December 2005 Archives

2005 Year in Review

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I'd done this the two other New Years I've had this blog, but last New Years I was away from home and my computer, and it was too hard. But I did spend quite a bit of time reading through my blog and picking out highlights, and it seems a shame to let all that effort go to waste. That and I've spent some time today reading the icq log with Stu from June last year - that momentous June where I fell in love with him. It was certainly a roller coaster year.

I'm going to back-date this, so probably only people that get this via a news feed will see it (Stu and Dave I guess heh).

Some highlights:

* By far the biggest highlight was meeting Stu. I knew very early on that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him
* Dave & Yvonne engaged (well technically they got engaged in 2004)
* Jumped out of a perfectly good aeroplane (with parachute attached). It was great, but too expensive to do regularly. That and the risk of dying and leaving Stu is perhaps a little high
* Had a great night in January where I had about 15 people over to watch a "slide night" on a data projector of my USA photos
* Installed apache on my photo server conspiracy so I could put in referer rules and stop people bandwidth-stealing my pics
* Went rock climbing with Campbell
* Saw Peter Jackson in person talking about the Lord of the Rings and King Kong
* Went snorkling a couple of times with Campbell
* Went to quite a few BookCrossing meetups, mostly to see Yvonne and me brother
* Lost many many hours of my life staring at the world from space with Google Maps and Google Earth
* Had a second lot of krib babies in May (six of which are still alive - would have been more if I'd taken better care of them)
* Watched all six star wars movies in order in one night. Probably a once in a lifetime but a must for any Star Wars geeks
* Got a blackberry and used it primarily for communicating with Stu
* Read Harry Potter 6 in a day
* Went live with a new website/cms at work after half a year of work
* Lots of trips to Queensland, one to Noosa, one to Yass to meet Stu's family
* Took up guppy breeding
* Saw Fiddler on the Roof and Topol live
* Took ~1500 photos of the renovation process of Luc's place

Some lowlights:
* Grandma Coates died in January, which was expected but still really sad
* Wasn't invited to George's birthday, came very close to never seeing her or her family again
* Expensive fire-safetyifying of the building
* Three days sick off work from two different flus, the most sick I've been since 1999
* Had a server get compromised from a week-old exploit in Backup Exec. Found within half an hour and rebuilt it that night
* Regular video nights pretty much stopped, as Striker was working over the weekends

In the fish tank department, got a brand-new-second-hand tank off a neighbour, and all its fish. Lost the biggest (4cm) tetra (which was 2 1/2 years old - old for a neon tetra!), a black angel, and the parent kribs. Took a tank to work for the krib babies and added guppys to it later. Somehow got ich in the big tank.

Was commenting to Stu today on what a mad year the past year has been. Certainly meeting him has been one of the highlights of my entire life.

Slacker!

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I swear I'm such a slacker. Go on holidays and the blogging just stops heh :)

Wednesday went down to RI with Dave and Yvonne which was partly very pleasant (the swimming and communing with nature and seeing goannas and kangaroos and snakes and the like) and partly just awful (feral flies, feral kids, insane heat). Oh and being off the internet for 24 hours wasn't pleasant either ;)

Thursday we came back to my place and just collapsed for a while. Got to wash my hair properly which was priority number one heh. Took Stu to the fish shop to look at the cichlids, then got some pizza for dinner - pepperoni yummmmm! Then tried to get myself organised, but it was dark and I was tired (my excuse).

So Friday morning finished getting organised, but it was a slow process working through a massive todo list, when I hadn't been home for five days.

Eventually got away, had lunch at the twin servos north of Gosford, then dropped in on Stu's grandmother in Newcastle. Then a final push north and got to Armidale after 8pm.

Called up Arian and family, who came over for dinner (mmmm more pepperoni pizza :) ). It was cool to finally meet them all. Arian looked exactly like the pictures I'd seen of her heh :)

Then this morning went and visited my cousins and their families. Theo who has just turned two has the most amazing language skills. He talks in complete sentences, and knows hundreds if not thousands of words. Quite phenomenal.

Currently chilling out back at the motel. Wondering how I'm going to do my yearly wrapup. Might have to do it from Stu's place and change the date :)

Zombie

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OK so today I felt like a zombie for most of the day. Had a shocking nights sleep and woke up grumpy and dazed. Well actually I woke up at 5am and didn't really get back to sleep.

