Results tagged “Life” from Kazza the Blank One

Tuesday I spent all day thinking it was Wednesday.  So annoying.  Did catch up on my photo labelling, doing both Monday and Tuesday nights.

Pretty sunset

Tuesday and Wednesday when we came home and turned the heater on, nothing happened.  The house was already so warm.

Friday was another $5 lunch at Rashays.  I thought I'd give them another chance to redeem themselves with their steaks.  I asked for rare.  I got medium-well.  This steak was a lot thinner than previous ones, so I guess that makes it kinda hard.  We aren't likely to go back once the May special is over.  Won't wanting to be paying triple the price or more.

Rashays $5 steak fail

Rashays $5 steak fail

In the evening I met up with the sweetie and he took me to Akiba for dinner.  Had a lovely dinner which I'll put in a separate post.  After dinner we did some food shopping.  I finally got to use the shopping trolley tool I found!  (I found a little trolley tool on the ground outside work and grabbed it.  So that if when all the trolley bays are broken or filled with the wrong sized trolleys I won't have to take my trolley all the way back inside.  Such a cool device).

Saturday morning was a quick bit of housework but mostly just getting organised to go out to the club.  We were only staying overnight but we had enough *stuff* in the car you'd think we'd be going for a week.  I spent a couple of hours trying to sort out and clean the old van so we can sell it.  Stu sat by the fire and did lots of reading for uni.

Van fire

We had the pizza oven going in the afternoon and cooked quite a nice pizza for dinner (we cheated and used a store-bought flatbread base).  The sweetie and I struggled to rememeber the rules of Cribbage, and I won a game of that with him.  Then there were several games of Epic Jenga.  I lost the first two games.  I *never* lose that game.  Sad times!

Cribbage game I won

Sunday morning we came home.  I just had a nice quiet day, mostly just checking off Vic's Lego.  Cooked Not Quite Nigella's Asian Style Beef Cheeks for dinner.  Is it possible for something to have *too much* flavour?  It's so intense!  I'm half tempted to use a little coconut milk or cream in it next time to lighten it up a little.  Watched You Only Live Twice in the evening.

Asian style beef cheeks

Today I had a quiet but productive day, getting through quite a few annoying items on the todo list.  Cooked a bunch of veggies and the other pizza base for dinner.  Not *quite* as good as in the pizza oven, but not too bad.

Leftover pizza base pizza

I didn't get to do any photo labelling tonight.  Too much catching up to do.  And backing up my blog.

Tuesday I finished labelling day 19 of our holiday photos, and at five and a half thousand photos, officially half way through.  And I was hoping to be all done by the end of June.. hrmmmm

Wednesday morning was freezing.  Literally.  I mentioned this to the sweetie who was in the study looking out the back window, and he said "The pool didn't freeze over"  *cries*.  

Also on Wednesday I finished scanning all of Mum's analogue photo prints.  Nearly eight thousand of them!  

Thursday morning I started scanning Mum's slides.  She wasn't quite as obsessive in the beginning - they don't have dates on them!!  Best some of them have is a month and year. 

During the day went for a little walk with Neil and a bunch of others.

Lake walk

Might have had Kingsley's for dinner.  Whoops.

Friday was week three of Rashay's $5 lunches.  I went back to calamari this time.

Rashays $5 calamari

In the evening was pretty sad to hear that they finally had to put Pookie to sleep. 

Might have had pizza for dinner.  Whoops.  (and here I was thinking we got out of it by having takeaway the night before.. hrmm).  Watched Solo in the evening, which we'd both seen on the plane on our last trip.

Saturday was pretty much just regular weekend stuff - housework and shopping.  Although we did go get our democracy sausage.

Knead creme brulee

Gold leaves

Democracy Sausage

In the evening EffanC came over for election night event.  The sweetie made pea and ham soup for dinner.

Election night party

Sunday was pretty quiet.  Spent a good chunk of the morning cleaning the house again.  Just did a bit of photo filing in the afternoon.  Also on the weekend finished watching through Lego Masters.  I was pretty happy with the result, I think those guys deserved it.  Cooked roast pork for dinner and watched Death in Paradise.

More vegemite scrolls

Epic roast pork

Today another busy day at work.  Got home and started working and at 20:30 I'm still not done working, and I haven't even *started* doing any photo labelling.  Stop the world I want to get off.

Sunday night we chatted to Kit for a bit when she got home from the wedding.  I was all ready for bed but it meant a bit of a late night.  Not too late though.

Monday we had to move desks.  Our areas were already struggling to get enough seats, and instead of giving us more like the original plan, they took desks away.  So our group got split up but we are closer to comms so that's ok.  Just such a mess.  So much stress.  Then we had seven SEVEN people from other locations come during the week so it was a seating crisis.  I felt anxious about it all week.

Hot Air Balloon

Tuesday was another team lunch at Chompy's.  This time I had the Motley Crue hotdog.

Chompy's Motley Crue

Also got a big bunch of herbs off Cath!

Cath's herbs

Thursday picked up pizza and saw this!  Not really one big pizza though, just four regular sized ones in a big box.

Domino's The Big One

Friday sunrise.

May sunrise

Friday we went to Rashay's again.  This time I had the steak, because the others said they were pretty decent.  I asked for medium rare, and some of it was, but some was a bit overdone for my liking.  Still, I'm not complaining for $5!

Rashay's steak

Rashay's steak

Rashay's steak

This week I've been catching up on Lego Masters.  Have seen the first five episodes.  Some of the builds are amazing.  I wish they'd kick Kale off though, don't like him at all.

Friday had a drink with the Stus at the Waldorf, then went to dinner with the sweetie.  We were going to try Kimchi but there weren't going to be any seats for half an hour, so we went a couple of doors down to Tasting China instead.  Had a very nice (if somewhat expensive) meal.

