June 2009 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

I'm a wine groupie
Sunday, 28 June 2009 11:00 pm

Another weekend down and back to work. Friday we headed out for a bite to eat and then a movie. We recently rented the first Transformers movie which was just simple fun so we went to see the second movie because it was showing in a cinema with a larger screen. The reviews had been fairly weak but how can you not like giant fighting robots and Megan Fox. I mean, come'on!.

Saturday we gave the house a quick clean and then headed up the coast to Serena's place. I think I mentioned that she was having the decks on the house re-done. There is no way to describe how amazing the results are. The back desk with it's roof and view of the bush is just spectactular. We can't wait to get back up there and just spend a couple of days hanging out. It has definitely inspired us about what we are going to do for our place.

Anyway, the reason for our visit was that we had booked ages ago for a wine makers dinner at the Hyatt. I even got my menu signed by the wine makers including Robert O'Callaghan the owner of Rockford wines. I was so excited to get all the signatures. Before I get it framed I will have to scan the page and put it up here for you all to see.

We definitely over indulged so it was back home Sunday morning, feed the cats, light breakfast and then a couple of hours sleep.

Head in the clouds
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 10:45 pm

Back for a couple of days and the experiences of another birthday weekend away are fading pretty fast. Deb did point out though that I had linked to the wrong cottages in the previous post so I have fixed that up with the right hyperlink.

The one hour that it stopped raining we managed to get out to one of the lookouts. As you can see Deb definitely has her head in the clouds.

The forests were actually pretty spectactular even with all the rain. I really do wish we had managed to go bush walking.

The cottage was actually really nice. We kept it at a toasty 28 degrees for most of the time.

On the domestic front Eeep has discovered cat milk and my HTPC has blown up. Completely unrelated things...one is good and one is bad.

Burfaday Weekends
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 1:02 am

For the last few years we have been heading away for Deb's Birthday, usually to somewhere cold and conducent with a fireplace. This year we hit the Lyrebird Springbrook Retreat

Back after a four day weekend and I am simply not into it one bit. Furrg said he missed me deeply and slept on my lap all afternoon and even Eeep came to join us last night while we watched TV. I am definitely not a big fan of returning from holidays.

Anyway, the weekend was pretty good except for the constant rain. Now, I know what you are thinking, here we were sitting in a cottage with tons of food, wine and a spa. It could only be good right?. Well it was, except that we have got out of the habit of just sitting around and doing nothing. It used to be one of the things that I was really good at.

We had intended to spend our days out bush walking and then come in as the afternoon cooled down to light a fire and relax with cheese and a glass of red. Instead it just rained and rained and rained. I woke up one night thinking I had left a tap running but discovered it was the water running down our path and beside the cottage. It was a fully pouring torrent.

We did get out for about an hour to stretch our legs on the second day which was good. We checked out a local lookout but because we were in the cloud layer all you saw was white mist. Pretty freaky really. From there we picked-up some fudge and headed back to the cottage.

We did managed to find a stash of VHS movies which we hadn't seen so that was fun to watch some of the pictures that we had missed out on. The funny part was trying to actually remember how to load a VHS tape. What...you just shove it in the front huh?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009 4:58 am

I'm afraid we didn't go to the Yarra Valley. Maybe we should have, it might have been drier there. You need to check the link :).

One of those weeks...
Monday, 15 June 2009 11:04 pm

You know when you just wanna curl up in a ball and hide. That is sort of where I am at the moment.

I stayed home yesterday to meet the plumber because our shower is still leaking and he wants to come back and start cutting wholes in the external wall to access the taps and find out what is the cause. Great.

And our little ball of Eeep, sometimes known as a cat called Olivia, is not doing well. We know she has kidney failure and that her time is severly shortened but it is just not fair you know. She has all but given up eating and we are doing everything we can to find food that she might be interested in eating. She has another round of blood in for testing and I really don't want to know what it will tell us.

To top of the bad things in threes I thought our fridge had blown up yesterday but luckily discovered that only the light bulb has blown. So it is pretty dark in there.

All this has just put me on the edge so that I keep bumping stuff, dropping things and generally find excuses to swear my head off. Given that it is Deb's birthday month it is not really fair either way.

We are supposed to be heading off for a long weekend up to Springbrooke but the idea of leaving a sick cat behind for Serena to have to look after is not really ideal. So we are just going to have to play it by ear and see what happens in the next few days.

I did get a little ray of sunshine in the form of an email from a dear friend Lucette showing her with her favorite cow Molly. Hehe, ha ha, hee hee! Lucette let me post it into the Show & Tell section.

Here's hoping for a good day.

And the geek icing on the cake
Friday, 12 June 2009 1:10 am

I have now enabled both my Brother and Sisters blogs to provide pictures to my photo frame. It can only pick up one image per post but hey, I can live with that for the moment. At some point I will have to re-encode the RSS feed to provide all images. Till then, it is still really cook.

Chocolate cake anyone?

(Or whatever else gets posted!)

Geek Nirvana
Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:42 pm

I have been in the market for a digital photo frame for ages. But the normal type that you upload pictures onto or use a USB key just seemed so ... manual. What I wanted was a frame that could go out and get it's own damn photos.

It was then, about a year ago that I saw the first couple of networked photo frames show up on the market. They were pretty limited and cost a bomb. I even toyed with the idea of turning one of my old laptops into a photo frame by removing the screen and mounting it into a nice frame and then hiding the computer part. Trust me, it has been done before.

