August 2012 Archives

I thought of several.  They were all a bit emo.

So after a stressful couple of weeks, the body decides that TTotM should start six days early (this is after a few months ago where TTotM started five days early in Egypt and caught me completely by surprise (thank heavens the place I found out was also a servo that had supplies, and there were people with pain killers to tide me over til I got back to the hotel room that night!)... and so I'm like really body, REALLY???  Most people have a twenty-eight day cycle, and you want to make it nineteen days? Yeah thanks.  NOT.

And did I mention the stressful couple of weeks?

So even coming off oncall and four beers did nothing for me, and instead of coming home happy and/or tired, I came home a weepy mess.  Yah, not pretty.

Le sigh.

Fiona is in town for a couple of days (and staying with us this time!), so we met up with @chrispycon for dinner at Gus'

chrispycon
Phonakins
I had quite a nice tomato and roquette pesto penne, along with a very nice glass of Two Tracks Pino Gris
Gus'
Chatted for a while before Chris very nicely gave us a lift home (the sweetie is still sick and was out of action today)

Struggling

| | Comments (0)
So I'm struggling with my attitude to things at work.  Mostly getting stressed and grumpy with people who make mess.  I like things neat and tidy.  I like consistency.  But then people come along that don't care about neatness and tidiness and consistency and I can't deal.  So finding it hard to hold it together at the moment.

Don't Walk
(you didn't know they still had these in Australia did you?)

Weekend passed by all too quickly.

Saturday was a very quiet day, didn't leave the house.

Watched Fantasia 2000 after a couple of beers, which brought back so many memories of watching it in Marrickville in 2000-2001 after cointreau and/or vodka and vanilla coke.  Except this time was the first time watching it on Blu-ray, which was just stunning.  Beautiful and clear and none of the pain of VHS!

Sunday was also pretty quiet.  

Went for a walk to the bakery for pies for lunch.

Watched Kundun in the afternoon.  I missed out on seeing this in 1998 at the cinema because friends had gotten special screening tickets, but the only ticket I could get for the night would have been sitting by myself, so didn't end up seeing it.  Vic's comment at the time when I asked him how it was, was "Mao zedung was a f!@#%it".  Stu and I were a little emotional after watching it.

Then we went off to do our food shopping.  5pm on a Sunday you'd think the place would be deserted right?  Well the carpark was certainly more empty than usual, but Coles was *packed* :(  Ended up being quite stressful.

Came home and cooked dinner.  The sweetie must have liked it, he wanted thirds.

So all I've achieved this weekend is a bit of photo sorting and some photo dvd burning.  And lots of Laserwar played.

Week 500

| | Comments (0)
Apparently it's week 500 of Unconscious Mutterings.. 

Haven't done one of these in *forever*!

  1. Call :: to say
  2. Instinct :: basic
  3. Toffee :: apple
  4. Cleaner :: carpet
  5. Gut :: wrench
  6. Leveled :: playing field
  7. Discover :: the universe
  8. Together :: alone
  9. Attack :: of the clones
  10. String :: instrument

Up and Down Week

| | Comments (0)
Bit of an up and down week this one.

Tuesday was a great day.
Wednesday was a crap day.
Thursday wasn't too bad, finishing up with mulled wine and beer.
Friday was pretty short, on account of being given an early mark at work, so we went down to the lake for lunch/beer, as you do :)

Baked a batch of cookies whose dry ingredients were a Christmas present from Guy and Sammi.  From when I was in Sydney.  Yep.  The jar of ingredients has been around for *at least* five years.  Stoopidly, I was too full from a big lunch and dinner to eat any of them!  The sweetie approved though :)

Other than that I've just been playing laserwar most of the evening.  Whoops.

Sadly the sweetie is sick now, just in time for the weekend :(  Poor thing.

Queensland 2012

| | Comments (0)
As is now a yearly tradition (slightly late this year), the sweetie and I headed up to Queensland to visit Chay and David.

