Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nov 2014

Nov 2014

Lost my father-in-law, a stalwart supporter for the family here for the last fourteen years.

Ken [KD] was a country boy through and through, born in the Mallee, with a stint in The Big Smoke around WW2 then back up north with his mum and older sisters to his dad's family.
Apparently not a great time, but then In-Laws aren't perfect all the time.
KD lost his dad on the Burma Railway during the war. Anyway, after highschool, he met Bev at work, hooked up, produced a family, and one day years later, one of their kids decided I was okay to have sprogs [kids] with...

After we lost Tarn, KD and Bev moved into a room with us [I was not moving the family to a new place anywhere else] to help me with the four kids.
It was decided that I should return to the oilfield and bring home the bacon as there was some paid help for them.The helper became great friends.
My sis-in-law Dee and Pete, had bought a house in town and commuted from LA for our summers when Pete had time off. Dee had a second girl by this time, so Ken and Bev had all their little eggs in the one town.
Until Bev relapsed two years later and on Bev's advice, I left the oilfield mid 2002 and took up full time Dad At Home- DAH.
Ken and Bev moved to a place just up the street, and then  Bev departed this mortal coil, leaving me and Ken with the kids.

By 2004, we were a bit of a sad case overall: my brother's mother-in-law 1999, my pop in 2000, my wife 2000, my mother-in-law 2002, her sister 2002, my granma 2002, then Sav, Dee's eldest girl in 2004.

And time moves on, dragging sad little asses along, trying to get through, and I had Ken to help out. Many a home-brew stout was consumed back in 2001 and 2002. I would get back from a week long hitch and he and I would down a couple of long-necks and a few ciggies [that I had had to go without at work] and getting a hangover effect by dinner time...

We had wide ranging discussions on the world. Plenty of remedies, really.  Well, at the time. Share prices, farming, oilfield, kids. The shed was a retreat.

A while after Bev had passed on, Ken met Brenda, and then married her a while after that. He was happy. Dee had bought a block of land on the edge of town overlooking a billabong, really nice, and built on it.
KD and Brenda planned ship cruises, bought tickets, and then had to cancel twice. Hips and illnesses. KD even got WHOOPING COUGH at the grand old age of --- hmm-- late seventies I believe, it had taken the medical professionals longer than three months to diagnose it, so if he was ill already it did not help.
This last year Brenda looked after the old boy as a previous condition he had on the lungs led to shortness of breath, the last few months was a lot of sitting around for home that he hated. His best friends even came down form the Mallee and The Big Smoke at The Melbourne Cup Weekend, so that was really good for him.

RIP Ken. A friend, not just a father and father in law.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Okay, we can get on a comet too

Well. well Well

sorry geo joke

Just think a little bit.
WE [the world?] have got to Mars

AND NOW a comet!!

I am sort of excited- a robot is landing on a COMET-

well Hal- what can you say?

'get offa me?'

Don think so

If you can wonder, a comet could be converted into a Interstellar vehicle with enuff oommph from commercial people in the future, why restrict funding in getting out of our Solar system, really, we all have had enough warnings that on the state of our economies


Monday, September 22, 2014



At last!

 Have found some one to help with GPS logging unit for my speed-sailing windsurfing pastime down at Sandy Point, South Gippsland, Victoria. Well worth the ninety minute trip down this time!

It has taken two years of procrastination, but finally used my GPS logger for sailing rather than just a now and again car or plane trip! Not a fad now fella!
Of course a little hiccup- the water proof pouch was not where I thought it was, but then a week later- it was in the sailing kit all along, bummer dude, but the plastic shopping bags used did a fine job, and with the unit stuck under my chin under the wetsuit, managed a fair velocity up to 27 knots in wind of 10 to 15 knots. Or up to 50 kmh! yay me, and that was with a 6.5m2 Severne sail, ah.

Yes, ahh, the new gear has been nice and forgiving and good too.

So I will have to get more time on the water, and maybe put myself on the GPS-Speedsailing board, all it takes is time and confidence.

The jibing seems to be coming together again now, so that is good! If you take a close look, some runs end really well, some NOT.

