Results tagged “Food” from Kazza the Blank One

Gosh what a crazy week and a half.  The world has gone mad.  Toilet paper hoarders should be shot.  

So Saturday a week and a half ago.  I can't even remember it.  Spent all morning tidying the bedroom end of the house and clearing the lounge room floor of all the stuff that got dumped in there when we cleared out space for Stu's study.  Did mostly minifig sorting of Vic's Lego.  Had salmon for dinner and watched Spectre.

Sunday morning I got up early and headed in to see the balloons.  I thought I'd go to the north side of the lake this year.  But as soon as I got out of the car I knew they wouldn't be going up - far too windy.  I was right.  Checked on Twitter and Events Canberra said it was off.  Oh well.  Ended up spending most of the day doing minifig sorting.  In the afternoon Stu tried to make some of his low carb bread but the oven wouldn't work properly.  Also, strangely, there was a light on in the back of the oven that I'd never seen before.  He finished his bread, and I cooked dinner (roast beef with veggies), with the bottom element, but I managed to burn the bottom of the veggies and the beef was a bit overdone.  I had made a marinade to try and use up some of the mustard powder we'd had in the house forever.  Soy sauce, olive oil, ginger, garlic, mustard powder, brown sugar.  Was actually really nice.  

Beef marinade

Watched BBT and Picard in the evening.

Monday I woke up at Dentist Time and probably only got another half hours' sleep, so zombie day Monday.  We did do our food shopping in the evening.  Even the fresh food was mostly sold out this time.

Hi

Corona virus panic buying - potatoes

Corona virus panic buying - chicken

Corona virus panic buying - mince

Corona virus panic buying - sausages

Corona virus panic buying - pasta redux

Got home quite late, but still made a zucchini noodle "carbonara" (not actually carbonara, but cream, bacon, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, cheese).  Yummo.  

Zucchini noodle carbonara

Tuesday had the slight hint of a sore throat and cough.  Ordinarily I would have gone to work anyways, as I felt ok.  But in these uncertain times I decided to work from home because I could.  It was highly unlikely to be covid-19, as there were only like half a dozen cases in the ACT at the time, but you never know.

Managed to get some toilet paper from Chris's and made pasta bolognase for dinner.  After dinner we watched Labyrinth, to celebrate 30 years ago to the day that I first saw it on St Patrick's Day in 1990.  I've seen that movie probably fifty times, and yet I somehow never knew that Kenny Baker was in it as part of the goblin corps!!

Oh I forgot to mention we finished the Mandalorian at some point last week.  Remind me I need to put on the last two episodes for David some time.

Wednesday I worked from home again.  Not sure I was really sick or just imagining it.  No fever.  Still only the slightest hint of a cough/sore throat.  If it was a cold it was the mildest cold I've ever had.  The day was crazy busy.  Finished geotagging day 4 of our USA 2004 trip in the evening.

Thursday.  Not sick anymore.  But still at home.  I suspect I'll be working from home for the next several months.  Although I might have to pop into work every so often on the weekends to rotate out my backup drives.  Missed drinks (which as of writing tonight was the last drinks until further notice).  Sad times.  Watched The Big Short in the evening.  Somewhat topical at the moment with the economy in freefall.  While noone can really quantify how many people die as a result of increased unemployment, it's very likely a thing, and even if people don't die, the misery caused by losing jobs/houses/marriages would be immense.  I do wonder about the mass unemployment caused by shutting everything down because of the coronavirus pandemic and how many people will die as a result of that, versus from the virus itself.  

Contrails crisscrossed the sky all day Thursday, this is a set of five of them in the evening.
Five contrails

Friday was playing with SNMP V3.  In the evening I watched both versions of Lady and the Tramp.  All the reviewers on IMDB on the remake generally hated it.  It was actually quite similar to the original in terms of plot, just fleshed out a little in places.  I was pretty impressed with the CGI generally.  Did they use real dogs and just superimpose the faces?  Or were the dogs all CGI?  I should Google that crap.  But what I did find a bit jarring was the interracial marriage in 1909 Missouri.  Just wouldn't have happened. That and just some of the dialogue was too "modern" ("I missed you guys"). (And how could a "poor" musician afford such a huge house anyway?).  If they'd set it in modern times and not tried to make it look like a period piece, I think it would have worked better.  

Friday night couldn't get to sleep for hours, so ended up sleeping in a bit, which made me feel like half Saturday was wasted.  Grunt.  But did a bunch of house stuff, and picked more parts for another six Lego sets in the afternoon.  "Watched" the Blue Danube on YouTube, followed by Rhapsody in Blue, and then put on my Fantasia 2000 DVD, and finally The Planets.  Was a pretty great afternoon actually.  We felt like a pandemic movie in the evening.  Netflix has taken down Contagion, so we watched World War Z.  "Zombies" aside, I found it all a little what the?  I mean, why would the UN send out a rescue mission for someone that didn't even work for them anymore?  Doesn't make any logical sense.  

World War Z

And it was a blood bath.  Ok so wine.  And it wasn't even mine.  What a waste of wine ;)

Blood bath

Sunday kept our social distance but had Maccas for brunch.  But Stu wasn't feeling the best (he probably got whatever I had, but again, a super mild case of whatever it was), so he stayed in the car while I did the shopping.  All three butchers at the markets were closed because they'd all run out meat, and chicken shop was closing up.  And it wasn't even lunch time!!  So got all our fruit and veg.  Then popped into Bunnings because David wanted me to get a new light for the oven, but they didn't have what I needed so I ended up getting the wrong thing, le sigh.  Also needed some cockroach and moth deterrants.  Then to Coles to get meat and some other bits and pieces.  There was some meat there, certainly more than last time.  I told the checkout chick that all the butchers at the markets were closed, and she said they'd sold out of meat completely on the Saturday as well.  I will be really pissed if I hear of people throwing out fresh food because they hoarded too much and couldn't get through it.  That would be so wasteful and so WRONG when there's people that can't even get food at the moment.  Put on dinner when I got home (slow cooked beef stew). 

David pulled the oven apart and found the cause of the mystery light - it was the back fan force element arcing.  We were lucky it didn't burn the house down or electrocute the sweetie.

Fried element

Fried element

He also installed a new clothes line for us, because the old one was falling apart (we'd already had one of the four lines break and the others were looking fragile).

New clothes line

Bestest brother ever!!

Spent all afternoon cleaning the oven, and had the beef stew for dinner, followed by Robot Chicken's Star Wars episode.

Beef stew

Monday I woke up at Dentist Time.  Again.  I got up for a bit this time, but didn't help much.  Blah morning.  Meanwhile David was sourcing parts for the oven.  He found a place he could get an element, but he also wanted to replace the cooling fan, which I think died years ago.  He wouldn't be able to get that for another two days, so it'd mean extra work and delays and would it really be worth fixing a probably nearly thirty year old oven?

Also.  Ewww.

Ewwww

So we bought a new one.  Whoops.

