Results tagged “Events” from Kazza the Blank One

Weekendy Bits

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The other week we finally finished watching Star Trek: The Original Series.  Last night we started watching Star Trek: Voyager.  I tried getting into Voyager when it was on tv twenty years ago, but after a season and a half I lost interest.  So watching them all again now.

In other news.  Saturday morning was up for a few hours in the middle of the night thanks to hurty.  So had a very late start.  Did house and hobby type stuff in the morning then headed out for lunch and then out to Fyshwick to have another go at going to Material Pleasures.  There was barely anything in the way of evening wear, and the few things that I did try on looked pretty hideous or just didn't fit.  So left in tears, further cementing my hatred of clothes shopping.  Did our food shopping on the way home.  Stu wanted to go to Aldi.  We always spend a lot less there, simply because they just don't have much.  They're ok for meat and cheese and maybe frozen food, but that's about it.  They're absolutely terrible for fruit and veg and anything that's a little bit non-standard.  Like you can't buy a single cucumber, you have to buy a whole tray.  And you can't buy a single brown onion, you have to buy a whole bag.  They don't have rice bran oil, or any of my toiletries.  Really don't like going there.  So I went next door to Coles to pick up all the essentials.  And a cucumber.

Today went with Chrissie to the Beer and Meat on Stick Festival (aka the Multicultural Festival).  The last time (and first time) I went was the morning after dad died three years ago, which made for a very strange day.  Today we had beer and meat on a stick.  And potato on a stick.  And fetta/spinach pastries.  And gozleme.  And cider.  It was pretty crowded, but there was seemingly a lot more food and drink stalls (including at least three potato on a stick stores) so you could always find one with a short queue (a couple of stalls did have very long queues, we just avoided those). 

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Multicultural festival

Came home and did papercraft and we cooked Scotch eggs for dinner and watched more Voyager.

Doubly Blerf

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I think it was Thursday night that we watched Star Trek Generations.  I can't actually remember.  Could have even been Wednesday.  Or even Friday.  No don't think it was Friday.

Friday morning I woke up at 3am and never got back to sleep.  Damned insomnia.  Annoying too because I had a *lot* of work to do on Friday.  Didn't really get it all done either.  Had lunch with Doc and Neil at Chatterbox though because I had a voucher I won last year.  On Friday evening the little brother and Kat came to stay.  We worked on a jigsaw and I had an early night.

Chatterbox risotto

Saturday I was at work all morning replacing firewalls.  It actually all went fairly smoothly.

In the afternoon I was all set to settle down and *get things done* when EffanC called us up and invited us over.  Which was lovely.  But it did mean I was out all afternoon.

Went home before dinner.  Had pizza for dinner.  Watched Footloose on tv (because I'd never actually seen it!)

Sunday morning was the Airport Open Day.  Spent all morning there.

In the afternoon Dave and Kat left, replaced by Graham and Pam.  We chatted for the afternoon (Pam has grand plans for our garden.  I'd rather not have a garden at all).  Then because we hadn't had any time to ourselves all weekend, and therefore no time to do any shopping, we went out to Dumpling Inn for dinner.  

Dumpling Inn Shallot Cake

Dumpling Inn Three Cup Wine Chicken

Dumpling Inn Pork ribs

Dumpling Inn Xiao Long Bao

Dumpling Inn Shredded Beef

Today I just felt like I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend.  At least Stu got a bit of down time.  

Today started off ok at work.  No dramas from the firewalls.  Just the proxies.  *sigh*  Got quite depressed about the whole thing actually.

Came home exhausted, hungry, tired and grumpy.  Had dinner, then helped move Kit's lizard (and associated large tank) down to Chris's.  Then just trying to catch up on life.  Have now finished geotagging all my Canon and iPhone photos from the last trip.

I'm tired.

Mint Open Day

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Today is the 50th anniversary of decimal currency in Australia.

