October 2012 Archives

Halloween

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Halloween saw me turning up with my brand new phone to Chris' place for halloween party (actually I just wanted to not be home in case any trick or treaters came around).  It was a pretty good night.  A few grownups stayed in and cooked bbqs while a hoard of kids came and went and came and went again.  Then we had the bbq dinner.

This is the first photo on my new iPhone 5.  I love the photobomb of the pumpkin behind :)
Halloween 2012
Zombies ate my brain
Halloween 2012
Miss M
Halloween 2012
Chris bbqing
Halloween 2012
And I scored a pack of pfeffernusse that a parent said their kids wouldn't eat - win!!
Halloween 2012

Felt like I spent the day fighting with crappy systems and unending problems.

To get home and fight more crappy systems - the epic fail that is iTunes, and the epic fail that is our Cisco router which drops off the internet at random intervals - although most often when you load a page that has a lot of stuff on it, or several tabs at a time.

Somehow don't think I'll ever get this update downloaded, and if I do I can pretty much guarantee that iTunes will screw *something* up on my phone.

Productive evening

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This afternoon had carpet cleaners come by to clean this enormous space

Lounge room
They said this was an easy job, as they usually have to move furniture around.  So they did the lounge/dining/study/hall/bedroom in half an hour!

Then ploughed through my Monday night housework.

Paid some bills.

Backed up my computer.

And did my tax.

Yesterday morning we went to As Nature Intended for breakfast.

As Nature Intended
As Nature Intended
Then went to Bunnings and also did our food shopping.

Pretty much the rest of the weekend (aside from the Nara Candle Festival) was spent cleaning and tidying around the house.  Spent quite a while yesterday cleaning the pool while the sweetie did some gardening.  Organised a big pile of computer bits and pieces.  Did some video dubbing (until the DVD player had an error - hoping not a permanent one).  Freecycled our leather lounge suite (the one Stu got on Freecycle when he moved to Canberra in 2006).  Cleared everything off the lounge and study floors.  

The space in here looks *massive* at the moment.  It's quite nice to not see clutter everywhere!  It got to the point tonight where you could *finally* see all the effort that I put in all weekend.  At least in here.  The dining table, family room and downstairs are another matter...



Okonomiyaki

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This is my Lisa's version of Okonomikayi.  It's the only style I've ever tried.  I've never even managed to have it in Japan yet!  So when I saw the version at the Nara festival, I have to say I think I like the look of mine better!

My okonomiyaki

My okonomiyaki

Last night the sweetie and I went along to the Nara Candle Festival.

Along with half of Canberra it seemed.  

But unlike Japanese festivals, which have similar sorts of numbers, this festival was hopeless under resourced.  Which meant queues for everything.  One bar, one okonomiyaki stand, one gyoza stand, one noodle stand and a generic Asian stand.  We've totally been spoilt by festivals in Japan where they have long rows of stands selling all sorts of amazing food - and no queues!

Crowds
Nara Candle Festival
Queues :(:(:(  Long ones too
Nara Candle Festival

Drumming
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Flower arranging
Nara Candle Festival
Kendo
Nara Candle Festival
Our first lineup at the bar was actually relatively short.  Rotary were there serving, but needed some practise at this point.
Nara Candle Festival
The sweetie
Nara Candle Festival

So we went off to sit and watch some of the acts.

This is a student group from Nara University High School.  I missed most of their act though, because I was queueing so long for another drink.
Nara Candle Festival

This duo did western songs
Nara Candle Festival
The sweetie went off to get some dinner.  And while he was gone a group of people came and sat *right next to me*, taking up the space Stu was sitting.  #grunt

The udon noodles we had for dinner.  Apparently the queue was much longer for the chicken variety.  What's with that??  Glad we had this - the okonomiyaki that I saw people eating looked like a big pile of dough with no vegetables to speak of.
Nara Candle Festival
So then the sweetie went off to see if he could find his Japanese teacher.  And while he was gone this couple came up and setup their directors chairs *right in front of me* #epicgrunt

Nara Candle Festival

Had to lean uncomfortably in different directions to see anything, and stand up to take some photos.

Nara Candle Festival
When the sweetie got back I was grumpy as, so we went off for a walk.