So after a spot of breakfast, and some grocery shopping for Annie, Stu drove me into Canberra and showed me various places he'd lived and worked. We had pizza for lunch in town, drove round ANU, went up Mount Ainslie, and visited Scott and Kerry. It was actually a really nice day, and thank goodness for air conditioning, which was on the whole day! I do actually like Canberra, it's quite a nice place. Suggested to Stu that I buy a place there and he can rent it off me heh :)

Came back and had roast pork for dinner, and drank quite a bit of wine, and Annie and Stu and I chatted for quite a while before we got interrupted by the phone.

Have had dessert of choc-mint ice cream now and am about to crash into bed.

Christmas and stuff

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So. Christmas.

Got up relatively early and got ready (had to finish packing before church because we wouldn't have time after). Headed off to the parents' church. At least we got to sing two traditional carols, which is more than normal.

After church went back to the parents' place where we played some 500 (I won all three yayyy) and some rummy tiles, before Dave and Yvonne arrived. Had roast turkey roll thingie for a late lunch. Not quite the traditional pork, but having Yvonne there was preferrable, even though I know she really didn't want to be there.

So then did the obligatory family photos, including a couple with the extended family :) And then had the big present opening thingie, which was fun, and I think (hope) everyone was happy with what they got.

So then came home, gathered up all our stuff, and loaded some music onto Stu's mp3 player. It has an fm transmitter in it so we could use it with my car stereo. Then headed off to Yass. The road was really quiet actually which was good, although driving straight into the setting sun was somewhat tedious.

Had a very pleasant dinner with Annie and Stu and a relaxing evening chatting and watching the panel.

This morning we slept in quite late (actually I woke up just after 5am and took nearly two hours to get back to sleep). Had a spot of breakfast then took the kids down to the park for a bit. Then came back and Scott and Kerry and Jake and Karen came over and we went to the pool which was exceedingly pleasant. Then came back and watched most of Ice Age and dinner. And now it's 7pm and I already feel like going to bed heh :)

Blogging on the couch on the Blackberry :)

Christmas Eve

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Had a really really nice day today. Woke up early (read 6am), got up and got ready. Went to pick Stu up at the airport, stopping off to take some photos of planes taking off and landing (Stu calls my brother a train-spotter and me a plane-spotter :) )

Came home and, er, caught up for a while. Then let Stu sleep for a couple of hours while I pottered around the house. Cooked dinner (roast chicken - yummm - and yes I know it hit 36C today, heck it was over 30 by 8am! but I'd planned this days ago and even gotten all the veggies, and the change came over in the arvo so it wasn't unpleasant :) ) .. er where was I? Then went for a swim (there'd been *noone* in the pool all day, I was wondering if it had been closed after the pump breakdown this week, but it was all good). Had a good chance to just talk to Stu.

Then watched the Carols by Candlelight, which is deteriorating I think. At least they still do the Hallelujah chorus, which makes the whole show worthwhile.

We were going to visit Yvonne at The Box, but feeling a bit sleepie and have to get up early tomorrow, so just going to bed.

Qantas jet taxiing for takeoff

Renovation

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The pic I would have posted last night, had the universe not come crashing down around me..

Renovation of our office - four into one

Pushing things..

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You know you're stretching the limits of fate when you run windows update on three different domain controllers on three different domains and reboot them simultaneously.

Which is what I did tonight. heh.

Haven't done much work this week. For some reason I haven't felt like it. I wonder why that would be? Been doing some manual labour actually, moving servers and upses between buildings. At least it gives me something tangible to do :)

I was going to post a picture, but something just happened that made me so furious I actually don't feel so good.

Stress

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I don't deal with stress. And odd things stress me out.

Like tonight I practically had a nervous breakdown because my monitor keeps dying, and sometimes the only way to get it back is just turn it off and on until it comes back. But that can take up to half an hour of fighting with it.

It stressed me out rather a lot.

And what's the deal with the weather? It's 11oclock at night and it's *still* 30C !

Photoblogging

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For when you have nothing better to say ...

