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Twenty years ago, right in the middle of the Olympics, Vic and Janelle had Jordan.  I went and visited them twenty years ago today when he was two days old.

Janelle and Jordan

Jordan Owen

Kaz and Jordan

COVID-19 Update

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Canberra has escaped relatively unscathed from COVID-19 (so far).  We had a spate of cases right in the beginning, but almost all of them were from returning overseas travellers and their close contacts.  There was a single case in June from a diplomat returning from overseas.  And in July there was a few linked to a family returning from Melbourne during their spike in cases.

Life for us hasn't changed too much.  As I said at the beginning, for us it just meant seeing less of our friends and not eating out as much.  As those restrictions were lifted some months ago, we have been able to catch up with friends more often, and we've been out for meals more often.

We're mostly doing our shopping fortnightly so we don't need to go to the shops as often.  We've done some shopping at the markets and I get most of our milk and orange juice (and beer!) from Chris's.  And our last two big Coles shops have been delivered, so we haven't set foot in Coles in over two months.

I think I'm about the same weight as pre covid.  I would normally eat lunches at the food court every day so that hasn't been happening, but I would also get quite a bit more walking in.  I'm still going for a short walk at lunch every day and seeing three or four groups of magpies.  Lunches are either leftovers or noodles or toast or whatever.  Not terribly healthy.

Our work drinks are still closed, although that may change soon.  During the six months of the lock down we drank through eight cases of Corona beer.  In the last couple of months the guys that have been in the office have gone up to the Pot Belly for Thursday drinks.  While it's good and all, it's *very* expensive compared to drinking at home, or even at work.

We've been encouraged to come into work to work more often.  Which is a shame because I could happily work from home and *never* go into the office.  But they won't let us do that.  So on Thursday I went into work - for only the third time since March - and exactly six months to the day that I started working from home.  I'll probably go in once a week to start with, unless we get an outbreak here.

Travelwise, the trip to Europe with Mum got postponed two years.  I found it somewhat ironic that the whole reason the Passion Play in Oberammergau came to be was because of a plague.  And this year they had to cancel (postpone).  Because of a plague.

Our cruise next year has finally been called off.  But again this one has been postponed a year.  Let's just hope there's a vaccine developed in the next year otherwise even then things will be in doubt.

We missed out on going to Tasmania for Stu's 50th, but did have a nice long weekend in Tumut which was really nice.

How's everyone else's lockdowns going?

Early on in the year the sweetie decided he wanted to go to Tasmania for his 50th birthday.  We'd go down for a long weekend and just have a nice quiet weekend in Hobart.

Then Covid-19 happened. 

We couldn't plan anything in advance.  We couldn't even guarantee we'd be allowed across the border into NSW much more than a few weeks in advance.  So we sat on the idea and wondered what we might be able to do or where we might be able to go.

Then in early August Lorraine Elliot of Not Quite Nigella blogged about her trip to Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai and Yass, including a visit to the Tumut River Brewing Company.  I thought a brewery tour and a weekend in Tumut sounded like a great idea and suggested it to the sweetie.  He thought it sounded like a great idea too.  The Sunday before we planned to go down I called up to see if tours would even be running (because, covid), and they were, and got ourselves booked in.  I didn't book accommodation until the day we left, because I didn't want to have to go through the drama of cancelling if one of us got sick in the intervening time.

We took the slow way to Tumut on the Saturday, via Adaminaby, snow and dams.

Sunday morning we visited Blowering Dam and the Tumut lookout before walking up to the pub.

The brewery itself is setup in an old store building, and the pub is setup next door in what used to be a tyre store.  Out the front all the tables are full of people enjoying lunch and a beer in the glorious late winter day.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) exterior

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) exterior

There's a hand santising station out the front, setup like a beer tap!

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) hand sanitiser

Inside is full of comfy couches, and the day's live performance act, Toby Mobbs, is getting setup.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) comfy couches and live music

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) comfy couches and bar

We enquire about our tour booking.  It seemed to have gone astray, however there's two other groups for a tour booked, so we pay and go in to sit down.  There's a couple of different options you can get - the tour; tour and tasting; or tour, tasting and meal.  We opt for the latter - tour, tasting and meal.  This includes the talk by Tim Martin, one of the owners, four 7oz tasters, and a burger or mini pizza.  All for $35.  Absolutely excellent value!!