Location and tracking- 20 kms in 25 runs less than an hour I think, still have to fine tune the GPSResults tables!  tracks- red hi velocity, blue, beach walking... scale at below tracks in knots

next- will get a meteorological station just for this beach so I know from where it blows at what strength- and that will be first weekend November! Speed week usually on then at Sandy Point, but no one else has thought to install one like here.

And the ranking of the days sailing 

GPSResults V6.123
filename: I:\GPSResultsV6\New folder\2014\sandypointSep14\ADFORD2011_103200745_20140918_104159 - Copy.SBN
altitude(s) not considered
accumulated Doppler speeds
cubic spline integration (10/20s), one run per leg
total time: 34min, total length: 15.307km

  time        m   [knots]
11:40:39    14.1  27.428+/-1.011
13:02:57    13.6  26.514+/-1.108
13:12:30    13.6  26.436+/-1.361
13:15:27    13.6  26.359+/-1.322
13:08:50    13.5  26.203+/-1.283
average[2]:  49.950km/h  26.971knots
average[3]:  49.620km/h  26.793knots
average[5]:  49.241km/h  26.588knots

  time        m   [knots]
11:40:43   108.0  26.235+/-1.161
13:12:37   104.3  25.355+/-1.266
13:08:53   104.0  25.265+/-1.273
13:18:10   100.4  24.403+/-1.227
11:37:58   104.6  22.590+/-1.037
average[2]:  47.772km/h  25.795knots
average[3]:  47.445km/h  25.618knots
average[5]:  45.873km/h  24.769knots

  time        m   [knots]
13:12:50   259.4  24.015+/-1.217
11:40:43   250.7  23.210+/-1.114
12:52:53   254.3  21.489+/-1.130
11:27:52   259.3  21.003+/-0.953
12:01:24   256.8  20.798+/-1.008
average[2]:  43.731km/h  23.613knots
average[3]:  42.419km/h  22.905knots
average[5]:  40.935km/h  22.103knots

  time        m   [knots]
12:53:04   502.0  20.331+/-1.125
11:28:15   501.2  20.298+/-0.974
11:58:42   503.7  18.475+/-1.061
13:20:36   501.7  18.058+/-1.218
12:58:32   503.4  17.790+/-1.140
average[2]:  37.623km/h  20.315knots
average[3]:  36.487km/h  19.701knots
average[5]:  35.170km/h  18.990knots

  time        m   [knots]
11:40:40    28.0  27.243+/-1.079
13:02:57    27.1  26.339+/-1.176
13:15:27    27.0  26.271+/-1.380
13:12:31    27.0  26.232+/-1.351
13:08:51    26.8  26.048+/-1.273
average[2]:  49.617km/h  26.791knots
average[3]:  49.296km/h  26.618knots
average[5]:  48.942km/h  26.427knots

  time        m   [knots]
11:40:43   131.6  25.573+/-1.182
13:08:56   128.9  25.055+/-1.265
13:12:40   128.6  24.998+/-1.245
13:18:11   125.3  24.355+/-1.226
11:38:01   115.5  22.454+/-1.026
average[2]:  46.882km/h  25.314knots
average[3]:  46.687km/h  25.209knots
average[5]:  45.350km/h  24.487knots

  time        m   [knots]
13:12:50   247.0  24.003+/-1.216
11:40:43   239.5  23.281+/-1.115
12:52:51   223.3  21.707+/-1.143
11:27:53   218.2  21.204+/-0.971
12:01:24   217.1  21.103+/-1.010
average[2]:  43.785km/h  23.642knots
average[3]:  42.591km/h  22.997knots
average[5]:  41.225km/h  22.260knots

alpha 500/50m:
  time        m   [knots]
13:12:27   494.9  16.034+/-1.509
13:13:42   497.2  13.612+/-1.386
13:16:32   468.0  13.578+/-1.514
13:00:05   498.4   8.497+/-1.203
12:57:24   214.0   3.354+/-1.290
average[2]:  27.452km/h  14.823knots
average[3]:  26.684km/h  14.408knots
average[5]:  20.400km/h  11.015knots

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lost me phone...

Lost me phone...
as put in at the other blog in case you missed it!

And it was funny much later i tell you!


Drama in town

Drama in town

The twins were in a school play the last week, a few days off school and having fun with their peers in a play written out by the English teacher- not much older than my boys!