Festoon lights at the parents place ...
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I asked Stu if we could decorate our house like this when we got one.. heh ...
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Mega candy cane ...
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Mega guppy (in reality about a centimetre long) ...
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My blog is hosted on this server (although not for much longer, they're replacing the box soon) ...
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The big master power switch for our block of flats. I wonder what would happen if I flicked it ...
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Christmas tree and presents (both inbound and outbound) ...
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Choice

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Realised today I had to make a choice.

So for better or for worse I've chosen option 1. Probably tougher, but also more rewarding.

50 Question Meme

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Stolen from Yvonne:

  1. What time did you get up this morning? 8am (I know, on a Sunday, shocking!)
  2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
  3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  4. What is your favourite TV show? The Mole or The Amazing Race
  5. What did you have for breakfast? Beef two minute noodles. I normally have cereal but ran out of milk
  6. What is your middle name? The
  7. What is your favorite cuisine? Meat! I know that's not a quisine, but anything with meat in it is usually good ;)
  8. What foods do you dislike? Blue cheese, anchovies, really spicy food, smooth foods like pumpkin, sweet potato, avacado; onion, brussel sprouts, olives
  9. What is your favorite chip flavour? Cheese
  10. What is your favourite CD at the moment? Don't really have one
  11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? A ford laser
  12. Favourite sandwich? Maybe tuna. Don't eat sandwiches anymore - got sick of them in high school. If you count subway as sandwiches, then a pizza sub :)
  13. What characteristics do you despise? Rudeness, lack of care
  14. Favourite item of clothing? er, my jeans maybe?
  15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Europe
  16. What colour is your bathroom? Blue paint, white tiles on the walls, red-brown tiles on the floor
  17. What colour pants are you wearing? Blue jeans
  18. Where would you retire to? Dunno. Probably somewhere in the country if Stu has his way :)
  19. Favourite time of the day? Sunset
  20. What was your most memorable birthday? I remember my 16th birthday being a thoroughly awful day
  21. Where were you born? Sydney Australia
  22. What�s the last thing you ate? A sausage for lunch
  23. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Dunno. Red maybe, because they always ran out first.
  24. Favorite flower? Sunflowers.. or carnations
  25. What fabric detergent do you use? Cold power I think, I just get refills
  26. Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla coke
  27. Do you wish on stars? No
  28. What is your shoe size? Well that all depends. I used to mainly be a 6, but now more often than not it's 7. Except in kids which I bought a pair of 5s the other day but they are too big. Bowling I think I am a 4 and ice skating 5.
  29. Do you have any pets? Lots of tropical fish
  30. Last person you talked to on the phone? My mummy, organising Christmas stuff
  31. What did you want to be when you were little? For a while I thought I could be an artist cause I was good at drawing (pfft), then when I discovered flying I wanted to be an airline stewardess (pfft yeah like that would have been the job for me, but I didn't know you could be a pilot if you were a girl), and a pilot in high school (wanted to join the airforce where they pay you to learn to fly, except I would have been too short and my eyesight was too bad). Thoroughly jealous of Yvonne who was given flying lessons by her mother and actually became a pilot. And then she let it go :(
  32. What are you meant to be doing now? Cleaning cockroach crap out of the flat before Stu gets here
  33. What do you first notice about someone? Hair/skin/smile
  34. Siblings? A little brother
  35. What was your favourite toy as a child? Cutie!
  36. Summer or winter? Spring! Oh wait, that's not on the list. Um. I like all the extra daylight of summer, but not the heat
  37. Hugs or Kisses? Both :) Although hugs are a bit more universal
  38. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla in most circumstances
  39. Who is most likely to respond? Dunno. Richard and Dennis always used to be up for a good meme, but they don't blog much anymore :(
  40. Who is least likely to respond? Yvonne, since I got it off her :)
  41. Living arrangements? Apartment/flat
  42. When was the last time you cried? Friday morning
  43. What is under your bed? My old single bed until it ever gets taken away to the parents
  44. How many countries have you visited? New Zealand, USA (x3), Canada
  45. In how many cities have you lived? Just the one (Sydney)
  46. Favourite movie of all time? Always changing, but Labyrinth and Peter Pan were both long time favourites
  47. Mountains or beach? Mountains probably, especially if they have snow on them :)
  48. The current friend you have known the longest? Luc probably (over ten years now). Maybe Fran although don't see much of her anymore, even though we work in the same faculty.
  49. Full names of your potential kids? I'm not having kids. If I do it'll be because God is laughing at me.
  50. Usual bedtime? 11pm

Hopelessness

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So Tuesday night Stu and I were talking on the phone, about the riots, and he said that Sydney wouldn't be a very nice place to live.

