Results tagged “Travel” from Kazza the Blank One

Monday doctor; Hero Sushi for dinner (it met expectations - it disappointed).

Garema Place in colour

Garema Place in colour

Tuesday continued photo culling.  I managed two days all week.  It's fricken hard work.

Misty lake

Wednesday was KFC for lunch (tradition).  Ate it while listening to an AWS guy deep dive into some stuff, so most of it went over my head, and I was stuck there for two hours which my legs really didn't appreciate.  Then had to deal with people blaming the firewall for blocking stuff.  Sure it's blocking stuff, but only because they upgraded their application, not because we changed the rules.  Went and shared some bubbles with Neil which was nice.

Birthday bubbles

Then to Bella Vista with the sweetie.

Had Assagini for entree - a mixed seafood platter consisting of calamari, scallops, prawns, San Danielle prosciutto and an avaocado and tomato salsa

Bella Vista assagini

Stu had Gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce cheese

Bella Vista gnocchi

I had bistecca: wagyu sirloin, creamy mash, prawns, spinach, green beans, pancetta, garlic butter sauce.

Bella Vista bistecca

All very nice.

Birthday selfie

Saw this on Thursday.  Driven by quality.

Driven by quality

Friday morning I drove myself up to Sydney.  Had lunch with Mum at the village - lamb roast.

Village roast lamb

Then off to the funeral.  Actually the thanksgiving memorial - the private funeral was in the morning.  It actually went for quite a long time - an hour and a half.  They used a whole heap of photos of Mum's that I'd scanned in recent years and sent them all through to Chrissie to pass on (they didn't have access to the house to get any of their own photos).  Saw quite a few people that I knew from years past, even Kristen from school and Joe W and Michael S so that was nice.  

Funeral flowers

Schoolies

Chrissie and I completely geeked out and went and stood in the hall of the church where we met thirty years and a couple of weeks ago.

Where Chrissie and I met

Hung around til almost the end before Joe gave us a lift back to Mum's (we took the train earlier because we figured we'd have to walk about the same distance as if we drove).  Stopped in at South Village to have a look.

South Village

South Village

Back at Mum's I had a quiet toast to Diana and Graham.

Cheers Aunty Di

Then we played Rummy Tiles, which Mum and Diana played every Friday night for years.

Rummy tiles

Saturday morning Mum and I looked at dates and travel options for our trip next year.  Then I headed off.

Met up with Kit in Dapto so she could look at a horse she was interested in buying.  She had a decent long ride and I took a whole heap of video for her to get an idea of whether she wants to buy or not (by today she'd decided not to - the horse was an old pacer so wouldn't canter).  I even had a little ride (my phone went a bit spastic so it was very dark and unsaturated, no idea what that was about, fixed up somewhat but not ideal).

Kit on Walter

Me on Walter

Stu wanted gnocchi bake for dinner, so went to Chris's for supplies and did it.  Then we watched Moonraker.

Today I spent most of the morning trying to catch up housework.  Did some food shopping and finally got to go see takoyaki man!  The guy makes actual takoyaki, although he'd run out of octopus by the time we got there late morning, so we just had pork.  Next time we go earlier!

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

This afternoon I thought I'd book flights.  Sounds simple.  Four legs, which I put into Qantas' site.  But every time I got to a certain point (confirming passenger details) it gave this friendly error:

Generic error

WHICH IS COMPLETELY F#$^ING USELESS QANTAS!!