New oven

I wasn't in any fit mental or physical state to be out buying home appliances.  So I don't know if I did the right thing.  But we did get a fairly good discount on a discontinued De Longhi, so maybe??  The worst part?  Those hours wasted cleaning the old one :(:(:(

The afternoon was filled with too many dumb meetings and by the end of the day I really just needed a drink and an early night (which I had).

Monday night I slept really well, felt good all day.

Tuesday night (last night) I woke up at 1:20 and stayed awake for over four hours, mostly stressing about All The Things.  Mostly whether we'll be able to get food in the coming weeks/months.  And what all those unemployed people are going to do about food and rent and mortgages and kids.  At 5am, after a massive meltdown, I got up, had a double shot of Baileys, turned my alarm off, and eventually fell asleep a bit after 5:30 for two hours.  I was still super tired today though.  

Tonight I walked down to the end of the street and back.  Only nine minutes of walking, but I haven't done *any* walking in over a week.  Normally I get twenty minutes a day at lunch, so I've been feeling like a big fat blob.

In the past week, airlines have shutdown their flights, there's been travel bans, restaurants and "non essential" stores have been shut down.  My next holiday has been postponed for two years.  We were going to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, which I've been wanting to see for over thirty years.  I find it somewhat ironic?  strange? weird twist of fate? that they've had to postpone due to a plague, when it was a plague that brought about its existence in the first place.  Luckily they've only postponed it and not outright cancelled it, as Mum might not be around for the one in ten years.  She might not be around in two years either if Covid-19 hits her.  Stay away from people Mum! :)

Stay safe (and home!) everyone!!

Curried Sausages

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We've had several tins of curry powder and mustard powder in the spice cupboard since before we moved into this place eleven years ago, and probably then some.  So I thought I should find a recipe to use some of it up.  Found this recipe on Taste.

What I did was start cooking some sausages.

In another large pan, cooked an onion (finely chopped) and a heap of garlic (crushed) until soft.  Added a big mound of curry powder.  Added a couple of carrots (thinly sliced), some fruit chutney to finish off a jar we had, and two cups of chicken stock (salt reduced).  Cut up the sausages into bite sized chunks and added them to the mix. Then cooked some rice while the curry simmered down.  At the end chucked in a decent handful of peas and heated til they were warm.

It turned out pretty well.  So well that Stu thinks I should make it again.  Which defeats the purpose of using up all the curry powder if I have to buy more ;)

Curried sausages

Last Tuesday morning I started scanning Dad's slides. There's about 7000 of them. I'm aiming for one box of 36 a week (more if I'm not too busy), which should mean I could get it all done in about four years. If I don't die of Covid-19 first. I had a play with the dust and scratch filter and it pretty much works like magic. I should have used it on Mum's slides. Oh well. I'm still impressed how well my 14 year old scanner works (Christmas present from the sweetie in 2005). Tuesday evening was washing, blogging, Lego sorting, geotagging (some of Day 3 of USA 2004 trip). I also started to try and figure out the catalog numbers for the hundreds of Vic's minifigs, and what sets they go in. He sure has a lot that don't belong to any particular set he had, so he must have gotten large quantities of loose Lego not in sets.

Wednesday evening the sweetie took me out to dinner because he's the best sweetie ever.  Went to Kinn Thai and had softshelled crab again, and orange duck.  Yumm.  Then more Lego and minifig sorting and finished geotagging day 3.

Shiny cicada

Kinn Thai softshelled crab

Kinn Thai orange duck

It rained during the week.  A lot.  Looky at this - the new Belconnen swimming pool they dug out the past couple of weeks!

Belconnen swimming pool

Thursday was Gin night. Four of them tasted like, well, gin. One was a bit more interesting. And there were two flavoured ones - shiraz, and earl grey. They looked, smelt and tasted of those respective drinks. Cool stuff. Well the shiraz one was, the Earl Grey tasted like tea. We had F over for pizza and tv after.

Gin night

Coloured gins

Friday evening I had to work. My work was only about a minutes' worth, but I stuck around in case they needed my help with anything (or if I'd missed a firewall rule somewhere). Bailed at 11pm.

Saturday I checked in at work and everything seemed to be going ok. So midmorning we headed down the coast (via Belco to pick up a present for Pete). The blackened bush started at Nerriga (most of the town was saved) and stayed black the entire way to the coast. Absolutely heartbreaking. It was actually amazing to see just how much property had been saved though. In places it was completely burnt bush all around, and in the middle there would be a house intact. Amazing job done by all involved, especially the firies.

And because it's Australia, you have bushfires one week, raging floods the next.

Shoalhaven in flood

Shoalhaven in flood

Blackened bush

We headed straight for Huskisson and went to the beach briefly because, coast.

Huskisson

Huskisson

Huskisson

Then had some lunch, picked up some supplies, then headed for Kit's. Their place was basically completely surrounded by fires, but their street was saved.  At Bewong it looked like the firies stood on the highway and said "you shall not pass" .. 

Bewong fires

We setup the house then waited for Pete to get home. It wasn't a complete surprise because his mum spilled the beans, but he was expecting just his sister and maybe a couple of his local mates, but instead he got a small crowd so that was pretty cool :) So yeah nice party, and only one tantrum haha.

Pete's ice cream cake

We had dessert first.  Because that's what adulting is all about.

Pete and cake

Akubra party!

Akubra party

The itty bitty bbq gas bottle ran out, so they hooked up the house one to it.

Big gas bottle

Deviled eggs

NYE recreation

40th party food

I was up at normal time the next morning, but then had to wait hours for everyone else. Eventually Kit got up and I could copy all the wedding videos for them. Had some brunch, then we headed home.

Petal

Chickens

Shoalhaven in flood

Was too tired to do much Sunday arvo/evening so just had a quiet one and an early night.

Monday it was full steam ahead rearranging the house. Stu had been wanting some study space for quite a while. He tried setting up a space downstairs last year but he never really liked it. So we emptied out the dumping ground room, brought up the couch and swapped the tables around. It took all day. And now everything from the room is spread all around the house. Which is stressful in itself. hrmmm.

Junk room before

Junk room after

We also went out at lunch to do our food shopping.  We hadn't been in three weeks so we were pretty bare.  Of course the empty shelves were something to behold.  No toilet paper, almost no tissues or paper towel (people thinking they could use that instead of toilet paper??).  Very little rice, pasta and long life milk, no flour.  Just madness.  

Corona virus panic buying - longlife milk

Corona virus panic buying - pasta

Corona virus panic buying - flour

Corona virus panic buying - tissues

Corona virus panic buying - paper towel

Corona virus panic buying - toilet paper

Cooked curried sausages for dinner (to use up some of the curry powder that's been sitting in the spice cupboard for ten years or more).  They were pretty good.  I'll put the recipe separately, because I have this feeling I'll be using it again heh.

