Results tagged “Stress” from Kazza the Blank One

Backdating.. cause I'm a slacker!

Saturday.  Blogged my butt off trying to get everything caught up so I could move it all across to a new host.  Then backed everything up again.  Sausages for dinner, BBT and part 2 of The Dismissal.

Stu taking Stumpy for a walk

Sunday I moved the nameservers for kazza.id.au over to Ventra IP, while leaving the A record for the website pointed back at CIA.  Made sure mail was flowing ok.  Then I sat down to try and get the blog working.  Except it wouldn't work because VentraIP doesn't support DBD::mysql, and don't support perl module installation.  I did have a bit of a go at getting cpan to get it, but I'm too dumb for that sort of thing.  Got pretty depressed about it all.  Did some housework in the afternoon and setup beef cheeks to cook.  Had EffanC over for dinner which was nice.

Wine cheese and candles

Beef cheeks

Mulled wine and a cookie

Later on (at least I think it was this night, if not was around here some time) I was looking at IMDB for The Dismissal, and went to see what else Max Phipps had been in.  One of the things was The Miraculous Mellops.  It sounded vaguely familiar so I had a look - and I did remember watching it nearly thirty years ago!  Although all I could remember about it was the girl with the crazy hair and the Grand Baby, although I have a feeling I know who the next Grand Baby will be.  Started watching through it and have been watching episodes on YouTube here and there over the past couple of weeks.

Monday the usual.  There was supposed to be early fog and a top of 13 or 14.  But the fog never lifted and it only maxed at about 7!

Tuesday passed 2000 of Dad's slides.  Cooked a lamb roast for dinner.

Lamb roast with veggies

Tuesday I tried to have an early night but that didn't work because Stu was late in coming to bed, plus I was uncomfortable and stressed and I couldn't sleep and I was so frustrated I had a meltdown.  Twice.  Didn't get to sleep til well after midnight, and was awake in the middle of the night for a couple of hours as well.  So Wednesday was well and truly a zombie day.  At lunch time I tried to get tickets for the 747 joy flight out of Canberra, but once again, Qantas is EPIC FAIL to deal with as a company.  I couldn't find anything on their website mentioning the flights or tickets at all.  Eventually about twenty past twelve I finally saw an ad on the front page.  I clicked through.  By this time it said Sydney had sold out.  But Brisbane and Canberra seemed ok.  So "searched" for the flight but got an error.  After reloading a couple of times it said it had all sold out.  Fricken typical.  

Qantas fail

Moved some crap downstairs at lunch, but didn't go see my birds.  Had a bit of a look at different hosting providers.  Chicken kiev for dinner because I didn't feel like cooking.  But no BBT!!  Season 12 is not on Netflix!  Bastards.  Yay for a wonderful end to my day.  Not.  

Thursday I watched The Parent Trap, Linsday Lohan version.  I first (and last) saw it back in 2004 and quite enjoyed it then, and enjoyed it again.  I remember thinking Lindsay Lohan was actually pretty good in that movie, and was a bit sad when she went off the rails a few years later.  The remake was *very* similar to the original, except the ending, and the Concorde! :)  Oh we also started The IT Crowd.

Baby chives

Friday we finished watching The Dismissal.  I normally have little interest in politics, but this miniseries was very well done and educational (and if you haven't heard of it - go listen to the recent The Eleventh podcast - it was really interesting too).  Except we were ripped off because the most famous line uttered by Whitlam isn't actually in the movie!

(we got a little distracted by the 80s shots of Canberra, and this typo of November)

Novermber

Saturday had hurty overnight so slept in a bit.  House stuff, lunch, shopping (Coles had toilet paper! ha!), cooked dinner, and cooked up some taco mix to save having to cook it after work during the week.  Used chuck steak to make the Asian style beef cheeks, because Coles didn't have any beef cheeks.  I also doubled the recipe because we never seem to have enough of it.  Chuck steak was ok but not quite the same, just the wrong texture.  Watched Ready Player One, which we last saw on our last cruise.

I like how the glass here didn't fog up..

Antifog

Sunday I had a bit of a sleep in - til 7am!  Although didn't really get anything done all day.  Went for a walk around Aranda bushland with C in the afternoon.

Aranda walk

Aranda walk

Aranda walk

Aranda walk

Did roast chicken for dinner with a blue cheese potato bake.  Watched the first half of the original 101 Dalmatians.

Tuesday morning I felt like I was too freakin busy to go to work.  The housework just never ends.  And then at work I'm too busy to go home.  So. Much. Work.  Then after work it's catching up last night's photo labelling, cooking dinner, dusting, vacuuming, washing up, more photo labelling.  By 8pm I just feel like collapsing - is it bed time yet??  I certainly didn't feel up to fighting with my phone to get videos I'd taken off it.  When I was in bed I checked my mail on my phone but it wouldn't connect.  Which was the start of drama that's been going on all week, and I'll put that all in another post.  But I could not get to sleep that night.

So Wednesday I was super tired.  Brain was all mushy.  And no photo labelling in the evening either.

Log lizard

Wednesday night I slept somewhat better.  But Thursday the vacuum cleaner died.  Again.  David tinkered and fixed it.  For now.  Up to 1900 slides.  Then work.  Then pizza.  Then watched the original Parent Trap.

Friday I over slept!  ok so only by like half an hour.  In the evening we watched part 1 of The Dismissal.  Really well done, I mean how on earth do you make politics *interesting* but they did.

Today was doing hosting stuff in the morning, photo processing, and then *hours* catching my blog up from the past few weeks.  

Also, if you're one of those crazy people that read my blog by going straight to the site, note you will need to go back to the archives as I've gone a bit over the page!

Oh my what a week.

So back to last Sunday.  I forgot to mention we went to the markets for a little bit of food shopping, altho we didn't get very much.  Had chicken cordon bleu that we got that day for dinner because, yum.  Into season 11 BBT.

Chicken cordon bleu

Monday just doing all the things and UK photo labelling.

Tuesday morning I felt like had way too much to do at home to have time to go to work.  But at work I was so insanely busy I actually felt a bit queasy in my stomach.  I was completely on edge all day.  Late in the afternoon I went downstairs to move crap out of David's side of the garage that we'd dumped there on the weekend and I stepped on an air packing bag in the dark (twice in three days - I'd done the same thing in the dungeon on the weekend) and it made a huge bang and I had a full on meltdown right there on the garage floor.  It was definitely a wine and candle kind of an evening.  I asked the sweetie to cook so we got pizza.  hrmm.

Wine and candle night

The boys put on another couple of episodes of Space Force, and I watched the start of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  There was also this photoshop disaster on the Chromecast.  That bridge isn't even in that location next to the Golden Gate Bridge, and the one they've photoshopped in there is only half there, and is distorted in places too.  Epic fail!

Photoshop disasters

Wednesday morning was up to 1500 of Dad's slides.  Then started some pretty full on AWS training (via Zoom).  Also, I'm too stoopid to be a network admin.  In the evening I redid one of the labs to try and figure out what I was doing wrong.  Got there in the end, but I did miss out on two nights of photo labelling this week :(

Thursday wasn't quite so intense.  We didn't have much food in the house, but I did have some sausages defrosted that I bought in March (I got three trays of meat to freeze before everything got really crazy, and figured it was time to use them up).  Managed to make up quite a nice dinner of sausages, cabbage bake and potatoes.

Nothing in the house dinner

Friday was pretty full on.  I didn't have time to go for a walk, and once I was done with the training I had to catch up on all the work I'd been neglecting at work.  Didn't finish til like 6pm.  Watched Howl's Moving Castle (the Billy Crystal english version on Netflix) with the sweetie, which I hadn't seen since we saw it at the movies in Brisbane in 2005.

