August 2013 Archives


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So went to the Sydney office today.  It was a very weird experience.  Mostly because there's just not the same office chatter that we have normally.  It was very quiet in terms of my interactions with people, which made me feel a lot like I was working from home.  Sure you get plenty done, but you also get worn out faster and just want to go home.

And I don't get the toilets to myself like I normally do ;)

Tonight mum cooked roast pork! Yum! :)

And then we spent three quarters of an hour tidying up just one pile in the garage.  Chucked a couple of bits and pieces, but mostly just tried to find better homes for things.

So spent a couple of hours downstairs today looking around at all the stuff and taking lots of photos of it all.  Correction, photos of a fraction of it all.  What I thought was going to be big job is going to be a *huge* job.  And the little brother definitely needs to inspect it all as well before we even consider getting rid of any of it.  That, and waiting to get a more definitive diagnosis about what's happening with dad.

Parents' Garage

Dad's workshop

Dad's workshop

Back alcove

Back alcove

Front alcove

We went and saw Dad again this afternoon, and he was still depressed.

Then went to Ikea, but the thing I wanted to buy was out of stock - doh!!

Back in Sydney

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So I'm going to be back and forth to Sydney for quite a bit in the next little while, Dad's health depending.

Mum wants to start clearing out the garage and workshop but it's quite a daunting task.  There is So. Much. Stuff.  At least Dad is pretty well organised, so at least a lot of the stuff is labelled.  But I'm really going to need the little brother's help as well for a lot of it, but given how little time he has in Sydney, that's going to be tricky.

And we probably can't really do too much in the short term anyway.  Maybe just take a lot of photos of things....

At least Dad has a nice view from his hospital room ..

Dad's view

Sea Salt

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After a couple of quiet drinks on Friday night, we all invited ourselves to @CLBradley's family dinner.  They were going to Sea Salt, and I've never been there before, so I was keen to go.

Simon and Neil and I shared some scallops and oysters which were pretty good.

Sea Salt entrees

And then I had barramundi which was also pretty decent

Sea Salt barramundi

Then the sweetie picked us up on his way home from Melbourne (perfect timing).

So after being awake for several hours on Saturday night, I decided that it would be too stressful to take a broken car to Sydney on Sunday.  I thought I'd take it in to get looked at on Monday and maybe go up Monday night.

Got up and went to Pulp Kitchen for breakfast with Daniel and Fi.

Daniel was pretty stoked with his bowl of hot chocolate and breakfast ;)

Daniel at Pulp Kitchen

Daniel at Pulp Kitchen

As I was with my breakfast raclette with a side of Pulp Kitchen bacon ;)

Breakfast raclette with Pulp Kitchen bacon

Daniel and Fi then went off to their own thing, while I caught up on things like downloading photos.

By Sunday night my phlegmy throat had turned into a very sore throat and I felt pretty crappy.  Decided that it'd be too draining to go to Sydney for just a couple of days, even if they did fix my car, so decided not to go at all this week.

But I was on call, and they don't pay you overnight if you don't turn up for work, so I went in Monday morning with a still sore throat.  Dumped the car at the mechanic and said please fix.  And gave him a few days since I hadn't booked it in.

Monday afternoon I numbed the pain of the sore throat with a pint of Wig&Pen Two Knuckles Deep and then two half pints of Smokey Olde Spice - which I *loved*.  Such a nice beer.  Reminiscent of smokey whiskeys to some extent.  Daniel and Fi tried a couple of things, then got two "tasting trays" of four different beers each.  So they basically tasted most of the Wig & Pen beers on one night!  I was impressed :)

Daniel and beers

We also had dinner there.  I had a butter chicken.

Butter chicken

Then went home and I had a great night's sleep.

Tuesday at work was ok because I'd had such a good sleep.  But then Tuesday night I couldn't get to sleep til 1am :(  Damned insomnia :(  It's a bit after 9pm now and I thinking about crashing into bed already ..

At least I got my car back today.  It was the alternator, as suspected.  And even though he said it was out of warranty (you only get three months on second-hand parts, and this had been five months), apparently his supplier hadn't charged him, so he didn't charge me for it.  So that was lovely of him.


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So for my birthday, I cooked us cheese kranskys for breakfast.  As you do :)

Spent the morning battling with kerberos.  Bah.

