March 2008 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

A full on weekend.
Monday, 31 March 2008 1:07 am

That was a great weekend. Friday night we headed down for pizza with a bottle of red. We have been buying a fair bit of cheaper wine lately just to drink at home and the red was in the 'mystery' category. But I was pleasantly surprised. We also haven't been out for pizza in quite a while so I had forgotten how good Earth & Sea are. Deb teases me that I only ever order the same thing each time...which is true. But is it my fault if I discovered the perfect pizza on the first attempt. On getting home I logged in and played WoW for a few hours. They have opened a new zone in the game so it is fun to be checking the new content.

Saturday Mr Furrgus had to go to the vet for his yearly vaccination. In typical fashion he fired himself into the air as Judy the vet was trying to give him his shots. I have to hand it to her though, she grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and pinned him to the table for the next one. He clearly wasn't happy, going to the extent of nipping my fingers, but he took the shots and then jumped back into his cage. No further inspection was possible.

We then headed home and to discover that Serena and Pete had come over bearing pastries. So we all sat on the patio and chatted. Pete has just had his eyes lasered and is recovering well. Looks like the procedure went really well so he has every chance of returning to full eyesight with no glasses. I am not sure that I could handle the process though with them fiddling with your eyes. Apparently when they do the actual laser bit you can smell your eyes burning. Oooohhhh....

The rest of the day was spent relaxing. We were supposed to clean the house but I was full of food so had a sleep instead. We then headed down to Mt Gravatt to see a movie. Deb has had Gold Class tickets for a year that she got from a previous job. They expired today so we had to use them. It also gave me a chance to pickup some running shorts to help when we are out training for the Mothers Day classic.

So after a little shopping we went into GC and saw "The Bucket List". It's not too bad but given the actors it could have been better. On the plus side the food and bottle of champagne went down a treat. We will definitely have to go back and do the Gold Class thing again.

When we got home Deb headed off to bed and I watched the work print of Blade Runner. This is the audience test version that was made but was never supposed to be released. It came as part of the Blade Runner boxed set that I got from a Christmas present from Wayne. Funnily enough it makes a ton of sense from the theatrical version but doesn't move very fast.

Sunday our training schedule continued. I am only running/walking for about 35 minutes at the moment. We headed out at about 9:30am, just as the morning was warming up. It was actually a really nice day and we coordinated the run to finish at the shops so that I could pickup some stuff for breakfast. All that healthy running had given me a killer appetite so it was beacon & eggs and then muesli on the front patio. A very nice start to the day. Then lots and lots of house work. It doesn't take too long to get it all done.

We then went shopping for dinner. Deb has borrowed an Indian cookbook from a friend at work. So we cooked two recipes for dinner. It was very very good but I am afraid that I ate way too much. The food is outstanding but is very heavy so should really just be a monthly treat.

From there it was off to bed. A very nice weekend.

Happy Easter to all
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 12:49 pm

Im starting early with my post-easter blog entry. We are on the plane heading back to Brisbane after a fantastic four days. Mollys Chase was just as cute as last time although it still had the same carpet and soft furnishing which added to the overall dust factor.

I think JT and Jason had a great time as we dragged them around our favorite wineries for three days. All the great ones were on offer from Jeanneret to Rockfords. No wonder they both loved the Barossa reds, they were pretty sensational this year.

Ok, so sequentially.

We got in quite late on Thursday and had a pretty hard drive from Adelaide airport to the cottage. It is a 1.5hr drive in the country dark which is made all the harder due to the unnerving way the road drops away from you on the bends. At 110kph it makes it an interesting trip. We finally arrived at the cottage, no thanks to my GPS and with compliments to Debs navigation. The night air was really starting to chill down so the warmth of the cottage, even with a total fire ban preventing fires, was a welcome retreat. I whipped up a batch of my carbonara pasta for supper which went down very well with a couple of bottles of red that Deb had picked out prior to us leaving Adelaide. It was actually a very nice introduction to the weekend. In hindsight I should have taken more time to savour it, with the four of us sitting around the table finishing the last of our wine.

Friday morning I established the custom that this was my holiday and I was going to start my day with a hot breakfast. Deb had organised the makings of two days of hot breakfast but when we arrived we found a vast array of breakfast items from a dozen eggs, a kilo of bacon and over a kg of sausages. Hell, I only know how to make three types of breakfast eggs, fried, omelette and scrambled but I got the chance to try them all out.

So after a fortifying start we headed out and commenced a very successful journey at Jeanneret. I think the guy working the cellar door was as camp as a row of tents but a lovely guy to chat with and start our adventure.

Jeannerets once-pretty cottage garden was a dried-out patch of sticks, but the cellar cats were still on duty. The two little fluffy dogs tried to suicide under the X-trails wheels on the way in, and the cats demanded attention by stretching up JTs legs and digging their claws in. Apparently one had gotten in a ladys handbag earlier in the week, and Im sure from the look of one that there will be the pitter patter of little tabby paws before long.

