Happy Summer Solstice/Winter Solstice depending on your hemisphere


Thinking like an engineer…

This week has been very interesting with more demands and a greater learning

Slow beginnings to final draft design#1

curve.  I have been researching, reading, and asking questions about every fitting, fixture, and tool.  I have finished my final sketch for the tripod design and it was accepted by the Mechanical Engineer Workshop Director, Curt and my

supervisor, David.  Out of all of the sketches, ideas, and pieces they liked  and chose the most simplistic.  Curt has even further simplified the design you see in the picture and I am now re-drawing the idea as well as close-up views of some of the joint connections and strut angles.  When I was presented with this challenge I had so many ideas, some of them more aesthetic than functional and some too complex for the machines we will be using to build the design.  I was happy to not

Final Design#2….need to redraw yet again to incorporate a few new changes…

feel defeated by the process and feedback… if anything it gave me more ambition to get it right.  The only thing that would have been incredibly helpful is if I would have been able  to use Autocad.  This way I could have immediately made changes to the graphic design rather than re-draw the design from scratch.  One of the aspects I have really enjoyed about drawing out the design is that it makes me think about every single aspect, dimension, size, and consider its ability to perform under the cyclonic conditions.  I think this means I am thinking like an engineer…whatever that means….at least I know I am thinking, learning, and loving it.

Up, Up, and Castle Hill… 

Monday afternoon Pip, Jay’s good friend, picked me up from JCU and took me to Castle Hill for a little hike in the afternoon.  To give you perspective, Castle Hill is located in the city centre very close to the marine ports (I am about 6 miles away from here).  I have seen Castle Hill many times now while biking through the city, but had absolutely no idea how awesome it is.  Pip and Sammy (cute little dog in picture) picked me up and immediately I liked her (and Sammy too).  She is an incredibly outgoing person with a very dynamic personality.  She is ready for anything and seems to explore life and enjoy the richness of each experience.  I was also able to meet her friend Adrian who came along and together they struck me as sisters and very close friends.  As we walked up the goat trail to the top we talked about various topics, life, and historical aspects of Townsville.

Pip, Sammy, and Adrian on Castle Hill

Adrian will be running a workshop on happiness, meditation, and well being this weekend and unfortunately I will not be able to attend, but the concepts sounded great.  Pip is leaving with her two children to a very snowy and beautiful New Zealand to visit family and take advantage of the winter holiday.  When we made it to the top the sun was about 43° above the horizon and the views were breathtaking.  The light was golden and the air was

rich with a cool breeze and a slight smell of sea air and eucalypts.  We went to each corner of the hill to take in the views and I was so happy to be there and

Love the “winter” colors!!

have a different way of picturing were I located in my surroundings.  What is it with sunsets…they never get old…they are like a flame, you just stare and stare and your mind whizzes to all places, people, and thoughts.  I quite enjoy that they are momentary things you have to sometimes find and position yourself to “catch” at just the right moment.  When we were up on the hill I felt like one of those insects that is drawn to the light, I kept running to each corner of the hill to watch the sun dip below the horizon and watch the atmosphere slowly be blanketed by purple, blue, and pink flares.   

After Castle Hill and the walk down Pip invited me for a dinner with her family.  Paul, her husband, made a cornucopia of veggies that were super tasty for dinner and I was able to sit down in an incredibly colorful and beautiful home and enjoy a meal with very good company.  After dinner we all realized that Sammy was missing and found him still patiently waiting in the car!! (good things dogs are resilient)  This was a great start to the week and I felt very fortunate for the connection.  I look forward to dinner again when Pip gets back from New Zealand.

Around JCU

I am still keeping up with soccer

Engineers Soccer practice…

on Tuesday and Friday and really enjoying all of the engineers that play.  I seem to be a target for bush turkeys and am developing a mild fear when I see them.  They are chaotic, go for anything, and are constantly in my shoes when I sit in the grass and do work next to the library.  I have been getting up way too early to go on morning runs Tuesday and Thursday with Cam and Jenny from the Townsville Road Runners Club, however it is a love hate relationship (kind of like vegemite spread) where when you are finished and the sun is just surfacing you feel great and ready to start the day, the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you are lying in bed contemplating how comfortable you feel.

I  was able to bike into Townsville Centre the last two nights to meet and greet with

Great meal with James at Michel’s in Townsville.

James (friend of my brother that I randomly bumped into on Saturday) and the Air Force crew from Honolulu.  It was great hearing about the dive the Air Force crew took part in Sunday and I have now been on the search for where I can take a class and be certified the first weekend of July.

Paper Eucalyptus tree with amazing soft bark and branches. Great reading tree and Ross River view!

Today (Thursday) is the Air Force crews last day and I will be sad to see them go.  It was really nice seeing a familiar face and find great restaurants to eat out at in the city.

Excited about this weekends winter solstice Paluma Festival!  Wish I could share tree climbing and great views with all of you…






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