June 2010 Archives

So the other week I had this idea to make my own pasta sauce out of nothing but fresh veggies.  Well I didn't have nearly enough tomatoes (about eight I think, maybe less), so by the time I added mushroom, an onion, lots of garlic, a couple of deseeded birds eye chilis, lots of fresh basil and a whole shredded carrot, it was really just a veggie mash.  Still pretty tomatoey and the chili replaced the salt quite nicely, but not saucy enough for pasta.

So an epic fail at a pasta sauce, but it did work beautifully in a vegetarian lasagna :)

Next time I'll triple or quadruple the tomatoes :)
I've posted pics of red rumped parrots before, but got some super cool pics of some yesterday.  Aren't they little sweeties?

Red rumped parrots
Red rumped parrots
Red rumped parrots

Family weekend

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Yesterday afternoon we went into Braddon to visit Stu's aunties and uncle who were in town.  All Stu's family came so that was pretty cool, and good that the flat was so huge heh.  We'll be in the UK at the same time as Jan and Bruce so we shared travel planning notes :)

View from the apartment
Clifton Apartments view
Immy and Violet
Immy and Violet
All the cousins
This eyeball was actually really cool - always faced up
Scary eye ball
On the way home Stu wanted a thickshake, so we got these Maltesers sundaes as well - nommm!
Maltesers Sundaes

Today we went over to Potty's and everyone came over again.  Got a huge Turkish feast and we all ate too much heh.

Turkish feast
Violet June
A big shout out to Aunty Essie!  Hello! :)

Andrew birthday

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Friday night we went out for dinner for Andrew's birthday.  Went to La Piazza in Erindale.  The food was decent enough (I had some really yummy lamb shanks and Stu had an impressive looking pizza) but the service was pretty abysmal.  Took forever for them to take our order and food was very slow coming as well.  

La Piazza lamb shanks
La Piazza pizza
Then we went back to their place for games and dessert.  We played a bit of Mario Kart while Nat baked a cake.  Then some Hungry Hungry Hippos (!) then some Big Boggle.  All were lots of fun.  Pity mum gave our Hungry Hungry Hippos away hehe (I think the one made thirty years ago was a lot better built).  And I'd never played 5x5 Boggle before - I thought it only came in 4x4!

Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Then we had cake while miss monster Suki looked on

Miss Monster Suki
Andrew's cake
Then we went off to download photos, and when we came out, Suki had eaten the icing off the half of the cake that was left - epic tragedy!  (and this was after Nat had to make a new cake after Suki had nibbled all the muffins she had made previously .. little monster of a cat hehe)


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Fiona got back from her Europe trip the other day, and finally got the rest of her photos online (which I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the been-theres in :) ).

I squealed over this photo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/phonakins/4726479801/in/set-72157624203111858/ quite simply because I'd seen it.. well.. sort of.  Actually we never did get to see much of Frankfurt in person, however we did see it at Legoland...

Look at the detail!  Look how accurate it is!  (Look at the cross-hatching of that middle building - there's a bit of asymmetry on the second-top floor, which is actually like that in real life!!)

Very squee :) 

Australia Jigsaw

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Did this jigsaw on the weekend.  Quite possibly the easiest 500-piece jigsaw I've ever done.

Australia jigsaw

Robyn Moore

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So we had this all day work thing today.  Which wasn't so bad, except I kept having it rubbed into me what an epic failure I am at project management :(  The one good thing I take away was the idea of having leadership qualities without necessarily being a "leader".  Took a couple of photos of one of the worksheets I'll try and use at work.

But after a couple of drinks and then dinner, they got a surprise speaker - Robyn Moore - the Spray and Wipe, Blinky Bill and How Green Was my Cactus lady!!  She was epic cool!!!  Totally awesome speaker :) Thoroughly enjoyed her almost stand-up comic style talk.  Very very cool!


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One of the boxes I unpacked in the garage contained what's left of my ornament collection.

I did have quite a few more things, but I gave them away before I moved to Canberra (I took photos of everything before I gave them away).  Actually just looking over the photos now I suppose maybe I could have kept more of them.  I think the little plastic dogs I should have kept.  And the painted egg.  And the large horse.  And the dolphin kinetic balancer ..   annnyhoo..

This is what I did keep:

Kazza's ornaments
The larger swan I'm pretty sure was a gift from Donna Bonnefin early in primary school.  When the smaller one came along it went well with it.

The penguin I got on Philip Island in 1990.

The dandelion in resin I bought up at Randwick a year or two before I left Sydney.  The Faculty Dean had one like it on his desk that I drooled over every time I saw it, so when I saw them for sale I snatched one up at ~$50 I think it was.  Apparently they wreck a lot of dandelions before they get one that works.  I'll post a better pic of it some time.

The squirrel (squirrel!!) I got in Disneyland in 1983.  It was a souvenir that I chose when the parents said we could choose something.

