June 2017 Archives

Rinse, Repeat

| | Comments (0)

The last two Fridays I've had lunch with the Chrises, which has been nice.

The last two Sundays I've spent all day at work, which hasn't been so nice. 

In between there's been another evening at work, a lunch at Gozleme King, a club night, and a BBQ at @CLBradley's which was great.

I've also brought home one of my tapestries from the club so I can work on it while watching tv with the sweetie.

Thursday: Whisky tasting night at work.  The Australian (Limeburners) and Scottish ones (Cardhu and Aberfeld) were actually pretty similar.  Japanese one (Iwai) was ok, but my favourite (that I had seconds of) was the intensely peated one (BenRiach) ;)  Had a bit of the liqueur too but it was very very honey sweet.

Whiskey 2017

Friday: Swim night but I wasn't feeling very sociable

Saturday: Didn't leave the house.  Just did house stuff all day.

Sunday: Work most of the day.

At some point in the past week, probably Monday night, we watched A View to a Kill.  Decided NOT to watch Batman: The Movie tonight though.

We're nearly half way through season three of Voyager and nearly through season five of Homeland.

Tonight we watched Sicario.  Interesting music and very interesting camera work.  Good movie, quite well done, but very frustrated by our crappy internet and Stan's inability to buffer.

War on Waste

| | Comments (1)

I've been watching ABC's War on Waste over the past week.  Some of the waste depicted is pretty staggering.

The thing that upset me most was seeing the huge waste of food right on farms because supermarket cosmetic policies. Banana a few millimetres too long?  Goes to waste before it even gets to stores.  Just heartbreaking.

Then there was the disturbing news that Woolworths don't necessarily recycle the soft plastics people put in the store bins in good faith that it will be recycled.

And in the What The..? files: the girls in the third episode who don't wear the same outfit twice!!  What the actual f@#%??

"Fast fashion" completely pisses me off because I buy clothes and wear them until they wear out.  Except these days things wear out after just a couple of wears in some cases.  T-shirts and even jumpers that can't be worn after not very long because the collar buckles and looks ridiculous.  Years ago Millers did plain-dyed t-shirts that I'm still wearing twenty years later!  But they stopped selling them, and now, practically any t-shirt you buy will wear out very quickly.  With jeans, I got sick of paying $100 EVERY YEAR for Jeans from JeansWest because the "denim" is so thin and flimsy that it simply wears through.  So last time I paid $7 per pair in KMart.  The material is just as thin and crappy, but it's only a fraction of the price.  I'd be happy to pay more for quality, but it simply doesn't exist anymore!

Since discovering relatively recently that Coles do soft plastic recycling, our waste has been reduced dramatically.  Most of our food scraps go over the fence to the chickens, soft plastics go to Coles, and the majority of the rest of our rubbish is recycling.  We typically only put about a bag of rubbish *or less* a week out in the bin, and so the bin doesn't go out for collection most weeks. 

* Fast food restaurants (Subway I'm looking at you) stop giving out more than one serviette. I keep mine and use them at home as paper towels but I'm sure most people just thrown them straight out unused
* McDonalds do you really need to give me my burger in a huge paper bag?  No, if there's one item, I can carry it - save the paper!
* The huge rolls of junk mail we get are such a waste - please stop!
* Canberra needs green waste bins for garden waste.  Drop rubbish collection to fortnightly and use the savings to collect green waste fortnightly instead.
* Supermarket shopping online needs to stop using plastic bags.  We did a shop a few weeks ago and got enough plastic bags to last us six months!  At one point they were loading things into crates and then just emptying the crates once delivered.  Much better option.
* If they really want to stop people wasting plastic bags, put a significant tax on them.  Instead of free or even 15c, give them a real cost - like $1.  People would definitely think twice about getting a bag if it became a significant cost.
* People still need bags for bin liners.  I've got several years stocked up because I never throw away shopping bags that we do end up getting from time to time, but with a complete bag ban we'd have to buy bin liners. 
* Use a keep cup
* *Please* can we get decent quality clothing back?
* Coles you need to empty your plastic recycling bins more often.  I've never once been able to easily get my bag in the bin, and often I've had to leave my bag next to the bin.
* Tom's Super Fruits (and every other grocer) please stop packing a couple of things on a polysterene tray covered with glad wrap.  So wasteful!

I'm sure I'll think of more..

In the meantime, I'm going to start using up my stash of plastic bags for fruit and veg - they've been building up for a while and there's no good reason not to reuse them.

The theme for Kit's 30th was 80s characters.  Game/tv/movies/whatever.  I couldn't think of what to go as for the longest time, but then while reading an entry on Kevin Apgar's blog I had an epiphany - Classic 80s Space Guy!!  He's been my avatar for years, so I just *had* to do it!!

I did a bit of hunting around the internet for ideas, and in the end decided to mostly copy this one.  The major difference being I didn't start with a balloon.  I really should have to get a nice smooth dome, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to get it big enough without it bursting in my face while inflating.  So I made a cardboard frame instead.  This worked ok, except the weight of the wet paper and glue weighed it down, so I had to sit it on a bowl on top of some containers, but that raised the top of the dome too high, so it's really not quite the right shape.  And it's pretty wonky.  But hey, it had the desired effect, and Kit loved it.

At this point I was really just getting the size and shape right.  I had to make sure it would fit around my head!  I just started with paper, then added cardboard.

Helmet frame

Adding a bit of strength to the frame.  Stapling was very effective and much tougher than gluing or using sticky tape.

