December 2016 Archives

2016 Year in Review

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So 2016. Not too bad a year for me personally. But memorable for a spate of celebrity deaths (two I'd seen in real life - David Bowie and Carrie Fisher) and two overseas trips.

My first trip of the year was by myself to Sydney to see mum and the uncles/aunties for a Christmas party in early January where I cooked a big baked dinner for everyone. Also saw two Lego exhibitions on the same day while I was up there. Came home from that trip to a pool party in full swing. In January we did a two week trip to Hong Kong (to see Chris and Anne one last time there before they came home) and Singapore. The weather was the biggest downer of the trip - grey and rainy in Hong Kong, and unbearably humid in Singapore. In April we went to Sydney again for my cousin Ben's wedding. Later in April I went to Europe for six weeks with mum. The first two weeks was for a "reformation tour" of sites pertaining to the protestant reformation. That was a really interesting trip and a good group of people. Had a couple of days in Salzburg before heading up to Scandanavia for a three week tour. We saw some amazing things on that tour, but the size of the group (forty people) made it incredibly draining for me. In June mum and I went down to Junee to visit David and celebrate mum's 70th birthday. We only went down to the coast once this year in July. And we did our yearly trip to Queensland, but in November, which was a lot later in the year than I wanted to (Stu had uni work making it to hard to go any earlier). Fortunately the weather wasn't *too* hot and humid.

At work my most interesting work was some firewall migrations. Our first attempt in the test environment though was a bit of a disaster. It took the cleverer network guys about a month to solve a super weird MTU issue in the switch infrastructure they were plugged into. After that, the migrations went very smoothly. I also did an authentication system migration which also went well. So the first half of the year I was pretty busy and the work was interesting. In the second half of the year though I had to deal with the proxies again which drains my will to live. Is there actually such a thing as a *good* proxy? I'm beginning to think not. They caused me a lot of stress this year, including *three* failed attempts to upgrade them to the lastest version. Other than that I was feeling way too dumb to be in the team I'm in. But things picked up towards the end of the year with another firewall migration that went pretty smoothly and a stocktake, which is kind of my super power.

Socially at work I ran another trivia night in March which was packed. We won the next trivia night in June, but luckily the second place getters agreed to run the next one. Which we then won in September, so now I have to run the next one. Had a Gatsby ball in June, although I didn't get with the theme. Had a whiskey night in July. And for our section Christmas party (with various hangers on) I organised a bbq for nearly 40 people.

Healthwise I've been ok. I find lying down uncomfortable due to my deformed spine, which results in a lot of insomnia due to not being comfortable. Early in the year I did some proactive stuff that I'd been putting off forever - I got my skin checked, went to the dentist for the first time in twenty years and got new glasses. I got a minor cold in July, and a more severe one in November.

We've had a super social year this year. We've continued our visits to "the club", going to events and committee meetings in February, March, June, did a Christmas in July, October, twice in November (one of them we fed seventy-plus people) and December. My best friend from high school Chris moved down to Canberra at the end of last year so we've seen quite a bit of her - either dinners here, there, or out, or just going for walks (she lives in stumbling distance which is super handy!). We've also spent a lot of time with Kit, and also Ben and Serena - mostly just hanging out in the courtyard, but the occasional parties, meals as well, and even a p0ker night. Ben moved into a new place earlier in the year and we had a small housewarming there. I did an impromptu hanami party with Chris, Kit and Serena, and another one a week later with Nat and Andrew and the sweetie. Unfortunately that was the only time we saw Nat and Andrew all year. We've seen quite a bit of EffanC and Scott this year as well which as been nice - alternating between our places and enjoying champagne or a local equivalent. We had games nights at Mishi's in July and August. Also caught up with Damien and Amanda at the Dumpling Inn, and Damien and Tom at the Durham on a trivia night. Managed to see Ding twice this year, although the second time was a lot more chaotic with a heap of people in the house. Luc came to stay a night in March, Stu's ex colleague Jenn came for dinner, and we had an afternoon tea at Chris and Glenda's.

Dave and Kat came to stay with us five times this year which was great - in February, April, August, November and December. Mum stayed in June and December. Kerry and the kids dropped in in April, and Potty and Jake came to stay a night on the way to the snow and ended up staying for several nights. Didn't see much of Annie's family, only saw them a couple of times. Graham and Pam came to stay in April as well, and we went to the Dumpling Inn for dinner. Uncle Colin dropped in to say hi in December.