Tuesday woke up at 1:30 with hurty and never got back to sleep :( So zombie day Tuesday. It took about 14 goes of disconnecting and reconnecting my phone on Tuesday night to download the seven videos I'd taken at the party. Fricken HATE Apple.

Wednesday we finished season 6 of Big Bang Theory - half way through!

Tonight I've been watching the 1970 Ned Kelly which I've never actually seen.  There's not much on IMDB about it, but it does note it was filmed in Braidwood, and look at that!  So it was!  Fifty years later and all the buildings are still there (screenshots from the movie and Google Street View).  Enjoyed it more than My Brilliant Career.

Ned Kelly - Braidwood

Ned Kelly - Braidwood

Ned Kelly - Braidwood

Ned Kelly - Braidwood

I brought some glow sticks home from the party.  Six days later and they're still actually glowing.  !!   Although very faint now.  The first couple of nights the phone could still take pretty decent photos of them.

Glow sticks after 24 hours

Glow sticks after 48 hours

Wednesday.  Bit of a disaster at work due to some expired certificates (that were so deeply hidden they don't show up in the browser, so took a while to troubleshoot and fix).  

Thursday had Thirsty Thursday with Kit and Pete and had a game of Kismet (Kit won).  We were going to try Skip Bo but it would have been too complicated.

Friday I finally watched Toy Story 4.  It sure does look stunning.  Not quite entirely convinced by the ending.

Saturday morning in at work to do some maintenance, but got screwed over by someone hard coding something where hard coding was never even needed, and hadn't been done in test, which I'd done prior, and so took me (and Con) ages to figure out.  Not happy Jan.  So spent the entire morning there.  Afternoon just housework and stuff on the todo list.  In the evening I watched both versions of Dumbo.  I haven't seen the original in *years*.  The remake actually follows the original relatively closely, with the addition of people that help him learn to fly instead of a mouse (who you still see a hint of).  Except they didn't get him drunk for pink elephants on parade, they did it with bubbles, which was pretty cool.  Then it keeps going to see what might have happened next.  As I was watching I was thinking it sounded a bit like Danny Elfman.  And there was Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito who were together in Batman Returns.  And then at the end it's like, directed by Tim Burton, and it all fell into place :)

Sunday was just doing stuff on the todo list.  In the evening I watched the 1999 Kathy Bates version of Annie.  And cooked an epic lamb roast.  Which I had to myself.  With epic leftovers.

Lamb roast

Lamb roast leftovers

Monday was USA 2004 photo processing.

Lonely rhododendron flower

The rhododendron really suffered this summer.  It's having a quick catchup now.
Lonely rhododendron flower

Tonight was taking the geodata I did in Google Earth in probably 2005 or 2006 and translating that into geotagged files.  I'd located a bunch of photos from the flights, and had done selected photos from half of the trip, so that'll give me a good head start for geotagging the rest.  It's going to be a lot harder than the 2000 trip, because there were a lot of out and about photos, photos on walking trails, photos taking from moving cars etc.  Road trips are a lot harder than walking around in cities!

Last Tuesday.  Couldn't get to sleep again last Monday night so Tuesday was another zombie day.  But came home a bit early and had quite a productive evening doing housework and photo stuff.  Did most although not all of the things on the todo list, but actually felt pretty relaxed about it all which was good.

Tuesday night slept really well, which worried me I'd ruin Wednesday night's slep heh.  Did a bunch of planning work at work.  In the evening was blogging USA 2000 photos, and had another quite productive and fairly relaxed evening.

Another good night sleep Wednesday night, and more planning Thursday.

Well the good sleep had to end.  Friday morning woke up at 3am.  At 4am I got up and blogged.  Went back to bed and got a *little* bit more sleep.  But pretty tired Friday.  Finished of my planny plan plan and sent it around for review.  Got home and started watching Clutch Powers which Chrissie lent me forever ago, while waiting for Kit and Pete to arrive up from the coast.  They came and got me and we headed over to Pete's Mum's place.  We walked to the Labor Club only to find that Kit had been banned... fifteen years ago!!  And she didn't know.  Because she'd been to the Labor Club *multiple* times over the years.  Weird stuff.  My theory is that for years they would scan your licence, but probably there was nothing electronic to tie it back to a person, it was just as evidence.  Nowadays they OCR the licences and look people up electronically so it's finally linked her back.  Anyway so Kit was pretty upset and Leisa was hungry and Carol didn't want anything too salty and Kit's not a fan of Asian so we're all like.. um.. Anyway we thought we'd try Charnie's Noodles and Dumplings.  So the girls sat down while Pete and I went to the bottle-o.  When we got back they said it was an hour and a half wait for food.  And we were like WTF.  There were like three other people in the restaurant.  But apparently they have an epic takeaway/delivery service.  So we said forget it and walked out.  Back to the drawing board.  So we ended up getting Crust takeaway which we took back to Carol's.  A bit of a debacle, but we ended up having quite a nice evening of chatting.  And there was a puppy.

Carol's puppy

Slept relatively well Friday night, but didn't end up getting much done on Saturday.  Did a bit of USA 2000 photo stuff but not a lot else.  Watched Skyfall in the evening.  No good quotes from that movie or iconic one liners (at least from Bond).  

Another relatively good night's sleep Saturday.  Finally finished getting our tax organised to be posted off to the accountant.  Did a bunch of processing of the scans I have of Mum's photos (for future blogging).

Also saw this wild blue tongue lizard in the back yard twice on Sunday.

Bluey in the back yard

Dropped Stu off at the airport, then did food shopping.

Also.  Oh no, not again.

Stikeez

Monday I went to cook lemon chicken using some of the lemons that dropped over Christmas, but sadly they don't last forever and most of them had dried out.  Sadness.  Did find a few to use so that was nice.  Didn't get much else done though.

Tonight managed to get the photos off my phone without ending up in tears which is always a win.  Helped by not having any videos this week, and none of the pngs had had their timestamps screwed with by Apple.  Also watched the Dirty Dancing episode of The Movies that Made Us.

And look, it's before 9:30.  Although I still need to wash my hair.  Dammit.

No movies, no quotes

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Man the insomnia last week was horrendous.  I think I only got about one good night's sleep all week.

Tuesday night I woke up at ~3am for a couple of hours.  So Wednesday was an even worse zombie day than Tuesday.  On Wednesday evening I finished fully labelling my USA 2000 photos (everything had been labelled previously, but I wanted to flesh it out a little.

These things were so good!  Just like cheese kranskis.

Bacon and cheese sausages - awesomeness

Wednesday night I actually slept quite well.  I think I started culling down the USA 2000 photos for blogging on Thursday evening.  Note that all these photos have been online for nineteen years on conspiracy, but I've never put the photos and the blog together (actually I only digitised the blog a couple of years ago).  Rewatched first two episodes of Picard because David wanted to see it too.  Struggling to get stuff watched now cause noone's ever around at the same time.  Haven't even started the Mandalorian.