So I got onto their chat line (took about thirty five minutes to talk to someone) and they spent a good twenty minutes trying to reproduce the problem ("I'm also having the same error in the website. Let me check this in our system").  Eventually he says "I have checked and the reason why you're unable to proceed online is that there is no combinable fares for a Multi City trip."  Which really doesn't help me much.  After a few repeats of "I don't understand" it seems that the cities don't actually link up in the middle.  Because it's Europe.  Who goes back to where they came from anyway?  So I wasn't going to be able to book it via the website.  Qantas is completely pathetic.  If this sort of itinerary is going to cause an error, why don't they say that before I move off the very first page?  Why lead me through another couple of pages before throwing up a Generic Error that doesn't actually tell me what's wrong?  Sigh.  So anyway, for an extra $200 he put it through manually, although after all was said and done, I got an email saying there was a problem with payment and I have to call them anyway.  Fricken great.  Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway so dinner was an hour later than I wanted because I spent so long dealing with Qantas.  Watched Brooklyn 99 and Veronica Mars (they keep bringing back characters that I've forgotten about so have to go look them up, and other characters that I *do* remember, like Leo and Vinnie and Weevil :) ).

Crazy week.  And two weeks in a row without a proper weekend.  Really must take another random day off..

Road Trippin

| | Comments (0)

Tuesday I did my quota of photo labelling and thought I'd watch something on Netflix.  I started watching Contagion thinking I'd start it and finish it later, but ended up watching the whole thing.  Netflix was broken though - they forgot to add the day count subtitle - super annoying.  And if you hadn't seen it before you might be a little confused about the whole Day 0 bit at the end.  Stoopid, Netflix, stoopid.

Had pizza on Wednesday because Stu had gotten a migraine at work but didn't have painkillers and his prescription for more was too old (the codeine prescriptions only last six months instead of the usual twelve months, who knew - not that it would have mattered, they were nearly two years old anyway).

Thursday after MacGyver I watched the start of Clueless, which I've also seen before but thought it would be a bit of fun.

Friday morning we had the sewage pipes eeled.  It was October 2016 that we had them done last, so thought it would be about time.  He came across roots in the place we were expecting, so told him I'd see him again in a couple of years time.  I flexed off Friday because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any weekend to myself which would have been stressful.  So had a nice day mostly doing houseworky bits and watched the end of Clueless.  The mother type person arrived at dinner time so we had some frozen chicken wings and potato gems.

Saturday morning Mum and I went food shopping while Stu monitored the upgrade he was doing at work (that he got stuck staying up til 3am waiting for a backup to finish).  So he slept through lunch.  Chrissie and Goo came over for roast pork, and Chris made lemon meringue pie.  Yum yum yum.

Chris and Goo

Chris's lemon meringue pie

I was exhausted from *people* after lunch so let Mum read a book while I listened to the classic 100 composer and checked off Lego.  Had leftovers for dinner and watched Grace of Monaco which I enjoyed although no idea how true any of it was.  Some odd cinematography and direction choices though - like bright yellow scenes, and very long extreme closeups.  Strange.

Sunday morning Mum and I hit the road and drove to Junee.

Foggy Barton Highway

Hume Highway

Foggy Hume Highway

Lichen covered sign in Gundagai

Pretty trees at Gundagai

Hume Highway over the Murrumbidgee

Hume Highway over the Murrumbidgee

Cows on Nangus Road

Cows on Nangus Road

When we got to Junee David helped Mum transfer her contacts off her old dying phone onto her new one, and set it up with her car's bluetooth.  Then we went to the pub for lunch.  As you do.

Junee Hotel chicken kiev

David epic rose

In the afternoon we listened to the classic 100 composer (missed John Williams while were out though - only 15th - ripped off!) and did puzzles.  We might have cranked the volume on the 1812 overture and Beethoven's 5th. 

Went and got pizza from Pizza on Main for dinner.

Junee Pizza on Main pizza

Half watched Wreck it Ralph while half-heartedly playing some hands of Canasta and 500.

Took ages to get to sleep because I was *cold*, and forgetting my pyjamas certainly didn't help.

In the morning we headed over to Peter Neve's to say hi.  Had a look at the work he's doing on an inspection pit in the back yard.

Inspection pit

Training

Training

Training

Then we did some food shopping for David.  Had some chicken for lunch, then Mum and I headed home.  I saw the coat of arms on the way home - an emu off Nangus Road, and kangaroos off the Barton Highway.  Didn't get photos of them though.  Just a couple of shots around Gundagai.