Their Year Nine reports al la NAPLAN came today, they are above their peers for the year they are in- looks like single dads can have some success. 
Three years to go before they leave school, time is speeding up on me... apron strings- two gone two left.

My boys are struggling on in the big circus of Out Of Home- government and big business are losing my confidence- I hope that the boys have dreams that can be fulfilled without help from them.
It is really weird how the governments are cutting help for the unemployed while big business are having to cut employees. Go Figure.

No one wanted it, wow.

No one wanted it, wow.

This was a pressie from kRudd the other year or two. made after #2Son left a front tooth in the garden in a BMX accident...
The Quarter Pipe of the Year.
Filled the small trailer!
Now been disappeared for the rubbish tip/dump/recycling center-  with help of #1Son! 
Yay- some room in the front yard again, especially with giving a front yard tree a severe trim. More room for the Portable Vineyard Pots!!

I had offered it to a few other parents- might have been a bit too much- no takers. Thank you to the government of the time, kept my kid and his friends off the streets for a few years, just close enough to be noisy and beneath my nose.

Don't yoy like the new yard- the small box bushes are ringing a new path. One day. 

The start of the 2015 vintage in the Portable Vineyard

The start of the 2015 vintage in the Portable Vineyard

Ah there we go- budding time

Spring budding!
Looks like budding started mid August this year- Pinot was opening in the third week of August, below. Hmm.
The potted Shiraz, a few, started budding by first week of September.
The older six on the fence have not budded as yet though.
All the mobile vines moved 4 Sep, two lines- 48 pots of established and 9 babies of Shiraz.
Eleven of the Pinot.
Organising the irrigation now- small sprays to each pot. Still need a few more plumbing bits and pieces, and if I go away for a week or two, got an automatic irrigating thingamajig too.



And- to recycle stuff- the still was fed a bunch of off old reds this last week to produce about 10l of spirit for port or sherry making. A few expensive Rockford Basket Press bottles that were Not Drinkable [2000, 2001!] and some other home mades that were also Not Drinkable - all emptied into the trusty spirit maker...

One of the old bottles that was actually okay and finished- on my own- over two nights- below. My friend Harry was also searching/making room in his cellar too- looks like another batch next week for the still.

Other wines that were tried lately- 
A Wine Society CabSav2000- into the still.
All of last year's wine made- into the still- 30 liters! Not good. Will try to make a fortified wine from what is left of the garage foxy grape wine this year [20l]- it does not taste too bad, but some syrup and spirit may perk it up heaps.
So- This years production- all but 20 of the 40l- INTO THE STILL, Bummer dudes- hopefully the brandy/rum at the end will be appreciated. No. It will be!
A 2013 Rockford Alicante- YUMMY!
A Rockford Pasket Press Shiraz- 2002- Yummy!

Well, that's all for the The start of the 2015 vintage in the Portable Vineyard during the start of the 2014 Spring Downunder.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August '14 and the vines are budding

August '14 and the vines are budding

Hmm, the vines in the backyard are budding, as of the 11th  of August.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"dear sir, I cannot but will try..."

"dear sir, I cannot but will try..."

paraphrased from a daily paper, sorry...

I could have had a "free uni education" after high school. [true]
I could have got into a okay job with that degree. [also true]
I took time out of the Oil patch for a pretty good reason. [true]
I put up with jibes [or 'those' looks] of chickening out [maybe true].
I took time to raise kids without a partner at the tax payers expense [true] so that four future taxpayers would contribute to the nations' GDP after a good education. [hope it comes true]

Now these days to get a job, you need to be at least 15yrs old to leave home to get a job stacking shelves, or pouring someones else's coffee for a buck. This is all that's left these days! No real trade teaching until 17 or 18! If you can get it, or if you do, can hack it!

If you do stay on to finish high school, job opportunities are nearly the same as above. If an apprenticeship comes up, it may not "pay well enough" to keep the phablet generation going- the pub and friends are pretty insistent on company, and the job could be lost due to lack of interest or funds available to afford the newest phone, as there is still a government support scheme... Or was.

No manufacturing cars, socks, pants, shirts or even stainless steel plant jobs are around for the growing  population of phablet holders - X gen or Y gen or whatever comes next.  It is cheaper to move that stuff overseas according to the boardroom boys and girls and the ever venerated bottom line. Or until their own GDP rises and their kids are left to pour coffee...