Friday night I actually slept really well which was nice.  Saturday morning we did various medical things, had brunch at Rocksalt (really nice to have a nice brunch with the sweetie), dropped a boot full of clothes off at Vinnies and did a small food shop at the markets.  

Stu had the shakshuka.  He'd have liked a bit more feta but otherwise liked it.
Rocksalt shakshuka

I had eggs benedict.  Lovely crispy toast and bacon, well cooked eggs and a nice hollandaise sauce - great job!
Rocksalt eggs benedict

Beautifully cooked eggs!
Rocksalt eggs benedict

In the afternoon was catching up on blogging and house stuff.  Also David fixed the display on Stu's CD player which hasn't worked for years (one incandescent light bulb blew, putting too much voltage on the other two which blew as well).  Most awesomest brother ever!!

Fixing the things

Watched some BBT and the next couple of Netflix corona virus documentary episodes (the race for a vaccine and how to cope).  The sweetie and I have been super lucky throughout this lockdown.  Even though we're introverts and actually prefer isolation, we still have each other (and David ;) ).  So we've been coping probably better than most people.  

Today was nice and quiet, mainly just cleaning and tidying the house.  Altho I did feel somewhat cranky this afternoon (the vaccuum cleaner being a bumhead certainly didn't help).  We do have some roast pork in the oven so that should hopefully be nice.

And it rained this weekend!  I put this glass out last night and look at all the rain it caught!

Rainfall

Wednesday last week.

Flowers!

Miniature roses

Chrysanthemums

Saw Stumpy for the first time in ages.

Stumpy

Had leftover lamb for dinner.  I cooked it with broccolini, snow peas, dark soy sauce and some brown sugar, served with rice, cashews and sesame seeds.  For something so random it turned out ok.  Well Stu really liked it and he even went back for seconds.  Looked like crap but hey :)

Lamb and broccolini

Then spent a good chunk of the evening blogging.

Thursday.  Slept well!!  What a refreshing change.  Beer, pizza, and Naked Gun 2 1/2.

Autumn is pretty

Stumpy kept Stu company for a while at work
Stumpy keeping Stu company at work

Friday.  Slept well!  (with assistance).  Finished scanning box 14 of Dad's slides (three this week!).  It takes about ten minutes to scan a batch of four slides, but I can do other things while it's going.  Had a productive morning churning through tickets.

Did our food shopping at lunch.  OMFG Coles had toilet paper!!  First time I've seen toilet paper in Coles since the beginning of March.  Still depleted on the flour/rice/pasta/tomato section though.  

OMFG toilet paper in Coles!

Had a pretty stressful afternoon.  Trying to help someone fix something at work.  Couldn't figure out why it had broken - by rights it should never have worked.  Came up with a workaround, but then had to go with David to get new taps.  Remember a few years back the shower was leaking, and I took a year to regrout and seal it?  Well the shower was still leaking.  Not as much, but it was still dripping downstairs.  And the bath had mismatched taps after our last attempt to get the vanity working, and the vanity taps (at least the cold water) was broken as well.  So really we needed to replace everything in the bathroom.  So David finally had some time to replace the taps, and normally I'd could flex off an hour or two with no problems.  But with the issues at work, plus all the other work I needed to do that afternoon, I was feeling super anxious about being away.  Never a good start to a shopping expedition.  So we went to Reece's first.  They have quite a large supply room, but you can't look at that, you can only look at the show room...  which only had a couple of different options, and we couldn't get any service.  The only person in the room was on the phone (on speaker phone no less) and wasn't going anywhere.  We waited about ten minutes before giving up and going to Bunnings.  So we found a bunch of taps but when we went to check fittings, realised the gooseneck for the vanity is a couple of millimetres too big for the new fittings.  ie, a new gooseneck would be too small for our current t-piece.  #grunt.  So asked someone if we could speak to a plumbing expert.  They called someone and they said he was with a couple of customers.  So we waited.  Eventually he turns up, says, oh there's more options at the back of aisle 58, and I'm leaving for the day, bye.  Great.  So sure enough, the back of aisle 58 has more options.  But the why the #$^@ couldn't all the taps be together???  Idiots.  So looked at the options.  Not really all that many.  Especially because I wanted those fancy taps where you *know* the tap is off, you don't have to grind into the washer to turn it off.  They're called half turn taps, did you know?  But there was only one gooseneck available that was "guaranteed to fit" - because it had the two different sized fittings - we could see it through the plastic.  But it didn't have the half turn taps.  We tried again to get a plumbing expert.  Eventually one came along.  We told him the gooseneck was a different size now.  And he was like.. oh..? really..?   So much for an expert.  Can you tell I was having fun being there just waiting around and not knowing if we were even getting the right thing?  hrmm.  So in the end decided to forego the gooseneck and just get three pairs of taps - two wall mounts, one vanity top.  All the same half turn style.  And also.. OMFG Bunnings was *packed*.  It wasn't even after hours, but I guess because of the long weekend everyone was there trying to get stuff for their home improvements.  Busier there that it normally is even on a weekend!!  Craziness!!

So got home, and I got back into work.  Figured out how/when/why aforementioned problem had occurred (the shopping break was probably good for that).  Ploughed through my work for an hour, then gave David moral support in the bathroom.  The new flanges don't quite cover things on the vanity, we'll need some extenders, and the old ivory gooseneck does look a little odd with the chrome finished taps.  But it does seem that the leak has stopped!  And the new taps are *amazing*.  You can turn them off with just a finger.  Bestest brother in history! :)

David changing taps

I told him he could have anything he wanted for dinner (that was practically possible) .. takeway, delivery, or I could cook anything we had in the house.  He chose the butterfly lamb roast :)  So it was a late dinner, but very nice.  Photo makes it look scary, but it was pomegranate and rosemary marinade, so looked very pink even when cooked.

Butterfly lamb roast

Saturday morning I woke up at ~1am.  Lay awake for two hours.  Got up for a while.  Still couldn't get back to sleep.  So Saturday was a zombie day.  

First real fog of the year
First fog of 2020

I was too tired to concentrate on anything much.  Did a couple of loads of washing, did a bit of tidying downstairs, and a bit of time on the jigsaw (annoyingly there's places where the picture on either side of the jigsaw is almost identical, and because the cut is identical either side, you can actually put in pieces that are wrong, and it takes a bit of effort to figure out which bits are right).  

I got this book when I was a little kid..

Out of Doors book

When I got to this page I literally blew on it!

Out of Doors book

Progress shot on the dungeon.  See that floor?  So can I!  First time since 2014 I've been able to see that corner.  It's been filled with Dad's slides, DVDs and records.

Dungeon partly cleared

Oh, and I made Anzac biscuits.  Photo was a bit of an afterthought, but they were pretty awesome, and still chewy, despite looking brown in the photo.

Anzac Biscuits

Had a few drinks with EffanC before they Zoomed someone else, then had a blissfully early night (asleep by 9pm).

Going to have to call it there for now.  Need to wash my hair.  With any luck I'll finish this tomorrow :)

No movies, no quotes

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

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

These things were so good!  Just like cheese kranskis.

Bacon and cheese sausages - awesomeness

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

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

Kinn Thai crispy pork

Kinn Thai crispy chicken

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

Obligatory fountain photo

Wine and a book

VH-FVZ at Canberra airport

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

Useless info board

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

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

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

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

Ryan's 21st

Ryan's 21st

Ryan's 21st

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

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

Central station

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

Wild Panda

Wild Panda

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

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

Epic leftovers

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

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

Lake is full again

Panorama everything

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

Stop the world I want to get off.

He was a dead end

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So last Tuesday after battling for two nights with Apple, and blogging, it got to 21:30 and I still needed to wash my hair.  Le sigh.

The lake was a little fuller after the hail storm.

