January 2020 Archives

Year 11

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On this day thirty years ago I started year 11 in high school.  This meant a new uniform.  This meant mum had to document the occasion ;)

First day of year 11

First day of year 11

I like those photos more for all the stuff in my bedroom, noting what I still have and what has been given away or thrown out.. fun times..

He was a dead end

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So last Tuesday after battling for two nights with Apple, and blogging, it got to 21:30 and I still needed to wash my hair.  Le sigh.

The lake was a little fuller after the hail storm.

Fuller lake

Thursday was a bit of a crazy day.  There was a bushfire near the airport, so people were distracted monitoring that (it originally started in trees that I'd noticed on the way to the club just last weekend were dead because of the drought).  And then it took out some good chunks of our network because an Optus location lost power and they didn't have generator backup there.  And there was a water bomber plane crash.  Sadly it was the same C-130 we saw taking off out of HMAS Albatross last year.  Sad times.  And then they closed the airport (well most flights were cancelled), stranding people in (and out) of Canberra for the evening.  I really couldn't concentrate very well on work that afternoon.  In the evening I was going to watch Coco by myself (finally caught up on all the Pixar movies I started watching a year ago, with just Toy Story 4 to go now - which is coming soon!) but the boys were ok for me to watch it on the main tv and they watched it too.  Was pretty good.  Well except for the whole I issue I had that photos have only existed for the past hundred or so years, so what did people do before that?  Paintings?  hrmm

Friday I went over to Chrissie's and we had some champagne for her birthday and had Chinese takeaway and just chatted which was really nice.  Her car was damaged in the hail.

Chrissie birthday

Hi google

Hail damaged bonnet

Hail damaged bonnet

Stampy

Saturday I did a bunch of research into how I was going to morph Ryan's donut photos.  One person said use "face movie" from Picasa.  My version of Picasa was pretty old and didn't seem to have it, so I downloaded the latest off the Wayback Machine.  And it was magic.  Saved me hours and hours and hours of effort.  Well, I still need to get some final photos from Luc to finish it off but I suddenly found myself free for the weekend.  

In the evening was a party for Aquila's 60th.  Stu wasn't feeling up to socialising but he came and stayed anyway which was nice.  And we didn't have a late night.  There was a lot of food.  Food spam to follow ;)  After the jigsaws!! OMFG!!

Oh hai friends

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th birthday cake

Happy birthday Chris

Sunday.  OMFG I hate Apple.  Ever since I got my XS, it's never synced my Google calendar with the phone.  I've tried all sorts of suggestions but nothing ever worked.  So I gave up and downloaded the Google Calendar app which works just fine.  But it's also stopped syncing my contacts.  Which is more annoying because I often update my phone, but I want Google to be the master.  So I went hunting to see if I could try again to fix Google sycning.  Someone talked about using iCloud.  So I logged into iCloud to find my contacts aren't synced there at all!!!  Even though it's set to backup contacts.  What a retarded piece of crap.  I complained on Twitter, as you do, and they actually responded.  Not with anything useful of course.  I haven't tried the last thing they suggested, because I was completely over it.  I'm going to go back to my old 1999 perl/mysql database as my "master", making sure I have a full backup of everything, then try some more to hack away at it.  

We were originally going to go to the club Sunday afternoon but Stu wasn't feeling up to socialising, so we just stayed home.  Which suited me just fine as I was having fun geotagging my USA 2000 photos, and listening to the Classic 100 Music in the Movies, Rescreened, which I listened to the entire weekend which was awesome.  Did a bit of jigsaw as well.  We watched Quantum of Solace in the evening.  Man, that movie made me dizzy just looking at it.  Such a frenetic pace in the action sequences - editing of shots less than a second each.  Madness.

Monday I woke up at 3:30 and never got back to sleep (well I did for about half an hour at 6:30).  Hurrah.  Spent the day geotagging photos.  It was fun reliving my trip to New York from 2000, with more fresh memories to reinforce it all from a year ago.  I was sad geotagging the World Trade Centre photos though - I found it somewhat strange/disturbing that I could still geotag those photos with complete precision.  I was even able to geotag just about all the photos fairly accurately in Disneyland.  It's amazing how much has stayed the same over the past twenty years.  Managed to manually geotag the entire set of photos in one weekend.  Ok so there were only 727 of them, and about 70 I'd done the other week.  

