Kazza the Blank One: May 2018 Archives

Achoo

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Yeah so I got sick.  Fun.  Not.  I blame Ray.

Felt a bit blah yesterday.  We still did food shopping though.  Did a few bits and pieces and some of the jigsaw.  In the evening we watched Anon which was quite interesting and we enjoyed it.

Today was just more feeling blah.  Again with just house bits and pieces, photo labelling, and jigsaw.

Also, Vince Matsko replied yesterday to an email I sent him last year with a photo of the geodesic icosahedron .. I might have squeed just a little bit :)

Thursday night Hao was in town so we caught up for dinner.  Went to Alice's for dinner, and Koko Black for dessert.  Good to see him again, this time only six years since I saw him last.

Alice's crying duck salad

Alice's black pepper beef

Alice's pad thai

Hao

Friday night was Enterprise (we're into season three now) followed by Flying High.  Love that movie hehe.  Then a bit of Cards Against Humanity with Kit and Pete.  Because there was only three of us, after a few rounds we introduced a "dummy hand" - putting cards at random into the mix to give more options to choose from.  For a while the dummy hand was doing better than me!  Silly really!

Saturday Stu had an appointment in town in the morning so I went in with him.  Dropped off a huge bag of used coffee pods, and got a bit annoyed because they'd moved and I had to carry the heavy bag further.  Then did a few Ingress missions.  Then bought a new jigsaw with the gift voucher Ben S had given me a while back.  Came home and organised some stuff then started the next section of the Disney Behemoth jigsaw.  The bag I pulled out at random was The Lion King.  Dinner was a complete mashup of pretty much all the leftovers left in the house.  A very random meal but it least it got rid of most stuff in the fridge.  In the evening watched Enterprise, Homeland and Trumbo, a movie about a Hollywood screenwriter who was a member of the Communist Party and had to work under false names due to being blacklisted.  We quite enjoyed it.

Today I woke up with a bit of a sore throat.  Hope I'm not getting sick.  Have been alternating between computer stuff, house stuff and jigsaw.

reCaptcha

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Old version died.  Too hard to upgrade.  If I could be bothered I'd look into it.  Turned it off for now, although I'm not republishing the entire site so only new entries won't have the reCaptcha (which is probably a good thing).  If I start getting a lot of comment spam I'll think about turning it on again.

Less than a month.  Twenty three days in fact.

That's how long it's taken me to get my New Zealand photos geotagged, selected for a slide show, selected for the blog, and blog updated with the photos.

That is an all time record for me.  Usually it takes a couple of years (and then some!).

Of course it helped that the holiday was only five days long!

Check out my New Zealand 2018 blog.

More of that

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Thursday night I got an alert for a three star passing of the space station, so went out with Lachie, followed by Jim and Connor.  They were all suitably excited to see it fly over :)

Friday night the sweetie had an eye appointment after work so we had dinner at Happy's.  Headed to the swim night after that, followed by nibbles and soup at EffanC's.

Saturday was Junee.

Sunday I tried to get through some of my todo list but didn't make very good progress.  Went to EffanC's for leftover nibbles and soup and we watched Fight Club, which I hadn't seen for a very very long time.

Friday night a week ago, a bunch of us went in to Library Up Late.  It was an interesting concept, with a keynote discussion with Ben Law and Jenny Phang (of Law School fame, although I'd never actually heard of them), live music, displays of ephemera and other talks and entertainment, as well as food and drinks available.  We quite enjoyed it.

Marriage survey ephemera

Live contortionist

Ben Law and Jenny Phang

Junee

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So on Saturday the Albury-Wodonga Lego User Group put on "Bricktastic" in Junee.  Seemed like as good an excuse as any to head down and visit the little brother.  So Saturday morning I headed down.  It was quite foggy for much of the trip which was kinda nice.

Arrived at nearly 9:30am, and then headed to the pool and rec centre.  Instantly I confirmed what I knew would be true - it would be peaceful and uncrowded - nothing like the ridiculousness that is the Canberra Lego shows (that I stopped going to because, kids).  Had a good long wander around, it was pretty cool (it was, in fact, bricktastic!).

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

Bricktastic, Junee

After we were done there we headed back to David's for a little while.

Then headed out again.  We stopped by Peter Neve's, but sadly he wasn't home (haven't seen him since Dad's funeral).  Had a quick look at the trains.

Peter Neve's trains

Peter Neve's trains

Peter Neve's trains

Went to the Junee Hotel for a pub lunch.