Of course further education can be found, the cheap end for plumbers or high end for lawyers. [we always need those two people- true?]


But now because the tightass end of town, the [Wall St?] "failures" have to keep their Mcmansions of course, lowered government incomes [less of the population paying tax as unemployment goes up and pay rates down for the rest] that held the purses for the cheap further education has actually tightened up the disbursements to that end, so that the kiddies get put on "the drip" to pay any further education costs back, once the threshold income has been attained... Once it was practically free...

Which also that means the lower end of the pay-scale people cannot afford the low end education, or even the middle class education type - accountants, philosophers, nurses and other professionals are being imported- meaning there are brain drains around the world. To here...

The point being "dear sir, I cannot but will try..." letters are being posted. 

Lots apparently.

Yes. The pollies are sick and tired of paying out dole money, and sick and tired of bailing out car  and shirt makers, and wont pay a paramedic or train driver to stick around all day waiting for customers... 

Apparently "the people" are sick and tired of those things too. 

And some are tired of the tide of migrants coming in to take "our kids' job". 

Hmm. Never give a sucker a chance, mon.  Hope the whingers are not second or third or twentieth generation descendents of immigrants either...

Share the loot mon, c'mon!

Betchya heaps they are Not, especially if they have teen aged kids to support and educate.

The notion that there are heaps of jobs out there is flawed. These days.
The notion that education will get you a job is flawed too. These days.

Certain pollies thinks [PS- WILL BE MAKING] that 250,000 odd kids (15-24) SHOULD BE applying forty times a month for jobs [they probably cannot fit into] AND THAT IT cannot be too hard, AND I think it will be a fact soon. Read the paper. As this is only an opinion, and having been there and done that, there are probably a bit more than that out there that cannot afford a ticket to even get a forklift licence let alone afford a bar keepers ticket to serve beer. poor bastards

And some company owners and pollies [both types that that have been silver spoon fed and breast fed til they left uni, in my opinion] think there are heaps of jobs. In the desert. Along the roadside.  Down at the rubbish dump.

If you are keen and can go without the phablet and telly and don't want to buy a house with cash [not in five years now but ten instead, mind], because sacrificing time from family like they could a few years ago is what they will have to do. That is, if they can afford a partner!

Maybe that is where HR comes in. A conspiracy theory - sure. They get to read the lots and lots of job applications and sort out the cans and cannots and would nots from the cretins and "no way man!" types, and maintain a certain percentage of success in catching the right fish for the job. 

Until the computers with artificial intelligence replaces THEM. Soon I reckon. Who need people skills anymore? Really.


I think I dislike that first word. How  long does it take to make a spear or tyre or a list? 'Cos the second word joined with the third means that one person can do a lot of other peoples' jobs, meaning the unemployed pool tide rises and productivity by less involved goes up... Ah, maybe that's the secret?

Oh dear, ranting to the converted or the naive? Or the spell bound? My current job aint writing for a living- research means I would never get pen to paper! Then, my job is one of those that is like the naomi campbell fashion model type jobs, if it aint paying that much mate, then I am not getting out of bed that week. 

Which is a bit tough. or rough? I had to accept the rate, I need to put the gels into a better school before something happens at the government school... And the rate is soooo much better than the previous day job or even the last self employed but government subsidized jobby. 

So back to the "dear sir, I cannot but will try..." and the forty job letters and associated CVs PER MONTH that the poor bastards have to do now just to get some government handout in this employment environment where there really is bugger all jobs... there are local government landscaping jobs. Even road improvements. But no manufacturing- for example, public transport, most vehicles will be imported, the rails imported, the software is imported... 

maybe it is a postal conspiracy, "dear sir, I cannot but will try..."
BTW- I saw a dpco on Gre Vidal th eother night- boy, is he into conspiracy theories!!

Woopie trails in the desert and old music compilation cassettes

Woopie trails in the desert and old music compilation cassettes

Before the last job started I found and put in the van old music compilation cassettes. Thus, I was in a travelling time machine, as each was played once through in the van. At least eight tapes I think- it was a eight hour trek to the Other Littler Big Smoke. That was a few weeks ago. "A Wednesday in September". The tapes were all from the eighties, late night recordings of favorite album songs back then, after a night out with Tarn or the boys and sleep was too far away. Tracks from Men At Work, Spit Enz, Beach Boys, Talking Heads... In other words, a few. Trouble was, being tapes, no fast forward...

