January 2012 Archives


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Went and saw Hugo tonight.

Unfortunately for me I heard too many people say how good it was.  Because whenever people do that I start to expect too much.  And then I enjoy it less.

Don't get me wrong, it was a lovely film, it's just it got over hyped in my brain and I was expecting miracles.  Doh.

We saw it in 3D as recommended.  And it was nicely done.  But really.  3D?  Meh.  I'm still not convinced, even by a movie that's supposed to be one of the better ones.

So anyway.

Had a light dinner at Gus' beforehand.  

Vegetarian nachos for the sweetie

Gus' nachos

And "Miti paigani" for me.  Not really sure what I was expecting, but it really wasn't this.  Oh well.

Gus' miti paigani


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Went to Sammy's for dinner tonight.

I was intrigued by Crispy lamb in shantung sauce, which turned out to be delicious!

Sammy's Canberra
And we also had Drunken chicken with ginger and shallot sauce, which was lovely and tender but didn't have the same flavour punch as the lamb.

Sammy's Canberra

Travel bug

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Was planning on not leaving the house at all today, however the sweetie wanted a Scottish Restaurant breakfast after last night heh.  So I went off to Bunnings first up to pick up a few things.

Then home, did some photo sorting, and this jigsaw of Yokohama Bay Bridge in an hour and a quarter:

Yokohama Bay Bridge jigsaw
Also did some thinking about and planning for my next trip.  Getting excited :)

Mini Dinner Party

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Went out for brekky this morning to Black Pepper.  Had eggs benedict as is tradition.

Then did our food shopping at the markets.

Not much this arvo, just on the computer.

Did a pork roast and Josh and Ally came over for dinner and it was a very pleasant little dinner party.  Pork was super awesome, good veggies, and dessert was some creme brulees we got from Knead this morning.  Yum yum yum :)  And a good excuse to trot out the nice dinnerware :)

Quiet day at home yesterday, didn't even leave the house.

The sweetie cooked kangaroo for dinner.

Tonight he cooked a Japanese curry (sort of).

Here's a couple of photos of sunflowers.


* You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn. 

* You think it's normal to have a leader called Julia. 

* You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden. 

* You understand that the phrase 'a group of women wearing black thongs' refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds. 

* You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bin'. 

* You believe the 'l' in the word 'Australia' is optional. 

* You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.' 

* You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep. 

* You call your best friend 'a total bastard' but someone you really, truly despise is just 'a bit of a bastard'. 

* You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a place. 

* You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife. 

* You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin. 

* You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'. 

* You believe that cooked-down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread. You've also squeezed it through Vita Wheats to make little Vegemite worms. 

* You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis. 

* Beetroot with your Hamburger... Of course. 

* You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' 
And "Living next door to Alice". 

* You believe that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year. 

* You wear ugg boots outside the house. 

* You believe that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off for a pittance. 

* You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them. 

* Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language. 

* You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude,
While 'scuse me' is always polite. 

* You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose. 

* You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron. 

* Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket. 

* You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call 'Anzac cookies'. 

* You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours'. 

* When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer. 

* You know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in -o: arvo, combo, garbo, kero, lezzo, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc. 

* You know that there is a universal place called "woop woop" located in the middle of nowhere...no matter where you actually are. 

* You know that none of us actually drink Fosters beer, because it tastes like piss. But we let the world think we do. Because we can. 

* You have some time in your life slept with Aeroguard on in the summer. Maybe even as perfume. 

* You've only ever used the words - tops, ripper, sick, mad, rad, sweet 
- to mean good. And then you place 'bloody' in front of it when you really mean it. 

* You know that the barbecue is a political arena; the person holding the tongs is always the boss and usually a man. And the women make the Salad. 

* You say 'no worries' quite often, whether you realise it or not. 

* You understand what no wucking furries means. 

* You've drank your tea/coffee/milo through a Tim Tam. 

* You own a Bond's chesty. In several different colours. 

* You know that some people pronounce Australia like "Straya" and that's ok. 

* And you will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.

Happy invasion day ..


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So my little brother took this photo this morning:

Menangle crash
Three people died in that car :(:(  I'll be curious to know what happened.  Did the driver of the truck fall asleep momentarily?  Did he swerve to avoid something and lose control?  Was there any sort of mechanical fault?
But the most unsettling thing for me personally - my brother was just minutes behind this.  It could have been him under that truck...
Edit 22.2.20:  Googled this - the truck driver Vincent Samuel George was drug affected and fatigued and sentenced to jail.
I had a very weird thing happen to me today.  I know, you can hit me now.