Then up to the showground to go to the circus.  This was a Lennon Brothers circus, and it had animals other than horses - I thought exotic animals had been stopped in circuses in Australia years ago.  This one had three lions, monkeys, ponies, donkeys and camels.  It was quite a fun afternoon.  They couldn't have made much profit though - there weren't many people there.  Maybe there would have been more for the evening show.  There were no photos allowed, which is fairly common for performance shows, and I would understand flashes distracting the performers, and phone screens annoying other audience members.  But.  They were selling flashing glow sticks and spinning LED lights which are far more distracting and annoying than someone taking a few photos.  I reckon the real reason they don't want you taking video/photos is in case one of them falls or gets attacked by lions and they don't want it recorded.  But the real kicker was the kid outside (who played a clown) telling us not to take photos of the animals outside (before we even went in).  Little anti-photo nazi.  That sort of attitude to photos really pisses me off, and did colour my mood for the show.  So I'm going to post the couple of photos I got anyway.  So nyer!

Circus tent

Lions at the circus

Circus monkeys

Stopped the IGA on the way back and picked up some stuff for dinner.  

But first we did most of a 550 piece jigsaw.

Then I cooked up some chicken (butter chicken - Chicken Tonight), rice and veggies for dinner.  And we watched half a dozen episodes of The Good Place, which was good to watch again from the beginning knowing how things go later on.

Then this morning I came home, again through fog in various places along the drive.

I've got a bunch of stuff that I don't need very often stored in cardboard boxes under the house.  Years ago I bought a bunch of book boxes from Millers Storage, and as well used a bunch of Acer computer boxes from a lab refit we did at work years ago.  Which is all well and good, however, silverfish.  I'm worried about the paper in those boxes getting eaten by silverish (if they haven't already, even in plastic garbage bags in those boxes).  I decided it would be a good time to go through each box, get rid of stuff I really don't need, and store the rest back in plastic storage tubs.  In the past I've bought Willow Snap Lock tubs from Bunnings, however Bunnings don't sell them anymore, so I had a look on ebay and Willow were selling them directly.   Awesome, so I bought a bunch back in January.  But I never did get around to using them, because Vic brought over all his Lego in February and I used all my spare time sorting it.  In April I actually started using those tubs to store Vic's sorted Lego once it had been checked and sorted.  But as I was coming to the end of filling the tubs, disaster!  I found one of the lids had been badly damaged. 

Cracked lid

Cracked lid

I assume it was in transit, because I don't know what could have happened to them while they were sitting unused in the garage.

So I got onto ebay's site, and tried to contact Willow about it.  I couldn't reference the item number because it was just over the ninety day cutoff.  But it was ok because I could choose "not about an item".  I asked Willow if it would please be possible to get a replacement lid.  Shortly afterwards, Willow apologised and sent me a new lid!  How awesome is that!?  And they even included a little gift - some icy pole holders!

Willow lid

Willow Icy Pole Holders

I was so happy.  This is how customer service should be!  Thanks Willow!

As a side note, ebay truly suck as a company.  They do everything to make this sort of interaction difficult.  When Willow replied, they asked for my name, address and phone number.  I tried to give them that but ebay's regex saw me putting my phone number in and blocked the message - saying trying to share contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers is against their terms of service.  Absolutely pitiful, ebay.  You just made me hate you even more.

Maybe one day Willow tubs will be sold in Bunnings again and I won't need to buy them online.. I can live in hope!

The other weekend I made Not Quite Nigella's Asian style beef cheeks again.  If anything they have *too much* flavour haha!  This time I did it on the stove so I could turn it up to high at the end to reduce it.  It stays pretty watery in the slow cooker.

This is the ingredients.  Two packs of beef cheeks from Coles, which I chopped into quarters and browned, but you don't have to do that.  An onion, garlic, a squirt of ginger paste (that didn't kill us after the great fridge power loss of 2018), half a cup of orange juice, half a cup of light soy sauce, a cup of water, a quarter cup of Shaoxing wine (I used dry cherry instead), peel of half an orange, chili to taste, and I used a good dose of Chinese five spice instead of star anise.

Beef cheeks ingredients

Cook on low for a few hours

Beef cheeks

Near the end add two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of dark soy sauce, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce.

Beef cheeks

We got invited out with EffanC that night so had to package up all of it, although it was very tempting to scoff some of it anyway!!

Beef cheeks

And speaking of beef cheeks.  On Wednesday night Pete convinced Kit to go out for dinner for her birthday, so we tagged along.  We went to The George for dinner, and I ended up having beef cheeks to compare them with mine.  Quite different flavours but still very tasty and fall apart tender.

So this year has been *crazy* weatherwise.  Summer just would not end, having 30C days all through March.  April was pleasant.  I didn't start wearing my jumper until we got back from New Zealand.  Then in two weeks it was so cold I needed my jacket.  Two weeks from summer to winter.  We completely skipped autumn!

Had a very quiet weekend.  Other than food shopping I didn't leave the house.  Had a huge todo list and slowly worked my way through it, although probably only got two thirds of it done.

Saturday night after Homeland we watched The Goonies, which neither the sweetie and I had ever seen.  Sunday night was epic roast pork.