For reasons unknown, the Mint had an open day to celebrate it yesterday instead of today.  So Neil and I went along.

Whereupon we were instantly frustrated with poor crowd control.

We arrived at about 8:15 for the 8:30 opening.  We'd paid for our factory walk tickets on Friday, so we expected to be able to line up for that, do the tour, and then go and buy the special edition coin after that.  Except that there was a lot of confusion about the queuing.  There seemed to be only one queue, and several stalls setup.  One seemed to be ready to sell the coin, but they said they weren't open yet.  Fair enough.  But both a security guard and a person in the booth said we should go join the queue (I said we already had our floor walk tickets).  So we did that.  But people in the queue didn't have their factory walk tickets, so I was wondering if we'd have to wait in line behind everyone buying tickets, when we should just be able to go straight through.  But after a while, someone wandered down the queue and said this was actually the queue to buy the coin.  We decided since we were there, we may as well just do that first, then do the tour afterwards.

Mint queue

Except.

They had the most inefficient system EVER to sell the coins.  They had a grand total of two eftpos machines for the transactions, and were also recording all the sales on laptops.  It was incredibly slow and inefficient and we were standing in the hot sun with no shelter for an hour and a half!!!!! I complained to their twitter that they needed to open up more registers to sell the coins.  Later on they said they did, although we didn't see it.  I also asked someone if there could be a cash only lane to get through people more quickly but they wouldn't do that either.  The stoopid thing was, people were buying them in bulk, for the sole purpose of profiteering off them.  The coin was $20, but when I got home they were on ebay for $35-$40.  I seriously considered doing the same thing but I was already so filled with rage at all the people taking so long I didn't want to join the ranks of the people I hated.

Mint chaos

So at 9:45 we finally got our coins and went inside.  They encouraged people to buy tickets online to save queuing, but there were no queues at all inside.  Wish they could have been so efficient *outside*.

Anyways.

Things improved enormously once inside.  The staff were all super friendly and helpful and enthusiastic about answering questions.  They were great.  The tour was just a slow walk through the tool room, the circulating coin hall, the proof room and the packing rooms.  It was pretty slow in places but it was super cool to see the coin pressing machines up close while they were running.  The proof room is where they manually press and carefully check all the coins used in proof sets.  Normally it's a clean room so I felt a bit bad for them having to deal with all the extra dust we were tramping through the room.  They had a lot of reject coins!  Interestingly, every single person working in the proof packing rooms was an asian lady!  Better attention to detail by them?  Who knows!

Afterwards we went upstairs to the gallery to have a look down at the floor.  Just for fun, here's a comparison of the factory floor in late 2002 vs early 2016..

Mint floor 2002

Mint floor 2016

This is the proof room.

Mint proof room

I decided I'd come back again at a future date to have a better look through the gallery area.  Just too many people and I was tired and hungry.  So we just went home.

Mum was on the front line of the change to decimal currency fifty years ago - she worked in a bank!  Also.. happy anniversary .. :)

Also.  I've had this in my head ever since - https://youtu.be/5ZTeWLA1LAs

Spectre

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SpectreTonight we used some Dendy vouchers (that I think I won in the mother's day raffle earlier this year and forgotten about them until last week) to go see Spectre.

As you'd expect from a James Bond movie, it's full of action and great locations and car chases (and all sorts of other chases) and (apparently) the biggest explosion in movie history.

And a lot of it had the *feel* of some of the old James Bond movies.

I rather enjoyed it :)

One thing that did annoy me (and this is just nit-picking) - streets empty of cars!  And the scene at the end would *not* have had a big empty space like that.  Just no.

But aside from that.

Great :)

Other than that.  Today we had a vendor thing which also included a couple of hours of Go-Karting!  We all had three races each, plus a finals race (one for the slow group and one for the fast group).  So much fun!  I came last in the first race, then I think second-last in the second and third-last in the third (or something).  Which really makes no sense, on account of I never managed to actually overtake anyone - I'm way too slow for that!  Good times.  But my everything hurts - and will hurt a lot more tomorrow!  I have to say the experience at PowerKart at Griffith was quite a bit better than at Queanbeyan where we went last time.  The seats were better (and they had booster seats for little people!) And they adjusted the pedals for me as well.  So it was a lot more comfortable this time around. 

