April 2011 Archives


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OK so I watched it.  So sue me.

And the been-there's might have been cool too.

Buckingham Palace

28 April..

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28 April 2001 - Alan survives a heart attack.. 10 years!

28 April 1996 - Como Presbyterian Church reopens after the January 1994 bushfires.. 15 years!

Win Day

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I didn't get much sleep last night.  Woke up around 3am and had awful trouble getting back to sleep, and then was just really restless.  So was dead tired this morning.  Even had trouble reading my book on the bus.  As I started reading through my emails at work, I started getting pretty depressed about some of the crap problems I'm dealing with.  Too tired for that much crap.  But then this afternoon while writing an email back to the vendor support, I had a brain wave that turned out to be the solution to a problem we've had for a couple of weeks.  So that was pretty awesome.  

Well, one thing achieved for the day, I could go home.  Tomorrow, I start on whatever the next problem is...
So yesterday, it being our wedding anniversary and all, we decided to go out somewhere nice for dinner.  

We decided to go to Courgette in Civic.

I even wore a blouse .. *gasp* !

That didn't make me feel any less like I didn't belong there.  I'm just not a fancy restaurant kind of person (not that I wouldn't like to be - I do like nice food, I just feel out of my depth).  

Please excuse the crappy iphone photos.  It would just have been too weird to pull out my real camera, and it wouldn't have focussed on my meal anyway without standing up from the table.  Maybe I should have stolen Dave's camera heh.

We ordered a pre-dinner cocktail (Kir Royal) each, which was a blackcurrant flavoured champagne.

Courgette Dinner
They also brought out these mini cups of crab and seafood bisque with a prawn foam - really really tasty!

Courgette Dinner
We ordered a bottle of Southern Highlands Wines Pinot Gris which amazed Stu.  Will have to find some more for him :)

For entrées, Stu had the "Hand picked mud crab and rare yellow fin tuna sausage, wasabi mayonnaise, crisp rice wafer".  This was cold which surprised me.
Courgette Dinner
And I had "Prosciutto wrapped pan seared scallops, confit chicken wings, pea purée, lemon olive oil, balsamic reduction" which was delicious and tender, although I don't recall seeing any actual prosciutto.
Courgette Dinner
For mains Stu had the "Roasted corn fed chicken, sautéed livers with apple and sherry vinegar, braised lentils, Jerusalem artichoke crème, truffle brioche, brandy jus".  The chicken was delicious but I didn't try any of the chicken livers (should have saved one for Nat ;) )
Courgette Dinner
And I had "Sticky pork belly with roasted loin, caramelised apple pear gallette, celeriac mash, pomegranate seed, white balsamic and cider vinegar split jus" which was pretty awesome except that the big two pork pieces in the middle were actually a bit tough to cut through - I almost had to hack my way through it with the knife when cutting it up.  That would be the only complaint I had for the whole evening.
Courgette Dinner
There was a group of six people on a nearby table, and I swear one of the girls looked naked.  All I could see out of the corner of my eye was flesh..
Courgette Dinner
While thinking about dessert, they brought out some watermelon sorbet which was *amazing*!
Courgette Dinner
We ordered desserts, as well as a glass of Penfolds Grandfather Fine Old Tawny port.
Courgette Dinner
We both had the "Vanilla crème brulee with seasonal mixed berries and short bread finger".  Yumm yumm yumm. Real vanilla, crunchy top, super awesome.
Courgette Dinner
And the sweetie got a coffee as well
Courgette Dinner
So all in all an expensive but lovely night out.

Our wedding anniversary is the same date as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  In the past couple of weeks, in the lead up to the 25th anniversary, there's been a heap of articles on English Russia, and other places as well.  For some reason this disaster totally captivates me.  No idea why.  Silly really.  I even wrote a time travel story in high school that mentioned it.  I was in year 12 at the time.  It was about a girl who suddenly woke up in April 1986 - she'd gone back in time five years.  She remembered that April 1986 was when the Chernobyl disaster happened and was trying to warn people.  But of course noone believed her (except her older brother who realised she couldn't suddenly know calculus overnight unless it were true).  The disaster happened and she went into hiding because suddenly everyone wanted to talk to her.  A month later she woke up back in her own time.  I actually scanned that story (and some others) before I threw out all my school work before leaving Sydney.

Anzac Day

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Didn't really do anything to mark Anzac Day.  Boring...

I had plans to work on the back yard yesterday, but I couldn't work up the enthusiasm.  Instead I worked on the hobby room.  Made a little progress rearranging the clutter in there..

