Results tagged “Canberra” from Kazza the Blank One

Our recycling bin was almost full just after Christmas.  But we still had a week and a bit until the next recycling pickup.  Yet the rubbish bin had like one bag in it.  Meanwhile, garden waste just piles up around the place because we've got no easy way to get rid of it.

Canberra needs to make recycling pickups weekly, add a fortnightly greenwaste pickup and drop the frequency of rubbish pickups.  Or at least swap a rubbish pickup for a green waste pickup every fortnight.  

We had recycling piled around the bin in the kitchen, around the garage, and around the outside bin until pickup.  Then I filled up a couple of the neighbours' recycling bins to get rid of it all!

Trolling

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

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

Wrong

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

Troll head

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

Cotter Dam
Cotter Dam

Mount Stromlo
Mount Stromlo

Canberra Times Fountain
Canberra Times Fountain

High Court
High Court

Australian-American Monument
Australian-American Monument

Carillon
Carillon

Carillon sunset
Carillon sunset

Lake Burley Griffin Sunset
Lake Burley Griffin Sunset

Parliament House
Parliament House

National Library
National Library

Scrivener Dam
Scrivener Dam

Government House
Government House

Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Weston Park
Weston Park

Commonwealth Avenue
Commonwealth Avenue

Black Mountain Peninsula
Black Mountain Peninsula

Black Mountain Peninsula
Black Mountain Peninsula

High Court
High Court

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie

Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Tower

View from Black Mountain Tower
View from Black Mountain Tower

Black Mountain Tower by night
Black Mountain Tower by night

View from Black Mountain Tower
View from Black Mountain Tower

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie

St Andrews Presbyterian Church
St Andrews Presbyterian Church

Carillon
Carillon

National Capital Exhibition
National Capital Exhibition

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial

Australian Botanical Gardens
Australian Botanical Gardens

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

Civic
Civic

Canberra Times Fountain
Canberra Times Fountain (not fountaining)

Civic Square
Civic Square

Cockington Green
Cockington Green

St Andrews Presbyterian Church
St Andrews Presbyterian Church

Parliament House
Parliament House

Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial view

High Court
High Court

Department of the Environment
Department of the Environment

National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Australia

Carillon
Carillon

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

 

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

While Driving

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On Horse Park Drive, snow on the Brindabellas

Brindabella snow

So the week at work started out ok, got worse, got hopeful, release went ahead anyway, a moment of panic on my behalf, a moment of panic on everyone else's behalf, and finally an early mark to go to the pub for Connor's birthday.  Phew.

But going back a little.  Last Sunday night I decided to use up the last of the potatoes we had in the house, and some leftover sour cream and some past its use-by date thickened cream to make this potato bake.  It was a bit of a case of "would you like some potatoes with your cream and cheese?" and it became our entire dinner.

Potato bake

Tuesday I tried out Le Wrap's nachos.  There were ok, but nothing special.  The cheese was a little cold when I got it, so had solidified and glued all the chips together.  Salsa and guacamole and a bit of salad on the sides.

Le Wrap Nachos

Thursday I snapped this using Dad's telephoto lens from Aranda oval.

Black Mountain Tower

Neil has been doing various winter drinks over the past few weeks.  There's been hot cider (with or without rum), mulled wine and last Thursday there was hot mead.  I'd never had mead before.  It was very drinkable warm!

Mead

After work Friday, met up with the sweetie for a drink at A Baker.  I was surprised how uncrowded it was for a Friday night.  There was a DJ playing, but the music wasn't loud, so we could chat which was nice.  Then we went over to J&Y's for drinks and nibbles.  We chatted for ages before discovering their extensive collection of eighties music, so we put on a stack of songs from 1988/89 and Y and I sang our hearts out.  It was like singstar without the microphones or words.  Lots of fun :)

The weekend was pretty quiet.  We went on a mission to buy a new dishwasher yesterday (our old one blew up just before I went to Turkey, did I mention that?).  Was successful in that mission.  In the evening we enjoyed an incredibly rare Saturday night to ourselves and watched The Wind Rises, which was sweet and sad, as per most Miyazaki films that I've seen!

Today the mission was food shopping and feeding Potty's fish.  We mostly bought food from the edges of the supermarket, which always looks like we're pretending to be healthy (it doesn't show the six different kinds of cheese we bought!)

Pretending to be healthy

Tonight I cooked a roast pork and I'm still quite full.  I also forgot to properly document it.  Oops!