Friday morning I woke up at 1am and never got back to sleep.  Worst zombie day of the week.  I couldn't deal with people at work, you know the ones that don't actually understand basic networking, so they have no idea what they're even asking for.  My brain was just too mushy to deal.  So spent the day deleting old firewall rules which was a bit of fun.  Met up with the sweetie for a drink at Beirut Bunker Bar, then we had dinner at Kinn Thai.  Both the chili jam crispy pork and the papaya crispy chicken were "one chilli" rated, which you'd think would be mild, but it was at the upper limit of my tolerance.  I'd hate to try anything hotter there...

Kinn Thai crispy pork

Kinn Thai crispy chicken

The sweetie dropped me off at the airport which was lovely of him, but when I arrived I found my flight had been delayed over an hour and a half - apparently due to the bad weather in Sydney.  I chatted to Rob and Fiona briefly who happened to be there.  Then I tried to see if I could get on the earlier Sydney flight, but apparently it was full.  Had to ask.  So went and bought some overpriced wine and sat and read my book.  The original indicator board said boarding was at 20:25.   So at a bit after 20:15 I went for a bit of a wander.  Saw the indicator boards that said my boarding time was 20:10, but there was nothing to say go to gate.  So that confused me a bit.  So I kept walking, and then finally heard the announcement for the final boarding call for my flight (I couldn't hear the announcements properly where I'd been sitting).  So then it's like crap.  I'm basically at the Qantas end of the terminal and I still need to pee.  So did that then basically had to run the entire way down the terminal to gate #3.  #grunt.  Turns out I wasn't the only one to get screwed over like that, we still had to wait for a few more people before we could take off.  Of course then I was coughing most of the flight from the exertion.  hrmmmmmm.  Still, I had the seat to myself, and got a few cool timelapses of the path out of Canberra and again in Sydney.

Obligatory fountain photo

Wine and a book

VH-FVZ at Canberra airport

So it's nearly 10pm by this point, and the buses don't run all that often, according to a timetable I found the next one was in half an hour.  So I thought it would be quicker to get the train, even though it costs about $15 more #grunt.  But there were no trains.  And the indicator boards had *nothing* to indicate how long to the next one.  In the end I waited over half an hour for a train to Wolli Creek.  Shoulda gone for the damned bus.  At Wolli Creek a Waterfall train pulled in as I got there, but it was 19 minutes til the next Cronulla train.  So was going to go to Sutherland and walk, but messaged Mum and she said she'd come get me which was lovely.  

Useless info board

So got to Mum's place and crashed in a heap.

Slept relatively well - and quite late - til 7:30!!

Had breakfast with Mum (cardboard flakes with liquid cardboard on top - yeuch), then we went for a wander (in the rain haha) to the shops for some supplies.  Came back and gave her computer a bit of a health check and uninstalled some crap and allowed Kaspersky to delete some dodgy toolbars.  After lunch I culled down Ryan's photos a bit.

Then headed off to the party.  I was pretty anxious to start with due to such a big crowd of people and not knowing so many, and the people I did know I hadn't seen in years and I was all a bit freaked out, until Luc saved me with some wine.  Then we got the morph video going and downloaded all my photos, so they got played through as well.  Lots of food and most everyone else seemed to have a good time heh. 

Ryan's 21st

Ryan's 21st

Ryan's 21st

Trained it back, just missed a Cronulla train so Mum picked me up from Sutherland again.  Isn't she a nice mother type person? :)

Slept reasonably well again, then got up, got ready and Mum nicely dropped me off at the station (it was *pouring* with rain heh).  Got to Central, went to the loo, then straight onto the coach which was waiting.  No announcements at all to confirm I was definitely on the right bus tho heh.  It was mostly full when I got there too, but someone was sitting on the aisle so I got a window seat yay!!  Not that there was much to see other than rain... Left fifteen minutes early, got into Canberra five minutes early.  I did finish my book an hour early though. Whoops.

Central station

Stu met me at Jolimont, then we had some lunch at Wild Panda which nice enough (some hot peanuts, tofu salad, and two sorts of dumplings).

Wild Panda

Wild Panda

Tried to do food shopping at the Spar in the city, but they had about three trays of meat and that was it.  So dropped into Coles on the way home.  In and out in ten minutes haha.

Didn't get home til mid afternoon, so then of course got depressed about not having any weekend.  And too late to start anything.  So just did a bit of Picasa tagging.  and cooked a pork roast.  But forgot to turn the oven down after half an hour, so the crackling was ruined (too hard).  Then I spilt most of the jelly everywhere.  I'm such a failure.  BBT, Fuller House, then bed.

Epic leftovers

Today I woke up thinking it was Saturday and got really sad that it was Monday.  But did a bit of planning which was good.  

A solid day of rain and the lake is full again!

Lake is full again

Panorama everything

Tonight I wanted to get the USA 2000 photos into the blog.  But at ~7:15 I started downloading and processing photos.  Two hours later and I'm still going, and still blogging (this has taken half an hour so far and I haven't even inserted any photos yet).  So much for getting anything else done tonight.  

Stop the world I want to get off.

.. or not..

Smoke on the 29th

Thursday we watched the live action Aladdin.  It was pretty underwhelming.  None of the charm of the original.  Will Smith's genie was probably the best thing about the movie, and he ain't no Robin Williams.  It felt like watching a Bollywood movie rather than a Middle Eastern one.

Friday Neil and I tried out Malatang Hotpot.  You choose your ingredients, pay by weight, choose a sauce, and they cook it for you.  ok value - my 275g of food was $7.95 or thereabouts (I can't remember the numbers).  They have four sauces in the built in sign above the food, but there were five on the counter (with spiciness ratings).  The ones above don't give any indication of spiciness, so I went with big bone broth, which sounded pretty mild.  And it was.  Neil got the spiciest, which was too hot for me.  I'd be happy to try a mild or maybe even a medium next time.  Biggest problem was the *huge* bits of spinach which made it super messy to eat.  They really need to cut things a bit smaller.

Malatang Hotpot

In the evening I watched My Brilliant Career, which was to be honest pretty boring.  Full of unlikeable characters behaving badly.  Meh.  But with a stoopidly young Sam Neill and Robert Grubb.

Friday night was stoopidly hot and I just could not get to sleep.  Epic grunt.  Might have had a meltdown around 1am.

So was pretty tired on Saturday.  Did a bit of house stuff, and a bit of photo stuff.  Did some food shopping, although I was nervous about leaving the house because it was super hot and very windy.  

Stumpy

As I was cooking dinner (beef stronganoff from an old packet of Mum's), EffanC called, so they ended up coming over for dinner and chatting and snackages.

Crackers

Crackers

Slightly late night but not too crazy.  

Sunday I spent the entire freakin day trying to get caught up on finances, getting bank statements etc to get organised for tax.  Yeah didn't even finish.  #grunt.

But the sweetie did cook a slow cooker chickpea curry for dinner.

