2012 Year in Review

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So 2012.  

The year started with us in Sydney with Stu's friend Kore who was visiting from the USA.  We saw the Sydney fireworks on New Year's Eve, then came home.  Went to River Island with her and D&Y and had another week off just hanging around Canberra.

This year saw us have our biggest ever trips away from home.  Stu had decided to take some long service leave and spent three months in Japan - two and a bit of those studying Japanese, and some travel at the end.  So when the parents said they were going to the Middle East I decided I would go too.  I spent two weeks with them on a tour round Israel and Jordan, then we appended that with ten days in Egypt.  I still had a couple of weeks to fill in before I was planning to meet up with Stu, so took myself off to London and then wandered across the top of Europe from Paris to Copenhagen via Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Billund.  Finally I flew across to Japan and after a couple of days around Osaka had some time in Hokkaido.  It was an epic trip and I saw some amazing stuff!  I was quite nervous in the lead up to the trip that I'd get sick or something would happen and it would all fall apart.  But fortunately nothing went wrong.  In fact probably the only "disaster" of the whole trip was an airline going out of business while I was on my trip, costing me several hours out of my day in Copenhagen because I had to bus/train it there from Billund instead of fly.

In other travel news, we went to Dave's coast house in July and December, and visited Chay and David in Queensland in August.  Finished off December with Boxing Day in Sydney, then a couple of days in the Hunter Valley.

I got my UK trip photos blogged - finishing up two years after the trip.

At work I came to the realisation that I like doing documentation.  Tragic I know ;)  As always a pretty busy year, although things did let up a bit for me after the trip, as we had several new people getting up to speed so we were able to spread the workload out a bit.  So the latter part of the year gave me some time to do my other favourite thing - tidying!  The year finished with a massive downer though, with one of our team members refusing to do oncall anymore and thereby increasing the work load for the rest of us.  It's been causing me all sorts of stress/anxiety :(

Otherwise my health had a pretty good year, just a couple of short colds (got a flu vaccination which possibly helped).

We had a very social year this year, visiting, being visited and going out with lots of people.  There were several games nights at Mishi's in February, March, April and July, although somehow Stu never managed to meet Lana.  From Stu's work, we saw Josh and Ally a few times, Gaelian and Stephanie, Tristan, and Kirily.  From my work there were a few bbqs at Chris', a Japanese feast at Doc's, a couple of dinners with Tony and Heather (that Stu missed for one reason or another) and some movie/singstar nights with a big group in January and October, and one with just Doc.  Nat and Andrew came over a few times, including a hanami party.  We saw Damien and Amanda a few times - for a birthday lunch (that Stu missed because he was in Japan), a Christmas dinner party, and a war games day.  There were meetups with internet friends - we went out with Fiona and Chrispycon a few times, and Stu's friend Gene came to visit.  From Sydney, we had beer with Luc, had the parents come down to stay for a weekend, although Stu wasn't feeling very well so we didn't spend much time with them, and Peter came to stay with us for a month while on a short term contract.  Hao also came for a conference and we had a good catchup.  David came to stay a few times, and Yvonne came once as well.  All of that socialising meant we didn't have DC over as often, so the Buffy and Angel watching suffered somewhat.

With the fish, a fairly quiet year.  We let the numbers dwindle down before we went away, as we wanted to minimise the number of tanks for Doc to have to look after while we were away.  While we were away my last remaining original fish died - my ten year old angel.  I gave that tank a thorough cleaning and got some danios for it.  I also got five baby angels, but all but one of them died within a week :(  So at the moment there's the "angel" tank with danios and an angel, the two foot with a couple of guppies and the remaining black neon tetras, and maybe a catfish or three we got from Chay and David, the four foot with duboisi, multis, a leleupi and a j.transcriptus (the big catfish died Christmas eve) and the "krib" tank downstairs with the three remaining kribs and a golden panchax killifish.

Not much happened on the Lego front this year (apart from visiting *two* Legolands on my holiday).  Neil and I went to the annual Brick Expo, this time getting tickets to the VIP dinner.  That was a lot of fun, and got to see all the Lego displays without crowds.

I've been doing a lot of jigsaws recently, and I did the second section of the 24000 piece one.

New toys I bought this year included a new computer (the previous one was five years old) and an iPhone 5 (Optus data is worse on it than the 3GS but otherwise it's a pretty cool phone).  Had many long hours of stress fighting with iTunes - moving to a new computer, getting the iOS updated on the old phone and moving to the new phone).  I also stockpiled some Buckyballs before they were banned for sale in Australia and got the London Olympics for the wii (not as good as the original).  For the house we bought a purple "comfy" chair for Stu for the study, a new lounge suite and a buffet to match the dining table, and a new printer.

We're still eating out quite a lot, and I've become one of those annoying food photographers.  Our favourites are still Black Pepper for weekend brunches, and the Dumpling Inn.  Other places we went to this year included Sammy's, Gus', Happy's, Alice's, Ardeche (ourselves and for Noah's birthday), Mork's (with Tony, Heather and Jess, and also with Damien and Amanda), Café Essen, Asia Café, Bella Vista (don't get there as often as we'd like, but did go with work and James and George and the kids), Ginger and Spice (for Annie's birthday), As Nature Intended, Kimchi and Zierholz Fyshwick.  With work people there were also visits to Zierholz UC, Samiuz, Bolly Buds, 2 Yummy, Guzman Y Gomez, Chong Co and Mad Mex.  We also got into a semi-regular habit of going for drinks after work on a Friday, at such places as Ha Ha Bar, The Lighthouse and the Labor Club.

I didn't do as much dessert creating this year, but did attempt a blueberry cheesecake, chocolate oranges, and a pretty spectacular layered cherry pavlova (twice!).  Also made hollandaise sauce for the first time.

Shows seen:
Fiddler on the Roof
1927
ACO

Movies seen:
Tintin
Arrietty
Hugo
Excalibur
Prometheus
Brave
Skyfall

Books read:
War of the Worlds
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(can't remember if I read any more books - didn't read many because of not getting the bus as much in the mornings, and taking a shorter bus in the afternoons and walking)

Other bits and pieces:

Blogged less - less to say during the week
UK photo sorting/blogging
Problems with a fish tank heater tripping the circuit breakers
Back fence latch ripped off by persons unknown
Enjoyed the new donut sculpture in Civic
Watched the new Cotter Dam overflow
Ran a trivia night at work that was "the best organised trivia night ever" (according to a couple of people)
Canberra Airport open day
Got annoyed at a major ramp up in comment spam
DC's dog Benny died
Poultry show at EPIC
Skiing - with Steve in July and twice with Peter in August
Whiskey night
Started getting veggie boxes from Aussie Farmers Direct
Moving Feast Winery tour at Murrambateman with Tony and family
Did a bit of recording of VHS tapes to DVD
Fought with the overgrown garden
Nara Candle Festival
Halloween party at Chris'
Neighbour's goat died
Saw and got some great photos of the solar eclipse
Turned off my PIII 866 computer which had been running for most of eleven years
Exercise bike broke
Go Karting for a work Christmas party
Drinks and pizza at boss' boss' boss' boss' boss' place
Joined a small social club, went to their Christmas party
Sold my iPhone 3GS to Heather
Christmas afternoon tea at Scott and Kerry's

Ended the year with a pool party with Nat and Andrew and Steve over for swimming, dinner and games.

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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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