Results tagged “People” from Kazza the Blank One

But the most recent one: people that buy stuff on ebay that don't bother to contact you after a week, even after repeated emails to them.  Or people that buy stuff on ebay, keep saying they'll be there "tomorrow" and then never turn up.

Hate.

In other news.

I've been having more Christmas parties - a big work one that went late and was a lot of fun.

Then instead of a nice relaxing weekend, I had to deal with aforementioned sucky people, as well as lots of other people trying to coordinate pickups remotely at mum's.  And this was down at the coast, without a computer, and I didn't have my ebay password and it was all a super huge stress.  Really really didn't want to have to go away that weekend, but it was S&K's combined 40th and we've been terrible relatives this year so thought we'd better go.  So had to go via the club, then headed down.  Stayed at Dave's house (thanks Dave!) but just did some jigsaw while Stu collapsed, then we watched some Veronica Mars and had pizza for dinner.  Didn't even bother with the spa.  Next morning was the party, although it didn't really get going til we had to leave.  Left there and headed straight to Sydney (we had to take two cars down the coast).  Sigh.  

Shelly Beach, Moruya

Shells

Potty surf skiing

Potty surf skiing

Fairy wren

Fairy wren

Fairy wren

Extended family

Got to Sydney and didn't even get to dump my stuff - had to go straight to the new place to meet the uncles etc, then we went out for dinner which was quite nice.

Home, dealing with annoying ebay people, collapse.  Didn't get to sleep til like 1am though :(

And then there was chaos in the city today which made things .. interesting ..

Tonight I went along for a drink after work for pdif's farewell, but then got a better offer - drinks with the sweetie and some colleagues at the Wig & Pen.  Except the Wig&Pen was full, so we went across to PJ O'Reilly's.  There was only five others - a guy from Stu's work who was originally from China, and his Japanese girlfriend, a Japanese guy there on a work exchange trip, and a lady and her American partner.  So a lot of talk about travel, a couple of beers, and a very pleasant after work outing.

We stopped in at the Dumpling Inn for dinner - shredded beef Peking style and ginger fish.

Dumpling Inn

So we were leaving Jamison this morning after doing our shopping and pulling up to the exit onto Bowman Street.  There was a car in front of us so we slowed down, but then from our right this car was coming right for us.  I freaked out because I thought it was going to hit us.  Then the driver of that car blasted his horn at us and was going WTF?  And we're going WTF??? YOU BUTTPLUG!!!!

So this was us as the red line.  And the buttplug coming at us from the right as the blue line.  We quite clearly had the right of way, and he was quite clearly in the wrong.  

People are buttplugs

I totally hate people.

Hunter Valley

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Day 1

The day after boxing day we made our exit from Sydney.  Since we had to be back on the 30th for my cousin's wedding, the options were to stay in Sydney, go home, or have a couple of nights somewhere else.  We decided to go to the Hunter Valley.

We let the GPS guide us out of Sydney, and we managed to avoid the most horrible piece of road in Sydney, which is the five kilometres between Gordon and Hornsby, where it's just stop start the whole way.  The GPS took us round the north of all that, and it was much less stressful.

It's amazing the number of L-platers that were out.  I reckon they should either be banned from highways altogether or allowed to do the full speed limit.  Because forcing them to slow down on the freeways just makes everything slow for everyone else.

Learner drivers

We decided not to go up the Sydney-Newcastle freeway, opting to get off at Peat's Ridge and take the back way.  We mostly had the road to ourself, and it was a much prettier and less stressful drive.

Driving

Bucketty!
Bucketty!

Coming down the valley along the Great North Road was very pretty
Driving

Spaceman in a sculpture park north of Wollombi
Alien

Cessnock is very pretty at the moment with all the trees in bloom
Cessnock

As it turned out, we probably should have gone up the freeway, because we decided to go out to Minmi, which is right next to the freeway.  So it was a bit of a detour, but we weren't in any hurry so that was ok.

Crazy big house on Richmond Vale Road
House

Minmi Courthouse
Minmi Courthouse

Caboose in Minmi
Caboose in Minmi

I want a liqour shelf like this!  Pretty!  Popped in here to get a (non-alcoholic) refreshing beverage
Liquor shelf

Then out to the cemetery to find graves of Stu's rellies

Minmi Cemetery
Minmi Cemetery

Stu hunting
Minmi Cemetery

Found one!
Minmi Cemetery

These guys found their own rellies
Minmi Cemetery

Then onto the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.  A little pricey, but very nice.

