Chicken Dinner

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But not your average chicken dinner.

Remember those little chickies I posted a while back?

Chickies a week old

Four out of the five of them were roosters.  The hen and one of the roosters had been sold by Kit to someone, but since one of them was a rooster, Kit took him back.  

Saturday night a week and a half ago I got to say goodbye to the one that had gone away and come back.

Chicken dinner

For the next day, all four little roosters met their end.  Kit and Ben dispatched them and processed them, with help from Serena.

Last Wednesday night Stu and I were priliveged to join them to eat two of the roosters (the other two were frozen).

Chicken dinner

You can tell the one that had gone away because he'd been fed a lot more corn at his new home and his skin was a lot yellower.

Chicken dinner

What was even more amazing is that of the entire dinner, only the carrots, prosciutto, and the cheese were from a store.  All the other vegetebles and herbs were from Kit's garden.

Chicken dinner

I had to have some of the one I'd said goodbye to.  He was quite tasty.  Him and his brothers had had a good life, a lot better than most store-bought chickens.

Chicken dinner

There was quite a feast!  Kit had plenty of leftovers for the coming days.

Chicken dinner

Open Air Service

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A week after the 1994 Como bushfires, twenty three years ago today, we held an open air service in the grounds of the church.  The media were in attendance and the back of my head and my hair was on the evening news.

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

After the service, Dad and some others knocked over some unsafe walls that were in danger of toppling.  Note that some of the photos of the cleanup in my last post were taken after this.

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

The Macaulays could still smile after having lost their home, can you believe it?

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

This is Dad holding two of the lecterns saved by the firies.  The firies also saved part of the baptismal register (but my page had fallen out and was missing), and the photocopier.  They continued to use the photocopier for several years, and the lectern on the right is still in use in the rebuilt church.

Como 1994 bushfires - open air service

Aftermath and Cleanup

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In the week after the 1994 Como bushfires, twenty three years ago this week, excavators moved in to knock down unsafe walls from burnt out buildings.  Here's some photos Dad got of the process.

Como Presbyterian Church demolition (round one)..

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como Presbyterian Church demolition (round 2)..

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Dad took home several car loads of bricks and used them to make a path in the front yard of our house.

Demolition of the manse..

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Mark Chaseling demolishing his home..

Como 1994 bushfires

Demolition of Terry O'Shey's laundry..

Como 1994 bushfires

Como 1994 bushfires

Pool Dramas

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Last summer (or possibly the end of the summer before) I was getting frustrated with the chlorine we had taking forever to dissolve, so I thought I'd pay a bit more for a different variety (which did seem to dissolve a bit better).  Last summer I had issues with algae, but I attributed this to me being a slacker.  Towards the end of the season I think we added too much chlorine at one point, and the pool got very acidic.  It was so bad that the test kits didn't work at all - all the colours were comletely wrong - off the scale!  So at the beginning of summer I added some pH up and things returned mostly to normal, although I did notice the buffer was a bit high.  I wasn't sure why that was, as I hadn't added any buffer this summer.  But given that the pH changed the colour of everything I wasn't sure what to believe.  Anyway, at Christmas the pool had gotten a bit green, but again I attributed that to being a slacker and letting the chlorine get a bit too low for a couple of days.  So treated with flocculent and vaccuumed to waste and it cleared up.  From Christmas on I've been super diligent with the chlorine, and kept it within range the whole time.

But the pool just got greener and greener :(:(

So this morning we took a sample in to get tested.  Turns out the buffer is actually *super* high and even though the test strips say there's chlorine, there was actually very little.  Hence greenery.  Turns out the chlorine we bought has buffer built into it, and so it's been building up higher and higher.  Fricken great.  Pay more for something that actually makes the whole situation worse :(:(

So basically we have to vacuum to waste all over again to try and get the buffer levels down.  

*sigh*

The Day After

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The day after the bushfires burnt through Como, Sunday twenty three years ago today, we went up to inspect the damage.

Looking towards the front of the church.

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

This is standing at the top of the hill next to the church.  On the left is the front of the church, straight ahead is the manse, and the kindergarten playground is on the right behind the fence.  Just next to where dad is walking, in the little alcove in front of the window, some of the hymn books had fallen down, but hadn't been completely burnt.  Some of them had just had their edges burnt.  I looked through one and found the page where two hymns I knew were - 205 and 206 - The Church's One Foundation and Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.  I've kept this page in a frame ever since.

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

This is taken where the entrance of the church was, looking into the building

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

A couple of more distant shots of the property

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

This is taken from inside the church.  Standing where the kindergarten hall used to be, facing north towards the church entrance (above) and the kitchen (straight ahead left).  At about this spot, I found where the marble baptismal font had crashed through the floor to the ground below.  It had smashed into pieces so I found a chunk of it that had the curved dish of the font, and I've kept it on a shelf ever since.

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

Next to the church was the manse.  The Macaulay's were out of the house for the day and when it started to burn dad begged the firies to let him in to try and rescue Andrew's computer, but they wouldn't let him so they lost *everything*.  Oddly though, one of Ruth's little plastic kiddie chairs was in the carport, and it survived unscathed.  This is looking across the fence between the church and the manse yard (that fence didn't burn either) across to the Chaseling's and past that to where Pauline O'Neil died.

Como 1994 bushfires

This is looking in from the front to the lounge/family/kitchen of the manse.

