Commentary: December 2010 Archives

2010 Year in Review

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So not a bad year all up :)

Let's see.  Where to begin.

The year started with me away from the sweetie - I was visiting old Sydney friends.  First year since we met that we weren't together on New Years, which was a bit sad.

Did a fair bit of other travelling during the year.  

The big trip of course was to Japan and the UK in September.  It wasn't the best holiday I've ever been on.  Japan was 34C for five days in a row, and I didn't have shorts.  And the UK was grey and/or raining for a good chunk of the time we were there, plus we missed out on going to Legoland which was pretty devastating for me.  But on the plus side, everything "worked" in terms of bookings.  We didn't get robbed.  We didn't crash the car.  We didn't miss any planes or trains.  We did see heaps of cool stuff.  So really I can't complain too much heh.

Had quite a few smaller trips as well.  Spent a couple of days in January at the coast with all of Stu's family.  Would have been better if I'd brought stuff to entertain myself with heh.  Went to Mogo Zoo then.  There was a quick trip to Sydney for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.  Went down the coast to DaveC's house three times in March, August over my birthday and October where we had a great whale sighting.  Went to Melbourne over the Easter weekend to see Cats with Nat&Andrew.  That was a cool weekend, we'd love to go back and do more Melbourney things.  In July we went to Queensland for a long weekend to visit Chay and David.  Decided that July/August is definitely the time to go to Brisbane, so will probably do that again this year.  And another quick visit to Sydney on Boxing Day. 

Had a very busy year at work.  Rolled out new proxies at the beginning of the year, but they were fraught with problems from the start and it was very stressful.  After several patches during the year, they finally settled down, only to have the upstream proxies start playing up.  Blah!   

Semi work-related were a ball in March where I managed to squeeze into a ten year old dress, but only just barely!   I also made a slightly drunken bet that I'd wear a dress to a Melbourne Cup lunch if all the boys wore suits.  Our director unfortunately decided to take it seriously and made all the boys wear suits.  Reluctantly I had to go buy a dress and wear it.  We also ran a trivia night that I think went really well.  And attended work drinks pretty much every week I was in the country ;)

One of the big projects at work took several months and was so stressful I'm sure it led to a high blood pressure reading in July.  I've been working on relaxing at work (and at home) and subsequent readings have been a lot more normal.

Otherwise healthwise I had a great year - just a cold early in the year but nothing else.

Spent a lot of time with Nat and Andrew during the year.  Those guys are always so much fun to be around, we really enjoy their company.  Also did a few Singstar nights with Windy and DaveO and saw Damien and Amanda a few times as well.  JamesC came to visit a few times, and the whole family stayed with us a couple of weeks ago.  The Hokins clan came to visit, as did the parents a couple of times and the little brother a few times.  We've spent a lot more time with DaveC in the second half of this year.  Seems I get on with him a whole lot better now that we're not working together heh.  

Had another heat wave early in the year which meant us putting quite a bit of ice into the four foot tank to try and keep the temperature down.  Seemed to work and we didn't lose any fish from it.  I'd moved the danios downstairs so they wouldn't overheat, and found a couple of months later some baby danios that had been surviving quite happily unattented.  When I later moved the danios back upstairs, there were more babies in the downstairs tank.  Win!  Stu got a colony of duboisis for the four foot, which are great fun, and will follow you around when you go to look at them in hopes that you'll feed them!  Stu's also gotten back into killifish and has been diligent at looking after his fish again.  We're back up to fourteen habitated fish tanks now!

On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, we had a very cold winter.  This year the pool froze over probably a dozen times (it only froze over twice last year).  One of the days the ice was a full 3mm thick in places!  We even had snow in October.  Go figure!

On the Lego front, a whole stack of Toy Story Lego was released so had to get all of that.  And six new Harry Potter sets as well, although really only one of those is "new".  There's a few other cool sets I want to get too.  Went to BrickExpo in August which was very cool, and made me wonder if I should put anything in one of these years.

Other toys included an iPhone for me, a Blackberry for Stu, a video camera for Stu, a Canon 500D for me and a PS3.  

So I've had the 500D for four and a bit months and have already taken 15000 photos on it!  The majority of those in the UK of course ;)  I still haven't sorted my UK photos *at all*.  I did however manage to sort enough of our Japan 2009 and Europe 2008 photos to get the highlights into the blog entries.  One of my next projects will be making photo books of those trips.  I did make a photo book of our wedding as a Christmas present for parents.  Having seen the finished result (which I was stoked with) there's a few little changes I want to make and need to fix up some of the images before we get our copy printed.

Around the house, we bought a whole stack of bookshelves for the downstairs room and set those up.  So that room is quite well setup now.  The garden has gone slightly feral though, especially with all the rain we've had recently.

Shows seen this year:
  • Canberra Show (ok technically this isn't a show ;) )
  • Ron Mueck exhibition in Queensland
  • Spamalot - so much fun and great for an amateur production
  • Twelfth Night - quite well done
  • Wishful Drinking - super awesome!
  • George Hrab - wished I'd listened to more of his music before the day (me fail!)