Various people came to swim in the pool in the summer months. For Christmas we did roast pork for Mum, Dave, Kat, Chris and Zac.

In the fish tanks I had four baby angels at the beginning of the year but three of them died. One of them survived, and it shares the AR-620T tank with four huge danios and a cory catfish. The two foot tank was a disaster at the end of last year with toxic black algae. I moved the fish downstairs over summer and cleaned it out completely. The black algae did start to come back, but with a bunch of plants, snails and a siamensis the tank has stabilised nicely and looks really good. The two remaining black neon tetras died this year - but they'd had a good run - I'd had them for ten years!! Amazing for such small fish. I bought some danios to be dither fish for the rummy nose tetras which worked really well - you can see them and their colour a lot better now. So in the upstairs two foot I have the five rummy nose tetras, five danios and a siamensis. Downstairs I had four of Chris's platies that I looked after while she moved house, but three of them died so there's only one left now. It shares the tank with four danios. Stu also has a tiny tank with a betta and some really small fish, and his four foot which got overrun with algae for a while but it's settled down a bit now.

I did a 5000 piece jigsaw this year which was good, but the quality of it was shocking. Did other jigsaws as well, but not as many this year. I've been doing a lot of nonograms online ever since the GCHQ Christmas puzzle last year. And just a couple of days ago I rediscovered Loops of Zen. I didn't buy any Lego this year, but I did spend a couple of months sorting out all of Zac's Lego.

The weather was *hot* this year. Summer seemed to last *forever* this year - global warming anyone? Made good use of the pool, but suffered in the heat. Had a lot of heat-induced insomnia and generally felt miserable for months. We got some hail in January. The pool only froze over twice this year in late June. It actually snowed one morning in July, but then a week later had the warmest overnight July temperature in recorded history. The El Niño finished up and it rained *a lot* over winter and spring.

We did a lot of stuff with the house this year. We got all the guttering replaced (while I was overseas). No more flooding of the garage after heavy rain! We got gutter guards in one corner where the oak tree is, but probably should have gotten them along the back as well, as one end still clogs up from that tree. Our twenty five year old hot water system died in the middle of winter, luckily a plumber could come the same day to replace it. The same plumber came a month or so later to clear out the sewer pipes which had been blocked by roots. We put evaporative cooling in which has been amazing for the most part, except this whole Christmas break which feels like the humidest week in Canberra ever! And we got a solar blanket for the pool (basically glorified bubble wrap) which has made a small difference to the temperature, but also has added bonuses of keeping most of the light out so algae doesn't grow as much, and keeps most of the leaves and bugs out as well.

I got a bit frustrated with technology this year. Had to fight with Logitech's Harmony remote software again. In the end never got it working with our tv. Upgraded my computer to Windows 10, which actually went ok, but had some drama with Windows Defender, and got sick of it rebooting without permission whenever it feels like it. I thought I'd bricked my iPhone because the battery got so dead it wouldn't turn on, even after charging overnight. Warming it up fixed it. Did this several more times over the next few months before finally replacing the battery in late November. I would like to get an iPhone 7, but I want one as small as I have now. Still having issues with the scanner, but still haven't gotten around to testing it on another computer to see if it's the computer or the scanner. And this blog got moved to new hardware by my hosting company so it's a lot more responsive now.

The Dumpling Inn was still our most visited restaurant this year. We went for Chrissie's birthday, again with Pam and Graham, again with Chrissie, with Chris and mum in June, and Damien and Amanda in July. I finally got to go to Smoque in Civic, fortunately, because it closed down later in the year. I went with Neil to a degustation dinner at Sage which was awesome. We went to Shogun for Ben's birthday, The Hungry Buddha with EffanC and Scott, and Casey Jones with Annie and the family for my birthday. With the sweetie we had dessert at Max Brenner in Civic, went to Chong Co, and tried Jamie's Italian and Pappa Rich. Generally we didn't eat out as much this year - trying to save a bit of money. Although we still had a lot of pizza! And bacon and cheese loaded fries from Maccas. omfg sooo good! Sadly the last time I tried to get some they didn't have them anymore :(

I didn't do a whole lot of creative cooking this year. I did make some cream cheese bacon balls which are so evil they're amazing. I made "epic" stuffed zucchini. I made some cheese and spinach pastries with some pastry inherited from Kerry before they moved which turned out pretty well. I did a zucchini lasagna. And a I tried a couple of different breakfast casseroles - one pretty evil and I made it a few times, and one I wasn't too fussed about.


