April 2010 Archives
Two years ago today the sweetie and I took off on our honeymoon.
It wasn't very well planned. Apart from where we were going to be for how many nights, almost nothing was planned in advance. We did a lot of our planning when we arrived in cities with Wikipedia. But it still turned out really well, except for a couple of not so great days.
I said at the end of it that "Hopefully it won't take two years to do like my USA photos did..." and now here it is.. two years later...! So I went on a mission over the last couple of weeks to select highlights for my photo site and from those highlights for the blog entries. I haven't finished yet, but I've made decent enough progress. Hopefully I'll keep ahead of myself to link to each new day as it comes.
So. Day 1. We left Sydney at Stoopid O'Clock and flew to Narita in Japan. Had a walk around Narita and dinner a cute little restaurant.
Here it is! Day 1 of our honeymoon, exactly two years ago today....
So today they tell me that the server that my firstname.lastname@example.org email address is hosted on is about to be shut down forever. I've had this email address for fourteen years!! While I knew this day was coming, it was all a bit sudden when it actually happened.
So now I'm a bit stuck. They can put a forward on my mail (for how long?) but all my domain mail is hosted there too. So I have to try and figure out what to do with it all in the next few days :(
I'd use Gmail, except that it doesn't have as friendly an address (there's no kazza in it) ...
Just found out that they might be able to move my domain mail to where my websites are hosted .. so at least that'll keep everything together which would be good.. will probably end up using my kazza.id address for my personal mail...
Had my first ever Big Mac today. I've never ever had one before, so since we were going to Maccas I thought I'd try one :)
It wasn't very big. I was starving by 5:30pm. I did like the special sauce though.
I also got the rest of the Toy Story minifigs.. how cute are these? :)
Saturday was rainy and miserable, so felt no guilt at all sitting on my computer most of the day, and cleaning the house in between.
Saturday arvo we went and fed Yoda before heading to Mishi's for a games night.
Had some nibblies and then some yummy chicken wings and sausages at Mishi's. After dinner played a game of Trivial Pursuit (in teams so we had half a chance) except everyone else got questions that generally we could answer, yet the three or four times we actually got a go they were stoopidly hard questions that not even Stu knew the answers to. So that was all very depressing, but at least the game was over very quickly. There was then talk of playing Ticket to Ride, but there were seven people which made it too hard, so just had some tea and chatted for a while longer.
Sunday we got up and went over to Potty's cause Jeff and Ruth were in town and visiting. Helped do some hedging, but Potty came along with his electric trimmer after we were done and redid the whole lot, so we needn't have bothered *sigh*. At least we got a nice lunch. Did our shopping and came home.
Sunday evening we headed over to Windy's for eating and drinking and being merry. Lots of yummy roast pork and potato bake. I made a caesar salad and most of that got eaten which was a good thing. Then played some Singstar until got booted off so the kids could do High School Musical. So that was pretty meh. But Windy and I had a couple of games of Monty Python Fluxx before everyone left and we were finally allowed back on Singstar. Had a great time at that until everyone else got too tired. Surprise of the evening was doing exceptionally well at Aqua's Barbie Girl. Who knew I could be so good at a song I've barely heard in twenty years!
Today we decided to have a quiet day at home (with a quick trip to Bunnings thrown in). Did some gardening and a bit of tidying and watched last night's Bones and Castle online. Then cooked our anniversary dinner. $50 worth of ingredients! Would almost have been cheaper to go out! heh. I did Lana's stuffed chicken (the recipe that has won her a trip to Sydney to cook for Margaret Fulton!), which was yummy, but a little over cooked and a little too salty. Also did an asparagus bake (another one of our new favourite recipes) and for dessert did these mini pavlovas which epic rocked!
Still very full, but quite sleepie and thinking about going to bed soon...
Me being the obsessive person that I am, decided to find the locations of some of the opening scenes in The Sound of Music.
