Results tagged “Parties” from Kazza the Blank One

He was a dead end

| | Comments (1)

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!

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...

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

Having a Ball

| | Comments (1)

This was back in October.  Whoops.  I did get some extra wear out of the fancy dress I bought for our last cruise.

Kaz and Stu ready for the ball

The venue was very pretty.

Work ball venue

Work ball venue

Work ball venue

Work ball venue

Work ball venue

Entrees were either "Sous vibe (their spelling) pork belly with carrot truffle puree, rocket salad and soya beans" or "Thai beef salad, mild marinated beef with vermicelli noodles, trio of capsicum, julienne carrots, fried shallots, bean sprouts and pine nuts".  I had the pork and it was delicious.

Work ball food

Work ball food

Mains were either "Braised lamb shank with soft polenta top and a mushroom ragout" or "Supreme chicken breast stuffed with spinach and ricotta fennel mash, brocolini and capsicum jus".  I had the lamb shank which was also very nice, but all that meat meant I was *very* full all night.  

Work ball food

Work ball food

Dessert was either "Lemon meringue tart with zesty lemon curd topped with pillows of soft meringue" or "Brulee infused with bailes and served with chocolate dust, cream and strawberries".  I had the lemon meringue tart, but struggled with it, and would have enjoyed it a lot more I hadn't been so full from dinner..

Work ball food

Work ball food

Then there was lots of dancing.  A fun night as always.

Work ball venue

Monday night was washing, dinner, tv, kitchen and suddenly it's 19:43.  Sigh.  Did do some holiday photo processing and blogging though.

Tuesday was dinner, BBT, kitchen but only 19:00 - better.  Patched and rebooted the computer.  Half an hour later.

Taco Tuesday

Wednesday.  Sucky day.  Realised I'd broken stuff and had to fix it.  Realised other people had broken stuff and I'm *still* waiting for them to fix it.  Had leftover lamb for dinner and inflicted our last holiday slide show on David.  

Thursday we went to Bharat International, an Indian grocery store that has a restaurant attached.  I had goat curry which was ok, but a tad spicy for me and very bony.

Bharat International goat curry

A guy at work had this tshirt which was pretty cool.

Never Forget

Didn't you know it's *never* lupus? ;) #bbt #housemd

It's never lupus

Friday was the first of the work Christmas parties.  Quite a lovely afternoon.  Didn't go bowling because it was too hot and sunny. 

Had a drink with Kit in the evening which was really nice, before she headed off to the pub with Katie.  Watched The World is Not Enough.

Saturday got bits and pieces done in the morning while Stu went off to the club and Kit slept in. 

In the afternoon was the first of Kit's hen's events - Laser Tag!!  Except there was only ten of us, so they put us with fifteen little 10-11 year old girls.  It was chaos.  Fricken Little Girls everywhere.  And they'd hang around in little packs or pairs.  The worst thing was some of the expressions on their faces - they looked like psycopaths or something - no emotion whatsoever, they would literally just stare at you and expect you to move on.  I'd have been a lot happier if they'd actually looked like they were having fun.  Still, our team of five (Kit, the bridesmaids and Leisa) won both games.  I came fourth in the first game and second in the second, and Kit won the second which was pretty cool.  

Hens laser tag

Hens laser tag game 1

Hens laser tag game 2

Came back to my place so we could get changed and get ready then headed out again.

Hens bride and bridesmaids

This time to the George Harcourt.  Those guys *seriously* do not want business.  Well not if you want to book anyway.  During the week I tried about five times to get through to the function number - 0423 257 978 - but they just wouldn't answer the phone.  I left a message once which they did *not* return, even though I explicitly asked them to to make sure they'd received my message (because last time I left a message a couple of months back when I was trying to make the original booking, they never returned my call).  I tried one last time to call the function number before calling the pub directly, but they answered this time.  I asked them to please change the numbers from 15 to 18.  I bet you can guess what happened.. yep, they never ammended my booking.  Not impressed.  Fortunately it all worked out and we all fit in.  (I won't even get started on the fact they don't do "doubles", even in a high glass, yet they will happily sell me two at once, or apparently you can get it on the rocks - so you could mix it yourself.  Makes no sense at all).  

But anyhoo.

