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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Sunday August 28, 2005
08:42 PM

Training; Wetsuits; Chicken warfare

[ #26488 ]

It's been a busy couple of weeks in the training arena. Eight days of training, and two Perl Mongers presentations in three weeks.

Things have calmed down a little now. I've only got a presentation this week at OSDClub, and two conference presentations next week at SAGE-AU.

Rather foolishly, I'm giving a talk on how to present at conferences, or more specifically how to use mind-control on your audience to convince them you're a good speaker. I say foolish because it's easy to be critical of a presentation on presentations; if I make any mistakes then I'm sure the audience will notice.

Ocean temperatures lag behind surface temperatures, as the ocean has such a large thermal inertia that it takes considerable time to move it. The warmest water is not during summer, it's at the end of autumn, and in the same vein the coldest water can be found at the start of spring.

At the tail end of winter the water in Melbourne is almost as cold as it can be, 12 degrees celcius, but the temperature on land is quite plesant. This makes for perfect conditions to trial our new wetsuits for cold-water conditions.

Jacinta and I headed down to Williamstown, donned wetsuits, masks, snorkles, and fins, and hopped into the water. I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of my new wetsuit. I felt quite warm and dry entering the water up to my chest, and it was only when my bare hands entered the water did I appreciate that the water really was painfully frigid.

The whole experience was quite bizzare. Complete comfort and warmth all over, except for my uncovered head and hands which were acutely painful from the cold. Luckily we were just snorkling our hands became used to the cold, and only our faces needed to be in the water. I think that obtaining a hood and gloves will be in order at some point, which provides the exciting possibility of being able to completely ignore Melbourne's water temperatures at regular depths.

Chicken warfare
I never thought owning chickens would involve an arms race, but clearly it does. There's a local fox, that likes to eat the chickens, and a local crow, that likes to eat the eggs.

Jacinta and I have been deploying new technologies to try and keep the fox away. This started as a raised coop, then a fence, then a bigger fence, and now we have a run that is completely enclosed on all sides and top with wire, and has wire dug into the ground around the sides.

The new enclosed run has the advantage of not only keeping out foxes and crows, but also many of the wild (introduced) birds which try to eat the chicken's food. The fox could still potentially get in by doing a lot of digging (under rocks and wire), but I think it will need an astounding amount of determination to do so.

Our youngest chickens have also finally to the stage where they're laying eggs, so we're once again heading towards having too many rather than too few.

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