On Monday afternoon a bushfire started near Orroral, where Stu, Kit and I did the Granite Tors walk a few years ago.  We could see the smoke from our place.

Orroral fire

We watched the first episode of Picard in the evening.  

Got a much better night's sleep on Monday night.   Tuesday the Orroral fire got much much worse.  We could see the pyrocumulus clouds from work.  I got some pretty insane timelapses of it.

Pyrocumulus

Tuesday night I backed up my phone.  It only took 32 minutes and about 8-10 reconnects of the phone to get the photos and the half dozen regular videos, not counting getting two timelapses I got via Google Drive earlier in the day.  Then another 15 minutes to process them (every single video had its timestamp changed), minus the few minutes I ran outside to see the sky on fire..

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Today I worked from home.  Last Friday David had gotten sick enough of our slow internet upload speeds that he called Internode to see if they could fix it.  Today an NBN dude turned up and went off to fix it.  Turns out there was a broken connector, resulting in exactly half the speed we should have had.  So he fixed that and our download speeds are now back up to 20mbit down, 4 up.  Not quite as fast as it was before, but still twice as good as recent times.  Hurrah!  So at least that was a win.  Smoke from the Orroral fire blew north and the sky got a really eerie green/brown/yellow colour for much of the day.  

Tonight was just going back into the photo labels I'd done for the USA 2000 trip, and giving them a bit more detail and tidying it up.  I also redid all the panoramas.  Back in the day I used a program (Panavue?) that you had to manually set linkage points for it to line them up.  It worked pretty well for fairly horizontal panoramas, but not so well if the camera was angled.  So I redid them in Microsoft Image Composite Editor.  Sometimes Microsoft comes up with amazing software, and this is one example.  Works like magic.  

Case in point:

National Mall panorama - old

National Mall panorama - new

In all the crazyness of the world right now I can't help but be inspired by these flowers growing in our front garden.  They've basically had no water all summer, except during the storm last week.  Yet here they are, in full bloom, smiling at the world.

Pretty pink flowers

Stay safe everyone!

Nice Sunset

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On this day twenty years ago I was driving home from work and saw this pretty sky over the Princes Highway at Kogarah.  So I took a few snaps of it.  As you do.

Sunset over Kogarah

Sunset over Kogarah

Rise of Skywalker

The other week we went to the Dendy to see The Rise of Skywalker.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As a popcorn Hollywood blockbuster.

The main thing I noticed during the movie is it was very *busy*.  But then you look back at The Phantom Menace where exactly two things happened (a pod race and a big battle) and someone's gonna complain no matter what.

I mean sure it has its problems (aforementioned busyness, Rey's progress at learning to be Jedi is just too damned fast, Palpatine wtf, her heritage wtf).  You can see the conflict in direction between the directors of the last two films.  They'd have been better off with some consistency.

Anyhoo.  

Like I said, for pure entertainment it's fine, if you don't have high expectations.

Pavlovian

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Before Christmas I bought a 500g carton of egg whites, with the view to making a cherry layered pavlova for Christmas lunch(es).  But it was basically all too hard, so I didn't.  Come the new year and those egg whites still needed using up, and we'd had the cooler off for a day so it wasn't *quite* as humid in the house as it had been for the rest of the break, so off I went.  I followed this recipe (basically).  Since those things have a habit of disappearing off the internet, this is what I did.

I used half the carton of the egg whites, beaten.  Mixed in 1 1/4 cups of caster sugar until glossy.  Mixed in 2 teaspoons of cornflour, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and half a teaspoon vanilla essence (other recipes suggest putting those three in before the sugar, I might try that next time).  Plonk onto some baking paper and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 125C.  

Pavlova

The thing rises up as it's cooking, so will collapse as it cools, but that's not really a problem.. 

