Friday, November 25, 2011


This is a short-beaked echidna, also known as a spiny anteater because of its diet of ants and termites.  I spotted this echidna on the side of the road while holidaying in northern New South Wales back on 24 August 2011.  I just had to stop to take some photos.

They roll into a defensive ball when they feel threatened

The echidna is a monotreme, a mammal that lays eggs as opposed to giving birth to live young.  Among living mammals only the platypus and the echidna are monotremes and both are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea.

 You can see the face in this photo

Did you know that male echidnas have a four-headed penis?  During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.  Fascinating.

It's not often one gets the chance to get this close to an echidna in the wild so I felt quite privileged.  

Oh, and before you ask, I didn't roll him over to check out his four-headed penis.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today the full version of Minecraft was released.  It was originally released as an alpha on 17 May 2009, then with a beta version on 20 December 2011, and we first downloaded it on 21 March 2011.  We (Maddie and I) have had many enjoyable hours playing this game.

Maddie spent most of the day playing on our online server with her friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 126

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my two daughters, 10 year old Maddie and 5 year old Georgia.

Our starting positions, me green, Georgia red, Grandma yellow and Maddie blue.

The one and only game we played this morning was a present for my recent birthday, Fantasy Flight's edition of Hey, That's My Fish!.  This is a fun abstract game in which players' penguins try to grab the most fish from quickly thawing ice floes.  Each turn, a player moves one penguin in a straight line over hex-shaped ice tiles with 1, 2 or 3 fish on them. The player then collects the hex from where the penguin started its movement from the table, thereby creating a gap which penguins can't cross on future turns. When a penguin can't move, it's removed from play with its owner claiming the tile on which it stands. The player who collects the most fish wins.

The final scores were me 29, Georgia 24, Grandma 21 and Maddie 17.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3

I picked up my pre-ordered Call of Duty: Modern Wafare 3 Hardened Edition this morning.  I've been a fan of the Call of Duty series for several years now, having played Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Traditionally these games are released the week of my birthday so as special present to myself I took the week off work and treated myself to the next installment in the Call of Duty series.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

RIP Mollie

Maddie found one of her pet rats, Mollie, dead in the cage this evening.  Mollie was Maddie's first pet and about 18 months old.  Understandbly, Maddie was a bit upset this evening.