Just a small sample!
All Canberra Bus Shelters, seen at Proframing

Peking duck
Tasting China Peking Duck

Chengdu Zhong dumplings - two chili rating, a tad spicy for me, but quite nice
Tasting China Chengdu Zhong Dumplings

Braised beef brisket - delicious, except for the chunks of fat, just not a fan if the chunks are too big
Tasting China Beef Brisket

Red fried rice - good but VERY expensive ($18 for small)
Tasting China Red Rice

Somewhat disturbing placemats..
Tasting China placemats

Saturday morning I made a caramel slice, and then we went over to EffanC's for a late lunch.  Quite a pleasant afternoon.

Caramel slice




In the evening we watched Thunderball.

Today was just a nice quiet day doing house stuff and a lot of photo sorting and filing (although not much on the holiday photos, did get day 9 of our last trip online though).  Cooked a tomato bake using some of Cath's basil.  Watched some tv and suddenly it's the end of the weekend :(

Tomato bake

Marie Kondo

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So after Easter we only needed to take three days off to have ten days in a row off.  Connor was cool with me doing that, so that's just what I did :)  (The sweetie had to go to work on the Friday).

The mission for the break was to attack some of the clutter around the house.  I made a very long list before the break, knowing that we wouldn't get anywhere near getting it all done.  

Day 1.  Lesson 1.  Clothes.

We actually did what they did on the show (I've only seen the Netflix show, although Stu has read the book) and pulled all of our clothes from both cupboards and put them on the bed.  The pile was pretty big, bigger than I thought it would be, but smaller than most of the people on the show.  Then we through it all.  Stu actually got rid of a *lot* of clothes.  I didn't get rid of much.  And there's a couple of things in the give away pile that I might take back.  Even though they don't fit.  Just because they're a bit sentimental.

My clothes laid out on the bed

All our clothes laid out on the bed

The To Donate pile

Bedroom cupboard before

Bedroom cupboard after

Spare bedroom cupboard before

Spare bedroom cupboard after

Day 2 I attacked the linen cupboard.  It was actually relatively neat already, but I did pull out a few things to give away, and tidy a little.  I still want to get a few tubs for linen that's not used very often, to slow down the silverfish.

Linen cupboard before

Linen cupboard after

Day 3 I went for the pantry.  This actually took a couple of days, doing a shelf at a time.

Pantry before

Pantry after

Then I ran out of steam.  And David and Kat came to stay haha.

I did get to the gardening corner of the garage on the Friday.

Gardening corner before

Gardening corner after

So still a lot I want to get done.  Just have to take the odd random day off here and there ;) 

So Monday.  Day four of our break.  But I didn't get anything much done around the house because I spent the morning getting organised to go to the club.  Made some cheese twists for lunch before heading out.  The previous owners of the van left a lot of kitchen stuff and tools behind which is great, but *all* the cupboards were full of stuff, with no free space to put any of our stuff.  Got a bit overwhelmed by it on Monday afternoon.  And it poured with rain.  A lot.  Had some leftovers we'd brought for dinner, and watched the start of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on tv, but went to bed before it finished.

Clouds over Bungendore

Dark clouds

Tuesday I spent pretty much the whole day cleaning out the cupboards and reorgansing everything so it fitted into the cupboards more logically, and left most of the big cupboard free for our stuff.  Did a couple of loads of washing up to wash stuff in the drawers and some of the cookware.  Felt a lot happier with things by the end.  Although still nowhere good to store food.  D&I fired up the fire in the oasis, so we had a beer with them which was nice.  Tried out the bbq.  It doesn't light with the lighter thingie, but runs ok if you light it.  Cooked some sausages for dinner and we had a nice bottle of 2011 shiraz I got in 2014.

Beer by the fire


First bbq at the new van

Wednesday morning we came home.  Thanks to Tony though for taking our bins out - they'd been collected by the time we got home, and the recycling bin in particular would have been a disaster if we'd missed the pickup.  Cooked some pizza scrolls for lunch.  In the afternoon cleared/cleaned the middle shelf of the pantry and the two drawers under the oven.  Cooked honey mustard chicken for dinner, watched Homeland and From Russia With Love.

Didn't do much Thursday.  Did some photo filing in the morning, then headed over to Chrissie's for a bbq for lunch.  James was in town, first time I'd seen him in twenty five years, with Anita, and Susannah and Rob were there too.  So it was quite the family gathering for them.  And then they got out all the family photos that survived the bushfire (as an aside, Como Presbyterian Church reopened twenty three years ago on this day as I type this, same day as Port Arthur massacre.. moving on..).  David and Kat came over late in the afternoon and we had lamb roast and started a 2000 piece jigsaw.


BBQ at Chrissie's

Friday Stu went to work.  David pulled apart our bedroom fan light which had died a couple of months ago.  We'd gotten a new bulb but it hadn't worked either.  Turns out the ballast had gone.  Someone let the smoke out.  This fan light had been installed in November 2008.  A "Brilliant" branded fan light we got from Bunnings.  Don't do that people.  We never could get a replacement light for it.  The last one we got was a much smaller T4 bulb because we couldn't find any the right size.  Pretty sure that was in April 2014.  So instead of trying to replace the ballast and not get a bulb that fitted anyway, we decided to get a similar sized LED oyster light and mount that instead.  It looks slightly odd, but works just fine and cheaper than a whole new fan light.  Most awesomest brother ever!

Bedroom fan light replaced

So that was done in the morning and we were like.. now what?  D/K went out for a wander round Canberra and I got stuck into cleaning out the "gardening" corner of the garage.  Too many spiders and other disgustingness for my liking.  D/K gave me a lift into town later where I met up with the sweetie for a drink and dinner for our anniversary (and they went off and did their own thing).  We went to Temporada and had quite a delicious, if very expensive, dinner.