Pavlova

.. because we're going to top it with whipped cream (300mL plus a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar).

Pavlova

These don't look like much - but they'd been in the pantry forever and I wanted to use them up.

Pavlova

The boys liked it so much that ten days later I used the rest of the egg white carton and made another one.  This one topped with frozen strawberries and raspberries that had been in the freezer forever and needed using up.

Pavlova v2

Pavlova v2

Nom nom nom!

Hail storm

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Monday I was just having my lunch when it got loud.  Really freakin loud.  I thought the glass roof was going to cave in.  It didn't, but it did leak in places. 

Then I went outside.

Hail

Hail and shredded trees

Hail drifts

Hail drifts

Later we went and did our food shopping.  Aldi was closed.

Aldi closed

And Pizza Artigiana's awning was shredded.

Artigiana pizza damage

We were super lucky, but the carnage throughout Canberra was insane.

Can this summer get any crazier?  (I shouldn't say that, that's totally tempting fate...)

Urgh.  I hate Apple.  But more on that later.

Monday I finished blogging our Hong Kong and Singapore photos and got them online which was good.  Finally I achieved something.  Hurrah.  Logged onto our Disney+ account and had a look around.  There's a bunch of the new live action movies I want to see (although not Lion King), and Toy Story 4 is coming in February.  But there's a bunch of things I want to watch before we take a break from it.

Tuesday.  Blerf.  Stoopid insomnia.  Couldn't get to sleep *and* woke up for ages feeling uncomfortable.  Spent the day deleting All The Things.  Had EPIC steaks for dinner (I didn't eat all this! Not even one of them! ;) ).

Epic steaks

Wednesday I extracted all the geodata out of Google Earth (myplaces.kml) from the geotagging I did of our flights across America in 2000.  Used exiftool to take that geodata to geotag the files, and then fix them up slightly (because annoyingly the data has tilt and range, it doesn't have altitude in the geodata, although I did calculate it trigonometrically).  

Blood sunrise

And it rained!  A bit anyway.

And people that spit chewing gum onto the ground have to be up there with the most disgusting ferals on the planet.  Right up there with those who leave their dog turds on other people's front lawns.

Then Echofon lost its auth, and Internode started blocking me from sending mail via its smtp server.

So a bit of fun, but also a lot of pain.

Thursday we had a bbq at work to finally finish off all the sausages from the Christmas Party.  Stu wanted to have drinks after work so I went to get him, but first we had dinner of pizzas at Grease Monkey.

The lake was very low last week...
Low lake

Pizzas at Grease Monkey

Cute stop-go people

Friday might have shared some wine with Neil at Grill'd.  Made tacos for dinner.  Watched the first episode of Who is America, which was extremelly cringey (especially the gun fanatics).  

Grilld

Saturday morning (after waking up at 3:50 #grunt) I spent much of the morning filing and organising my old photos (mainly the ones taken on my Olympus camera between 1999 and 2004, as well as a bunch taken on the Sony in 2004).  Making sure everything had the date in the file name (so I can find them for the This Day in History project) and just general neatness.  Also with a view to sorting out all the kids' photos for Ryan's 21st.. hrmm.. 

Then we headed out to the club.  Had a swim then a bit of an antisocial with a bunch of people that were out there.  The new carpet and kitchen bench are amazing.

New carpet

New bench top

Sunday morning I spent ages going through the "tool shed" in our van, taking of stock of what's there and sorting things out.  Then came home and spent the rest of the day doing photo filing and sorting.

Monday had a super intense hail storm.  Luckily our car was under cover, and it all missed our house.  But the carnage in Canberra was crazy.  Hundreds if not thousands of cars, awnings and gardens damaged or destroyed.  I'll put up some pics in another post.

Did some food shopping in the afternoon and marvelled at the blue sky, which we really haven't seen in nearly two months.

Blue sky

Came home and then went into battle with Apple.  As per usual, downloading even regular videos caused the device is not attached to the system error.  Had to reboot the phone because it refused to show me the file system at all afterwards.  Twice.  Had to do *multiple* reconnects of the cable to even show the file system.  Then when I got (most of) the files, most files' timestamps were changed by Apple on the phone and had to be manually fixed.  Took literally all evening to get all most of my files.  Transferred some with Google Drive, but even one of the regular videos (not a timelapse) won't play. F#%$ I hate Apple.