Crowne Plaza reception
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

We got a hotel style room in the main building.  There's a tonne of self-contained units around the place that hold quite a few people.  They looked lovely, and people were out with deck chairs sipping wine, which totally looked like the life :)  They're a bit further away from the main building, and something like $800/night - ouch!
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

View from our room - not that exciting
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

What I did love about the place was the abundance of power points.  Something like 14 of them around the room, in nice useful places, like right next to the bed. 10 points right there!
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Settled in and got ourselves freshened up, then went for a walk around the place

The huge pool.  A bit emptier at this point, but it was full of people a little earlier.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Giant chess set (there was a checkers set in the main building too)
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Beach volleyball court
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Waiting in the Vista Lounge before dinner
Vista Lounge, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

The Red Salt restaurant (also the breakfast buffet)
Red Salt, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Our view for dinner
Dinner view

We started with this lovely Adina (a local) Pinot Grigio
Pinot grigio

The sweetie enjoys the wine and the view
The sweetie

Stu's entree.  I think this was "Caramelized Tart, of golden shallot and baked locally sourced goat's cheese, witlof salad"
Red Salt Dinner

I had "Warm salad of lobster, kipfler potatoes & frisse endive, poached quail eggs & black truffle dressing"
Red Salt Dinner

For mains Stu had "Coq au vin free range chicken, braised in Hunter Valley pinot, golden eschalots & smoked bacon, roast garlic puree, fried bread crumbs".  This thing was delicious - and look at that huge chunk of bacon!  Yum!
Red Salt Dinner

I had "Confit duck leg with cassoulet of white beans, lovedale smokehouse sausage & bacon, poached quail eggs".  The duck was nice, but too many beans for my taste.
Red Salt Dinner

We also had a side of "Sauteed mixed mushrooms with garlic and sherry vinegar (Swiss Browns, Buttons, King Oysters, Enoki)".  Omigosh this was so delicious!  One of my favourite parts of the meal!
Red Salt Dinner

We also had an amazing Rosehill shiraz - so smooth!  Yumm!
Red Salt shiraz

For dessert we had some Brokenback vintage cheddar (we were too full to eat any more!)
Red Salt Dinner

After dinner I was so full I went for a little walk around the place.

Took this nice HDR shot from the entrance area on my phone
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

 

Day 2

We had breakfast the next morning at the resort.  A pretty decent buffet of food.  Was quite crowded though, even though we were there near the end of service.

Breakfast

At 1pm we piled into a little minbus with a family of Swedish people and headed out on a winery tour (stopping to pick up some other people on the way).

Stu in the minibus

Our first stop was Peacock Hill Winery.  This was quite a small winery, and was much like the tours we did at Yass last year with a very small cellar door and crowds of people.  I found it a bit stressful, but the lady was reasonably well organised, so it wasn't too bad.

They have dinosaurs, which kept the two little Swedish boys amused
Peacock Hill dinosaurs

Peacock Hill dinosaurs

Peacock Hill selection of wines
Peacock Hill wines

Yeah being driven around the Hunter Valley tasting wines is a lovely way to spend an afternoon
Winery tour

The next stop was McGuigan's.  Having heard of this winery it wasn't surprising that they had a much bigger cellar door.  And they have this whole room setup for tour groups that looked pretty amazing.

McGuigan's

Tour group wine tasting room
McGuigan's wine tasting

Us at McGuigan's
Us at McGuigan's

This cork stool looked pretty cool (but $249 and not particularly practical)
Cork stool

McGuigan's also make and sell cheeses.  We might have bought some, but didn't have a cooler bag or a fridge at the hotel.
Stu inspecting cheese

Sunflowers at McGuigan's
Sunflowers

Next stop was the Pokolbin village for chocolate and cheese tasting.  The chocolate tasting was ok (half a dozen nibbles of chocolate), but the cheese tasting wasn't really anything special.  First you had to find the store that was doing it, then you had to ask for the cheeses to taste.  Yeah, not ideal.  

I did buy this cute little chocolate penguin from the chocolate place.
Chocolate penguin

Our last stop was Brokenwood.  This had a medium-sized cellar door and we sat around barrels to do the wine tasting.  We even got to taste a wine which was normally only opened for people paying to taste the wines.  So that was very nice.