Drink with the sweetie

Canberra at night

Stu at Temporada

Canberra tram at night

Actew teeth cones things

Saturday and David couldn't help himself, he wanted to replace our ancient fluoro kitchen/family room light fittings with LED ones.  So a trip to Bunnings (where it was decided against getting the "Brilliant" branded ones, even though they looked nice because a) Bunnings staff couldn't/wouldn't get the panel of test lights turned on to look at them, and b) they're Brilliant branded, which we've already established seems to be non-standard anyway), and then a trip to Project Lighting.  Got some flat round lights that don't quite cover up the old holes, so we'll need to sand/bog/paint that at some point.

Old kitchen lights

Pulling off the old lights

New kitchen lights

We did one of the lights in the morning, then headed out to the club to show D/K the new van (and get out of Stu's way as he was trying to study).  Had a bbq out there (we really need a new gas cylinder), then came home again, and David replaced the other light.  Had pizza for dinner, watched Goldfinger, and finished the big jigsaw.  Pretty good effort for two days. 

Sunday D/K went home and I spent the day coming to terms with the end of my holiday :(  Tidied up a lot of the house, did two loads of linen washing, got some holiday blog entries online, got some kiev balls from the shops and cooked those for dinner, watched Brooklyn 99 and Death in Paradise.

Ten days is not enough time off.  I really need those three month holiday I used to get when I was at uni... *sigh* ....

Monday we got home a bit late which left me a little stressed because I need to do All The Things on Mondays, in addition to a backup I was meant to run on the weekend but never did.  I thought it was going to talk all night because I'd done a heap of moving files around, which means robocopy would then have to delete/recopy everything.  But in the end I moved them around on the disk first so it was pretty quick.  I ran Spacemonger over the disk and it added up 1.3 million files in 51000 folders.  Freaky.  We also started watching Brooklyn 99.  Stu has actually seen it all through before but suggested watching it anyway.  Not a bad show.  A bit silly but a bit of fun.  But.  KEEP THE DAMNED CAMERA STILL!!  It's got the whole Modern Family can't-keep-the-damned-camera-still thing going on which I HATE.  It's even worse than Discovery's damned lens flare.  

Must be mother's day soon..

Tuesday had the club committee meeting here so I half listened in while labelling photos (1/3 way through w00t!).  Also baked a Yum! Delicious! cake which all got eated.

The neighbour's ducks
Neighbour's ducks

Hey sucker!
Sucking catfish

Wednesday I was surprised to find an actual light meal at the Labor Club, so didn't end up stuffing myself silly.  Because for dinner we went to Dumpling Inn with Hannah to talk Harry Potter.

Labor Club caesar salad
Labor Club Caesar Salad

Dumpling Inn
Dumpling Inn

Thursday night I swear it actually got warmer as the evening progressed.  We made the most of one of the last mild evenings of the season.  At home, Stu ordered extra large pizzas for dinner hrmmm.  Then afterwards had a drink with Kit and Pete and played a game of Kismet (I won, w00t!).  The fact they are 130km away is irrelevant.

Friday we Marie Kondo-ed our clothes.  We actually pulled everything out and put it all out on the bed.  My pile was somewhat bigger than I thought it would be, but nowhere near as big as some of the piles we saw on the show.  Finished watching the Desolation of Smaug, then watched Thor Ragnarok which is a bit of fluff (reviewers either completely loved or completely hated it).  We'd seen Dr Strange so knew who he was, but not sure if there were other references we didn't get, on account of only seeing a few MCU films (it's creeping up - have seen Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2, Dr Strange, now this).

Saturday just bits and pieces.  Did a Bunnings run (no tubs in the size/style I wanted that weren't crap).  Spent some time Marie Kondo-ing the linen cupboard.  Finally sorted out the wine that's been making a mess under the house - consolidated boxes (down to about 7.5 boxes now) so it's all a bit more organised.  Watched the Battle of the Five Armies.  Just as dumb as I remembered it.

Today spent some time in the garage in the morning, but barely made a dent.  Made some cheese and vegemite scrolls for lunch which were pretty awesome.  Marie Kondo-ed three shelves in the pantry in the afternoon.  Roast chicken for dinner, Discovery (finishing up season 2), and Dr No, which I haven't seen in ages.

One Month On

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It was four weeks ago last night I had my appendix out.  Still doing all right.  Still random stabby pains all over my abdomen though.


Wednesday a week and a bit ago we met up with EffanC for dinner at Malaysian Chapter.  They have a new menu but didn't put any effort at all into its presentation, it's just bits of paper in dodgy old sheet protectors.

Malaysian Chapter satay chicken

Thursday was the usual pizza.

Friday the sweetie and I had sushi in town and watched the new Ghostbusters.  It's rated quite poorly on IMDB, but I thought it was a bit of nonsensical fun.  Kit and Pete came up for Kit's brother's wedding, so I gave them the keys during the day but we didn't see them at all Friday night.

Canberra Centre Jellyfish

Saturday Stu went off for a war game with Tom and Damien and I had a quiet morning. Kit and Pete surfaced well after lunch, possibly still over the limit, so I drove Kit to pick up her mum and took them to Kingston so Kit could try on wedding dresses.  In the evening Pete and Leisa were having a combined birthday thing at the Old Canberra Inn, so I drove them to that as well.  Kit still wasn't hungry so I suggested splitting a schnitty, as I don't like huge pub sized servings either.  Worked great, although Kit ate so little of it I ended up having most of it anyway hehe.  Inflicted them with our slide show.  Still too big, at 729 photos.  Still needs more culling.