Theatre/Shows/Exhibitions:
* Art of the Brick Exhibition in Sydney
* Sydney Icons in Lego in Sydney
* The Proclaimers


Movies:
* Sherlock - The Abominable Bride
* The Big Short
* Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
* Independence Day: Resurgence
* Finding Dory
* Star Trek: Beyond
* Rogue One


TV:
* Finished the last seasons of House
* Season 1 of Fuller House
* Documentaries on Netflix
* First four seasons of Homeland
* Most of Star Trek: the Original Series
* Australian Survivor
* Start of season 2 of Fuller House


Books:
* The Tower by Richard Martin Stern
* The Hindenburg Disaster by Jeff Rovin
* Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler
* Grey Mountain by John Grisham
* Penguin Bloom by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive


Other Stuff:
* Started off year with an impromptu neighbourhood party at Kit's
* Didn't dance on Lachie's table
* Saddened by deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Gene Wilder, Kenny Baker, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and the end of the world as we know it, ie, the US presidential election results.
* Went to the Mint open day
* Went to Canberra's new Ikea for first time
* Went to the Canberra Show with Chrissie
* Watched Das Rheingold with the sweetie, but still haven't gotten around to watching the rest of it
* Saw the Canberra balloon fiesta - twice
* Digitised my USA 2000 blog, although still haven't added photos to it
* Did the Granite Tors walk with Kit, nearly trod on a brown snake
* Ben and Stu fixed up the festoon lights out the back (only took seven and a half years to get around to doing!)
* Went to the Canberra Airport open day
* Installed Windows 10 on my travel laptop and my main computer
* Scanned ten of mum's photo albums
* Voted twice, but only got one #democracysausage
* Went out to Cotter Dam in August to see it overflowing, and went back again a week or two later to get it with better lighting
* Did a flying visit to Sydney in August to drop Stu off at the airport early Sunday morning, and saw the Sea Cliff Bridge on the way home
* Chrissie brought up her steam cleaner and made the bathroom all sparkly
* Saw James Turrell's Skyspace at the Art Gallery
* Kept myself busy in September with a massive photo project
* Popped into the War Memorial for an hour to look at the newly done WWI memorial halls
* Saw the first flight from Singapore to Canberra land, and the first flight from Canberra to Wellington depart
* Went to Costco for the second time. I think Coles and Aldi are actually cheaper.
* Did a massive photoshoot around Canberra to compare thirty years ago til now
* Photographed the super moon
* Spent several days over the break cleaning out cupboards

2016 jigsaws

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These are my jigsaw efforts for all of 2016.  Not as many this year - too busy!  (and the big one took ages, then I was away for a while).

After having so much fun with the 1000 different coloured piece jigsaw, Stu got me its big brother - a 5000 piece version - for Christmas last year (although it didn't arrive til January).  It was certainly a lot more challenging, and would have been quite awesome, except for the fact that the quality was shocking and there was a piece missing.  I really want a refund it was that bad.  I'm going to do a full post and send it to the manufacturers to complain.

5000 piece jigsaw

5000 piece jigsaw

5000 piece jigsaw

5000 piece jigsaw

This was a jigsaw I did out at the club - of the entrance to Dreamworld.

Dreamworld jigsaw

These were the three jigsaws I did at the coast in July.

Coast jigsaws

Wells Fargo jigsaw

Chicken protest jigsaw

Farm jigsaw

This is a 1500 piece jigsaw brought home from mum's at some point.  Did most of it myself then David helped finish it when he came up in August.

Portugal jigsaw

This 1000 piece jigsaw of balloons we all smashed out in an evening.

Balloons jigsaw

So the next day we very quickly did this one of buttons.

Buttons jigsaw

This is supposed to be "the world's most difficult jigsaw" as it's got the same picture on the back, but rotated ninety degrees.  So each piece (except a diagonal line through the middle) exists twice.  So yes it was a bit difficult, but certainly not the most difficult jigsaw ever.  I started it at work the day I was watching graphs and finished it over lunch breaks in the next few weeks.

Pig jigsaw

A jigsaw of New York that I bought shortly after the World Trade Centre attacks of 2001.  I'd done it once back then, and we did it when David came to visit in November.