Epic roast pork

Just for fun, here's a photo Dad took in Wellington, New Zealand in March/April 1975, followed by one from our trip there in April 2018.

Wellington 1975

Wellington 2018

Prey

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When I travel I like to have a book that I know I'll enjoy reading.  If you have to wait around airports, or your aircraft entertainment system is being a poo, or you're in hotels waiting for the sweetie to wake up, it's good to have something easy and entertaining to read.

For this trip I chose to take Prey, by Michael Crichton.  I picked my copy up at a Bookcrossing meetup, but it hadn't been registered.  I read it in 2005 and enjoyed it so much I decided to keep it.  I didn't read it as fast as I did last time (I had to make sure I didn't read the whole thing before the trip was over!), but enjoyed it just as much (and the good thing about dementia is I'd forgotten most of it so could enjoy it all over again).

Yeah I know it's nearly half way through the year and I could probably do a six month update heh.

David and I did this MC Escher jigsaw in early January when he came to visit.  It used to belong to Marylon back in the day.

MC Escher jigsaw

I picked up this 3D Eiffel Tower jigsaw at Vinnies for $5.  It is pretty cool, but not really a challenge of a jigsaw.  All the pieces are numbered and you're meant to build it in numerical order, which is kinda boring.  I did sort the pieces into their groups of four and did the four identical sections at the same time.  Gave it to Noah cause he like Paris.

Eiffel Tower jigsaw

Another "World's Most Difficult" jigsaw that David found in an op-shop and he and I did together in January.

Skiing jigsaw

Another op-shop find of David's.  He did most of this when he came to visit in early February

Rustic Kitchen jigsaw

And one more op-shop find from David.  He did a bit more of this than me.  It's a picture of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, but took a while in Google image search to find it, because the box labelled it something like "Paradise" which is hardly helpful.  I think I found it looking for pink mansion, or something like that.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild jigsaw

This one I think I brought home from Mum and Dad's when we were clearing the place out.  Fairly large at 1500 pieces, I did it to have a break from the Disney behemoth.  It's of a castle and lake in Switzerland.

Switzerland jigsaw

This I did out at the club, so took quite a long time to finish because opportunities to do it are fairly limited.  It's a painting "The Captain and the Mate" by James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

The Captain and the Mate jigsaw

And another op-shop one from David.  This was a lot of fun, I might even keep it.  I finished this the same day Vic delivered a boot-load of Lego, so the table downstairs has been covered in Lego ever since.

Cupcakes jigsaw

Wednesday night I ran another trivia night.  This was the one we were meant to run in March but had to cancel due to lack of interest.  This time we had twelve tables, so turned out to be a pretty good night.

On Thursday night I went down to Kit's after dinner, and we ended up playing a travel version of Trivial Pursuit which was a bit of fun (you can "buzz in" to have a go at answering the question if the person getting the question doesn't answer it right).  I won the first game fairly quickly but took a lot longer to win the second game because they kept stealing my cards :)

Sunday morning up bright and early and walked up Black Mountain with Cath and Fiona and Heather.  12000 steps by 10:30am, but then I only did about 1500 for the rest of the day.

Black Mountain walk

Black Mountain walk

Black Mountain walk

Tried to get stuff done for the rest of the day, but didn't get very much done.

In the evening met up with EffanC for dinner at the Labor Club.

Monday was plugging away at the todo list.

Tonight I tried to deal with the "you have a tax debt" notice I got posted recently.  Turns out the tax office couldn't be arsed sending paper notifications of tax bills, so all I've gotten is cryptic "you've got mail" messages from mygov and finally a posted overdue notice.  I couldn't find pdfs of my payg tax bills, just a summary page.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I was filled with rage at how useless ATO and their website is.  Not happy Jan!!

Windy Welly

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In a strange twist of fate, the sweetie and I were in both Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day - had a quick hop across the ditch to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary - making the most of the last of the Singapore Airlines direct flights to Wellington - in fact our flight back was the second last one.

Since we've been back I've been meaning to blog, but I'm a slacker.  I wanted to rant about the poor customer service from Netflix, and praise the fantastic customer service from Willow.  I've been busy at work but not crazy busy, in fact had time to clean things this week which was nice.

A bunch of us ended up at Rob and Fiona's last night for chilli which was nice (and not tooo spicy!), and I inflicted them with not just our New Zealand slide show, but Japan 2009, Hong Kong 2013 and East Asia 2017.  Oops.  :)

I've processed all my New Zealand photos (renamed, resized and geotagged).  And other than food shopping that's about all I've managed to achieve this weekend.  Well that and cooking half the afternoon.  Cauliflower bake and teriyaki chicken for dinner, and cheese balls for snacks.

This is my new wallpaper - Belconnen from the air

Belconnen from the air

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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