Sunday Kit and Pete went home.  I just had a quiet day doing stuff.  Finished watching the Stepford Wives which I'd last seen in 2006 and started watching the day before.  Kerry and the kids dropped in around lunch.  They'd come down for a flying visit to see the balloons.  We did some food shopping, and watched Fuller House and Discovery in the evening.

Jake is getting tall

Monday I got up a bit early and went and saw the balloons.  Neil was operating the Square this year and not cooking.  Saw the beagle, mostly its butt.  Then came home.  Had a quiet but productive day.  Even pulled a whole heap of crap out of the spare room.  Including a huge pile to take to the Green Shed.  So can move in there again now, but still need to do a lot of organising.

Tuesday I bought some ten litre plastic boxes to store shoes that don't get used very often.  They stack nicely and are to replace cardboard shoeboxes that silverfish eat.  Trying to get rid of as much cardboard in the house as I can.  Had Turkish for dinner and watched Homeland.

Wednesday I got some more plastic tubs for shoes because I didn't have quite enough.  In the evening I prepped a big batch of steak/bacon/onion/garlic/mushrooms for the weekend.

Thursday was just MacGyver, but no pizza because we'd already had takeaway one night this week.

So there we are, all caught up.  Nothing particularly exciting in there.

Monday night I started feeling sick.  Just a cold.  But after having so much time off I felt bad about taking any more time off, so carried on.  Fortunately it wasn't a bad cold so that was good.  Only lasted a few days.

Pretty quiet week otherwise, just continuing tv watching of MacGyver, Fuller House, Discovery, and we started watching season 7 of Homeland.  I also started scanning the last two analogue photo albums of Mum's (there were two holiday albums squirrelled away), and started labelling my last holiday photos.

This weekend has also been really quiet.  I haven't left the house!  Just getting stuff done, filing photos, labelling photos, doing jigsaws, basically weekendy type stuff.  Last night we watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which was a bit of fun, if a bit far fetched.

Later Recovery

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Thursday morning I took the sticky tape off the two smaller incisions.  I was expecting a scabby mess, but no it all came off cleanly and there was just a little red line left underneath.  Put on trackie daks, which was first time I'd been out of pyjama bottoms since I got home.

Thursday night I got sick of lying on my back and sides and attempted sleeping on my stomach, but it still hurt a bit too much.

Friday morning I took the sticky tape off the larger incision.  This tape hurt more to get off, but again, the incision was clean.  

Friday evening Jenn came over and Stu ordered a LOT of Turkish food and we had that and chatted and had on the second draft of the slide show - still way too long at 900 photos (but down from the 1300 of the first draft).  Very annoyingly, I'd put a whole heap of heat mats down on the table, but there was so much food it ended up sitting on the table, and did a heap of heat damage to the surface of the table.  It's really obvious in three places.  Not happy Jan!!

Friday night I was able to sleep on my belly more comfortably.

Saturday was approaching normality (still need to be careful) but had quite a productive day Getting Things Done.  

In the evening we watched Discovery, and Sherlock Holmes (the Robert Downey Jr version).  It wasn't too bad, altho some of my gripes ("tomorrow" actually being the day after, a boat that size being able to sink in the Thames, and popping up from the Palace of Westminster at Tower Bridge) all made their way into the IMDB goofs page heh.

Last night the entrance smoke detector went off at 3:30 for no good reason.  We took it down and I stayed awake for like an hour but no smoke, so will need to investigate that today (could have been dust stirred up by all the wind - the kitchen bench was all gritty yesterday, or maybe a spider).  Edit: battery was at 7.5 Volts, so think it's probably worth changing the battery.

Today I'm in jeans for the first time in over a week.  Seems to be doing ok.

I've finally posted my 2018 year in review.. probably the latest I've ever done it.  I'd taken notes for everything up til the end of November, thinking I'd write it up on the trip, even if I couldn't post it.  Yeah right.  Anyways, done now.

Fourth Quarter Jigsaws also went up late, which includes some of the ones I did or helped with on the Queen Mary 2, in case anyone cares.

Saturday night Fiona made quite a nice chicken soup for dinner, they drank a whole lot of my wine, and we watched Kung Fu Panda.

Fiona's chicken soup

Sunday Stu and Fiona went off to the bus depot markets for the morning.  In the afternoon Stu went to Serkan's to trade fish, and Fiona went for a wander.  So I prepared dinner while it was peace and quiet.

Did I mention that EVERYONE AROUND ME WAS SICK??  Stu had been sniffling all week but it got worse on the weekend.  And Fiona had the tail end of a cold and/or tonsilitus so I spent the entire weekend in a state of tension and wishing everyone WOULD STAY OUT OF MY AIR.  Because the absolute last thing you want when you've had abdominal surgery is a cough.  Not impressed.

In the evening they drank a whole lot more of my wine and we had roast pork for dinner and watched Kung Fu Panda 2.

Monday returned to peace and quiet and I tidied the house (very slowly and gently) in between stuff on Netflix.  By the end of the day I felt a whole lot better.

Watched Discovery in the evening.

Still can't sleep on my belly, and in fact have been having a bit of trouble actually getting to sleep - probably because I'm just not doing enough to warrant being tired at night.  Only took panadeine the first two nights, other than that haven't had any painkillers at all.  As Chrissie said after her c-section - pain is your friend - reminds you to take it easy so as not to rupture anything.

Beginning of February

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Friday:  Farewell to Cath and Stewie.  Again.

Saturday:  Quite a productive morning.  Doctor mid morning.  Late brunch at Gus' Place with the sweetie.  Photo processing all afternoon.  Cleaned my computer desktop.  Cooked a whole heap of Kit's tomatos for dinner with some gluten free pasta (she had a whole freezer drawer full of them which she gave to us before they moved).  I liked it but the sweetie thought it was too fiddly picking out stalks of thyme and tomato skins (you can eat tomato skins you know! ;) ).  Watched Discovery and Dunkirk.