Bride and mother of the bride

Had a pretty good night there and Chloe and Katie had a couple of party games which were a bit of fun.  Chloe and Kit and I split two dishes (arancini balls) between the three of us, which was a much more sensible quantity of food.

At midnight Chloe drove Kit, Katie and me to Moby's.  Had a couple of drinks there (these guys don't take cards at all, all a little dodgy).  I was trying to hold out for Kit but I just couldn't keep up with the youngsters so called it a lot earlier than them.  

Sunday I woke up pretty much at normal time, because that's what my body does.  Had a bit of breakfast (loving our toasted sandwich maker) then attempted to get more sleep.  Failed, because that's what my body does.  Still, I rested for a few hours, so wasn't as tired in the afternoon as I would have been.  Made toasted cheese sandwiches for Kit and Chloe before they went home.

Around lunch time I logged on to do a cutover of mail to our new environment.  Except we had a really really bizarre issue that I just couldn't figure out.  So rolled back the change.  Didn't figure out what the problem was until today.  Stoopid dependencies.  So what should have been a ten minute job had me online for 2.5 hours :(  #grunt.  Watched some Amazing Race in the afternoon, and BBT and Good Place with the sweetie in the evening.

Today I woke up with sore throat but felt mostly ok.  Busy day as always.  But the sore throat wouldn't go away and by evening I was definitely starting to feel sick.  Fricken great.  I don't have TIME to get sick - I'm too freakin busy both at home and at work to get sick.  Had dinner with the sweetie at Happy's, then did a small food shop.  And instead of me doing All The Things that I need to do, I'm going to go to bed as soon as I've hung out my washing.  I certainly don't have the energy to fight with Apple to get my photos, so I'll update this entry with photos later.  

Sweet and sour duck at Happy's

Sunday night neither of us slept well - felt too hot.  But the house was 18C which is how it normally is over winter.  Weird.  I seem to recall having similar sorts of thermoregulation problems last spring as well.

Monday night it took *forever* to label the day's quota of photos - over two hours - normally takes about one.  So no time to do other things on the todo list.

Monday night slept a little better.  On Tuesday evening I burnt copies of the DVDs my Dad made from news reports I taped off TV for the 1994 Como-Jannali bushfires, to give them to Chrissie's Dad who expressed an interested in them when I saw him at Diana and Graham's funeral.  urk that was a long sentence.  I started watching one to make sure it recorded ok.  And couldn't tear myself away.  I haven't watched that footage in like twenty five years, but still get emotional, and still remember names and faces and places pretty vividly.  Except for then premier John Fahey walking through our church grounds the day after, didn't even know I had that.  Go figure.  Chrissie came over to drop off some stuff and picked up the dvds.  Got through my photo quota much much more quickly.

Tuesday night took *ages* to get to sleep.  #grunt.  Went to Officeworks on Wednesday evening to get Kit's Hen's invites printed.  Man I shoulda got them printed properly through their printing house rather than relying on amateurs with a laser printer to do it.  Just a mess.  They even called me in the evening to confirm requirements.

Thursday woke up stoopid early (4:20) and never really got back to sleep.  Went to collect my printouts from Officeworks and they'd managed to stuff up the printing - making them slightly too large.  But it just meant I had to cut into the border bleed area, so it was ok in the end.  But don't think I'd trust Officeworks (in store) with anything that actually mattered.  Watched Pretty in Pink in the evening.

Friday woke up at 5:30 which was a slight improvement.  Saw this at the post office while getting stamps for the invites.

Mobile phone lockup

Watched Licence to Kill in the evening.  After birthday drinks with Neil, Simon and Wello.

Neil birthday drinks

Saturday morning slept in!  Til 6:30!!  Did all the houseworks in the morning.  Started slicing up Kit's Hen's invites.  Stopped when I managed to slice a finger.  Got ready and went to the ball (which I'll save for another post).

There was too much food for me at the ball, which did mean I didn't get too silly, but also meant being a wake for quite a while in the middle of the night trying to digest.  Slept in til 8:30 though.  I didn't have much planned for the day.  Tried to have a nap with the sweetie at one point but think I mostly failed.  I did finish slicing up Kit's Hen's invites and get them posted, and trimmed the cherry tree and a bunch of suckers, and a fish tank water change.  The sweetie cooked salt and pepper squid for dinner and we watched The Good Place.  