This one stumped me:
.. because in some of the "movie location" websites, it's stated that the castles they fly over include Schloss Fuschl on Fuschlsee. I don't have a screenshot to prove that they *didn't* film that one, but I did take screen shots of two castles in close up - the one above, and another that was easy to find - Schloss Anif south of Salzburg.
So the picture above was annoying me. I wanted to know where it was dammit!
Well Google Earth to the rescue!
Spent a good half an hour touring the lakes of Austria trying to find it. Did a search for schloss in the area but still couldn't find it. Then did a search for church, and finally a search for Kloster. And there it was - Kloster Höglwörth in Germany! Not in Austria's Lake District at all!
Anyway.. moving on ...
We picked up a bag of these Lindt Fioretto Limette Lime Lindt Balls when we arrived in Frankfurt and finished them a few days later in Berlin. They were epic win!!! Have been wanting more ever since!!
So Thursday came and went. And it was sweet relief at 4:30 to not be on call anymore and celebrate with several beers :) Went out to dinner after drinks - to Sanur's Balinese in Belco, cause that's where JJ wanted to go. Had a really yummy chicken dish - chicken with Sanur's special sauce, or something. It was delicious, but really fiddly with all the bones still in :(
Crazy busy day at work, with a nice lunch at the pub in the middle (was talking to Dave in the morning and he said he'd had a nice steak for dinner the night before, so had a craving for steak :) ).
I have a mission for myself for the weekend, but I doubt I'll finish it, so I'd better not say what it is just yet heh :)
Week has been slowly improving. Although thwarted in my attempts to get the work done that's been on hold since being on call. I was all set to get going on it only to get stuck on the first few things I needed to find doco for. The sweetie was home with a migraine today, so he came and picked me up after work which was nice.
Didn't do much tonight other than watching Full House, Masterchef, and finishing off the "Lost" jigsaw. It was tough because it was all very much alike. The next one I have to do is even worse (1000 pieces instead of 750).
These little guys came in the mail yesterday, there's still another four to come.
And I thought I actually did pretty well at Hell the other day..
Absolutely *hanging* for tomorrow afternoon!!
So this time I was home, and had a tripod :)
Time: 19:10:02Alt: 10Az: SW
Max AltitudeTime: 19:12:26Alt: 51Az: WSW
EndsTime: 19:12:26Alt: 51Az: WSW
Magnitude: -2.5Exposure: 10 seconds
Time: 19:10:02Alt: 10Az: SW
Max AltitudeTime: 19:12:26Alt: 51Az: WSW
EndsTime: 19:12:26Alt: 51Az: WSW
Magnitude: -2.5Exposure: 10 seconds
As we were arriving at Libby's last night we saw the International Space Station soaring overhead. Had I been home I would have had the tripod out and documented the occasion. As it was I whipped the camera out and documented it hand held style.
This is what a 2.5 second exposure looks like hand held and zoomed a bit .. (first pic has Southern Cross pointers on the left for reference - the ISS went between these and then disappared into the earth's shadow)
Had dinner at Libby's place tonight.. lots of Stu's work colleagues there.
Except I spent the first hour and a half dealing with *crap* and basically had a couple of meltdowns.
After that I was all "screw this" and had some dinner and a decent amount of wine.
I've decided it should be my mission in life to get a job that doesn't have on call. Dunno how since sysadmin is what I *do* ..
PS .. did see the ISS flying over, and then disappearing into the Earth's shadow .. waved at @Astro_Soichi .. was very cool ..
Another totally glorious autumn day today!
Cleaned up the house this morning, then waited around for Annie to come over (she was supposed to get here at 12, but didn't arrive to 1:30, so was totally starving by the time they got here). So we went for a little walk, taking the kids to the park and going to the bakery for lunch.
And no photos to mark the occasion.. doh!
Did our shopping in the arvo and had a $35 dinner ($19 bottle of wine, $13 worth of salmon and ~$3 asparagus). Unfortunately I burnt the bottom of the salmon trying to get the skin crispy, but it was otherwise delicious and the asparagus was good too.
I could use another day of weekend though....
