Sunday/ my big film scanning project

Two weeks ago, I discovered an entire shoe box of my old ’80s and ’90s film negatives (35 mm) and slides in my brother’s house.

We promptly went out and bought a cheap flatbed scanner (Epson perfection v370) that can scan slides and film, and I have been patiently feeding the scanner reams of 35 mm film.

The plan is to upload all the pictures to Google Photos, but only after I had date-stamped and geo-tagged them as well.

That way the Google photo engine will be able to search for, and group all the faces for me, put them on a timeline sequence, and also on a world map by location: very nice.

‘Nothing escapes Agfa’ was a tagline long used for Agfa’s 35 mm film. This colorful print envelope from 1998 could accommodate panoramic prints and must have been a high point in the consumer film development and printing age. Alas, digital cameras made its film obsolete, and 2004, Agfa-Gevaert withdrew its products from the consumer market, including photographic film, cameras and other photographic equipment.
Check it out: no squinting at your 35 mm negatives, there is an index printed on the inside of the envelope. And that date printed at the top of the printed index could prove to be very valuable later. I have to engage in some serious sleuthing to put even a accurate YEAR on some of my 35 mm negatives that are undated.

Saturday/ Perth Cultural Centre

Here are a few pictures from my walkabout in Perth’s Cultural Centre on Friday.

An eye-catching mural on the corner of Aberdeen Street and Museum Street.
I love the colorful triangles on the sidewalk. This is right by the New Museum for Western Australia, scheduled to open in November of this year.
And here is the New Museum of Western Australia (WA). Its lines remind me just a little bit of Seattle’s Public Library. It was designed by a collaboration of Australian architecture firm Hassell and Dutch architectural firm OMA. Here are pictures, of the inside. 
This gorgeous building at 27 Museum Street is the only surviving residential building in the area. It was built in 1897, and is a pair of two-story semi-detached houses in the Federation Queen Anne style. The building now serves as offices for a Perth college.

Friday/ ten-pin bowling is fun

I went bowling with my family on Friday night.
The bowling alley looks and feels much the same — almost identical! — as the old Imperial Lanes bowling alley off Rainier Ave in Seattle. (Sadly, it closed down in 2015).

Check out my form in the ‘action sequence’ below. Not bad, but I have work to do: not a single strike in the ten frames*.  I did clean up the spares that had remained after the first ball, on several frames.
*It’s a strike when all ten pins are knocked down with the first ball rolled.

Thursday/ the train to Fremantle

I was in downtown Perth, and took the train to Fremantle today from there.
It takes about 30 minutes, and the train stops at 14 stations along the way.
To get back home to Bull Creek, there is no train: one has to take the bus.

Left: The train route from Perth station to Fremont station (about 30 mins). Right: The No 501 bus route from Fremont station to Bull Creek station (about 30 mins).
Here is Perth station. The Fremantle southbound line runs from on Platform 7. This one is above ground, and should not to be confused with Perth Underground station.
I arrived at Fremantle station at 4.00 pm on the nose. Note the white swan ornaments on the roof line. This station building was constructed in 1907, near the site of the original Fremantle station that was established in 1881.
I am sure the stories that the Federal Hotel at 23 William St in Fremantle can tell, are many and legendary. (Among others, it has seen a double murder upstairs). The hotel opened in July 1887, and has been renovated several times since then.
This cute dinosaur near the Fremantle station in a park, makes noises and opens and closes its eyes. It is a Parasaurolophus, and roamed around in Canada some 70 million years ago.
Here is the Fremantle town hall building and its tower. It opened in 1887. The crane behind it is located on King’s Square.
The Kings Square Renewal Project aims to revitalize the centre of Fremantle’s civic and commercial heart. Western Australia is doing well with the upswing in the commodities industry (record prices were paid for iron ore exported from the state in 2019, for example).
The colorful courtyard of an old shopping center called. Westgate Mall. I guess that’s graffiti on the walls, but I like the pattern painted on the paving.
Fremantle has a number of these gorgeous old ficus trees (at least that’s what I think they are).
This old brick building is near the railway line, and the port of Fremantle. Back in its heyday i twas used to store bales of wool from the interior of the country, for export.
Here is the train from Perth, running south towards Fremantle station.

Wednesday/ sharpening its beak

Alright .. one more picture of the pink and gray cockatoo called the galah.
This one was in an eucalyptus by the tennis courts here in Bull Creek.
It is steadying itself, while sharpening its beak on the hard bark of the tree trunk.