Before shot

Sort of after - missing crackling

Crazy Week

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This week was thoroughly insane.  We did manage to get a lunch in at Zierholz, but other than that it was super super busy all week.  

Last night I managed to escape and I picked up Stu's car, then him, then we went to the Dumpling Inn for dinner.  Shredded beef peking style and combination chow mein - our usual dishes.

Today I did a bit of housework, a bit of monitoring some testing, and then a pile of my own testing.  This afternoon we went out to hack some portals and climbed Mt Rogers.  Hopefully all the fresh air and exercise will help us sleep tonight.

The sweetie

Flutterby

Belconnen from Mt Rogers

Skywhale

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The other week when Fiona was here, before we had breakfast at Pulp Kitchen, we tried to see the Skywhale in Ainslie.  Except we arrived about five minutes too late, and only just managed to see it in the air as it was coming down.  We did get to grope its boobies though!

Skywhale

Skywhale

Skywhale

Skywhale

Skywhale

Skywhale

Skywhale

Tom Weekend

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Friday night we went and picked up Stu's old school friend Tom from the station.

Saturday morning they headed into town to see some anime at the Dendy.  I took the opportunity to get the house in order.  In the afternoon Damien picked me up and we went to the Wig & Pen for drinks, and then Stu, Tom and I went to Happy's for dinner.  Came home and watched Star Wars.

Sunday morning we went to Black Pepper for breakfast.  Afterwards, David came by to look at my car (see here for more on that).  Then we took Stu to the airport and Tom and I went to see Garden of Words and Ghost in the Shell: Arise with Gaelian and Steph.  I thought The Garden of Words was lovely, stunningly beautiful and detailed, and the "been-there's" were pretty cool too.  Ghost in the Shell was a lot harder to follow who was on who's side, so didn't get into that one as much.

Garden of Words Ghost in the Shell

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Ali Baba, then came home with drinks and nibbles and proceeded to watch Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

This morning got up at stoopid o'clock to drop Tom off at the station, then came home to get more sleep.

With only 1100 steps on the pedometer by 5pm and it being such a beautiful day and all, I also went for a walk, although only put another 4000 steps on the pedometer in forty minutes.

Mount Rogers walk

Mount Rogers walk

And some cool clouds and rainbows out the back

Ainslie Double Rainbow

Falling Back

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The weekend started with drinks at La De Da.  And chorizo.. yum!

La De Da Chorizo

Saturday morning we went to Black Pepper for breakfast.

Saw these little guys as we were walking back to the car.

Red Rumped Parrots

Red Rumped Parrots

Went and did our food shopping, them came home.

Pretty quiet afternoon.  I was in a bit of a strange mood which didn't help.

Went out for dinner - ended up at Little Siam in Gungahlin.  Turned out to be quite a nice little restaurant.  We got a chicken red curry and a pork larb, which were just on the upper end of my spiciness tolerance, but pretty good.  All the onion made the sweetie suffer afterwards though :(  Very reasonably priced.  In fact our two dishes and rice were only ~$30 - cheaper than breakfast!

Little Siam candle

Little Siam red curry

Little Siam pork larb

Afterwards we went over to Potty's and we all just hung out and chatted.

Today was another quiet day.  Probably wouldn't have left the house, but the sweetie wanted to take his car out (it had a flat battery the other morning, don't know why).  So we went went for a tour of the inner north of Canberra, then up Mount Ainslie.

Airport from Mount Ainslie

Fountain from Mount Ainslie

Canberra from Mount Ainslie

Black Mountain from Mount Ainslie

Tonight I cooked a roast pork.  It was only a small roast, so decided not to do the extended high heat at the beginning.  So the meat came out beautifully, as did the veggies, but the crackling wasn't the best.

Woke up at stoopid o'clock this morning.  Will be nice to wake up with the light again for the next little while... 

I was toying with the idea of going to Skyfire last night.  And before that the Canberra day celebrations last Monday.

But Canberra makes it too hard and stressful to go to festivals.  

You see Stu has little interest in festivals.  Mostly because of the crowds.  We both *hate* crowds, but him even more so.  Which means he doesn't usually want to go to them.  Which means I'd have to go by myself (not very appealing) or find someone to go with (tricky).  Either way I would ordinarily still need to get myself there.