One year ago today I went for a walk to the Regent Hotel to see where they filmed the opening scenes of Lucy, and then we began the long trek home to Canberra.

First Dog on the Moon

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Tonight we went along with EffanC to see "First Dog on the Moon" - a political cartoonist.  The first hour he was all very funny and all, but for some reason it felt like it was lacking in *message* or *substance* .. or *something* ... not really sure what.  But then he took off the shark costume and was just appearing as a human and that felt a whole lot more *real*.. Was a good night anyway.  Then drinks at Kit's with some of her friends.

First Dog on the Moon

One year ago today we took off to go to Hong Kong!  (see link for pics!)

Jon Ronson

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Last night we went along with EffanC to see Jon Ronson at the library.  He talked a bit about two of his books - The Psycopath Test and So You've Been Publicly Shamed - and told some stories.  He was entertaining, if somewhat distractable.

Just watching his TED talk - the psycopath stuff is the same as what we heard last night.  Even the delivery heh.

Library and tower

Jon Ronson talk

Last Wednesday night we went along to the Library to go to an "author talk" - they had Nick Davies (investigative journalist who exposed the News of the World phone hacking scandal) there for an interview and question time.  Quite an interesting night and the sweetie got his book (signed) for us to read.

Hack Attack

Nick Davies

Saturday was Whisky Live.  I don't think they had as many stalls as last year.  Tried quite a few different things this year - things I wouldn't normally have tried.  Then back to EffanC's place and we watched Thelma and Louise and Pulp Fiction.

Today was just about of stuff around the house and food shopping.  We watched the unaired pilot of Sherlock, and also Emperor.

Also this week I lost my longest guardian portal in Longreach.  245 days.  Super sad times.

Zone 3

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Yesterday as a team building exercise, we ran around shooting each other... :)

So.  Much.  Fun.

:)

Laser tag

There were fifteen of us all up, so we split into three teams of five.

I did pretty badly the first game, being quite cautious and hiding in good places.  But the problem with that was there weren't too many people around to get, so I didn't get many points.  I came 14/15

Laser tag

The second game I did a lot better - walking around a lot more and getting more people.  This time I came 7/15 :)

Laser tag

Definitely something we're all interested in doing again (and hopefully it won't be in five and a half years - it's been that long since the last time I played it!)

June Long Weekend

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Yeah it's been that kind of couple of weeks.

On the Saturday of the long weekend, Stu made a Cantonese custard with pork mince.  It was yummy!  But quite a lot of effort.

Cantonese custard with pork mince

Sunday morning we had brunch at the Coffee Club, although it was so late I had an early lunch.

Coffee club calamari

Then we went to the poultry show at Epic.  We didn't think it was still on at first because there was hardly anyone around at Epic.  But as it turned out, it was on, just in a smaller pavilion.  Apparently there'd been a bit of a faction split of some kind, and a lot of people weren't there.  We saw a whole heap of Kath's chookens that had won prizes.  Hers are very friendly chickies that don't mind being patted.

Long duck

Stu and a duck

Cute chickie

Kath's fluffball

Kath's chickie

Dunny brush chickie

Pretty chickie

Fluffy chickie

Nice goose

Then did our food shopping and came home.

On the Sunday night we had "Effan C" over for dinner.  I did the boeuf bourguignon, and prior to that we had quite the little party of cheeses.  And afterwards we sampled quite a few of our whiskeys.  And there might have been singstar that went til 2am!

Cheeeeese

Monday was mostly just culling down Turkey photos for sending out to people.

In the evening we went to Stu's sensei's place for shabu shabu beef.  Yumm.