We start with a pint of Full Grunt and enjoy drinking a beer in front of all the equipment.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) Full Grunt

While we're waiting, we have a look around.  There's the processing tanks, as well a series of fermenting tanks.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) brewery equipment

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) fermenting tanks

On the other end of the building are the stores of grains and hops, and cans ready for canning.  The canners come and setup in the middle of the floor and can on the spot.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) canning floor

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) cans

On one side is a keg cleaning? filling? both? station

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) keg cleaning station

12:30pm rolls around and Tim gets started on his story.  Two guys have a dream to make great beer.  They all live happily ever after.

Not quite!

The story has been going on for years, and has been one drama and set back and battle after another, over and over and over again.  Which is such a shame, because they do in fact make great beer, and the brewery is an amazing thing for Tumut to have going for it.  

We have a couple of breaks during the talk (once you break that seal.. ;) ), and we get started on our tasters.  You get four tasters each, so the sweetie and I worked our way through eight different beers.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) 7oz tasters

Some of the others got the Full Grunt burger and were raving about it, so for lunch we got one of those, and a mini pizza.  I wasn't quite concentrating when I went to order the food - I should have gotten something a bit more adventurous than pepperoni ;)  Sadly the sweetie had eaten half the burger before I got a chance to get a photo!

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) pepperoni pizza

After telling the story of how the brewery came to be, Tim then went into the details of the beer making process, explaning the whole thing from start to finish, and how they use locally sourced ingredients where possible.  Did I mention this brewery is great for the local area? :)

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) Tim inspects the processing tank

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) beer processing tank

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) grain inlet

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) brewery interior

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) Tim Martin at TRBC

And if you want to know about the bubble wrap marks on the side of the vats, you'll have to go and take a tour to hear the story!

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) bubble wrap marks

After the tour is done, we head back out into the lounge.  We grab another pint each and listen to the last couple of songs by Toby Mobbs.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) pints

His last song of the day is "Three Cities" about "coming from" three cities - Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga.  

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) Toby Mobbs

I also have a bit of a wander round the pub.  

The bottle wall is amazing.  There's all sorts of historic bottles and cans there, and it was cool to try and pick ones I'd had.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) historical can collection

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) historical can collection

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) historical can collection

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) beer making process

We had a thoroughly lovely afternoon there, and it was a great way to spend Stu's 50th (even tho that was the next day, shh! ;) ).

The next morning on our way out of town we dropped in to pick up a mixed case of beer.  You can buy them individually, or in four packs, six packs or cases.  We opted for six different four packs, as the four packs were already bound and easy to pick up.

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) beer for sale

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) beer for sale

Tim saw us there and brought out a small glass of a sour that's nearly ready for canning.  It was very refreshing - it will be good in summer!

I truly hope Tim gets a "happily ever after" - he's put in sooo much effort!!

Tumut River Brewing Co (TRBC) Tim Martin at TRBC

PS, as I started writing this this afternoon I was chatting to Tony, and he said Tim? or someone from TRBC was at Herbert's just down the road!  Today!!  And I missed it!!!  Gahh!!!!  They also tapped their 50 Shades of Purple last night, I'm going to have to get down there to try it!!

Shoalhaven River

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Back in the early 80s, Dad did a lot of bushwalks with mates from work.  They did several trips to the Shoalhaven - I have a feeling they walked/liloed the entire length of the river over time.  Forty years ago today Dad took this photo of Tony (Robinson?) and Brian (Hayman?) on beach at bottom of Needles Pass.  

Tony and Brian at Shoalhaven River

The thing that made this photo special is that they got a poster sized print of it and mounted it to a piece of masonite and hung it in the kitchen, where it stayed for nearly thirty-five years until Mum sold the house in 2014.  So we looked at this photo *a lot* !!

Funnily enough I couldn't easily find a picture of it in the kitchen.. I probably have one somewhere.. but I did find this one of Pam making cocktails one Christmas.

Shoalhaven River below Needles Pass

I scanned Mum's print of it some years back and was going to use that, but scanned Dad's slide just the other day..!