Stu's chickpea curry

Monday I took a random day off, had a super productive hour or two of housework, and processed all Ryan's morph photos.  Made several videos for the party.  Later in the afternoon I pointed Picasa at my work photo directory and had it see who was in photos.  Interesting stuff.  It did find a lot automatically once tagged, but the majority it wants confirmation on.  It rather nicely saves all the people in each file into an ini file in the directory, to make for easy extraction later.  But I did forget to do my washing.  Whoops.  Cooking chicken teriyaki for dinner with a packet that was best before the exact same day Dad went and carked it..

Orroral smoke

Tuesday.  Even though last night was *much* cooler, I *still* couldn't get to still til some time between 12 and 1am.  So frustrating.  So zombie day today.  Salmon for dinner.  And then Stu challenged David to fix our two digital radios which stopped working last year.  And he did.  Because he's the most awesomest brother ever.  Also fun: we were both labelling photos from flights across America.  Me from late 2000.  Him from early 2020.  Fun times.

And there's a reason I don't tell Certain People stuff - cause whenever I do they basically tell me I'm doing it Wrong and make me feel dumb.  Le sigh.

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!

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!

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.  

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...

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...

Gosh what a busy week.

So Sunday a week ago was the Lego show at Ngunnawal.  Earlier in the day, which I didn't note last time, we went to Aldi and saw that they've changed their coin locks so my tool will no longer work with them.  Bastards.  I wouldn't mind using a coin if shopping centres could get off their asses and have a decent trolley return system, but they don't, which is why I'll continue to use my tool until it no longer works.

Pretty tree

Monday morning I woke up at 4:15.  Hurrah.  And couldn't get back to sleep.  At least the day at work was relatively peaceful.  I cleaned out my locker and did a bit of inbox tidying.  After work we did some food shopping for Christmas.  But I was acting as a go-between for a couple of guys at work for a crisis that was going on, and so trying to rapidly type messages to both of them.  But OMFG iPhone autocorrect is infuriating sometimes.  It kept changing words that I'd typed correctly into different, incorrect, words, and so I'd have to keep retyping everything and sending correction message after correction message.  I swear I nearly smashed the damned phone onto the ground.  And I managed to screw up the steaks I cooked for dinner.  Yay.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 5:10.  Hurrah.  None of us were wanting to touch anything at work, because who wants to risk breaking anything so close to the break.  But as it turned out, the crisis the day before (still continuing Tuesday) was caused by someone changing something on Monday, and not telling their own damned team what they'd done.  So the others in the team had no idea that the problem was caused by one of their own.  Our team was dumbfounded.  I did however delete a bunch of Dev firewall rules for servers that no longer existed.  I figured if I broke anything in an environment that was being shut down anyway noone would care :)  Had a couple of sneaky drinks that we had leftover from the party before going home.  Had a super relaxing afternoon.  I even managed to finish scanning Mum's 1960s negatives and finish labelling our Hong Kong/Singapore photos, both of which I'd wanted to get done before Christmas, and I did!  In the evening we watched the Carols by Candlelight, which is so much better than the Sydney one.  It's more traditional and more mature and just not as *tacky* as Sydney.  

Look how low the lake is at the moment!  A good six inches down on its normal height.
Low lake

I may have iced and sprinkled some of the gingerbread cookies.

Decorated gingerbread

Decorated gingerbread

This is the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I got a better view of them on TV than I did in the theatre.

Harry Potter cast

Harry Potter cast

Wednesday.  Christmas Day.  Had a fairly relaxed morning.  Well other than having to take three quarters of an hour out of it to go feed Chrissie's animals, and clean up the cat poop one of the cats had done in the bath tub.  Hurrah.  The last hour before lunch was pretty busy, but the sweetie helped me with stuff so that was nice.  Annie and the family came over and we started snacking.  Then Mum arrived and we had Christmas lunch of prawns, ham, salad, bread, dips.  Then Stu put on stoopid YouTube videos so I went and did my own thing.  

Christmas presents

We got the house some new towels for Christmas.
Christmas towels

Christmas snackages

Christmas table

Epic prawn platter

Christmas feast

My Christmas lunch

Christmas dessert

Mum brought this down from the cleanout at Diana and Grahams.  I can't believe noone else in their family snaffled this up.  And the wedding favours on top were from *our* wedding!
Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Christmas tree

Me and Mum

After everyone had left, Mum went off to go catch a tram, because they were free.  I went to put on a Christmas movie I had saved in my Netflix list, only to find that Netflix had deleted them all.  Bastards.  Moral of the story:  if you see something you want to watch on Netflix, watch it as soon as you can, because it won't be around for long.  Not the first time we've been caught.  I ended up watching The Movies that Made Us: Home Alone.  We watched Love Actually in the evening.  Well Mum and I did.  Stu ran away.

Thursday woke up early.  Hurrah.  Went to Bunnings in the morning with Mum.  Tried to have a sleep when we got back.  Failed.  Spent ages going through Mum's photos with her and updating labels with extra infos.  At one point we came across photos of the new Youth Hostel in Canberra that she was at the opening for in 1968.  So we went for a drive to try and find it.  We found it but the view is covered by trees, and even the building has had a lot of work done around it.  Had pizza for dinner and watched some BBT and into season 5 of Fuller House.  Played a couple of rounds of the basic game of Itchy Feet, a game I got for Christmas.  It was a little boring as the basic game, but may be better with the expansions, but I was too tired and cranky to feel like trying them.

Mum ate all the leftover prawns for us ;)
Mum and prawns

Friday woke up at 2am, didn't get back to sleep til after 3:30.  Then woke up around 6:30 with an aching spine.  Hurrah.  Mum went off to Chrissie's for the morning, which gave me peace and quiet to tidy the house and prepare lunch.  David arrived just before lunch, and we had roast pork with a lot of crackling and it was all very yummy.  Although not convinced by the stuffing (most of which oozed out and then burnt).  After lunch Mum left to go visit friends on her way home, David went to work and Stu went to the club, leaving me home alone.  I had a bit of a look at my todo list for the rest of the break but didn't actually do much.  Had some crackers and dip for dinner and a piece of crackling.  Healthy dinner, yay.  Watched 28 Days in the evening which I enjoyed.

Pork roast

Veggies before

Pork roast after

Pork roast carved

Potato bake

Veggies after

My lunch

Epic leftovers

Kaz and Stu at Christmas

Bon bon toys

This is what we call Five O'Clock Charlie - the smoke blowing in from the east.  It's usually more like 7pm though.  These photos were taken just four minutes apart.