It started the Wednesday night.  I did all the prep for a beef stroganoff.  So the beef, mushrooms, bacon, onion and garlic, frying it all up so the only work on the weekend would be plugging it in, filling up the slow cooker, and letting it go all afternoon.

Stroganoff prep

Stroganoff prep

And by the end of it, on a weeknight, I still managed a clean kitchen!

Clean kitchen

Friday evening we headed down the coast.  I snapped a picture of one our new trams.

Canberra tram

Drive down was uneventful.  We listened to John Williams the entire way that Stu had downloaded on Spotify.  Couldn't enjoy the scenery though cause it was dark most of the way.

We'd booked to stay at an Airbnb in Sussex Inlet.  Neat little apartment, quite spacious, and a well equipped little kitchen (stovetop but no oven, washing machine/dryer but no dishwasher).  Although previous reviews weren't wrong about rock hard pillows (I brought my own), incorrect wifi password (it was correct in the notification Stu got just before we arrived though), and lack of privacy from a useless curtain on the window above the door, with a view straight from the flat above into our bed (but noone was staying there so not really a big deal).  Pretty much just collapsed into bed (after Stu had a shower that was barely a trickle).

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

In the morning I went to have a shower, only to find no water at all.  The taps in the sinks were still running slowly, but even they stopped after a flush or two of the toilet.  My first stay at an Airbnb and THIS is my experience??  I smsed the number we had but got no response.  But Stu used the app a while later and got a response within a few minutes so that was ok.  The cleaner said feral kids think it's funny to turn off the water at the street.  (I had asked Stu to go check that earlier but he hadn't gone out to the street).  So they turned it on again and it was ok.  Although a lot of bubbles all through the pipes made for some interesting noises.

I'd been chatting to Kit about it as well, and they weren't doing much better with their water.  They have solar hot water, but it had been rainy, and with so many people in the house they were getting slightly warm at best.

Had some breakfast then went for a wander around Sussex Inlet.  Just walked down to the inlet, north along the river, then back through the town.  It was only 22C, but with the humidity it felt a lot hotter :(

Sussex Inlet walk

Sussex Inlet walk

Sussex Inlet walk

Pelican at Sussex Inlet

Crocodile in Sussex Inlet

Sussex Inlet walk

Corellas in Sussex Inlet

Sussex Inlet walk

Then we drove to the hall where the party was being held so I could setup the slow cooker.  The hall is quite lovely.  Poured everything into the slow cooker and asked Pete to stir it every hour or so.

Wandandian Progress Hall

Went back to see Kit and Pete's new house which is pretty cool.  Pete has an EPIC shed, and there's heaps of room for all the animals.  Although the dogs didn't like being relegated out the back heh.

Pete's epic shed

Kit's chickens

We didn't actually see Kit - she was out with Mel.

Headed off again.  We went into Huskisson to have some lunch.  So much fried goodness.  Oh and some salad.

Husky Bites lunch

Wandered down to the water to have a look.  

Jervis Bay at Huskisson

Huskisson

Huskisson

Point Perpendicular (centre) and entrance to Jervis Bay

Drove down to Hyams Beach to have a look.  It was full of people.  Yuk.

Hyams Beach

Then we went for a bit of a drive south, and ended up in Booderee National Park, in the Jervis Bay Territory.

Drove around the loop through Jervis Bay Village, and Stu was like - oo look the Federal Police :)

Stopped at Scottish Rocks and wandered down to the beach, then wandered all the way along to Hole in the Wall, then walked back along the road (because it was cooler out of the sun).

Scottish Rocks walk

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Stu at Scottish Rocks

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Starfish

Rocks at Hole in the Wall

We drove to the end of the road at Murray's Beach, but didn't get out, because it was getting quite late.  We were going to be late for the party, so did the long drive back to Sussex Inlet.  Had a shower, then back to the hall for the party.  The stroganoff was still quite liquid which was a bit disappointing.  Probably shouldn't have used all the stock that I did.  Or at least added a bunch of corn flour.  People did seem to like it though.  Would have done better with something to soak up the juices.

So not only is there quite a large hall, but there's a huge open area all around the hall, including a playground for kids.  People spread out all over the place, meaning the hall was only sparsely populated heh.

And there were some very friendly horsies.

Horsies

Horsies

Party food.

Kit and Pete's engagement

Cheesecakes

And there was some dancing (see what I mean about the hall looking empty!).