Hello, 2020

2020 is a leap year. Not all years divisible by 4 are leap years — centennial years not divisible by 400 are not.
So 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 will not be a leap year.

Monday/ sunset at Bathers Beach

The city of Fremantle is just south of the Swan River’s outlet into the Indian Ocean. We went there for fish & chips on Sunday night, and I had time for just a few pictures before it started to rain.

Bathers Beach is straight ahead, and to the left are eateries and the Two Fins fish & chips restaurant where we had a bite.
It was blustery as the sun was setting, and so the bathers at Bathers Beach were long gone!
Here is the old and the new in Cliff Street in Fremantle. To the left is a building that now houses the Western Australia Shipwrecks Museum, and to the right an administrative building of the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Sunday/ a beautiful eucalypt

This beautiful eucalyptus tree is by the tennis courts here in Bull Creek.
I am still trying to identify the specific name of it. The term ‘eucalypt’ includes some 900 species in the three genera Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora.
And where is its bark?

In almost all types of eucalyptus, the bark dies every year. It comes off in flakes, curls or long strips. This might be the tree’s way of shedding harmful mosses, lichens, fungi and parasites that live on the bark.

An eucalyptus tree with very little bark on its trunk and limbs. A strip of brown bark is visible on the left, from the back of the tree, but not much else.

It’s Friday/ beer from New Zealand

Here’s a new-ish New Zealand beer (first brewed 2017) that caught my eye in the store yesterday.
The claims made on the packaging, are definitely tongue-in-cheek.
– With the beast’s razor sharp tusks at his throat, Great Uncle Kenny drew his BBQ mate and slew the rare but ferocious guinea pig, thereby saving his Tinder date (Peru 1936). (No internet, no Tinder in 1936).
– The ‘#1 five-star award’ was by the ‘Miniature Horse Monthly Magazine’ at the ‘Australasian Beer Awards in 1648’. (No Australia in 1648).

Thursday/ another honeyeater

Here is the New Holland honeyeater.
They are found throughout southern Australia.
I found a picture of one on the wall at the Stockland shopping center, and the real McCoy in the Ron Carroll Reserve green space.

The New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) was one of the first birds from Australia to be scientifically described. large They have a large yellow wing patch, and smaller white earpatches and whiskers.
Large mural artwork of a New Holland honeyeater at the Stockland shopping mall.

Wednesday/ bushfires: the worst on record

It’s Christmas Day, but firefighters in South Australia, across the Adelaide Hills, are still battling to bring raging bushfires under control there.
Record low rainfall this year has contributed to the scorching of some 5 million hectares (that’s 19,000 sq miles) in Australia so far, by far the worst year on record.

What will it take to get the bushfires in Australia under control? The water bottle is for the koala, I think. (Pictures of koalas tended by firefighters have made the rounds in the media). The CFA on the jackets of the firefighters stands for Country Fire Authority,  a fire and emergency service in some parts of the country. [Cartoon by Dean Alston in the West Australian].

Christmas Eve

The ‘boab’ Christmas tree at Perth airport. Boab (Adansonia gregoriiare) are found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and east into the Northern Territory.

Monday/ a flock of western corellas

I ran into a flock of western corellas (Cacatua pastinator) across from the little shopping center here in Bull Creek. The white cockatoos were eating the seeds of a cypress bush and did not mind me too much, as I came closer to them to take some pictures.

By some estimates the number of these birds have increased tenfold in the greater Perth area over the last 20 years. The city council is mulling how to control their numbers, and has called on bird lovers to refrain from feeding them, as a start.


Sunday/ a twilight cruise

On Sunday, we went on a twilight cruise on the upper Swan River ⁠— just a slow round trip at 5 knots, on the wide swath of river by downtown Perth.
Here’s where we went, and a few of the sights along the way.