Thursday

We left work just after lunch on Thursday, as our flight was 4pm.  Two flights for the day - Canberra to Sydney, then Sydney to Brisbane.  So weren't scheduled to arrive in Brisbane til after 7pm.  Then our flight from Sydney to Brisbane was delayed for half an hour due to heavy traffic in Brisbane.  We did three big loops around the coast off Ballina/Tweed Heads.  But to keep us entertained, they announced that Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm were on the plane, and they wandered down the aisle showing off their medals!  It was amazingly cool!  Got to touch Emily Seebohm's silver and gold medals!  They were very heavy!  But not as shiny as I thought they'd be! heh.  Finally arrived in Brisbane, picked up our hire car then headed out to Chay and David's.  Fairly quiet night.  Only stayed up til 12:30 drinking and chatting :)  But did get to meet their new bird - Ichy - an Indian Ringneck, who is amazingly cool :)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love flying? :)
Queensland 2012
Pretty clouds over NSW
Queensland 2012
Sydney shining
Queensland 2012
Look mum, I can see your house from here!
Queensland 2012
This dude is taking this plane for a walk
Queensland 2012
I was quite surprised by the *glass* bottles!
Queensland 2012
Cate Campbell and her gold medal
Queensland 2012
Emily Seebohm and her two silver and one gold medal
Queensland 2012
Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm on our plane!
Queensland 2012
The girls had some cool "Australia" luggage
Queensland 2012
Brisbane Airport
Queensland 2012
Mine!
Queensland 2012


Friday

After a fairly slow morning, we headed out to Ipswich for lunch and went to the Hog's Breath Cafe for lunch.  I didn't feel like anything too heavy, so had a "side" of caesar salad, and a "side" of curly fries.  Because if you go to the Hog's Breath Cafe you *have* to do curly fries :)   Stu had a pretty awesome "finger food" platter.  On the way back, we stopped in at Dan's to pick up supplies for the rest of the weekend.  Dinner was lots of Eagle Boys pizza.  There was drinking.  There was Buzz.  There was Singstar.  And it was very good.

Finger food platter
Queensland 2012
Caesar salad and curly fries
Queensland 2012
Supplies for the weekend
Queensland 2012
Stu and Ichy
Queensland 2012
Ichy!
Queensland 2012
Ichy!
Queensland 2012

Saturday

Saturday after a bit of a sleepin (and the sweetie had headed out to meet a friend), C&D and I headed over to the markets next to Orion.  But they were pretty boring, not much there.  So headed into town to wander around South Bank and the markets there.  Was a very lovely wander.  Dinner that night was some roast chicken that we picked up from Chay's mum, along with the kids who were quite sick with the flu.  (David did his "best potatoes in the known universe" which were pretty decent :) ).  Their friend Storm came over after dinner too which was pretty cool.  There were mojitos.  There was drinking.  There was Buzz.  There was Singstar.  And it was very good.

Near Orion
Queensland 2012
Southbank
Queensland 2012
Brisbane from Southbank
Queensland 2012
Southbank
Queensland 2012
Southbank (taking after Japan, much?)
Queensland 2012
Bored lifesaver. The water looked lovely.  I'd have liked to have gone for a swim.  But I didn't have any swimmers.  And I think they'd have arrested me if I went skinny dipping!
Queensland 2012
Brisbane from Southbank
Queensland 2012
Lizard at Southbank
Queensland 2012
Nepalese pagoda at Southbank
Queensland 2012
Chookens!
Queensland 2012
Mojitos!
Queensland 2012

Sunday

After a bit of a sleepin, we packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Wivenhoe Dam.  We'd thought of this too late last year which was a bit sad as we would have seen it spilling over.  As it was this year, they'd closed off the viewing area so you couldn't even see the front of the dam.  But I did walk over most of it while the others took photos of me heh.  Dinner was roast pork, along with a stack of pork skin.  But after dinner I started feeling a bit off-colour.  Thought I was coming down with the flu the kids had.  But also felt quite queasy.  Didn't even feel like drinking!  Tragic I know!!  Storm came over again and we played a card game called "Frustration" which I think I'd like to play some more.  There was no Buzz.  There was no Singstar.  There was no more drinking.  And it was very sad.

Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Extra spillway at Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Blue-faced honeyeater
Queensland 2012
Isn't he a cutie? :)
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
er..
Queensland 2012
We'd bought a big bag of purple carrots.  If you boil them, their water turns bright indigo!
Queensland 2012

Monday

The last day is always a quiet day.  Didn't really do anything before heading off with ten baby plecos and three baby guppies in tow at 11:30am.  Pretty uneventful trip home (two flights - Brisbane-Sydney then Sydney-Canberra, and Lake George looks very full!).  After a long weekend of entirely t-shirt weather it was a bit sad to get home to the freezing cold.  

Jaffas at the Brisbane Qantas club
Queensland 2012
Citrus lemon shortbread on the plane
Queensland 2012
Northern beaches of Sydney
Queensland 2012
Drinks with Libby Trickett at the Qantas Club in Sydney
Queensland 2012
A-380 taking off
Queensland 2012
Been to a couple of parties down there
Queensland 2012
Sunset over Botany Bay
Queensland 2012
I've never seen Lake George completely full!
Queensland 2012
Home!!
Queensland 2012

I dumped all the fish into the two-foot tank.  The next morning (Tuesday) I couldn't see any of the new fish at all - alive or dead.  Wednesday morning I saw one of the plecos swimming around.  So who knows if any others have survived.

Also fought the infection for a couple of days, but I think I have beaten it and not really gotten sick.

As always, same time next year guys, it was fun :):):)
Got back from a lovely long weekend in Queensland last night.  All I managed to do last night was download some of my photos.  Tonight I downloaded the rest, as well as geotagged them all.  With any luck I'll get a blog entry up tomorrow ;)

Back at work I thought I'd tidy up a little documentation so that I could add some IPV6 stuff to it.  Ha.  I'd underestimated how much there was to do, and ended up spending all day on it.  Whoops.

Nearly Old

| | Comments (3)
Today I quietly celebrated my birthday.  Only a handful of Daves (four of them!), the sweetie, my parents, Nat and Ric remembered :)

It was a bit of a blah day, not helped by having to go to lunch by myself (my regular lunch buddies were either sick, in meetings or had their own lunch).  So had KFC by myself, which is kind of a tradition anyway.

But I did manage to talk a few of the guys into coming to drinks after work (thanks Neil, Chris B, Simon and Dave 5 :) ) which turned out to be quite lovely :)  and they won't know unless they read this what the special occasion was for ;)

39th Birthday
39th Birthday
39th Birthday
39th Birthday
39th Birthday
39th Birthday

And then met the sweetie for dinner at Bella Vista, which was lovely as always! 

For entree, the sweetie had "Caprese con fior de latte" - vine ripened tomatoes with fresh buffalo mozzarella in a warm short crust pastry shell with basil pesto and aged balsamic dressing
39th Birthday
And I had "Agnello affumicato" - pepper crusted smoked shoulder of lamb with sheeps fetta, fresh oregano and baby truss tomato, swirled with virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar with grissini breadsticks
39th Birthday
For mains, the sweetie had "Pesce del giorno" - oven baked barramundi steak, served with potato, baby carrots and a caper and sage butter sauce
39th Birthday
And I had an entree for main - "Cestino di pollo al pepperoncino" - chicken pieces pan-fried with bacon, mushroom and mustard seeds seasoned with sea salt, pepper and mild chili tossed with garlic rice and served in a crispy parmesan cheese basket.    I've had this before - epic nommmm!!
39th Birthday
For dessert I had "Lemon/Lime broulee" - lemon lime flavoured broulee with a scorched sugar topping served with lemon sorbet
39th Birthday
And the sweetie had "Crostata di caramello" - chewy caramel and walnut tart served with mascarpone cream
39th Birthday

All super delicious :):)

Last night I stayed up to watch the Olympics closing ceremony, then couldn't get to sleep, and also woke up super early this morning, so probably only got 4-5 hours sleep :(

Think I might go to bed very soon and try and recover!

