November 2015 Archives

Friday was the first of our work Christmas parties.  It was at the Lighthouse, but it was a little pricey - $35 for a two course meal (platter of entrees and a choice of three dishes for mains).  The problem with that being we have lunches at the Lighthouse all the time, and for $35 I could normally get a large meal *and* a few beers.  Also they were super super slow bringing food out - we didn't get entrees til 1pm, the fish mains at 1:30pm, and the steak mains at 2pm.  But it was a lovely day and there was plenty of time to have a bit of bubbly and they compensated us with a free drink voucher each so that was nice of them.  Had a great afternoon.

Lighthouse party - entrees

Lighthouse party - barramundi

Lighthouse party - steak

Lighthouse currawong

Lighthouse honeyeater

In the evening we watched Mockingjay Part 1.

Teeny praying mantis

Saturday we got ready and headed out to the club for the "official" opening of the pool.

Club pool

Then we (I) cooked the roast pork (in a brand new oven!!) for a Christmas dinner.  The oven had never been used before so that was quite fun (although it was a bit sad to ruin its pristine condition!).  It works a lot better than the old one too and is much much much easier to light the oven and the cooktops - no more fiddling with a lighter and hoping you don't take the hairs off when you finally manage to light the oven.  The crackling turned out really well and I think the whole lot got demolished.  I also made up some apple sauce from scratch, and some gravy (which I'd forgotten to bring - so I was glad that we found a packet there). Other people brought other food so it was quite the feast.

Roast pork


Club Christmas tree

Just before we were about to serve dinner, we got a call from Kit - she was getting water all through her yard.  I realised I'd left the hose disconnected from when I'd been watering the potplants that morning and it must have dropped down and started siphoning off the pool.  Kit jumped the back fence and saved the situation.  It was a little horrifying to think what could have happened if she hadn't noticed - another fifteen hours before we had planned to be home and it could have drained a *lot* of water.  Honestly, bestest neighbour *ever*!

After dinner was the compulsory fun.  Aka the Kris Kringle where you can open something new or steal something that's already been opened.  I'd completely forgotten about it til that morning, and then we were running late, so we didn't have time to do anything more imaginative that a couple of bottles of wine.  I'd used wine before and it's never popular, so was a bit reluctant to do it again, but didn't have time for anything else.  And guess which two things were the *very last* things to be picked up?  Yup, my two bottles of wine.  And to add insult to injury, the people that got them were all like "oh yay, wine".  I lost it.  I actually went up to both of them and said I'd buy them back off them, but they were all "oh, it's ok, it'll get drunk".  Yay.  I was feeling pretty miserable, and the sweetie had been feeling physically unwell all night, so we just went home.

Today was a cleaning and organising type day.

We also went over to Potty's cause he wanted to get rid of a bit of fridge stuff and some cleaning products that couldn't go in the truck.  I ended up with five full Coles bags of stuff, and a huge box full of cleaning products.  hrmmmm!!  I had to fire up the little fridge in the garage, and Tetris what I could into the freezer.  But got it all in.

For dinner I picked some of the wombok that's been growing like crazy, and cooked up some duck we'd gotten off potty.  

Wombok leaves

Duck dinner

Saw some pretty cool storm clouds from a big storm out past Captains Flat

Storm clouds

Also cooked up a batch of honey mustard chicken for lunches/dinners during the week.

And have been trying to get on top of my photos.

And I might have put the Christmas tree this afternoon.  Last year I had the idea to do a "Frozen" inspired theme - so I've only put on blue and silver stuff, with blue and white lights.  It's very blue!

Frozen tree


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SpectreTonight we used some Dendy vouchers (that I think I won in the mother's day raffle earlier this year and forgotten about them until last week) to go see Spectre.

As you'd expect from a James Bond movie, it's full of action and great locations and car chases (and all sorts of other chases) and (apparently) the biggest explosion in movie history.

And a lot of it had the *feel* of some of the old James Bond movies.

I rather enjoyed it :)

One thing that did annoy me (and this is just nit-picking) - streets empty of cars!  And the scene at the end would *not* have had a big empty space like that.  Just no.

But aside from that.

Great :)

Other than that.  Today we had a vendor thing which also included a couple of hours of Go-Karting!  We all had three races each, plus a finals race (one for the slow group and one for the fast group).  So much fun!  I came last in the first race, then I think second-last in the second and third-last in the third (or something).  Which really makes no sense, on account of I never managed to actually overtake anyone - I'm way too slow for that!  Good times.  But my everything hurts - and will hurt a lot more tomorrow!  I have to say the experience at PowerKart at Griffith was quite a bit better than at Queanbeyan where we went last time.  The seats were better (and they had booster seats for little people!) And they adjusted the pedals for me as well.  So it was a lot more comfortable this time around. 