Tonight I got home and did a water change in Chrissie's tank and cooked and ate dinner and then it was like 20:00.  #grunt  And then I spent the next hour or so continuing to fight with Apple.  I should paste the table of crazy inconsistent behaviour.  In the end David used his Macbook to recode the couple of videos that I couldn't get to play.

You're lucky you got this blog entry at all.  Two nights battling with Apple is killing my will to live, or in fact do anything.  And I have a billion things that need doing, and none of them are getting done.  I'm dying from the stress of it all.

I don't think I saw any movies this week.  Sad times.  

Thirty years ago today we went as a family on an early bushwalk as part of the St Clements bushwalking group.  That bushwalking group is still going in some form, although I don't think we ever went on a bushwalk again as a family...

Angophora on Lady Carrington Drive, Royal National Park
Angophora on Lady Carrington Drive, Royal National Park

Group from St Clements Bushwalking Club sheltering from the rain on Lady Carrington Drive.
Ted, ?, Graham Reid, Evelyn Street, Peter Hanna, David, Pam Hanna, Diana Reid, Karen
Group from St Clements Bushwalking Club sheltering from the rain on Lady Carrington Drive. Ted, ?, Graham Reid, Evelyn Street, Peter Hanna, David, Pam Hanna, Diana Reid, Karen

Four years ago today the sweetie and I headed overseas again, this time to Hong Kong and Singapore for a couple of weeks.

Back in October I started labelling all the photos on my computer, finishing up on Christmas Eve.  I spent a bit of the break culling them down for display on the blog and finished up on the weekend.  I finished getting them all up on the blog last night.

Phewf!!

So here's the whole blog, including photos, from that trip!

http://kazza.id.au/hongkong_singapore_2016/

Relatively quiet week this week.  Had a fair bit of insomnia - not being able to get to sleep and/or waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.  So frustrating.

My phone upgraded itself to 13.3 this week because I forgot to disconnect it from power overnight.  So far a couple of retarded bugs.  The first is that if you have two phone numbers associated with a contact, Apple will now merge them together in sms messages, and I can't see any way (within the sms app) to choose which number to send it to, short of making a whole new contact to separate the numbers.  And my scheduled reminders stopped working, although it was happy to pop up old reminders that had long gone.  Apple is so retarded.

Edit: you can start a new message in the SMS app to whichever contact you like, but you can't just hit reply to an existing SMS because you literally have no idea which number it will use.

David brought his super fancy vacuum cleaner up, and on Thursday and Saturday he moved out the lounges and vacuumed seven years of accumulated dust.

Vacuuming under the lounge

On Thursday night we watched The Last Jedi.

Friday night we all met up in the city and had a lovely dinner at Kinn Thai, then saw The Rise of Skywalker.

Kinn Thai Wagyu steak

David at Star Wars

Saturday was just house stuff during the day.  Was quite productive in the morning, not so much in the afternoon.  In the evening was a bbq at Brett and Sharon's.

Blood sunset

BBQ at Brett and Sharon's

Today I finished culling photos to show for our Hong Kong/Singapore trip.  And finished a yukky jigsaw.  And made another pavlova.  And we did some food shopping at the markets.  

But disaster!  Saigon Streetfood and Groceries is shut!!

Saigon Street Food shut down

And my computer bluescreened this arvo when I plugged in my camera's SD card.  Not Happy Jan!

Blue screen of death

And I still have no idea where these little terrorists are coming from :(

Mosquito

Let's see how well an early night will work...

Playdough Mermaid

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During the 90s some time I made this playdough "Little Mermaid" during a craft session with a lady from our church (the minister's wife, who lost their home in the fires, but I can't remember if it was before or after the fires).  I painted it with poster paints and had it on display for a few years.  But it was getting damaged and on this day in 2000 I photographed it in the back yard on the concrete before throwing it out.  Presumably I was clearing out *stuff* before moving out of home, which was in February 2000.