Kit and Pete dancing

I may have called it a night once Bohemian Rhapsody was played and sung along to :)

Came back to crash.

In the morning we dropped by the hall to pick up the spoon I'd left behind, although we didn't stay to help clean up because Stu was anxious to get home to do some uni work.  So just drove home, home by lunch time.

Quite a nice weekend, although I did feel a bit grumbly on Sunday afternoon that the weekend was nearly over and I hadn't had any time at home.

The Silly Season

| | Comments (3)

Wednesday was first work Christmas party.  It was ok but nothing special.  Didn't get too silly.  Although some of the guys did, getting in a little late the next morning :)

Friday was "my" Christmas party.  Almost 60 people this year!  Getting out of control haha!  But everyone had a great time.  Well maybe except DC who got hit with *something*, no idea what.  And I did forget the Coke Zero.  And cooking oil.  I didn't stay til the end on account of the sweetie wanted to get home (and we needed to help Kit pack the truck).  I did catch the very same duck again :)  (she even came back a few minutes later and ate out of my hand so couldn't have been too traumatised!)

Just me and a duck

So yeah last night was helping load the truck.  Kit doesn't have a lot of *stuff* but Pete does and it's mostly awkward big stuff that doesn't fit in boxes.  I collapsed about 10:30 but there was still a lot in the garage to try and get in. 

BBQs and Stuff

| | Comments (1)

Thursday night was BBQ at @CLBradley's which was nice.  Haven't seen them in ages (other than at Frank's funeral).  Chris and Glenda (and Junior) came too which was good but Neil and Doc couldn't make it.  Next time!

Pumpkin light at Chris's

Superlative soap

Champagne at Chris's 59th

Chris's birthday cake

Friday night was BBQ at Kit's for a farewell party.  It was nice too, and chatted about nothing to Tarun for a while too which was good.  The only problem was the drama.  The Kit-Serena drama, the Sarah-Serena drama, the Kit-Pete drama.  Sheesh.  I don't like drama.  

Saturday was just doing All The Things.  Didn't even leave the property all day.  Had a pretty quiet evening, watched Up.

Sunday was just doing All The Things.  Didn't even leave the extended property all day.  Had a pretty quiet evening, watched Toy Story 3.

So a nice quiet weekend.  Got a fair bit done, although not as much as I would have liked.  

On Sunday morning we went down to say goodbye to Kit.  She went down the coast after that to start a new job.  We'll see her a couple more times before they're down there for good.  Gonna miss those guys.  Gonna miss George.  Gonna miss feeding all our kitchen scraps to the chickens.  David will not miss Fonzie!

So Saturday night was our work ball.  Lots of eating, drinking and dancing.  Always a great night!

Us at the ball

The room was blue.  Very very blue.

Blue

The band - Something Like this

Something Like This

Obligatory food photos...

For entree I had the pork belly which was pretty awesome.  The sweetie had the cured salmon and crab but I didn't try any of that.

Ball pork

Ball salmon

For mains the sweetie and I both had the stuffed chicken.  I found mine to be a tad dry and wasn't much of a fan of the polenta cake.  I tried a mouthful of Lachie's lamb and that was pretty nice.

Ball chicken

Ball lamb

We also both ended up with the lemon meringue tart, which suited Lachie and Sarah as they both wanted the chocolate lava cake.

Ball lemon meringue tart

Ball lava cake

Having a Ball

| | Comments (0)

Spent all of Saturday morning doing the trivia night.  Went and helped Kit for a little while with party prep, then went down about 3pm for Pete's housewarming.  Didn't stay long because we had to get ready for the ball (which I'll save for a separate post).

Stayed up very late (including catching the tail end of the housewarming) so was pretty tired today.  Spent all morning on the trivia night (pretty much finished it) and then just Lego sorting in the afternoon.  Had leftovers for dinner and watched some Enterprise with the sweetie.

Oh, and how crazy was the weather today?  Bit of a dust storm across Canberra and crazy winds.

Normally we can see Mount Ainslie, but it was gone!!

Canberra dust storm

Canberra dust storm

Last night we had no plans for new years, and in the evening we watched Fuller House and Rake.  Then Ben and Sarah came over to Kit's so we went down for a quiet celebration.  Watched the fireworks at midnight then we all had a swim.  Bit of a late night for me, because I still wake up at stoopid o'clock no matter what time I go to sleep.  Yeah I woke up at 6:30 hurrah.