A long long long time ago the brother type person put me onto Geosetter by Friedemann Schmidt.  I've been using it to geotag my holiday photos since probably around 2010.  I take the GPS tracks from my PhotoMate, and geotag all the photos with it.

I've only been using Geosetter for the basics of geotagging, but a while back David showed me that Geosetter could pull even more location data from GeoNames a free location database.  Well free except the api key is restricted to 1000 requests an hour.  It'll work briefly at the beginning of the hour then stop.  But, turns out you can register for a free account.  So I did that, and in the Internet settings of Geosetter, you put your GeoNames details in, and away you go!  Did that the other night and got it working.  I haven't started going through and adding the data to all my files yet - I'll start to work on that methodically at some point.

A year or two ago Google started charging to use their maps API.  Geosetter fell victim.  It would still work, but the map would be very dark and have "for development purposes only" watermarks all over the page.  This also would occasionally work properly if you loaded the application at a quiet time when other people weren't using it as much.  Then it would stay working for a few days, so I'd leave it open so I could come back to it.  But for most of the time it just made it a bit harder to label photos because the page would be so dark.   David had also gotten around this problem by registering for a Google API key.  This one you need to pay for, but unless you're making a lot of requests, it's pretty cheap (0.007 USD each map load if I read it right).  So I found a guide online which describes how to get an API key and configure it in Geosetter.  So I did that tonight and got it working!  It took a bit of fiddling with Google as the developer guide doco neglected to mention associating the Maps Javascript API with the project. It also didn't talk about how to associate billing.  I had to fiddle around in the Cloud Platform settings to find those myself.  But now it seems to load properly, so that'll be much more betterer!

Fun times!

Just before the start of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the Olympic flame had been traversing the world from Greece (do they really allow naked flames on aircraft?), all around Australia, and finally through Sydney for a few days.  

On this day twenty years ago I managed to see the torch relay twice, and my camera documented it three times.  NFI who any of the people were.  If it had been now it would be easy to find this stuff online, but not so easy to find stuff from back then.

First up was in Marrickville, a kilometre or two from where I lived.  It was headed southeast down Marrickville road, and turned left onto Victoria Road, where I saw it.  I went and saw it before heading to work.  

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Marrickville

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Marrickville

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Marrickville

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Marrickville

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Marrickville

At lunch time, I walked up to Randwick from work (along with half the Eastern Suburbs) to see it coming down Avoca St? Belmore Rd?

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - Randwick

Then I passed my camera off to Daniel, who took it into the city where it was *epic* - epic crowds and festivities for the celebration.  Apparently there was even Steve Waugh.

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - City

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - City

Sydney Olympic Flame Torch Relay - City

One fun thing I did on our Tumut weekend two weeks ago was reproduce four photos Dad took in Adaminaby on a trip there in June 1961 (a group of them did a tour around the Snowy Mountains Scheme which was still in the process of being constructed).

Just look at the growth of the trees in sixty years!

1961 and 2020 photos below for comparison.

Adaminaby plaque - 1961

Adaminaby plaque - 2020

Adaminaby - 1961

Adaminaby - 2020

Adaminaby bank building - 1961

Adaminaby bank building - 2020

Adaminaby church - 1961

Adaminaby church - 2020

And here's me comparing the scene!

Adaminaby old and new

Not backdated, but no photos, will update with photos later.

Monday.  Noticed the sucking cat fish hadn't moved from yesterday.  I put my hand in the tank to poke it to see if it was alive, and it was COLD!!  15C!!  Fricken heater must have died.  No wonder the angel had died.  And the cory looked pretty sick too, and they hadn't eaten the algae wafer I gave them on Saturday.  Brought up a little heater from the empty two foot from downstairs.  But after being plugged in and running all day, the tank had only risen a couple of degrees in temperature.  Did my quota of UK labelling, washing up and finished a jigsaw by 19:30, so on to cull Tumut photos for the blog.

Ya great galah

Tuesday.  Had to go into work - first time I'd done any work in the office since May.  I'd rather be at home.  But did go and have Kingsleys with the guys which was nice.  After lunch was a very draining meeting with vendors.  Blerf.  Meanwhile it's all happening for Kit and Pete - sold two houses and bought another in the space of a couple of weeks!  Cooked Coles chicken kievs and home-made wedgies.  Got quota of UK photos labelled (finished day 22), but didn't have the energy for Tumut photo culling.