Playdough mermaid

January 8

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As always, on January 8 I remember three things..

This blog is seventeen years old today!  I wanted to get a mobile template applied to this blog over the break, but I just had too many things to do.  One day ..

David Bowie would have turned seventy three today.  Someone at work pointed out it was Elvis Presley's birthday as well.. which I knew but I've never mentioned here because I'm just not all that interested heh.  Edit: actually, I did, in 2015 :)

Bushfires raged through Como destroying many of our friends' homes and our church twenty six years ago.  The current bushfires are hence all too real for us.

January 1994 bushfires

The last week of our break was overshadowed, quite literally, by the catastrophe of the bushfires.  I watched them get closer and closer to Kit and Pete's place, then it skirted round their town, but they're not out of danger yet.  It's still very close to David's place at River Island.  It got very close to DC's place at Malua Bay, and Fiona's place in Newcastle.  @CLBradley's place at Kangaroo Valley is still under threat.  Lisa's family lost a farm house and a camper.   Connor's inlaws' land was burnt out, but the shed was ok.  Chloe's land got burnt out and their shed and tractor are gone, but the house they are building was untouched.  And that's just people I know.  People have died.  Many homes, farms and historic buildings have been lost.  The toll on the bush and the wildlife is incalculable.  The smoke we've been breathing for the past few weeks is the remains of millions upon *millions* of plants and animals.  It's utterly devastating and heartbreaking.  I really fear that this weather is the new "normal" and wonder if it will ever properly rain again...

So New Year's Eve was very hot and very windy, and I was *super* nervous about fires starting.  We were going to go out to the club but decided not to.  EffanC also decided not to go, so we went over to their place instead as conditions eased. 

New Year's Eve smoke

So it was fairly quiet evening of just chatting and watching the Sydney fireworks.  Even David joined us after his shift finished which was nice.

The smoke got thick again as the wind changed in the evening.  My first photos of the new year are of the smoke on the way home..

New Year's smoke

It was a pretty late night so Wednesday, New Year's Day, was a slow, quiet day.  Did a bit of photo processing, blogging, some jigsaw, and we watched Die Another Day in the evening.

Koel in our yard

New Year's Day smoke

Thursday ended up being another quiet day.  Didn't get a whole lot done.  Stu signed up for Disney+ and we watched The Force Awakens in the evening.  Of course our introduction to Disney+, literally the first thing on the screen, was Error 43.  Fricken useless.

Second January smoke

Blood sunrise

How cute are these!?  Stu got them in the mail (before Australia Post stopped deliveries because of the smoke).

Living stones

Living stones

Friday with the cooler weather I took the opportunity to check on the gutters.  They weren't too bad.  David also couldn't help himself and pulled apart our cooler and gave it all a good scrub.  Bestest brother ever!

After lunch Kit called.  They were in Canberra - they'd come up Thursday night with all the animals (two dogs, a cat, two birds, three frogs and a snake) leaving behind the chickens and the fish.  They came over in the afternoon and just chilled out for a couple of hours which was nice.  Pete had a lot of fun watching the wedding videos, while Kit monitored the fires and social media.  We dropped their car back at her mum's and had a drink.

Kit and Arthur

Then Stu picked us up and we all went to Bella Vista for dinner.  

We had Garlic and cheese foccacia to share $9 which was delicious (Kit said it was the best cheese and garlic bread she'd ever eaten heh).

Bella Vista garlic cheese foccacia

For dinner I had Vitello Saltimbocca: Veal escallops with sage, Prosciutto and mozzarella cheese in a white wine reduction sauce served with creamy mash and green beans. ($35)

Bella Vista veal

Then back to our place to chat for a while.  It was nice that they felt they could just come and hang out and relax with us.  We think they made a sensible decision getting to safety ahead of the predicted craziness on Saturday.  