Sheahan Drive

Sunbeams over Gundagai

At home I de-peopled for a bit then cooked dinner - a herb and apricot chicken (Coles doesn't have the three cheese and bacon ones anymore *gasp* just the apricot one and dumb mac and cheese).  Watched a couple of episodes of Death in Paradise, finishing season three.

This morning Mum went home and we went to work.  Did have lunch with the sweetie today too which was nice.  Did a bunch of photo labelling, then blogging, and here we are.

I wasn't able to get my blog online for much of our last holiday because the internet on the Queen Mary 2 is practically unusable.  Even when we got to New York, I had better things to be doing than trying to catch up.  So only the first six days are online.  When I got home the focus was on processing photos, and now I'm busy labelling (have finished day 14, and a third of the photos done).  But I've also been choosing and uploading photos for the blog entries, and have finished those first six days.  So they're online at http://kazza.id.au/north_atlantic_2018/  

From now on the new entries will go up with pictures.  If you have a feed reader you can subscribe to http://kazza.id.au/north_atlantic_2018/atom.xml, or check every so often, or just wait until I'm done, hopefully in the next few months, when I'll let you know.

Queen Mary 2 in New York

Notre Dame

| | Comments (1)

I woke up to the news this morning that Notre Dame in Paris had burnt down.  But looking at pictures tonight it looks like the fire was largely contained to the roof, and the interior stone roof is still intact in large chunks.  It will need some pretty significant repairs as heat stress can damage even stonework, but it doesn't seem as bad as I first thought.

I visited Notre Dame in 2012.  I was by myself after touring Israel, Jordan and Egypt with the parents, and six days by myself in London.  I had two and a half days in Paris and generally hated the place.  Oh sure the city itself was beautiful and I saw *lots* and walked *lots* (one day setting an all time pedometer record of 38450 steps in one day), but I couldn't stand the tourists.  And the queues.  Queues and tourists and more queues and more tourists.  And mainly because they were generally rude tourists.  I never had any problems with the locals, and if the French have a reputation of being rude to tourists, I'm sure for the most part it's because the tourists completely deserved it.  I think if I went back to Paris I'd enjoy it more if I didn't do anything "touristy".  I did tick off a major bucket list item though (going to the top of the Eiffel Tower).  

I actually saw Notre Dame all three days I was there.  These photos are going to focus on the roof and interior.  Most of the exterior, it seems, will be fine (we can hope!!).

First up in the afternoon I arrived, I wandered past while getting a lay of the Paris land.

Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

Those copper statues had been removed prior to the renovation, so they were saved.
Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

The next day I went up the Eiffel Tower and a whole heap of other things (this was the 38450 step day).  I made it back to Notre Dame around 16:30 and went inside this time.

Notre Dame in 2012

Stained glass windows in Notre Dame

Rose Window in Notre Dame

Interior of Notre Dame

Rose Window in Notre Dame

Interior of Notre Dame

Interior of Notre Dame

Interior of Notre Dame

Rose Window in Notre Dame

Roof of Notre Dame

Notre Dame in 2012

My last day was also quite busy, but not as busy as the day before.  I stopped by Notre Dame in the morning because the sun was out (sort of) and it looked pretty.

Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

Notre Dame in 2012

Countries Visited

| | Comments (3)

I did another one of these the other day just for fun..

Countries visited

Had a pretty quiet weekend.  Just plodding through the todo list and jigsaw.  Finished season six of Homeland (Quinn can't really be dead can he???).

Sunday evening headed down to Melbourne again for work. Took off to the south so the view from my left-side window was just of Queanbeyan, and nothing exciting from the northern approach to Melbourne.  Had dinner with Daniel, Ray and Tony at Platform 28.  

Travelodge by night

Then two days of discussions and some planning, although not as many decisions made as we would have liked.