I thought these kites by the lake looked pretty cool
Nara Candle Festival
And the candles sure were pretty

Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival

So slightly disillusioned, and still hungry (I wanted meat on a stick!), we stopped in at KFC for meat on a stick.

Nara Candle Festival

Hallows

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Watched Deathly Hallows Part 1 with the sweetie tonight - probably actually the first time I'd seen it since seeing it at the movies a couple of years ago.

Prior to that - got off the bus to find the neighbour's dogs roaming the street, and goat poo all over the front steps and a decimated climbing rose bush.  Neighbour thinks someone's come in and left *both* gates open.  A little scary!  She's been broken into before, wonder if someone had tried again.

Prior to that - drinkies at the Pot Belly with Neil and Chris B and Simon.

Prior to that - ok day at work, doing bits and pieces.

Prior to that - recovering from the cold I had.  Nearly better.  This is a good thing.

Pot Belly

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With Chris, Neil and Simon.  About as close to a "pub" atmosphere as you'll find in Canberra.

Pot Belly
Pot Belly
Pot Belly
Belly Burger!!
Pot Belly
I gave this cute bartender a massage too (the girl, not the guy heh)
Pot Belly
Pigs and chickens tiles!!
Pot Belly

Splutter

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So got up, got ready, debated going to work, but in the end went back to bed.  Blah.

I did achieve one thing today .. actually two things... figured out how to get SNMP working on the router (this helped), and got rid of three old computers, a case, lots of expansion cards, cables, RAM, disk drives, floppy disks, hard disks and a monitor.

Never make plans

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I'd planned a lot for my evenings this week.  So of course today I get sick, don't I?  Some buttplug at the mall or the party on Saturday infected me.  Don't know at this stage if it's a cold or a flu.  Probably just a cold.  Hopefully.

Battling

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ok day today. Until I got home.  Then everything went to crap.  Well not really everything.  But enough to not have a good night.

Battled an old computer that keeps turning off.  Which is annoying when I'm using it to wipe disks (it has a removable disk bay which makes it super easy to swap disks).

Battled iTunes, which always thinks *it* knows best.

And battling my nose, which has been super irritated all day :(

Productive Weekend

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So where were we up to?  Hrmmm.. Wednesday.  Will add some photos to this post later.  At the moment I'm in transition and I don't want to lose things.

Thursday was Neil's birthday, and we got invited over to Chris B's.  Picked up some sausages and headed over.  Trampolined with Margaret which was fun.  Lots of food, lots of booze, a pretty good night :)

Friday, pub lunch at the Lighty.  I had quite a nice calamari salad.  Then shared a bottle of bubbly with Neil and Doc after work.

Saturday did some video dubbing to DVD.  Then out to vote and do some shopping.  Gave away some things on Freecycle.  Did some bits and pieces around the house and more dubbing.  Went over to Potty's for pizza and Jake's birthday party.  Lots of peoples there.

Sunday morning I spent an hour and a half in the back garden hacking a path to the back gate (I should have taken a "before and after" photo to show the difference!).  And gave away the Hills Hoist that we've been wanting to give away since we moved in four years ago.  Yayyyyyy!!  Cooked some okonamiyaki for lunch in an attempt to get through our veggie box.  Watched The Last Samurai with the sweetie.  Responded to a wanted on Freecycle from someone wanting computers for "homework" heh.  Hopefully he'll take the three working computers and any other bits and pieces that he might find useful.  So spent the evening sorting all the computer crap into piles to give away and piles to keep, and wiping hard drives.

The back yard is a disaster.  We have this very vigorous plantage at the side fence that is taking over.  Even if we chop it back, we'll have piles and piles of vegetation to get rid of.  Not entirely sure how to go about doing that.  Heck even with a green waste bin it'd be a challenge.  Might have to revisit the idea of a gardener...

Pink Flowers

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In the front yard at the moment.

Pink flowers

Jake's Party

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Jake party

Jake party
Jake party
Jake party

RDO

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Random Days Off are pretty awesome.  Did some tidying up downstairs.  Did some tidying up upstairs.  Got the VHS/DVD-R going so I can digitise some videos.  Got a new toy.  She shall be known as Amy.