For lunch a huge group of us went to Bella Vista.  We got the banquet.  I'd have liked to have ordered off the menu, but with twenty people that was going to be too impractical.  So we just ate lots of pasta :)  (five pastas, two of which went undocumented, and a few other things as well)

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

Bella Vista birthday lunch

After lunch, a smaller group of us kicked on to the Lighthouse.  Where we might have stayed all afternoon :)

Then I hopped on a bus and went into town for the next event - dinner at Ardeche.

I had "Escalope de veau avec moutarde et creme" - veal in a creamy mustard sauce which was *amazing*.  So tender and tasty.  Loved it!

Ardeche garlic bread

Ardeche escalope de veau

The Sweetie

Annie and Noah

Nat and Andrew


And then we went to the theatre!  To see Phantom of the Opera! When I first saw this advertised and saw that it would be running on my birthday, I knew I *had* to go see it.  You see on my birthday in 1996 I went with another group of friends to see it in Sydney.  I wanted to repeat it seventeen years later, and so I did :)


The show was amazing.  Really well done.  Thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the rest of our little group.  Although it was hard for me to resist singing along ;)  And my legs didn't get restless!  Hurrah!

Got home pretty late, and didn't get to bed til after it wasn't my birthday anymore.

Thanks to everyone who came along to my various birthday celebrations.  It was brilliant, and I had a wonderful time at all my parties :)   **hugs** :):)

Last Sunday afternoon I went along with Nat and Andrew to this year's Lego Brick Expo at the Hellenic Club.

Verdict: the Lego was awesome, the venue was a disaster.

They've learnt from previous years, and now you line up outside the venue where they have staff come along and check tickets.  Then when your allocated time slot comes up you can all just go straight in.  So it was much more efficient getting in.  The problem was that inside things were spread out all over the place in different rooms and in corridors, so people were squeezing in to see the Lego while other people were squeezing past, and it was a rabbit warren of rooms so I was worried about missing a room just because I hadn't seen the entrance to it.

Not to mention the crowds and crowds of people.  They sold 12000 tickets for the two days.  !!  So it was jam packed with little kids that seem to know exactly when you are about to take a photo and stick their heads or hands in the photo.  It was amazingly frustrating.  We did get the last session of the day, so at least at about 5:20pm things were thinning out enough to go back and redo some photos with less crowds.

They really need to get a big room at Epic and be done with it.  I think if they do it at the Hellenic Club again next year I might not even go.

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Losing it

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Spent all day today (it felt like) cleaning and tidying the house.  Succeeded with that, however didn't get other things done, like getting caught up with my blog.

Daniel and Fi came over for dinner tonight (they brought Dumpling Inn takeaway with them).  So that was a very pleasant evening.

Have been in bed for a while and did get some sleep, but have been awake stressing about my car, and having to cancel dinner next week, and needing to book a doctor's appointment, and forgetting to check in, and having to go to Sydney making everything that much more complicated.

Hopefully by writing it all down I can put it aside and get back to sleep .. maybe ..


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In March this year I had to have my alternator replaced.  Fine, whatever.  

Last Sunday my charge and brake light came on.  


However I completely forgot about it.  Until tonight.  When I need my car tomorrow to get to Sydney.

So now I either have to go to Sydney with it, and get it looked at in Sydney.  Or leave it here and get Stu to get it looked at.  

But this alteranator, even though it was second hand, has only been in for five months, and I barely even use my car!  This is ridiculous!  I'd argue this with Mick, but I can't because I won't be here!  And Stu certainly wouldn't argue it.  If I get it looked at in Sydney I'd be up for a new one anyway, with no chance to complain.  I'm going round in circles stressing about it. 

These are the things that keep me up in the middle of the night.

Last day of my thirties was spent at work.  Yay.  Was put in a foul mood by the "support" of one of our vendors, which made the morning's work on their product that much more depressing.

Had some wine and roast lamb for dinner, then made a mint rocky road from a cookbook I got off DC for my birthday.

Then watched Air Crash Investigations.

My blog is still having awful problems.  The host it's on is struggling badly, and everything takes *forever* to do.  I'm thinking seriously about moving it off somewhere else.  You get what you pay for after all .. :/  So sorry if you can't comment or get any other sorts of errors.

Last of my parties tomorrow, which would normally mean life would get back to normal, but it's looking like that's not going to happen for weeks or even months.  In fact things are about to get a whole lot crazier ...

Thursday night: Slept til 4am then woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.

Friday night: Went to bed at 9:30pm.  Got up at 9:30am.  Only slept six of those twelve hours.  Spent the other six hours stressing about the party and the fact that I wasn't sleeping.