Flash forward to a week ago when I am doing my usual Internet site troll and fine this for a mere $119 at Auspcmarket. That link goes to the actual item so might not be available forever. If you *are* interested in picking up a good deal on a photo frame I would definitely recommend clicking through and buying one. (And no, I am not getting a kick back)

The really cool thing about the frame is that it can go out to the interenet and access a feed that contains images and display them automatically. So by using a Microsoft beta service called Frameit I have been able to pull pictures from Facebook as well as this blog. The thing that I am really excited about is that the Show & Tell page is now fully Picture Frame compatible. So any pictures that you upload will automatically be displayed on our photo frame at home. I have even increased the upload size to 3Mb so what are you waiting for? If you have a good picture resize it to 800x600 and upload it on the Show & Tell page.

I would really like to see what you have been up too. This blog is pretty one sided that way...I know people read it but we don't get much feedback.

So have at it.

Ok, now it's cold
Thursday, 11 June 2009 5:54 am

Yep, winter is definitely here. I even wore my great big black coat in today. At lunch I ran out without a jacket to get a sandwich and nearly froze to death.

On the downside we found that our shower appears to be leaking again. Bummer. We will have to get the guy who did our bathroom out again to take another look at it. This time I think it is going to result in smashed tiles and swearing through.

On the upside Serena's renovations are almost complete so by next week even her roof will be finished and the transformation complete. I can't wait to see how it looks after new decks, cladding, roofing, gutters and doors.


Won't be looking like this any more...

I am rocking back and forth...
Tuesday, 9 June 2009 2:02 am

Back from a long weekend finishing our Competent Crew sailing course. I can tell you now that everything still feels like it is rocking back and forth. A very weird sensation when you are stilling in the office.

The Oceans Yacht
Not us, but a shot of the boat we did sail last time.

The course was great fun and we scored Steve as our instructor who is a great guy and an awesome instructor. He's really patient and even when you are staring at him blankly as he calls instructions to you he holds his cool and gets it done. I even managed to get over my fear of getting the boat right up one edge. I was holding the main sheet (the rope on the main sail) which you can use to dump out the sail and stop the boat if you have too and I just held it tight the whole time as we tore back to the habour.

A very nice weekend.

And today my digital photo frame arrived which I am looking forward to taking home and playing with tonight while Deb and Serena are off at Flamenco classes.

I love technology.

'Cos I need an image
Thursday, 4 June 2009 7:29 am

For reasons which are too nerdy to even explain I need to add an additional image to this page. So rather than putting up something pointless here is a pic of the crew that I did the foundation day with.

The simple things...
Wednesday, 3 June 2009 3:47 am

Rather than spending yesterday at work I was off on a volunteer day at one of our charity partners. Basically thousands of people like you and me sponsor kids to get an education. Money goes towards uniforms, books and excursions.

Once a year the kids send their sponsors a letter telling them what they are doing. And once a year hundreds of volunteers have to pour through all the letters removing anything that could identify the specific child.

Some of letters are funny, some of them are sad and a few were downright tragic. Expectations hardly high enough to be able to dream of a job in a supermarket. These were contrasted with kids wanting to be rockstars and pro wrestlers. So it was good to see that most kids still know how to dream.

It is a pretty easy day in which you don't really start until 9:00am and finish fairly early. So on top of wearing jeans and having a nice day I also managed to find an absolutely outstanding latte on the way to the charity partner offices.

A good day.

Sleepy time now...
Monday, 1 June 2009 3:15 am

Well, I should back up a few days to mid last week. One of our charity partners at work were badly impacted by the recent rains/floods which resulted in us (my employer) giving them office space and equipment until they could get back on track.

In return they very generously gave us tickets to their charity event. Whoa! Dinner at a nice restaurant, all the Domain Chandon wine we could drink and then whisked off to a secret location in a fully restored 1960 Desoto.

We got home at about 2am I think. Much of the last part of the evening is a bit of a blur and Friday I was in a fairly bad state. Bad enough that I promise to slow down and take my partying a lot easier. In years gone by I would have watched the sun come up, had a shower and coffee and then put in a day at work. This time I made it into the office, managed 2 hours and then went home for sleep before working remotely for a few hours in the afternoon. Ouch!

And I stood JT up from going out on Friday night which I feel really bad about. But I was toast and so was Deb who actually managed to make it through the whole day. Now that is stamina for you.

Saturday we checked out a bunch of potential properties for Deb's Mum. It turns out that we found a house right in Bulimba that I would have been interested in buying myself. No, that doesn't fit into the 'buy Deb's Mum a house' but Deb did send me to look at an old Queenslander by myself so it is her own fault. I was so taken with it that we went back to have a look and managed to luck into another couple looking at the property who had arranged for the agent to come back. So we got a second tour.

Saturday afternoon was chicken roasting. I wanted chicken for dinner and I had to roast some for the lunch at JTs on Sunday. So yes, you can roast three chickens in the oven but not to finish at the same time. It was yummy and I kept back the mountain of food I normally serve so it was quite controlled.

Sunday was a 5:30am start to get ready for the Red Run Classic fun run. Somehow I had managed to let Deb guilt me into running in another fun run and this one was 5km. Holy cow. I only just made it around and the timing system was broken so I had no official time. The only consolation was that I actually managed to beat Deb by about 10 seconds. I don't care if she was unwell and felt like throwing up. I don't care if she has a head cold coming on and is visiting the doctor. I beat her fair and square, one foot in front of the other and everything.

From there we headed home for a shower and to head over to JTs for a belated Mothers Day lunch. It was actually very good with seafood, chicken and salads. The fresh bread that Wayne brought was that wonderful local hot bread shop type and not the commercial Brumbies stuff. And JT baked this amazing chocolate cake from scratch. Yummy. I didn't hold back and made sure I had some of everything.

Then home to collapse and wait for my body to slowly fall apart. It ended up being a fairly early night in bed with Deb trying to fight off her cold. I don't think she is winning.