March 2013 Archives

Half Way Through

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Yesterday we had a pretty quiet morning.  But it was such a lovely day we decided to go out to the club and try out our new caravan.  So went out and enjoyed the sunshine, and had drinks and dinner with some of the other people there, then played some cards then went to bed.  Turns out sleeping in a caravan is a lot more comfortable than sleeping in a tent!  Who knew?  We also managed to lock ourselves out of it within ten minutes of arriving.  Thank goodness John was there with a spare key! 

Our caravan

Our caravan

Our caravan

Stu's rissoles

This morning after quite a long lie-in (it was freezing!) we got ready then helped out with some hazard reduction, as well as having some sausages for lunch.

Hazard reduction

Came home and called the parents, only to hear the bad news that the prognosis is not very good for Dad.  So that made me pretty sad.

Did our food shopping then came home and found my betta, that I've only had for six weeks, had died.  More sadness.

Then spent *ages* making up some lasagnas, only to have the sweetie eat a good chunk of my leftovers (mine had white sauce and lactose containing cheese).  Blah.

Then lost it cause the house was a pigsty.

It's only 9:30pm, but it feels a lot later.  Not sure how I'm going to be able to stay up..

The ISS was due to jettison its Dragon module tonight (around now in fact), so with a -2.2 magnitude flyover I decided to record it from here..  and got a lovely shot of it flying between the Southern Cross and the pointers.

ISS Southern Cross

In other news, Dad came through his operation ok, but we won't know for a few days what the prognosis is...

I discovered a while back that if I mark various comments as spam directly from the notifications I get and do a whole lot at once, I can end up in a situation where temporary files lock each other out, and if I'm not careful I could lose individual blog pages or even whole month archives unless I carefully republish.  

Tonight I lost my blog's index page completely when my brother was commenting on an entry at the same time I was publishing another entry.  I have such a low-volume site (and humans rarely comment) that it's not usually a problem, but if I was getting a lot of comments I'd be pretty worried about MT just eating my content ..

Day Trippin

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Yesterday morning I drove to Sydney.

But first I had to fight with iTunes.  One of the crappiest pieces of software ever.  Rivalling our proxies and IDS software.  At least our proxies have a nice, friendly, easy to use interface.  iTunes: forget it.  I need to Google how to do anything in it.  Nothing is intuitive.  

Stu had the Harry Potter books as audio books, and I wanted to listen to one on the drive.  So he gave me the files.  Firstly I had to figure out how to get them into iTunes (that wasn't easy but managed it eventually after Stu figured out that you need to be in a very specific spot before File, Import will actually *do* anything).  Then I had to get the file onto my phone.  After finally finding the audio books section (there's a sub-tab under the Books section) and making sure it was ticked for syncing, I tried to sync it.  But even though I could see it transfer the file and it all looked like it was working, it simply wouldn't show up in the audio books section of the phone.  It's simply not there.  Even after a reboot of the phone.  One suggestion I found online was to put it into a playlist so I did this, and could finally see the book in the playlist (but still not in audiobooks).  I fricken *HATE* iTunes and Apple.  Get your act together guys!!

So anyway.

Book loaded, off I headed to Sydney to visit the parents before Dad's operation tomorrow.

A couple of interesting things on the trip: got random breath tested on the Federal Highway, just a count to ten one, and there was a great big rock hanging off the Hanging Rock Road sign :)

We had some lunch, and talked, and Peter H came over and we watched a slide show of the parents' last trip to NT/WA and had roast pork for dinner and then I headed home again.  Very long day.  Dad is not doing so well.  We'll know more after tomorrow ..


Club Trivia Night

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Had a quiet Saturday morning.

In the afternoon we headed out to the club.

And we might have accidentally bought this.


Had a brief swim in the pool - it was a little too chilly to stay in long - before heading in for happy hour and dinner.

Graham and Anne cooked a delicious creamy pumpkin soup and the most amazing chicken and chirizo dish - it was fantastic!

Pumpkin soup

Trivia night food


Afterwards we had a music and movies trivia night.  Sadly I was separated from the sweetie (he's the brains in the family).  But as it was it didn't turn out too badly - our table lost, so we walked away with vodka cruisers anyway :)  And the sweetie's table came third, so he ended up with more vodka cruisers and a bottle of wine! Win!

A good fun night, and next time we don't have to drive home afterwards!

So tired ..

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Got some quite unsettling news about my Dad last night.  How much to say here?  Probably better not to say too much.  But pretty upsetting.  Will know more in a week.

I think something I ate yesterday disagreed with me, as was awake in the middle of the night for three or four hours feeling very odd.

So I wore my zombie tshirt to work.  Zombies ate my brain.  Ack.

Which also meant I didn't get as much done today as I wanted to because I just couldn't concentrate.

And phlegm won't go away.  Two weeks and counting.

Long week.  Bed time.

Jigsaw Race

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On Sunday the sweetie and I went and visited Annie, then had lunch at Fortune Box (sadly they don't do the smaller fortune boxes anymore, but it turned out ok because we just shared a large and didn't overeat), then did our food shopping.