The woopie we are using to get to the desert and back has radio and a CD player with no MP3 connection. And no auto fridge [for the beer cold drinks.] The trip up and around the desert was not that boring, my friend Doug has a history in the oilpatch going back a long way, so many tales are etched in the back of my mind.

September. That's a long while ago, and the kids have missed me. Really? #2Son has nearly finished last year of high school and last exams, telling me "I am studying", other people worrying that it does not look like it. Even If I Was Home, I am more than sure he would be telling me that same thing anyway, whether he had or not. Being a teenager once, I remember that.

And I am up here, for now, or longer? There was much to-ingand fro-ing on progress the last few days, will this be done or that. One choice was an sxtra ten days- not taken finally. Whew.

I have been at the desert job for so long now, I am getting used to the sub-luxurious living conditions and a the far off life of being the dependable single dad is fading away... Wow, more than that now, the Melbourne Cup is on as I write. Weird life. Not  a housework thang to do. Nice. In a small way.

ciggies, medictns

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ready For Offshore Work Now

Ready For Offshore Work Now

This week, completed another medical in order to get a certificate to get offshore work, IE a Huet!

Helicopter Underwater Escape Traing
BOISET which includes
  •  Safety Induction 
  • Helicopter Safety & Escape (Including EBS)
  • Sea Survival
  • Firefighting and Self Rescue
yay me, and for small fee, with like, no pain, no gain.

Thanks to support team there and those others out there or back here who look after me like Pete n Loise, Diana, without them, hard to get back into it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Statoil Campaign Southern Georgina Basin 2014

Statoil Campaign Southern Georgina Basin 2014

Tony Ford Geo Con PL Contract with Stat nearly finished

Well Well Well Well Well

Yes, five wells in the Georgina as a basic Wellsite Geologist is done for the moment, final invoices awaiting.

The campaign, as it was called, required a geology degree person or two for five wells in the Southern Georgina Basin for Statoil, of Norway, to monitor the various services required for obtaining new information about the basin: mudlogging, cores, drill cuttings, wireline data. Descriptions. Measuring. Photographing. Reports. All that gear. And Packing the core, taking some core for specialty analysis. And all that stuff too.

The drilling engineer team and other support people were good, some were contract people like myself that I had worked with before, some Adelaide office/Canadian/US and Norwegian. My off sider, Mike, was new to this area, whereas I had been up the way many years before- I think That Counts As Prior Knowledge Of The Area. Maybe. Mike and I took turns spudding and completing the wells to share the load as the schedule was pretty tight. Stat runs a tight ship, their personnel were obviously professional and the job undertaken with a degree of seriousness that meant business- no prisoners taken! My/our OpsGeo was good, dang good, old Griff had been doing work up that way even before I started there! I was glad at times that he was on the other end of the phone, along with Linn and Rolf above him.

The campaign, five wells, during the second quarter 2014, ended with a heap of nice cuttings and cores, logs and other data for the town office exploration geos to pore over, and make at last a case for something to produce something from in the Southern Georgina Basin.

As usual, cannot be specific about anything remember! And no pics, sorry, of Anything allowed.

The service company guys were all great to work with: Geoservices, Corepro and Weatherford Logging. Anything that needed to be done for us was done, I cannot thank them enough for being supportive to practically a newbie! The Drilling company EDA and the rig EDA2 were not a bad lot, and the catering crew, sometime were Superb in the dinner and lunch offerings. I sort of like the camp structure- all on wheels nearly, but I think that cabins on wheels may rock the place too much when using the stair access. One thing I will have to get used to is the Schramm style single drilling mast, great at drilling, but like watching paint dry while tripping I tell you. Anyway- as I said, everybody did a fine job overall, and I think Stat should be happy with the job done in the time allotted.

Myself, I think I managed time, people, information, travelling and reports rather well- the OpsGeo might slightly disagree there though- always suggesting that that might be better as this sort of thing- as they all do! Spelling, order, time of deposition- Think Tony Think. Yeah- carbonates from the Cambrian are not what I was used to at all, but, now, No Worries Mate. And the bank account for my new company Tony Ford Geo Con PL, is brimming, so I better thank Fendley Consultants for putting my company on their books.

