July 2012 Archives

Great Day

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Had a super awesome day today.  Someone gave me access to do a big cleanup of a system that's been annoying me for *ages* because of how messy it was.  So I cleaned all day.  And loved every minute of it :)

And here's a hot air balloon that flew past our house a week or so ago..

Airforce Balloon

I finished geotagging the parents' photos tonight.  So that's all 23500-odd photos geotagged!  Not a bad effort considering I've only been home seven weeks ;)

Now for the next step.. culling them down for slideshows..!


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Yesterday after brunch at Black Pepper and doing our food shopping, we went and bought five baby angel fish!

So adorable!

Baby angels

Although one of them is hiding in the corner most of the time, I'm a little worried about it...

Hopefully these ones will have better luck breeding that the last batch.  Which only took up the tank for ten years!

Update: the fish died :(:(
Neil rates another mention .. on Friday he found me a copy of Lost In Translation at Flipside!  I'd been looking out for this since we got back from our last trip to Japan.

Tonight we watched it.  It was pretty cool to see all the been-theres!

Other than that, didn't feel like I achieved much today.  Too much work crap.  And feeling a bit blah tonight.  Think will go to bed..


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1927 were an Australian band that formed in 1987 and a string of hit singles through the late eighties and early nineties.  

I was a fan :)

"...ish", their first album was (and still is) one of my favourite albums of all time.  "The Other Side" I got as well but it didn't grab me in the same way.

I had this poster of them up in my room (at least I think I did, I don't have any photographic evidence)

1927 Poster
I decorated the whole back of my Year 11/12 school folder with a poster of the band.

I carried a picture of Eric around in my wallet.

I saw them live twice.  The first time was at the NSW Institute of Sport at Homebush, probably in 1990.  We sat on the side and I meticulously wrote down every song they played.  The second time was at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre, aka "The Bop" one Friday night in 1991.  I was quite close to the stage that night but got annoyed at a girl in front who kept bopping sideways, alternately obstructing my view.

Then they disappeared.

The next mention I saw of them was over last new years in Sydney - they were to be the support act for Roxette.  But that was in Sydney and all too hard.

Then a few weeks ago Mix106.3 announced that they were coming to Canberra.  I put out a notice on the blog, but the only two people that showed any initial interest decided they weren't really interested after all.  I didn't really want to go by myself, so it all got too hard.  The sweetie said he'd go with me if I really wanted him to, but I was thinking as of the day of the concert that I probably wouldn't go.

But then late yesterday afternoon I asked Neil if I should ask if there were any tickets left and he said yes.  So I called and they still had tickets left, so I bought two!  At which point Windy came by and said Nanette and her friends were going and he actually might have been interested if he could find babysitting.  So he arranged that - win!

So he picked me up and we went and dropped off the laptop and on call phone to Neil (thanks Neil!!) and off we went.

We arrived a bit after eight and picked up my tickets.  We had 399 and 400.

1927 Ticket

They'd said on the phone earlier that doors would probably open around 8:15.  Met up with the others and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  In the end they didn't let us upstairs til ~8:50pm :(  But because we were in the foyer right by the stairs, we were among the first to go up!  So of course we took up position right in front of the stage :)

Then we waited some more.

The crowd
We were even close enough to see the set list for the night..

1927 set list
Which translated is:

To Love Me (...ish)
Don't Forget Me (The Other Side)
Nothing in the Universe (...ish)
The Other Side (The Other Side)
Tell me a Story (The Other Side)
Compulsory Hero (...ish)
It Ain't Love (1927)
Stop the World (Generation-i)
Believe in Your Own Lies (Generation-i)
You'll Never Know (...ish)
Give the Kid a Break (...ish)
Propaganda Machine (...ish)
That's When I Think of You (...ish)
The Mess (...ish)
If I could (...ish)

Finally, a bit after 9:30, they came out!!