After dinner Doc came up and we all played some Mario Kart and some Buzz before staying up quite late doing lots and lots of SingStar :)
The original plan for today involved having someone over to watch videos, so I'd clean up the house in preparation.  Except that the sweetie didn't feel up to being sociable today (he actually turned down two other offers as well).  So I just cleaned the house anyway.  Can see most of the floor of the study now.  And vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom and cleaned and put away the fan.  Only took most of the day in between some breaks catching up on news feeds and blogging about the Folk Festival yesterday.

I probably should have left the house at some point.  It was such a beautiful day!  Oh well...
Dave finally dragged us along to the Folk Festival yesterday (he's been trying for years, to be met with my indifferent "meh").  But the sweetie wanted to go, so we thought we'd just go for a day.

National Folk Festival sign

Arrived a bit before midday and just had a wander around the place.

I liked the "tent city" that you could rent tents in
Tent city
And the Busk Stop
Busk Stop
And the colourful stalls
Colourful stalls

Our first stop musically was for Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.  They were ok I guess.

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

After they'd finished we did some more wandering.

Kangaroos (costumes straight out of the Amazing Race?)
Scottish dude and his dog (apparently he's there every year) Edit: Big Rory and Ochie :)
Scottish Dude and his dog..

Saw the first half of the Festival Fiddlers.

Festival Fiddler
Another Festival Fiddler.  She later played snippets from Monty Python and Black Adder which was a highlight for me at that point (since I'd never heard of a single piece of music I'd heard up until that point).
Festival Fiddler
Then across to Eric Bogle.  Was disappointed because he didn't play And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, but I suppose he's performing so often over the course of the weekend he's probably saving it for Monday or something.
Eric Bogle

That left me a bit grumpy, so didn't get a photo of the next act (The Fagans), and only one of Danny Spooner.  Spent a good chunk of the time on my phone reading Twitter and news feeds.

Danny Spooner

Wandered around some more and got an early dinner of Tapas (yumm!!)

Then to see Political Satire with Shortis & Simpson.  They were a lot of fun, I quite enjoyed this one.

Shortis and Simpson

Then stayed in the Coorong for Infinite Rocky Horror Heat 2.  This turned out to be a bit of a fizzer.  They only had three acts (Kim Cunio and Heather Lee did an operatic version of There's a Light; The Fiddle Chicks did I'm Going Home, which was a bit of fun; and another duo did There's a Light which was ok).  And they did a bit of an audience participation version of The Time Warp.

Rocky Horror heat

At this point the sweetie was peopled out (not helped by a very stuffy Coorong), so he went home, and Dave and I soldiered on.

Totally Gourdgeous played to a packed tent.  Penelope Swales is pretty awesome, I liked her.

Totally Gourdgeous

Caught the tail end of Martin Pearson and the MP3.  He was fun too, might have been good to see more of him.

Martin Pearson and the MP3

The Good Lovelies were kinda cute, I think the sweetie would have liked them.  Took a few videos for him.

The Good Lovelies

And finally the Spooky Men's Chorale.  These guys were pretty cool.  I liked their "Swedish folk song" - well I could guess straight away it was going to be something by Abba :)  Took a few videos of them too.

Spooky Men's Chorale

So yeah.  Long day.  Not sure it's worth the $80-odd dollars to go for a day.  Well not for me anyway, not knowing any of the artists or any of the music (except for snippets here and there).  If you were into that sort of thing I suppose it'd probably be pretty good value...   *meh*  .. :)

Just for fun, here's a snap I took of the moon as we were leaving.

Spent at least two hours this morning attacking the foliage in the front yard.  Lots of chopping of cherry tree suckers, pulling up of weeds, and hacking away at plants in general, trying to get it all under control.  Piled up a *huge* pile of foliage to be chopped up more and put out in the garbage one bag at a time.

After lunch, I did a jigsaw I'd borrowed from the coast.  Just a map of the world, but with Qantas' flight routes on it - as of April 1965!!  With a 707 :)

Qantas Jigsaw
Qantas Jigsaw
Other than that, just a bit of house tidying and news feed reading.

The little brother turned up just before dinner, so instead of Stu cooking a fritatta for us, he decided he didn't want to cook at all, so I had to make pizzas for the boys.



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Today the plan is to do housework and gardening.  There is so much to be done it's ridiculous.  Fortunately today is a glorious day, so will make a start on the garden I think.  Hopefully I'll be able to get the sweetie out of bed some time before the afternoon so he can help....