Five o'clock Charlie before

Five o'clock Charlie after

Saturday woke up at 5:30 with an aching spine.  Hurrah.  With no car and no sweetie we couldn't do any shopping.  So grabbed the little brother to go storage tub shopping.  Basically there's a bunch of stuff in the dungeon and the spare room that's just all over the ground because there's no cupboard space, and I don't want to put any of it in the garage because of all the bugs.  But you can't even walk in those rooms because they're so choked up, so we can't even start with the decluttering of them.  So the idea is to use tubs as temporary storage to clear the rooms enough to be able to work in them again.  Once things are clearer, those tubs will be for more permanent storage of things that are in cardboard boxes right now - not good because, silverfish.  Spent the afternoon rearranging and filling tubs and getting rid of stuff.  Tidied the linen cupboard, the garage, the dungeon room, the hobby room.  So that was pretty good.  In the evening I watched Phar Lap, which I *might* have seen once more since seeing it at the movies in about 1983, but may not have.  Lots of been-there's heh.  Started watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but then David pointed out that The Sound of Music was on, so may have accidentally watched the rest of that.  Even though I have it on DVD with no ads.  Whoops.

As I was cleaning out the linen cupboard, I found that my roller blades had completely disintegrated!! :(

Roller blades disintegrated

Roller blades disintegrated

When I was in the garage working, I heard a scratching on the door outside.  When I went to look, there was an itty bitty little blue tongue lizard.  He was pretty energetic too because he was so warm but I still managed to catch him for a photo.

Teeny blue tongue

Teeny blue tongue

Sunday was lots more tidying and organising.  Also a bunch of computer work.  Finished watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was silly but a bit of fun.  I totally want a food machine ;)

Lego heads

Monday not a lot of physical stuff, mostly computer stuff, including catching up on blogging.  Went out for lunch and did a bit of shopping.  Picked up a heap of lemons off the ground, and made a lemon meringue pie with five of them.  Managed to piss everyone off after dinner, and so instead of watching Die Hard 4 we all got grumpy with each other and did our own thing.  I watched Sliding Doors which I first saw a few years ago.  

Blue sky!  Haven't seen blue sky in weeks!  It's gone again now though.
Blue sky has been so rare the past three weeks

Lemons

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Today I've pretty much been doing computer stuff all day - downloading and processing photos and blogging.  The weather is making me extremelly tense.  Canberra new year festivities have been cancelled.  We were thinking about going to the club but don't think we're going to now.  I certainly couldn't concentrate on writing up my year in review post so that will have to wait.  Have a happy new year and stay safe everyone!

Coast Weekend

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Three weekends ago we headed down the coast for Kit and Pete's wedding.  We left on the Thursday after lunch.  I was still sick and coughing and had been in bed all morning.  Hurrah.  

Driving down Smith's Gap we saw the fires over at Braidwood.

Braidwood fires

Braidwood fires

This was the last weekend we were to see blue skies this year.  As I write it's been three weeks since we saw properly blue sky (except maybe a day or two).

Pretty clouds

This C-130 water bomber (N134CG) had just left HMAS Albatross.  

BMBR134 C-130 over HMAS Albatross

We stayed at the Springs Shoalhaven, quite close to the wedding venue.  Pleasant enough place.  It had a pool although I didn't have a swim (Stu did).  Both those beds were *very* soft.  I took the single to give myself a bit of distance from the sweetie with my coughing.  

Our room at Springs Shoalhaven

We chilled out for a bit, then went next door to the Ex Serviceman's Club for dinner.  It had a lovely aspect, facing north over the golf course.  At the far northern end of the golf course was the venue for the wedding. 

View of the golf course from Shoalhaven Ex Servicemen's Club

Pasta I had for dinner

Dinner at Shoalhaven Exservicemen's Club

Stu looking out the window

Spent half the night coughing.  Of course.

Stu thought it might be nice to have room service breakfast on the Friday, so we ordered that the night before.  Unfortunately because I'd had so little sleep I really wasn't hungry when it turned up at the appointed time.  It was nice enough though and I would have enjoyed it on another day.  

Room service breakfast

I pretty much spent the morning in bed.  We were waiting for word from Kit to see if they needed our help transporting anything or setting anything up, but they were running late and a bit frazzled.  In the end the sweetie and I went into Nowra to get some supplies (I still wasn't very hungry) and stuff for the wedding.  Then we headed all the way down to the end of Greenwell Road to have a look at the water.  That was quite nice.

Crookhaven River at Greenwell Point

Stu at Greenwell Point

Pier at Greenwell Point

Crookhaven River at Greenwell Point

Pelican at Greenwell Point

Pelicans at Greenwell Point

Dropped the sweetie back to the motel, then met up with Chloe, Katie and Kit so we could all get our nails done.  I've never had my nails done professionally before.  

Kit and Katie getting their nails done

The result!

Chloe's, Katie's and my nails

Picked up the sweetie, then it was off to the rehearsal.  There were quite a lot of people there and it was a little bit chaotic, so took quite a while to get through.  

Dropped off the sweetie again, then to Kit and Pete's to load up the car with food.  Swung by the motel on the way back and got Stu to drop me at the venue with all the gear/food.  He'd had a rotten time at the Ex-Serviceman's club - it was super noisy and crowded and he had to wait *forever* for food and couldn't even go get another drink because otherwise he'd have lost his table.  Poor thing.  Then he headed back to the motel while I stayed at the venue.

At the venue four of us girls stayed in the "Bunk House", while Kit stayed by herself in her own room (at Chloe's recommendation to get a better night's sleep).  

Chloe got us some takeaway burgers for dinner (and very nicely got me a kids meal so it was a lot smaller ;) ).

Chloe and Audrey made up little bubble blowers.

Making up bubbles

And Katie and Kit made up decorations.

Making up decorations

I supervised ;)

I slept on my inflatable mattress.  Or rather, I *didn't* sleep on the mattress.  I was so stressed about my coughing/snoring keeping Katie awake, that I couldn't get to sleep til very very very late.  And then I woke up early.  I think I might have gotten about two hours sleep.  How to recover from a cold - get lots of rest.  Yeah right.  Vowed never to sleep in the same room as anyone else (aside from the sweetie) ever again in my life.

Anyways.  I'll leave the day of the wedding to the next post.

This magpie was hand raised by the owners of the venue, and hung around while we cleaned up.  Very cool.

Magpie helping

Stu and the magpie

After driving Pete's ute back to their place late morning, with everyone's cars full of *stuff* that we'd spent all morning packing up, we finally headed home.  

We couldn't even see Smith's Gap through all the smoke.

Smith's Gap

This was leftovers of a massive antipasto platter that we had at the wedding (I put it in the fridges overnight, everyone thought I was mad heh).  We didn't need to do any food shopping that week - we just ate this all week!

Leftover antipasto

Sunday afternoon watched the finale of The Amazing Race.  I quite enjoyed the season, although with a limited Australian budget they only went to two other continents (Africa and Asia).  After "the influencers" went, there wasn't really anyone I *didn't* want to win, except maybe the nurses, they came across as a bit dumb.  Good on the guys that won!

Monday was too busy to actually achieve anything much at work.  hrmm.  I did manage to get dinner/washing/kitchen done by 19:25 which was nice.

Tuesday wasn't much better at work - so busy I don't know where to start, and when I do start it's just interruption after interruption.  So much smoke around too!  And I totally ruined David's day by preempting Christmas shopping on him.  

