New Toy

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We went and picked up Stu's new toy yesterday.  I think he likes it :)

Stu's new car

Zone 3

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Yesterday as a team building exercise, we ran around shooting each other... :)

So.  Much.  Fun.

:)

Laser tag

There were fifteen of us all up, so we split into three teams of five.

I did pretty badly the first game, being quite cautious and hiding in good places.  But the problem with that was there weren't too many people around to get, so I didn't get many points.  I came 14/15

Laser tag

The second game I did a lot better - walking around a lot more and getting more people.  This time I came 7/15 :)

Laser tag

Definitely something we're all interested in doing again (and hopefully it won't be in five and a half years - it's been that long since the last time I played it!)

Recent Jigsaws

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Some more recent jigsaws

Mt Rainier jigsaw

Cradle Mountain jigsaw

Lighthouse jigsaw

This was a very simple thing to do for a midweek meal.  And there were yellow split peas that had been in the pantry for ages and I wanted to use them up.

So a couple of packs of bacon bones, a diced onion, a couple of bay leaves, some yellow split peas and some pepper.

Pea and Ham Soup

Chuck it all in the slow cooker and cover with water.  Slow cook on low all day.

Pea and Ham Soup

Whoops, bit of air exposure after a day of the split peas absorbing the water.

Pea and Ham Soup

Pull all the bones out (*carefully* so as not to lost bits of vertebra in the soup), let them cool slightly, then pull off all the meat.

Pea and Ham Soup

Chuck it all back in and stir til thick.

Pea and Ham Soup

I thought the soup needed a little something extra, so made up these parmesan croutons.  Just some chopped bread sprayed with a little oil, some grated parmesan on top, and bake at 180C for 10 minutes.

Parmesan croutons

Yum!

Parmesan croutons

They worked well together and the sweetie went back for seconds of everything :)

Pea and Ham Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Random Breakfast

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I swear Marc and Jo are such a bad influence on me.  This morning Marc was telling me about what he was planning to cook for breakfast, which made me start drooling.

So I got ready and raided the fridge to see what I could do.

Let's see what we can do with all this ..

Bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, more cheese, milk, butter, more cheese and thyme.

Random breakfast

How about we fry up some tomatoes in butter (I used a tad too much butter, oh well)

Tomatoes in butter

Now how about we scramble some eggs with some grated cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese (that's been in the fridge for ages and really needed finishing) and milk.  I won't tell the sweetie about the ricotta in there yet until he's tasted it.

Cheesy scambled eggs

And since thyme worked so well last week, and I'm *still* getting through it, have some thyme as well

Cheesy scrambled eggs

Now for the potatoes.  I'm thinking cheesy hash browns.  Because the world is better with lots of cheese.

Cheesy hash browns

What's that over the back you ask?  Well it's a pickling gadget Stu bought online from Japan but has never actually used.  I want to try and squeeze some water out of the potatoes with it.

Potato drying

It sort of works, but doesn't go down far enough

Potato drying

So I'd better finish it off with paper towel (and then add a couple of handfuls of pre-grated cheese)

Potato drying

Right.  So everything is ready.  Let's start cooking!

Bacon on a medium heat, turning regularly until crisp.  Tomatoes on very low heat to warm them up while everything else cooks.  Cheesy scrambled eggs on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, cheese and potato on a highish heat.  I probably added slightly too much cheese.  Nahhh never ;)

Random breakfast

And finally everything is ready!

Random breakfast

Serve up and convince the sweetie to get out of bed before it all gets cold :)

Random breakfast

RDO

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On Friday I took an RDO - a Random Day Off.

Stu did too.

I took the opportunity to clean the garage.

Six hours!

I really should have taken some before photos, so you could really see the difference (there's a few here).

So yeah, pulled everything from along one wall out, cleaned, tidied, organised.  Then in the middle moved a stack of stuff outside that needs to be thrown out, recycled or freecycled.  In fact I also listed a bunch of things on Freecycle, and most of it went on Saturday! Win!