Exhibition Building panorama, taken on the iPhone and stitched with AutoStitch on the phone
La Famiglia Pan Bread - this stuff is epic win!!
The photomosaic jigsaw I finished last weekend
This morning we went into civic and had breakfast at Cream. Was delicious. Then looked in BigW for Toy Story Lego (nothing on special) and JB HiFi (bought a couple of cheap cds).
Last night the Windys were kidless, so we went out to dinner to use up some Entertainment Book stuff.
We decided to go to Shogun in Civic and have the Teppanyaki bar.
Starting with a Yebisu
We had to wait a little while because he had to come and setup in the second room. Another group of three people came in, and a single guy.
After a while the dude started cooking. He cooked up some egg first and had a go at throwing it into our mouths. He actually got it in a few people's :)
It was yum yum yum! :)
We just had the cheap teppanyaki menu ($35.90 for fish, chicken and steak)
At the end he signed thankyou on the hotplate in salt - backwards for him!
He also signed happy birthday for the dude sitting next to us, whose birthday it was :) We all sang happy birthday to him :) And we paid out one of the girls who didn't know the Twighlight dude was Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter (or that he was British!).
It was a heap of fun, we want to go again :)
After dinner (which actually included dessert) we went across to Koko Black for coffees. I had a raspberry icecream - it was yummmm!
Then came home and got really grumpy with a broken system at work - grumpy because it was too slow and painful to actually try and do it remotely. So I gave up in disgust and went to bed (fixed it this morning - MS10-024 which is a patch for the SMTP service in IIS completely resets your SMTP settings!! How fail is that!! We weren't the only ones that had the same thing happen to us - #microsoftfail )
Tonight the sweetie stayed back for after work drinks with his colleagues. I'd probably have joined them except I was on call :( But it did mean I could watch whatever I wanted on telly, so I watched the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner movie which was just a collection of the clips with a little bit of new stuff joining it together. And repeats of Blackadder II. Then went into town to pick up the sweetie when he was ready to go.
Last week I finished the "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The second last one (These Happy Golden Years) had a sense of finality to it. It was the end of her childhood, end of school, end of single life. At the end she marries Almanzo and they move into his house. The last few sentences sounded as if they lived happily ever after.
So then I read the forward to "The First Four Years" which talks about how the book came to be (Laura's daughter Rose had a copy of the unfinished manuscript, and after Rose died a close personal friend of hers decided to have it published). So this book had a bit of a different feel to it, split into four sections for the first four years of their marriage. This book had a lot of hardships in it and you wondered if they *ever* managed to make a living off the land (which of course is where wikipedia comes to rescue to fill in the rest of the story :) )
So all in all a very enjoyable series of books.
Haven't done anything like this for a while.. stolen off Dave2
Bold for which ones I've visited.
- Pyramids of Egypt
- Chichen Itza
- Mont St Michel
- Great Wall of China
- Kashmir Valley
- Topkapi Palace
- Taj Mahal
- Nile River Cruise
- Prague Old Town
- Carnival in Rio
- Serengeti Migration
- Easter Island
- Golden Temple
- Galapagos Islands
- Amalfi Drive
- Angel Falls
- Grand Canyon
- Colosseum of Rome
- Yellowstone National Park
- Machu Picchu
- Fjords of Norway
- Chartres Cathedral
- Antarctica Cruise
- St Peter’s Basilica
- Mezquita Cordoba
- Iguazu Falls
- Egyptian Museum
- Damascus Old City
- New York Skyline
- Amazon Rain Forest
- Valley of the Kings
- Uffizi Gallery
- Eiffel Tower
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Hong Kong
- Rio Panoramic View
- Great Barrier Reef
- Sistine Chapel
- Golden Pavilion
- Niagara Falls
- Angkor Wat
- Burj Khalifa
- British Museum
- Victoria Falls
- St. Basil’s Cathedral
- Burj al Arab
- Forbidden City
- Louvre Museum
- Abu Simbel
- Yangtze River Cruise
- Canals of Venice
- St Mark’s Basilica
- Florence Cityscape
- Ayers Rock
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Hermitage Museum
- Banaue Rice Terraces
- Chambord Chateau
- Bora Bora
- Kathmandu Valley
- Li River Cruise
- Lijiang/Shangri La
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Shwedagon Stupa
- Neuschwanstein Castle
- Potala Palace
- Mt Everest
- Sahara Desert
- Banff National Park
- Jerusalem Old City
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- Leaning Tower Pisa
- San Francisco
- TerraCotta Warriors
- Hagia Sofia
That was a bit boring actually .. only been to eleven of those places.. oh well..