One year ago today I went for a walk to the Regent Hotel to see where they filmed the opening scenes of Lucy, and then we began the long trek home to Canberra.

Day two of scripting

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Another pretty fun day today.  But back to "real" work tomorrow (hopefully!)

But also.  Disaster!  I'd been planning to have some of my wombok for dinner with some duck breast.  But I went to pick it and it was all wilted!  Everyting was wilted!  I'd watered everything yesterday morning, which apparently wasn't sufficient to keep it all going through two days.  So most everything was wilted.  After an hour or two most things had come back, but I think my basil seedling is dead :(  

I've also lost another cory :(

One year ago today we went to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, and I went to Longshan Temple and climbed Elephant Mountain *again* - this time at night.

Scripting Day

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On account of still broken firewalls and no physical access to them, I had a fun day of scripting.  Well mostly fun until 5pm when I found a problem that needed fixing before I went home.  Oops.

Tonight Chrissie came to stay for the night before an interview tomorrow.

One year ago today we went to Fort San Domingo, I climbed Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain), and we went to the Shilin Night Markets.

Quiet Sunday

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My Sunday night depression started last night when we got home.  Too much go go go and then a sudden deflation.  And the weekend was half over and I hadn't been home for any of it.

So I really didn't feel like doing much today.  In the end I alternated between doing holiday photos and a jigsaw.

The sweetie on the other hand spent *hours* cleaning the bathroom, toilet and ensuite, as well as mowing the lawn and doing more garden tidying.  Bestest sweetie *ever* ! :)

Tonight I cooked up a big batch of bolognase for the week's lunches.

One year ago today we went up Taipei 101, wandered through Huashan 1914 Creative Park, and I wandered through Guanghua Electronics Plaza.

First Aided

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Did a full day first aid course at the club today.

Was really going over a lot of the material we did in the online elearning, as well as some practical stuff such as CPR on adult/kid/baby dummies, and some bandaging and rolling people around.  Got all but one question right in the assessment, but I blame a badly worded answer for the one I got wrong.

Bandaged sweetie

Then we jumped into the new pool!

One year ago today we got driven on a magical mystical tour of northern Taiwan.

End of week socialising

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Last night after drinks Kit and Ben came up and we all stayed up a little too late.  But it was fun anyway.  Never mind the fact that I didn't get nearly enough sleep.

Today I broke firewalls.

Tonight was drinks and pizza at Scott's for his birthday which was lovely.  And I played a theremin.  Badly.



One year ago yesterday we left Hong Kong and flew to Taipei.

One year ago today we went to the National Palace Museum in Taipei.


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Upgrade of the firewall went really well today, better and smoother than I thought it would.  Only another five to go heh.

Tonight the little brother came to visit - he's running trains in and out of Temora on the weekend.

Oh and I got 92% on the first aid pre-course test.  Phew!  One wrong question I'm sure wasn't in the course material, another I misread the question, another was either one or the other and picked the wrong one, another I just forgot.

One year ago today we went to Lamma Island and did a walk across the island.

Was actually in a fairly good mood most of today.  Managed to get a few things working in preparation for a rollout tomorrow night which was good.

Went to Bunnings on the way home (Stu needed more whipper snipper cord).  I bought a new pool skimmer box because the old one has disintegrated, but unfortunately the new one is not going to work, so will have to keep looking.

Skimmer baskets

By the time I'd vacuumed the pool it was nearly 7pm and I didn't feel like more standing to cook.  So the sweetie ordered pizza. hrmmm.

I did another first aid module.  This one said it would take 15-20 minutes.  It took 7.  These guys have no concept of reality.

One year ago today we went out to the end of the old Kai Tak runway in Hong Kong, and had a look at the cruise ship terminal there.  Then we got up close to the checkerboard hill, and finally wandered around Kowloon Walled City Park.

So sat down to do some more first aid reading tonight.  The intro said it would take about 20-30 minutes to review.

It took nearly two hours.

Seriously guys, get it together.

A chunk of the reading was to do with some of things that will kill you in Australia.

There was a lot.

Snakes, spiders, ticks, bees, wasps, scorpions, box jellyfish, stonefish, blue-ringed octopus, cone shells (!), bluebottles, sea snakes, fish stings.

Ok so not all of those will kill you.  But you get the idea.  Don't come to Australia, it's dangerous! ;)

One year ago today we went up the Sky 100 in the day, then took a ferry with Chris and Anne to Cheung Chau.