Sunday:  Photo processing.  Finished processing all 10000 (and 51) of my photos from the trip.  And then we downloaded Stu's :)

Monday:  Posted my Canberra 1986-2016 blog to the Canberra Reddit.  At least a few hundred people had a look which was pretty cool.  Although Reddit's UI is pitiful.  For posting there was a link tab, an image tab and a description tab.  I filled out all three, but only the link ever posted.  So stoopid, Reddit!!  Yet another storm rolled over in the evening.  This one was pretty close so turned off my computer.  Which was annoying because almost everything on my todo list involved the computer!  Smashed out a 192 piece jigsaw while I waited.

Tuesday:  Began processing Stu's photos.  Android (at least the last two Stu's had) has a SUPER annoying bug where the forward facing camera has no date taken exif data saved.  Which makes it annoying to geotag, because apps rely on that field.  Some photos I manually geotagged, others I forced exif data into them based on the date modified field (with GeoSetter itself) so could auto geotag them.  Very very annoying.  Especially when like half of all Stu's photos on the holiday were selfies!

Thursday:  Realised it's been five years since: a) Dad went and carked it, b) we first attempted to watch MacGyver on DVD (only got half a dozen episodes in), c) Fiona was here with Bruce.

Friday: Drove to Sydney.  Will save that for a separate post.

This week I've been trying to catch up on All The Things.  Starting with all my iPhone photos and screenshots from when I first got the phone in November.  Photos are easy to work with now that I can use Faststone to force the date modified field to be the exif date taken field, so that fixes up all the photos.  For the PNGs (screenshots) and other miscellaneous files (movies and portrait edit information files) I got an app - BulkFileChanger - which is a nifty tool to modify the date modified field.  You can offset by x minutes/hours, which was super useful for fixing up photos from different time zones for the trip, or you can manually set to a specific time.  So I have to look while the phone is plugged into the computer what the actual date should be, then fix it with this app.  A fair amount of work, but gets the job done.  Although the last time I downloaded all the files none of the new ones were wrong.  Maybe 12.1.2 fixed it???? 

Last night while trying to backup, the computer had a sad and I ended up rebooting it.  But did you know you can only reopen closed tabs ONCE when you quit Chrome?  I quit it twice and lost all the tab history.  That was pretty annoying.  I had closed and saved a lot already, and history got most of the rest back.  But who knows what I'm missing..

Also last night my 2 terabyte backup drive filled up!!  Gasp!!  I deleted a couple of big things and it finished (took forever because it needed several weeks worth of photo processing).  Today I bought a 4 terabyte drive.  Started backing up tonight, but it's only a fraction of the way through.  Will be backing up all through the weekend at this rate!  Then need to rework the backup strategy so there's always at least two offsite copies of everything....

Tuesday afternoon we also got a dust storm that obliterated Mt Ainslie..

Dust storm

Tonight was Fuller House and blogging.  All the blogs...

End of January

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Starting Australia Day.

Saturday: All The Things!  I renamed and resized all six thousand odd photos from the Canon from the holiday.  Watched Julia sans Julie.  Had a lovely lunch with the sweetie at Chong Co.  Did our food shopping.  Geotagged a lot of the Canon photos.  Watched Fuller House and The Usual Suspects.

Sunday: Began processing iPhone photos from the holiday, dealing with random changes in time zones and the fact that APPLE SUX (still raging at Apple randomly changing the date fields on my files).  Had dinner at Chrissie's.  Had Over the Hedge on cause Zac wanted to watch it, but Chris and I chatted and didn't really watch the movie.

Monday:  Had a good nights sleep.  Continued iPhone photo processing.

Tuesday:  Backed up the computer (and all that work on the photos).  Salmon for dinner.

Wednesday:  Zombie day on account of epic insomnia on Tuesday night.  Couldn't get to sleep.  Maybe it was the salmon?  Not the first time I've had salmon then not be able to get to sleep.  Got up to resizing and geotagging the iPhone photos.

Thursday:  Had F over for pizza for dinner, and watched bits and pieces of Stephen Colbert.  Appreciated the cool change!  Couldn't get into my computer before I went to bed.  It was swapping hard and the login screen was unresponsive.  In the end I got impatient with it and rebooted it.  But in the process corrupted the inboxes in Eudora :(  

Still Alive, Honest

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Just been too busy with life.


What Else.. Flat..

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This week I finished processing the random camera photos - rotating, renaming, resizing, geotagging, filing into days.

We've also been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.  Stu read her book a year or two ago and had a brief burst of enthusiasm keeping his clothes tidy.  Yeah that didn't last.  I'm a hoarder at heart.  Sentimentally attached to everything.  Makes it hard to let stuff go...

Survived the week.  Just barely.  Stu is still sick.  This week felt very long.  Guess that's what happens when you go back for a full week after a long holiday.

Couldn't get to sleep last night.  Too damned hot (the cooler works to an extent, but isn't aircon).  And too much lightning.  I stress over it hitting the house and frying all our electronics.  So bit of a zombie today.  But did delete a whole bunch of stuff that had never been deleted cause people didn't clean up properly.

Just call me Sadie.

Felt pretty blah tonight.  

Le sigh.

Did You Miss Me?

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Did anyone actually miss me?  Prolly not.  Shrug.  

We've been off galavanting around the world again.  Got back yesterday morning.

Kept moving for a couple of hours when we got home, eventually succombed to a snooze after lunch (some leftovers I pulled out of the freezer) for a couple of hours.  Had to force myself to get up and keep moving.

Had pizza for dinner because there was no food in the house.  And the sweetie wanted it.

Then collapsed into bed.