New York jigsaw

This was setup at work in a different team's area.  I discovered it just after they'd separated the pieces and done some of the edge.  We finished it in forty minutes flat.

World jigsaw

And this is my own jigsaw of the world that David mostly did when he came up for Christmas.  He also did another jigsaw on Christmas morning but I didn't document it because I barely helped at all - was too busy cooking lunch!

Another world jigsaw

Nano

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Annie gave me another landmark Nanoblock set for Christmas - I've now got three landmarks that I've been to sitting on my desk :)

Nanoblock pyramid and sphynx

Trolling

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Earlier in the year they resurfaced our road.  But they did it using their new horrible method of just putting a bit of tar down and smooshing a bit of gravel into it.  Absolutely appalling way to resurface a road, and there were potholes in it within a couple of months.

So I was all WTF when for this little rest area on the Federal Highway just at the north end of Canberra where they did a full hot-bitumen treatment *for a carpark* !!  So wrong.

Wrong

And some little kid lost this troll head near our house.  Someone put it on top of our letterbox where I found it when I got home.  I considered leaving it back out there in case the kid came back, but it was just a Maccas happy meal troll, not particularly exciting or irreplaceable.  So I still have it on my desk.

Troll head

Vent

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The little brother couldn't help himself on Monday morning, he had to clean our bathroom exhaust vent :)

Exhaust vent before

Exhaust vent after

Such a good little brother :):)

A Few Foodie Finishes

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A couple more food things from later this year.

This was a cauliflower pizza I made in October.  It turned out ok, but lacked structural integrity so you couldn't pick up the slices (but it did cut very easily!).  I made two huge pizzas with the recipe, but should have made three smaller ones.  Stu liked it but I found the texture a little odd.

Cauliflower pizza

Cauliflower pizza

This was a "chicken carbonara" I made in December.  Just chicken thighs, with bacon, garlic, mushrooms and cream.  Simple but oh so tasty. 

Chicken carbonara

At lunch at Grill'd the other week, Neil accidentally bought a sharing plate of chips, which had sweet potato, potato and zucchini chips.  Pretty good, although I still like the potato chips the best.  I nearly got the hiccoughs from that hot sauce though!

Grill'd chips

Shutdown

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Monday would have begun our week off.  Except it wasn't really a week off for us.  Well not that we could fully relax anyway.  But, I did get stuck into the house work I wanted to do.  Monday I cleaned out the spare room cupboard and organised everything in there.  Had sausages for dinner.

Tuesday I cleaned out most of our bedroom cupboard, although we still didn't find Stu's fitbit.  Kit cooked us some ribs on the bbq for lunch which was nice.  In the afternoon I cleaned out the ensuite cupboard.  Chris and Zac came up for a swim, then Chris Bell came over as well.  With Dumpling Inn apparently closed for the break, we did a big pickup from Chong Co instead.

Wednesday I cleaned out one of the kitchen cupboards which had been annoying me for a while.  That one is a lot more organised now.  Cooked up some pasta for dinner, and we watched Wag the Dog, which seemed a bit far fetched for me.

Thursday morning I didn't really get anything useful done.  Went out during the day to Bunnings then to the chemist and had lunch, and finally our food shopping.  Did a bit of sorting of stuff in the afternoon.  Mum took us to the Labor Club for dinner with Chris and Zac.  Had a swim in the pool afterwards.

Overnight I woke up at around dentist time and couldn't get back to sleep til around 5am because I was just too hot.  The cooler was working really well before Christmas, but this entire week has been stoopidly humid which means the cooler is pretty much useless.  No fair.

So Friday was a slow start.  Mum went home, then got stuck into sorting the year's receipts and other such things.  In the evening Ben and Serena came over for a swim, and we got pizza for dinner then chatted for a while.

And so now we're up to the last day of the year.  I still have a few more bits and pieces I need to blog today.  There's *heaps* of stuff on my todo list that I wanted to get done this week but couldn't because it was too hard to concentrate.  But at least I have another couple of days left which I might be able to get some of it done.  The ftp backup of my blog is *still* going :/  I did manage to do an sql dump of it all though which was good.  123mb, although a huge chunk of that is the search terms that people use on the sidebar.  Go figure.  Might see if I can delete some of that.

Edit:  deleted nearly nine years of activity history, and the sql dump was cut down to 25mb :)

Hosting

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Some time after 7pm last night my blog went offline.  Tried it from a couple of different networks, including downforeveryoneorjustme.com.  It was dead.

