A fish out of water

A fish out of water, carp by Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

I was walking around Lake Ginninderra this morning listening to one of my favourite podcasts, viz., “No such thing as a fish” by the QI Elves. I’d like to mention that my favourite Elf is Anna. She is the funniest and wittiest of the group.

Photo Gallery YouTube Pod cast

So as I was walking and listening I came across a fish. I’m assuming it’s a carp. The lake apparently has perch and cod in it and for all the fishers I see angling, I’ve only ever seen them catch carp.

A fish out of water, carp by Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
A fish out of water, carp by Lake Ginninderra

Carp are an introduced species into Australia. They are vermin of the fresh aquatic waters of Australia. They stir up the mud and make the artificial lakes of Canberra unsightly. When caught, they are not allowed to be released, they must be killed. I’m guessing like other fish, they would make reasonable fertiliser. If I owned land, I’d catch carp and put them in holes in the ground and then plant a tree on top.

A fish out of water, carp by Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
A fish out of water, carp by Lake Ginninderra

Screenshot Lake Ginninderra map Gary Lum carp

What have you done this weekend?

Yesterday I had a personal matter that was troubling but I managed to do some walking and housework but not a lot of cooking.

Today I continue with the troubling personal matter which I won’t divulge here suffice to say, I hope the situation improves. I managed a walk around Lake Ginninderra and I recorded a podcast.

A podcast you say

If you’re not aware, I have two other blogs one of which is also a podcast. The food blog is over at Yummy Lummy and the medical blog is over at Dr Gary Lum. Medical Fun Facts is the name of the podcast and you can search for it in the iTunes podcast store and also in Stitcher. I decided today that rather than dropping two shows a week I’m going to one a week (on Monday nights at 7 pm Canberra time). I’m getting busier at work and I need to adjust my work-life situation. It’s time for a little more work and less life. It’s good to readjust from time to time as situations change. Anyway, the other thing I changed with the podcast was to try video. You may have seen my Yummy Lummy YouTube channel, well, I’ve started a Medical Fun Facts YouTube channel. I’m not sure if it will continue, but it was worth trying. We’ll see!

Yummy Lummy Medical Fun Facts

YouTube

In the southern hemisphere, we’re now getting close to the start of winter and the end of autumn. I shot some photographs which show the beauty of the change of seasons in Canberra.

Photograph gallery

For some photographs from the weekend, click on one and scroll through in the pop-up lightbox.

I hope the coming week will be good for you

What are you up to in the coming week? For me, I’m going to be busy at work. I also have a day in Melbourne for a meeting which I hope will go well.

Have a good week my friends

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Would you like to read more from My Thoughts and Stuff?

My warped and twisted mind | Best sleep ever | An embarrassing story of racism

Reflections on Lake Ginninderra and Beyond

Yellow buoys and seagulls on Lake Ginninderra Reflections Gary Lum

Reflections on still water on cool still days are a highlight of living in Canberra with this incredibly bright and blue autumn days.

As I walked around Lake Ginninderra, I reflected myself again on living in Canberra.

Physical reflections

The water was still, the sky was bright and blue and the reflections in the water were exquisite this morning. The autumn colours of the leaves on the deciduous trees augmented the naturally saturated vision that is Lake Ginninderra shortly after sunrise.

Click on one of the images and you’ll be able to see a gallery with larger photographs in better detail.

Let me know what you think about these photographs. They were all shot with a Sony α7ii with a 24–240 mm f/3.5–6.3 lens at f/8 and 1/1000 seconds with ISO set to auto. I processed all the photographs in Adobe Lightroom and used Luminar and Aurora HDR to make the colours more vivid.

Personal reflections

I commented on a post from Belconnen local and ACT MLA Tara Cheyne on Facebook. Click on the photograph and you’ll get the context of the story.

Weekend highlight

Last night I made spam of asparagus spicy soup. If you like soup check out the blog post and video.

This week ahead

On Tuesday, it is Anzac Day. The day that Australians and people from New Zealand remember those brave warfighters who fought and fell so that we can live in freedom and enjoy democracy. While I support anything to keep the peace, I’m grateful for the soldiers, sailors and air people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for our safety.

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Easter Saturday on Lake Ginninderra

Buoys on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum

Easter Saturday on Lake Ginninderra on a dull and overcast day but with some lovely colourful sights in terms of cows, birds, and buoys.

After breakfast at Everbean Espresso Bar and grocery shopping, I went for a walk around Lake Ginninderra. The skies were grey but the grass green and the fauna quite delightful.

