Category Archives: general

Beetles devouring our lilly pillies

Over 12 months ago I spotted a bright green beetle on the outside of the window. It was similar in size and shape to a ladybird, but instead of red and black it was bright green.  I took a photo, admired its shiny shell then promptly forgot about it.

The deck in our backyard is bordered by several lilly pillies which have been looking sparse.  I took a clipping to the local nursery and they suggested I spray the trees with EcoPest oil, an insecticide which uses paraffin oil as an active ingredient.  I did this, and repeated the process several weeks later in order to eliminate any pests which might have hatched since the initial spray. Hoping I’d eliminated the pest, a month or so later new growth appeared on the trees and they were starting to look healthy.  A few days after spotting the new growth, I noticed the leaves were being eaten again.  The pest oil hadn’t solved my problem. Then, one morning while enjoying breakfast in the sun I spot the culprit – one of the bright green beetles I’d been admiring a year earlier!

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Ok Google…Is there anything you don’t know?

Since Google Now first appeared on my Nexus 4 in 2013 I’ve been continually impressed by the little bits of information it has offered up.  At first it was the small things like the weather in my current location, or if I was away from home then it would let me know what the weather was like in my home suburb as well.  Then my mobile phone started offering directions to addresses or businesses I had just searched for on my PC.

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Skiing at Falls Creek

On Friday I arrived home from a week at Falls Creek.  We had amazing weather, and there was lots of snow coverage. I carried my Bryton Rider 20+ in my jacket pocket to track my runs, and loaded them up into the BrytonSport website.

Here’s a handy Google Map layering our tracks from each day, and a few photos from on the mountain.

In total we covered 163.93km, reaching a maximum speed of 54.9kph on the last day towards the bottom of Big Dipper. Looking forward to going back next year and trying to beat my speed!

Posted from Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia.

Attack of the spider mites

I bought a pot plant from Bunnings a couple of years ago.  The tag says it’s a Codiaeum Croton. It doesn’t flower, but has nice leaves with red and yellow patches.  It doesn’t seem to like too much water, so I soak it once a week, then let it dry out before watering again. I fertilise it a few times a year with a general purpose fertiliser. It’s sitting on a bookshelf just inside a window, and gets direct sunlight in the mornings, and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.

It’s been really healthy, except that earlier this year it started losing new leaves as quickly as they were growing.  I couldn’t work out what was going on, because I hadn’t changed the way I cared for the plant.  Then two months ago I noticed a fine cobweb forming on the branches where the leaves were sprouting.  I had a pest!

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Derek’s Den revamped

It’s been quite a few years since I posted here, but I’ve decided to start making use of my blog again.  I’ll be posting a mix of stories, reviews and guides – the first post as a result of my recent attempt at installing CyanogenMod 7 on my HTC Desire.

Anyway, before I go on with some new posts I wanted to include a screenshot of the old layout for posterity…

The existing layout for Derek's Den

The original layout for Derek’s Den


No, that’s not a “wow” as in something exciting…but more a “wow” as in…well…I can’t really explain it without making the sounds…

Anyway, it sure has been a long time since I posted! Not a single one for the month of August (almost makes me consider back dating this post…lol)

So, I haven’t really got much to say for now, but just wanted to write something.

Have fun!

Yum yum!

Just another week in a Coles catalogue…

Or is it? Take a closer look at the white cupcake in middle. Even if you’re saving 81c, would you want to eat these cupcakes?