Kit being a spud

Today I had a nice quiet day pottering around the house tidying up and Getting Things Done.  I tested the pool water pH and added some more acid, and more chlorine as well.  Fingers crossed things might stay stable now.

Stu cooked up some of the fish for dinner tonight and then we watched Fuller House, the last episode of Rake (hoping they'll film the next season in Canberra) and then The Danish Girl, which was only loosely based on a true story.  One thing that annoyed me: identifying as a woman is a very different thing to having fettish for women's clothing.  Just sayin'.  And it turns out the real Lili Elbe died after complications from a uterus transplant (it was rejected).  What's amazing is how long ago they were attempting such a thing, and how long it's taken for it to be successful (first actual live birth from a transplanted uterus was only a couple of years ago!!).

Oh the other thing I've been doing with the blog is back-dating a lot of photos in some of my older posts.  If you feel inclined you could go through the archives for this year and you may see something new. 

Jingle All The Way

| | Comments (0)

Wednesday was my ex-section Christmas party, which is actually more like a floor party, which I run every year (for the past five years anyway).  This year I put the price up a little because I could barely get enough of everything last year, and last year I also got quite a few bags of free ice.  So this year for $715 I put on a barbeque for nearly forty people.  A good chunk of that money went on beer but I also got a lot more chili sausages from Bonzer Bangers which were very much appreciated.  So pretty much everything I took got eaten except a couple of bags of lettuce leaves, a loaf or so of bread, some beer and softdrink and quite a bit of water (it wasn't a hot day - in fact in rained a fair bit, but it only rained heavily while we were all eating lunch).  Everyone seemed to have a good time which was good :)

Duck

Friday night I made the sweetie watch Love Actually, because, Christmas.

Yesterday was pretty quiet, just doing bit of house work and jigsaw.  In the evening I was going to watch Carols in the Domain, which are always on the last Saturday before Christmas.  Except this year they did them a week ago.  Sad times.  So then tried to find a Christmas movie to watch.  A couple of weeks ago at work we were discussing best Christmas movies.  General consensus was Die Hard, but ChrisT and I both said Love Actually as well.  Connor's contributions were Jingle All the Way, and The Santa Clause (neither of which I'd seen).  So Netflix had Jingle All the Way, so we watched that last night.  OMFG one of the stoopidest movies ever!  Oh dear!

Another Tuesday

| | Comments (0)

Where were we?

Tuesday we went over to wish Noah a happy birthday.  Really don't see enough of those guys.

Noah's 16th birthday cake

Thursday night we got invited over to EffanC's for dinner.  This time Kate P was there which was quite nice.

Friday was the second big work party which was all very pleasant, although I wasn't game enough to ask for leftovers this time haha.  In the evening David came up and we went out to Ikea so he could get some bookshelves.  Hint: going to Ikea on a Friday night is *much* more civilised than going on the weekend!  Went to Shane and Jessica's new place in Queanbeyan afterwards and had pizza for dinner.

Saturday Serena and Ben and Sarah came over for a Christmas pool party.  Which was good but all morning was doing food prep and all afternoon was in the pool and all evening was pool and watching Life of Brian.  So it was a nice day but did take up half the weekend.

Sunday morning David went home fairly early to get home in time for a thing in Wagga Wagga.  We had a bit of a lazy morning, went out for lunch and to do some food shopping.  Then Chris, Mike and Zac came over for a while.  And suddenly it was dinner time and my entire weekend was gone.

Last two days have been winding down somewhat at work which is kinda nice, except for when you find yourself with nothing much interesting to do and resort to clearing out your inbox...

So another week drifts by.  Had awful insomnia last Monday night - couldn't get to sleep forever then woke up really early.  Dunno if I was too hot or too cold or what.  Rest of the week was pretty uneventful.

Thursday night I made a mint-leaf rocky road which was pretty awesome.

Mint rocky road

Mint rocky road

Friday night we had Scott and EffanC over for lots of cheese and finger food, and gave Scott a bit of a whiskey tasting since he'll be missing out in January.

Nibbles

Saturday morning was fairly productive Getting Things Done.  Mostly just jigsaw in the afternoon.  Later in the afternoon Zac came over to stay.  We watched both Die Hards.  As you do.