Easter Saturday photographs

Buoys on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Buoys on Lake Ginninderra
Earth moving equipment on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Earth moving equipment on Lake Ginninderra
Flying fox on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Flying fox on Lake Ginninderra
Cows on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Cows on Lake Ginninderra
Is this a Rosella on Lake Ginninderra Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Is this a Rosella on Lake Ginninderra

This afternoon I replaced my wi-fi router with a new one hoping that a new one would offer improved speed over the original one I’ve had since 2010. Sadly, I can’t appreciate any discernible improvement. I’m guessing the limiting factor is the ADSL2 service I’m receiving. I wish I had the National Broadband Network where I live. I was hoping upload speeds would be improved. I find it really frustrating uploading photographs and videos. It can take all day.

For dinner tonight I made a bacon and chicken spicy congee with quinoa. I was nearly late. I was planning to use my pressure cooker but I couldn’t find the safety valve. I finally found it in a drawer.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I plan to eat quite a lot of chocolate.

Easter chocolate goodies. More workplace generosity. Easter Saturday Gary Lum
Easter chocolate goodies. More workplace generosity.

For those interested, I shot the Easter Saturday Lake Ginninderra photographs with a Sony α7ii with a 24–240 mm lens. I edited the photographs in Adobe Lightroom and Luminar. I really like oversaturating the colours, depressing the highlights and enhancing the shadows while keeping the blacks intact. I shot these images mostly at f/8 aperture and 1/1000 second shutter speed. I had the ISO set to AUTO.

Social media

I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Best sleep ever

Cow grazing near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum Sleep

Last night I had the best sleep in I don’t know how many years. I slept for just about 10 hours. That is unheard of for me.

I average about 6 hours a night. Even though I go to bed at about 8.30 I’m usually not asleep until about 10 or 11 and then I wake quite a few times during the night and get out of bed at 5.

Poor sleep last week

It must have been the really interesting week I’ve had and all that goes into hosting a meeting with delegates from around the world. Sleep has not been the best quality during the week, and Friday at the hospital was also full on. I had a marvellous afternoon with some scholars who wanted to know more about what happens in a microbiology laboratory. In fact, one of them was a colleague from my main job and she’s also the person who inspired me to start my podcast, viz., Medical Fun Facts.

After such a good sleep, I sprang out of bed, did the shopping and then enjoyed a nice walk around Lake Ginninderra.

photographs of Lake Ginninderra

Daylight saving ends tonight

I just realised this is a bonus weekend too. Daylight saving ends tonight. Yipee! I’m not a fan. We should be like Queensland in Canberra and stay on Australian Eastern Standard Time.

It will be good to be back in the same time zone as my daughters. Telephone calls and text messaging will be much easier.

Sleep will be something I hope to improve upon over winter. It is so important, I wish I did it better.

How do you sleep?

Are you a good sleeper? How many hours do you sleep? Are you a morning person like me or a night owl? Feel free to leave a comment.

Have a good one.

Strange things you see while walking around Belconnen

A couch on the sidewalk while you buy an apartment Gary Lum

And no, I’m not talking about shopping trolleys.

The weather in Canberra today was surprisingly good. It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t too warm. It was overcast with a hint of humidity. My skin didn’t feel too dry. It was the sort of day that I would have expected a lot of people to be out walking around Lake Ginninderra.

Barren playgrounds

Instead, it was pretty barren. I saw a few familiar faces, the regulars who I see when I’m on a morning walk.

More often than not, the play areas are occupied with children and their parents. Today, though, the playground and the climbing equipment were bare.

Empty playground on Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Empty playground on Lake Ginninderra

Hard rubbish

Even in a city like Canberra, people just dump old furniture on the sidewalk assuming someone will take it and keep it, or the city council authorities will pick it up for disposal. When that happens, taxpayers and rates payers end up footing the bill.

I this was a nice juxtaposition, though. You can attend an inspection and have a sit-down and discussion while you’re at it.

A couch on the sidewalk while you buy an apartment Gary Lum
A couch on the sidewalk while you buy an apartment

Hairy melons

Do you like your melons hairy? The mind boggles. I’m not sure I want to eat a hairy melon! 😳😂🤣

Hairy melons Gary Lum
Hairy melons

Medical fun facts

Have you listened to my podcast? I’ve recorded this week’s shows and they will drop on Monday and Thursday night (Canberra time). On Monday night, I discuss sputum microbiology and on Thursday night I explain why the Gram’s stain is my favourite test in microbiology.

You can find the shows as they drop at my medical blog and you can also subscribe to listen via iTunes and Stitcher.

My short story

Last week, I mentioned I was thinking about writing a short story. I’ve started. That’s about all I can say.

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A new thought walking around Lake Ginninderra

Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing. Gary Lum

I’m going to have a go writing a short story

As I walked around Lake Ginninderra this morning I pondered a thought about a short story I thought I might write.