Now in Sydney if you want to go to an event, you just hop on a train.  It's much easier and faster to take public transport in Sydney than it is to drive, so that's what you do.  In Canberra the opposite is true.  Public transport takes *much* longer than driving.  So while you *can* take a bus to an event, it's usually too impractical.  But if you drive then there's the stress of parking.  Because everyone else has the same idea.  And the parking situation around the lake is pathetic.  Not to mention that if I drove myself I wouldn't be able to drink.  (The exception is Epic - there's plenty of parking there).

And then there's the crowds.  Have I mentioned the crowds?  And guess what crowds need to do?  Go to the toilet!  But Canberra festival organisers never provide enough toilets so you have to queue forever.  

The lack of food outlets and so therefore the huge queues at those is another turn off, but that one just takes a little bit of planning to bring your own food.

So basically the stress of it all turned me off going last night, so I didn't go.  Which is a shame because I *love* fireworks and would like to get some more practise photographing them.

Camels

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There's camels and jumping castles in Civic at the moment..

Camels in Garema Place

Gene Weekend

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So where was I?
Oh right, Thursday night.

So after the little meltdown, I decided I needed to watch something fun, so we put on Shakespeare in Love.  Which has a great soundtrack, and had the desired effect.  Fiona eventually came home and had a geeky friend in tow, who was gained admittance with his approval of our doormat (there's no place like 127.0.0.1).  He'd never seen buckyballs, so of course had to be educated :)  The boys talked games, and us girls, well we painted our nails.  Glittery blue-green.  I still maintain they are more blue than green!

Friday. Bosses were out of the office, which meant doing fun stuff.  Like documentation :)  Went home a little early.  The sweetie and I watched The Fellowship of the Ring.  And then my throat started getting sore.  *sigh*

Saturday morning up at sparrow-fart to drop Fiona off at the bus station.  Back home to attempt to sleep, but my feet were too cold and wouldn't warm up.  And did I mention the sore throat? :(

Got up late, then back to Jolimont, this time to pick up Stu's friend Gene.  We went to Cafe Essen for lunch, before dropping him off to watch the Swans game.  

Stu and Gene
Eggs benedict at Cafe Essen
Eggs Benedict
We cleaned up the house then picked him up again after.  Had dinner at Kingsland in Dickson.  I'm always impressed at how their soy "meats" are close to real meats.

Sang choi bao, and a corn boat
Kingsland
Shantun "chicken"
Shantung Chicken
Tofu hotpot
Tofu hotpot
Mongolian "lamb"
Mongolian Lamb
We took Gene up Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie

This morning we went and picked up a friend of Gene's and went to the southside markets.  Lunch was at home before heading into town to wander around the lake, and out to Belco to Lake Ginninderra.  And not a single black swan in sight anywhere!

Someone swimming in Lake Burley Griffin
Swimmer on Lake Burley Griffin
Fountain-bows.  Totally going to send one of these into the Riot-act!
Fountainbow
Fountainbow
Stu thought the cockatoos would be more interested in the food he was offering if he threw it at them.  They weren't.
Cockatoo
Buckbeak has a little brother
Buckbeak's brother

Finally, Stu dropped Gene off late in the afternoon while I put on the dinner (a nice roast we picked up at the markets this morning with some yummy ball carrots) and washing.

So after having people in the house since last Wednesday it was kinda weird to go back to just being us two.  Trying to get back into routine now..
Coughing a bit from the cold I got, but seems it's just a cold, not a flu.  Also Thursday was just a false start, real start was today.  

Hao!

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A very old friend of mine was in town this week so we went out for dinner to catch up.  It might have been thirteen years since I saw him last .. whoops!!

Hao
I had Veal Scallopini

APK Veal Scallopini
And after chatting for a couple of hours we walked around Garema Place to see the ice rink

Garema Place Ice Skating
Lovely evening.  Hopefully it won't be thirteen years until I see him next!
Oh, Mum and Dad, Hao says hi! :)
Bit of a slow start today.  Did a bit of stuff around the house.

In the afternoon went to the poultry show at epic, something we haven't done since 2006 (where I managed to get myself in the newspaper :) )  Seems it was only $2 entry back then.  $5 at the moment, although there was so much chaos when we got there we didn't actually know where to pay so ended up just going in for nothing.

Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
It's Ferdinand!
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
Poultry Show
This turkey fluffed itself up whenever we got near it and fluffed up our jackets in front of it, very cool :)
Poultry Show
Afterwards we went over to Scott and Kerry's for a little while.