Here's hoping that my performance as a basic wellsite geologist on the Statoil Campaign Southern Georgina Basin 2014 will get me in the front door next time they start up a campaign here in Oz!

Statoil Campaign Southern Georgina Basin 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Update winter 2014

Update winter 2014

So few entries this year and not that there has been a lack of topics- Oh NO.
But really, time is lacking, and sitting and thinking and remembering and noting it as I go, is time consuming!

The kids have not seen too much of me- because I am trying to do the right thing and Work for a change for real Money. 

Not like the girls from the 80's where they had to have the promise of ten thousand dollars a day before they would go to "work"!

Nah, the smell of the contract's ink drying has some aphrodisiacal meaning to it. Don't it?

The accountant and the bank are happier for me too.

The gels are wanting a new car. They do? "this one!" "no, that one!"

Argh, and getting the money has turned difficult, looks like a cash purchase instead, just to annoy the bank!

Even so, it has to remembered that the gels and me also need or should have, a new tin roof as well.
And a water heater- it is leaking too... Water Water every where but where it should be...

Activities---  A trip to Geelong to see the folks and on to Ballarat to catch up with the brother's crowd recently and a few bottles of Rockford reds- a nice weekend. Dinner with three kids at a nice place, and a trip to Lakes Entrance. Sea gulls... A birthday night out with the gels before last work trip. 

Upset some people recently- is that old age? A couple of things forgotten and it turns out- rough. But it was important- and I never gave it a thought at the time, just proceeded like I thought everyone knew what was going on. No they did not. Hmm. Never done it before, probably will not do that again. Cutting things fine? Too much on the plate? Not enough socialising or just being left out of that loop? Seems like the last, but is that just paranoia? Whatever, not funny dude. Hilarious long after? I certainly hope so. Will have to be more organised, and wanted/needed? Would be easy for some- the show offs. And then not remembering opening a package and listing the contents? Cannot recall the day or date, but I did read the manual. Hmm, interesting- of course the packaging was 100%. Wasn't it? Hmph. Movin' on baby.

Time to catch up on people too, those pretty close are at phone and email distance at the moment- which is weird- world closing in and getting smaller- although when on a rig in the desert- that's life anyway. Maybe I am recreating it at home- never leaving- just shopping and reading and cleaning etc etc. 

On to life and it's pleasures, of which there has been some- The boys seem to be coping. Good to hear that they have little jobs- but cannot hear the ambition through the coping. The gels are doing well, teacher's luv em, reports are okay, cannot see mensa kids but they are certainly Daddy's little girls!

Had some more deep thoughts about life and coping, but not occurring to me now- maybe I can add them to this page later. The MS by the way is being kept at bay, but my right leg seems wonky and weak at times- maybe a severe lack of working out and other crap like that. I do know that at some time I will have to pay for a personal trainer to get me motivated and fit again- going alone to the gym years ago did no good at all. 

bugger, ran out of time....

The parcel and lack of remembering- the missing parts weer there all the time, just not obvious, what a bummer for the dude searching- under his nose, and he has a rather large English proboscis too.

Winter 2014

Winter 2014

The portable Vineyard- and Winter 2014. 

The pruning was done two weeks ago, end of Autumn with 99.99% of the leaves dropped.

But! What is surprising are some new buds!

What does this mean?

An anomaly I hope- spring was still a full season away!

This year the pruning was severe and not- leaving at least a full cane for a few of the tubs and planted vines. Let's see what is croppable next vintage, although the Foxy Wine Vine will indubitably be prolific with no outside help at all!

There was some replenishing of stakes- rotten ones removed and in place a plastic coated steel tube.

No more trying to get cuttings going- last year's did not survive the lack of watering that #2Son was supposed to be doing while I was away.

The irrigation system I dreamed up a year ago has yet to be implemented, but then so was replanting all the tubs into the yard has not been done either, but now- four years from now we may be out of this place- and I do want to keep a few of the plants, if not all.

Winter 2014 may be very different from the last few winters- mild in fact? The last vintage was not bad, but I think that if I can only get 6 litres off fifty plants, maybe time to let the Portable Vineyard go...