Some time overnight it came back.

But it was missing the last entry and the last couple of comments.

Looks like the content reverted to was from about midday on the 28th, so would have lost about a day and half's worth of data.  Luckily my blog gets so little activity that this is hardly an issue.

So obviously Something Bad happened, and they've had to do a data restore.  Or perhaps they were moving data to a new host but it all took so long that content had changed by the time they were done.  Either way, I'm lucky to have not lost my entire blog (or at least since the last snapshot I did, and then would have had to reconstruct it from my rss feed reader).  So I'm doing another snapshot of it now.

It's a pity that the internal Movable Type backups don't work anymore.  They used to a long time ago, but I think there's just too much content now.  I'll look into automating an sql dump at least to give me a text dump at regular intervals...

Edit: I think they must have moved to a new host - suddenly response time for posting is super snappy - normally it takes like a minute to publish an entry, but this entry only took a few seconds to publish!

Edit 2: they seem to have broken the SMTP settings.  I used to be able to have my blog email me when I got a blog comment.  Now it tries but fails and generates a bounce message (which I *do* get).  But even worse, it turns out that *all* my mail is bouncing :(:(:(:(:(

Edit 3: I called their support number and spoke to someone who confirmed that they had indeed moved the site to a new host, and he was able to fix the mail setting for my domains on the spot.  And that he'd have to go and fix a bunch of other people's domains as well heh.

Faith. Hope.

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Boxing Day morning I woke up to the news that George Michael had died.  

This morning I woke up to the news that Carrie Fisher had died.  So sad.

Christmas 2016

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Saturday we spent the entire day cleaning the house, and then didn't even get anywhere near through the todo list.  In the evening we got pizza and Kit came up and I inflicted Love Actually on everyone, and then we had on the end of the carols and made fun of them the whole way through heh.

For the third night in a row I had insomnia for several hours.  Hurrah.

So Christmas Day was a very slow start.  Then I spent the entire morning cooking and doing food preparation.  The sweetie spent the entire morning cleaning the yards and house.  Such a good sweetie. 

Christmas nibbles

Punch

Christmas food

Chris and Zac came up and then mum arrived and we had roast pork for lunch (the crackling barely made it to the table), with home-made apple sauce, also epic potato bake, Jamie Oliver's glazed carrots, mushrooms fried in butter, and baked vegetables.

Christmas table

Mum at Christmas

Zac at Christmas

Zac and Chris at Christmas

I ate too much.

And then felt bloated all afternoon.  So I wasn't much fun for the rest of the day.  Whoops.

Me and Stu at Christmas

David, Mum and me at Christmas

Late in the afternoon Annie and the family came over and we had dessert and did the whole present thing which was fun.

Christmas desserts

And people braved the festy green pool and seemed to have a lot of fun.

Almost there

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Wednesday I organised a barbeque for nearly forty people.  It went pretty well, and we kicked on at Lachie's for a while afterwards.

Party trolley

Thursday night I was all set to watch Love Actually, but Chrissie wanted us to babysit Zac, so that scuttled that idea.  Had an early night, but then woke up at 3:30am and probably only got another hour's sleep so was a complete zombie on Friday.

Friday I finished off the Christmas shopping and we got home a bit early.  Had a beer in the pool with the sweetie, then the hoardes descended.  First Serena and Ben, then Chris and Zac, then Dave and Kat, then Kit.  Chris brought up some nibbles, Kit brought some cheese, and Ben returned from a Costco run with wings.  So that was dinner heh.  In the end I think I was in the pool for about five hours.  Whoops!  It also got green between Thursday and Friday which was super annoying.  So it's a bit cloudy now for Christmas :(  It was a bit late by the time we got out, too late to watch a movie.

Blip

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Had one of those evenings where we got home, had a swim, cooked and ate dinner, watched a Star Trek and suddenly it's 9:20pm.  Hate that.  Because I had heaps I wanted to do tonight.  Haven't done any of it.  Oh, except backup my computer, I suppose that's a good start.

And I did do all the Christmas shopping for the kids today.  Now for the adults...

Weekend and stuff

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Thursday night I felt pretty flat on account of me being a retard.  We watched Star Trek and the first episode of the new season of Fuller House.  Then there was a picture of Yosemite on the Chromecast screensaver, so I said we should watch Star Trek V.. so we did.  The chemistry between Kirk/Spock/McCoy is pretty much at its peak in that movie, and that's about its only redeeming feature.