It took me mere seconds to realise I was going to need earplugs.  I could *feel* the music, and the wind from the speakers.  And as soon as the guitars started I knew I was going to get deafened and stressed.  So put in the earplugs and that worked well.

So as it turns out, Eric (now known as Erik) is the only original member of the band left.  Everyone else is new.  When I saw 1927 the first two times, they were actually a little boring - they just all stood there and played their songs.  Erik seems to have relaxed quite a bit these days - he seems more like a muso just enjoying what he does.  There wasn't a whole lot of interaction with the crowd though.  

So I sang along to the songs I knew, and took photos during songs I didn't...

1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12

After the show we hung around a bit comparing photos.  I went and bought myself a tshirt and their latest cd.  And the keyboardist (above) came out, so Nanette dragged me over to get an autograph :)  I asked if the rest of the band would be out, and he said probably in around fifteen minutes.  So we hung around.

So worth it!!!

1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
OMG I got to hug Erik!!!!!!

1927 at Ainslie Football Club, 27.7.12
Very squeeeeeee ;)

And I got my cd autographed by the whole band :):):)

1927 autographed CD

So thanks Neil for the kick in the butt to get tickets, and looking after on call for me, it was a totally awesome night :):):):)

Today I got a piece of comment spam on an old blog entry spamvertising an Australian company.

I was appalled.  I expect this sort of behaviour from overseas "companies" and fly-by-nights and your other general dregs of the internet.

But for an Australian company to stoop so low as to use comment spam to increase their Google rankings is just pathetic.

If I lived in Adelaide there's certainly no way I'd ever be a customer!

You have provided an incredible resource.

Commenter name: Mini Bins Adelaide 
Commenter email address: mikerector@gmail.com
Commenter URL: http://<url removed>/
Commenter IP address:

Bunch of lowlife spammers!


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Brave Went to see Brave tonight. 

Along with a whole two other couples in the cinema heh.

Loved it!

Little kids wouldn't like some of the scary bits, heck even I was feeling a little tense.

Best animation by Pixar so far, Merida's hair alone is amazing (apparently 1500 individually rendered hairs).

Worth seeing I thought.

This morning headed to Yarralumla to the Oaks Brasserie for a birthday lunch for Damien.  

The cafe is super dog-friendly - they even have a section on the menu for dogs!

Damien Lunch
There was Donkey Kong to be played (sadly the batteries were going, so couldn't see really well enough to play it properly)

Damien Lunch
The usual suspects (lots of others too, just not great photos heh)

Damien Lunch
I had a cheesy spinach calzone which was yummy

Damien Lunch
Damien had an enormous bowl of cheesy wedges

Damien Lunch
The service was a bit sporadic.  Actually it was completely inefficient and some people had finished eating by the time other people got food.  But they did very nicely split the bill up, even though it said on their menus they don't do that.  So that was nice of them.

We sat outside which was lovely in the sun, although a little chilly when clouds came over.

Lovely lunch catchup, happy birthday Damien! :)

Last night Nat and Andrew came over for some games.

We started with Bananagram.  Nat won two and Andrew won one.

Then Carcassonne which Nat won, but I got a bit depressed because they kept screwing me over so I couldn't finish cities.

Then a couple of games of Flux.  Nat won one, can't remember who won the other.

Then I went through several years of photos finding stuff that we'd all been to together and copying them for them.

Good fun night :)
Last week we had a whiskey night at work.  Six whiskeys - three Scotches, two Irish and a Welsh.

Scotch Night
They were all pretty good, these were my notes on the night:

Campbelltown Longrow: strong, somewhat peaty, liked it
Penderyn sherry wood single malt (Welsh): bitier, some more intense flavours and smell. Interesting.
Knappogue Castle single malt (Irish): smelled almost fruity, definitely not as intense. Tad smokey. Just a tad. Not bad.
Writers Tears: undecided. Bit more bland and lack of smell. Jeff liked it tho
Adelphi fascadale single malt: bitey, a bit smokey, a bit too .. something. Jeff claims bacon flavours :)
Benromach special edition: Liked it. Nice flavours. Strong. Good golden colour. Still liked the Longrow the best

Sadly the Longrow had run out by the time for seconds of anything, so missed out on another shot of that.