The larger of the two horses was a replacement for one of my earliest ornaments.  I got the original in either kindergarten or first class.  He was called Bow (or Beau?) and I took him to school for show and tell.  Three points if you can get what happened.  We tried to superglue his broken leg back on, but it never really worked.  A year or two later I got a replacement!  And some time after that got the smaller one.

The pet rock has bit of scaly nose that looks a lot like a lizard.  I wrote a creative writing piece in English one year about her.  I remember the first line was "Liz was a rock".

The yellow bouncy thing I also got in primary school.  For some reason it reminds me of Bryony Walker.  

The crystal elephant was a gift from Guy when we were dating.

Is this thing on?

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I was going to blog tonight. Really I was.  Except I haven't downloaded my photos yet.  Not that anything exciting has happened, so you haven't missed anything.

Had an epic crap week at work.  The stress is going to kill me I'm sure :(

Attempted to make a pasta sauce on Friday night, but didn't have nearly enough tomatoes.  So used it in a lasagna tonight and it worked really well.

Did lots of tidying in the garage.  Should have taken some before and after photos..

Did a very easy 500 piece jigsaw.  

Didn't do much UK planning.  Although have a bit of a rough itinerary.  At the moment based on flights, car hire options and a Stone Circle Access visit to Stonehenge.

Very excited by the Masterchef visit to London.  We'll be there in two and a bit months!

Other than that, we only left the house this weekend to do our food shopping.
Bit of an all over the place day today.

It was 8:20, so of course I had to get some alerts (a scheduled restart of a server, so I get alerts.. yay.. )

Got up to feed the birds and found the pool frozen over again, but this time, a solid sheet of ice, up to 3mm thick in places!  Froze my fingers playing with it :)  (the bowl of water I have out for the birds had frozen completely solid)

June freeze

June freeze

June freeze
Late morning we thought we'd go see the chookens, only to find out the chooken show was only Saturday and Sunday :(  So tried to get a coffee at Satis, but it was closed :(  Decided to go to Dickson and have a wander round the block, and ended up having lunch there.  Then headed out to Bunnings and Jem Aquatics, then came home - three hours later.. doh!

Spent the rest of the afternoon doing some gardening stuff, and some fish stuff.

So didn't get any of the garage organised.. oh well..

Tonight just watched some episodes of Castle online, and Masterchef and did some UK planning.
Friday night built Lego

Toy Story Lego

Yesterday was woken up fairly early by completely useless alerts.  Then patching alerts a while later meant I didn't get a sleep in.  Had a nice quiet morning.  Built some Lego.  In the afternoon did some food shopping.  Stu cooked a nice bean dish for dinner.  

I loved the mist coming off the pool edge and damp towel
June mist

I must have looked at them funny..
Doves taking off

We have these gorgeous bean plants growing.  Unfortunately they're completely sterile (grown from leftovers of the original crop) and not a single bean on the plants :(  So not taking any care of them, but they're still growing like crazy..


Even had some eastern rosellas down
Eastern Rosellas

Nat and Andrew came over after dinner for some wiiing. That was a bit of fun.  Tried to get the sweetie to play Billionaire with us but he wouldn't so we didn't play (cause you really need at least four to play) :(  Had a repeat of the Robert Pattinson conversation that we had at Shogun, which was pretty darned funny ;)  Edward from Twilight is Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter people! :)  Baked a coconut cake, but had the oven up too high, so it was sufficiently burnt around the edges that we had to cut them off - doh!  And I also attempted to make icing, which I probably haven't done since I moved out of home ten years ago :)  First batch was a bit of a fail cause I put wayyy too much water in it (it's not like making gravy! heh).  And then just before midnight (oops, we didn't realise the time) we put on Toy Story.  Nat & Andrew fell asleep by the end (and I have photographic evidence mwoooahahah)

Toy Story Lego
Cake disaster

Got to bed very late (after 1:30), then woken up by stoopid alerts at 3:20 and 8:20, so no sleep in for me.  Got up to feed the birdies and found the beans somewhat destroyed by frost and the pool frozen over (it'd been below zero since 9:30pm last night).  Super awesome day just being at home.  Emptied, organised, rehomed and repacked ten storage boxes I'd had in the dungeon so that it would be clearer for the sweetie to have as a retreat.  The sweetie made a nice (but a bit too spicy for me) lentil dish for dinner.  Made more Lego.  Watched a very stoopid movie (cause Kristen Bell was in it and the sweetie wanted to watch it). 

Rumpus room - after

Rumpus room - after

Toy Story Lego

At this point I'd be feeling a bit blah cause it'd be the end of the weekend.  But oh the bliss of a long weekend!! :)
So after the drenching we got two weekends ago, last weekend the mushrooms were out in full force..