Friday was Star Trek, Fuller House, and Die Hard 2.  Because it's Christmas.  :)

Saturday was house stuff in the morning, then we went over to Aquila and Glenda's for afternoon champagne and cheese.  Nom.  We didn't need dinner.  So much cheese!  A very lovely afternoon.  Although did have a bit of a late night cause we went down to Kit's later in the evening.

Aquila cheese

Porsha

Had a bit of a slow start on Sunday.  After lunch headed out to get some photos from my Canberra photo project which I'd missed because I didn't realise where they were taken (I'd assumed they were taken at the base of Black Mountain Tower, but they were actually taken further down the hill.  And I redid the ones of Black Mountain Peninsula now they've reopened that area.  

Crimson rosella

Black Mountain

And I walked to the top of Parliament House because you can.  But not for much longer.  Hence why I did it.  To get into the middle though you need to go through security.  I'll save that for another day, as the sweetie wanted to go and do our food shopping and go home.

Parliament House

Parliament House

Parliament House

Tonight James and George and Josh and Rachel were passing through so we went to Bella Vista for dinner (definitely a tradition now!) and Cold Rock after (which is now starting to become a tradition).  Can't believe it's been four years since the last time we saw them down here. 

Bella Vista Chicken Kiev

Cold Rock

Rogue One

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Rogue One

Yesterday afternoon we had a vendor-hosted screening of Rogue One, telling the story of the events immediately prior to Episode IV.

Generally I liked it.

It was a bit violent (well not really for Hollywood movies these days, but still a bit more than most of the other Star Wars movies).

And it was a bit choppy to get going, a bit all over the place and no continuity to begin with.

And very little in the way of character development.

CGI Peter Cushing was pretty cool though.  And a few other nods to the rest of the Star Wars universe.

A second watching would help now that I know who is who, and that may happen if I go to see it with the sweetie.

Moon

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This was one of my photos of the supermoon a couple of weeks ago.. (actual pixel size)

Super moon

In other news, Uncle Colin called me out of the blue this afternoon - he was in the country and could he pop over after dinner to say hi..  so he did!  Was nice to see him again.  Hopefully we'll see him again early in the new year before he wanders off back to Europe (it's a tough life but someone has to do it!)

Zac's Lego

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Three years ago I got all of Jake's Lego and spent a couple of months sorting it all out.  I had a blast.

In September I got all of Zac's Lego to do the same thing.  Zac had fewer sets (only about fifty five of them) but on average they were bigger sets.  One had something like 1500 pieces!  So all up I think there was quite a bit more Lego to work with.

As with Jake's Lego, I first spent a lot of time sorting out the pieces into the different types (probably at least two weeks), then spent another few weeks assembling all the pieces for each set so that I could build them in front of the tv or at the club or whatever.  

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

When it was all assembled it took over the entire dining room table (I could only just squeeze it all on), and then I took photos of it all.

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

Zac's Lego

And then I spent another few weeks pulling it all apart again :)  It all takes up two big tubs but I haven't returned it all yet.  I figured I could give it all back to him at Christmas and say "there, all your Christmases have come at once!" 

Quiet Weekend

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Friday night we finally did a big food shop, then we went down to Kit's for hamburgers for dinner.

Saturday was just getting stuff done around the house.  In the evening we watched a documenatory on Leonard Nimoy and then Die Hard.

Sunday was more house stuff.  Went out for lunch and did a Bunnings run.  Did more house stuff and repotted plants in the afternoon.  In the evening did a three cheese and bacon roast chicken and Kit came up for that, then we went over to Annie's to give Noah his birthday present.

All in all a nice weekend.

Earlier in the year I scanned a photo of Canberra taken thirty years ago on a family holiday here which completely freaked me out.  It was a photo of my brother and I in front of the Canberra Times Fountain in Civic.  But most of the Canberra Centre didn't exist then, instead there was a road, a car park and a clear view to Mount Ainslie.  So in September I embarked on a photo mission to recreate as many photos as I could from that holiday.  I drove several hundred kilometers I think (I certainly used up more than a tank of fuel).  It would have been more efficient if I'd been able to have four days off with good weather, but the weather was problematic in September (it rained *a lot*) and I didn't have four full days in a row with work and all.  So I did what I could with the lighting I had, with priority on the more seasonally-dependent things like cherry blossoms.  Sadly the Captain Cook Fountain was out of action for months which ruined things somewhat.  Now that it's operating again I might go and redo some of them.  This is a quick snapshot of another blog to come ..