Fuller lake

Thursday was a bit of a crazy day.  There was a bushfire near the airport, so people were distracted monitoring that (it originally started in trees that I'd noticed on the way to the club just last weekend were dead because of the drought).  And then it took out some good chunks of our network because an Optus location lost power and they didn't have generator backup there.  And there was a water bomber plane crash.  Sadly it was the same C-130 we saw taking off out of HMAS Albatross last year.  Sad times.  And then they closed the airport (well most flights were cancelled), stranding people in (and out) of Canberra for the evening.  I really couldn't concentrate very well on work that afternoon.  In the evening I was going to watch Coco by myself (finally caught up on all the Pixar movies I started watching a year ago, with just Toy Story 4 to go now - which is coming soon!) but the boys were ok for me to watch it on the main tv and they watched it too.  Was pretty good.  Well except for the whole I issue I had that photos have only existed for the past hundred or so years, so what did people do before that?  Paintings?  hrmm

Friday I went over to Chrissie's and we had some champagne for her birthday and had Chinese takeaway and just chatted which was really nice.  Her car was damaged in the hail.

Chrissie birthday

Hi google

Hail damaged bonnet

Hail damaged bonnet

Stampy

Saturday I did a bunch of research into how I was going to morph Ryan's donut photos.  One person said use "face movie" from Picasa.  My version of Picasa was pretty old and didn't seem to have it, so I downloaded the latest off the Wayback Machine.  And it was magic.  Saved me hours and hours and hours of effort.  Well, I still need to get some final photos from Luc to finish it off but I suddenly found myself free for the weekend.  

In the evening was a party for Aquila's 60th.  Stu wasn't feeling up to socialising but he came and stayed anyway which was nice.  And we didn't have a late night.  There was a lot of food.  Food spam to follow ;)  After the jigsaws!! OMFG!!

Oh hai friends

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th noms

Chris 60th birthday cake

Happy birthday Chris

Sunday.  OMFG I hate Apple.  Ever since I got my XS, it's never synced my Google calendar with the phone.  I've tried all sorts of suggestions but nothing ever worked.  So I gave up and downloaded the Google Calendar app which works just fine.  But it's also stopped syncing my contacts.  Which is more annoying because I often update my phone, but I want Google to be the master.  So I went hunting to see if I could try again to fix Google sycning.  Someone talked about using iCloud.  So I logged into iCloud to find my contacts aren't synced there at all!!!  Even though it's set to backup contacts.  What a retarded piece of crap.  I complained on Twitter, as you do, and they actually responded.  Not with anything useful of course.  I haven't tried the last thing they suggested, because I was completely over it.  I'm going to go back to my old 1999 perl/mysql database as my "master", making sure I have a full backup of everything, then try some more to hack away at it.  

We were originally going to go to the club Sunday afternoon but Stu wasn't feeling up to socialising, so we just stayed home.  Which suited me just fine as I was having fun geotagging my USA 2000 photos, and listening to the Classic 100 Music in the Movies, Rescreened, which I listened to the entire weekend which was awesome.  Did a bit of jigsaw as well.  We watched Quantum of Solace in the evening.  Man, that movie made me dizzy just looking at it.  Such a frenetic pace in the action sequences - editing of shots less than a second each.  Madness.

Monday I woke up at 3:30 and never got back to sleep (well I did for about half an hour at 6:30).  Hurrah.  Spent the day geotagging photos.  It was fun reliving my trip to New York from 2000, with more fresh memories to reinforce it all from a year ago.  I was sad geotagging the World Trade Centre photos though - I found it somewhat strange/disturbing that I could still geotag those photos with complete precision.  I was even able to geotag just about all the photos fairly accurately in Disneyland.  It's amazing how much has stayed the same over the past twenty years.  Managed to manually geotag the entire set of photos in one weekend.  Ok so there were only 727 of them, and about 70 I'd done the other week.  

On Monday afternoon a bushfire started near Orroral, where Stu, Kit and I did the Granite Tors walk a few years ago.  We could see the smoke from our place.

Orroral fire

We watched the first episode of Picard in the evening.  

Got a much better night's sleep on Monday night.   Tuesday the Orroral fire got much much worse.  We could see the pyrocumulus clouds from work.  I got some pretty insane timelapses of it.

Pyrocumulus

Tuesday night I backed up my phone.  It only took 32 minutes and about 8-10 reconnects of the phone to get the photos and the half dozen regular videos, not counting getting two timelapses I got via Google Drive earlier in the day.  Then another 15 minutes to process them (every single video had its timestamp changed), minus the few minutes I ran outside to see the sky on fire..

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Sky on fire

Today I worked from home.  Last Friday David had gotten sick enough of our slow internet upload speeds that he called Internode to see if they could fix it.  Today an NBN dude turned up and went off to fix it.  Turns out there was a broken connector, resulting in exactly half the speed we should have had.  So he fixed that and our download speeds are now back up to 20mbit down, 4 up.  Not quite as fast as it was before, but still twice as good as recent times.  Hurrah!  So at least that was a win.  Smoke from the Orroral fire blew north and the sky got a really eerie green/brown/yellow colour for much of the day.  

Tonight was just going back into the photo labels I'd done for the USA 2000 trip, and giving them a bit more detail and tidying it up.  I also redid all the panoramas.  Back in the day I used a program (Panavue?) that you had to manually set linkage points for it to line them up.  It worked pretty well for fairly horizontal panoramas, but not so well if the camera was angled.  So I redid them in Microsoft Image Composite Editor.  Sometimes Microsoft comes up with amazing software, and this is one example.  Works like magic.  

Case in point:

National Mall panorama - old

National Mall panorama - new

In all the crazyness of the world right now I can't help but be inspired by these flowers growing in our front garden.  They've basically had no water all summer, except during the storm last week.  Yet here they are, in full bloom, smiling at the world.

Pretty pink flowers

Stay safe everyone!

Urgh.  I hate Apple.  But more on that later.

Monday I finished blogging our Hong Kong and Singapore photos and got them online which was good.  Finally I achieved something.  Hurrah.  Logged onto our Disney+ account and had a look around.  There's a bunch of the new live action movies I want to see (although not Lion King), and Toy Story 4 is coming in February.  But there's a bunch of things I want to watch before we take a break from it.

Tuesday.  Blerf.  Stoopid insomnia.  Couldn't get to sleep *and* woke up for ages feeling uncomfortable.  Spent the day deleting All The Things.  Had EPIC steaks for dinner (I didn't eat all this! Not even one of them! ;) ).

Epic steaks

Wednesday I extracted all the geodata out of Google Earth (myplaces.kml) from the geotagging I did of our flights across America in 2000.  Used exiftool to take that geodata to geotag the files, and then fix them up slightly (because annoyingly the data has tilt and range, it doesn't have altitude in the geodata, although I did calculate it trigonometrically).  

Blood sunrise

And it rained!  A bit anyway.

And people that spit chewing gum onto the ground have to be up there with the most disgusting ferals on the planet.  Right up there with those who leave their dog turds on other people's front lawns.

Then Echofon lost its auth, and Internode started blocking me from sending mail via its smtp server.

So a bit of fun, but also a lot of pain.

Thursday we had a bbq at work to finally finish off all the sausages from the Christmas Party.  Stu wanted to have drinks after work so I went to get him, but first we had dinner of pizzas at Grease Monkey.

The lake was very low last week...
Low lake

Pizzas at Grease Monkey

Cute stop-go people

Friday might have shared some wine with Neil at Grill'd.  Made tacos for dinner.  Watched the first episode of Who is America, which was extremelly cringey (especially the gun fanatics).  

Grilld

Saturday morning (after waking up at 3:50 #grunt) I spent much of the morning filing and organising my old photos (mainly the ones taken on my Olympus camera between 1999 and 2004, as well as a bunch taken on the Sony in 2004).  Making sure everything had the date in the file name (so I can find them for the This Day in History project) and just general neatness.  Also with a view to sorting out all the kids' photos for Ryan's 21st.. hrmm.. 