The other day Neil and I went and tried out Samiuz under Oracle.

It was a little confusing as to what sort of place it was.  There's a counter front and centre, so I was expecting to order and pay before sitting down.  But we were asked to sit down and were given menus, but we still weren't sure whether we had to go pay then or what.  We got table service in the end, but the other guys came in and just ordered straight at the counter and paid then.  Go figure.

I had Chicken Fungi, which was quite delicious.


Last year when Neil and I went to Lego Brick Expo, we noticed that there was a "VIP Dinner".  So this year we decided we'd go along to it.  I was expecting more people from the general public, but it was mainly exhibitors and other people already involved with the day.  Still, it was a lot of fun, and the best thing was getting to look around the exhibition not only with no crowds, but sipping on champagne :)

The Saturn V rocket was super awesome
Lego Brick Expo 2012
The Dish
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Government House in Victoria, made by the owner of the OzBricks Bricklink store
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Closeup of the top of the Saturn V rocket
Lego Brick Expo 2012
I drooled over these mosaics.
These two were done with bricks on four boards
Lego Brick Expo 2012

And this one with plates on nine boards
Lego Brick Expo 2012

No crowds!!!
Lego Brick Expo 2012

Carillon, Parliament House and War Memorial
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Where's Wally?
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Wall-e and Eve were there again this year
Lego Brick Expo 2012
There was a pretty big Star Wars section
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Lego Brick Expo 2012
I loved this tree in full bloom
Lego Brick Expo 2012
Lego Brick Expo 2012

And then we headed into dinner.

Lego Brick Expo 2012

Lego Brick Expo 2012

I think this was pork, but I'm not really sure.  It was yummy though!
Lego Brick Expo 2012
And a delicious, tender steak
Lego Brick Expo 2012

With chocolate mousse for dessert
Lego Brick Expo 2012

The guest speaker was Gary McIntire from Legoland California.  He talked about his life with Lego and how he got work at Legoland.
Lego Brick Expo 2012

My creation (with a bit of help).  Pretty tragic really, I'm not creative at all!
Lego Brick Expo 2012
I did add to my Lego earrings
Lego Brick Expo 2012
A great night!
Last weekend I finished geotagging all of my holiday photos.  I'm still working on my parents' photos.  They won't be done as accurately though.

Here's a couple of fun things..

My geotagging of Legoland in Denmark.  The big cluster of blue is "miniland"
Geotagging Legoland
The big circle across the globe.  Copenhagen->Zurich then Zurich->Narita
Big Circle geotag
This is the furthest north I've ever been on (or above) the planet.  68 degrees, 29 minutes, 29 seconds.
Most northerly point
And a photo taken near that northernmost point.
Most northerly point

Skiing July

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During our team meeting on Thursday I was complaining about people who didn't respond to emails or meeting invites.  Since one of the meetings was for Friday, but I still didn't have response for it, Steve said "come to the snow".  So I did!  Postponed the meeting til Monday (in which case I'll *still* probably have to call the guy and say "do you want any help with this project or not?").

So up at stoopid o'clock (just before 5am).  Dozed in the car but didn't really sleep.  Picked up gear at Cooma and had Scottish Restaurant for breakfast.

We parked at Smiggins, but still had a hike to the ticket office.  Got myself sorted and was on the snow at 9am.

It was an awesome day for it.  Good snow (although a little thin in places) and glorious sunny skies.  In fact I had to take my beanie and eventually gloves off because it was just too hot.  Queues weren't too bad in most places - only a couple that I had to wait more than a couple of minutes for (Ridge Quad and Happy Valley T).  

Lunch was at Blue Cow at 12pm, and was surprisingly uncrowded (probably because most people were outside enjoying the sunshine).  Left a bit after 4:30pm.