Sunday wasn't super productive.  After dinner (the sweetie needed pizza) we found the internet pretty much unusable thanks to a cut in the Perth to Singapore fibre which meant it pretty late before we were going to put on a movie.  So decided not to.  I went down to do the jigsaw then the little brother called me to tell me to watch the Lego Brickumentary on SBS.  So ended up staying up just as late anyway.  Whoops.

Yesterday was the first of the work Christmas parties, which was actually pretty chillaxed and we had a pretty good time.  I even came home with a bunch of leftovers! W00t!  Just watched some The Good Place in the evening.  It's all a bit silly but a bit of fun.

Back to Mondays

| | Comments (2)

Friday night we finished the last episode of Voyager where they finally get home.  The last season had some pretty good episodes.  But now I'm looking forward to a break in *having* to watch an episode every night.  It just takes up so much time.  Then we watched The Tuxedo.  Because hey, Jason Isaacs, if only for a little bit.  And Jackie Chan.  Completely ridiculous fluff but a bit of fun.

Went to bed relatively early Friday night, but then woke up at about 1:30am.  And did not get back to sleep.  Til like 5:30am.  And then a couple of hours of broken sleep.  I was a complete zombie on Saturday.  I didn't have the energy to do *anything*.  Certainly no house work. I think I did about an hour or so of jigsaw and that was it.

After lunch we headed out to the club.  I helped decorate the hall while others prepped dinner.  Then we had a swim which was nice.  Fiona did a huge Christmas feast which was pretty epic.  I even managed to stay awake into the evening heh.  Came home before midnight.

Club Christmas

Slept a lot better Saturday night (although only for about six hours).  So Sunday was bits and pieces of housework, jigsaw and food shopping.  Cooked pizzas for dinner and watched an episode of The Good Place, and then Sisters.  I'd said "something fun" for a movie to watch, and that's what we got.  hrmmmmmm! :)

Last night was an even better nights sleep so that was good.  I've finished scanning the last four albums mum brought down, with only their wedding album to go.  But it's very big and all the photos are glued in, so won't be able to scan it on the flatbed, so thinking of other ways to digitise it. Probably have it outside and just take digital photos of it.

Hence I'm sad we don't get one...

Friday night we were going to go to Chrissie's for dinner cause Aunty Di and Uncle Graham were down.  But Chris was unwell, and AD and UG had gone home, so that got cancelled.

Instead a bunch of us went out to the Capital Brewery at Fyshwick for Simon's 40th, which was a great venue, pretty casual (altho no cash at the bar - only cards) and it was very pleasant evening.  I didn't end up buying any food, as there kept being fries, and when I saw the size of the Brod-meals I decided not to bloat myself by eating too much!  Thanks to the sweetie and Jim for lifts there/back.

Capital Brewery

Capital Brewery

Brod Dog

Saturday was pretty much just houseworky type stuff, and a bit of food shopping.  In the afternoon Serena invited us over for an impromptu barbeque which was very nice, with Kit and Pete and Ben and Sarah and Anita also coming. 

Alby's fish tank

Alby's fish tank

Alby's fish tank

Today was more houseworky stuff.

Oh and chickens.  And ducks.

!

Saw a three chickens hatch, missed a duckling and two other chickens.  Super epic awesome. :)

Thursday night we went down to Kit's to play Cards Against Humanity which was a bit of fun.

Friday night Neil and I went along to Roz's 60th at the Abbey.  It was quite a nice night, although she asked me to be photographer which I wasn't super happy about - I like taking photos for myself, but doing it officially for someone else is way too stressful!

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Saturday morning after waiting for the sweetie to get up and do some stuff for work, it was suddenly a lot later that I wanted it to be.  We went out to do food shopping for the evening - where we cooked a roast dinner for forty people at the club!!  Four kilos of pork, two kilos of turkey, a big potato bake, roast veggies, brussel sprouts with bacon, grilled zucchini, minted peas, and carrots, with my own apple sauce, and gravy using all of the pork drippings :)  It was pretty epic, but for forty people it was *just* enough food.  Still, everyone seemed happy, even though the turkey was a little dry on top because I forgot to put foil over it for the first part. 

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

We didn't get home til lunch time today.  I was a bit tired this afternoon so didn't get a whole lot done.  I did finally finish watching through Monty Python series four, so I've now half watched all of it, although it really is rather silly.