Well.
Wednesday I began a downward slide of hopelessness, despairing of ever living within 50km of him. Didn't get to talk to him on Wednesday night, so by Thursday I was completely without hope for the future. I honestly just wanted to die. Didn't start coming out of it until Friday, when a couple of beers at lunch rekindled the affectionate/positive side of me, and I began to have hope again.

So anyway, it's been a rough week, hence the lack of posts.

People suck

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I was going to elaborate but I couldn't be stuffed. Going to bed instead.

F@#$ing neighbours

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<snip>

Another shopping day

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Another round of Christmas presents obtained.

And *then* the little brother publishes a wishlist. *sigh* ;)

Race riots a lot closer to home last night. Could see/hear helicopters from here and the sirens of police racing to the scene. Yay. Seems to be quiet tonight though thankfully.

Really must sleep. Getting up at 6am after going to bed at 11:30 really doesn't agree with me.

Shopping Day

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Had a decent shopping day today. Went to one shopping centre at lunchtime and got some new bras (yayyyyy - I *loathe* buying bras, haven't done it in years, and the situation was getting desperate). Also found a couple of presents for people (which I won't mention, since some of them read this :) ). Then this afternoon went shopping again. Found some sandally-thongy type things in Payless Shoes - in the kids section :) Then did some grocery shopping, but also picked up another couple of presents. So making progress on the Christmas present situation, but still a long way to go.

I saw Harry Potter and James Bond Scene It today. Drooled over the Harry one, although the people I could play it with would be fairly limited I imagine :) Maybe Kirk and Ric. The James Bond one might be fun for dad (Dave are you interested? heh :) )

And if anyone is wondering what they could get me, some ideas include the new Harry Potter lego, Butterscotch Schnapps and/or Baileys, double bed sheets (summer, preferably blue or white).. :)

On a lighter note..

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So the rest of the weekend ..

Saturday went into work to shut down my servers while they did some electrical work. Then turned everything back on. And then upgraded our main notes web server to Domino 7. Didn't seem to have any problems.

Came home and slept for an hour. Talked to Stu for a little bit, cooked a roast pork, then went to J&G's for a games night. Yes, shock, horror, I was actually invited to a games night! In advance! That hasn't happened in like 8 years or something ridiculous. We played Rapidoh, and I actually won a game against Lizzi (who always wins, and won one game). Then Fluxx - fun but somewhat confusing, and definitely would be better with smaller numbers. A game of Emperor/Scum. Then a marathon game of Carcassonne. Guy had an expansion pack which I hadn't seen in the version they play at work. Got home at nearly 1am. Oops.

And then this morning - the curse of being a morning person. Woke up at 6:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. So two nights in a row of only five hours sleep. Yay. Gave up at 7:30 and got up. Which was good in a way because I had time to wash my hair, which had been annoying me all weekend.

Then to L&L's for the friends Christmas party. Which was all perfectly pleasant. Got home totally exhausted. Going to need an early night tonight methinks.

Tonight I am somewhat ashamed to be a Shire girl. The problem with the Shire is that for the longest time it's been almost exclusively WASP. And inherantly racist (cf the rest of my family). The race riots there today disgusted me.

Friday.. sorta?

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It didn't quite feel like a Friday tonight. Like, I didn't have a few drinks when I got home. And I have to get up at some ridiculous hour tomorrow to go to work.

Tonight the parents and I went and saw some spectacular Christmas light displays. Just amazing.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights

And apparently they've abolished compulsory student union fees. Which I would have loved when I was a student. I paid something like $350 a year and I'm pretty sure I never used any student union resources. Except perhaps the occasional lunch from a union cafeteria, but sheesh, they were a ripoff then and are still a ripoff now. You were better off going to local shops. I saw it as a complete waste of money, when I had barely any to start with. </rant> :)

Google earth has stuffed Sydney up yet again. They've moved things (again), and even gone back to some very old photos. The moreton bay fig tree is back again, and the Bunnings is still under construction, so we're talking late 2003.