Cotter Dam
Cotter Dam

Mount Stromlo
Mount Stromlo

Canberra Times Fountain
Canberra Times Fountain

High Court
High Court

Australian-American Monument
Australian-American Monument

Carillon
Carillon

Carillon sunset
Carillon sunset

Lake Burley Griffin Sunset
Lake Burley Griffin Sunset

Parliament House
Parliament House

National Library
National Library

Scrivener Dam
Scrivener Dam

Government House
Government House

Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Commonwealth Avenue
Commonwealth Avenue

Black Mountain Peninsula
Black Mountain Peninsula

Black Mountain Peninsula
Black Mountain Peninsula

High Court
High Court

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie

Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Tower

View from Black Mountain Tower
View from Black Mountain Tower

Black Mountain Tower by night
Black Mountain Tower by night

View from Black Mountain Tower
View from Black Mountain Tower

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie

St Andrews Presbyterian Church
St Andrews Presbyterian Church

Carillon
Carillon

National Capital Exhibition
National Capital Exhibition

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Australian Botanical Gardens
Australian Botanical Gardens

Science Academy, ANU (The Shine Dome)
Science Academy, ANU (The Shine Dome)

Civic
Civic

Canberra Times Fountain
Canberra Times Fountain (not fountaining)

Civic Square
Civic Square

Cockington Green
Cockington Green

St Andrews Presbyterian Church
St Andrews Presbyterian Church

Parliament House
Parliament House

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial view

High Court
High Court

Department of the Environment
Department of the Environment

National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Australia

Carillon
Carillon

I did several hundred kilometres all over Canberra 
I was busy..

 

I was busy..
I did several hundred kilometres all over Canberra

Plants and Animals

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A bunch more photos taken during the year that needed blogging..

One of Kit's brown frogs.  She had two or three of them that she'd had for years, and they died almost at the same time, she has no idea why..
Kit's brown frog

Curious George..
Curious George

Happy flower!
Happy flower

Petal snow!
Petal snow

Poppy
Poppy

Teeny teeny bug at the Christmas party last week
Teeny bug

Way back in April we headed up to Sydney for my cousin Ben's wedding.  It was a very relaxed afternoon and evening and it was great catching up with the cousins.

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

Ben and Juliet's Wedding

We stayed the night at Oxford Falls nearby, and as we went to leave the next morning we discovered this..

Flat tire

Flat tire

Fortunately we weren't in any hurry and the weather was fine, so it was a relatively low stress thing to fix.  And our spare tire is a full tire, not one of those stoopid mini tires with an 80km/h speed limit which would have made our trip home pretty painful.

Chickens and Ducks

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Kit has hatched five chickens and a duck over spring.

The five chickens were born in September, and they've all grown up now (well as much as that breed does), and two have been given away.

Chickies a week old

The duck hatched in October.  This was from an egg from her own ducks.  She also tried a whole heap more from someone else at the same time, but they were all duds (apparently the dude left them way too long before giving them to Kit).  The idea was that she'd be able to have a little flock of ducklings, and one could become Christmas dinner.  So the single duckling became known as "Roast".  But she's not sure if she'll eat it, it being the only one and all. 

Duckling two days old

Sweetie and the duckling

Duckling's first swim

Duckling a few weeks old

Shopping

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Before the last big club event we decided we needed to clear some freezer (and fridge) space.  Which meant eating as much as we could of what was in the house.

We haven't actually been proper food shopping in weeks.

With leftovers from a Melbourne Cup event at work, and the big club event, we've managed to get by with only buying a few essentials here and there.  But we really do need to do some proper shopping very soon ..

Decorating

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Friday was the first of our work Christmas parties which was a lovely afternoon.

Saturday we headed out to the club for a committee meeting, then chilled out in the afternoon and had a Christmas feast put on by Fiona in the evening.  She was in the kitchen pretty much solid for nine hours.  Craziness.

Today was a quiet day at home, in which I did a bit of house tidying and put up Christmas decorations.  Still a lot more tidying I want to do though.  Oh and I also filed four months of photos and read four months of blog posts for the annual year in review post.

Christmas tree 2016

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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