In order to clean my desk, I have to do some of the things on it.  Like mention a BookCrossing book I finished some weeks ago - Hook by Geary Gravel.  I saw the movie years and years ago, and the book I think is much the same (maybe).  It's a kids book though, so it's very short and doesn't really add much.  But it does make for easy before-bed reading.
Although we didn't win tonight - only came third ;)

We got 101 points, second got 102.5 and first got 103.5.  So we were pretty close.

Definitely wasn't as well organised tonight as other nights (and yes, we did have our high standards for people to live up to ;) ).  But still fun anyway.  And came home with a box of Roses :)
Bit better day today than yesterday.  Didn't really achieve all that much, it took much of the day just to do one thing :/

I was going to plan out all the things I wanted to do this weekend tonight.  I got as far as listing some of the things that need doing around the garden.

Gave up on that and played some SingStar.

Here's some pics of the moon I've taken recently.

First, one I took a few weeks ago at work drinks at sunset
Sunset moon
Then another one at drinks a week later
Waxing moon
And this was moonrise last night

Crappy Day

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Badly organised events + incompetent vendors + mean and cynical people = depressed Kazza.

People suck.

Sunny Sunday

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Lovely day today.  Although the wind had a bit of a chill in it!

Headed out for brunch.  Went to Black Pepper which is our main haunt.  Service is often a little slow there, but today was particularly bad.  Got there at 10:35, but they said there would be a 15-20 minute wait for a table.  So we went for a walk.  

Gak Gak bird flying
Gak Gak bird flying

Came back at 10:55 and were seated straight away.  But didn't get our food until 11:40 :(:( So was very hungry by that stage.  But the food is pretty good and today was no exception.

Went for a trip to the other side of the lake afterwards to feed the birdies (and the little fishies).


Autumn colours were all over the place (I still haven't taken many for the RiotACT), the red is at home.

Autumn gold
Autumn red

Some bugs at home..

A little butterfly
And these little bastards are destroying the cherry tree :(  Hoping it's got enough energy to come back ok next spring, and then might need to figure out how the heck I can stop them if they come back next year :(
Cherry tree bug

Other than that, really just read news feeds all afternoon (and put away the two jigsaws).

On Saturday they had another open day at Cotter Dam.  Except this time you had to book tickets in advance.  So the whole was much more pleasant and civilised than last time, which involved lots of standing around trying to shelter from the rain and getting stressed over people pushing in trying to get onto the buses.

Pleasant waiting area
Cotter bend
View of the old dam, quarry, piles of rocks for the new dam, and one of the saddle dams
Cotter Dam construction
Face of rock where the new dam will be constructed
Cotter Dam construction
One of the completed saddle dams
Saddle dam
Truck bringing rock from the quarry up for processing
Dump truck full of rocks
The top path is where we got to get out and take photos.  The middle path is where we went last time, but couldn't get out this time :(
Cotter Dam open day GPS track

After the bus trip, went on the Discovery Trail again

The old little bridge across the Cotter River was swept away last year
Bridge all gone
Cotter Dam from the Discovery Trail
Cotter Dam
European Wasp in the car park


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Was discussing the problem of representing the Hamiltonian Path on my buckyball with Fred this morning, and he suggested Google Sketchup.  I found an Instructables site that outlined how to create one, but without premium membership the site is completely useless.  So tonight I found one someone had prepared earlier :)  (number 6)

Still trying to figure out the best way of getting a line around it, as I've forgotten everything I've learnt about using Sketchup.
I used a double episode of Lie to Me last week to fold 90 green phizz units.  I used the entire drive back from the coast on Sunday to fold 90 pink phizz units.  I folded 90 blue phizz units on Sunday night while watching Border Security, The Force and Bones.

The result:  270 phizz units.

Bag of phizz units
I started construction on Sunday night.

Three phizz units joined
The top pentagon
Top of phizz ball
Then I spent just about all of last night building it, and finished it this morning.

270-edge phizz buckyball
So there we have a 270-edge buckyball.  I actually don't know what this solid is called.  It has twelve pentagons for the apexes and seven hexagons on each of the twenty "faces" (the two edge ones are common to the adjoining faces).  