Tonight we just watched Voyager, and the new Ghost in the Shell, which I could actually follow, on account of it being dumbed down for American audiences, and me.

And just like that the weekend is over.  Sad times.

The theme for Kit's 30th was 80s characters.  Game/tv/movies/whatever.  I couldn't think of what to go as for the longest time, but then while reading an entry on Kevin Apgar's blog I had an epiphany - Classic 80s Space Guy!!  He's been my avatar for years, so I just *had* to do it!!

I did a bit of hunting around the internet for ideas, and in the end decided to mostly copy this one.  The major difference being I didn't start with a balloon.  I really should have to get a nice smooth dome, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to get it big enough without it bursting in my face while inflating.  So I made a cardboard frame instead.  This worked ok, except the weight of the wet paper and glue weighed it down, so I had to sit it on a bowl on top of some containers, but that raised the top of the dome too high, so it's really not quite the right shape.  And it's pretty wonky.  But hey, it had the desired effect, and Kit loved it.

At this point I was really just getting the size and shape right.  I had to make sure it would fit around my head!  I just started with paper, then added cardboard.

Helmet frame

Adding a bit of strength to the frame.  Stapling was very effective and much tougher than gluing or using sticky tape.

Helmet frame

Testing to make sure it would sit right and the face opening was about the right size

Helmet testing

This is the helmet after the first layer of papier mache.  For each layer I was using about 1/3-1/2 a cup of flour, about the same amount of water (possibly a little bit extra water), and maybe half to a full teaspoon of salt to help prevent mould.  You can see the weight of the wet newspaper sagging into the holes.

Paper mache helmet

This is after about five coats done over several days.

Helmet with multiple coats

Once fully dry, I covered it in duct tape (got a nice blue roll from Officeworks for $8.68).  You can see the bubble wrap I put in around the top of the helmet to let it sit in the right position on my head (and it made it quite stable and comfortable as well).

Finished helmet

The finished helmet

Finished helmet

For the tanks I got a couple of softdrink bottles and wrapped some cardboard around them to make them actually cylindrical, with some newspaper shoved in the gap between the cardboard and the bottles at the top.  I added some extra cardboard around the spouts of the bottles to give them the "top" or joiny bit of the tanks.  Then covered the whole lot in duct tape. I wasn't sure how to attach them to the outfit.  In the end I just stuck on some string to go over my head.  But it was very heavy, so added another loop of string to hook onto my belt to hold it in position and not strangle me.  A "backpack" setup might have worked better but I was worried they'd sit too low on my back.

Helmet and tanks

For the logo I found a good quality png online, printed it out and glued it to some cardboard for strength.  I used sticky tape to attach it, but sadly this wasn't really strong enough and at point the thing fell off and got trampled on.  So if I want to wear the costume again I'll have to print out another one.

Space Lego Logo

For my clothes I simply wore my jeans and my royal blue jumper.  I found some gloves in Dollar Pop for $3.50 which worked well, but made it impossible to use my phone!

Here's me in the finished outfit!

Classic 80s Space Guy

Classic 80s Space Guy

Classic 80s Space Guy

Kit's 30th

| | Comments (0)

Saturday I spent most of the morning getting ready and cooking for Kit's 30th birthday party.  It was family-friendly for the afternoon, including pony rides!!  In the evening after dinner we got picked up by the party bus for a pub crawl, stopping at The Ducks Nuts, The Durham, and PJ O'Reilly's in Tuggeranong.  I had a pretty good time while some of the others got suitably silly hehe.  The 80s music collection on the bus was pretty pitiful though, I struggled to find good stuff to play.  

Pinky Pie pinata. There was meant to be an adults one as well but Kit ran out of time to make it.
Pinky Pie pinata

Kit gave me the ingredients to make up this ambrosia salad.  But there was so much food it never even got brought out.
Ambrosia salad

Stu went as a Rubicks Cube
Stu went as a cube

And I went as Classic 80s Space Guy!!!
Classic 80s Space Guy

Classic 80s Space Guy

Ponies!!

Kit's Pony Party

Kit and the donkey

Me on a pony

The party bus

Party bus

Inside the party bus

Sunday was just housework, jigsaw etc, and I helped clean up a little bit.  Kit had *heaps* of leftover food which various people including us are helping her with heh.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

Kazza the Blank One home