Bucky Balls

| | Comments (2)
A couple of weeks ago, the US moved to ban the sale of "Buckyballs".  So I went out and paid a fortune for four sets from the Australian Geographic store.  These were the smaller 5x5x5 cubes of only 125 balls, rather than the 6x6x6 set of 216 I got a couple of years back.

Word on the street is Australia is set to follow suit.  This may be your last chance to buy Buckyballs, so go get some before they ban them!

BuckyBalls
Strong warnings are not good enough.  People are still too stoopid.  Stoopid people get fun stuff banned. (I'm looking at you, you idiots who liked to blow their faces off with fireworks).
Buckyballs
Buckyballs
Buckyballs
Buckyballs
Buckyballs
All my Buckyballs, I think there were two leftover
Buckyballs
The four 5x5x5 packs *almost* make an 8x8x8 cube
Buckyballs
Buckysheets
Buckyballs

So I went through my comment archives and found *six* comment spams from 203.217.2.46, several of them spamvertising Australian companies.  A quick google search shows that this iiNet address has been spamming people since January.  What are iiNet doing about it?  Nothing I would guess.  I emailed their abuse address, but I doubt anything will be done.

And I'm still disgusted that Australian companies would sink so low as to pay comment spammers to increase their Google rankings.
The other day I posted this rant about an Australian company using comment spam on my blog.  Further investigation revealed six comment spams from the one iiNet IP address - 203.217.2.46.  Several of them were spamvertising Australian companies, including the first one, Adamant Solutions; as well as Washroom Products of Mawson Lakes, South Australia; ERW Engineering of St Helens Park, NSW; Unreel Fishing Charters of Melbourne; Mini Bins Adelaide; and Anything Hot Water of the Gold Coast.

The owner of the last one contacted me about the rant.  As it turns out, he had paid an SEO company called SiteClick (run by the aforementioned Adamant Solutions!) to increase his website's Google rankings.  If you look at their website, one of the things on it is this:

Link Building Campaign

Your website is submitted to thousands of online directories, websites and online article resources by our trained link building campaign staff. Submissions are setup and managed by our team of highly trained Search Engine Optimisation specialists.
So they submit their site to thousands of websites.  In other words, they use the comments feature of my blog to post a link back to these other company's websites.  In the blogiverse this is known as comment spamming and it PISSES US ALL OFF!!!!  It may not be illegal but it's damned dirty.

You know those ads for places that let you "work from home" and "all you have to do is fill in forms on the internet"?  This is what those people do.  They employ humans to get around the ReCaptchas on blogs which prevent bots from doing it.

These poor unsuspecting companies have paid SiteClick to increase their Google rankings, at the expense of giving themselves a bad name on the internet and enraging bloggers like me.  

Addendum

| | Comments (2)
Because we were both feeling blah, we decided on beer and pizza for dinner.  Dominos outdid themselves, more than making up for the last time we got pizza from them where there was barely any toppings at all..

Dominos Pizza
And I just finished the jigsaw - of the Pinnacles in Western Australia

Pinnacles Jigsaw

Yeah so it's been a week since I blogged.  Sue me.

Work.  Yeah, busy.  What else is new.

Tuesday the sweetie and I had a flex day off together which was pretty awesome.  My plan for half the day was to pull out the old amplifier and replace it with the new one we bought last weekend.  But by the time I'd pulled everything out, cleaned it all, cabled everything up, and put it all back together, it was mid afternoon.  And by the time we got the amp configured it was 4pm :(  So what started off as a great day (take a random day off work - highly recommended!) became a bit frustrating at the end.  And I don't even have any documentary evidence of my work :(

Tuesday night we met Peter at the Dumpling Inn for dinner.  We had our usual shredded beef peking style, chinese broccoli, and something we hadn't tried - bbq lamb in shantung sauce.  That was a bit heavy, and not as good as the other stuff.  But we all had room for dessert!