Some flowers

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I like flowers.  I like spring.

Purple flowers
Rhododendron maybe
Fresias

Six Months

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It was six months ago today that I left on my last great adventure... 

I had thoughts that I'd get photos up for the six months ago type photos .. but alas that was not to be..

Lake Ginninderra

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Yesterday morning the sweetie and I went to have breakfast at Black Pepper, then we walked down to the lake.

Saw a cute little mushroom.
Mushroom

And also some pelicans on the lake.  And I'm   ????   Since when have there been pelicans on Lake Ginninderra???  The magpies were obviously equally confused and distressed and were attacking the pelicans.

Magpie attacks pelicans
Magpie attacks pelicans
Magpie attacks pelicans
Magpie attacks pelicans

Toshiba

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I finally gave away this laptop last weekend.  It was originally a uni laptop that belonged to Jim, but was thrown out when it reached the end of its useful life.  I took it all around the USA/Canada in 2004 to download my photos, a trip to Queensland in 2005 and Lord Howe Island in 2007.  It was a great little laptop because it was so small and light.  But it was what, thirteen years old?, and only running Windows 98, so attaching devices became problematic.  We replaced it with the first Eee PC in 2008 and I hadn't used it since.  So last weekend I gave it to my Dad.  If he can make his camera and memory sticks work with it, he'll probably find it useful, but otherwise it's probably only good for landfill :(

Toshiba laptop
Toshiba laptop

Video Night!

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Last night a couple of Daves, a Neil, a Steve and a Simon came over for a video night.  We'd planned the night for a date which Neil and I were not on call.  But alas, the person who was meant to do on call had a great fall (we're calling him Humpty now) and I ended up with it :(  

But anyway.  

We watched Johnny Mnemonic first up.  Not a bad movie (based on a story by William Gibson) but the acting was *terrible*!!  It was quite painful to watch heh.

Then we watched This is Spinal Tap, which I'd never seen before.  It was pretty funny.  

We ordered six Encore pizzas which were demolished in short order, and an *awful lot* of beer was drunk.  Considering two people were driving, there must have been a couple of people that drunk *a lot* of beer.. heh

October Video Night
October Video Night

Good times :)

Chong Co

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Lunch with Neil and Doc at Chong Co, behind Belconnen Mall

Chong Co Belconnen
Chong Co
Goong Maprao - deep fried prawns with shredded coconut, served with sweet chili sauce
Chong Co
BBQ Lamb - grilled marinated lamb with Thai herbs served with homemade mints sauce
Chong Co
Chicken with cashew nut sauce
Chong Co

Yum yum yum! :)
So I look out the window this morning and what I first thought to be clouds was actually snow!  It was *freezing* here last night, and rained quite heavily, but at higher altitudes it snowed!  These are the hills out past Queanbeyan, and it's quite rare for them to get snow, especially lasting snow.

Snow in Canberra (sort of)

Moving Feast

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So what, a week and a half ago now, I went out with Tony and various relations of his and Heather's to the "Moving Feast" at the wineries of Murrambateman.

The first winery was Clonakilla.  When we arrived there was only a small group of people there.  But just as we arrived, several other groups arrived as well.  So it made the place crowded and stressful.  But the dude was fairly organised and was able to serve everyone without too much trouble.

Moving Feast
Moving Feast
Moving Feast

Second stop was the Four Winds Vineyard.  This place was a lot more crowded and stressful with people milling around and jostling to get to the front.  We ordered pizzas here ($18 including a glass of wine).  I ordered a "salami" pizza - salami, olives, cheese and pizza sauce.  Then went to sample a few wines.  Only tried a few before the pizzas arrived!  Luckily we'd managed to acquire a table for everyone, so that was pretty good.  Had a slice of the "potato" pizza which was also pretty good.  Finished off with a taste of their dessert wine.