Brokenwood

Brokenwood

On the way back we got up close to some kangaroos, which I think all the tourists liked :)

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

So a very nice (although somewhat expensive) afternoon, with half a box of wines and fortified wines acquired :)

For dinner we went to the Grapevine bar for beer and pizza

Beer

The sweetie

This was the "Truffled Mushroom" pizza, which sounded nice on the menu (swiss brown, button and enoki mushrooms, white sauce, confit garlic parmesan, thyme and truffle oil) but was a little bland
Grapevine pizza

This was the "Italian" pizza - pepperoni, capsicum, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, parmesan & chilli, sour cream, thyme and rocket.  This was much nicer (I think the sour cream was a winner!)
Grapevine pizza

After dinner the pool was looking nice so I wanted to go for a swim.  But a change had come through which made it quite cold.  So we didn't stay in long.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

 

Day 3

So our final day.

First stop (after breakfast at the Scottish Restaurant in Cessnock) was a trip to Morpeth to look for more of Stu's relatives in the cemetery.  We didn't find any.  Just some harness horses trotting by.

Trotting horse

Then to St John's College, only to find the whole place has been turned into a retirement village.  So far the historic buildings remain, but who knows for how much longer.

St John's college

Walking around to the chapel
Chapel

The organ is still there, but the chapel is now a little community hall
St John's chapel

And the garden out the back has a gazebo, and the cross has been removed.  A bit different to last time we were here.
St John's chapel

And instead of a nice view out to the floodplain, all you can see is houses
St John's college - retirement village

So that was all a little sad.

Kept wandering.

This is the bridge at Hinton
Hinton bridge

And we found another probable relative of Stu's in the Hinton Cemetery
Hinton cemetery

Next up the sweetie thought it might be nice to head to Port Stevens, and Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay.

Nelson Bay sign

As apparently did the rest of New South Wales
Nelson Bay

It was so crowded it was painful.  We didn't stop anywhere along the beachside.  Couldn't have anyway - no parking!  Just snapped a pic out the window.
Nelson Bay

We did stop at the lighthouse though (only because a super huge 4WD couldn't fit into a half sized parking spot, so we got it)

Nelson Bay Lighthouse

Nelson Bay Lighthouse

Nelson Head

Carried on.  Shoal Bay was just as crowded.
Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay

Eventually ended up at Fingal Bay where we stopped for lunch a few streets back from the beach, where there was actually parking.  Fish and chips and potato scallops.  Because that's what you do when you go to the beach.  Even though we were nowhere near the beach.
Fish and chips

So left the craziness behind and headed back to Maitland to meet up with Margie at the Fox Bar.  This a nice little wine bar.  We had the whole front area to ourselves, but it was only when I went to the loo that I saw the lovely little garden they have out the back.
Fox Bar, Maitland

And finally headed back to Sydney.  Would have been uneventful except a horse float overturned on the freeway near Kariong killing two horses and completely closing the road.  The GPS saw it coming and we took a detour around it.  No idea if it worked out faster (it probably did) but it was certainly less stressful and no stop-start traffic for us.
Trouble

Finally made it back to my parent's place and crashed into bed

Scary

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So I get home and the power is off.  Dead.  The main switch to the house is off.  So turn it back on.

Checking everything out, I hear a banging.  Most unusual.  Eventually found it.  The side gate.

Break in
Break in
So some buttplug has come along and totally ripped off the latch to the side gate, padlock and all.  I couldn't find it anywhere around the yard (unless they hid it well).  

My working theory is they broke in to go around the back, saw the alarm in the garage, turned off the power, found the alarm was still on (it has backup batteries) and decided not to bother.  Because there was no evidence of any forced entry anywhere.

Makes me a bit scared to leave the house :(

..maybe people are more empathetic (not the sweetie, he's the bestest sweetie ever)

Rainbow
Rainbow
Rainbow
Rainbow

What do you do?

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Saw an article on Boing Boing during the week about "What do you do?" being a question most Americans ask each other when they meet.

Well I have to say it's not only Americans that do it.  Just about everyone I've met in Australia has done it too.  In fact they did it so often it used to drive me completely mental.  I used to *HATE* meeting people at church, because I'd ALWAYS get the same questions - Where do you live? What do you do?  I automatically got so defensive about it and once I was quite rude to someone that did it to me.

Yeah I'm pretty screwed up.
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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