From there it was a bit of a Clare valley blur for me but Im informed we visited Pikes and Neagles Rock before we ended up at a cafe for lunch that was pretty amazing, called Citadel. I don t think they were expecting the number of diners that turned up but the food was good and the service friendly.

That night we were so full of pesto pasta and fritto misto that we just had cheese and crackers for supper. We did discover that the cottage had a copy of Monopoly in the bookcase and that surprisingly it was complete. So we set it up and started playing. For something so old from my childhood it was huge fun with Deb soundly trouncing us all.

The next day was omelettes before heading to the Barossa. Can you possibly go wrong with Turkey Flat, Charles Melton and then Rockford before lunch. Rockfords were crushing grenache but frankly a lot of the grapes looked like currants after the 15 day heatwave Adelaide had suffered under. At Rockfords we headed into what used to be the Stonewallers cellar. They have a special bar for club members to try their wines. It seemed busier that usual and had lots of people coming in that didnt seem like the normal Stonewallers croud. So I quietly mentioned that we had booked and quick as a flash they spirited us off to another tasting room that was much quieter and more personalised. I do love that type of service. Unfortunately they didnt have anything special on tasting but it was still very nice to sit out of the rush and enjoy.

Unfortunately lunch was a bit of a shambles with us visiting a local pub that had a stand-in chef who was not coping very well. When they start offering free drinks you know lunch is some time off. It did finally turn up and filled the hole so it was not all bad. Deb then drove us to three more wineries to make a weekend record of six for the day. We visited Peter Lehmann and Langmeil, which had some seriously old and expensive shiraz, but find of the trip was Two Hands winery which specialises in Shiraz. It was seriously good and served by a cute (Deb tells me she was wearing glittery blue eyeshadow but after that much shiraz it cant be bad) Virginian blonde. A case went back from there.

Unfortunately dinner at a local resturant in Clare called Salt n Vines was awful. Debs steak was ready to moo and walk off her plate and my roo was cooked to tough leather. Even the deserts were awful which takes some real work. Oh well.

Sunday started with scrambled eggs with sausages. Deb told me they were the best scrambled eggs she had ever had. Go the thickened cream! We then just visited many of the wineries that we had missed the previous day, including Tim Adams, who were very happy that they had all their grapes in before the heat wave struck. We even made it to Wilsons after all these years of finding them closed. Lunch was a ploughmans platter at Penna Lane which included a whole Turkish-style sausage produced by some small producer in Adelaide. It was all very good.

We finished up that afternoon with a beer at the Sevenhill pub to wash down the red of the last three days everybody being seriously over wine after the previous three days.

Dinner was back down the pub with a few ales to wash out the dust. On the way down some spooky-looking lady with two dogs started waving anxiously at us as we rumbled past. We kept going and she vanished into the dust. A few hundred metres later we all agreed that it would be better to go back and find out what the problem was. Turns out she was fine and we had a flat tyre. Jason and I had it changed so fast we could try out for ferrari. Then back home for JT to whip our butts at Monopoly.

An early start on Monday as we started back to pick up Debs mum and head off to Coriole for lunch. We had got her this cute little pink phone for Easter so Deb sat in the back and provided instructions as we drove out to McLaren Vale. It was a nice finish to the weekend although I wish we had more time to sit under the trees and drink rose. The platters were wonderful, as usual, and I overdid my case limit by another two boxes, this time of white and pink only.

From there it was an uneventful trip back to drop off Debs mum and head to the airport for the last brewski before flying home.

Posting since 2003
Thursday, 6 March 2008 3:46 am

Wow, as I archived Feb's page I realised that we have been posting to this site since 2003. That is not a bad effort for me being fascinated by the idea of having my own little bit of the web.

Back before even that I was using an old ozEmail dial-up account. About the first thing we ever hosted was a website invitation to a dracula party we once held. That night has since gone down in legend as one of our most successful parties we have ever held. You know they are good when the police turn up.

What got me thinking about old websites was that my sister and brother-in-law were celebrating their 10 years of being together. Deb wondered when we had both met which meant looking into the HR files at work and figuring out the date I moved to Sydney. So, the answer is 12th September 1995 was the first day we met face to face. Not really sure how long we have been together. That would be after Deb briefly moved to Adelaide.

Anyway, back to the websites. While digging around in my old email I found the first prototype for the Dracula invite site. A real blast from the mast to see that after so long. Unfortunately I have lost the final version of the site in swapping ISPs and computers.

Over the years we have used hand coded HTML (A very slow process), Frontpage (A PITA) and now my own hand coded engine. All up it is awesome to look back through the archive and see where we have been and what we were doing.

For good or bad it is often the big ticket items that get posted about and they are not always things I really like to revisit often. But occasionally Deb and I will go back and see what we were doing this time last year, or the year before.

And with all the flat HTML reflection out of the way here is something I stumbled across today. I don't know why but as a cat lover it just cracks me up.