Then we headed out to the club.  Had a swim then a bit of an antisocial with a bunch of people that were out there.  The new carpet and kitchen bench are amazing.

New carpet

New bench top

Sunday morning I spent ages going through the "tool shed" in our van, taking of stock of what's there and sorting things out.  Then came home and spent the rest of the day doing photo filing and sorting.

Monday had a super intense hail storm.  Luckily our car was under cover, and it all missed our house.  But the carnage in Canberra was crazy.  Hundreds if not thousands of cars, awnings and gardens damaged or destroyed.  I'll put up some pics in another post.

Did some food shopping in the afternoon and marvelled at the blue sky, which we really haven't seen in nearly two months.

Blue sky

Came home and then went into battle with Apple.  As per usual, downloading even regular videos caused the device is not attached to the system error.  Had to reboot the phone because it refused to show me the file system at all afterwards.  Twice.  Had to do *multiple* reconnects of the cable to even show the file system.  Then when I got (most of) the files, most files' timestamps were changed by Apple on the phone and had to be manually fixed.  Took literally all evening to get all most of my files.  Transferred some with Google Drive, but even one of the regular videos (not a timelapse) won't play. F#%$ I hate Apple.

Tonight I got home and did a water change in Chrissie's tank and cooked and ate dinner and then it was like 20:00.  #grunt  And then I spent the next hour or so continuing to fight with Apple.  I should paste the table of crazy inconsistent behaviour.  In the end David used his Macbook to recode the couple of videos that I couldn't get to play.

You're lucky you got this blog entry at all.  Two nights battling with Apple is killing my will to live, or in fact do anything.  And I have a billion things that need doing, and none of them are getting done.  I'm dying from the stress of it all.

I don't think I saw any movies this week.  Sad times.  

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...

Didn't sleep well Sunday night - awake for hours with hurty and coughing.  But went to work as I'd already taken too much time off.  Slogged my way through the backlog of tickets.  Had leftover antipasto for dinner, haven't made a dent in it.  And so. much. smoke!  Got lots done on my own todo list.  Was hoping for an early night but didn't finish the "urgent" stuff til 21:30.

Tuesday continued doing All The Things.  The wind swung around in the evening and blew in all the smoke from Braidwood, so sky went from relatively clear to smothered in the space of a few minutes.  Was pretty scary.  Had more antipasto for dinner.  In the evening I was looking at storage units - I just wanted to see what the things cost these days.  But the couple I looked at sure don't make it easy.  Instead of a simple table saying how much each size is per month, no, you need to fill in all your details before they'll give you any information.  And then they want to call you.  And message you.  Over and over again!!!  Sheeesh.  For what I want it's prohibitively expensive, will just get some tubs and stack things in the garage.  

Thursday was drinks for Noah's birthday.

Birthday boy

Friday the sweetie went to the club for the night, so David and I watched The Hunt for Red October.

Saturday had a great day doing All The Things.  Got heaps done, but also relaxed and generally took my time.  Was a productive yet relaxing day.  I updated a couple of previous entries with photos if anybody could be bothered going back to look.  Watched Kit and Pete's ship leave Sydney on their honeymoon.

Kit and Pete's cruise

Watched Die Hard in the evening.

Today was pretty quiet.  Didn't get a whole done, which is a bit worrying because of how much is on the todo list.  But have been trying not to panic and take things easy this week, as I've been stressing myself out trying to do everything.  We did do some food shopping, lamb roast for dinner, then photos/blogging.

Praying mantis

Yippee Ki Yay

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Yeah so Sunday night had a great night sleep but woke up with a sore throat Monday morning.  By Monday evening I knew I was getting sick.  Didn't sleep well - in fact was in bed for four or five hours before getting any actual sleep.  So Tuesday spent most of the day in bed.  Watched a documentary on Die Hard (from "The Movies that Made Us").  

Slept quite well Tuesday night so worked from home Wednesday.  But OMFG the STOOPID!!  Just dealing with people who don't understand basic networking, or in fact how their own applications work.  So frustrating.  Even the brother type person got cranky at me and I just wanted to rage quit the whole day.

Got the sweetie to trim my hair.  Asked for two inches, got six.  oops.

Hair before

Hair after

Wednesday night I was awake for hours coughing and so zombie tired Thursday morning, so gave up on that day as well.  Spent all morning in bed, then we got ready and headed down the coast for a long weekend for Kit and Pete's wedding.

Back home Sunday night.  Still sick.  Still coughing.

Back at work today.  Still sick.  Still coughing.

My todo list is out of control.  The house is out of control.  

Stop the world, I want to get off.

The truth is I never read you ..

Not on the internet.  This is what happens when stuff is broadcast on the radio before the internet was a thing.. 

Moving on.

Monday the sweetie cooked dinner because he was home all day.  He called it cabbage hash - cabbage, halloumi and egg.  Starting getting a cold sore.  In a spot I haven't had one in in like thirty years.  I thought I was pretty much immune to the ones I had as a kid.  I normally get them in a spot I first had them in in 1999 when I got one off Marc when he was two.  So this is either a relapse, or potentially a new strain from somewhere.  The horror.

Tuesday smashed out my photo labelling.

Wednesday someone rang me up, started ranting at me, and I'm like *breathe*, and then she hung up on me.  I hate hate HATE the phone, HATE talking to strangers and can't deal with being put on the spot like that.  Everyone around me was all WTF too, apparently she has a reputation for being rude.  Welcome to my black list.  Couldn't concentrate properly the rest of the afternoon.  Didn't do any photo labelling that night, just watched For Keeps?

Thursday was still feeling delicate.  My computer had a spaz and wouldn't unlock and ended up having to reboot it.  So was feeling like everything is awful on Thursday too.  

Friday I took a Random Day Off, but spent most of it doing housework.  Met up with the sweetie and Jenn for a drink at Hippo Bar (very slow service, I gave up, eventually Stu got me a drink).  Had Grill'd for dinner.  Went into the Canberra Centre to wash my hands while the sweetie minded my bag.  Tried to buy dessert but the buttplugs at the little macaron/dessert bar near the gym don't take cash (remember I didn't have my bag with me so no credit card).  So I literally said "too bad so sad bye bye" and walked off.  Cranky the rest of the evening.  

So generally a pretty damned crap week.

On a lighter note.. seedlings!

Parsley seedlings

Stumpy has been *starving* this week.  He'll often see me in the morning and come running hoping to be fed.  This week had BBT's first visit to the comic store, and the first use of "bazinga" (at the end of season 2).

Saturday took my bridesmaids dress to the seamstress to get fixed up (this is why I never buy clothes on the internet).  In the afternoon we headed out to the club.  Had a bit of a life planning meeting with the sweetie, then had an Oktoberfest feast.  Not of the wombat though!  

Baby wombat

Oktoberfest beef

Oktoberfest beef and schnitties

Oktoberfest chicken

Oktoberfest rosti

Oktoberfest cabbage

Oktoberfest beans

Oktoberfest dumplings and spetzle

Oktoberfest apfelkuchen

Oktoberfest desserts

Today I got photos online for the five Caribbean island shore days we had on our last trip, check them out in the links.  

Stu had some "protein pizza" bases delivered this week, so tried those out tonight.  Not bad.

Protein pizza

Tonight just BBT and The Good Place, blogging and an early night.

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.  

He met his Waterloo

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So Monday.  Sick.  Had a bit of a lie in, but again no extra sleep.  Blobbed around.  Watched New Moon, which was pretty lame, and the start of Eclipse, which was a little better.

Realised I had fifteen different cheeses in the fridge.  Plus powdered parmesan in the pantry and some colby jack in the freezer.  To be fair some of those were nearly empty, or just different brands for the same thing.

