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Slow Food

Urban Graze Slow Food Cruise on Sydney Harbour

20 February, 2010

Sydney skyline

Useful keyboard shortcuts for the Kindle 2


See links to accessories below

Matte Decalgirl skin for comparison

Matte DecalGirl skin for comparison - taken with the flash on

I’ve been compiling a list of useful keyboard shortcuts and tips specific to the Kindle 2.  Here’s what I’ve found so far (thanks to numerous web sources). It is not comprehensive, as I’ve left out the possibly dangerous or overly technical. I don’t have web browser access on the Kindle, so if there are shortcuts for the browser, I don’t know about them. My criterion is that I will find the shortcuts useful.

I’ve put the list on my Kindle as an aide-mémoire, so it’s available as a .mobi if anyone is interested (right-click on the link and ‘Save link as …).


  • Add/remove bookmarks: ALT+B


  • Copy text to search box: Select text, <Spacebar> *
  • Clear text from search/edit box: ALT+DEL
  • Author in Kindle store: @author <name>
  • @help – list all functions, including:
    • @dict <keyword>
    • @store <keyword>
    • @web <url>
    • @wiki <keyword>


  • Start/Stop: Shift+SYM (then be patient)
    • To start at a specific spot, position cursor first
  • Pause/Restart: <Spacebar>

Background Music

  • Play/Stop: ALT+<Spacebar>
  • Next track: ALT+F


  • Minesweeper: ALT+Shift+M from Home screen
  • GoMoku: G from Minesweeper


  • Rescan: ALT+Z
  • Jump to page: <number> then click/<Enter>
  • Author or title search: <first letter> then click when in author/title sort order


  • Capital letters when typing: Hit SHIFT first, then the letter; no need to hold them down together
  • Redraw screen: ALT+G
  • Screenshot: ALT+Shift+G
  • Whispernet provider: From Settings screen, type 311
  • Kindle Serial No et al: From Settings screen, type 411
  • Kindle store: ALT + HOME


  • Line spacing: ALT+Shift+n (n = 1 to 9)

* More detailed instructions for copying text from a book to the search bar (for example, when you want to look up the first occurrence of a character in a book):

  • Use the 5-way to cursor down to the beginning of the text you want to copy
  • Click the 5-way to mark the beginning
  • Use the 5-way to move right, selecting the word(s) you want to search for
  • Instead of clicking again as you would to save a highlight, press the spacebar
  • The selected words are now in the search box. If you want to search the current book, just click the 5-way (searching the current book is the default); if you want to search your items or Wikipedia etc, move the 5-way to the right to highlight the option you want.

M-Edge Platform Genuine Leather Kindle Jacket

M-Edge e-Luminator2 Kindle Booklight

DecalGirl Kindle 2 skin – Zen Revisited – Gloss

DecalGirls Kindle 2 skin – Dark Burlwood – Matte


Save Bidjigal Reserve

Save Bidjigal Reserve from Go Ape and any other development!

On top of the world

20 August 2009

On top of the world

One day …

… I’m going to do more work on my family tree.


Christmas 2008

Bruce and Mum

Picture 1 of 15

Bruce and Mum


The plastic poncho as fashion statement

Singin' in the rain

A good 90% of those at the Andre Rieu concert were wearing plastic ponchos. Very classy, Judi. Mind you, those without ponchos were experiencing poncho envy. At one stage the guy sitting in front of me put up his umbrella, totally blocking my view. My tap on his shoulder was very polite, though he could possibly hear the grinding of my teeth.

The published timetable said that there would be eight buses in total to take people from our rather large bit of north-western Sydney to ANZ Stadium. This was obviously not going to be anywhere near enough, so we drove several kilometres past our nearest bus stop (and past queues of wating people) to pick up a bus earlier in the route. I should have known that Sydney has learnt valuable lessons from the Olympics. The published timetable bore no relationship at all to reality, and, by the time we had parked, there were plenty of buses.

As we were walking from the bus to the stadium, we were able to enjoy the full fury of a thunderstorm. There were pathetic groups of people (including the six of us) clustered under any shelter they could find.

We bought bubbly (in rather cute plastic flutes) on our way in. The rain diluted it somewhat – it’s quite difficult to drink when you are trying to keep dry under a poncho, even if the thunder and lightning have stopped.

We were in row 10 in the tiered stands. It was a great view, but we figure about row 20 would have had us under cover, without significantly reducing the view. It did stop raining about half an hour into the show. However, when it was time for interval, Andre announced that more rain was on the way. He skipped interval; this meant he was on stage for three hours without a break. Quite impressive. The queue for the ladies after the show was also impressive.

We had some luck catching a bus home. There were two routes servicing our area – 5A and 5B. There was a very long queue, but there was also a 5B sitting there with almost no-one on it. We went up to a lovely lady who was ushering people into buses. She had been trying in vain to get people onto the 5B. We were very happy to get out of the rain and take the seats.



How to break a hydrant for beginners

The hydrant is the bit that, in suburban settings, is usually underground, like this:


Using a hydrant bar to open the hydrant


The hydrant revealed

The round bit in the middle of the hydrant is a spring valve.

‘Shipping the standpipe’ is the term for fitting the standpipe into the hydrant.

To ship the standpipe, you fit the lugs at the bottom of the standpipe so they engage with the hydrant clutches, and you then tighten it up. This isn’t easy when the hydrant hole is full of muddy water and you can’t see the clutches.

Once the standpipe is in place, before you can fit any hoses, you have to flush the hydrant.  To do this, you turn it on slowly using the handwheel. This causes the spindle disc of the standpipe to press down on the spring valve, thus opening the valve. The water that comes out is usually dark brown, and full of stones and grit. If you look closely, you can see the delightful brown colour in the next picture. I remind you, this is your drinking and cooking water.

Flushing the hydrant

This is where the problem arises. Sometimes stones and grit get stuck in the spring valve. We initially had this problem, and the valve was stuck wide open. By repeatedly banging down hard on the handwheel with the hydrant bar and turning the standpipe on and off, we eventually got the flow to stop … more or less.

However, there was now an additional problem. The hydrant had recently been replaced, and the water board had not concreted it into the ground – it was only held in place by the surrounding soil. When we couldn’t stop the flow from the hydrant, water was gushing out of the hydrant, washing away most of that soil. The hydrant was wobbling all over the place, and we couldn’t risk using it and having it fail again.

Fortunately, there are hydrants at about every fifth house.

At training last night, we used the hydrant nearest to my house. I’m pleased to say it worked perfectly.


Burning, not frying

The problem with living in a hilly area is that you have to go up and down the hills. That’s fine if you’re in a car, but running up and down is a different matter. I did a lot of that, conveying messages from the site of the pile burn up to the hydrant on the street, and back again. It’s not easy in those overalls.

We managed to break one hydrant, and had to run out extra lengths of hose to reach the next one. It’s lucky the wonderful guys from Castle Hill fire station were there, even if they were nearly two hours late because they were out on calls.


Frying bacon

Some of the band, Hangover Black, were here last night for the very last recording session in the house. James had a cable running all the way from his room at the far end of the house into the kitchen so he could record … 6 minutes of frying bacon. I’m sure it’s an integral part of the album.

They are off to have the tracks mastered today. Somewhat improbably, given the pics below, I’ll miss having them in the house. Equally improbably, James the vocalist is not at the mastering because he is off lifting heavy weights instead.

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