I had this realisation that the thing I wanted to do most today was documentation.  Maybe because everything else on my todo list was less pleasurable heh ;)  Maybe it's because I realised that out of the eighteen large "client" projects I've worked on since I started there, seven of them are current and I'm working on them at the moment.  That's enough to make my head spin just thinking about it!

Documentation is something I can do quietly by myself, don't have to talk to useless vendors, don't have to talk to other people (except to ask the odd question), I can just *do it* and actually achieve something at the end of the day.

Just for fun, here's the time lapse I put together of the jigsaw I did yesterday...

This morning I slept in til about 10am, which is completely unheard of for me!  I was shocked :)

Then the sweetie and I went into town to see Arietty.

What a delightful movie!!

Sweet, sad, and stunningly animated.

The sweetie wants to move into Sho's family's house heh.

So yeah, thoroughly enjoyed it.

We saw it in Japanese with English subtitles.  Which is at least one good thing about the Dodgy Dendy.

So after that we grabbed some lunch in the food court, then went and did out food shopping.  I debated buying some "Australia" but they only had big jars, and we'd *never* get through it.  So just documented them instead.

Australia Vegemite
After putting away the shopping, we brought up Stu's new chair.  Well, brand new second hand.  But he got a pretty sweet deal (the person he bought it off had recently spent like $380 getting it reupholstered (Stu paid ~$100) and the dude's father in law wasn't too happy that he was getting so little for it).  This is not its final home (although I do like it where it is - I can sit and watch my screen saver from it :) )

Purple Arm Chair

Then I sat down to do a 1000 piece jigsaw.  It took about three and a half hours.  Probably the fastest I've ever done a 1000 piece jigsaw.  And because it promised to be so easy, I took a timelapse of it.  Which I might put together tomorrow.

Milky Way jigsaw

Saturday I got up at a reasonable hour and went and picked up supplies for the evening.  Brought home some Maccas breakfast.

Then spent pretty much the whole day cleaning the house.  Oops.  Finished up like a quarter of an hour before people started turning up.

So yeah, four Davids, a Neil and a Simon came.  We started off by playing some rounds of Buzz until everyone arrived.  Then DC arrived with pizzas, and we watched The Big Lebowski, followed by Blazing Saddles.  I struggled to keep awake through Blazing Saddles ;)   My favourite part was when they zoomed out of the fight scene to show the Warner Bros backlot.  Very cool :)

Then most people went home, but Doc and Windy stayed for a bit of Singstar (and I set a couple of high scores for Poison and Heaven is a Place on Earth :) ).  Slightly late night.  Oops.
Friday night Neil and I decided to go to the lake for a quiet pint.  That was a lovely end to the week in itself, but a breeze came through and it was just awesome (and the HaHa Bar was amazingly uncrowded for a Friday).

Beers at the Haha
Then we walked up to Jamo to meet the sweetie for dinner at The Dumpling Inn.  We couldn't get a seat immediately so sat by the fish tank feeling slightly sad for the fishies.

Fish at The Dumpling Inn
And then Neil asked: "Is there a blog out there for the oldest magazines in waiting rooms?"
... 1997 ?!??

Old magazine
We ordered the traditional Shredded Beef Peking Style, crunchy and awesome as always.

Shredded beef Peking Style
Three cups wine chicken in hot pot, which was *amazing*, I really loved this (even burnt my tongue on it trying to eat it faster!).  Must have been all that hoisin sauce :)

Three cups wine chicken
And braised scallops with ginger and shallot sauce.  The scallops were melt-in-your-mouth good!

Braised scallops
And finished up with fried ice cream

Fried ice cream
It was pouring with rain from the storm, so we drove Neil home, but didn't do our shopping as planned.  Oh well.


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Woke up this morning and one of the first things I saw was that Heather (Dooce) has separated from her husband, at least for a trial.  Which made me pretty sad.  I mean these guys have had problems forever (they've been in therapy for years), but there were still times when they seemed very much in love.  So yeah. Sadmaking.

Meanwhile, the cockatoos were making a racket this morning, so while I had the camera out to photograph the sunflowers, I took a bunch of photos of the birds.

Sulphur crested cockatoo
Sulfur crested cockatoo
Sulfur crested cockatoo
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
Sulfur crested cockatoo in flight
ok so yeah.  Might have gone slightly overboard :):):)

The War of the Worlds

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Finished reading The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells today.  I've read a couple of his books over the years - The Invisible Man and The Time Machine.  I think I read The Time Machine in high school as part of a project to read a book not written in the 20th century.

So yeah, War of the Worlds.  A little odd.  Quite anticlimactic at the end.  And in answer to my question, it seems you never do find out the dude's name.  In fact I think the only named characters are the women his brother meets (oh and the astronomer at the beginning).  At one point he's talking about some artillery or something being the most powerful weaponry ever seen.  And I'm like "Is that all?" .. and then I remember this was written before both World Wars! heh

I'm going to see if I can get out to Woking next time I'm in London...  