Woke up at 3am this morning after seven hours sleep.  But couldn't get back to sleep.  Gave up around 5:30 and got going.  Had a very productive morning.  Did some food shopping.  Haven't been so productive since we got back though..

2018 Year in Review

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So the beginning of the year. We began the new year at Kit's with Ben and Sarah for a nice start to the year.

We took the first two weeks of January off, so three weeks all up, but during the first two weeks our house was a revolving door of people wanting to use the pool. I do enjoy having people over, but we needed a break!! I think in that two weeks we socialised every single day which was completely exhausting. Later I was able to do a deep clean of most of the kitchen, and organised the garage.

Somehow we managed to go overseas twice this year. In April we made an impromptu trip to Wellington, New Zealand for a lonnng weekend for our tenth wedding anniversary. We only arranged it a few weeks in advance (taking Wello's lead of going to New Zealand just because (actually he did it for status points haha)), and got one of the very last direct Canberra to Wellington flights on Singapore Airlines. In December we avoided the family Christmas obligations and headed to the northern hemisphere. We had a couple of days in Japan before heading to Southampton to board the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing and Caribbean cruise. Christmas and New Year were on board the ship in the North Atlantic. I went up to Sydney in January for the mum/uncles post-Christmas chatchup, where we went to Pandora's in Rouse Hill for lunch and sat in Ken and Jeanine's spa all afternoon; and again in June for Mum and Uncle Ken's birthdays, and we went and saw Vivid Sydney which was pretty cool. I went to Junee in May and we went and saw the Bricktastic Lego exhibition, which was awesome because no crowds, and we went to the circus as well. I went to Melbourne in June for work, and again with the sweetie in August for Kit's graduation.

Work was pretty stressful this year. The work itself was fine (I completed a massive cleanup project in around a year, much less than my estimate of two years) and my supervisor is great, but we switched to hot-desking which is all kinds of stressful for me. Not to mention that "activity based working" means we should be sitting with the people we work with, but because there's not enough seats that's often not the case. I get in relatively early (thanks sweetie!) so at least I get *some* consistency. We had a Ball in March which was very .. blue! and a lot of fun. Our work bar closed in June and we had an amazing final night. We got a new one, but it's half the size and not as practical. One of the first nights in the new bar was a whiskey night which was good. I organised a trivia night for March, but it was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of interest. Tried again in May and this time it was a packed house, and the last one in the old bar. We won the first one in the new bar in October, but the organisers said as incentive to win, the second place winners should run it. Let's hope they do or I'll be running another one!

Healthwise I've been pretty good. Just had a cold in May and another in July. Other than that it was just a lot of insomnia. A lot a LOT of insomnia. Omigosh sometimes I was convinced it was going to kill me.

Once again we had a *very* social year. As I mentioned earlier we had a lot of visitors in the first week of January. David came to stay a few times. He came in January and fixed some taps in the bathroom, and later in January to see about the Railway Historical Society and whether or not they'd try and reopen. He came with Leanne in February, to stay after the Airport Open Day (that I never managed to get tickets for), again in April, September and October with Kat. Always great having him here. Chrissie got bigger and bigger with Beavis and I got to see a couple of ultrasounds. She had a quite small but quite cute Nathan at the end of February. Visited them a little but not nearly often enough. Didn't help that Chris was completely exhausted from lack of sleep. Aunty Di and Uncle Graham came down a couple of times and we did fondue with them at Chrissie's in April and October. Had lunch a few times with her as well which was nice. Chris also gave me a kick up the butt in July and helped me grout half the shower. We caught up quite a few times with the extended N-Gang, going to either EffanC's, R&F's, Scotts for pizza, and beef cheecks at our place in July. We saw quite a lot of Kit and Pete during the year. It was sooooo nice having cool neighbours you could pop down to for a quiet drink. Pete is into games, so played a few with him (Kit played begrudgingly) - including Travel Trivial Pursuit, Cards Against Humanity, and Kismet. We went out to the George for Kit's birthday in May, had Ben over for roast in March, and had BBQ at Serena's for her birthday in October. Kit and Pete had a farewell party at the beginning of November (much drama ensued) but we still got to see them every weekend until they left. Helped pack their truck at the beginning of December, and they moved down the coast the same weekend we went overseas. We met up with Damien and Amanda at the Dickson Dumpling House in April, and Stu had a wargame with Damien in July, followed by dinner at Laziza House. Jenn came over in February with various Tequilas she'd bought on her trip to Mexico. Hao came up for work in May, so caught up with him at Alice's. Had our annual Hanami lunch with Nat and Andrew in late September. Stu's dad came over for dinner sans Ruth in January. Scott and Kerry came down at the end of June on the way to the snow and we had the whole family over for dinner. Had Wello's 40th at Casey Jones in October, and went over to @CLBradley's in November for BBQ for his birthday.

We didn't do as much club stuff this year. The event dinners are getting out of control with so many people going, and Stu has to go out once a month for committee meetings, which leaves us with no enthusiasm to go out at other times. We did go a couple of times, including a nice night in November with only six of us out there. We did an epic Burns Night in January, with two huge pork roasts, a huge haggis, tatties, neeps, peas, carrots and cranachan, for about forty five people. We did another round of two huge roast pork roasts and veggies for Christmas in July, and something like fifty people came. We were going to help with the Christmas party, but Stu got a migraine just before we were going to head out. During the committee meeting in August I regrouted the shed's kitchen splashback, because I could scrape out the old stuff with a fingernail, and I had the last of the grout from our bathroom that I thought I could use up. Only went to a couple of swim nights.