Travelodge by day

This was pretty random.  I was just brushing my hair on the last morning and a hot air balloon drifted overhead..

Hot air balloon over Melbourne

Hot air balloon over Melbourne

Then home again.  Again I failed, due to a left-side seat on the plane but an approach all the way around Canberra and in from the north.  If I'd been on the other side I would have seen all the lights all the way around.  Le sigh.

Have finished labelling to the end of day two of New Zealand photos.  Getting there.. oh so slowly!

Less than a month.  Twenty three days in fact.

That's how long it's taken me to get my New Zealand photos geotagged, selected for a slide show, selected for the blog, and blog updated with the photos.

That is an all time record for me.  Usually it takes a couple of years (and then some!).

Of course it helped that the holiday was only five days long!

Check out my New Zealand 2018 blog.

Just for fun, here's a photo Dad took in Wellington, New Zealand in March/April 1975, followed by one from our trip there in April 2018.

Wellington 1975

Wellington 2018

Windy Welly

| | Comments (1)

In a strange twist of fate, the sweetie and I were in both Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day - had a quick hop across the ditch to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary - making the most of the last of the Singapore Airlines direct flights to Wellington - in fact our flight back was the second last one.

Since we've been back I've been meaning to blog, but I'm a slacker.  I wanted to rant about the poor customer service from Netflix, and praise the fantastic customer service from Willow.  I've been busy at work but not crazy busy, in fact had time to clean things this week which was nice.

A bunch of us ended up at Rob and Fiona's last night for chilli which was nice (and not tooo spicy!), and I inflicted them with not just our New Zealand slide show, but Japan 2009, Hong Kong 2013 and East Asia 2017.  Oops.  :)

I've processed all my New Zealand photos (renamed, resized and geotagged).  And other than food shopping that's about all I've managed to achieve this weekend.  Well that and cooking half the afternoon.  Cauliflower bake and teriyaki chicken for dinner, and cheese balls for snacks.

This is my new wallpaper - Belconnen from the air

Belconnen from the air

Melbourne

| | Comments (1)


The majority of my new team is in Melbourne, and this week we had a couple of day catchup with the whole team.

It was a pretty productive session but somewhat tiring.

The highlight of the whole thing was the flight down.  The back of our 737 was almost empty.  Connor and I were on the right side of the plane, and we took off to the north, and then banked around to the left.  So as soon as the seatbelt sign turned off, we jumped up and over to the other side of the plane.  We had the most spectacular view of Canberra I've ever seen!  Just amazing.  

Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB
Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB

Canberra from the air
Canberra

Canberra from the air
Northern Canberra from the air

Canberra from the air
Canberra from the air

Belconnen from the air
Belconnen from the air

Belconnen Town Centre from the air
Belconnen Town Centre from the air

Canberra from the air
Canberra from the air

Canberra from the air

Canberra from the air

Tidbinbilla
Tidbinbilla

Tuggeranong
Tuggeranong from the air

After passing out of Canberra I went back to my seat and Connor went to the seat behind.  But we got up again to see the SNOW!

Snowy Mountains from the air

Snowy Mountains from the air

Snowy Mountains from the air

Mt Kosciuzsko is centre of frame
Mt Kosciuszko is centre of frame

Khancoban
Khancoban from the air

I stayed in my seat for the rest of the flight.  Usually when I fly into Melbourne it's on runway 27, which is a completely boring approach.  But this flight flew in over the Melbourne CBD before swinging north into 34.  I didn't realise how far south we'd come until I saw the Exhibition Building!  So awesome!

Exhibition Building, Melbourne

Docklands

Melbourne

And what flight would be complete without going to say hi to the flight crew at the end :)

737 flight deck

Another highlight of the trip was catching up with David not once but twice!  Firstly for dinner on Monday night, and then again for breakfast on Wednesday morning.  That was super cool.