Fifteen cheeses

This is not quite as good as with the thick toast, but still pretty darned awesome.

Cheesy toast

Tuesday I worked from home, although I really should have taken an extra day off.  Even though I was just *sitting* so not physically exerting myself, the drain on my brain was a bit much.  Watched the end of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn Part 1 in the evening.

Wednesday was starting to feel better, but worked from home again.  Watched the start of Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Back at work on Thursday.  Watched end of Breaking Dawn Part 2.  After Twilight which was ok, New Moon was pretty lame, and they slowly got better as the series went along.  Also talked to Mum and Chrissie (which was a bit random - she'd gone up to help clear out Diana and Graham's house and pick up a few things she'd given them over the years, and was staying with Mum).

Friday a bunch of us went over to Doc's for drinks after work which was all very pleasant.  He certainly has a great entertaining space.  I showed Stu an aerial view of the house and he said "that's not a house, it's a complex" hehe.

Doc's complex

Saturday Nat and Andrew came over for hanami lunch, although the petals were mostly all gone from the tree.

Hanami

Hanami

I even beat Nat at Mario Kart!

Mario Kart scores

Oh hai Stumpy

Stumpy

Watched A View to a Kill in the evening.

Sunday was a nice home catchup day, doing All The Things.  Went to the markets in the afternoon to pick up a few things.  Turns out takoyaki man is there on Sunday afternoons (or at least he was yesterday) but Stu wouldn't buy me any booo

Takoyaki at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets

Got frustrated with the George Harcourt trying to book Kit's hen's night.  I'd tried to call on Friday but the first thing they say is they have an online booking system now.  So I had a look but there's only "indoor" or "outdoor" but Kit wants to specifically book the little room at the end of the restaurant.  So I called again on Saturday.  They really really don't want to talk to you though.  They say if you need to book "today or tonight" to press 1.  For all other enquiries press 2 to leave a message.  Or to book a function call a mobile number, which they rattled off really quickly without repeating so I had to call back to get it.  So I called that mobile number.  And had to leave a message.  I fricken HATE the phone so this caused me all kinds of stress.  And I still haven't managed to book the place.  

Watched The Living Daylights in the evening.  During the movie my phone died.  Just wouldn't respond to any touch or key press. Plugged it in for a while but still nothing.  My usual trick of holding the volume down and unlock button didn't work.  Eventually I googled and one thing to try was volume up, volume down, hold unlock button.  I tried that but it didn't work.  Tried it again later and fortunately it did.  Very upsetting though.

And there we are, finally caught up.

I'm backdating this entry to a week ago.  I was sick last weekend so didn't feel like blogging, then it all got too hard.  I'm also using a View to a Kill quote even though I didn't watch it last week, because otherwise I would have had two to use this week ;)

Monday I got home and put on my washing and sat down at my computer only to find the internet wasn't working.  Rebooted the router but it didn't come back.  Messaged a few people around - turns NBN were doing work all day Monday resulting in various outages.  Damien's internet came back but ours didn't.  And there was *nothing* on Internode, iinet, Aussie Broadband, Telstra or TPG's websites about the planned (or, as it turns out, unplanned) outages.  Fricken useless ISPs.  Stu got home and logged a fault with Internode.  It ruined my plans for the evening (labelling photos) because you need the internet to see geo location of photos.  I did do a whole heap of filing of photos from the past few months though.  But even then I got frustrated because I couldn't check geo locations of photos I was filing, or Foursquare history to confirm locations. 

Also on Monday I had to drop the rent on my place in Sydney by $40/week.  Turns out there's a surplus of unit rental accommodation in Sydney and prices are dropping.  Hurrah.

Tuesday there was still no internet.  So no photo labelling, just more filing of photos.  Internode messaged Stu to say they wanted someone on site all Thursday morning.  #grunt.  

Wednesday someone accidentally broke everything, so stayed back til 21:30 helping fix everything.  The equinox sunset shone all the way down the floor which was pretty cool.

Equinox sunset

Thursday I flexed off to wait around for the internet to be fixed.  At about 10:20 a dude turns up and barges into the house wanting to see the modem.  I mean literally - he didn't wait to be invited in.  I was pretty cranky about this because this outage WAS NOT OUR PROBLEM.  NBN caused the outage, they should be able to fix it without even needing to come anywhere near our property.  So he looks at the modem and of course gets sad by the fact we have our connection patched into a patch panel and not a direct connection from outside.  Then he wanted to see where the connection came into the house and I showed him the corner of the roof and said way up there.  Anyway he had a bit of a sad and got on his phone and said he was going to go check the node.  Yeah you do that buddy.  I did a bunch of gardening out the front while I waited for him to come back.  About an hour later he came back.  He checked the line and plugged the modem back in.  Checked on my computer and all good!   Yayyy!  Yes, NBN had disconnected us on Monday and hadn't bothered to reconnect us.  Happened to a house three doors down too apparently.  Retards.

But.  Flowers!

Weeping cherry

Hanami

Hanami

Freesias

Irises

Hopped straight on a bus to work (even got a free ride!).  Had quiet drinks and pizza leftover from Wednesday night for dinner.  Had a chat to Kit about her hen's night.

Friday met up with EffanC for drinks and pizza at the Pot Belly (pizza three nights in a row hrmm) then adjourned to their place for a while.

Pot Belly pizza redux

Pot Belly pizza redux

Saturday I woke up with a sore throat.  So a slow start and didn't get too much done.  Then it was hurty which stuffed up the afternoon.  Did food shopping quite late.  Realised that at some point recently, Microsoft FINALLY enabled control-backspace in Notepad!!  I've only been waiting for that for twenty years!!  Still not enabled in our work SOE though.  Watched The Crimes of Grindelwald in the evening which was a confusing mess of a movie.  

Sunday still sick.  Had a long lie in although very little actual sleep.  Played through a whole heap of escape room games.  The first few I found were really good, but after that the ones I played were pretty lame - incessant ads (even *in the middle* of doing puzzles) or would lose progess if you got out of the game you were in.  We had to cancel the hanami lunch with Nat and Andrew because Nat was worried about getting sick.  We did have a beer and some honey soy chicken chips anyway.

Hanami

Tried to sleep in the afternoon but failed.  Stu cooked salt and pepper squid for dinner.  Watched the last episode of Veronica Mars season four.  I could see the ending coming like an invetible train wreck and I was NOT impressed.  It was a total slap in the face which ruined the whole last season.  Everyone on IMDB was *pissed* and I don't blame them.  

Early night Sunday, and decided I wouldn't be going to work Monday.

So when I left you on Sunday night I was frustrated at the whole experience I'd had with Qantas that afternoon.  In the end my booking hadn't gone through properly because of a problem with my credit card (I never use it, in fact I don't think I'd used this one since activating it, so wasn't really surprised).  On Monday I tested the credit card worked (it did) so in the afternoon I called Qantas.  Where I got in a queue that said I would be on hold for THREE HOURS.

!!!!!!!

Are you freaking kidding me?  Most companies have different queues for sales and support.  Sales *want* your business and so put on more staff to handle the calls.  Not so Qantas.  So I complained on twitter.  As you do.  There was a bit of back and forth during the afternoon, and they said they'd call to try again with the credit card.  Which they did - while I was in the other room having dinner and watching Brooklyn 99, so didn't hear the phone.  

While I was waiting again, I got onto Emirates' site. I put through the same itinerary, which 1) actually seemed to let me do (I got all the way up to the payment page), 2) had a much better connection to Singapore, giving us a few extra hours there, and 3) was THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS CHEAPER.  I asked Qantas if we could please cancel.  I was too upset/stressed from the whole thing to concentrate on anything much, so I went and cleaned the kitchen.  Of course as soon as I left the room Qantas called again.  Sigh.  But confirmed my wish to cancel the booking and eventually they did.