Wednesday.  Turned the heater on in the morning but nothing happened.  It's been so warm these past few days.  It was still 19 in the house (heater was on 17).  Fish tank still slowly warming up.  However it was a cold day, and the house didn't warm up at all from the sun, in fact it kept getting colder, so turned the heater on (up to 18).

When you open your front door and this is what you see...
Front door view

Thursday.  Scanned the 100th box of Dad's slides.  The fish tank had actually cooled down again overnight :(  That little 25W heater is just not up to the task.  I found a bigger one downstairs, but it hadn't been plugged in in forever, so wouldn't trust the seals on it, so mounted it so it wouldn't be submerged.  It managed to heat up the tank quite nicely.  Also after relative peace and quiet for the past month or so, one of the neighbours dogs has started barking on and on and on again.  Epic #grunt.  Went to the chemist at lunch, and did a couple of hundred dollars worth of shopping while waiting.  Whoops.  Watched start of Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.

I didn't buy this but maybe I should have!
Smells like burnt rope doused in seawater

I did actually buy this because Scott and Dee had some at the club back in July - very nice!
Dead mans fingers spiced rum

Friday.  Morning was fine.  But afternoon was crap.  Couldn't get stuff to work, stoopid firewall is still being stoopid, and had that telltale feeling of getting sick - sore throat, coughing, just not feeling right.  I should point out that Stu came down sick on Sunday, four days after last contact with David, but he hadn't had contact with anyone else since then.  So we knew it wasn't going to be covid, but he was so sick he ended up taking the entire week off.  And he got a covid test.  And it was negative.  Like we knew it would be.  But it was fairly inevitable that I'd get sick too.  And I did.  Sigh.  Stu cooked dinner - some of my mince mix with peri peri sauce for a nice warmth, on toast with cheese.  Watched The Cat Returns which was a bit of fun, and the return of The Baron!

My local floriade

Saturday.  Woke up very early.  But my body is allergic to actual sleep.  Lay in bed all morning, alternating between pretending to sleep and colouring in Happy Colour.  Went back to bed for a bit after lunch.  The sweetie felt like going on a drive, so sat in the car and we drove around Denman Propect and the Cotter and came back via Uriarra Crossing.  Nice drive with the sweetie. 


Denman Prospect

Coppins Crossing

Denman Prospect

Denman Prospect



Cotter Dam

Cotter River bridge

Cotter picnic area

Cotter Dam

Uriarra Crossing

Canberra sewage treatment plant

Stu cooked dinner using some more of my mince, cabbage, sushi rice and seasonings.  He called his Japanese inspired chop suey.  It was tasty and everyone went back for seconds.

Stu's Japanese inspired chop suey

Sunday.  Went to bed early, but only managed an hours sleep by 3:30.  Got a few hours after that.  My body refuses to sleep at the best of times, but add not being able to breath and a sore spine and I've got no hope.  Another day of laying in bed all morning not sleeping.  David cooked ham and cheese panckes for lunch.  This afternoon was just blogging and we have a lamb roast in the oven for dinner.

Ham and cheese pancakes

Roast lamb

Thirty years ago this week apparently was a church weekend away - to Collaroy Conference Centre.  

View to Long Reef

I have no memories of this weekend.  

I always thought it was odd they called them House Parties since they weren't at houses.  Especially when I went to House Parties in the late 90s and they were nothing like these ones ;)

Mum took a bunch of photos, including the two in this post taken thirty years ago today.  Apparently there was a medical theme and I had an amputated arm and Dad was in a mental asylum...

Dad and me at St Clements house party

Chris and John

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Back in 2000 Chris and John were sharing an apartment in Enmore (literally right next to Enmore Theatre).  I spent a bit of time there while they were there.

I've seen a bit of Chris over the years (there's various mentions of him in the blog), although I haven't seen John since forever.

John was a character.  Nice guy but incredibly flakey.  I came up with the term "John Time" and the formula was "triple it and had half an hour".  It was surprisingly accurate.  So if he said he'd be five minutes, it'd be 15 plus 30, so forty five minutes.  If he said he'd be half an hour, expect to see him in two hours.

This was taken of them playing a game, twenty years ago today.

Chris and John

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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