Helmet frame

Testing to make sure it would sit right and the face opening was about the right size

Helmet testing

This is the helmet after the first layer of papier mache.  For each layer I was using about 1/3-1/2 a cup of flour, about the same amount of water (possibly a little bit extra water), and maybe half to a full teaspoon of salt to help prevent mould.  You can see the weight of the wet newspaper sagging into the holes.

Paper mache helmet

This is after about five coats done over several days.

Helmet with multiple coats

Once fully dry, I covered it in duct tape (got a nice blue roll from Officeworks for $8.68).  You can see the bubble wrap I put in around the top of the helmet to let it sit in the right position on my head (and it made it quite stable and comfortable as well).

Finished helmet

The finished helmet

Finished helmet

For the tanks I got a couple of softdrink bottles and wrapped some cardboard around them to make them actually cylindrical, with some newspaper shoved in the gap between the cardboard and the bottles at the top.  I added some extra cardboard around the spouts of the bottles to give them the "top" or joiny bit of the tanks.  Then covered the whole lot in duct tape. I wasn't sure how to attach them to the outfit.  In the end I just stuck on some string to go over my head.  But it was very heavy, so added another loop of string to hook onto my belt to hold it in position and not strangle me.  A "backpack" setup might have worked better but I was worried they'd sit too low on my back.

Helmet and tanks

For the logo I found a good quality png online, printed it out and glued it to some cardboard for strength.  I used sticky tape to attach it, but sadly this wasn't really strong enough and at point the thing fell off and got trampled on.  So if I want to wear the costume again I'll have to print out another one.

Space Lego Logo

For my clothes I simply wore my jeans and my royal blue jumper.  I found some gloves in Dollar Pop for $3.50 which worked well, but made it impossible to use my phone!

Here's me in the finished outfit!

Classic 80s Space Guy

Classic 80s Space Guy

Classic 80s Space Guy

Saturday morning I woke up at 3am and stayed awake for a couple of hours.  After thinking recently that I hadn't had insomnia for a while, I jinxed myself and got it.  Blerf.

In the morning after a late start I did a bit of house tidying.  Then for lunch we went to Chinese Inn at Kippax for lunch for Sarah's 30th birthday.  Wasn't a fan of the place.  The shantung chicken we had was nice enough, but no crispy skin; and the salt and pepper squid was pretty tough with a very thick batter.  But it was a nice enough lunch, even if we barely knew anyone.

In the afternoon I went down to Chrissie's to help clean up her house post move.  I scrubbed oven racks to the point of getting a blister - doh!

In the evening the sweetie and I watched Zodiac.  It's a long movie and I was pretty tired so didn't know if I'd be able to last, but it was pretty interesting, even though I was frustrated with the ending, so finished watching the whole thing.

Sunday was more cleaning at Chrissie's.  Came back so we could go to the markets for lunch and food shopping.  Back to Chrissie's in the afternoon.  Then home to prepare dinner - roast pork with lots of roast veggies for @Chrispycon and Anne.  Hadn't seen those guys in ages, so was good to see them again.

Today has just be a nice quiet day at home, catching up on house stuff, blogging etc.

The Hours

| | Comments (0)

The Hours.  The couple of hours of my life I won't get back.  Seriously What The??

It's probably one of those movies they make high school students watch so they can write essays on that crap.  Yeup.

Ok so I didn't actually say that, but I did think it at one point today .. (cf: Love Actually quote)

After two insanely crazy days at work, and after Stu's team got scattered to the wind, I said we should have booze and pizza, which he totally agreed to.  At least the pizza part.  We did share a bottle of some very nice Margaret River Cab Sav and have Crust pizza, and watch some Voyager and Homeland.  

Wine and Sparkles

And I keep predicting when people are going to wind up dead in those shows...

Saturday I started gluing things into my holiday scrapbook.  Until I ran out of glue.

So then I started trying to organise my tax paperwork but decided it was all too hard, so thought I'd start with an easier job - digitising my tax paperwork starting from 1996.  Hrmm.  Did about seven years worth before the scanner needed a rest.

In the evening we watched some Voyager and then we watched The Third Man, which had been mentioned in an episode we saw the other night of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations set in Vienna (Viennese people sure love their pork!).  And it went on the Riesenrad, which we'd been on, so we had to watch it :)  Interesting movie, a little slow to get going but picked up at the end, and who killed the porter??

Today I wanted to do more paperwork sorting and work on my new blog, but didn't end up doing any of that.  Instead I cleaned the oven.  Hurrah.  And did some fish tank stuff and did some food shopping and cleaned and cooked and cleaned.  And my hands aren't very happy with me.

And in the What The files.. I was feeding Stu's fish and they got so excited that the smaller siamensis rocketed out of the tank and went flying over and out and landed under Stu's comfy chair.  Had to rescue it and put it back in the tank!  Silly fish!

Is it just me, or are most of Voyager's season 2 episodes *out there* ???  At least three or four of them recently I've gotten to the end of the episode and I'm like "what the hell" ... Weird stuff.

Thursday night I spent half the evening making up a vegetarian lasagna sauce (mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, tomatoes, tomato paste and passata sauce, forgot the garlic though), and a big batch of bechamel sauce, and assembled an epic lasagna.  Note to self: two packs of Latina fresh gluten free pasta sheets will overflow the lasagna dish.  

Epic lasagna

Last night we had Jenn and Nick over to enjoy said lasagna.  It wasn't too bad.  And there's lots of leftovers!  Win!  We also played a couple of games of Carcassonne and inflicted our cruise slide show on them ;)

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.

Kazza the Blank One home