We boarded the cruise boat at Barrack St Jetty, went by Heirisson Island, and up to The Royal at the Waterfront (upmarket condos on the water). We came back the same way, but the captain steered us by Mends St Jetty, and then on the Elizabeth Quay for a look at the city skyline, before finishing up at the Barrack St Jetty.
This is Barrack Square, close to the starting point at Barrack Street jetty. The Bell Tower (built in 1999) is now crowded a little bit by its new neighbors: two luxury condominium towers on the right, and a Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the left.
Across from the Bell Tower, a Double Tree Hotel is going up, with pressed metal plates creating a pattern on the outside.
These flood lights are standing like sentries at the stadium of the Western Australia Cricket Association. The burn rate is AUS$ 2,000 (US$ 1,400) per hour, when the lights are on.
Here’s a new suspension pedestrian bridge coming up, the Matagarup Bridge, spanning the Swan River. It opened Jul. 2018 at a cost of US$ 90 million. Its form symbolizes a white swan and a black swan.
Passing under the Matagarup Bridge. It looks like the bridge designers borrowed elements from the design of roller coaster frames.
The high points of the bridge frame stand at 72 m (236 ft).
Our cruise boat had mostly covered seats inside, with a small outside seating & standing area in the bow. The low profile of our vessel allowed it to go underneath all of the bridges on our tour. Here we were approaching the little Trafalgar pedestrian bridge by The Royal At The Waterfront condominiums. Prices range from AUS $1- $5m; that’s US$700k- $US3.5m.
This collared lizard artwork is at the Mends St Jetty. The Perth Zoo is nearby.
The national flag in David Carr Memorial Park (with its Union Jack and Southern Cross star constellation, of course). Australia Day is coming up: Jan. 26 every year. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.
Here is a little bit of the city skyline by Elizabeth Quay. The towers are the headquarters of mining giants BHP Billion (on the left) and Rio Tinto (middle).
Here is another pedestrian bridge that mimics a swan, the Elizabeth Quay pedestrian bridge. It is approached by a Transperth ferry, that will cross over to the other side of the Swan River.

Saturday/ taking the train to downtown

It’s an easy 11 minutes on the train, going  from Bull Creek station where I am, to the Perth Underground station downtown.
So off I went today, to buy one more Christmas present, and then call it done. (The mission was accomplished).

Here comes the Transperth train, going north on the Mandurah line. (Mandurah is a city on the coast, a 45-minute drive south of Perth). The line opened 12 years ago, in Dec. 2007.
The Commonwealth Bank Building is a six-story stone-clad building constructed from 1930-1933. (So right during the time of the Great Depression, which hit Australia hard as well. There was no international demand for Australia’s important export industries such as wool and wheat). The water fountains were on, and the kids enjoyed the respite it offered in the 87 °F/ 31 °C weather.
Here’s the action at the Perth Underground station, as we were boarding to go south towards Mandurah, and for me to hop off at Bull Creek Station.

Friday/ for my stamp collection

I stopped at an ‘Australia Post’ post office today.
I had the poor clerk behind the counter flip through the big album, full of sheets of stamps, so that I could pick out colorful and interesting stamps to buy. She was very patient with me!

Top to bottom & left to right: Set of freshwater crayfish stamps by naturalist and zoologist Roger Swainston | ANZAC Day 2019 (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) mini-sheet | Celebrating marriage equality (the law was passed two years ago, Dec. 2017) | Little penguins, the smallest penguin species, found on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand | 50th anniversary of the moon landing | Snorkeling, windsurfing, kite surfing and just old-fashioned board surfing, at Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a remote territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean.

Thursday/ the pink and grey

Here’s a galah (cockatoo) depicted on a wall at the Stockland shopping center here in Bull Creek, Perth. I have seen them around, but have not gotten close enough to one, to take a picture.

The galah /ɡəˈlɑː/ (Eolophus roseicapilla), also known as the pink and grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia. [Source: Wikipedia].

Wednesday/ a wattlebird

I found this western wattlebird (Anthochaera lunulata) in the Ron Carroll Reserve, a green space here in suburban Perth.
The bird is a large honeyeater, long and slender, with dark grey-brown upper-parts.
There are pale streaks and spots on the neck, chest and belly.
They have ‘brush-tipped’ tongues, with which they eat nectar from flowers. They do eat insects as well.

Tuesday night/ arrival in Perth

The scene out of the window, some 4 hrs into the flight, so that is probably an Indonesian island below.
A crossing of the equator means a change in hemisphere, and hey! midsummer down south. Wednesday will see 91 °F (32 °C), says the weatherman.

The 10 hours from Tokyo to Perth went by with the help of in-flight movies. Kudos to ANA for serving up a really nice meal, even to those of us in the back of the bus.

The flight was not even half-full, probably because it is a new route.