Blue Cow Terminal from Side Saddle
Blue Cow terminal from Side Saddle
Main Ranges from Guthega Peak
Main ranges from Guthega Peak
The last time I did Norwegian Trail at Guthega was in 1999 and I didn't see the dam, presumably because of trees in the way.  So was quite surprised when I saw it this time.
Guthega Pondage
Riding a T-Bar in Guthega
On a T-bar at Guthega
Blue Cow Terminal from Blue Cow High Traverse
Blue Cow terminal from Blue Cow High Traverse
Last time I was at the snow I had the GPS with me, and recorded a pretty cool track for the day.  This year I decided to cover as much of the resort as possible, and go on as many different lifts and runs as I could.  I did pretty well, not repeating too much, but didn't get to Mount P.  Oh well - next time!

Skiing GPS track
Twenty eight lift/t-bar rides, twenty green runs, nine blue runs (although some of them were mixed up a bit).  44.6 kilometres covered on skis (includes lifts).  And I didn't fall over at all.  Awesome day :):)

You know how there is Bookcrossing?  I think there should totally be Jigsawcrossing!!  Because seriously, who does jigsaws and then keeps them forever? (OK so I do, but that's only jigsaws that I've had in forever!).  These days I'm very happy to do jigsaws and pass them on.  Actually at work there's a good supply of them, and whenever I get them from elsewhere I donate them to the cause.  But it would be kinda cool to have meetups where people just swapped jigsaws to do .. just sayin!!


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A very old friend of mine was in town this week so we went out for dinner to catch up.  It might have been thirteen years since I saw him last .. whoops!!

I had Veal Scallopini

APK Veal Scallopini
And after chatting for a couple of hours we walked around Garema Place to see the ice rink

Garema Place Ice Skating
Lovely evening.  Hopefully it won't be thirteen years until I see him next!
Oh, Mum and Dad, Hao says hi! :)
That's my only excuse for not having anything useful to blog about tonight.

Because it could have been a huge rant about work and the crappy afternoon I had, but that's all behind the wine now :)

He also made us a lovely fettuccine carbonara for dinner which was very yummy :) 


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Last night I decided to start work on my parents' photos of the holiday.  The first step was fixing the timestamps on all dad's photos.  You see he hadn't adjusted the clock on his camera, and in fact didn't change it until part way through the Egypt leg.  So most of his photos were eight or nine hours out.  Then in Egypt he changed the clock - but got the day wrong, so the photos were all one day out.  

EXIF Date Changer to the rescue!

This little app gets in and adjusts the EXIF data in photos to whatever offset you need it to be.  It can also rename the photos as it goes to have the date/timestamp in the filename, which is what I do with all my photos.

So now all his photos should have the correct local time, and match up with all of mine.
But I'm sure that'll come later..

Busy day today.  Finished geotagging all 18701 of my holiday photos.  Still have my parents' photos to do.  Rotated theirs today and had a look at them all (first time I'd ever actually seen them).  Also time spent cleaning the house (not that you could tell :/ ) and cooking dinner (a pork belly, following the recent Coles magazine suggestion to cook it skin down for the first 2/3 of the cooking time.  It turned out pretty well).  

Tonight I went to find our spare house keys for Peter, but can't find them anywhere :(:(:(:(

Edit.. just found them ... under piles and piles of crap :/

Oh, and still can't find anyone to go to 1927 with .. seems noone of my demographic in Canberra ..

Ponder This

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So I had lunch today with someone that was "mostly" vegetarian, with the reason being to reduce the whole carbon footprint on the world by not eating meat and avoiding animal additives in food wherever possible.  Ok fair enough, perfectly valid reasoning.  So he'd ordered a vegetarian dish, but the restaurant made a mistake and brought out the dish with a meat filling.  So he sent it back.  This seemed illogical to me.  Food was going to be wasted in this scenario and an animal would have died anyway.  By sending it back to get another dish made up is actually *increasing* the carbon footprint on the world, as well as causing an animal to die for nothing.