Canberra mushrooms
Canberra mushrooms
Canberra mushrooms


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Just found out (via Twitter - of course) that Adriana Xenides died the other day :(

I never watched Wheel of Fortune, but I did meet her once - she commented on how beautiful she thought my hair was.

Now Nat and Andrew are *definitely* going to want me to find the tape (which she was on).

Rest in peace..

Karen with John Burgess and Adriana Xenides

Liquid Paper

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Or more correctly in this case, "correcting fluid" (Liquid Paper is a specific brand name, invented by Bette Nesmith Graham (mother of Monkees member Michael Nesmith) in 1951).  I used to use liquid paper in high school but it always dried up before the end of the bottle was reached (oh the joy of a fresh new bottle of liquid paper!).  

So I was pretty excited when Pentel came out with a better applicator, and used those forevermore (until I left uni anyway heh).

And I was even more excited the other day when I found a bottle (still liquid!) in one of Stu's pencil cases. :)

Pentel Correction Pen


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Last week or thereabouts I finished the Belgariad again.  I think I'm getting dementia because I couldn't remember a lot of what happened from when I first read the books some years ago :(  But I suppose that meant I could enjoy them afresh heh.  The thing that surprised me most actually was the violence in them, I didn't really remember that the first time.

So having a little break before starting the Mallorean.


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So yesterday Potty smsed us to see if we wanted to go for a drive.  Since we weren't doing anything we thought why not.  So got picked up after lunch.

The plan was to head to out to Gentle Annie's Trail, except certain five year olds, who shall remain nameless, whinged the whole way that it was too long and he felt sick.  Which is silly since he goes on long drives regularly.  Maybe cause he was relegated to the very back seat (he was totally fine on the way back in the middle).  So that was all a bit *meh* and .. *kids* .. :/

So long story short we stopped at Uriarra crossing for about an hour, having a look at the Murrumbidgee in flood (not as bad as it was a week ago) and a snack.

Mt Stromlo from the car
Mt Stromlo
Murrumbidgee River
Murrumbidgee River
Cyclists at Uriarra Crossing.  These guys were all in a race, and they held us up in groups taking up the whole lane of the road and no places to pass.
Cyclists at Uriarra Crossing
Crimson rosella
Crimson rosella
Isn't he cute? :)
The sweetie!
The flattened grasses attested to a much higher water level a week ago
Flood-flattened grass
Family photo
Family photo
Coming back Potty decided to take the scenic route over Coppins Crossing.  Had to reverse all the way back too because the other end was a bit washed out.
Coppins Crossing

The Right Stuff

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Tonight I convinced the sweetie that we should watch "The Right Stuff" that I'd acquired a few weeks ago (for $4 from a guy at work).  

I probably haven't seen this movie in twenty years, and my only memory of it was the rocket tests where they had a spate of failures and spectacular crashes, and the final shot of the top blowing off the top of one of them.  For some reason that shot amused us when we were younger :)

So tonight.. it was a little slow getting going (heck the whole movie is three hours long!) but it picked up and in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I think Bill Conti's score made the movie.  Certainly made me want to go into space all over again.. maybe I'll just need to win a big lotto and go up in one of Richard Branson's planes...


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So after watching Masterchef and sorting out my Eudora (all of my email is now migrated to a new host because kaos is being turned off soon) it was a bit late to really start anything, so did a bit of old-fashioned web surfing.  Well not old-fashioned exactly.  It's more the scenario where you see something on Boing Boing or some such site, and at the bottom there's links to the "top 10 <something>".  From there there's links to all sorts of weird and wonderful other things.  So just followed a bunch of those around for an hour or so.  Was kinda fun :)

So my old CIA email address is no longer being used.  Not sure how long they'll keep a forward going for it.  Be nice if it was a while longer yet.  When you have the same email address for fourteen years lots of people you don't contact much will still be able to contact you (Pirjo found me last year because of it!).  Of course you also get craploads of spam.  Will try and keep my new address off the net as much as possible, except for actual personal email.  The domain catch-all will still be used for the majority of other mail. 

Hello Possum!

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Saw this guy scampering down a tree outside Stu's work last night.  Thought it was a squirrel at first (squirrel!!) but we don't have those here, so of course it had to be a possum.  Stu came out and it ran back up the tree.  Very cute.



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I had this dream the other night.  Someone asked me what the latitude and longitude for Canberra was.  I said well Sydney is 151 east and 34 south, so I imagine Canberra would be 149 or 150 east, and 35 or 36 south.  I then pulled out my iPhone to try and confirm the answer.  But do you think I could find it??  No matter what I did, the Google searches wouldn't give me what I wanted, even bringing back image searches.  It was all very frustrating, and of course I didn't get my answer.

So when I woke up, first thing I did was try it..

Ha!  So not only does it work nicely, but I was actually even correct in my guesstimate :)

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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