From time to time I mentally jot down ideas for works of fiction. I’ve never written a short story before but I follow enough blogs to admire people who can and do write short works of fiction. Whether I can or not is another thing altogether. I’ve never thought of myself as a good writer. I think I do a satisfactory job for my work, but creative writing is not something I feel comfortable with.

I’m not sure when I’ll make a start or when it might be finished, but I know the trigger for the story and I’m fleshing it out in my mind.

For now, enjoy a couple of photographs I shot this morning. I used a Sony α7ii with a 24–240 mm variable aperture lens. Each photograph represents three frames at three different exposures. I used Adobe Lightroom and Aurora HDR software to merge the images and edit them. I hope you like them.

Buoys on Yerra Beach, Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Buoys on Yerra Beach, Lake Ginninderra
Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing. Gary Lum
Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing.

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A lap around Lake Ginninderra

Buoys on Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

A vigorous walk around Lake Ginninderra

It was surprisingly cool in Canberra this morning. When I went out for a walk I should have worn a long sleeve shirt, it was quite nippy.

I had charged the batteries in my Sony α7ii and had my 24–240 mm f/3.5–f/6.3 lens attached.

High dynamic range

I like shooting brackets when I’m out so I can exploit Adobe Lightroom’s HDR capacity. Some people don’t like HDR especially if it’s too ‘crunchy’. I don’t mind it really.

Reflections

It was still this morning with a gentle breeze. The surface of the lake was smooth and offered a little reflection opportunity. Yesterday it was quite overcast and there was a moderate breeze.

Final thoughts

Not a bad lap around the lake really. As much as the Canberra weather is uncomfortable, it does make for some nice photography.

A wet Saturday in February

Cows near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

I love a wet Saturday any time of year

Canberra started to warm up towards the end of the week with yesterday getting to 35 °C (95 °F). Overnight it remained warm. I slept poorly, not because it was warm, but it seems every Friday night I wake up at about 3 am and just lay awake. It’s so annoying.

At 5 am I got out of bed and ground some beans to make a strong coffee. I got a sense the day would be cooler. This is a good thing because I wanted to make sure I got to walk around Lake Ginninderra to get some exercise.

Breakfast

It’s hard to beat a weekend classic. Streaky bacon and fried eggs.

Crispy streaky bacon and fried eggs breakfast for Saturday morning Gary Lum

Grocery shopping

Before the shopping, there must be coffee!

Coffee from Everbean Espresso Gary Lum

One of the new annoyances in Canberra is the ACT Government imposition on shopping centres to attach locks and chains on shopping trolleys.

This is being done to reduce the number of trolleys abandoned on footpaths, in car parks, in the lake and elsewhere. The problem is instead of trying to develop a nuanced and tailored solution, a cheap inconvenient method has been adopted.

What I’ve noticed around Belconnen and Woden is abandoned trolleys are still there and some of them have been locked together.

These trolleys stand defiant despite their chains despite their bondage. #canberra #cbr #nannystate #civildisobedience #chains #iphone
These trolleys stand defiant despite their chains despite their bondage.
#canberra #cbr #nannystate #civildisobedience #chains #iphone
Mating trolleys from Woolworths and Coles Gary Lum
Mating trolleys from Woolworths and Coles

Lake Ginninderra

The relatively cool weather should have meant more people walking around the lake, but it was oddly quiet. The clouds were quite good and with a little extra editing in Adobe Lightroom and Luminar or Aurora HDR I hope these photographs don’t look too crunchy.

I know a lot of people really prefer a more natural look, but for some reason, I like crunchy HDR.

It was good to see the cows back under the trees on the north-east side of Lake Ginninderra.

 Lake Ginninderra on a Saturday morning in February Gary Lum

Lake Ginninderra on a Saturday morning in February Gary Lum

Tree near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

Blossoms near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

Cows near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

This is where the cows were Gary Lum
This is where the cows were

Lunch in the mall

Despite having done the bulk of my grocery shopping earlier, some things weren’t on the shelves. Given I finished walking around Lake Ginninderra at about noon, I thought I may as well have lunch in the mall. I had no idea what I wanted to eat. I knew I didn’t want a burger or Mexican or Chinese food. In the end, I went with potato gems (also known as tater tots in the USA).

Potato gems and pineapple juice Gary Lum

An afternoon of relaxing

I spent the afternoon editing photographs and thinking about what to make for dinner.

Dinner

I’ve blogged on Yummy Lummy about what I had for dinner. It was a pork and beef cheese pie.

Spicy and crispy pork and beef cheese pie with vegetables Gary Lum

Final thoughts

Not a bad Saturday really. I feel quite full. I wonder what I’ll get up to tomorrow.