It just puzzled me, that's all, what the logic for that decision was...  Any vegetarians/vegans out there want to comment?
Today at about 3:37 I had gotten fed up with mess and decided it was time to go home.  Or at least go have a beer.  To which Neil suggested the Haha Bar, leaving at 4pm.  To which I wholeheartedly agreed.  So went down with the usual suspects and had a very pleasant couple of beers and mulled wines by the lake.  Even the sweetie came in for a bit, which was lovely.

So we got home and Nat and Andrew arrived and we looked at Stu's Japan photos and cooked a pasta bake for dinner and played several games of Buzz.  Best I could do on the leaderboard was one win - couldn't get fastest finger or most correct answers or even most taunts (I was robbed I tells ya!!).

Super fun evening :):):):)


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So Optus really need to work on their call centre policies.

I hate being cold called by telcos at the best of times, but today I got a call that put me on the wrong foot right from the beginning, so took it out on the poor Optus guy that called me today.  Ok so he was probably from a call centre in India somewhere, but whatevs.

So firstly he calls up and asks to speak to my maiden name.  And I'm like "Where did you get that information from? If you're really from Optus you must know that I changed my name years ago".  To which there was some confusion and a bit of back and forth before he finally came back and said, oh, my married name.  Yep, good going there Sherlock.  

Next up he reads out my address but then asks for my birthday "for security purposes".  And I'm like "dude, really, you're cold calling me and asking for my birthday?".  Yes I know that's often how they do things at telcos but in this day and age of identity theft it's a completely stupid policy.  So I refused.  Why should I make this any easier for them?

OK so fine, he starts saying "oh so the reason I'm calling.." and I'm like "You want to sell me something?" and he's like "oh I just wanted to ask about your service".  But because I wouldn't give him my birthday he said he couldn't look into the "specifics" of my account.  That's nice.  So I said (actually repeated a couple of times), that if Optus wanted to improve my "service" they'd fix the crappy 3G reception we get in Canberra.  And he's all like "oh we're working to improve coverage".  Yeah.  Sure.

So basically a complete waste of everyone's time.  

Dear Optus:  please fix your call centre policies about this sort of thing.  Thanks!
Today was a much better day.  Aided by the fact that I got to spend most of it documenting.  We have a particularly complex application that had broken yesterday and I had no idea how it worked, so we spent a couple of hours trying to figure it out.  There's documentation, but it's practically unreadable.  So today I decided to learn how the application fits together by starting from scratch and redocumenting the entire dev environment.  Not sure how the person who documented it originally will feel about that, but can't be helped I think.  Heck even if noone else uses my doco at least now I have a much better understanding of how it works.  Even if we found so many problems that we need to do a *massive* tidy up!

Tonight the sweetie cooked dinner, and then I geotagged Europe photos.  I particularly liked my day in Amsterdam which included two canal rides and a bus ride (pinpoints don't include Random Camera photos).

Amsterdam Cruising


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1927 are coming to Canberra!!!!!!  Who wants to go with me? :)

Today sucked

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Stressed all day and depressed all night.



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The other week the sweetie bought a coffee machine.  A cute little Nespresso machine that's so easy even I can use it!  He'd previously been looking at fancy machines and fancy grinders that would have taken up a whole lot more space and I never would have learned to use it.  And lets face it, he probably wouldn't have bothered to use it that often once the novelty had worn off.  This one is so easy he can happily make decaf coffees at night, and have them before work, which was far too much like hard work with his old machine.


Friday after work we headed down to the coast.  We listened to a Harry Potter audiobook.  Other than that, nothing eventful.

So arrived, and marvelled at the STARS!!  

Then set about turning everything on.  Except I couldn't turn on the gas.  Knob was jammed.  I was already hungry at this point, so was getting stressed and grumpy from low blood sugar level.  Then we heard from Dave - he hadn't even left home yet! (people had bailed at work so he had to fill in for them).  So we abandoned thought of using the spa that night, and went into Bateman's Bay to get some dinner.