Got this last week (20% off at Myer) .. built it tonight... :):)
And is this the cutest thing in the universe or what??
Still kicking myself I never got an original Buzz Lightyear in 1995. We got them for Luc and Luc but I never got myself one. Doh!! I did get an original alien tho :)
Yesterday the call was put out... and Nat and Andrew answered (well the little brother did too, but too impractical for him to make it).
Had an epic nommm lamb roast for dinner, with herbed baked potatoes and these way cool carrots that Nat did (thinly-sliced carrots, butter and honey, wrapped in foil and bunged in the oven for as long as the roast). 1.3kg of lamb and only two slices of it left and no veggies left.. oops!
But Vienetta for dessert! Nommm!!
So around eating we played a bit of Wii Music (stupidest game in history because you can't skip the stoopid intro stuff and have do the whole tutorial - lame!!) and lots of Buzz.
Was a lots fun evening :):)
The rest of the day was catching up on news feeds (down to 138!), the photomosiac jigsaw (finished it!), sorting photos and cleaning the house...
So I haven't blogged all week.
I didn't want to blog until I'd finished blogging our Melbourne trip. Which took all week. Hrmmmm.
Nothing much really happened all week. There was work. And a day off. And work again. And beer. And dinner at Taj Agra, which gave me the hiccoughs. And more work.
The day off was lovely. Had a relaxing morning doing the jigsaw I got in Melbourne, and then going into town with Stu and having lunch with Melita. Could easily have a day off every day!
Today we got ready relatively early and went to Satis for breakfast, then visited Little Sneezy/Whingey/Farty (haven't got a good nickname for her yet! Maybe Violet Crumble? hehee) and the rest of the family, then our food shopping and suddenly it's nearly 2pm. Didn't do much with the rest of the afternoon, just jigsaw and kirigami catchup and Melbourne trip blogging.
And now it's most definitely beer o'clock. I tried to suggest it to the sweetie while we were out shopping that we could use some more beer, but we didn't end up getting any. So had to pay 2-3 times the price at the local bottle-o. Oh well...
Woke up in the middle of the night from hurty, and was delirious enough to stress over the time - 2:43 but in what time zone? Probably the first 2:43.
Aimed to leave the hotel at 9am this time (since it was "really" 10am), giving us an extra hour in Melbourne :)
Decided that we were going to go do the super duper expensive hotel restaurant. Turns out it was an all you can eat buffet for $35 each. I only managed to get two plates worth of food in (I never get good value out of all you can eats!)
Went back to our room and packed up, then checked out and left our bags with the concierge, and Nat and I did a quick photoshoot of the hotel.
Went for a wander up Exhibition St. Saw sushi burgers and a sign saying nothing happened.
Then wandered up through Exhibition gardens (Carlton Gardens) to the Exhibition Building.
I was most surprised when we got around to the north side of the building because there was a whole museum that wasn't there fifteen years ago! Made taking photos from the north a little difficult heh.
Decided that we'd actually go into the museum and have a look.
Pygmy blue whale skeleton
Big taxidermy room "Wild" .. at least a lot better organised than the one in Japan
And we have a thylacine too!
I had a long wander through the body exhibit, and then a quick run through the mind exhibit (would love to have spent longer there) before meeting up with the others to decide on a plan. While everyone decided what we were doing next, I raced up to take some photos of Phar Lap (would liked to have looked through the whole Victoria exhibit there as well)....