Pets. For years we've only ever had fish in this house. In February Chrissie was heavily pregnant and overstressed and the stress of Stumpy not eating was too much for her (Stumpy being a lovely blue tongue lizard). Kit had had Stumpy since he was born in her last place (I remember when they first moved in seeing the tank in the spare room, thinking at the time it was fish). Stumpy spent many years living in Kit's garage generally being neglected. So a couple of years ago Kit gave him to Chris and Zac. He fattened up nicely. But as I said, Chrissie couldn't deal, and asked if I'd take him. Well our front entrance way was still full of clutter that had been there for like five years that I'd been wanting to get rid of. So she took the majority of the stuff to sell on Gumtree one day, and we got Stumpy. He didn't eat at all for the first six months we had him. Didn't help that I didn't have lights through the early part, and then it was winter. So he sat doing not much for the whole time. Then later in the year (I'd been increasing the amount of heat/light to match the seasons) he suddenly started eating. It's been lovely having him. Stu really likes him and gives him lots of cuddles.

On the fish front. I got five new black neon tetras in January for the two foot, and some harlequin rasboras in May. I got a little sucking catfish to keep the algae at bay in Chrissie's little tank. We went to Serkan's for killifish study group meetings in March and August. Stu has been trying to breed killifish, with mixed success. He gets all enthusiastic for spurts, then they get neglected for weeks at a time. The other drama was the epic stress caused by dodgy Aqua One LED fish tank lights. All three, plus one I'd already had replaced died in the space of a couple of months. In the end got all my money back and went back to fluoros. Confirming my hatred for all things Aqua One.

Lego, jigsaws, and other hobbies. In January, Vic came down from Sydney with an entire bootfull of his kids' Lego he wanted to sell. It wasn't sorted so I spent months sorting it and checking each and every damned piece for FAKE Lego. Had to stop working downstairs in April when it got too cold, but didn't really do too much at the end of the year - I was too busy getting ready for our holiday. I'd bought some nice Willow storage tubs to replace all the cardboard boxes I have for storage, and they got pressed into service holding sorted Lego. I really want to get rid of it all to get the space back (and my storage tubs back!), but need to do something about the computer I'm using down there - it doesn't have enough grunt to keep five word docs open at a time containing the parts lists for the sets. I did a LOT of jigsaws this year, including several sections of the Disney behemoth. Another reason I want the space back downstairs...! Didn't do much else hobbywise. Spent a lot of time fighting with Apple. I downloaded Image::ExifTool and used a perl script to rename the files based on Date taken instead of Date modified which I've been doing all these years with all my other photos. I processed, labelled and blogged all the photos from our New Zealand holiday within two months, then I went back and labelled all the photos from our East Asia holiday and got that blogged by the end of the year.

For some reason I always mention the weather. We had the extremes this year. We had a dust storm in March. In fact all through March the max temperature was around 30C almost every day. It was freaky hot. Then throughout July it was crazy cold. We got so much ice on the pool it was ridiculous. One time it was 14mm thick in places! Maybe the super thick ice was the beginning of the end for the pool - I did consider that all that ice can't be good for all the joints.

New toys! My iPhone 5 got more and more annoying. For some months the lock button was really sticky. It either wouldn't work at all, or would spend the whole time in the lock position, so the phone would think you were trying to turn it off. I waited til the Apple announcements in September to see if they'd release a small form factor phone, but alas none came. So I bit the bullet and got a HUGE XS. The new phone and iOS STILL screws around with the date modified on my files. Pissed off at that. But the camera is very nice. Especially the HDR capabilities. My old phone feels like such a sweet little phone when I pick it up (I've kept it around because it has a bunch of apps that won't run on the new one). Also before our holiday I decide to replace the seven year old Asus Eee PC. It was always under-powered (what is it with Asus and not enough memory?) and spent most of its life swapping to disk and not actually doing anything. It was pretty much unusable and frustrating, so got a little Lenovo net book which was just great to travel with.

A few house sagas this year. The first being the leaky shower. It took me forever to finish scraping off the old sealant and scraping back the old grout. And then it sat there for months doing nothing. Eventually Chrissie gave me a kick up the bum and helped me grout half the shower, and I finished it a week or two later in July, followed by the sealant in August. Took a little over a year to get that shower back into use, but it doesn't seem to leak anymore. I also attacked the cloudiness on the shower glass but NOTHING worked - not bathroom cleaner, not vinegar, not diluted CLR, not straight CLR, not straight CLR left there on the glass for weeks on end. I gave up the idea of ever having that glass clear again. We came home from New Zealand to find the power had gone off in the house and had been off for four days. We lost some fish in the cold (the rummy nose tetras), and I chucked out a bag of stuff from the fridge just in case, but the freezer didn't defrost completely (still had a couple of whiskey balls in tact) so didn't chuck anything out from there. Then there was the epic stress over the blown hot water release valve. It had died *just before* it was one year old, but I didn't call them for ages because I'm allergic to the phone. When I did call them it sounded like they were going to charge me, but when the dude turned up he was all "is that all?" and replaced it for me on the spot (and left me a spare to boot). Fortunately Rheem didn't charge me for their second defect in its first year. Then there was the circuit breaker that caught fire, taking out all our power points. Fortunately we got it fixed the same day, and used the lack of computer to do a lot of cleaning and organising. And finally the pool. Maybe all the ice over winter stretched all the seals to breaking point. But we had a leak that I don't know how old it was and we couldn't see how much damage had been done to the structural wall. The pool turned out to be around thirty years old! So even though it broke my heart we (I) decided to drain it and say goodbye. We did have a win - Pete replaced the laserlite sheeting on our back pergola, as well as the front piece of wood that had been positioned right under the old sheeting and had gotten rotten.