We went to "Little Restaurant and Bar".  With a super friendly waitress and chef.  Lovely service.

Little Restaurant and Bar

Stu had a pork croquette dish off the specials board.

Little Restaurant and Bar
And I had lamb cutlets

Little Restaurant and Bar
For dessert Stu had banana and pecan nut pudding

Little Restaurant and Bar
And I had a Lindt Swiss chocolate slice

Little Restaurant and Bar
Accompanied by a nice pear cider.

All super delicious, a great find.

So we get back to the house and Dave had just arrived, to tell me I'd been doing it wrong, turns out there's knobs on each gas cylinder as well.  That I couldn't actually see, from my angle, in the dark.  Yeah so I felt completely useless.  So had a breakdown and went to bed.  As you do.

Saturday was just doing a jigsaw, a walk to the shops, crosswords, and that was about it for the day.

Coast view
In the evening we cracked open the Heineken keg and ordered pizza (three smalls which got demolished in short order).

Coast pizza
Warmed up the spa and enjoyed that for quite a while, getting through almost all of the keg between us.  I was quite impressed with our effort heh.

This morning just more jigsaw, although I didn't finish it - sky is taking far too long.

Coast jigsaw
Then we tidied the house and headed home, stopping at the Scottish Restaurant for lunch.

Did some fish tank stuff when I got home, as well as geotagging holiday photos and house tidying.  So a productive afternoon/evening, but that didn't stop the Sunday night depression :(

Last Sunday, after we did our shopping, we stopped in at Jem aquatics and bought ten danios for the angel tank.  Danios are supposed to be hardy fish that will tolerate the ammonia spikes you get from setting up new fish tanks.  They also had some baby angels that were too adorable.  Hopefully they'll still be there in a month, or have new stock.

First danios


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Fiona was in town this week so tonight we met up with her and @chrispycon and went to My's in Weston.  I'd never been there before, and discovered it was crowded for a reason - super fast service and great food.

First things first though - a phone lineup!

Phone lineup
(mine is the crappy old 3GS on the end, Fiona's is the "phablet" at the large end of the scale)

We ordered rice noodles with vegetables and bean curd..

.. flaming chicken with onions, shallots and capsicum in hoisin sauce..

My's Weston
.. braised squid with lemon grass and chili..

.. and caramelised pork..

My's Weston
All excellent!


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I've been working through my geotagging steadily, doing a few days' worth tonight.  I've now geotagged all of the Israel and Jordan photos.  Next step will be culling out the truly boring ones (like all the pictures I took of everything I ate!) and burning DVDs for anyone in the group who wants a copy.

Some of the places were a little challenging as I turned off the GPS logger while I was at a place that involved just walking, because some of the days were very long and the battery wasn't quite good enough to last all day. 

Here's the track around Jordan, including the flight to Cairo which carefully avoided Israeli airspace!

Jordan geotagging

Being Sociable

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Friday night we had Gaelian and Stephanie over for dinner.  We ordered Dumpling Inn takeaway (when then arrived, finally at 8:20 ..hrmm), so I went and picked that up.  All food was eaten, so no leftovers - doh!  And then we looked at Stu's Japan photo highlights.

Saturday hanging around the house for the most part, except to go shopping in the afternoon.

Then off to Mishi's for a games night.  We sat and chatted for a good while, and eventually had a game of Ticket to Ride.  I won that, but everyone else tied with the exact same score :)

Today was another day hanging around the house.  I spent some time on a 555 unit phizz torus, but it quickly became un-fun as I didn't realise when I cut the paper so small that putting it together would be really hard due to the lack of friction of bigger pieces of paper :(  Seriously considering gluing it together to hold it together while assembling :/  Also did some geotagging of holiday photos.

The sweetie cooked an awesome roast pork belly dinner, and we had Josh and Ally and Soph over to share it.  They put on Akira after dinner but I just couldn't stay awake :(

And that's the end of that..

June sunrise

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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