Quiet Day In

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Today was pretty much just photo sorting, studying first aid, and jigsaws (after another very slow start after another night of being awake for a couple of hours with hurty).

Only left the house to go hack a portal :)

One year ago today we did the Dragon's Back hike in Hong Kong, walking all the way from Chai Wan to Shek O with a 284m high peak in the middle.

Many many years ago, don't remember when, I saw "Three Kings" with George Clooney.  And on account of me having dementia, I remembered pretty much nothing about it.  So we watched it again tonight on Netflix and I had no idea what would happen.  It started off completely ridiculously (like over the top ridiculous - but then - how much of the sentiment amongst soldiers there was actually like that??) and we almost abandonded it, but it actually improved more than I thought it would.

Other than that.. today...

I was awake for three hours in the middle of the night again last night - this time *because* hurty and I threw up half my painkillers because apparently that's what can happen if you don't drink enough fluid with them.  Yay.  So had a bit of a sleepin and really didn't get up til 10am, of course by which time the day was half over.  Yay.

Make up some caeasar salad for lunch with Serena's cos lettuce, and some rissoles for dinner with Serena's parsley and some mince that needed using up.

One year ago today we did another Hong Kong Foodie Tour - this time to Sham Shui Po, wandered through the Golden Computer Arcade, and went up Sky 100.

So was awake for three hours in the middle of the night.  Waiting for hurty to start so I could take painkillers and go back to sleep.  But nothing happened but I couldn't relax and go back to sleep.  *sigh*

So was bit of a zombie day.

Tonight we watched Angels and Demons on Netflix because it's just a bit of fun fluff.

One year ago today we met up with @Chrispycon for breakfast and had a bit of a wander through the Botanical and Zoological gardens, lunch at Dim Sum Square, went for a wander along the waterfront, and met up with Chris and Anne for dinner.

First Dog on the Moon

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Tonight we went along with EffanC to see "First Dog on the Moon" - a political cartoonist.  The first hour he was all very funny and all, but for some reason it felt like it was lacking in *message* or *substance* .. or *something* ... not really sure what.  But then he took off the shark costume and was just appearing as a human and that felt a whole lot more *real*.. Was a good night anyway.  Then drinks at Kit's with some of her friends.

First Dog on the Moon

One year ago today we took off to go to Hong Kong!  (see link for pics!)


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So by the time I got home, did pool stuff, did fish stuff, put on some washing, cooked dinner, ate dinner, watched an episode of House, tidied the kitchen, hung out the washing, and backed up my computer... it's suddenly 10pm.


So instead of doing anything I wanted to do tonight, I'm just going to collapse into bed.

Here's some photos of a bunny rabbit.



Stu and Buttons

I baked a cake

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I never bake cakes.  Just not overly interested in eating them to start with, let alone making them.  So I don't have any go-to recipes.

But I decided we should have one for Neil's 40th.

So it was either raid the books, or try the internet.  I tried one book first, but it wanted complicated things like baking powder and baking soda, and while I think I have them, I'm always a little scared of them because I don't know the difference, and am worried about using the wrong thing.

So internet to the rescue!

In the end I used this recipe -

  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (50g) cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Chocolate cake ingredients

  • 1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and flour or line a 24cm cake tin and set aside.
  • 2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and using a mixer and mix on high for 4 minutes.
  • 3. Pour into cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre.

I've cooked cakes in the dim dark past, and had greased tins before, but never thought to lightly dust in flour.  So that was something new for me.

Surprisingly, the cake actually worked!  It might have been a *teeny* bit dry, so I'd go towards the 35 minutes end next time.

Chocolate cake

The icing on the other hand I didn't even consult a recipe for (actually I lie - I did - but only for approx measurement of cocoa, and from there got the idea to use milk instead of water).  Point is, I could probably make icing in my sleep, I did it so often growing up (where we used to make lemon icing to top mum's peanut slice every week or so).  So it was about that much icing sugar (which, incidentally was inherited from my nana, with a best before date of 1997 - shh! don't tell anyone!), a spoon of cocoa powder, a teeny bit of butter, and milk - added in super small amounts at a time so as not to drown the icing.


Chocolate cake

Then I piped a message to Neil using the icing from the gingerbread kits from a couple of years ago.


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Yeah so spring is nearly over.  And I've been accumulating photos to post for months, because I'm a slacker.  Here's a bunch of photos celebrating spring.