We ate out a little this year but not too much. Went to Iori with EffanC, Yat Bun Tong a few times (Stu likes the dumplings), with Damien and Amanda we went to Dickson Dumpling House and Laziza House, went with EffanC and Scott to Pialligo Estate for a "Meet the Maker" dinner with wines by Shaw and Smith in April which was delicious, Happys with the sweetie, Malaysian Chapter a couple of times with the N-Gang, The George for Kit's and my birthdays, Lake George Hotel in Bungendore with EffanC - disappointed with the pork belly, Tipsy Bull in Braddon for Stu's birthday which was great, and Sushi Bay sushi train with the sweetie. Went to Chong Co a couple of times. Probably others I didn't mention.

Didn't have too much blog-worthy food. A guilty pleasure was nachos - simply corn chips topped with cheese and baked for five or so minutes. Did Lorraine Elliot's Asian Style Beef Cheeks a couple of times (is it possible for something to have *too much* flavour?), and had a go at Sizzler cheese toast!! OMFG!!! SO GOOD!!! I'd make it all the time if given half a chance...

* Bricktastic in Junee which was great and no crowds of kids
* Circus in Junee which had exotic animals to my surprise, but convinced their no photography rule is simply to not have anyone get it on video if they fall off stuff or get eaten by lions
* Ben Law and Jenny Phang at Library Up Late which was interesting
* *Didn't* see Cartier, but did wander around a bit of the National Gallery with Cath
* Brickman Lego exhibition by Ryan McNaught with Neil which was also awesome and also no crowds of kids (sensing a theme here?)

* The Last Jedi
* Bohemian Rhapsody

Movies on TV
* Well lots but I'm not going to list them all
* Lord of the Rings series (in advance of going there)
* Kevin Smith movies
* Harry Potter series
* Star Trek series
* Pixar series. Saw what we could of these on DVD and Netflix, then saw most of the rest on various plane trips at the end of the year. The only one I didn't see (and have never seen) is Coco.

* Star Trek Discovery (season 1)
* The Good Place (season 2)
* Pride and Prejudice (BBC series borrowed off @CLBradley)
* A lot of Dad's war documentaries up until April, and then again from October
* One episode of Altered Carbon
* Homeland (season 6)
* Star Trek Enterprise
* Addams Family (maybe season 2, would need to check)
* Anthony Bourdain's The Layover
* Back in Time for Dinner
* David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities
* Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown
* Rake (season 5, not as good as previous seasons, too over the top)
* The Good Place (season 3)
* Death in Paradise (seasons 1 and 2)

* Prey, by Michael Crichton
* The Giant Book of Science Fiction Stories
* Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
* The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer

Other stuff

* Got NBN!!!!!!! In January - haven't complained about our internet since. 12x faster than before!
* Stopped by Cataract Dam on the way home from Sydney in January
* Took my car to the wreckers. Realised six months later I'd left my RTA etag in it, so called the wreckers but my car was crushed. There goes $40. Also realised, when I went to charge Kit's car in December, that I'd forgotten the battery trickle charger attachment that had been mounted in the engine bay.
* Climbed Black Mountain from Bindoubi Street with Cath, Fiona and their friend Heather
* Saw the Canberra Balloon Fiesta
* Filled with rage at the tax office that refuse to send paper bills, so how the hell am I meant to know how much I owe them??
* Was super happy with the awesome customer service from Willow when I found one of the lids I'd bought was cracked. Saddedened at the appalling experience from ebay
* reCAPTCHA died, but have been puttering along without it since May, and doesn't seem to be getting comment spam these days anyway
* Watched Flying High twice this year
* Tried taking recycling bottles to Return-It, but (after they forced me to register all my personal details) they RIPPED ME OFF and never put any money in my account. Return-It is a SCAM!!  I've been collecting the bottles but I've never been back - I give them to David whenever he comes to stay and he takes them to NSW where they have a PROPER system, or take them out to the club where someone else takes them to NSW or I think the new one in ACT where you get a receipt on the spot.
* Went to Frank Bradley's funeral, on my birthday. Tried to go to Stanley's in Bruce for dinner but it's closed Tuesdays so ended up at The George.
* Got a green bin!!
* Ate some of Kit's chickens
* Stu chopped a foot of hair off just before we went away at the end of the year

We finished the year at nine o'clock in the morning, North Atlantic time.  Stu was in bed and I was eating breakfast.  And yet, even in the middle of the North Atlantic, I could still watch the Sydney fireworks live :)

A Little Hairy

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On the weekend the sweetie cut off over a foot of hair.

Cause it was getting a little ridiculous...




I had to do one last Cousin Itt...

Cousin Itt

A bit shorter now..

Shorter hair


Lost hair

Hot. Sweaty.

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Stoopidly humid day today, which meant the cooler didn't work all that well.  At least it felt that way.

I was super busy all day too.  My todo list was over a page long.  I did do most if it though which was good.

Said goodbye to Kit and Pete, although I'm still feeding George, Petal and Vicki at least until tomorrow heh.

Stu chopped a foot of my hair off today.  Quite freaky to say the least.

We pumped and siphoned all but about 10cm of water out of the pool today.  

We finished season 5 of Rake tonight.  I have to say this season was just too .. silly ..  I mean I know the other seasons were silly too but this just seemed a bit over the top.

Where Were We?

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Thursday night: epic insomnia.

Friday: Kit came home for the weekend.  We didn't think she was going to come back because she had to go to Sydney on Sunday night, but she did, so we went down and said hi after dinner.

Saturday:  All The Things.  Although not really all of them.  Got some stuff done but not huge amounts.  In the afternoon we headed out to the club for the evening.  The pool was warm enough so it was all quite pleasant.

Sunday:  More house stuff, food shopping, Rake and Death in Paradise.  Oh and we also went clothes shopping and it didn't end in tears!

Struggling to stay on top of everything.  So.  Busy.  

Stop the world, I want to get off!!

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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