Moving Feast
Salami pizza goodness!
Moving Feast
Four Winds Vineyard
Moving Feast

The next stop was Yass Valley Wines for dessert.  This place had a lovely semi-outdoor eating area with a beautiful outlook to the vineyard.  But they were completely and utterly unorganised.  We had to order at the cafeteria area out the back, but then had to go back out to the front to pay.  But they only had one person on out the front, who was also doing the wine tastings.  So it was all a bit of a shamozzle.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  They were so unorganised they'd forgotten about us, and several other groups came and went having ordered full meals.  All we wanted was chocolate cake!  Absolutely pathetic.  As it turned out, we waited just over an hour for a poorly presented piece of chocolate cake and ice cream.

Moving Feast
Moving Feast
Only good thing I could say about this place was the lovely eating area out the back
Moving Feast
Moving Feast
I paid $18 for this????  Hopeless!
Moving Feast
I complained to Tony that the reflection off his head overexposed the photo, but it turned out all right :)
Moving Feast

Our final stop was Eden Road Wines.  This was a much bigger place with a lovely airy cellar door.  And not too many people.  So was a nice followup to the previous place.

Moving Feast
Moving Feast

So a pretty long day, but good fun, thanks for taking me Tony!
hey.. for once I'm blogging a photo the day I took it.. that never happens...

After being inspired by Lisa, we decided we'd try out Aussie Farmers Direct.  Today our first box arrived - very exciting!  I love the idea of it, because I'm not going to look in advance to see what we get each week, so it'll be a little surprise every week :)  And hopefully force us to be better at eating vegetables.

Aussie Farmers Direct

Stu wasn't feeling up to eating much tonight, but he did cook up the broccoli and I had that with some sausages.
Friday - couple of beers at Ha Ha, then to the Labor Club with the parents who had just arrived in town.

Saturday - rainy - the parents went into town and went to the National Portrait Gallery and New and Old Parliament Houses, while we stayed indoors and I did a jigsaw.  Cooked a nice tuna pasta bake for dinner and then we watched the slideshow of our UK 2010 trip (all the photos that are now on the blog).

Sunday - nice day - the parents went to church, and then for a walk along the lake, while we stayed indoors and did not much.  Then they went home, but I was still feeling unsettled and blah.  Watched the Julian Assange story on telly.  Stu suggested a scotch after dinner, but a phone call from work left me wondering if I'd have to go in, so couldn't relax.

Monday - still feeling blah.  Did some house organising but that was about it.

Chocolate Oranges

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The other week we were given a couple of oranges, but not navel oranges - something a bit more sour.  On the weekend I had the crazy idea to coat them in chocolate.  Actually not completely crazy, they turned out reasonably well.  For oranges, that are very wet, wetness being the sworn enemy of molten chocolate.

Chocolate oranges
Chocolate oranges
Yeah, so a bit messy, but pretty tasty :)

Mork's

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Two weeks ago now we went with Damien and Amanda to Mork's.  

I think it's a tad overpriced, but certainly very nice food.

For entrĂ©e, the sweetie had "Scallop and Pig" - scallops and pig's ear terrine ($16) (nicer than it sounds ;) )
Mork's

And I had "Cauliflower" - cauliflower fritters ($12)
Mork's
For mains, the sweetie had "Duck" ($25) - duck maryland with red curry sauce and cool crispy rice cakes.  That's the dish I had last time.
Mork's
I had "Pork Ribs" ($25) which were super tender, although a lot of bone and not much meat in the dish
Mork's
Again, they brought out some gelato while we thought about dessert
Mork's
And we got some fried ice cream ($8.50)
Mork's
Dinner conversation was .. hrmmmm.... somewhat embarrassing actually .. definitely politically incorrect... hrmmm :/

Sammy's

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Dinner with the sweetie at Sammy's Kitchen

Sizzling fried bean curd with Chinese broccoli and needle mushrooms
Sammy's
Shredded roast duck with rice noodle
Sammy's

Nommmm!!

Behind

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Yeah so I'm totally behind on photoblogging.  Heck I hadn't even download photos off my cameras in over a week.  

Even though I had a lot of time at home this weekend, I spent most of it on UK photos and playing Flow.  All the panoramas for the UK trip are done, as well as photos for the rest of the trip.  Check it out.  

636 steps on the pedometer today.  Disaster.

Really not wanting to go to work tomorrow.  I just have to keep reminding myself that if I have a bad day and screw up, noone will die...
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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