Tuesday evening went to Chrissie's for dinner - some yummy fried chicken, skewers and fried rice.

Kid in a box!

Big brothers are great

Fried chicken at Chrissie's

Chicken feast

We started calling the smoke Five O'Clock Charlie because it keeps coming around in the evening.

Smoky evening

Tuesday night I couldn't get to sleep - stoopid restless legs.  Then work up really early.  Hurrah.  Got cranky at Italian Bite putting the price of their small place up from $7.90 to $9.50.  So went to Ali Baba, only to get cranky at them because they've downsized their kebabs - meaning if you ask for a small you get a small, but it's the price of their "original".  So $9.90 for a small.  Not. Happy. Jan.  They'll go out of business at that rate, with Yarralumla kebabs offering about four times the food for only $5 more.  

Blood sunrise

Why did the ducks cross the road?

Wednesday night I went to bed early, but another night of restless legs keeping me awake late.  Zombie day Thursday.  Finished BBT up to the end of season 4.  Had a wildly unhealthy lunch with the sweetie at Kimchi.

Kimchi fried chicken

Mount Ainslie is gone

Friday I woke up at 4:15 stressing about the party.  Then. Smoke.  So. Much. Smoke.  One guy thought we should cancel, but I already had all the meat.  We thought about doing it on prem, but the poo-pooers probably would have had a hissy fit, so we went ahead with the lake anyway.  Noone did any running around, we just chilled and ate and drank and had quite a lovely time, and there was even a slight breeze to make it all less unpleasant.  At one point there was just me and twenty-eight other boys ;)  Unfortunately there was a *lot* of extra food as there were less people and it was so damned hot.  I caught my duck again, although I didn't catch her wings so she was a bit more stressed and uncomfortable.  Then she pooped on my hand haha.

So much smoke

So much smoke

Trolley loads

Ute loads

Lake bbq

Gracie the duck

Came home and we watched Die Hard 2.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:00 stressing about the leftovers.  Because that's what I do.  Le sigh. 

Blood sunrise

Blood sunrise through the plum tree

Spent much of the day scanning mum's negatives and labelling Singapore photos.  David and I had some of the leftover sausages in the morning, and we didn't die of food poisoning, w00t. I might have made gingerbread cookies.

Gingerbread cookies

Went to the Green Shed in the afternoon and did a bit of shopping in Gungahlin.  Finished off last week's lamb for dinner, watched some BBT, then Carols in the Domain.  We haven't watched commercial television in literally months, and when we turned on the tv guess what, a commercial.  Le sigh.  I reckon there's more adverts and promotions and just *fluff* than actual singing.  Next year I might time it.  The Sydney one is always a bit lame.  No Ode to Joy or Hallelujah chorus, and only one or two hymns.  And I was surprised that they allowed candles during the total fire ban, but apparently they're allowed for "religious ceremonies" so long as there's suitable containment.

Carols by candlelight

Today was pretty much all just housework and getting the place tidied up for Christmas and having peoples over.  I did play through the "Rime" escape game which was pretty good.  Got stuck in a couple of places where I didn't even realise you could click on certain things.  The "ending" was a little odd, and got a bit complicated, probably wouldn't have been able to solve it without walkthroughs.

And there's a big white bird outside our window eating Kit's plums.

Cockatoo eating the plums

Cockatoo eating the plums

For some reason these weren't quite as epically awesome as I thought they would be, but still pretty good.

Our ingredients - potato, bacon, cheese

Cheese and bacon hash browns

Grated, chopped, etc

Cheese and bacon hash browns

Mixed

Cheese and bacon hash browns

Fried

Cheese and bacon hash browns

Flipped

Cheese and bacon hash browns

Enjoyed!

Cheesy Hash Browns

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I'm sure I've posted something like this before.  But they're just too good.

This is the simple version - cheesy hash browns.

Simply grate a couple of potatoes, mix in a couple of handfuls of cheese (about as much cheese as potato volume-wise)

Cheesy hash browns

Fry on your favourite non-stick (very important) frying pan

Cheesy hash browns

Until golden

Cheesy hash browns

Enjoy!

The lee of the stone

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Bookending this entry with roast dinners.  The little brother came up Sunday night (a bit late because of the Kat) and we had roast pork for dinner.  The oven was chock-a-block full.

Pork roast

But before that I spent the afternoon doing photo stuff and blogging.  

The creepers are getting a bit out of hand..

Creepers

We also changed Stumpy's bark.  He had fun burrowing around, even under his water/food plate.

Silly Stumpy

And we got the spare room ready for David to live in (part time).

Before..
Spare room before

After..
Spare room after

Spare room cupboards

Monday got home early, did some washing, photo labelling and cooked and ate dinner and suddenly it was like 8pm?? What the??  Cleaned the kitchen and continued photo labelling.

Tuesday saw this honeyeater in Target.  Aquila said it was nesting season - it was looking for new bedding ;)

Honeyeater in Target

And I saw this spectacular rainbow on the bus.

Bus rainbow

Evening was dinner, not so late this time, backed up my computer, photo labelling and oops there was a jigsaw.  Mum called so it ended up being mostly jigsaw and not photo labelling.  Also.  We have no idea what is happening at Christmas yet!  Just saying ;)

Tuesday night I had restless legs so couldn't get to sleep, so Wednesday was a zombie day.  But I did get caught up on Tuesday night's photo labelling.

Thursday we finshed BBT season 3 and started into season 4.  The boys talked me into making a Yum! Delicious! cake.. so much for low carb.  It was a nice idea, but I wasn't getting to keto - I was eating too much vegetation for that.  I know, weird right - I'm a self-confessed carnivore, but I was actually getting sick of eating meat!  I couldn't *not* eat vegetation - it just felt wrong.  Such a weird thing.  Anyways.  It wasn't doing anything at all for the weight, so went back to a more sensible diet.  Mostly so I can have cereal in the mornings and not stress about lunches (dinners are always easy for low carb - meat/salad or meat/vegetables, but breakfast and lunches are a killer).

Had a crazy insane busy week at work.  And it's been crazy insane busy at home too.  Le sigh.

I got a toasted sandwich maker on Tuesday and David used it for the rest of the week.  I had a go on Saturday morning.

Toasted sandwich maker

Toasted cheese sandwich

He also heard me complaining about our Jamie Oliver Tefal frying pan that promised it was dishwasher-safe BUT WAS NOT and so had lost a lot of its non-stickiness and was destroying anything I tried to cook.. and bought me a new frying pan!

New frying pan

Saturday was a super busy day of doing stuff around the house.  The todo list went on and on and on. I did quite a bit of tidying in the lounge room and dungeon and garage.  Collapsed in the afternoon in front of The Amazing Race (yayy the "influencers" are gone!!  I had taken an instant disliking to them (not only because the term "influencer" actually means "narcissist" (have you seen her pics - they're all of her in a bikini), but also because they played dirty right from the get-go).  Moving on.  Ash actually seemed like a nice enough person and tv shows never show the full story, but was still glad they're gone).  In the evening watched The Secret of NIMH.  I read the book in 1985.  When I was in year 7 in 1986 it came up in conversation in my English class, and I told my teacher (Mrs Fox?) it was the second best book I read last year.  She asked what was the best?  And I said Star Wars.  :)  All I remembered about it were the rats learned to read after being experimented on, and they had to move "to the lee of the stone".  