Boring Blogger

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Haven't blogged much this week.  Mainly because nothing much has been happening.  This weekend was pretty much just jigsawing and cleaning the house.  

Kore came back on Friday night with new boyfriend Rhys? Rees?  in tow.  We started watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail until he had to leave.  Stu took Kore to Sydney yesterday and she flew out this morning.

The UPS overloaded last night, possibly as a result of the storm.  So that meant pulling out my computer desk, which made the perfect opportunity to give the area a proper cleaning.  So study still has a bit to go on my side, but is much cleaner.  

Also last night, National Lampoon's Vacation was on telly.  So of course I had to watch it.  Because it so totally reminds me of my Legoland failure in London a year and a half ago.  What I'd forgotten was that it was filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain - which I've been to, and they went on the Colossus and the Revolution, so that was pretty squee.

Cooked lots of veggies for dinner tonight.  A few leftovers, and still a bunch of other veggies in the fridge.  Now to cut down the salt .. and exercise more....


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As discussed yesterday, I got us tickets to see Tintin tonight!

So yeah, it was 3D.  I don't think 3D really added anything to it.  Should have just got and seen it in 2D.  Oh well.

So definitely a lot of fun.  A bit "yeah right" in places, but that's to be expected.  One thing I did like was the super long shots during the action scenes.  Which of course they can do when the whole thing is animated.  A real-life action movie would have them chopping camera angles every half a second.  The long shots made it fun to watch.

Enjoyed the references to the comic strips.  Which I haven't seen in probably twenty five years.  I don't think I've read any of the books since I was in primary school!!

Fun stuff.  Worth seeing.  In 2D.  :)
So I read this article the other day, and Dave2 commented on it as well.  After buying tickets last night for Tintin, I thought I'd put in my $0.02 worth.

1. The absence of a must-see mass-market movie..
Does Harry Potter count?  Final instalment and all that.  In fact it was the only movie I even saw at a cinema last year.

2. Ticket prices are too high..
This is my biggest gripe.  Case in point: Last night I got tickets for the sweetie and me to go see Tintin this week.  $41 for the two of us.  Forty one freaking dollars!  That's ridiculous!  That's nearly three times the cost of getting it on DVD in a few months time.  We have a nice TV, we'd be better off just waiting.

3. The theater experience..
Well the Dodgy Dendy has always been an issue... but that's another story.  Generally Australians aren't *too* bad at mobile phone usage in cinemas.  I really only have issues with other cinema-goers if the angle is wrong and I get someone tall in front of me.  What's actually more of a pain is the ticket buying process.  In this age of allocated seating, you really need to get tickets early.  Which means either buying online (additional cost and I don't know that you can use movie money) or going to the theatre days in advance.  You can't just turn up at a movie theatre anymore and expect to be able to see the movie in a decent seat.  Kills any thought of an impromptu "let's go to the movies". 

4. Refreshment prices..
I've always avoided movie snacks on principle for this very reason.  But this has *always* been the case, nothing new.

5. Competition from other forms of delivery..
Or just waiting for it to come to TV.  But that rarely happens for me either.  If I don't care enough to see a movie at the cinema, I'm not likely to care enough to watch it on TV either.

6. Lack of choice..
Not a big issue for me.  I'm perfectly happy with a Hollywood blockbuster.  I fit into the lowest common denominator crowd.  The sweetie likes independent films more, but they're hard to see in Canberra.  The Dendy used to be a lot more focussed on this, and while they still do have them, they really just have the popular movies most of the time.

I reckon related to lack of choice is lack of anything original from Hollywood.  Weren't all the top grossing movies of last year remakes and sequels?  Lame!

Another gripe of mine is 3D.  I can't see the point of paying a premium to watch a movie dulled down by wearing sunglasses.  Especially since most movies these days are already washed out.  

But for me, I think I'm just getting old.  I just don't care about movies/tv like I used to.  I've barely used my dvd-recorder since I moved to Canberra.  If I miss something I miss something.  If I *really* want to see it, it's often online at the tv station's website.  Or just a bittorrent away...
The extent of our tourism in Canberra with Kore consisted entirely of a single drive around town to see the sights.  After our week in Sydney we kinda just didn't want to leave the house.  Oh well...