*sigh*

... you don't feel like putting up all your Christmas decorations. I have the lights in my room, and the tree, but that's it. And even on the tree I didn't put out all the tinsel and decorations.

Sad really.

Es ist sehr hei�

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It was very hot today. My weather pixie got out her shorts. 40C all afternoon. Still 35C now! I almost melted. Fortunately work is air conditioned, so I barely noticed :)

Hydramethylnon

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I'm hoping that hydramethylnon will be the solution to all my cockroach woes. Bought a tube of it off Daniel today and put dots of it all round the kitchen. It'll take a couple of days for it to take effect - it blocks ATP pathways, so the cockroaches die of lack of energy. Hope it doesn't hurt the fish either. Shouldn't do, so long as any dying cockroaches don't fall into a tank. And Daniel's never had any problems with his fish.

Fingers crossed.

Yummy!

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I've blogged about this recipe before, and even posted an almost identical picture before.. but it looked so good and tasted so yummy, I thought I'd share it again :)

Potato Bake

Most of today was spent packing up the rest of the office for the renovations which start tomorrow. Lots of things are getting thrown out, including the first computer I used when I started there eight years ago. I had to get a photo for sentimental value:

Compaq laptop

And here's a cute (if slightly out of focus) pic of Rachel and Ryan I snapped in the car yesterday:

Rachel and Ryan

And I'm putting up my Christmas tree (slowly - had to clear a space on the lounge room floor for it first, then it got dark. Will post a pic when it's done - even though I know I've posted several pics of it before :) )

Fizzling

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Day at work upgrading domino from 6.54 to 7. Seemed to go mostly ok except for the fatal errors which weren't entirely fatal :)

Then frustrated with people for not giving me ideas for Christmas presents, since I am totally crap at thinking up Christmas presents and if people don't give me ideas they might end up with crap.

Then a night out with much fizzling and come home still fizzling away quite happily.

Can I go home now? (very fizzly - better not lie down just yet - horizontal would be bad for the brain...)

Poker

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Finally beat the "computer" at poker on the Blackberry. Woulda won $20 million :)

Blackberry poker

Mind you, I had a decent todo list that I was going to work on tonight. Instead I spent it playing poker and finding music for Christmas songs that I could play on the recorder. Ah well. It was a relatively relaxing evening anyway, and I did get a water change done in the baby krib tank.

Honestly there was... but really it's all just crap

  • moved the guppy/krib tank upstairs to Merideth's office for the next month or so. Kept the babies in a big bowl I have so I can watch them grow.
  • finally saw the end of Australian Princess - go Ally! Would have been happy with Ally or Wendy winning. I wouldn't have even watched it at all if John hadn't to start with, and they hadn't had an encore presentation of the first episode
  • having a carrot and a piece of apple pie for dinner
  • had pizza at work for lunch for the third week in a row
  • missing Stu like crazy
  • congrats to me little brother getting his place
  • cockroaches are giving me the s#^%$
  • I'm tired
  • thought of several Christmas presents people can get for me if they're that way inclined
  • thunderstorms made me turn off my puta for a bit tonight
  • watching Nine to Five. It's very silly.
  • had some Boag's St George tonight, they were quite nice

  • Goblet of Fire

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    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Well I have to say this movie exceeded expectations.

    Mind you, those expectations were deliberately set quite low. I mean, the book was twice as big as the last one, how could they possibly make a movie of it all without chopping out great chunks of it? Well they did chop quite a lot out, but what was left worked really well. I was quite impressed.

    There was a lot of rain and darkness, but also a lot of humour, more than any of the others. I was cracking up laughing out loud in lots and lots of places. The Quidditch World Cup scene was fantastic and the dragon scene not bad either. There was definitely not enough Lucius action - only the two small scenes - one at the world cup and one in the graveyard. mmmmmmmmm :) Voldemort was pretty cool. The John Williams soundtrack was sadly missing, so I don't know that I'll be buying the soundtrack. And Emma Watson is stunning in this movie!

    It's been a year and a half since I last read the book, which was probably a good thing, or I'd have been missing more. But overall I thought the movie was great. As Dennis said, lots of thumbs and stars up :)

    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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