So went back to the others and we walked up to Lygon Street. Although we didn't have time to sit down and eat, Nat got some take away pasta from one place. Next time we'll organise ourselves better to actually eat here properly.
And then it was back to the hotel to pick up our bags, and hop in a taxi to head off to the airport.
Our plane back - Virgin Blue 737-8Q8 (VH-VOU)
We didn't get much of a view during the flight because it was dark, but we did get a nice sunset from the plane on the tarmac
So arrived back in Canberra and Andrew drove us home.
Totally great weekend away, lots of fun, and even a decent amount of exercise :)
We want to come again next year and organise ourselves better to see some of the comedy festival and have a proper meal on Lygon Street :)
Managed to get out at the door just after 10am on Saturday and wandered down to Degraves Street to find somewhere to sit for breakfast. It was very crowded, but found a table outside Degraves Espresso Bar. I had a delicious (but somewhat expensive) breakfast of bacon and eggs.
Wandered up Centre Place/Way so we could go to Haigh's. I've never even heard of it (go figure!!) (oh, this was after walking past the Lindt shop on the way to breakfast and being very disappointed they didn't have lime Lindt. Seems we are going to have to stock up on them next time we go to Europe!)
Continued wandering up Elizabeth St. Stu stopped for a coffee while N&A and I checked out Bernard's Magic Shop.
Carried on walking past La Trobe St. The old City Circle trams are very cute.
Finally we made it to Queen Victoria markets, where we spent a couple of hours wandering up and down looking at stuff. I bought a photomosaic jigsaw and some beer stubby holders and was very tempted by some wooden landmarks like Tower Bridge etc. But decided to be good and not get any heh.
I liked the big slabs of butter they had in this store.
Eventually wandered back towards the city, stopping in at the Shot Tower cone in Melbourne Central.
Carried on wandering down.. (skipping a browse through Myer because Stu was tired)
And went into Minotaur for a good while.
At this point Stu went back to the hotel, and Nat and Andrew and I went down to Flinders St to catch the City Circle tram out to docklands.
None of the docklands stuff existed last time I was in Melbourne so it was amazing to see how much stuff is out there now. Now it's labelled the "entertainment and lifestyle precinct".
Of course we were there to play at Glowgolf..
Which had some very pretty murals in some of the rooms
Andrew won and I got par so was all a bit of fun.
Then we hopped on another tram and went back to the hotel.
Picked up the sweetie then headed out again to find dinner. If we'd had more time we would have gone to Lygon St, but in the end we just went to Tono Italian Restaurant on Bourke/Russell St. Watched suicidal skateboarders while sharing some wine and enjoying some nice chicken.
Didn't have time to go back to the hotel, so went straight to the Regent Theatre to see Cats!
(this photo was taken the night before when the theatre was still in session)
I sneaked this photo in right at the end of the show. I *loved* the hundreds festoon lights they had all around the theatre.
The show itself was ok.. not one of the better musicals I've ever seen. It was well done and all, it just didn't have a *point*. And I only knew two songs from the whole production. So it was a bit meh. Got to scritch a kitty .. Nat was so jealous :):)
Then we just went back to the hotel and crashed.
Good Friday morning we had a nice sleep in and relaxing morning. Then a bit before 12 we were picked up by Nat and Andrew and headed off to the airport.
Watched our plane pull up, and took our seats up the back of the 737. Fairly average lunch, and otherwise standard sort of flight.
Qantas 737-476 "Currawong" (VH-TJU)
Last getting off the plane, but no wait at all for bags :)
Then hopped in a taxi (no queue!) and headed into the city.
The Giant Cheese Stick and Zipper (aka "Melbourne International Gateway")
Our hotel (the Stamford on Little Collins) was very swishy for the cheap end of the swishy market. Super cool glass elevators :)
View from our room window
We essentially just dumped all our stuff before heading out again for a wander.