Pelicans come inland to breed.  I couldn't see this one's partner though.
Pelican on Lake Ginninderra

Dad always called these things swanlings.  Because he was weird.  And I call them that too.  Because I'm weird.

Cherry blossoms!
Cherry blossoms

Dad always called these things ducklets.  Because he was weird.  And I call them that too.  Because I'm weird.

More ducklets

After our Queensland trip I started bringing my lunch into work most days so I could control my sodium intake.  But that left me with the problem of not getting out and about for a bit of a walk.  So for quite a while, Aquila and I were doing Ingress missions to get some exercise.  We ran out of local missions though, so that's fallen by the wayside a little (and me being off sick for a week certainly didn't help).
This was taken on one of the mission days.

Same day, different spot
Belconnen panorama

Pictures of daffodils never get old

Saw these mystery flowers on a walk one morning.  No idea what they are.  Cause I'm dumb.
Purple flowers

More mystery flowers.  These things are from bulbs and pop up in our yard every spring.  No idea what they are.  Cause I'm dumb.
More purple flowers

Usually we associate storms with summer, but we've had more than our fair share of thunderstorms this spring
Storm clouds

Sunflower seedling.  It's quite a bit bigger than that now. 
Sunflower seedling

Wisteria flowers


These things only flower for like a *day*, but the plant keeps on pumping out new flowers for several weeks.  They're weeds around our yard, but I can't bring myself to pull them out.

Can you believe these photos are taken on a *phone* ???

I'm pretty sure I've never seen these flowers in our yard before this year, so no idea where they came from.  Or what they are.  Cause I'm dumb.
Mystery flowers

I do like azaleas but I think they take too much water and as such have no place in Canberra.

Irises in our yard

Mini wombok grown from seed.  Hoping I get to eat it before the bugs do.

The poppies are still coming

Oh, there you go.  Done.

Party Week

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Tuesday - Melbourne Cup day.  Helped run a big party at work and made sure all the food got eaten there or taken as leftovers.

Wednesday - Celebration of Neil and Dave5's respective 40ths

Thursday - work drinks, then BBQ at @CLBradley's

Friday - quiet night to myself

Saturday - went to the Ingress First Saturday at Gold Creek, then over to Mishi's for games in the evening.  We played a game of Roborally first up, which proved to be difficult, even on a "starter" board.  We also played The Logo Game which I won (really must give that back to DC - after scouring for good trivia night questions).

Ingress First Saturday

Today was just housework and food shopping.  But after my enthusiasm was deflated the whole day became a chore to get through.  But we did do a thorough clean of the bedroom - vacuumed about five years' worth of dust from behind the bed, as well as wiped down most horizontal surfaces.  And Stu did some gardening.  And I did some pool stuff.  Cooked a stack of veggies for dinner, to go with some leftover pork.  And no washing up.  Just wiped out the frying pan, and chucked the baking paper.  Easiest cleanup from a roast ever.

Bedroom dust before

Bedroom dust after

Feeling like it's bed time at 8pm though :/


Or .. once what was lost.. was found .. or some such nonsense..

Today I took a cake to work.

(Neil 40 years at work.  Really.  I know right.)

But after the cleanup I couldn't find the Tupperware lid anywhere.  So thought maybe it had been thrown out.  So went down to the dumpsters and found it!!  I was so excited.

Then we kicked on, and I accidentally knocked off one of my Batman earrings.  I *knew* it had to be *around* but couldn't find it.  But after ages of searching found it.  It was basically the same colour as the ground which made it a bit tricky.

So was a great day, and the boss' boss' boss' boss' boss did a thing cause I arranged it and totally made Neil hate me and it was all good :)

Stormy Weather

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On Friday night we watched the *original* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie with Elias Koteas.  I always liked the movie as a teen and had only ever seen it for sale on dvd once before, but it was super expensive so I was waiting for the price to come down.  But the price never did and then the dvd disappeared shortly afterwards.  So I was pretty happy to find it on Bluray at JB for $16.

Saturday was house stuff, then went out to the club for "Italian night" which was pretty good.  They joeys are getting bigger.  The older one was hooning around and not as keen to be held.




Passionfruit Semifreddo

Today a bit of house stuff, but also went in to work to have another go at the proxy upgrade, which fortunately worked well this time.

Tonight we watched a special (Back in Time) on the Back to the Future movies which was pretty cool.  Will have to watch all the movies again, haven't seen them in years.  Could be as much as ten years ago, given that I got the dvds in 2004 ...

Also tonight is rain and thunderbolts and lightning.  Yayy rain!!  Lots of cool yellow and orange stuff all over the catchments.

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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