Como 1994 bushfires

Next door to the manse was the Chaseling's.  They were out for the day as well, so lost everything.  Catherine lost her super cute little poofy chickens which she was pretty devastated about.

Como 1994 bushfires

Then we headed across to Woronora Crescent to see Chrissie's family's house.  We'd been to visit them the Friday night before the fires.  It was really hot that night and at one point poor little Red Car was overheating.  We got to Chrissie's and we could see across to Bangor and all the orange from the fires over there (in Bangor, Tanya Blencowe, who helped Sydney secure the rights to host the 2000 Olympics, lost part of her home and most of the memorabilia she had collected). They evacuated in stages on the Saturday, with Chrissie's dad being the last to leave.  But they really didn't get to save much.  I remember some really odd things that they lost, including a big roll of 1966 50c coins, some cool Magic Eye books, and a cute little tape deck that I'd given to Chris after I got one with a cd player in it for my 18th birthday.  They had some corningware that actually survived intact (I think it was them).  I also remember wondering at how little *black* there was around.  The fire was so intense that not even soon was left behind.

This is looking west down to the front of Chrissie's house.  The fire jumped the Woronora River and raced up the hill, taking out eighty-seven houses in the space of an hour or two.  Bonnet Bay is directly opposite, but was spared.

Como 1994 bushfires

This is from the bottom of their yard looking up the hill towards the back of the house (on the right).

Como 1994 bushfires

Chrissie outside her house.  Bushfires are incredibly fickle things.  Note the plastic swing seats.  The ones on the right are completely unharmed.

Como 1994 bushfires

Elva Lennon's house on the left (next door neighbour's to Chris), and looking north along Woronora Crescent.  She wasn't insured, but the RSL helped her rebuild.

Como 1994 bushfires

The next day on the Monday mum also got these photos.

This was Jean and Allan Wilson's house.  They'd had a frozen chicken in the freezer and found it cooked perfectly after the fires.

Como 1994 bushfires

This was Como West Public School.  Most of the school burnt down, but the library didn't.

Como 1994 bushfires

Remembering

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January 8.  Always a day I think about three things..

1.. David Bowie's birthday.  Still sad he's not with us anymore..

2.. The 1994 Como bushfires..

3.. My blogiversary.. fourteen years old today!

Here's a couple of photos I scanned a couple of months ago.  It's dad in front of our church as it was burning down in 1994, taken by one of the firies (about the only unit that actually made it to the scene - most were out at Bangor and weren't able to get back across the old Woronora bridge due to congestion).  This photo appeared in the local newspaper in the week after the fires.

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

Another from the series..

Como Presbyterian Church January 1994 bushfires

A few days

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Late Thursday afternoon Ben invited us over for dinner (lamb roast, with Serena's awesome gravy) so that was nice.

Friday night we watched a German movie - Look Who's Back - about what might happen if Hitler existed in modern day Germany.  It's labelled a comedy, and yes there are some funny moments, but it was all just a bit *scary* for me about the possibility of history repeating itself.

Saturday morning we headed out to Fyshwick to go to Material Pleasures to see if I could get some clothes for this boat trip we're going on.  Except the place was shut down until Monday for Christmas.  So that was a waste of a trip.  So we went to Hardly Normal to look at vacuum cleaners.  Except every fricken cordless vacuum cleaner comes with a roller brush head that would get tangled up instantly with my hair.  So that was all very frustrating.

Came home and just did a bit of house stuff.  Not much, just taking down Christmas decorations. 

This morning I woke up at around 3am and I've been awake ever since.  Stressing about vacuum cleaners (the one Stu is looking at is basically a glorified dustbuster, which I can't see how would be any improvement on the vacuum cleaner we already have, aside from easing the hurdle of actually *starting*), and that my bowels hurt (I think I'm dying).

Sigh.

Our recycling bin was almost full just after Christmas.  But we still had a week and a bit until the next recycling pickup.  Yet the rubbish bin had like one bag in it.  Meanwhile, garden waste just piles up around the place because we've got no easy way to get rid of it.

Canberra needs to make recycling pickups weekly, add a fortnightly greenwaste pickup and drop the frequency of rubbish pickups.  Or at least swap a rubbish pickup for a green waste pickup every fortnight.  

We had recycling piled around the bin in the kitchen, around the garage, and around the outside bin until pickup.  Then I filled up a couple of the neighbours' recycling bins to get rid of it all!

Back to it

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Had lunch with Scott and Kerry and most of the kids today after they saw Moana.  Probably the last time we'll see them in months :(

I spent most of tonight sorting out files on my computer so the backup would fit onto the smaller drive I have (which doesn't do big stuff such as photo masters).  I haven't done any DVD backups of my photo masters in several years.  I really should keep going with that in case of the zombie apocalypse.  Well really the EMP apocalypse.  Fortunately the chances of that happening are pretty remote, but it's a terrifying thought.  And if it *did* happen, probably a backup of my photos would be the least of my worries.  Staying alive for more than a couple of weeks would be our biggest concern.  

What a cheery blog entry heh.

Last Day

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We had a very quiet day today.  After having to socialise Every Single Day of the break, we decided to avoid people.  I didn't get much done though, partly because I was feeling a bit blah about the end of the holidays.  We did do a bit of gardening though, and had a swim.  I cooked a nice big roast pork for dinner, because we missed out on getting much crackling or leftovers at Christmas.  Our fridge is stuffed full of food again now, so now the fun part begins of getting through it all :)

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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