On Tuesday I put the whole booking through Emirates.  I still had issues with the credit card (the two-factor code wouldn't come through to my phone), so I just used a different card.  And that was that.  Done.  

Although Emirates do price gouge with seat selection - $20-$30 for regular seats, $120 for the little pair of two at the back of the plain, who even knows how much for exit row seats.  There goes that saving...

So Qantas had three lost opportunities to get my money.  If their multi city flights were actually usable I would have booked on the spot, using whichever credit card had worked.  If their booking management system had actually made a provision to "pay now" and let me pay online, I would have.  If they didn't make me wait THREE HOURS in a phone queue I would have done it over the phone.

Qantas really need to lift their game if they want to stay competitive in 2019.

Sigh.

Monday morning I cleared a massive backlogs of tickets due to me being away on Friday for the funeral.  Started to panic at the sheer volume of work facing me for the week.  And I couldn't get anything done on Monday afternoon due to nonstop interruptions.  Every one of them tore my concentration away so the *one thing* I was trying to do I couldn't get done.  In the end I managed to get it done between 5pm and 6pm when everyone else had gone away.

Cloudy

Tuesday not *quite* so busy, but did get stuff done.

Wednesday I was in race condition mode.  That is, too many high priority tasks competing, which meant I actually didn't get anything meaningful done at all in the morning.  Sigh.  So did some stuff for Henrch, and then Shane saved me by pushing back on the people that haven't done their docos :)

Also on Wednesday I had just stood up and was looking out the window and saw a Tarago back into a car in the car park, bumping it so I saw it move.. and then it drove away.  I grabbed my camera and took some pics.  And then went and left a note :)  I did get a call from the police asking for the photos, but no word of thanks or even acknowledgement from the owner of the car that was hit.

Bumped car

Aldi proved themselves once again to be a bunch of scammers.  Neil saw an ad for some scotch that he thought he'd get for the bar.  So we had a look at lunch.  But not only was there none of that scotch to be seen, but there wasn't even an empty spot on the shelf for it.  There was no price tag at all for that scotch.  Which clearly meant they never had it for sale at all.  SCAMMERS!

And then on Friday Dan's tried to charge me $14.99 for a bottle of Henkell.  I knew when I saw the price tag there was going to be trouble, so I took a photo of it, and got it for the cheaper price ;)  

Dan's Henkell price mismatch

When we got home on Thursday night I was in the family room doing up my hair and talking to the sweetie when I heard something and saw something move out of the corner of my eye.  One of Chrissie's clown loaches was flopping on the top of the book case next to the tank.  It must have been startled when we got home, but it had somehow managed to get out between the loosish lid and the tank wall (might have to weight it down heh).  Grabbed the fish and plonked it back in, and it's been fine ever since.  It was lucky I saw it too, I don't normally linger at that spot for very long, it would have been just as likely for me not to even have noticed til the next day.

I really wanted to have a random day off on Friday but there was just too much work all week.  I think I closed something like 30 tickets which is *huge*.  I did manage to leave at 4pm tho.  Started watching Friends with Benefits until the sweetie got home, then we watched For Your Eyes Only.  I haven't seen most of the early James Bonds in probably twenty years or more - when Dad used to put them on while I was still living at home.  But with the early ones I could still remember bits and pieces and even the odd lines of script and one-liners.  But I have no memories at all of For Your Eyes Only, except for dropping the dude down the chimney at the beginning. 

Saturday morning was the usual house work type stuff.  Not too much in the afternoon.  Finished watching Friends with Benefits.  Silly and predictable, but hey, New York.  Watched Jackie with the sweetie.  It wasn't bad, but had a very disjointed filming style.

Sleepie Stumpy

Bacon pizza scrolls

Today was Lego picking, trivia night planning, photo culling, lunch out and food shopping, more of the same in the afternoon.  Watched Parenthood before dinner and finished after. Roasted a stack of veggies for dinner and watched some Veronica Mars.

And blogged.

Monday doctor; Hero Sushi for dinner (it met expectations - it disappointed).

Garema Place in colour

Garema Place in colour

Tuesday continued photo culling.  I managed two days all week.  It's fricken hard work.

Misty lake

Wednesday was KFC for lunch (tradition).  Ate it while listening to an AWS guy deep dive into some stuff, so most of it went over my head, and I was stuck there for two hours which my legs really didn't appreciate.  Then had to deal with people blaming the firewall for blocking stuff.  Sure it's blocking stuff, but only because they upgraded their application, not because we changed the rules.  Went and shared some bubbles with Neil which was nice.

Birthday bubbles

Then to Bella Vista with the sweetie.

Had Assagini for entree - a mixed seafood platter consisting of calamari, scallops, prawns, San Danielle prosciutto and an avaocado and tomato salsa

Bella Vista assagini

Stu had Gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce cheese

Bella Vista gnocchi

I had bistecca: wagyu sirloin, creamy mash, prawns, spinach, green beans, pancetta, garlic butter sauce.

Bella Vista bistecca

All very nice.

Birthday selfie

Saw this on Thursday.  Driven by quality.

Driven by quality

Friday morning I drove myself up to Sydney.  Had lunch with Mum at the village - lamb roast.

Village roast lamb

Then off to the funeral.  Actually the thanksgiving memorial - the private funeral was in the morning.  It actually went for quite a long time - an hour and a half.  They used a whole heap of photos of Mum's that I'd scanned in recent years and sent them all through to Chrissie to pass on (they didn't have access to the house to get any of their own photos).  Saw quite a few people that I knew from years past, even Kristen from school and Joe W and Michael S so that was nice.  

Funeral flowers

Schoolies

Chrissie and I completely geeked out and went and stood in the hall of the church where we met thirty years and a couple of weeks ago.

Where Chrissie and I met

Hung around til almost the end before Joe gave us a lift back to Mum's (we took the train earlier because we figured we'd have to walk about the same distance as if we drove).  Stopped in at South Village to have a look.

South Village

South Village

Back at Mum's I had a quiet toast to Diana and Graham.

Cheers Aunty Di

Then we played Rummy Tiles, which Mum and Diana played every Friday night for years.

Rummy tiles

Saturday morning Mum and I looked at dates and travel options for our trip next year.  Then I headed off.

Met up with Kit in Dapto so she could look at a horse she was interested in buying.  She had a decent long ride and I took a whole heap of video for her to get an idea of whether she wants to buy or not (by today she'd decided not to - the horse was an old pacer so wouldn't canter).  I even had a little ride (my phone went a bit spastic so it was very dark and unsaturated, no idea what that was about, fixed up somewhat but not ideal).

Kit on Walter

Me on Walter

Stu wanted gnocchi bake for dinner, so went to Chris's for supplies and did it.  Then we watched Moonraker.

Today I spent most of the morning trying to catch up housework.  Did some food shopping and finally got to go see takoyaki man!  The guy makes actual takoyaki, although he'd run out of octopus by the time we got there late morning, so we just had pork.  Next time we go earlier!

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

This afternoon I thought I'd book flights.  Sounds simple.  Four legs, which I put into Qantas' site.  But every time I got to a certain point (confirming passenger details) it gave this friendly error:

Generic error

WHICH IS COMPLETELY F#$^ING USELESS QANTAS!!