So there's a lot more space in there now, and it's a lot cleaner.

Garage cleanout

Garage cleanout

Garage cleanout

So after a super productive Friday I did pretty much nothing on Saturday.  Mostly just sat at my computer wasting time.

Have seen balloons (and frost) a few times this week.

Frost and balloons

On Monday morning it was *cold*.  Freezing in fact.  The ice was so thick on the tub of water out the back that I have no idea how thick it actually was.  It held up a potplant with no effort.

Freezage

There was slight freezage of the pool that morning, but just a few crystals.  Same with this morning.

George came by yesterday and said hi to the fish.

George and the fish

I had a craving for slow cooked lamb shanks last weekend, so bought some when we went shopping.

This is a bit of a hack of Stu's original recipe.  Well actually I really have no idea what his original recipe is, but it involves tomato and worcecesestershire sauce.

So this is what I used for this one.

Lamb shanks, half a pack of bacon (leftover from the breakfast raclette), a few potatoes, an onion, half a head of garlic, a couple of parsnips (cause they needed using up), tin of diced tomato, a goodly slurp of worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock (left over from the coq au vin that needed using up)

Deviled Lamb Shanks

Chopped potato, parsnip, onion, garlic

Deviled Lamb Shanks

Bacon!

Deviled Lamb Shanks

Chuck everything into the pot

Deviled Lamb Shanks

And cover with the wet stuff

Deviled Lamb Shanks

Come back six hours later.

Of course I always forget to document the end.  But this is how it was served - meat pulled apart for sharing among three, brown rice, peas and corn, and mushrooms cooked in butter.

Deviled Lamb Shanks

The Stus went back for seconds, so must have been ok :)

Last Sunday was such a lovely day that I felt kinda bad that we'd stayed indoors the entire day.

So the sweetie and I went for a walk around Palmerville.

And I took lots of photos of the sweetie and black cockatoos and stuff.. 

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Palmerville walk

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Black Cockatoos

Mr Bug came over for dinner afterwards - slow cooked lamb shanks - nom! The Stus had a good long catchup, and we watched some of The Wind Rises.

APN

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Did you know phones have a thing on them called "APN", which stands for Access Point Name, and is a configuration set to make mobile data and MMS work?

I didn't.

Until it didn't work.

Backtracking a little.

On Monday night while watching Cities of the Underworld, I saw an ad for Optus that lets you get additional sims for $5 each that you can use on other devices using your main data plan.  And I thought *brilliant* !! With that I could play Ingress on Stu's old phone without having to setup a wifi hotspot on my iPhone (which has been destroying my battery).  (As a side note, as soon as I saw that ad and told Stu how cool it would be, he said, oh, Ingress for iPhone came out today.  I decided I'd rather destroy the old phone battery not mine).

So yesterday I went into Optus to get one.  I figured for $5 there'd be no service, they'd just give you a sim and tell you to go online to set it up.  But no, you actually sit down with them while they set it all up.  That must cost them a lot more than $5!  Whatevs.  Turns out you also need one of their new data plans, so had to switch over to that.  Anyway ten minutes later it was all going.

Except Stu's phone was still locked to Vodafone.

So popped up to the Vodafone store and asked what's the process for unlocking it, and they said you just go online, put in the IMEI, and get a code to unlock.  Simple.

Unlike doing it on an iPhone.

So did that when I got back to work and that worked fine.

The phone could now connect to Optus, except the mobile data wouldn't work.  I looked in the settings and found this:

"Connection failed due to incorrect APN setting"

I googled it and found plenty of other people having similar problems.  But none of the APN settings worked for me.  I got super frustrated with the whole thing, and was facing having to go back to Optus today to get it sorted out.

Then I was talking to @StuartCRyan and he's like "have you tried "connectme"?"

!!!

It actually connected!!

So here's my APN settings for Optus on a HTC One X:

Name: Doesn't matter, but I called mine Connect Me
APN: connectme
Authentication Type: Not set
APN type: default

Everything else was defaults or not set.

Thanks Stuart, you made my night!

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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