I’ve been thinking this week about technology. It is good stuff, until it no longer works. On Friday the modem that I use here to connect to the Internet via the 4G mobile phone network blew up! Actually, that is a bit of an exaggeration as the modem didn’t quite blow up, it simply died with a whimper part way through replying to comments.
AM (after modem) has meant that I do have access to the Internet, but it is very slow and I am unable to provide the usual level of photographs that the regular readers of the blog may have become accustomed to! Hopefully, over the next week, things will return to normal, whatever that means! Hehe! Maybe…
IAM (immediately after modem), I spent an hour and half trying to work out what exactly had gone wrong with the Internet connection. The next day, I spent about the same amount of time on the phone with the helpful people at the telecommunications company who finally determined what I already knew – the modem had unexpectedly died. A replacement modem has been organised, however living in a remote spot means that it will take between 3 and 5 business days for the new modem to arrive in the mail at the local General Store. I now suffer from AODMD (acceptance of delayed modem delivery).
Have I ever mentioned that Australia Post refuses to deliver anything to my house as it is in a remote location (60km from the Melbourne CBD post office – go figure)? In my previous incarnation as a mildly naïve urbanite (otherwise known as a townie) it had never even occurred to me that there were locations that the postal service would not deliver mail to! I’ve adapted to this reality although it sometimes causes difficulties and I now enjoy regaling people with horror stories of living in an official postal black hole (PBH?)!
Meanwhile life goes on and the situation with the modem started me thinking about how the infrastructure that we all take for granted every day is actually quite fragile and brittle. And from that thought, the editor and I discussed how we work through the process of deciding upon the extent of time and resources that are given to any particular infrastructure project here.
Before starting any project, the editor and I agree on the full scope and eventual outcome of a particular project. Projects here are generally divided into three categories:
- Undertake the project with the resources and infrastructure that we have on hand;
- Undertake the project so that the eventual outcome meets the minimum agreed needs; or
- Chase a dream outcome for that project.
Gordon Ramsay, the very talented and successful UK chef, was part of a television series a few years ago titled: “Kitchen Nightmares”. As an established chef, Gordon Ramsay was invited into failing restaurant businesses by the owners of those businesses to help them correct many of the apparent failings of those businesses. It is fascinating viewing because Gordon Ramsay dissects some of the problems of the businesses and commences the long and slow process of correcting those problems. It is entertaining too because Gordon Ramsay is a straight talking kind of guy (and a bit sweary).
What fascinates me about Gordon Ramsay’s approach is that he utilises the first strategy and quickly reviews the resources in a failing business and then utilises their strengths and works with the weaknesses to achieve a reasonable outcome. I too have utilised this strategy in the world of business and can report that it is very effective.
Back to the farm, that first strategy was used to produce the original chicken house and enclosure. Both time and resources were scarce when the original chicken house project was constructed. It was decided by the editor and I to utilise an existing timber frame structure that had a roof over it which was used to collect water for a small water tank providing water to the orchard and for the house construction, as the base structure for the old chicken house and enclosure.
However, readers with excellent memories will recall that an entirely new chicken housing structure was constructed from scratch a few months back – which was the Chooktopia project. The first strategy which utilised the resources and infrastructure that we had on hand, turned out to be a temporary solution to the problem of where to house the chickens. This is because it didn’t work very well.
The recently completed Chooktopia project however, displayed the second strategy in action. This meant thinking about what the chickens needs were based on the lessons learned from the previous structure and then working backwards to identify what the new project would look like once completed. And after a few hard weeks of construction, the new project for the chicken housing and run was completed. It is a superior chook enclosure.
There is virtually no Internet connectivity this week at the farm, so instead of performing a Google search for the definition of the word “Abstract”, I had to go and grab my trusty hardback version of “The Concise Oxford Dictionary” Third Edition dating back to 1934 from the bookshelves! This week is very low tech (and a bit leather bound)!
The word “Abstract” is defined in that trusty book (as an adjective): Separated from matter, practice, or particular examples, not concrete; ideal, not practical; abstruse.
The third strategy mentioned above of chasing dream outcomes for projects is neatly defined for me above in the word Abstract as: Ideal, not practical. Examples that I can think of are: Dream house, dream wedding, dream holiday, dream chook pen etc (you get the idea). It is useful to note that whilst any ideas that fall into that third strategic category would be nice to have, sadly we usually have to discard those ideas out of hand due to economic constraints.
It may be hard for some readers to believe, but there are now even more flowers this week. A few years ago, a local beekeeper advised me that I did not have enough food for the bees on the farm, so I took his advice on board and just kept planting more flowers and creating more flower beds.
|There are now even more flowers this week at the farm|
Over the past few years I have been trialling what flowers easily and reliably grow here and so the diversity increases with each year. Observant readers will notice in the photo below that there is a black long haired Dachshund (aka Toothy) stalking through the vegetation.
|The diversity of flowers increases with each year on the farm|
The garden beds are continually increasing in size, and this week I completed the garden bed below the recently constructed fire wood shed. The small green splats in the new garden bed are some of the many tomato seedlings that I have been planting. Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with growing vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and flowers all in a confusing mass of vegetation and the experiments seem to be going well.
|The garden bed below the recently completed fire wood shed is now completed and will slowly grow and develop over the next year or so|
Before that garden bed could be completed, I had to install a pump, tap, water tank overflow and bushfire sprinkler all connected to the 4,000 litre (1,000 gallon) water tank that is fed from rainfall collected from the fire wood shed.
|A pump, garden tap and bushfire sprinkler were connected up to a small water tank this week|
The observation window into the new experimental bee hive has been an outstanding success and I’m able to observe what is happening in the new bee colony most days and haven’t yet been stung by the bees!
|The observation window into the new experimental bee hive has proven to be a success so far|
I may have next to no Internet access this week and these few photos took over half an hour to upload, but the editor and I do have the first of the ripe cherries. The cherry variety in the photo below is an Early Burlap and we ate those fruits faster than the birds ever could have!
|The first of the Early Burlap Cherries ripened this week|
The temperature outside here at about 10.15pm is 10.1’C degrees Celsius (50.2’F). So far this year there has been 686.0mm (27.0 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week's total 682.6mm (26.9 inches).