War Memorial
War Memorial
Canberra from Mt Ainslie
Mount Ainslie
Kore on Mt Ainslie
Kore on Mount Ainslie
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Old Parliament House
Old Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
US Embassy
US Embassy
Government House
Government House
Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Tower

The Great Catchup

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Ok so I really haven't blogged all week.  Whoops.  This post will be really boring, feel free to leave now ;)

Got home from River Island.  It was hot.  We went for a swim.  I made a pasta bake for dinner.  Did Singstar for a while until my dementia upset Kore.

Slow morning. Hungry Jacks for lunch.  Went for a drive around Canberra (I'll put the pics in a separate post).  Did some food shopping.  Kore made a chorizo and egg tortilla dish for dinner which was super yummy although could have used some vegetation, corn maybe?  Watched Finding Nemo and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.  Kore also spent an hour de-seeding three pomegranates.  So much work for seemingly not much result!  Yummy though :)

Kore deseeding pomegranates
Pomegranate seeds

Sick, no sleep last night.  Oh yes, every time I got to Sydney I come home with a cold.  Was just a cold this time.  Wednesday night was the worst because of the runny nose which meant I didn't sleep well at all.  Lay in bed til midday (didn't really sleep).  Scanned some stuff I brought home from the parents' - all my school reports and uni/school results.  Finished a jigsaw of Neuschwanstein borrowed from the coast.  Cooked some kangaroo steaks for dinner with a nice leek side.

Neuschwanstein jigsaw

Finished scanning the school reports folder.  Did some photo sorting from the end of the Sydney trip.  Didn't leave house except to walk down to Tony's for some rosemary.  Cooked a lamb roast for dinner.  Watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Peter Pan (Kore and I totally got our Jason fix ;) )

Not much in the morning.  Was offered to be taken out to lunch (Subway) while the sweetie went for a swim, but in the end I paid.. not sure how that worked.  Hrmm.  Read news feeds.  Started a new jigsaw.  Got pizza for dinner.  Watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Quiet morning.  Kore left for Puckapunyal with a friend she's known online for years.  Worked on the jigsaw.  Took down the Christmas decorations (sadmaking).  Updated blog entries (go back and see Sydney day 5 and day 6 if you care).  Did our food shopping.  Visited Annie.  Came home and Stu cooked a lovely pasta dish with smoked mussels and creme fraiche - better than any pasta dish I've ever done!

And so comes the end of the holiday.  I'm so not ready to go back to work :(  It's so nice to have the house to ourselves again too.  Back to reality I guess.... 

If you made it to the end, congratulations :)  And while you're here you can wish my blog a happy blogiversary - nine years old today :)  (and David Bowie turns 65 - happy birthday! :) )

River Island

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So we had new year's night in Canberra, then headed out again on the second to stay with D&Y at River Island.

Had a swim in the spa first up which was lovely and cool.

Then down to Tiny's Crossing for a swim in the Wollondilly River.  Lovely!

Wollondilly swim
David cooked up a storm for dinner.
As always, the nicest thing about the place is all the wildlife.  Didn't get to see the wombat, but Kore saw it the day before - and even patted it!

Water dragon

(sorry this was getting dark and random camera can't zoom that much)
Willy Wagtail
Bower Bird

The Art of the Brick

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While in Sydney I went along to Nathan Sawaya's Lego exhibition "The Art of the Brick" at the Town Hall.  It was pretty crowded with kids but was otherwise awesome, and unlike the money-hungry Warner Bros you were allowed to take photos at this exhibition.  Which made it all kinds of wonderful.

Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"Blue Guy Sitting"
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"Mask".  This kind of full face mask is called a Bauta.
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"Courtney Yellow"
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"The Artist's View"
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"Hands".  The sculptor's worst nightmare: living without the use of his hands.
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
"T-Rex".  This piece took Nathan 80,000 Lego bricks and an entire summer to create.
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick

Still alive..

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Again, still not spending a whole lot of time on the computer.  I am keeping a log of the week though, so be prepared for a completely boring post about our meals and video watching ;)

Dropping the ball

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Four days into the new year and I've already missed a day blogging.  Mainly because even though I've been on holidays, I've been doing jigsaws and cleaning desks and going camping and sightseeing and shopping and watching movies.. so sitting on my computer in the heat hasn't been all that appealing (especially with a few thousand photos to sort through!)

More posts to come soon ... hopefully ;)


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After we dropped Kore off in Mittagong yesterday, the sweetie and I had a good long chat on the drive back to Canberra.  We chatted about life and stuff, but also came up with some resolutions.  Of course most of these are things like exercise more and eat better, but a few personal ones as well.

Feeling positive about 2012 .. (except maybe about going back to work ;) )

Happy New Year!!

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So back from Sydney, with thunderstorms thrown in for good measure.

Too hot this afternoon to do anything, or eat anything but fruit for dinner..
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.

Kazza the Blank One home