So I got onto their chat line (took about thirty five minutes to talk to someone) and they spent a good twenty minutes trying to reproduce the problem ("I'm also having the same error in the website. Let me check this in our system").  Eventually he says "I have checked and the reason why you're unable to proceed online is that there is no combinable fares for a Multi City trip."  Which really doesn't help me much.  After a few repeats of "I don't understand" it seems that the cities don't actually link up in the middle.  Because it's Europe.  Who goes back to where they came from anyway?  So I wasn't going to be able to book it via the website.  Qantas is completely pathetic.  If this sort of itinerary is going to cause an error, why don't they say that before I move off the very first page?  Why lead me through another couple of pages before throwing up a Generic Error that doesn't actually tell me what's wrong?  Sigh.  So anyway, for an extra $200 he put it through manually, although after all was said and done, I got an email saying there was a problem with payment and I have to call them anyway.  Fricken great.  Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway so dinner was an hour later than I wanted because I spent so long dealing with Qantas.  Watched Brooklyn 99 and Veronica Mars (they keep bringing back characters that I've forgotten about so have to go look them up, and other characters that I *do* remember, like Leo and Vinnie and Weevil :) ).

Crazy week.  And two weeks in a row without a proper weekend.  Really must take another random day off..

Time

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I need more of it.  Everything takes longer to do than it should, and there's just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Pretty standard week.  Busy in parts, not busy in others.  Fun and games with failed hardware, but did get dual nics working on the mail server in the new environment (well Connor did the hard bit, I fiddled with the server config).

Thursday the return of the vomit pizza!  Well not quite, but it does have a cheesy sauce base.

Vomit pizza redux

Also, as it turns out, I never posted a photo of the original vomit pizza.  This was taken in August 2017.  OMFG it looks disgusting but it was sooo good ;)

Vomit pizza

Saw this Friday morning which made us lol

Poo carters

Friday came home a little early.  Started watching He's Just Not That Into You which was a bit of fluff, kinda reminded me of Love Actually where everyone is connected to everyone else.  When the sweetie got home we had leftovers and started watching The Desolation of Smaug.  Way too long a movie and we ditched it with still a little over an hour to go and went to bed.

Saturday morning catching up on house stuff.  Then headed out to the club.  Where we accidentally bought a new van.  Which is about five times the size of our last van (actually probably even bigger).

New van

New van

New van

New van

New van

Then back home, and straight out again, to EffanC's for drinks and cheese on one of the last warm days of the season.  Had dinner of one of C's amazing salads.  So all very nice.  Except the drama.  Don't like drama.  Dropped in to see Annie and the kids and Daisy for a bit as well.

Saturday night/Sunday morning woke up around midnight and didn't get back to sleep til after 4am :(  So was a bit of a zombie today.  I thought I'd do a little Lego picking (finish picking the six sets I started this week) til maybe lunch time, then tackle the todo list.  Except I was still going strong on the picking by dinner time and I'd done like ZERO things on my todo list :(  Well other than finish watching He's Just Not That Into You.  And I did pull out some periwinkle and load the green bin.  Kit called just before dinner asking if I'd be a bridesmaid, which is very exciting (Audrey was going to find it too difficult, living in another country and all).  Roasted some potatoes and had those with leftover chicken and watched Discovery.

How do you stop windoze 10 just forcing a patching reboot whenever it damned well feels like it???  HATE Microsoft.  More time taken out of my evening trying to get back into everything it shut down.

Now just need to find some time to breathe....

Flamin

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Tuesday Neil and I had dinner at Pho Hub.  I had flaming chicken with hoisin sauce.  And it really was flaming!  Neil had his usual.

Pho Hub

Pho Hub flaming chicken

Then we went and saw The Lego Movie 2.

Wednesday night was a trivia night.  We won.  Again.  The organisers could have done with a little more practise, or at least have someone like Doc vet it all to save arguments with the crowd hehe.  The first three rounds were pretty tough, but the second three rounds were somewhat easier.  We did well with our Joker (double points) round, but annoyingly, not all rounds were worth the same.  Some were out of 10, others up to 12.5.  hrmmmm.

Thursday a bunch of us went to Chompy's for lunch.  I had the Iron Mikee.

Chompy's Iron Mikee

In the evening we saw the episode of Fuller House where the kids go to the prom.  So then I watched the episode from 1993 where DJ and Steve go to their prom.  Silly really.

Friday Annie had her appendix out.  Must be contagious!  In the evening we watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  After enjoying it at the movies because my expectations had been lowered, this time I felt a lot more like the reviewers that said it was way too long.  It's kinda tedious watching movies that are just massive cgi-fests.

Saturday morning was just house stuff.  At lunch we went out and got a new light for the bedroom fan light.  Had lunch at Yat Bun Tong, but couldn't face shopping at Coles in the mall so went off to Jamo to do food shopping.  When we finally got home it was pretty much time to make dinner.  The other week I'd made up a tomato sauce with a big batch of Kit's tomatoes.  So made a bechamel sauce and made up a big lasagna (from Lana's recipe).  It turned out quite well (looks a little overdone, prolly should have covered with foil for some of the cooking).

Kit lasagna

Kit lasagna

A little while later Kit and Pete came over.  They'd come up to see her brother and family before they went back to Germany, and came back to our place to stay the night.  They had some of the lasagna which seemed kind of appropriate, and we chatted and watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail and went to bed a whole lot later than I wanted to.  But I did manage to sleep in til 8am old time, 7am new time, so that was fine.

Spent way way way too long picking parts for five Lego sets today.  This whole process is going to take *forever* :(

Kit and Pete eventually went home.  Was feeling a little lost this arvo.  Cooked a nice roast dinner though, and we watched Fuller House (bringing us to the end of season 4) and Discovery.  

Also, that light we bought:  didn't work.  So don't know if it's the light or the fitting or a seemingly non-existent starter.  Very upsetting.

Up Your Shaft!

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So where were we?  Oh yes, yet another week has passed..

Wednesday morning we hopped a flight to Melbourne for Kit's graduation.  

!!!

Her parents were overseas so couldn't make it, so we filled in.  

Wait, let me backtrack a minute.  On Tuesday morning the sweetie messaged me to say his ballot for a points upgrade to business class had gone through.  So I'm like.. friggen great.. now I could lose my left-side-of-the-plane window seat.  So I tried to check in online.  I was able to choose seats on the left side of the plane (yayy!!) but the screen hung after the declaration of dangerous goods.  I tried to reload the page but it just said I couldn't check in online.  Thinking it was me stuffing up the webpage loading I tried to call Qantas to reset the error.  None of the options on the phone menu matched anything I wanted so I just ###### in an attempt to talk to a human.  Well it did put me in a queue.  For the next forty five minutes.  In the end I tried the online webchat, and got through to a human pretty quickly.  They said because of our upgrade we couldn't check in online.  Well why didn't you fricken say that on the error on the webpage you buttplugs!!!!  Why make me waste fifty minutes on hold (before I evenutally hung up after talking to webchat person)?!?

Anyway.

So we got to the airport somewhat early, and sure enough did get the seats I requested which was a relief.  Had breakfast in the business lounge which is somewhat nicer than regular Qantas club, and I had bacon, eggs and mushrooms for breakfast and a croissant.

Ok so business class.  Never flown it before.  Ok the service was bit nicer/quicker.  They offered us still or sparkling water before take off.  And we got actual metal cutlery and didn't have to peel a cover off our quiche.  But the seats, while wider and more legroom, were more reclined than usual, and I couldn't actually reach the floor, even with my slight heels.  So somewhat uncomfortable.  I'd much rather business class on a long haul flight so I can lay down flat(ish).  It is somewhat more quieter in front of the engines though.

Qantas 737 business class seating

Qantas business class quiche

So on a Canberra to Melbourne flight you really want the left side of the plane.  You typically take off to the north from Canberra airport, then curl around to the west then south west over north Canberra.  Which means.. I can see my house from here!  Had a great view of Canberra, everything I hoped for.  At least that part of the flight was pretty awesome.

Mt Majura radar station

Gungahlin town centre

Northern Canberra

Gungahlin town centre

Canberra

Belconnen town centre

Lower Molonglo Water Control Plant

Tidbinbilla

Mt Hotham Airport

And then to Melbourne.