The sweetie at Fortune Box

In the late afternoon Nat and Andrew came over and we went and found a geocache!  My first, Stu's second, Nat and Andrew's eleventy billionth.


Stu and the geocache

Then we played a game of Buzz (I won) and had a yummy lamb roast for dinner.

After dinner we briefly debated what to do before having a jigsaw race!  During the week I'd bought two identical 500 piece jigsaws for $1 each at Kmart (best value ever!!) so Nat wanted to do them.  Even though it was already 7:30pm.  And Andrew would have nothing to do.  But someone came up with the idea of him winning all our mirror cups on Mario Kart, so it was decided.

I finished in one hour and fifty eight minutes...  Nat didn't...

Jigsaw race

But I think she had fun anyway .. hopefully... :)

I was toying with the idea of going to Skyfire last night.  And before that the Canberra day celebrations last Monday.

But Canberra makes it too hard and stressful to go to festivals.  

You see Stu has little interest in festivals.  Mostly because of the crowds.  We both *hate* crowds, but him even more so.  Which means he doesn't usually want to go to them.  Which means I'd have to go by myself (not very appealing) or find someone to go with (tricky).  Either way I would ordinarily still need to get myself there.

Now in Sydney if you want to go to an event, you just hop on a train.  It's much easier and faster to take public transport in Sydney than it is to drive, so that's what you do.  In Canberra the opposite is true.  Public transport takes *much* longer than driving.  So while you *can* take a bus to an event, it's usually too impractical.  But if you drive then there's the stress of parking.  Because everyone else has the same idea.  And the parking situation around the lake is pathetic.  Not to mention that if I drove myself I wouldn't be able to drink.  (The exception is Epic - there's plenty of parking there).

And then there's the crowds.  Have I mentioned the crowds?  And guess what crowds need to do?  Go to the toilet!  But Canberra festival organisers never provide enough toilets so you have to queue forever.  

The lack of food outlets and so therefore the huge queues at those is another turn off, but that one just takes a little bit of planning to bring your own food.

So basically the stress of it all turned me off going last night, so I didn't go.  Which is a shame because I *love* fireworks and would like to get some more practise photographing them.


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Had a pretty quiet morning.  Did a bit of computer stuff (not as much as I needed to), some housework (again not as much as I needed to) and some jigsaw.

Mid afternoon we dropped off our worm farm to my boss' boss' boss' boss' boss before heading out to the club.  Which turned out to be a thoroughly pleasant.  A small bunch of the regulars were there, including Chris and Geoff so that was lovely.

Tonight I might have watched Die Hard 4, but it was forty minutes late starting (presumably pushed back by the Grand Prix) so I didn't bother.

Yet again I find out my news from Twitter.  Google Reader is dying on July 1.  This is an epic disaster.  This means I need to find another product/provider for my RSS feeds.  So pissed off it's not funny.  

On a lighter note, did go to @CLBradley's for a BBQ dinner which was lovely as always.

My only Canberra Day activity was to get up at stoopid o'clock and go out to see the balloons.  And after hearing about the queues for food and toilets I'm kinda glad I didn't battle the hoards to partake in any of the rest of the festivities of the day.

Foreground lit up by the Air Force testing their burner
Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Darth Vader inflating
Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

The peacock's head
Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Darth Vader!
Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Canberra Balloon Fiesta 2013

Went and visited Neil.  Was going to buy something, but queue was all the way back through the pavilion and out the door.  They were guestimating getting through 140 dozen eggs that morning!
Neil cooking eggs


In the evening the sweetie and I shared a bottle of bubbly and toasted a Happy Birthday to Canberra.

@CLBradley and I were going to do that at 11:15 this morning, but somehow didn't get around to it.  So I raised a bottle of water instead.


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Got a few crappy photos of the ISS flying over.  Had trouble getting it focussed in the dark... will try harder next time!



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Stu setup a tank for the multis today.  Four of the seven are now in their own tank.  Hopefully they'll breed without the duboisis terrorising them ..

Multi tank setup

Life - part 4

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Today I finished the fourth quarter of the "Life" jigsaw (but only the third quarter I've done - there's still the third quarter to go).

I might have cheated a bit when it got to all the blue goo.  Place one section on top of another and work off the template below (does make colour matching harder).

Jigsaw cheating

Jigsaw cheating

And so fifty hours later ..

Life jigsaw

I set a timer to limit myself to half hour blocks (otherwise I could just sit there for hours).  The breakdown was:

  • 4.5 hours - sorting the pieces into sections
  • 0.5 hours - edge (three edges on this section)
  • 3.0 hours - planets
  • 6.5 hours - pink sky
  • 4.0 hours - sails
  • 1.0 hours - marlin or whatever that big fish jumping is
  • 4.5 hours - night sky
  • 1.5 hours - boats (the hulls)
  • 5.0 hours - water (the horribly rippling stuff - quite hard)
  • 8.0 hours - coral and fish
  • 11.5 hours - all that horrible blue stuff

Might get some other jigsaws done before finishing it off!

February Jigsaws

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A little late getting this post out ..