So Saturday.  The hot north-westerly winds picked up again, fanning the flames of all the fires going on at the coast.  I was tense again.  I spent the morning putting away all the Christmas decorations.  Didn't get much done in the afternoon, although I did finish blogging our Melbourne trip, where we went and saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  Link is here - http://kazza.id.au/oz_holidays/ - if you wanted to have a look (last entry is first on that page so scroll down to see it in order).  We watched Casino Royale in the evening.  

The wind did blow all the smoke away for the day, but it came back again around 10pm.

Smoke on the 4th

And when I say it came back, I mean it *really* came back.  We could smell it as soon as it hit, and it was swift and all consuming.  In the morning it was like waking up in hell...  the phone wouldn't get the white balance right, I had to fiddle with the DSLR to get this.  

Welcome to hell

Played through an escape game on my phone, but otherwise only got little bits and pieces done during the day.

In the evening a bunch of us went over to Rob and Lyn's for dinner which was lovely.  The temperature had cooled down significantly so it was nice outside, just very smoky, so we stayed inside, which was a lot hotter.  But had a very pleasant evening.  Rob cooked some quite delicious steaks and there was heaps of other food.

Dinner at Rob and Lyn's

Dinner at Rob and Lyn's

So back to some sense of reality on Monday.  My "essential" todo list kept me going til 10pm but then I couldn't get to sleep (a mosquito buzzing around certainly didn't help, not to mention where the f@#$ did it come from, given there's no standing water anywhere in Canberra at the moment).  So today was a bit of a zombie day, but was able to do lots of cleaning which was good.  And tonight processed photos, and have spent an hour writing up this entry.  

Stay safe everyone...

Susannah's 18th

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Thirty years ago today we celebrated Susannah's 18th birthday with a party at her Aunty Di and Uncle Graham's.  

This is Jacqui, Kristen, Chrissie and me.  Don't know who took the photo, doesn't seem to have been one of Mum's.  Maybe Graham's?

Susannah's 18th

Canberra Day Trip

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Thirty years ago today, Mum and I picked up Nana and did a day trip to Canberra.  I was studying for my Ls at the time, and remember using the trip to read the road rules book I had.

First up we went to the New Parliament House, which was not quite two years old at the time.  Apparently we did a tour, but I have no memories of it.

Kaz and Mum at New Parliament House

New Parliament House

New Parliament House

Courtyard in New Parliament House

Flag pole at New Parliament House

Roof of New Parliament House

Looking out the front facade of New Parliament House

Nana at New Parliament House

Then I spent four hours at the National Science and Technology Centre (Questacon), which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It had only been open for a little over a year in its new building.

Questacon

Then we came all the way back to Sydney, dropped Nana off, and I got a photo taken with the letterbox I designed.

Nana and Karen and the new letterbox

Gavin's new car

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Gavin was a friend I met at OzEmail in 1996.  We had a bit of a falling out, but became friends again by 2000.  He was into fast cars, and this was one he'd just bought, taken outside his and Fran's flat in Sutherland, twenty years ago today.  

Gavin and his new car

I really wish I'd started blogging years earlier than I did.  My early twenties are kind of like my "dark years" because I was old enough to do things on my own, but it was before digital cameras to take lots of photos of things.  So I don't really have much of a record of what I did in those years.  

Anyways, now that I've scanned all Mum's photos I thought I'd start blogging them, as well as my photos, and my early digital photos.  I debated for ages the best way to do it, and in the end what I decided was to blog things twenty/thirty/forty years ago as they come up over the next ten years.  

So January 1.

On this day in 1990 it looks like Dad went over to Nana's to install her new letterbox.  Back in year 10 in 1989 I was doing tech drawing as a school subject.  One of our projects for the year was to design a letterbox and draw out the plans for it.  Then we were meant to build it.  Well Nana needed a new letterbox anyway, so we discussed the design with her (she wanted a big section for newspapers).  So I designed it, drew it up, and then Dad built it.  Hrmmm.  I might have helped a little but I didn't get to do as much on it as I wanted.  Oh well.

Here they are with the newly installed letterbox, thirty years ago today!

Nana and Dad and the new letterbox

That letterbox was there for years, although according to Google Streetview it's no longer there.  Oh well.

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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