August 2018 Archives

Recently Neil noted that Woollies are selling very thick-cut bread.  A couple of weeks ago we went on a mission to get some.  I dug out the recipe I'd found a while ago for Sizzler Cheese Toast.  I *loved* that stuff at Sizzler.  I think there's still one in Campbelltown.. must get there again some time.

Anyways.  Loaf of Texas toast in hand, mix up equal parts of butter and parmesan cheese into a paste, fry cheese side down with a lid on to steam.  You're welcome.

Ingredients for Sizzler cheese toast

Butter and cheese to make a paste

Spread on the bread

Fry face down

With a lid on

Sizzler cheese toast

So I used powdered parmesan cheese, which didn't really melt, so the texture was a bit crumby rather and meltedy.  I tried again the next day with shaved actual parmesan cheese, but that didn't work as well.  Also, don't make the spread too thick, otherwise it tends to separate from the bread.

It was damned delicious though!  We might have eaten the entire loaf that weekend..

Up Your Shaft!

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So where were we?  Oh yes, yet another week has passed..

Wednesday morning we hopped a flight to Melbourne for Kit's graduation.  

!!!

Her parents were overseas so couldn't make it, so we filled in.  

Wait, let me backtrack a minute.  On Tuesday morning the sweetie messaged me to say his ballot for a points upgrade to business class had gone through.  So I'm like.. friggen great.. now I could lose my left-side-of-the-plane window seat.  So I tried to check in online.  I was able to choose seats on the left side of the plane (yayy!!) but the screen hung after the declaration of dangerous goods.  I tried to reload the page but it just said I couldn't check in online.  Thinking it was me stuffing up the webpage loading I tried to call Qantas to reset the error.  None of the options on the phone menu matched anything I wanted so I just ###### in an attempt to talk to a human.  Well it did put me in a queue.  For the next forty five minutes.  In the end I tried the online webchat, and got through to a human pretty quickly.  They said because of our upgrade we couldn't check in online.  Well why didn't you fricken say that on the error on the webpage you buttplugs!!!!  Why make me waste fifty minutes on hold (before I evenutally hung up after talking to webchat person)?!?

Anyway.

So we got to the airport somewhat early, and sure enough did get the seats I requested which was a relief.  Had breakfast in the business lounge which is somewhat nicer than regular Qantas club, and I had bacon, eggs and mushrooms for breakfast and a croissant.

Ok so business class.  Never flown it before.  Ok the service was bit nicer/quicker.  They offered us still or sparkling water before take off.  And we got actual metal cutlery and didn't have to peel a cover off our quiche.  But the seats, while wider and more legroom, were more reclined than usual, and I couldn't actually reach the floor, even with my slight heels.  So somewhat uncomfortable.  I'd much rather business class on a long haul flight so I can lay down flat(ish).  It is somewhat more quieter in front of the engines though.

Qantas 737 business class seating

Qantas business class quiche

So on a Canberra to Melbourne flight you really want the left side of the plane.  You typically take off to the north from Canberra airport, then curl around to the west then south west over north Canberra.  Which means.. I can see my house from here!  Had a great view of Canberra, everything I hoped for.  At least that part of the flight was pretty awesome.

Mt Majura radar station

Gungahlin town centre

Northern Canberra

Gungahlin town centre

Canberra

Belconnen town centre

Lower Molonglo Water Control Plant

Tidbinbilla

Mt Hotham Airport

And then to Melbourne.

We got tickets for the Sky Bus, because it's like half to two thirds the price of taking taxis, and went pretty close to our hotel.  Funnily enough, we booked into Travelodge Docklands, where I've stayed twice in the past year for work.  When booking the hotel I asked for a room on the east end of the building, because it has a much nicer view.  But, like just about every other customer service experience I've had in the past couple of weeks, it was terrible, and they ignored my request, and we ended up on the west end of the building with a lovely view of the Channel 9 building.  Thanks Travelodge.  NOT!

Channel 9 building from Travelodge

We couldn't actually checkin when we arrived at 12pm, so dumped our stuff and headed over to the Convention Centre for the graduation.  We met up with Kit and Pete, and then we went to the pub across the way with Pete while Kit got a gown etc.  She met up with us just before it started and then left again.  We finished our drinks but even though we were only slightly later than the suggested time, the auditorium was almost completely full, and we had to sit way over on the side and couldn't sit with Pete, he was two rows in front.  The graduation ceremony was .. well it was a graduation ceremony.  Hadn't been to one since my own in 1996.  Was somewhat like I remembered.