Rather than using blue paper for the pentagons and pink paper for the intervening hexagons (as seen in my previous balls), I decided to use three colours and make a Hamiltonian Path ball.  This effectively means that a colour never touches the same colour - always at the points there are the three different colours.  I'd tried this with a dodecahedron (which is pretty simple) and there are patterns floating around for doing it with truncated icosahedrons (here and here, although I think there's a mistake on that second link. Edit: looks like it's been fixed).  But I can't find anything for a ball this size.  So I had to wing it.  I expected it to be a nice double helix all the way around from top to bottom, starting with the top pentagon and finishing with the bottom pentagon.  But this wasn't the case.  Two-thirds of the way through, the loop doubled back on itself around a couple of the lower half pentagons and went the other way.  I'm still trying to figure out how to show this, as it really doesn't all fit in one photo and drawing a 3D shape like this is pretty complicated.  If I can figure out a way to do it I will.

So here's all my phizz balls.  I don't think I'll be making any more any time soon.
I still want have a techie post about them.. one day .. ;)

Phizz Balls

April Coast Trip

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As you'd have guessed from yesterday's entry, we went down the coast on the weekend.

Nice quiet weekend as always, with jigsaw-ing, spa-ing, swimming, walking, star gazing, drinking beer, eating pizza (and plenty of other junk food).  Even got a swim in the ocean at Myrtle Beach on Saturday - water was a bit chilly but not too bad.

Malua Bay
Crucifix Orchids
Malua Bay
Ugh boots
Waratah I think
Southern Cross
Mt Shukson jigsaw

Malua Bay Sunrise

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Setup the iPhone to record the sunrise this morning.  But it was very cloudy so it's actually not all that interesting (although if it had been sunnier I would have been worried about damaging the sensor pointing it into the sun for so long).  

I took 2522 photos over seven hours.  But the resulting avi generated by PhotoLapse was over 2Gb so nothing would open it.  So culled down the number of photos to 1756 and redid it (you're not missing much).  Also recorded a bit faster - 20fps.  So a minute and a half of video.

More time lapse fun.

This is the view out our back window for an hour this morning.


397 photos, one every ten seconds.  Converted to video at 15 fps.


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I sent a pic of the fountain-bow into the RiotACT the other day which went up yesterday.

Today someone sent in a better one... :)

Space Jigsaw

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Since I don't have anything new or exciting to blog tonight (work - dealing with useless vendors, housework - washing, tidying etc, putting Lego away), here's a requested pic of the jigsaw from yesterday..

3D Space Jigsaw

This morning we headed over for Violet's first birthday party.

Violet's cake
We didn't stay for too long because we had to get to Serkan's for a killifish meeting.  I took photos of fish just because.  Some of these are even manually focussed (most failed of course).

Serkan fish
Serkan fish
Serkan fish
Serkan fish
Serkan fish

Yesterday we needed to go pick up Stu's car from Civic, so went for a walk around some of the lake while we were there.

Black swan

Jigsaw madness

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Last night I *finally* finished the Ravensburger 3000 piece jigsaw.  The last five hundred or so pieces of dark leaves were just torture.  Definitely not a good jigsaw pattern.  Still, it'd have to be infinitely better than this 32000-piece monster!  Look how much solid colour there is!  There'd be a couple of thousand pieces of just plain white!!  It'd be enough to drive you mental!

3000-piece Ravensburger Jigsaw
This afternoon as a reward, I did a jigsaw I'd borrowed from someone at work.  This was a 3D picture of the solar system.  Just for fun I setup my iPhone (with GorillaCam) to record a photo every ten seconds (735 photos all up). This time I turned off the auto-lock feature which worked well, although getting a couple of SMSes in the middle still confused it, even managing to completely crash my phone at one point.


This was my setup - a bit of Lego bracing, with rubber bands holding it all in place on top of my tripod (ran out of batteries as well most of the way through, so powered it up for the rest).

Time lapse Lego phone mount

Jigsaw progress

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Nat and Andrew came over tonight and helped the jigsaw along.  Only 285 pieces left!! :)

So did that for quite a while.  Had Oliver! on in the background.  Did a super nomm pasta bake for dinner with berry cheesecake for dessert.  Then played 16 levels of Mario Kart.  Nat won of course ;)  Andrew second and me third.

Fun night :)

Probably should go to bed soon...

Come & Get It!

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So there was a bit of chaos in the mall yesterday.  Lots of people, and a camera filming someone outside Harris Scarfe.  Then I heard a familiar voice - it sounded like Peter Russell Clarke!  Took a snap on my iPhone first for Twitpic, then saw confirmation that it really was him! :)

Peter Russell Clarke
He's a bit (lot) older now than when I remember him (twenty five years ago!).  I grew up watching his afternoon tv show "Come & Get It".  Phil thought we were mental cause he'd never heard of him :)


Where's the cheese?

ahhh memories :)
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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