Pasta dinner

On the Tuesday night a bunch of us went out for dinner.  We ended up at Kollabo Kitchen for *lots* of fried chicken.  All this plus two bimimbaps for three people?  hrmmmm!!  Similar amounts of chicken were ordered by others.

Kollabo Kitchen chicken

We didn't finish it.

So I took all the leftovers back to the hotel.  Some of it David and I ate in the morning, and most of the rest of it we had for lunch later on.

Oh and also, had my first Uber rides.  They were pretty good.  The drivers were certainly a lot less aggressive on the road that taxi drivers!

It was nice to sleep in my own bed again at the end!

I've spent the past few weeks working on a new blog - a blog about the Queen Mary 2.  I posted nearly all the photos I took of the ship herself, separating them out into the different areas of the ship.  It's a bit more mobile friendly than my main blogs (which I really need to convert, but only after a lot of testing and a well documented procedure).  Stu reckons I should put Google ads on it, but apart from them being a pain, they'd also lower the tone of the whole site heh.

Anyways, here it is: Kazza's Queen Mary 2 Blog.  Please have a look and let me know if you find any issues.

Been North

| | Comments (0)

We've been to Queensland since my last blog entry.  I'll get some posts up soon.  I was going to do it tonight, but spent the *entire* evening sorting out photos (from the trip and beforehand).  I couldn't geotag stuff though because Geosetter just freezes up whenever I try to do anything with it.  Super frustrating.

You'd think that direct flights from Canberra to Brisbane and back would more or less be along the same line.  You'd be wrong.

Queensland Flight Track

And I don't think I ever blogged this .. this was a holding pattern we got put in on our trip in 2012.

Holding pattern

Airgaps in the flights are because A380s walls are so thick it's hard for the GPS to pick up the signal.

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

Totally Trivial

| | Comments (0)

So Wednesday night was the trivia night.

The problems started during the afternoon when we went to test the AV equipment.  The data projector and/or the long vga cable was faulty and the display was all horrible (missing grey).  Two different hdmi-vga dongles, and two different laptops including one with native vga and it made no difference, it was just stuffed.  Not to mention we had all sorts of dramas getting the amp/audio to work as well.  Then Doc accidently walked off with my phone and I started freaking out that someone had stolen it.

*sigh*

So we plugged the laptop into the tv instead with just hdmi, and Tony brought down a big speaker to use (audio through the tv wasn't working properly - it kept cutting off the beginning of the audio clips I had - more stress and drama).  But in the end got the whole lot working.  

So yeah after that the night went well.  Other than the questions being generally too hard.  But thirteen tables plus the bar - the place was packed!

Trivia night marking

Last night was a bit of p0ker with Ben and Serena.  With some very very weird rules - like no blinds and two packs of cards.  I think I was winning, but then Kit came up and we stopped playing.

Today I did house cleaning type stuff, as well as blogged some of my USA 2000 trip - which I realised recently I'd never actually blogged digitally.  The photos are online on conspiracy, but the journal was in a notebook.  So I'm digitising that and will put the photos with it.

Also went for a two hour long walk with Chris this afternoon (somewhat longer than I was intending, but over 14000 steps on the pedometer today to show for it).

Tonight we watched the very last episode of House, followed by the Bourne Supremacy.

Marina Bay Redux

| | Comments (0)

A couple of weeks ago I posted this photo mum and dad took of Marina Bay, Singapore in 2009.

Marina Bay Singapore

Here's the exact same view, January 2016

Marina Bay Singapore

The Sydney Trip

| | Comments (0)

On Friday night I left work a bit early and drove up to Sydney.  I drove past a fire at the airfield at Marulan, which turned out to be not from natural causes, but because of a plane crash!  (the dude walked away - must have been a good landing!).  We went and fed the Macaulay's cat, visited Aunty Di and Graham, then had an early night.

