March 2010 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

I'm getting slack
Monday, 29 March 2010 1:01 am

It has been a bit since I put up a post, sorry about that. You can tell it has been a while when even Mum says that she hasn't seen much activity lately.

Speaking of Mum she was in hospital last week for a procedure and should be heading home today I hope. Unfortunately John has had a bad fall and actually managed to break some ribs. OUCH! So he is staying with a friend while Mum will be staying with Jane.

On the domestic front I have been cooking up a storm at home and even managed to get Deb to admit that I am the perfect husband. How did I achieve this? Well, last Tuesday was Deb's turn to bring in morning tea for her team. Normally she would cook something herself but time and a life insurance appointment meant that she was out all Monday night. So I grabbed the required bits and pieces and made macadamia and dark chocolate chip cookies. They worked out pretty well and went down a treat. I had jeopardized their structural integrity by using too many choc chips but that's never a bad thing is it?

Work has been a complete stressful PITA which has left my moping home each afternoon to vanish into the kitchen for a little cooking therapy. A bottle of wine never hurts either.

So, to the weekend just gone. We headed straight from work down to see Mum in hospital. It was a fair way to go but I really wanted to make the effort given all the times that I was in Melbourne and never able to visit her in hospital. We talked for about an hour until Mum started yawning which was our cue to head off and let her get some well needed rest. As it was I had to wake her up when we arrived but she would have killed me if we had just headed home.

We then stopped for a quick bite to each because everything would be closed when we got back to Brisbane and I had a 10pm phone conference to join. As it turned out I came in the front door right on 10pm and joined just in time so it all worked out well. Made for one hell of a Friday though.

Saturday the house got a bloody good going over which resulted in it being clean for about 5 hours. The cats and my cooking then put an end to the shine. Serena came over to share in the last of the meat tray bounty from a couple of weeks ago. The remaining 2kg chicken was given the coq au vin treatment (Chicken in red wine) and served up with dauphinoise potatoes and steamed beans. We used the new mandolin slicer which resulted in beautiful potatoes and Deb taking the top off her knuckle. The result was pretty good and the gravy even better. Washed down with way too much good wine we all felt a little slow the next morning.

Deb and I then headed out to Aldi who were supposed to be selling cake tins but it turned out we were a week early and they were not released yet. We we just grabbed a few groceries and headed home for a really quite afternoon of TV, computers and more cooking.

It's only a 3 day week this week before we head away for Easter so I just can't wait.

A lack of Furrgus
Sunday, 14 March 2010 11:05 pm

I was talking to Mum during the week and she mentioned that only Raffi cat seems to show up on the blog. Where is Mr Furrgus lately. Well, with the warm weather he has taken to sleeping on the front deck all day. He comes in for breakfast and dinner but generally likes to just sit on a chair and what the world go past.

We do lock Raffi away at night so that Furrg can come in and sleep on the end of the bed. I will have to get a couple of pictures up because Deb had overloaded her page with dozens of Raffi should go and have a look.

On the weekend front we went to watch Serena's brother Nick get his head shaved on Friday night for 'The Worlds Greatest Shave' event. Afterwards we headed into Newfarm in the hope of trying a steak and ribs place but unfortunately they were booked out so pizza it was at a place a few doors down.

Saturday we got the house clean and then took Furrgus to the vet for his annual checkup and shots. He is such a whimp, spending his entire time with his paws wrapped over the side of the exam bench willing himself back into his carrier. We explained to the vet that he bends needles by jumping up in the middle of the injection. To our surprise though he sat perfectly still for the first one. No worries at all. Then I realised that I had spoken too soon as he proceeded to flinch with such force that he bent another needle and sent the syringe flying across the room. Now you wouldn't think that it would take three people to hold down a 5.5kg cat but it does and we did.

Afterwards he short of looked embarrased that he had made such a fuss over a very quick visit. He then spent the rest of the afternoon being sooky and sleeping on the deck.

Deb headed off to pack race kits for the Twilight Fun Run next week. She is running 10k I am running 3k and Jason is doing the half marathon ie: 20k. We then headed into the Powerhouse to catch up with JT, Jason, Wayne and Sharon for a few drinks and to watch Woodley perform. The show was ok but not really side splitting. A shame really. We were all supposed to go fishing on Sunday but apathy and tides were against us so we called it off.

Sunday Deb and I spent the morning looking through cook books deciding on what to have for dinner. I had planned to mow the lawn but was saved by a sudden and decisive rain shower that put and end to that idea.

We then spent most of the day just posting blog entries and playing around on the computers. You know, just taking it really easy. We did manage to get down to the shops to buy groceries for dinner and then I spent the rest of the afternoon cooking.

On the menu was veal ragu and home made gnocchi. Now I should say that gnocchi scares me and is one of the few things that I had such a bad experience cooking the first time (20 years ago) that I never went back and tried again. So to watch Deb produce the most perfect little gnocchi that bobbed to the surface of the boiling water as if on demand was pretty cool.

And that brings me to Monday. Here we go again.

Sunday, 14 March 2010 11:47 pm

Lovely to see a story about furrgus.Sorry, i didnt mean to make you fel guilty. Love fromme xxx

A lazy weekend of which I would like more please.
Sunday, 7 March 2010 10:18 pm

So, we split work super early on Friday, raced home to box the cats up, loaded the car and made a break for Serena's place. All up it was a pretty good run with just the earlier section slowing us down a bit. How the government expects to take three lanes of 100km/hr traffic and stuff it down into two 80km/hr lanes with others merging in and keep a flow happening is simply beyond me. In any case we made it to Serena's by 6:30 so I was pretty happy.