Wine tasting for Winter 2014

After a disappointing opening of 2000 and 2001 vintages of Basket Press bottles from Rockfords in the Barossa Valley [South Australia] the last few weeks, and luckily the last of the cases too. The last bottle of the 1996 and one of the 2002 did NOT disappoint AT ALL! Maybe a vertical tasting of what is in the cellar over the next few months is in line to make sure I am not keeping flat brown wines down there! So- who wants to do some small vertical tastings with me? 2001 to 2012?

Sharing a 2002 and a 2003 in Buninyong with my brother and sister-in-law recently was a pleasant experience.

In any case, I will be definitely going through the rest of the cases in the cellar by the time the Winter 2014 is over with help or not! The Basket Press of 1998 consumed last night was good, still some life, but probably not the $220 worth that I saw on an auction site later.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Half way through latest contract in the desert

Half way through latest contract in the desert

Since February this year,  as a Consultant Wellsite Geologist [or even last September?], my latest contracts have been in central Australia, sorta.

Two in north east South Australia, one in central eastern Queensland and the latest desert jobs- three in south east Northern Territory with two wells left. Mostly all for different oil/coal exploration companies too.

The diary has another contract penciled in for August September in WA and offshore too. Which means upgrading or retraining anyway, like a HUET and other necessary paperwork. I would like to have been in on an exploration/development well closer to home, but then I would have to cut the current job by a well- and there is no way I would do that.

More work. Meaning more time from home and family. Life goes on.

I like that I have been able to perform to the job expectations, meaning the feeling I get - "imposter", arises as the work is done. Somehow I feel "yes- but did I do it properly?" And to fly back out to a job- Yes I have.

FUD is seemingly a rational thought too, and recognising it and over whelming that FUD is a victory, as the work completed to date shows. Ten years out of the Oil Patch and plopping back in and working competently is rewarding, and the latest? Well? Half way latest contract in the desert has to speak for itself. I anm expecting to book another flight pretty soon.

Monday, March 17, 2014

blah de blarney de blarney

Ah dear, been d'ere- blah de blarney de blarney

As St.Pat's day has been in my face for a week, finally something to write about.
You know- "look, St Patrick's Day Special..." and here, "St Paddy's Day Sale.

Yeah well, green beer is not my idea of celebrating a myth, nor is green Guinness for that matter.

And adding another "special" consumeristic day of email spams trying to get me to buy another laptop and software besides the birthday card also needed and forgotten [Sorry J'nine- Happy Birthday!] just upsets me and the bank manager. Argh, getting grumpy.

Besides that.

Just over twenty years ago, Tarn and I had a week to go travel the Emerald Isle, seeing places we had heard about all our lives.

My Aberdeen boss, where we were living, said "Yep. A week. No- less. Bye."

As usual, never letting a chance go by, our anniversary close or past [?] we took it and left from Glasgow Airport to Dublin, picked up a hire car and left for the north where Tarn's aunt Dot used to live, Carlingford.
From Wikipedia- Carlingford

Now one of the first things you notice, when you travel there as an Aussie, is how much Ireland is Like Oz, as in western Victoria anyway- GREEN soft rolling hills and vales. Cypress and pine tree lined fields, horses, sheep, cosy cottages, and all that stuff.
from bbc

Lots and lots of stone walls instead of mainly the posts and rails or posts and wire usually filling the landscapes at home. On the other hand- I could see a whole lot of WORK put in too!!

Next is the people- nice and not too hard to understand- unlike the Scots- at brekky time...

And mad too- in spring, the end of the footy season, a finals game celebration [how did we not notice how hard it was to get a B&B place in Galway that night?] there were some people, standing up bare chested through their little car's sunroofs drunk and yelling and whooping... [car sunroofs in Europe.... really a selling point?]

Tarn enjoyed the trip- as unplanned and chaotic as it was- "where can we go today?" or "hell, it's getting dark, better find a place to stay!"

We spent just a few days, but did a wonderful Cook's Tour, including the west and southwest and south east coasts- like in - poked our noses out the car window and breathed the Atlantic in, or avoided dropping of the Moher Cliffs, missed the Waterford Shops getting to Dublin Airport-["dang... should have got here earlier"]. Even saw a place called Ford on the map- but could not find it, maybe they up and went to the US a while ago...[just did a quick search with google earth- lots of towns ENDING in 'ford]. Cork was a nice place to stay too- a real Georgian house.