On Saturday we spent the morning looking at photos (we played Dad's funeral slide show which was a bit emotional) and food preparation.  We did a big roast pork and my epic potato bake as well as some other veggies and lots of nibblies.  We also whipped some cream and decorated a pavlova.  Graham and Pam and Ken and Jeanine came over and we had a lovely afternoon.

Mum and the table

Nibblies

Epic pork roast

Epic potato bake

Christmas cake

Pavlova

Family photo

In the evening we went and fed Macaulay's cat again, and watched The Princess Diaries (which Chris and I had been talking about only just the other day).

On Sunday I caught a train into the city to go see a couple of Lego exhibitions (which I'll save for separate posts).

At Central I was all set to walk around to Harris Street when I noticed the end of the Devonshire Street tunnel didn't *end* anymore - it kept on going - with a sign to the Powerhouse Museum.  So I walked down through it.  They've converted that whole little area between Central and the museum from the old goods lines into a park called The Goods Line.  Totally spun me out because that area of the city has always been a dead zone and it was a real pain trying to get around because you couldn't just walk across town because of all the railway lines in the way.

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Powerhouse Museum (bottom entrance).

Powerhouse Museum

After seeing Art of the Brick, I headed back to Central to catch the train to Circular Quay (it was super hot and I didn't want to get hot and sweaty walking all the way, and as it turned out, Sunday is currently $2.50 all day on the trains so it didn't cost anything).

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

Then there was the second Lego exhibition of the day - the Sydney Harbour Icons at the Museum of Sydney.

Museum of Sydney

Then up to Martin Place to train it back to mum's.  I walked straight onto a train which was pretty cool.

Picked up all my stuff, then a flying visit to Luc and Lizzi's to do a donut photo of Ryan, then drove home.

I was expecting when I got home to have a quiet night of getting myself organised, but instead I came home to a pool full of people, in varying states of intoxication.  Which was rather unexpected (and made me feel somewhat left out! heh).  So didn't get anything done at home that night.  Oh well.  

Marina Bay

| | Comments (0)

I was looking at my parents' photos of Singapore tonight, and this photo spun me out... because the whole thing is finished now.. but back in 2009 it was just a construction site..

Marina Bay Singapore

Late

| | Comments (0)

Got home late last night (went out for dinner after drinks), so didn't blog that three years ago yesterday we walked along the beach in Tel Aviv, then went to see a likely location where David fought Goliath, then had lunch and a bit of a walk around Old Jaffa.

This morning I finished scanning all my analogue photos at 600dpi.  At least I think I have.  I'd have to double check everything, but pretty sure I'm done.

But I don't think I'll ever fully label my holiday photos from the digital age.  At least with them geotagged all I need to do is load them into GeoSetter or some such and it instantly shows me where a photo was taken.  Then it's easy enough to research on the internet what it was.

Also today I realised it was three years ago today that I took off for my "Eurasia 2012" holiday.  So I've been frantically labelling photos for the blog entries.  I doubt I'll get much past Israel/Jordan in this round, as it simply takes too long to choose photos to display, and I've only culled down the first two weeks of that two month holiday.  It's hard work I tells ya!

So anyway, three years ago today I spent two days getting to the other side of the planet all by myself.

Siphon

| | Comments (0)

So we were about to get in the car to head off to work today when I noticed the pool level was a lot lower than it should be.  It looked to be at about the bottom of the skimmer box, so my first thought was that piping had broken to the filter/pump, and the pool had drained off.  As it turns out, it was siphoning itself off via the hose.

!

One end of the hose had been in the pool since the last top up a while ago.  The other end I'd draped over the edge, having disconnected it from the tap a couple of days ago to fill up a watering can.  Then the wind last night blew the end onto the ground, and the pool started draining.  Was super annoyed at the waste of water and a little worried about the flood (which, fortunately, seems to have drained fairly well).  But I was glad that it wasn't broken piping, and that I discovered it before a day of water had the chance to drain out.

In other news, all the documentaries I'm watching on America and its national parks is making me want to go back there!!  Just don't know that I could convince the sweetie..

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