Saturday: Did a bit of house organising but not really enough.  Was too tired.  Went out for kebabs for lunch, then did party shopping.  And nearly killed people because there was too many of them in once place.  Came home and cleaned the house, but not really enough because we only had an hour and a half and there was just too much to do.  Chris P arrived at 4pm, then Neil, who forgot the salami so Stu went with him to get it.  Then others turned up in dribs and drabs for the next few hours.  After about an hour I finally managed to have a drink.  And finally another.  And finally started to relax.  And then finally to start enjoying myself.  There was *tonnes* of food.  We bought eight packets of frozen food to cook over the course of the night and it all got eaten (and the neighbours came up very late and brought some frozen pizzas and they got eaten too).  I spent so much time trying to make sure I talked to everyone that I didn't really talk to anyone, which was slightly sad.  A slow cooker and a half of mulled wine was drunk, along with a whole recycling tub full of beer and wine.  I think people had a good time?  Certainly the last of them didn't leave til 2am!

Windy took a few photos (thanks Windy!), but this was my favourite - a "Cognac of Chrises" (and a small ring-in whose middle name is Chris).  There'd have been eight if Henrch and the other Chris Bell had been able to make it!
Cognac of Chrises

Sunday:  woke up early (apparently that's what happens when you drink) but didn't get up til around nine.  Chris got up before me and cleaned up the entire kitchen and living room!  It was amazing!  She was my little cleaning fairy!  Quiet morning with Chris and Zac (Zac's quite a lovely kid, as kids go) and Potty, and we shared some of Chris L's bread and marmalade for breakfast.  Saw Chris off at lunch time, then tried to get ourselves and the house back into some semblance of sanity.

In the afternoon I went to Brick Expo, but I'll save that for another post.

Sunday night had a nightcap before bed, then slept very well from about 9:30pm til 6:30am.  I needed it!

Monday: Spent all morning dealing with fallout from the weekend's work.  

And it looks like life might get super complicated in the next little while...

Drinks and Dinner

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Tonight we went to the Wig & Pen for drinks with Vesna, then to Asian Cafe for dinner.

We had a very nice Chinese Roast Duck, and Mixed Chow Mein and some vegetables.

Asian Cafe Chinese Roast Duck

Asian Cafe Mixed Chow Mein

I only had two beers at the Wig & Pen but they must have been very strong, as I was a little more tipsy than I'd have expected after two beers.


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Tonne of mysql issues tonight.  I suspect another user on this host is abusing the system (or being abused).  Either way, unlikely I'll be able to get this to post....  If it does it'll be a miracle...

Got onto their Twitter.  Site was down for a while, hopefully they were rebooting and it'll be better now..


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The head of this little guy is what I use for my avatar all over the place. While I was sorting photos a little while back I found the original photo.  Here he is!

Kazza's Avatar

Lighthouse Birds

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A couple of Fridays back @CLBradley and I went to the Lighty for lunch.  Which was very pleasant in the sun.  Going back to face the problems at work afterwards sucked a bit.  But I did get plenty of cool photos of the birds.

Lighthouse seagulls

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse seagull

Lighthouse currawong

So yes.  A whole week has gone by.  Whoops.

Had a roller coaster week at work.  Days where things went well and I was fixing problems all over the place.  Days where nothing went right and I felt like it should have been beer o'clock by 10am :(  Got a new computer so also had a bit of time making sure that was setup.

Tuesday night we met up with Dan (the cousin version) at The Wig&Pen for drinks, and then we went to Iori for dinner.  I'd had wagyu beef at Coo some time ago and it was awesome, so thought I'd try it at Iori.  It was pretty fail.  Not melt-in-your-mouth at all. Oh well.  But it was a good night catching up with Dan.

Iori wagyu beef

Granite donut

Friday night Neil opened the bar for a farewell, so we gate crashed, which made for a pleasant start to the weekend.

Saturday morning we went to Black Pepper for breakfast.

Black Pepper view

Then we did our food shopping and came home.

Spent pretty much the rest of the weekend (aside from visiting Annie and the family on Saturday night) cleaning and tidying the house.  Made a lot of progress on things that didn't matter so much (like the garage and dungeon) and not so much on the things that really need doing (like vacuuming).  But the study floor is almost clear now which is pretty miraculous.

George climbed a tree this morning
George up a tree

Ever wonder what over 25000 pieces of jigsaw would look like all mixed up?  Anyone want to find out? ;)
20000 jigsaw pieces

Saw two different rainbows several hours apart today.  Yet we didn't get any rain!



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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