Dumpling Inn
Dumpling Inn
Dumpling Inn
Dumpling Inn
Also on Tuesday our new buffet arrived.  So we moved that last night to its position in the lounge room.  The contents to adorn the top of it are still being decided upon ;)

Buffet
Today I mostly just felt blah and not inspired to do anything much (like the whole cleaning of the house that I need to do).  So just read news feeds, organised photos and did a jigsaw I started on the last coast trip.

During the week a cold front swept over southern Australia, bringing with it a massive dumping of snow at Perisher.  So Peter decided to stay an extra day, and we headed down again yesterday.

Unfortunately the rest of Canberra decided to do the same thing.

Traffic through Jindabyne was a nightmare, and we didn't get on snow til 9:50am :(

But there was indeed a *heap* of fresh snow.  In fact more than I've ever dealt with before, so I actually found it a bit tricky!  Nothing like Australian snowy mountains to have completely different conditions every time I go skiing!!

I stuck with my mission to continue to try new runs and lifts for the GPS track.  I did Mount P for a good chunk of the morning (too much powdery snow - hard!).  Did Guthega and Bluecow in the afternoon, heading back to finish up at Smiggins - staying til last lifts on Burke at 5pm.

We stopped for pies in Jindy (it's tradition!), dumped out stuff at Cooma, and made it home around 8:30pm.


Was surprised to see the mountains coming into Jindabyne - was actually expecting clouds to be covering them
Snow August
So much snow!  Dainer's Gap
Snow August
The crowds!  Perisher was full when this was taken at 9:14am.  Good thing we were planning on stopping at Smiggins anyway!
Snow August
Peter and me riding Link T-bar.  Probably the only lift we rode together all day!
Snow August
So much snow!  On Link T-bar
Snow August
Pretty Valley chair
Snow August
I made it back to Mount P after a several year absence
Snow August
You can't really see it, but the cars are parked all the way back along the road!
Snow August
Lunch - pizza pie!! and a vanilla malt milk
Snow August
I love this view from Bluecow terminal
Snow August
Heading over to Guthega I was following these borders, and passed a sign that said skiiers/borders left, snow vehicles right.  I was following the borders to the right.  Whoops.  I think this was the "middle traverse" which I'd gotten onto by mistake in 2007.  So when the borders headed left off the track down to the lower trail I followed them.  And nearly died!  Those two feet of fresh snow?  They were right there.  Untouched.  Soft and waiting to be fallen into.  Fortunately I managed to stop myself without stacking it before regaining control and just going straight ahead to the lower trail.
Snow August
My pole sunk a good foot into the soft snow, and when I pulled it out it had a core sample attached
Snow August
I never get tired of this view of the main ranges from Guthega
Snow August
I followed the home trail at Guthega, and got to go up another lift I'd never been on - the carpark lift
Snow August
Another view from the carpark lift at Guthega
Snow August
It was starting to cloud over in the afternoon, so couldn't see Kosciuszko
Snow August
Border jumping at Pleasant Valley
Snow August
Empty - it was after 5pm after all!
Snow August

And here's my GPS track of the day.
Made it to all sections of the resort this time.
25 lift/t-bar/carpet rides.  Didn't bother to count the blue vs green - since a couple of the runs turned into each other.  But did go to a few new places and runs that I'd never done before.  The only repeats were the t-bar at Guthega, Pleasant Valley Quad, and Cook J-bar and Burke T-bar at Smiggins at the end of the day.  Otherwise I basically didn't repeat anything!  Gotta love that about Perisher! :)

Skiing GPS track
So a pretty awesome day really :):)

Skiing August

| | Comments (0)
With Peter down, it was decided we should make a pilgrimage to the snow.  The only day that was really going to work was yesterday.  Unfortunately the weather was not in agreement.  Very high winds closed most of the lifts, leaving long queues at the T-bars.  Most of Bluecow was shut down and don't even know about Guthega.  So the morning was spent at Perisher on front and centre valleys, and the afternoon was spent at Smiggins.  

It took us *forever* to get up the mountain too, as they were forcing chain fittings just before Smiggins (Steve has an all-wheel-drive so at least we didn't have to do that).  So didn't get on the snow til 9:50am.