Shabu shabu beef

In God's Care

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So I called my mother last Friday night.  She'd been to see Dad that evening and the nursing home staff said that they didn't think that he was going to make the night the previous night, so he really didn't have very long to go.  She had spent two hours with him.  He was pretty unresponsive, but he responded when Mum sang Abide With Me to him.  I wondered whether he'd make it to Sunday when I was planning to come up.  I considered going up Saturday instead, but Chris was on her way down to Canberra to visit so it was going to be tricky.  I asked Mum if she wanted me to come up anyway on Saturday if Dad went but she said I didn't need to.  Chris arrived fairly late and we talked and all shared a very very nice bottle of Brokenwood 2009 shiraz.  We have a 2010 downstairs from our trip to the Hunter Valley last Christmas.  It was past midnight when we got to bed, and we were just in bed when I got the SMS from my mum: "Dad went to be with Lord at 11.55pm". #sad

Had a bit of a slow morning on Saturday.  I called Mum again.  She'd been out to the home til about 2am to say a final goodbye.  She was ok with me not coming up until Sunday, as she had a church event planned that morning and was likely to be sleeping in the afternoon anyway, as she'd only had about an hour's sleep.

So Chris and Zac and I went along the Beer and Meat on a Stick festival (aka the Multicultural Festival) to get, well, beer and meat on a stick.  But before we found meat on a stick, we found potato on a stick!  Might have had another one of those later.  And a waffle on a stick.  Did a little shopping during and after as well.

Potato on a stick

Meat on a stick

Beer and meat on a stick

whatever this was called

Waffle on a stick

In the later afternoon we had a swim to cool off.  In the evening we watched a couple of episodes of MacGyver and had another swim.

Sunday morning we got ready then meandered our way up to Sydney (Chris dropped me off).  The minister came over and we decided on an order of service for the funeral.  Then I got stuck into putting together a reflections slide show in powerpoint.  Took three nights to do, but I think it will be nice.  Will try and get it onto YouTube when I get home.

So how am I?  ok I think.  I suppose I've enough time to get used to the idea of Dad not being around.  And living in Canberra it's not like I saw him much anyway.  Mum is ok too, again, she's had months to get used to life without Dad.  Thanks everyone for your messages and condolances.

Flowers

Last Sunday afternoon I went along with Nat and Andrew to this year's Lego Brick Expo at the Hellenic Club.

Verdict: the Lego was awesome, the venue was a disaster.

They've learnt from previous years, and now you line up outside the venue where they have staff come along and check tickets.  Then when your allocated time slot comes up you can all just go straight in.  So it was much more efficient getting in.  The problem was that inside things were spread out all over the place in different rooms and in corridors, so people were squeezing in to see the Lego while other people were squeezing past, and it was a rabbit warren of rooms so I was worried about missing a room just because I hadn't seen the entrance to it.

Not to mention the crowds and crowds of people.  They sold 12000 tickets for the two days.  !!  So it was jam packed with little kids that seem to know exactly when you are about to take a photo and stick their heads or hands in the photo.  It was amazingly frustrating.  We did get the last session of the day, so at least at about 5:20pm things were thinning out enough to go back and redo some photos with less crowds.

They really need to get a big room at Epic and be done with it.  I think if they do it at the Hellenic Club again next year I might not even go.

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Lego Brick Expo 2013

Phonakins weekend

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On Friday night Fiona arrived in town.  We had some muscat and chatted for a while before bed.

Saturday morning we went into Braddon and met up with @chrispycon at Sweet Bones for brunch.  They had some nice cupcakes and Fiona got us some nachos as well.  Was good to see Chris again, it's been too long.

Sweet Bones cupcake

Sweet Bones nachos

We left Fiona to her own devices for a while and came home and listened to the #Classic100 and did some housework.  Got some takeaway Dumpling Inn for dinner.  We started watching Dark City but we kept talking and missing stuff, so decided to put on Labyrinth because then it wouldn't matter if we talked over the top of it.  That, and we could admire Jareth's bulge ;)

Sunday morning we chilled out and listened to the #Classic100 while Fiona went off to the markets.  In the afternoon/evening we went to the Roller Derby which was a lot of fun.  