Pete and Kit

Kit on graduation day

Pete and Stu

Kaz and Stu

Kit's graduation

Kit's graduation

Afterwards there was some pretty average "refreshments".  Kit got her degree framed and bought her stage photo, then we queued for the studio photos.  For like an hour.  We were getting pretty tired by then.  And they were all stoopidly fussy about anyone taking their own photos, which I thought was COMPLETELY ridiculous.  There was no way we were going to queue for an hour and then not buy any of their photos.  STUPIDITY, GFP!! I didn't even bother, but Pete got told off for trying to get a quick snap.  I hate that sort of attitude, GFP, JUST SAYIN!!

Afterwards we walked Kit and Pete back to their apartment and had a couple of quiet drinks (Kit's back was killing her and the sweetie was super exhausted so we didn't go out).  Then walked all the way back to our hotel, where we had thins and aero for dinner and watched the end of War Games.

Yarra River

Reflections in the Yarra River

Flame bursts outside the Convention Centre

In the morning...  well other than breakfast in the hotel which was ok .. but .. 

Second Qantas drama in a row.  I tried to check in to the flight but we had been "upgraded" to exit row seats.  Which are like THE WORST SEATS ON THE PLANE.  Right over the wing, you can't see a damned thing.  This is an epic DOWNGRADE for me.  And I couldn't change the seats online.  Once again, we had to go to the airport to deal with it.  I told the sweetie he could keep the seat if he wanted, but he said he'd sit with me.  So I explained my situation to the checkin dude who was all cool and gave us seats further back.  Although row 22 which is still a bit close to the wing.  Not like the seats I actually reserved when I booked.  Completely pissed off with Qantas over all the drama they caused me.  The flight wasn't even full, and we could have had seats further back.  At least the sweetie didn't have to sit in the middle.

So work, drinks, etc.

Friday morning was optometrist appointment.  Honestly Specsavers are *completely* unorganised.  I first went two years ago and got a full eye check and new glasses.  They said they'd like to get a baseline for potential glaucoma (family history and all), and scheduled me in for a checkup in a year's time.  So last year I got the reminder notice, and booked an appointment.  When I got there the staff were all like.. "why are you here?  You just had a checkup..? and I'm like .. um, because you told me to.  They eventually figured out I was just there for the glaucoma tests.  Again they said come back in a year.  So I got my reminder recently and booked in an appointment, making it quite clear that it was just for the glaucoma tests.  So I get one of the tests, but then the one of the optometrists comes out and he's like "why are you here?" and I then had to explain the situation AGAIN, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE STORE!!  Don't these guys understand *anything* about patient confidentiality???  I was actually pretty annoyed with the guy.  Specsavers please get your act together!

For lunch Neil and I were planning "grease" at KFC, but the queue was a bit long, so he suggested Grill'd, which usually involves sharing wine.  Then hot chocolate at Max Brennar.  Whoops ;)

Last Sunday night we watched Star Trek Beyond, which I could barely remember anything about it was that.. memorable..  So I decided we should watch all the Star Trek movies from the beginning.  So on Friday night we watched The Motionless, sorry, Motion Picture.  Honestly nothing happens.  They get called on to intercept a thing.  So they do.  And that's all they do for the next two and a quarter hours.  Although I can imagine that trekkies after a ten year break would have wet themselves over seeing the Enterprise on the big screen.

Saturday was out to the club for yet another whole day wasted, this time for the AGM.  

Oh I should mention, since we got back, after Pete's sister left on Friday, I was feeding Kit's animals.  On Saturday morning I went out and collected twenty one eggs!!!  So Saturday night we used nine of them to cook a frittata for dinner.  Fun times.

Then we watched Khaaaaaaan.  

Today was just a quiet day doing all the things, although not all the things, cause I don't have time for all the things.  Did do some food shopping and cooked a lamb roast for dinner. 

And then we watched The Search for Spock.  There's a bunch of funny quotes, but the one that transported me back at least twenty five to thirty years was "Up your shaft" which Scotty mutters to the turbolift.  I first saw this movie in probably about 1990 with Chrissie.  I can't remember anymore if we hired it or if it was on tv, or if we watched it at her place (I think we did) or mine.  But I do remember we both absolutely cacked ourselves over that line.