We got tickets for the Sky Bus, because it's like half to two thirds the price of taking taxis, and went pretty close to our hotel.  Funnily enough, we booked into Travelodge Docklands, where I've stayed twice in the past year for work.  When booking the hotel I asked for a room on the east end of the building, because it has a much nicer view.  But, like just about every other customer service experience I've had in the past couple of weeks, it was terrible, and they ignored my request, and we ended up on the west end of the building with a lovely view of the Channel 9 building.  Thanks Travelodge.  NOT!

Channel 9 building from Travelodge

We couldn't actually checkin when we arrived at 12pm, so dumped our stuff and headed over to the Convention Centre for the graduation.  We met up with Kit and Pete, and then we went to the pub across the way with Pete while Kit got a gown etc.  She met up with us just before it started and then left again.  We finished our drinks but even though we were only slightly later than the suggested time, the auditorium was almost completely full, and we had to sit way over on the side and couldn't sit with Pete, he was two rows in front.  The graduation ceremony was .. well it was a graduation ceremony.  Hadn't been to one since my own in 1996.  Was somewhat like I remembered.

Pete and Kit

Kit on graduation day

Pete and Stu

Kaz and Stu

Kit's graduation

Kit's graduation

Afterwards there was some pretty average "refreshments".  Kit got her degree framed and bought her stage photo, then we queued for the studio photos.  For like an hour.  We were getting pretty tired by then.  And they were all stoopidly fussy about anyone taking their own photos, which I thought was COMPLETELY ridiculous.  There was no way we were going to queue for an hour and then not buy any of their photos.  STUPIDITY, GFP!! I didn't even bother, but Pete got told off for trying to get a quick snap.  I hate that sort of attitude, GFP, JUST SAYIN!!

Afterwards we walked Kit and Pete back to their apartment and had a couple of quiet drinks (Kit's back was killing her and the sweetie was super exhausted so we didn't go out).  Then walked all the way back to our hotel, where we had thins and aero for dinner and watched the end of War Games.

Yarra River

Reflections in the Yarra River

Flame bursts outside the Convention Centre

In the morning...  well other than breakfast in the hotel which was ok .. but .. 

Second Qantas drama in a row.  I tried to check in to the flight but we had been "upgraded" to exit row seats.  Which are like THE WORST SEATS ON THE PLANE.  Right over the wing, you can't see a damned thing.  This is an epic DOWNGRADE for me.  And I couldn't change the seats online.  Once again, we had to go to the airport to deal with it.  I told the sweetie he could keep the seat if he wanted, but he said he'd sit with me.  So I explained my situation to the checkin dude who was all cool and gave us seats further back.  Although row 22 which is still a bit close to the wing.  Not like the seats I actually reserved when I booked.  Completely pissed off with Qantas over all the drama they caused me.  The flight wasn't even full, and we could have had seats further back.  At least the sweetie didn't have to sit in the middle.

So work, drinks, etc.

Friday morning was optometrist appointment.  Honestly Specsavers are *completely* unorganised.  I first went two years ago and got a full eye check and new glasses.  They said they'd like to get a baseline for potential glaucoma (family history and all), and scheduled me in for a checkup in a year's time.  So last year I got the reminder notice, and booked an appointment.  When I got there the staff were all like.. "why are you here?  You just had a checkup..? and I'm like .. um, because you told me to.  They eventually figured out I was just there for the glaucoma tests.  Again they said come back in a year.  So I got my reminder recently and booked in an appointment, making it quite clear that it was just for the glaucoma tests.  So I get one of the tests, but then the one of the optometrists comes out and he's like "why are you here?" and I then had to explain the situation AGAIN, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE STORE!!  Don't these guys understand *anything* about patient confidentiality???  I was actually pretty annoyed with the guy.  Specsavers please get your act together!

For lunch Neil and I were planning "grease" at KFC, but the queue was a bit long, so he suggested Grill'd, which usually involves sharing wine.  Then hot chocolate at Max Brennar.  Whoops ;)

Last Sunday night we watched Star Trek Beyond, which I could barely remember anything about it was that.. memorable..  So I decided we should watch all the Star Trek movies from the beginning.  So on Friday night we watched The Motionless, sorry, Motion Picture.  Honestly nothing happens.  They get called on to intercept a thing.  So they do.  And that's all they do for the next two and a quarter hours.  Although I can imagine that trekkies after a ten year break would have wet themselves over seeing the Enterprise on the big screen.

Saturday was out to the club for yet another whole day wasted, this time for the AGM.  

Oh I should mention, since we got back, after Pete's sister left on Friday, I was feeding Kit's animals.  On Saturday morning I went out and collected twenty one eggs!!!  So Saturday night we used nine of them to cook a frittata for dinner.  Fun times.

Then we watched Khaaaaaaan.  

Today was just a quiet day doing all the things, although not all the things, cause I don't have time for all the things.  Did do some food shopping and cooked a lamb roast for dinner. 

And then we watched The Search for Spock.  There's a bunch of funny quotes, but the one that transported me back at least twenty five to thirty years was "Up your shaft" which Scotty mutters to the turbolift.  I first saw this movie in probably about 1990 with Chrissie.  I can't remember anymore if we hired it or if it was on tv, or if we watched it at her place (I think we did) or mine.  But I do remember we both absolutely cacked ourselves over that line.

And so ends another week.

Snow. And Suckage.

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When I went out to the kitchen yesterday morning this is what I saw:

Googong snow

Snow!  I didn't think it was cold enough for snow, but there was a big dumping on the hills above Googong.

The morning was spent cleaning, tidying, organising.

Then went on several missions:

  • dump three boxes of books at Lifeline: success
  • dump a bag of junk at the Green Shed: success
  • exchange or get a refund on the DODGY Aqua One LED lights: fail*
  • get 10c refund on some drinks bottles: success, maybe**
  • food shopping: success***

* Remember I had to replace a dodgy Aqua One LED back in January?  Well that light we bought last October died a month or so ago.  And then another light we bought in March died a couple of weeks ago.  So that's ALL THREE DODGY lights from Aqua One have failed - one after just four months!!  In January Jem Aquatics replaced the light on the spot without any drama.  But this time they weren't playing ball.  They took the two lights and the receipts and said they'd talk to the Aqua One rep and get back to me.  Well they haven't yet.  Not only that, but that light that was replaced in January?  IT WAS DEAD THIS MORNING!!  THAT'S ALL FOUR DODGY AQUA ONE LIGHTS HAVE FAILED!!!!!  I am completely pissed.  If I pay twice as much for a light, I want it to last twice as long, not HALF as long!!  I really want to get my money back on them and go back to flouros.  And NOT Aqua One.  They completely suck.  Dodgy cheap made in China crap.  I've always hated Aqua One.  The whole episode left me feeling a bit stabby.

** So the ACT has started doing 10c refunds on bottles.  There's a collection point at Vinnies in Belco, so we took a box of bottles there.  I was expecting a machine that would scan the barcodes of the bottles and provide cash on the spot.  You know, like EVERYWHERE ELSE.  But no, there's a computer screen and a human.  You have to REGISTER to return your f@%$ing bottles!!  How f$@*ed is that??  They want name, address, phone number and even a freakin security question such as mother's maiden name.  Are you freaking kidding me???  All for a dollar or two at a time's worth of bottles.  And I didn't even get any money back - they just bag everything up and tell you "you'll get your money some time".  Yeah right.  As we were leaving they were packing up, so you can't even go at a convenient time.  Return-IT you SUCK!  I really should have just told them to screw themselves and just dump everything in our recycling bin.

*** I was pretty upset from the lack of outcome with Jem Aquatics and terrible experience from Return-It, so food shopping wasn't much fun.  We got a turkey roast and other stuff.  Got home and was on my feet for the next couple of hours preparing dinner and making a caramel slice.  Collapsed in front of an Anthony Bourdain and Frozen.

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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