Wandered past Hosier Lane and saw some people photographing the graffiti so went to see what they were looking at. Found several adjoining lanes covered in lots of cool graffiti (there was even some being created while we were there!).
Moving on, walked past Federation Square (which didn't exist last time I was in Melbourne)
.. and an Apple store ..
.. and past Flinders Street station (with the new Eureka tower behind it - also not there last time I was in Melbourne)
Then headed across the Yarra River
MCG from Princes Bridge
Lights on Princes Bridge
Took photos of the Arts Centre
.. and horse and carriages on St Kilda Road
Then wandered through Southbank. Stopped at this point for a snack to keep us going, as we thought we'd be having a late dinner.
This girl played short pieces from a stack of tunes.. a lot of movie soundtracks .. we were having a guessing game of what they were while we had our snacks.
Next we headed for the Eureka Tower. Fifteen years ago I went up the Rialto Tower. This one is a fair bit bigger.
It has bugs on it!
We headed up to the Eureka Skydeck 88 ($16.50 each). Unfortunately it's a disaster for photography. The windows are tinted blue and gold in different sections which screws up colour balances, the glass is *very* reflective, and the building is at all different angles. We didn't even attempt to do any sort of panorama. But we did spend ages up there taking photos and looking at stuff (and went outside to get blown away, but didn't do the Edge which was another $12 or so).
South west Melbourne CBD, including the Rialto Towers, Spencer St, the stadium and Docklands.
Flinders Street station and Federation Square
Spirit of Tasmania coming in to dock
We hung around for about an hour waiting for the sun to set so we could see the place at night, but after an hour (when it was just starting to get dark) we gave up and headed back down.
The Yarra River is a lot prettier at night than during the day..
Walked past Flinders Street station
.. and wandered up Swanston Street and ended up at City BBQ Chinese Restaurant in China Town. Dinner was ok. We shoulda ordered less food. Or made one of the dishes vegetables. It was a very *brown* meal.
Wandered back down Russell Street.
Was amused by the plastic food we saw in one place.
Dropped off the sweetie who had had enough, then went out again looking for ice cream. Tried bottom of Swanston St and Federation Square without success. Then went across to Elizabeth Street and walked all the way up it to La Trobe Street before heading back, eventually getting Magnums at a local minimart place. I suppose we can't complain - it was Good Friday yet there was *heaps* of stuff open, and open til late too. Don't think that'd happen in Canberra!
"The Public Purse" - sculpture we liked in the Bourke St Mall
And so ended Good Friday. It was a pretty good Friday :) Lots of walking (really should replace the battery in the pedometer!)
And this blog post only took fifty minutes to do.. no wonder I've been putting it off for days..
Had a lovely weekend in Melbourne over Easter. I'd blog photos, but there's 1147 of them (plus Stu's) and I haven't sorted them yet.
I was planning on doing it today, but after a very productive morning of tidying up and cleaning and sorting stuff and catching up on news feeds and then lunch at Subway and food shopping and fish shopping and fish tank water changes and then cooking dinner (roast chicken with herbed potatoes and "asparagus caesar" (all very nomm)) and watching a couple of episodes of Survivor and doing some jigsaw.. for some reason I just didn't get to it... sorry.....
The other week when I was vaccuuming the pool, this bee was flitting around and decided to settle on the handle of the brush. It sat there and drank half a dozen decent-sized droplets of water. I didn't know where it could possibly store that much water!
A bit better than Shreve's goose... who is very cool to watch .. but didn't drink nearly its whole body weight in water :)
I'm sure Dave would disapprove (of the turd food below that is)...
This is a pic of dinner last night..
There was roast potatoes with oil and salt .. fried mushrooms with shallots and fresh parsley.. tomato with various cheeses and basil .. very nommm
Tonight I had beers lined up from eleven different countries .. Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Holland, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark and Mexico :) (not all mine!!)
Then was a very pleasant dinner at Prince Palace (cause 2 Yummy was closed). Followed by Men's Pocky and some turd dessert....