Leftovers for dinner and spent the evening fighting with our stoopid Cisco router (trying to fix up MRTG and I couldn't figure out how to get it to show active DHCP leases or make SNMP work).  Hate.  Also watched some Big Bang Theory.

Been feeling anxious/depressed about having to go back to work.  Sigh.

So this is Canberra's latest piece of public art - Keizo Ushio’s “oushi zokei, dream lens for the future”

Oushi zokei

At first glance I'm like "Hey! They copied the one in Japan!"

Dream lens, Kobe
Except as it turns out, it's by the same artist!  

I think I like the one in Japan better - it has three twists instead of the one we have here.

Dream lens, Kobe Dream lens, Canberra
And a few more of both, just for fun

Dream lens, Canberra

Dream lens, Canberra

Dream lens, Kobe

Dream lens, Kobe

Even got myself on the RiotACT.  Again.  :)  
Typical of Canberrans though, everyone having a whinge about it.  Which is sad because this piece of art is *cool*!

The extent of our tourism in Canberra with Kore consisted entirely of a single drive around town to see the sights.  After our week in Sydney we kinda just didn't want to leave the house.  Oh well...

War Memorial
War Memorial
Canberra from Mt Ainslie
Mount Ainslie
Kore on Mt Ainslie
Kore on Mount Ainslie
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Old Parliament House
Old Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
New Parliament House
US Embassy
US Embassy
Government House
Government House
Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Tower

As seen in Garema Place on Wednesday..

Magpie seagulls

Kaboom

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So I found about this morning's factory fire in Mitchell from someone living in New Zealand.  heh.

Went out and took some pics and sent them into The RiotACT.

Mitchell fire
Mitchell fire

Otherwise sucky day.  But I just need to remember that when I'm having a tough time at work, I just have to remember that I don't also have to look after six kids as a single mother with a full-time teaching job.  How fricken hard would that be?!?
The Friday night we saw Harry Potter, we had a bit of a wander around Civic.

The ice rink looked so cool.  I'd love to have gone skating, but somehow the month got away from me and it was all too hard. Maybe if they do it again next year..

Snowflake light
Sad Hydrant
Civic sculpture
Civic sculpture
Civic fountain
Ice rink

In yet another attempt to get our step count up, and to do a walk I've wanted to do for several years, today did the Mount Majura to Mount Ainslie walk.  Not that there's actually a defined trail.  In fact between the mountains there's tracks criss-crossing all over the place.  Definitely a two-car job (unless you really want to walk all the way back again as well!)

You can't drive very far up Majura Road before the road is blocked
Gate blocking the road up to the top of Mt Majura
They didn't have enough chains so used lots of padlocks instead
Chains (locks) on the gate
Pretty cool view of the airport, but not many planes, it being a Sunday and all
Canberra Airport
Looking toward Dickson and Black Mountain
Looking toward Dickson
Looking toward Belconnen
Belconnen
Aircraft radar at the top of Mount Majura
Radar on Mount Majura
Obligatory spider shot for Tony ;)
Spider
It was quite crowded around Mount Majura, lots of walkers out and about
Top of Mount Majura
We just need to go straight over there - no need to go down first, right?
Mount Ainslie from Mount Majura
Spikey flowers
Spikey flowers
Spikey flowers
Virgin Blue 737 taking off
Virgin Blue 737
Now here's something you don't see every day (anymore)!  There were a whole heap of them near the top of the trail on Mount Ainslie
Old-fashioned ring-pull
Made it!!
Mount Ainslie sign
Aircraft beacon on Mount Ainslie
Aircraft beacon on Mount Ainslie
Canberra airport from Mount Ainslie
Canberra Airport
Obligatory Black Mountain Tower photo
Black Mountain Tower
Canberra
Canberra
Houses of Parliament, so to speak
Canberra
The fountain was fountaining
James Cook fountain
Canberra Centre and part of Civic
Canberra city
Magpie portraits
Magpie
Magpie
So this was the whole trip around the mountains, showing where you have to park on the north side of Mount Majura as the red waypoint at the top.

Majura to Ainslie GPS track
Here's a close up of the walking part itself from the top of Mount Majura (top) and Mount Ainslie (bottom)
Majura to Ainslie GPS track
The GPS track of the walk itself is here if you want to look at it any closer.

8.4km, ~13000 steps, nearly three hours of walking (with lots of stops for photos).
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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