And so ends another week.

XLV, and so on

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Sunday night I woke up at 2:30 and didn't get back to sleep til about 5:30.  Hurrah.

Tuesday was fairly quiet.  A small group of us went to Kingsley's.  Not KFC, which is more traditional, but Kingsley's is easier for a group.  In the afternoon went with Doc and Neil to Frank Bradley's funeral.  Lovely guy, had met him several times at bbqs at @CLBradley's, he made great salads, and stayed at his house at Kangaroo Valley for Chris' 50th.  He was 87 (and had only stopped working a year or so ago!)  In the evening we were going to go to Stanley's for dinner, except the place is closed on Tuesdays :(  Ended up at the George.  Had lamb shanks which were nice enough, but too much food and ended up feeling full and bloated which wasn't much fun, not to mention not sleeping well.

Wednesday was a pub lunch with comms.  Had nachos which were nice enough, but too much food and ended up feeling full and bloated which wasn't much fun, not to mention not really feeling like working in the afternoon.  Almost escaped early, and even made it to the car, but the sweetie got stuck at work, so went back inside for an hour.  Went to bed really early and actually had a pretty good nights' sleep.

Friday another early morning wake up, this time with hurty.  Had another pub lunch, this time with the Chrises, but this time I wisely shared some wings with @CLBradley, which meant didn't get overfull or bloated.  Much more pleasant.  In the evening watched I Kill Giants which was ok but I actually found it a bit disappointing because (spoiler alert!) she doesn't actually kill giants.  I mean I assumed that's where they were going with it, but it was still a bit of a let down.

Had a pretty quiet Saturday morning.  I probably should have labelled photos or scanned photos or sealed the shower, but instead spent the entire morning doing the jigsaw.  In the afternoon I went over to Chris's and picked up ingredients to make a lemon cheesecake slice.  It turned out ok, but a bit too smooshy, really could have done with a smidgen of gelatin.  We've been watching more Parts Unknown, getting through Tangiers, Peru, Congo (dug out my copy of Heart of Darkness I might read again some time) this week and Jerusalem last night.  I had the idea we should watch The Black Stallion Returns (I'd seen The Black Stallion recently although I didn't blog it which didn't help, and the sweetie wasn't with me.  The last time I saw them before that was when I bought them in 2004).

Today I sealed the shower.

FINALLY.

It only took me a year.  

Then we went to Serkan's for a Killifish group meeting, then to Jem Aquatics to revisit the lights situation.  I'd told them I wanted to go back to fluoros for now, so they refunded me for all three failed LEDs and I got some NEC (not Aqua One yayyyy!!) fluoros.  I was super happy and relieved, thanks Jem Aquatics!  I really am going to avoid Aqua One products wherever possible, and certainly avoid them for anything electronic.  Maybe in a couple of years time another manufacturer will get it right and I'll get lights that should last a lot longer...

Snow. And Suckage.

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When I went out to the kitchen yesterday morning this is what I saw:

Googong snow

Snow!  I didn't think it was cold enough for snow, but there was a big dumping on the hills above Googong.

The morning was spent cleaning, tidying, organising.

Then went on several missions:

  • dump three boxes of books at Lifeline: success
  • dump a bag of junk at the Green Shed: success
  • exchange or get a refund on the DODGY Aqua One LED lights: fail*
  • get 10c refund on some drinks bottles: success, maybe**
  • food shopping: success***

* Remember I had to replace a dodgy Aqua One LED back in January?  Well that light we bought last October died a month or so ago.  And then another light we bought in March died a couple of weeks ago.  So that's ALL THREE DODGY lights from Aqua One have failed - one after just four months!!  In January Jem Aquatics replaced the light on the spot without any drama.  But this time they weren't playing ball.  They took the two lights and the receipts and said they'd talk to the Aqua One rep and get back to me.  Well they haven't yet.  Not only that, but that light that was replaced in January?  IT WAS DEAD THIS MORNING!!  THAT'S ALL FOUR DODGY AQUA ONE LIGHTS HAVE FAILED!!!!!  I am completely pissed.  If I pay twice as much for a light, I want it to last twice as long, not HALF as long!!  I really want to get my money back on them and go back to flouros.  And NOT Aqua One.  They completely suck.  Dodgy cheap made in China crap.  I've always hated Aqua One.  The whole episode left me feeling a bit stabby.