Movies seen this year:
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Kung Fu Kid
  • Inception
  • Not the Messiah (should this be a show or a movie? heh)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Books read this year:
  • "Watership Down" by Richard Adams
  • "On the Banks of Plum Creek" by Laura Ingalls Wilder (and the rest of the Little House books)
  • All five Belgariad books by David Eddings
  • "Vet in Harness" and "If Only They Could Talk" by James Herriot
  • "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell
  • "Bare Bones" by Kathy Reichs
  • "Jaws" by Peter Benchley
  • "Seven Little Australians" by Ethel Turner
  • "Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher

And a few other bits and pieces:
  • Installed Windows 7
  • Got a new niece - Violet Grace
  • Tried my first ever Big Mac, and quite liked it
  • Went to the Dinosaur museum at Gold Creek
  • Climbed a couple of mountains - Black Mountain, and Mount Painter a couple of times
  • Had lots of fun making panoramas with Microsoft Image Composite Editor
  • Lost all my holiday GPS tracks because iTunes sucks donkey balls
  • Lots of trips to various ACT (and NSW) dams as they all filled up and overflowed.  Haven't made it to Bendora yet, I kept being on call or there was too much rain closing the road to it
  • Tried out Crust Pizzas.  Stu is on a mission now to try them all :)
  • Got heaps of my dam photos and other photos onto the RiotACT
  • Had a Yellowbeard night here with a bunch of Daves and a Neil
  • Watched the end of a lunar eclipse

Phewf.  Yup, busy year :)  I'm actually amazed I got this thing written *before* the end of the year - that never happens!! :)

Six hours to go.  Have a great 2011 peoples!  Happy New Year!!


I started this post like so:

Just before Christmas had a look at Scrivener Dam at a more sedate water level.  I'll have to go back again later in summer when things are a lot drier and so some more comparison shots..

However when I went to compare one of the pics, I realised I never actually posted photos of the flooding on December 9!!  What a fail!!

So.  December 9.  Googong Dam was testing out its new spillway in stylish fashion.  Half of Queanbeyan was under water.  The Molonglo was filling Lake Burley Griffin to overflowing.  They opened four of the gates on Scrivener Dam.  Tonnes and tonnes of dead trees filled the lake and also went over the dam.

It was a pretty epic day.  DC and I and CB 1&2 went down at lunch time to try and get a closer look, but they'd blocked off all the roads to the dam in anticipation of opening all five gates.  Turned out they didn't, which was good, cause I'd have been mad if they had and I couldn't get photos ;)  We all went back after work when they'd opened the roads again (along with most of the rest of Canberra heh).

So here's some pics of Scrivener Dam and the Molonglo on December 9.

Under the Tuggeranong Parkway
Molonglo River in flood
Parts of the bike path were under water!
Molonglo River in flood
Look how thick the wall of water is!
Scrivener Dam
It was really stinky down here.  The Queanbeyan sewage treatment works had been inundated, and partially treated sewage was flowing through the lake and over the dam.
Scrivener Dam
Look how high the water got!  There's a pic later on showing lower water levels for comparison.
Scrivener Dam
Half of Canberra came to have a look
Management station
There are trees in the middle of all that that are completely submerged
Molonglo River in flood
So many dead trees (and some live ones) were washed over
Dead trees flowing over the dam
The dam with three gates open
Scrivener Dam
So much water!
Scrivener Dam
More trees
Scrivener Dam
And some night shots just for fun
Scrivener Dam by night
Scrivener Dam by night

So skip ahead to December 23.

The dam was still very full - water was lapping over the edge!
Scrivener Dam
See that small sign at the base of the nearest vertical bit?  That's where water was up to on December 9 (see pic above)
Scrivener Dam
Scrivener Dam
Even this level looks pretty high.  Will have to go back at the end of February..
Molonglo River

Book update

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I'll get around to a Christmas in Sydney post eventually.. when I feel up to it :/

But for now, here's a few books I've read since August..

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
I finished reading this just before we went overseas.  Had to force myself to start this book because I knew it was going to be depressing (I'd seen the John Hurt movie a long long time ago - didn't remember too much about it other than it was depressing).  It lived up to expectations, but at least I can say I've read it now.

Bare Bones - Kathy Reichs
Stole this one off Chay when we visited in July.  Really enjoyed this one, wouldn't mind reading some of her other books.  Bones' character in the books is surprisingly "normal" as opposed to the very odd character in the TV show.

Jaws - Peter Benchley
Started reading this just after watching it on telly a while back.  It has a few differences to the movie, and actually I think I prefer the way they did things in the movie better.

Seven Little Australians - Ethel Turner
I'd read this a long long time ago and may or may not have seen the tv show.  Not a bad little book.  Actually it was kinda fun reading this book which was set only just after the Little House books, but in a completely different environment.

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher
After seeing her live, I thought it would be fun to get the book.  So the book is pretty much the stage show written down, so a good momento of the night.

Sorry JC and Bren :(

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When I first started blogging in early 2003, I went looking for other bloggers to read.  Just about the first one I found was JC (his blog was called Harry Volts at the time).  I've been reading his blog ever since (altho it's gone quiet of late) and his (now) wife Bren's as well.  So I read all about their cats, their wedding, their house and all the renovations and work they put into it, and their babies.  As you would over eight years.

Last Friday their house burnt down

They lost their cats, but thankfully not their babies.  All that work they did on the house.. all gone..  epic sadness...

When I was your age

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So Dave dragged me along to George Hrab's show in King O'Malley's today.  I'd heard some of his stuff before (including the song "When I was Your Age" down the coast one time) and bits and pieces of podcasts.  But as always with these things, it's always super cool seeing and hearing someone you've only ever heard electronically before.

He did a bunch of songs for a while, then did an "Ask George" bit, then a few more songs.  At around 3pm I think he finished up, but then he hung around the bar and chatted to people for ages, and then later on played a few more songs to the few of us that were left.

All in all it was a lot of fun and very cool :)

George Hrab
George Hrab
George Hrab
George Hrab

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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