This morning we went to Black Pepper for brunch.  Then home for a while before Fiona left for home.

Tonight (after being inspired by the #Classic100) we watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

So quite a lovely weekend, with a nice mix of socialising and down time (letting me do lots of photo sorting!), and it was great to catch up with Fiona again.

Roller Derby!

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Tonight us and Fiona went along to the finals of Skate-turion - a roller derby tournament.  It was surprisingly fun!  The only exposure I've had to roller derby was the movie Whip It that the sweetie and I watched a couple of weeks ago.  So didn't have too much idea what was going on to start with.  But after reading up on some of the rules in breaks, and just watching, I got a bit of an idea and it was quite fun to watch.

We arrived just as the C-Division game was finishing so didn't see much of that.  Then moved into the other room to see the B-Division and A-Division finals.

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

The B-Division final was between Perth and Canberra.  It was a pretty good game, but Perth was much better than Canberra, and won convincingly.

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Mary Fagdalene from Perth Roller Derby.  She was really good.
Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Then the A-Division game started.  And oh my!  Those girls were awesome!  Canberra made a very strong start and one of their jammers, ShortStop, made the most amazing moves.  The crowd went crazy.  But Brisbane played very well and hit the lead and managed to keep it, although Canberra did make a come back, it just didn't quite work.

1337!
Skate-turion

ShortStop
Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

Skate-turion

 

We were there for four hours.  Note for next time: take a cushion to sit on!  Most people had done it before, so were well prepared.  Us, not so much.  heh.  Also, the whistles blowing were super loud, which hurt my sensitive ears somewhat.

But it was great fun event.  We might just have to see more bouts some time..!

Last night the sweetie and I went along to the Nara Candle Festival.

Along with half of Canberra it seemed.  

But unlike Japanese festivals, which have similar sorts of numbers, this festival was hopeless under resourced.  Which meant queues for everything.  One bar, one okonomiyaki stand, one gyoza stand, one noodle stand and a generic Asian stand.  We've totally been spoilt by festivals in Japan where they have long rows of stands selling all sorts of amazing food - and no queues!

Crowds
Nara Candle Festival
Queues :(:(:(  Long ones too
Nara Candle Festival

Drumming
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Flower arranging
Nara Candle Festival
Kendo
Nara Candle Festival
Our first lineup at the bar was actually relatively short.  Rotary were there serving, but needed some practise at this point.
Nara Candle Festival
The sweetie
Nara Candle Festival

So we went off to sit and watch some of the acts.

This is a student group from Nara University High School.  I missed most of their act though, because I was queueing so long for another drink.
Nara Candle Festival

This duo did western songs
Nara Candle Festival
The sweetie went off to get some dinner.  And while he was gone a group of people came and sat *right next to me*, taking up the space Stu was sitting.  #grunt

The udon noodles we had for dinner.  Apparently the queue was much longer for the chicken variety.  What's with that??  Glad we had this - the okonomiyaki that I saw people eating looked like a big pile of dough with no vegetables to speak of.
Nara Candle Festival
So then the sweetie went off to see if he could find his Japanese teacher.  And while he was gone this couple came up and setup their directors chairs *right in front of me* #epicgrunt

Nara Candle Festival

Had to lean uncomfortably in different directions to see anything, and stand up to take some photos.

Nara Candle Festival
When the sweetie got back I was grumpy as, so we went off for a walk.

I thought these kites by the lake looked pretty cool
Nara Candle Festival
And the candles sure were pretty

Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival
Nara Candle Festival

So slightly disillusioned, and still hungry (I wanted meat on a stick!), we stopped in at KFC for meat on a stick.

Nara Candle Festival

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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