** So the ACT has started doing 10c refunds on bottles.  There's a collection point at Vinnies in Belco, so we took a box of bottles there.  I was expecting a machine that would scan the barcodes of the bottles and provide cash on the spot.  You know, like EVERYWHERE ELSE.  But no, there's a computer screen and a human.  You have to REGISTER to return your f@%$ing bottles!!  How f$@*ed is that??  They want name, address, phone number and even a freakin security question such as mother's maiden name.  Are you freaking kidding me???  All for a dollar or two at a time's worth of bottles.  And I didn't even get any money back - they just bag everything up and tell you "you'll get your money some time".  Yeah right.  As we were leaving they were packing up, so you can't even go at a convenient time.  Return-IT you SUCK!  I really should have just told them to screw themselves and just dump everything in our recycling bin.

*** I was pretty upset from the lack of outcome with Jem Aquatics and terrible experience from Return-It, so food shopping wasn't much fun.  We got a turkey roast and other stuff.  Got home and was on my feet for the next couple of hours preparing dinner and making a caramel slice.  Collapsed in front of an Anthony Bourdain and Frozen.

Libya

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We've been watching Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown in recent weeks, and last night was the episode he did in Libya.  Like, two years after the fall of Ghaddafi and a year after the attack on the US in Benghazi.  That guy was *brave*!  So tonight the sweetie put on 13 Hours, about said attack in Benghazi.  It was very long but well done.  In some ways it reminded me of Saving Private Ryan.  Although was it just me or did all the guys kinda look the same?  The sweetie told me half way through it wasn't a happy ending (I didn't know the story at all) but more got out than I thought would.

In other news, I was planning to spend all day today labelling photos and sealing the shower.  Instead I ended up at the club labelling drawers in the office and regrouting the kitchen splashback.  These things happen.... 

Also visited Mr Bug after his thyroid surgery, he's doing quite well.

Chicken Kiev for dinner, because that's all we felt like by the time we made it home at 4pm and it was available at Chris' ..

So a long time ago I saw The Manchurian Candidate (2004).  On account of dementia I didn't remember a whole lot about it, but do remember finding it interesting, and added it to my Netflix watchlist recently.  Also Liev Schreiber - hot as!!

I looked it up on my blog afterwards.  I had no memory of seeing it at the movies with Striker or that it was a freebie from TripleM (as part of the Freq club, which I got from setting up IP Sentry to monitor the website for changes.. heh ;) ).  If I didn't have a blog all of those experiences would be lost forever...

Oh, yeah, we watched it tonight.  Happy Friday!  

Also.. Dean Stockwell.. in the credits but never said a word! haha

Like Father

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Tonight the sweetie put on Like Father with Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.  It was a bit silly but also sweet and I quite liked it.  And I did squee slightly over them being on Harmony of the Seas (one of the epic Behemoths of the Seas that I'd like to go on just to say I've been on like the biggest ship in the world!).  And looking forward to epic BLUE photos of our trip to the Caribbean coming up in a few months :)

Finished labelling Day 11 of our East Asia trip tonight.

Hurrah.

Still 3000 to go.. 

Also finished scanning another album of Mum's this morning.

I might get everything done before I cark it..

One Step Closer

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So on the weekend I tried to tape either side of the joins in the shower that I want to reseal.  Except our masking tape was ancient, and kept ripping and sticking to the next layer.  So gave up on that idea and bought a new roll today.  Taped up the shower ready for silicone..

Got some photo labelling done tonight as well, and then just some time on the jigsaw.

All the things

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Last night we tried to slow roast a brisket roll, but it probably wasn't slow enough.  The veggies turned out nice though, and Stu made a lovely parsnip mash with four parsnips and half a garlic (I might have ated the other half).  Then we finished the Harry Potter series by watching the Deathly Hallows Part II.  And then later dreamt that I was doing firewall rules for Hogwarts.  Everyone LOLed at that when I told them today.

I managed to scan fourteen photos this morning which was a pretty good effort for a morning.  Tonight was cooking and eating dinner while watching Natural Curiosities, followed by washing, backing up my camera, backing up my phone, backing up my computer, photo labelling and cleaning the kitchen, all by 8:30 so I could do an hour on the jigsaw.