I might have also started putting up Christmas decorations.  On account of I'm going to be way too busy next weekend.

Christmas tree

This week the ribbon grass has been flowering.  Such sweet little flowers that only last a day.

Ribbon grass flower

Ribbon grass flower

Today I (mostly) finished putting up decorations, helped Stu clean off his desk, did food shopping, and suddenly it's time to start prepping dinner.  The little brother came back and lamb roast and BBT were had, then blogging and *blink* it's bed time.  Life is going way way way too fast!

Lamb roast

So never managed to blog last weekend.

So two Mondays ago there was Good Place, photo labelling, downloading and processing photos, and suddenly it's 21:45.  #grunties

Tuesday.  Twelve years on the job.  Phone is a year old.  Boycotted the Melbourne Cup lunch and went had our own with Dave5 and Connor.

Melbourne Cup Lunch

Melbourne Cup sweeps

Melbourne Cup race

At some point I saw an ad for the Amazing Race, so went home and watched the first three episodes.  10 Play has really lifted their game, and the ad experience is 100 times better than it used to be.  Different ads during each break, and much fewer repeats in the same hour.

Later that evening the ISS flew over.

Just the moon and the ISS

Nothing much of note for the rest of the week, just a trip to Melbourne ;)

Monday just catching up on All The Things - both at home and at work.  More fighting with Apple to get the timelapse video off my phone.  I still haven't been able to get it to play.  Microsoft will happily charge $1.45 for a codec download.  hrmmmm.

Tuesday filled the green bin and watched another Amazing Race.  Continued battling with Apple.  Literally spent the entire Amazing Race episode trying, and then *still* not getting the file.  No more photo labelling either.

Wednesday I tried Google Drive to get the file off my phone.  Was able to get it, but still has the same codec error.  I did catch up up photo labelling, but nothing else.  Noted after @kapgar was talking about pillows that my pillow is probably forty to fifty years old, depending on when Mum got it.

Thursday evening did food shopping.  Aquila suggested VLC to play the timelapse file.  It was a jerky disaster.  Had a bit of a talk to Kit, who is super stressed about All The Things, with the wedding only three weeks away.

We got these for the Christmas Punch when we went shopping.  They look suspiciously the same, and the only difference in the ingredients is that one contains pectin (!?)

Punch

Punch ingredients

Friday had been hurty overnight so very tired Friday.  Picked up the sweetie and watched Tomorrow Never Dies.

Saturday I made a delicious cheesy beef casserole for breakfasts based on this recipe but with no pasta and only half the tomato puree.

Cheesy beef casserole

Then got stuck into All. The. Things.  Had a super busy day getting the house cleaned and ready for the little brother to move in.  

Installed this new towel rail

Towel rail

Stu chopped back the periwinkle

Stu periwinkle

I cleaned out a drawer and shelf in the bathroom, and hangy cupboard and a shelf in the spare bedroom, and cleaned off the computer desk in the spare room.  It was storage for a *lot* of stuff!

Computer desk storage

Collapsed late in the afternoon with more Amazing Race.

Then we picked up Neil and went to Cisco's for @CLBradley's 60th.  Was a nice night, but we both ate wayyy too much (we shoulda just done our own thing, not the banquet.. oh well..)

Ciscos nachos

Ciscos spicy meatballs

Ciscos enchiladas

Ciscos burritos

Blowing out the candles

Birthday boy

Today I went mountain climbing, then we ran some errands in the morning.

I spent the entire afternoon processing and geotagging photos from the past week.  Yeeeeshh.  

I am Invincible!

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Monday into BBT season three, photo labelling.  Tuesday and Wednesday rinse and repeat.

Had this on Tuesday.  It's been in the freezer since before I moved to Canberra.  Since before iPhones were invented.  Before social media was a thing.  The world has changed around this little ice block.  Then I ate it :)

Zooper Dooper

Thursday was a long pub lunch for Jeff's farewell.  First appearance of Bernadette in BBT in the evening.

Friday met up with the sweetie for a drink (joined by some of his colleagues) and dinner (Kimchi because the sweetie wanted KFC).  

Kimchi spicy baby octopus

Kimchi snow chicken

Sail sculpture sunset

Fountain sunset

Then I left the sweetie home alone and drove down to Kit and Pete's.  Kit was finishing up her last assignment for the year.  So she finished up that, then we had a drink and went to bed.  After meeting this little monster.  He looks like George but is nothing like him.  I mean he's nice enough and all, but *really* doesn't like being picked up.  And he eats *everything*.

Arthur

Saturday morning Pete cooked breakfast - turkey egg and bacon mcmuffins with hash browns.  Yum yum yum.

Turkey egg and bacon mcmuffins

Then went and said hello to all the animals.

Awkward teenage chickens

Chickens

Oh hai sheep

Then headed out to pick up some feed for Kit's horse.  There were birdies.

Oh hai parrot

Went and visited Jet.  He's quite pretty.

Jet

Jet and Kit

Back to Kit's.

Arthur

Chloe came over with three of the kids, and we had a bit of a wedding planning session.  Went through the todo list and discussed all the things.  And did a trial run of the table decorations.

Table decorations

When it cooled down later in the afternoon we went back to have a ride of Jet.

Kit and Jet

Kit and Jet

I even had a little ride.  But because of the design of the saddle, changing the stirrup length is too hard, so I could only just reach the stirrups with my toes so it wasn't very comfortable, and I certainly didn't feel stable enough to do anything other than walk.

Kaz and Jet

Came back and looked at the sunset and had a drink outside with the girls.

Wandy sunset

Petal

Vicki

Pete cooked a nice dinner of chorizo and mushroom pasta.

Pete's pasta

After dinner we played Kismet.  With the snake.  Kit won the game.

Snake kismet

And I got snake kisses.

Snake kisses

Played a couple of games of Monty Python Fluxx.  Kit won a game and Pete won a game.

Sunday typed up wedding planning notes.  Then we went into Husky for lunch of fish and chips.

World Famous Fish and Chips

World Famous Fish and Chips

And for a walk along the beach and rock pools

Beach at Huskisson

Shark egg

Rocks

Rocks

I thought these looked pretty colourful

Coloured sun glasses

Then we went back to the house.  I packed up all my stuff and went home.  I nearly hit a tortoise that was just standing in the middle of the road on Macs Reef Road or Bungendore Road.  And it rained.  A lot!

Didn't feel like going food shopping, so the sweetie ordered Chong Co delivery - several meals worth so we could have leftovers all week :)  Watched Goldeneye in the evening.

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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