One from my parents
Mountain jigsaw

Nelson Bay.  I actually gave up on this one.  Only the second time I've ever done that.  There were only 42 pieces left, but the jigsaw was cut so badly and the piece colour had deteriorated that it was getting impossible.  I got to a point where I'd tried every piece in a spot but none of them fit, because there were mistakes elsewhere.  I couldn't be bothered trying to find the mistakes so gave up.
Nelson Bay jigsaw

A carousel in Germany.  Another $1 one from K-Mart
Flying chairs jigsaw

Fishies.  As horrible as the swans :(
Fish jigsaw


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Yesterday we went for a walk around the Palmerville Heritage Park, which they've added signs to since we were last there, so that was quite interesting.  Then walked all the way to the Barton Highway, although that wasn't as much fun through very thick grass covering wheel ruts - had to step high and very carefully.

Palmerville walk


In other news, we had a small visitor come to the front door and look at us hopefully.

Hi George!

In the evening we watched WALL-E


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Friday night, the alarm went off to go out and see the ISS.  Magnitude -3.1 .. Super bright! Super cool!  Didn't have time to setup my camera - was too busy with work :(

Yeah so work.  Was online for about four hours on Friday night making sure they didn't break things.  Then again on Saturday morning while they did in fact break things, and even had to go in :(:(  Would have been a nice day to go out to the club but I was on call :(  On the up side, I'll get a bucket load of money for all the overtime.

Last night Nat and Andrew came over and I cooked a pasta bake and we chatted and ate dinner and then played a couple of games of Fluxx (Stu won one and Andrew won one) and then a couple of games of Buzz (I won one and Stu won one), finishing off with some Singstar which my still-slightly-sick-throat did *not* thank me for afterwards.

Missed the -3.3 ISS pass - phone was in another room while I was doing dinner stuff so missed the alarm.

Jigsaw-piece shaped ice
Jigsaw ice

Dinosaur pasta!
Coles dinosaur pasta

We went on a mission to see how many rules we could get onto the table at once.  We managed twelve.
Fluxx rules

Sick. Again.

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What is it with me and summer colds lately?  This is the second one this summer!

Wednesday night: slight sore throat and neck.  Thursday: felt completely crappy all day.  Friday: slight cough and a bit of phlegm but that's about it.

Finally got to have a random day off today.  The first attempt I got sick and the second attempt I forgot I had a farewell lunch to go to.

So today I stayed at home and we reorganised all the fish tank stuff.  I've been wanting to do this in forever because things were all over the place and a big mess.  

This is before I started..

Fish stuff before

I pulled everything out of the cupboards and off the shelves and sorted it all out..

Fish stuff

Then chucked a small pile of things out, and put it all back together..

Fish stuff after

It doesn't look hugely different, but it is definitely neater.  Well worth the effort, and a nice break up to the week.

Tonight's dinner was leftover chicken and potato, cut up and pan-fried, with a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach and some kewpie mayonnaise - omigosh it was delicious!


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Over summer I was letting myself wake up naturally with the light.

But now it's not even sunrise until after I need to be up I'm needing to set an alarm again.

Also, work is stressing me out like crazy :(

Day of Rest

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Well mostly.

Doc came over last night for Mario Kart/Buzz/Singstar which was a lot of fun.

Today just mostly did jigsaw and computer stuff.  Did go out and do some food shopping and I did a roast chicken and a bunch of veggies which will provide lots of leftovers for the week.

Half hour days

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Between about 9am and 5pm I had a strict half hour day.  Half an hour of jigsaw, half an hour of housework, half an hour of computer stuff.  So a busy day, a clean house, a mostly empty news feed and 2012 year in review written.  If anyone cares, there's a few entries from the end of December you may not have seen.

Last night I finished Careful, he might hear you, but Sumner Locke Elliott.  

Not a bad book when you get used to the switching of perspectives and the flashbacks that get inserted into the text with no breaks which makes it a little confusing.  

I liked the descriptions of Sydney, being able to picture a lot of the places talked about.  At one point they're going to a cemetery on the "electric train".  I thought it would have been Rookwood, but then there was a description of looking down at the river and seeing the jellyfish, and I'm like "hey that's the George's River, they're going to Woronora cemetery!" .. and of course I was right.  I used to catch the train over that river and see the jellyfish (different bridge though - the old bridge described in the book is now a pedestrian bridge).  And they went past the Como hotel too (although didn't mention it by name).  

Will have to watch the movie again some time (I think I might have seen it when I was much younger).

I thought this might have been a Bookcrossing book (it was in that pile), but no number on it.  Maybe I should register it.  And read all the other bookcrossing books I have ..

Tonight I went along for a drink after work for pdif's farewell, but then got a better offer - drinks with the sweetie and some colleagues at the Wig & Pen.  Except the Wig&Pen was full, so we went across to PJ O'Reilly's.  There was only five others - a guy from Stu's work who was originally from China, and his Japanese girlfriend, a Japanese guy there on a work exchange trip, and a lady and her American partner.  So a lot of talk about travel, a couple of beers, and a very pleasant after work outing.

We stopped in at the Dumpling Inn for dinner - shredded beef Peking style and ginger fish.

Dumpling Inn

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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