Just for fun, here's George sunbaking on the fence a week or so ago..

George sunbaking

This is one of Kit's jigsaws.  I was down there one Thursday night and Pete and I started it, although Pete lost interest pretty quickly and Kit helped me finish it.  Fun little jigsaw.

Optical Illusion Jigsaw

David did pretty much all of this on one of his visits in April.  In fact he stayed up til 3am!  So an entire 1000 piece jigsaw in one night.  I will do this one again myself one day :)

Amalfi jigsaw

We did this at David's place when I went to visit in May.  It glows in the dark!

Glow in the dark tiger jigsaw

Glow in the dark tiger jigsaw

Glow in the dark tiger jigsaw

Stu let me work on the next section of the Disney 40320 piece Memorable Moments behemoth upstairs.  I started it in late May and finished by 22 June (I came home early one Friday afternoon to watch the movie while finishing the jigsaw).  The only problem with doing it upstairs is it's harder to photograph the jigsaw "in front" of the movie.

Lion King Disney Memorable Moments Jigsaw

Lion King Disney Memorable Moments Jigsaw

I got this with a Games Capital voucher I'd been given.  I couldn't decide what to get for ages, so in the end got this Krypt spiral jigsaw.  More interesting that the plain coloured version of the same thing.  I quite enjoyed this, and reckon the plain coloured one would be easy enough because they print the pattern on the box so you'd know what shaped piece you were looking for.

Spiral Krypt jigsaw

Another show I had to squeeze in when I had free time was ABC's Back in Time for Dinner (which I mentioned earlier: I especially liked the 80s and 90s episodes for the fun memories but was also pretty cool to see all the stuff they dug up for furnishing and decorating their house for the earlier decades).  But because I'm obsessive that way, I tried to find their house on Google maps.  I had a pretty good idea it was in the St George area, based on their visits to Carss Park, Brighton Le Sands/La Perouse and various places in Mortdale. 

This is all I really had to go on to find their house:

Back in Time for Dinner location

And I could make some guesses as to which way their house was pointed based on sun direction.  Took me most of an episode to find it.  What was funny is that when you look at it on street view there's a crowd of people outside it!

Back in Time for Dinner house

Other fun things in the show - Tupperware!  We had sooo much of this Tupperware.  In fact I still have most of it.  I was thinking there might be a market for it, so it's boxed up with thoughts of selling it on ebay...

Back in Time for Dinner Tupperware

And the Pigs and Chickens tiles featured!

Back in Time for Dinner pigs and chickens tiles

Quite enjoyed the show.

Whenever I get a spare hour (pretty rare) I'll watch an episode of Air Crash Investigations.  The other day I watched one on Singapore Airlines Flight 006, which took off from the wrong runway in Taipei in 2000 (it crashed partway down the runway because the runway was closed for construction works and there was construction equipment on it).  I went back to my photos of the airport from a few years ago and found the exact spot that the mistake happened.

Taipei airport

The planes at the back are coming up the taxiway about to turn right.  Just behind the plane in the foreground you can see a turnoff to our left.  That's where the plane that crashed turned down, instead of coming all the way out to the runway we are about to land on.  

Sad times..

Sick Week

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Took Tuesday off because, sick.  Watched Netflix all day.  Started with the 1994 Black Beauty which was a beautiful, if sentimental, movie.  Then a documentary on the Lego House in Billund.  After lunch watched Uptown Girls because, Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning; and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.  Both were a bit silly but a bit of fun.

Wednesday/Thursday was still sick but worked from home.

Friday I went in although probably should have stayed home.

Still coughing.

Yesterday was totally a catchup day.  Spent all day scanning seventy six USA 2004 photos, and housework.  Cleaned the kitchen (twice), washed the bed sheets, put clothes, towels and other things away, replaced a light bulb, dusted and vacuumed the whole house, cleaned stuff, and booked our flights and hotel for Melbourne for Kit's graduation.  Felt like I was on my feet most of the day but still only managed 3660 steps.

We must have watched Order of the Phoenix last Sunday night.  We watched The Half Blood Prince on Friday night and Deathly Hallows Part I last night.  Also watched Peter Pan on Friday night because, Jason Isaacs.

Something learnt:  "muscle memory" is a thing!  Different to conscious memory.  Brains are cool.  (From Henry Molaison's story on Ted)

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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