintained Hope Cottage with the surrounding museum, along with the recreated Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. Charity Cottage, now a private residence, remains alongside.

Hope Cottage Museum is run by a team of volunteers. A dedicated group of people give of their time in various ways to maintain this fine museum. There is a group that cleans and maintains the indoor exhibits, and another group that cares for the outdoor and machinery exhibits.

More information on their website.

I am so glad I had my camera with me. Peruse my photography below:

On Flickr

Hope Cottage Museum

On Redbubble

Wheel Wall by Stephen Mitchell Wall of Wheels by Stephen Mitchell
Red Grill (Bedford Truck) by Stephen Mitchell Old Red (Bedford Truck) by Stephen Mitchell

I had a chat with a few volunteers at the Museum, and now am very glad for doing so. Seems they recognised my video from a few nights ago:

I am so going to love living on Kangaroo Island!

We Have Moved to Kangaroo Island

This time last year we made a BIG decision: To move our family to Kangaroo Island.

Explaining the benefits to each of our families actually didn’t take a lot, but there are a few who have not yet been there.

Yesterday morning I videoed some of my morning walk. Because of the tranquillity of Kingscote, it required very little editing before upload!

The resulting vlog shows one of the BEST reasons for our family relocation:

My morning walks will now be regular, particularly since I don’t have a 24/7 gym available. I had hoped for daily vlogs, but, well, kids.

4 Years Later…

This was originally written as a comment to If You Never Hear From Me Again by David Simmer II . But once I got started, it turned into the last short story about our blue insignificant planet.


4 Years Later…

Planet Earth is nearly barren, one very large dust-bowl. The only nuclear warheads not destroyed are half-sticking out of the earth waiting for the button to be pushed.

The sound ‘Trump‘ wafted on the breeze, the last sound made by every human on the planet right before they were all wiped from existence. Weeds retake the cities, one mound of melting tissue at a time.

Volcanic explosions continue to rack much of the planet, bellowing loudly, spewing molten rock down on the concrete, steel and glass junkyards below. Neon signs no longer flicker, all the power-plants have ceased.

In a small town named Salem (about 190 miles from Seattle) in Washington State, one man remained. The quadruple-story bunker built beneath his home for him and his cats somehow is resisting the movement of the earth’s crust as tectonic plates relentlessly drift. He opens yet another can of Spam, but this time he doesn’t let the cats get too close. They are now glowing from their last visit to the surface. Now he realizes what’s happened up top, so he ain’t going up there, no how, no way, no time soon.

The cats suddenly turn their heads to the sky and wail. The man feels something move around him … and a wall splits to his right.

[…]

When interstellar visitors first landed (okay, crashed) in the 1950’s, Earthlings seems smart, but had been avoided for the most part. Well, that isn’t true.

1980's Hand Held Electronic GamesOne teenage Moroff took a wizz in back-alley in Seattle, but somehow left his backpack before both him and his entourage departed. When they returned 12-parsecs (40 light-year) later to locate the backpack, it was 1990 and far too late. Every piece of technology within had been adapted and salvaged in Silicone Valley as ‘new technological advances’:

Literally consequently, the 1950’s gave birth to the following inventions, findings and developments: Diet Soda. Microwave Ovens. Automatic doors. Velcro. The Fender Guitar. Solar Cells. Tetracycline. Polyvinylidene Chloride. Neutrino’s are discovered and anti-Protons detected. Fortran. Modems. Laser. Integrated circuits. Stereophonic recordings. Atomic energy was used to create Electricity! Earth was coming of age.

So the Moroff and his motley crew time-jumped forward to the year 2016, peeped down at us … and left us all alone. For some reason the Moroff wanted to stay away from the White House. Something about knowing the current guy-in-office rather intimately. They weren’t coming back soon.

[…]

The last human had died, and very soon after a dozen cats ate their last meal before returning to the surface.

1000 Years On…

Earth was a good planet. It had so much potential, but it was now gone. Every Atari museum, every archeological dig, every great tshirt was gone. The buildings had finally succumbed and crumbled down to the floors of jungles entwined across the planet.

The mutated livestock had eaten themselves out of existence also. But the bugs were returning. The earth was going full cycle.

The only animal that seemed to survive were feline, ferocious, and running out of food.

5,000 Years On…

Nothing organic remains on the planet. Another ice-age had happened after a nuclear-powered submarine sunk deep below the north-pole. It initially imploded, but the force of air managed to reach the surface … and the cyclonic winds carried the dust down across many green lands, dropping onto unsuspecting whiskered creatures and vines traversing the hills and valleys.

20161112_115141The resulting mutant now survived on bug-lavae, ice-water and corralled bugs. The feline family were growing smarter, developing knees and thumbs out of necessity to find food … but that took a backward step for a while. Returned to a worm like back end, but still a teeth-filled mouth, it wailed louder than the winds as it sought new creatures with which to ‘connect’.

10,000 Years On…

The Moroff-starship dropped to the jungle unexpectedly. Their power-supply had depleted after attempting several times to enter the M-class Planet’s atmosphere. Cyclonic lightning storms filled the upper atmosphere. HoloComD calculations determined a way to use the lightning to keep their power-supply whilst they swung around the storm. The white streaks of electric light arced away from the storm, enabling their ship to direct-line to a specific spot on the planet’s surface successfully.

[…]

Backpack and rifle at hand, the Moroff stepped down into the bog.

“Farg. Still nothing here at all…” he muttered, stopping mid sentence as a tall beautiful feline stepped out from behind a tree and waggled one leg as she leaned hesitantly onto a tree. The Moroff stared transfixed … as another dozen felines stepped out from behind the trees, wielding primitive yet bloodied spears. White-eyed, they moved toward the Moroff, who was now petrified.

1 Parsec Later…

“So, you are the descendants of the infamous David Simmer II??”

“So it appears.”

“Farg. So Old Man Trump, that two-bit celebrity who couldn’t even use email, enabled this??”

“Who?”

“Good point. My great-great-grand… He has been dead for 16,003.26 years. Why the farg would we be still talking about that idiot?”

“Ok, why? …. Now, where is that spam you promised?”


Okay, okay, I took it a bit far. I actually let the story evolve out of nothing. This took me 90 minutes to ‘mutate’ from my fingers (read: to type) it. Hope it gives you a good laugh.

Leave Well Enough Alone

​This morning I posted a story on Facebook that I found buried on a friend’s timeline. I found it funny enough to republish on my timeline.

Cattle Guards

For those of you who have never traveled to the US South West, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways (sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing over that area. For some reason the cattle will not step on the “guards,” probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

A few months ago, President Obama received and was reading a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado.

The Colorado ranchers had protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, so he ordered the Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the “cattle” guards immediately!

Before the Secretary of the Interior could respond and presumably try to straighten President Obama out on the matter, Vice-President Joe Biden, intervened with a request that “before any ‘cattle’ guards were fired, they be given six months of retraining.”

“Times are hard,” said Joe Biden, “it’s only fair to the cattle guards and their families be given six months of retraining!”

Like most stories posted to the internet, someone checked on snopes.com to determine if it true or not. Turns out it is fake!

Actually, I have a word to say about snopes: They take their unofficial job way too seriously. 
Many stories were written, I presume, purely as humor, as anecdote to tell at a large gathering to break the ice or to amuse the dignatories. 

No doubt people retold them, each time changing details to suit their audience.
Not all stories are written based on truth.

I sometimes wish they could leave amusing anecdotes alone, as legends, and as humor worth repeating.

Some jokes should remain jokes, and not become a snopes investigation.

What are your thoughts?