The morning was snowy and very cloudy, so terrible visibility from having goggles covered in snow and melted snow as well as no contrast.  The afternoon was basically hailing - little balls of very solid snow/ice.  So the day was pretty miserable.  But it did clear a bit later in the afternoon, with visibility much better, so actually enjoyed the last couple of hours.

Red in the morning, shepherd's warning?
Snow August
Snow August
I couldn't find the others at lunch so sat by myself and pretended to have something a bit healthy.
Snow August
Barely took any photos of the snow - it was too much effort to take off gloves.

This was on one of the t-bars at Smiggins in the afternoon.  It had cleared somewhat by this point so doesn't show how miserable it was.
Snow August
Snow August
After a few good runs in the afternoon I was much happier about the day, and this beer went down well
Snow August
Stopped at the bakery in Jindy for pies, then headed home and collapsed into bed about 8:30pm

Today discovered that the GPS turned itself off at lunch time.  Don't know if the sudden change in temperature/humidity after lunch confused it, or if it got switched off by accident.  Who knows.  But it would have been pretty boring anyway with only Perisher in the morning and Smiggins in the afternoon, so no huge loss (other than not knowing how many runs I did since some of the lifts don't have RFID on them).

Just say no...

| | Comments (0)
I somehow let myself get talked into going to the ACO tonight.  Come along, they said.  It'll be good, they said.

But with the debacle that is my restless legs, I'm thinking never again.

Especially when I know almost none of the music.  Except the "Ode to Joy" bit.  (I was totally fine through the John Williams concert last year)

It was a great performance, especially with the choir.  But I couldn't enjoy it.

Last time I went to the theatre I took 10mg of valium.  This time I added two wines to the mix.  Neither combination really did any good.  So it's pretty much a lost cause.

Just say no .. just say no ..


Ha ha Friday

| | Comments (1)
So after having a pretty awesome week mostly just cleaning up a super messy system (it's a work of art now!) today everything came to a screeching halt.  In the form of HTTPS problems on our newly upgraded proxies.  Not. Happy. Jan. 

After a morning of fighting with it, Neil and I went to lunch, deciding we should go somewhere licensed.  

We settled on the Ha ha bar, and had a very nice lunch and several mulled wines.  Not very alcoholic, but super tasty.

Yummy mulled wines
Ha ha Friday
"Beef Tagliata" - rare beef, rocket, parmesan, capers, balsamic reduction and olive oil - yummmm!
Ha ha Friday
Monster clouds
Ha ha Friday
So back to work but I wasn't in the mood for any more crap.  So answered a few queries and phone calls, and went and annoyed people.  I went and annoyed Fred for a bit, and he had this big pile of 5c coins on his desk.  So as I do, I went through them looking for 1972 5c coins.  Not expecting to find any.  Because I've been collecting coins for probably nearly thirty years and I've never seen one.  In fact for years I didn't think they existed because I'd gotten every other minted coin until the eighties, but never a 1972 5c coin.  But a while back I found out they do actually exist, but are pretty rare.  In fact they sell for about $5 each on ebay.  But we were just chatting and I was going through the coins, and holy crap I found one!!!!!  So was super excited by that.  I kept chatting and looking and OMG ANOTHER ONE!!!  I've never seen one of these coins in my life and suddenly there's two in one place?!?!!!  I was spinning out at this point but kept looking AND THERE'S ANOTHER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!   THREE!!!!  IN ONE PLACE!!!!!    Do you understand how amazingly unlikely this is?!?!!?  The last one had a super big scratch across it, so not worth anything, but the chances of finding three of these coins at once absolutely gobsmacked me.  

Anyways.  

Sent out the word early that we'd be at the Ha ha bar from 4pm, and invited the usual crowd.  It was quite peaceful for a while, outside by the lake, quiet, not windy.  Very pleasant.  Then the heaters or refrigeration turned on so it got noisy.  Oh well.

Ha ha Friday
Afterwards Tony and I were going to walk home but it was getting a bit late, so cheated and took the bus that goes half way.  Then I stayed for a very yummy mac&cheese dinner.

So a nice end to what started as a super crappy day.
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