Now the whole point of this particular little write up is that I just read about the Blarney Stone. Being a geo on travel, it was an interesting place to go. The rock looked like the rest of the remains there- I could see nothing special. And I was not going to pay someone to kiss a rock either, upside down or not!!! And there was a DROP that the helper was going to stop you from falling through. Yeaahhhh right. Nup.

But Tarn was easily persuaded, and managed to score some Cookie Jar points off me!

So if you want to know, it really aint special as a rock goes.

But if you like a little adrenaline rush, then the Blarney Stone kissing game is for you.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tony Ford Geo Con P.L.

A new consultancy-  Tony Ford Geo Con P.L.

As of February 21, I am the director of Tony Ford Geo Con P.L.

Consultant Wellsite Geologist.

to be continued

De daaa....

Northern Territory- here we come!

Vintage 2014

Wine making.
 The Vintages

The Portable Vineyard

Update march 2014 
there were 14 pots producing a crop. According to one book, for my own consumption, I need 50 100 vines.

Vintage 2014
This year I was going to be a little careful. Than previous years.
Well, that did not happen, I got a new job. Or two!
During the flowering period I was up at Innamincka- or was that the Strezlecki track- no Innamincka- and the pots were left to fend for themselves as far as watering regularly was up to a helper- not! So for 6 weeks, not much water- no spraying, no food.
This year the portable vineyard  had about ten pots with about 2 buckets of fruit, from the four at the back of the house block and from about ten pots of Shiraz, and three Pinot Noir pots- wow- not much- about 5L of must and skin
Like years 2011 2012 2013 I did not spray a lot, again some shiraz clusters were long but sparse, and some were easily rotted or insect affected. Again
Shiraz Yard 2011

Vintage 2014

Foxy Garage GrapesOn 9 March 2014- brix approaching 25. These bushes of this grape variety are so productive, and somewhat sickly sweet as you walk by.
Ended up with six 9l buckets- so ended up crushing and pressing out about 17 litres of must

Currently 50 pots Shiraz, 7 pots Pinot with 2 foxey grapes vines next to the Alcoholery  may be just an ornamental as the grapes are not table or wine grapes and six plants in the ground at the rear- facing North, 4 one side and two in front of the Shed/Bungalow.

At pruning time endeavouring to propagate cutting3-6 pots plants per year.
The Alcoholery
Where some of the crafting of wine, beer and spirits is done, bottles and bins and tools stored.

Monday, January 20, 2014

three wells in the desert

Since last she wrote

Been to the desert three times since September- or should I say The Outback.


September to November was near the Cooper Creek, 42 day
contract rather than 21 days, bugger for my bank account, great also for experience with Douglas Short too! A road trip up in a newish Landcruiser with Doug, a dew days layover twice while the camp was full, at "nearby: Innamincka

After that, I had a few weeks off...


Joined up with AWT International as a consultant if they had anything going in Victoria- headhunted almost. The Gippsland thing looks like it is on hold, but would be nice to get as is close to home.


December was a hole nearby the Strezlecki Creek road crossing on the Strezlecki Track, just west by 10km or so, for Strike Energy as consultant wellsite geologist on a coal gas exploration well, a solo role, through AWT International, at a nice day rate. Job was as forecast under time and budget, but do not quote me! Seventeen day contract- velly noice! The Weatherford mudlogging guys, expats from Philippines, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh, had crew change issues and I was the taxi driver.  I too had issues as I had left my security ID badge for SANTOS on my desk at home. And iI did not have a Offroad Licence for the hire car! next course... Getting in and out of Moomba for the airport was a hassle. Job was pretty smooth, got to use or try to get into, a composite log assembly program from GeoScience Software. I think the company got a good coal section where they wanted too. Got back home for New Years Day anyway, out of the heat into the frying pan! Was ~48°C+ the day I left at Moomba. And just as warm back home.


The January well was/is in north central Queensland, "near" Longreach, just northwest of Lake Galilee, a few hours drive via a Hilux 4x4. Nice ride, even over the dirt roads. job entailed a strait forward rotary drilled hole to core point [many a long day... well, three], and a long core interval through formation containing coal beds.