When you’re a koala..

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Koala looking back through rose bush

take some time to smell the roses.

Yes, never a dull moment in our backyard. Not just lizard fights, but the odd koala passing through too. Not to mention Narelle had a baby brown snake trying to come in through the sliding door on Friday. It’s all happening!

Blue-tongue battle

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A bit of excitement in the Gardiner backyard this afternoon, when two blue-tongue lizards had a bit of a ‘rumble in the jungle’.

I assume it was a bit of a territory thing. I’d seen what I thought was one lizard sunning itself on our back steps, and noticed another one across the other side of our yard near our lemonade tree.

The latter one must have decided to go visiting because all of a sudden it was also near the steps and the first lizard wasn’t too happy about unexpected guests.

Two lizards facing off

Two lizards entangled while fighting

Two lizards tumbling down steps while fighting

After a bit of biting and hissing, the visitor made a quick getaway – but not before attracting the attention of our 3 bantam chooks (enjoying some ‘free run of the backyard’ time), who were most intrigued by the lizard and “escorted” it back across the back lawn to the garden near the lemonade tree.

Chooks look on as lizard runs away

The “steps” blue-tongue then retreated back to its spot, upon which we noticed that there was actually another lizard there too. This one must have been friendly as they both then slid behind a rock without any concerns being raised.

Blue-tongue lizard heading back to steps

Glad to say that our backyard has now returned to relative peace – that is unless you’re a worm or slater, in which case I think you’d be a bit stressed that the chooks are out to eat you Smile

4,500 kms later

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Last night we finished a two week driving holiday to the eastern states (Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland). It’s trips like this that make you realise how vast the continent of Australia is (and how nice it would be to be able to fly everywhere instead of driving!).

Map showing route from Adelaide to Brisbane and back again

It also reinforces my respect for those who choose to live and work in these remote regions.

Sunset on horizon

Highlights of the trip were the Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill,

Pioneer Village, Swan HillBlacksmith, Swan Hill

a paddle-steamer ride in Echuca,

Paddle steamer Canberra, EchucaEchuca WharfMurray River, Echuca

more driving,

Roadside forest, NSW

a few days in a Bed and Breakfast in Grafton, NSW,

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Some fun at Dreamworld in Queensland (yes, the kids are in there with me),

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more driving down through the Gold Coast (No, we’re not racing),

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Before heading back home again. Our final day was from Parkes, NSW back to Adelaide – at 1,000 kms the longest distance we did in a single day.

Sunset driving back to Adelaide

It is good to be home again. Needless to say, I’m glad I’ve got a couple more days to recover before I go back to work.

It isn’t the end of my travels though. I’m off again in a couple of weeks to visit RL Solution’s Toronto office for a week, before going to my first MVP Summit at Microsoft’s campus in Seattle.

I’m an MVP!

Friday, 2 October 2015

In the early hours of this morning I received an email from Microsoft:

Dear David Gardiner,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in ASP.NET/IIS technical communities during the past year.

It’s an award not for exceptional technical knowledge as such, but rather for “community leaders..sharing .. with others”. I’m thrilled to receive it, and hope it will help me to do even more for the developer community in the future.

Next up I’m hoping to attend the MVP Summit in Seattle in early November. It will be great to meet many of the other MVP award recipients in person (and hopefully line up some speakers for the Adelaide .NET User Group).

It’s going to be busy over the next few weeks getting ready!

Automated ATO scam phone calls

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Yesterday and today I received some unusual calls on my mobile phone. They were both using computerised voices and claimed to be related to some legal action related to the “ATO” (presumably the Australian Tax Office). Yesterday’s call was supposedly from an “Agent John Smith”. Pretty sure the computer voice said “A-Toe”, rather than “A-T-O” too.

The calling numbers (and also the number they suggested I call them back on in the message) were:

The second number called twice as I didn’t hear or pick up the first time.

No surprises, it’s a scam - https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/telephone-calls-alleging-fake-arrest-warrants-used-to-scam-money

Interesting that they are calling my mobile – usually I get the “hello sir, your computer is sending us errors, would you like us to fix it” scams just on the home phone.