Plans of going out for dinner where sidelined for home made beef bourguignon and some port on the deck. I woke up a bit before 11:30pm to find that everyone had gone to sleep and left me out there.

The next day we went up to Yandina pub for lunch. It's a really nice place and the food is very good. They were raffling meat trays in that great Australian tradition so we purchased a few tickets in each draw. I was starting to think it would be easier to just walk up to the butcher and buy our own meat when we actually won one. So tray in hand we headed back to Serena's for a lazy afternoon of sitting on the back deck (Deb and Serena) and a little bit of work (Me). Raffi had the hugest time playing on the back deck and was pretty behaved until the rain slowed enough for her to go into the bush at the back of the house and then realise that there is a whole front yard and road to explore. She lost her explorer privileges at that point.

Saturday afternoon Deb made fresh pizza bases and we assembled and cooked out pizzas. They turned out fantastically all washed down with a bottle of basket press. Then a relax on the deck again before we decided to call it an early evening and head off to bed.

Sunday we made a fairly early run home before grabbing a few groceries and Deb trying to make it through our mountains of laundry. Home made chicken pie for dinner and then off to bed at a reasonable hour.

Can I have more please sir...

I got my prize
Friday, 5 March 2010 12:47 am

Well, even with the worst labelled address that I have ever seen I still got my prize for the delicious contest that I one. A box with three cookbooks, a subscription, apron and magazine holder. Sweet.

And tonigh we are heading up the coast for the weekend to throw ourselves onto Serena's hospitality.

I cannot wait, although I will probably have to take my laptop up and do some work. You can't have everything I guess.

Working remotely
Wednesday, 3 March 2010 2:21 am

Due to a bunch of global calls that I need to be on I have decided to work from home today to make it all easier. I should point out that it has been raining non-stop for a week now and little Raffi is GOING INSANE!

I have been walking around the house with a headset while of phone calls and chasing her with a teaser. When I can't keep her amused she runs in and out of the kitchen door onto the deck and back. This results in a wet Raffi and a puddle of paw prints on the kitchen floor.

But occationally, and I do mean only occationally, there is peace.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010 2:26 am

You left out the bit about her trashing my desk for your amusement first...

Flat out and foot to the floor
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 12:12 am

Ok, so I have been absolutely frantic at work. We have to deliver an IT Strategy using a different method and approach to previous years so I am freaked out by both the scope and the workload. On top of that both the scope and workload keeps moving so it is just adding to my stress levels.

We did manage to get away a bit early on Friday to see Adam Hills who played at the Powerhouse. It was a fairly short gig but a huge amount of fun. The show concept is that he ad libs a fair portion of it and just goes with the flow using plenty of audience participation. With dinner at the Alto resturant it was a great night.

Saturday we had some running around to do. We went over to Milton to pick-up Deb's race pack for her Clem7 run on Sunday and had breakfast. Yum. We then headed home where I procrastinated for the better part of the afternoon instead of doing work. It started raining as well so I had an excuse not to mow the lawn. And I didn't do any house work either. Serena came over in the afternoon and I cooked chicken in pastry with asparagus and camembert cheese. Unfortunately I used the wrong pastry but they were still pretty good.

Sunday we were up at 4:00am to get ready and off to the Clem7 fun run. Oh God it was early. Raffi just sat around blinking at us and wondering what the hell we were doing up so early.

Clem7...very early in the morning

Getting to the run was pretty cruzy and we had Deb in place and ready to go with plenty of time. The sun was just starting to come over the ridge of the tunnel when the siren went off and 5000 people pounded off into the tunnel. 1:12 minutes later Deb was sweatily waving at me from the finishing line. A huge effort. Apparently the fans weren't all working and they ran out of water. So I poured as much sports drink down here neck as I could and we went home for a shower and a snooze. I then got stuck in the house and gave the place a clean while Deb took care of the kitchen and bathroom. Then, while the sun held, I raced down and mowed the lawn.

We then grabbed the makings of veal schnitzel with creamy pesto potatoes and fresh beans. A very nice finish to the day. After cleaning up we were in bed by 9:30pm. Oh yeah! Are we party animals or what.

Actually on potatoes, we have had these lovely little baby potatoes available at the supermarket for the last few weeks so I have been cooking them every which way. Simplest is just 4-5 each and microwave on medium for 10-12 minutes. Then salt, pepper and butter. Or allow to cool slightly, cut into quarters and then cover in 2tbspns of sour cream, 1.5 tbspns of mayo and 1tbspn of commercial pesto sause or dip. Or slice in half and pan fry on high heat with olive oil, sea salt and garlic until just crispy. You can tell I am enjoying them while they last

I went to the specialist yesterday for my back and things seem to be ok. The damage is not critical but also cannot be reversed. Apparently some people just have weaker discs that can be a problem. So I just have to live with it really and take good care of my back. Running is not really recommended because of the jarring motion so I am going to have to look for an alternative fitness scheme. I know that Deb is disappointed by that news but I so don't want to end up a cripple in later life. Apparently pilates is quite good so I am looking around for a place that does it at a reasonable price. And twisting while carring weight is not a good thing either. The surgeon actually said I should think like a dippy bird (You know those ones that rock forward into a glass of water and then pop back up again).

And while I didn't want to end my post of a sad note I did want to mention the passing of a team member in Sydney called Oliver. We only worked together for a short period of time but he was a really nice guy and made a real impression on me. Tragically he was involved in a motor bike accident on Friday night and didn't survive. My thoughts are with his family and friends.