August 2010 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

I know I'm in trouble when Red Bull tastes good
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 5:22 am

Ok, so following on from my trip to Sydney I should mention that I had two cans of Red Bull while I was there. I normally don't drink it (Deb hates the way it smells) but I was seriously in need of what I thought was energy. Well, after heading down to the Tech.ed conference on the Gold Coast I realised that I had a head cold. Go me! Turns out that I am seeing a pattern forming. If I start feeling like a Red Bull, and drink one, and really enjoy it. I am probably coming down with something.

Anyway before I ramble on, check this out. It is my 'room' at the hotel we were staying at. Holy Crap!

It has it's own spa, separate lounge/dining and a kitchen. After the boxes I has spent my last couple of business trips in this was amazing. Unfortunately because of the tight schedule and the conference I didn't get to use the spa at all. I was up at 6:30 each day to be down at the conference centre to check my email before a full on day and then social activities in the evening. All this while gulping down Codral tablets in an attempt to stop my head from turning into a ball of liquid and flowing out my nose.

I had called Deb to see if she could come down for a few days and make the most of it but she had a contract starting the next day.

The conference itself was geek heaven with really good presentations and lots of stuff happening. The GFC had taken it's toll so that entertainment was must lower key than last time I attended but all up it was a very good session.

On getting home Friday I just hit the wall completely and turned into a mushy ball for most of the weekend. I took yesterday on leave and worked from home today. I'll probably work from home again tomorrow and then see how I am on Thursday.

Business trips and food porn
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 2:22 am

Ok, so where are we up too? Last week I had to travel to Canberra for a couple of days to help plan the integration of a new Firm. Canberra is a weirdly prosaic place that always leaves me feeling a little cold. There is absolutely no billboards or street advertising which gives the place this strange sort of vibe that I have never really understood. Sort of the Stepford Wives of cities I suppose.

The trip was made all the more eventful because I managed to rip my suit pants getting out of the taxi at the airport. I had to call Deb and wake her up to bring me my other pair of pants. Luckily I was early enough that I still managed to make my flight.

Friday I was back in Brisbane and trying to catch up on all my email from the previous two days. Deb made home cooked Thai with green chicken curry and a beef salad with rice. Absolutely awesome stuff. need to eat out.

The weekend was actually very very cool. We had a late start to the day Saturday and went down to vote. We then picked up a few groceries before heading home to spend the day cooking and watching the lead-up to the election.

I made some chocolate cookies and Deb made Chocolate Éclairs from scratch. Check out that awesome chocolate coated, cream filled, goodness below. How awesome do they look.

Dinner was Indian of tandoori chicken (on the Webber BBQ of course), dahl, cucumber, raita and rice. Really, other than the time it takes we really don't have to go our for Indian any more. We do a far job of it at home.

I won't speak of the election except to say that we sat up until midnight waiting for something to happen before I fell asleep on the couch and Deb woke me to go to bed.

Sunday we started late again, I made a batch of cheese scones for breakfast and then we had a very lazy day ahead of cleaning the house and just relaxing in the afternoon.

We gave Raffi cat a run in the front yard which she just thinks is the best thing. Furrg just sits up on his chair, toasting in the last rays of the warming winter sun. He knows what is good for a cat.

Monday I was up again at some awful hour to fly to Sydney for a one day team session. So 6am down and 8pm back. I forgot that they don't serve dinner after 8pm so only got peanuts to eat. Bugger.

Today I am working remotely before driving down the Gold Coast to attend the Microsoft Tech.ed conference. I am actually really looking forward to it but wish that I wasn't so busy at work so that I could really get more into it.

I'll try to post some pics from the conference. Until then check out these little beauties.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 7:41 am

Mmm.. Chocolate eclairs (they look fantastic) are number 1 on my sweet tooth list.

This is why I moved to Queensland
Monday, 16 August 2010 3:13 am

I tell'ya, the weather up here has been bordering on the heavenly the last few days. Warm days, crystal blue skys and beaming sunshine. Weather so good that you don't want to be indoors.

Friday I managed to slip away from work a little earlier which let Deb and I be on the road, with kittehs, for a relatively quick Friday night run up the coast to Serena's. She had dinner well in hand when we arrived so I got my email cleared while we all enjoyed a few glasses ahead of dinner.

Saturday we headed out to see Helen, Dave and their two boys, who were up from Melbourne on holidays. Again the weather was spectactular so we went up to the Noosa surf club where I haven't been since before I first left Brisbane. The re-development is pretty awesome so we sat on the deck and enjoyed a couple of beers and lunch. It must have been good because Deb had two beers of her own.

It was that good.

That afternoon we picked up some seafood and had a quiet dinner at Serena's. We then sat down and watched the second Lord of The Rings movie.

Sunday was just a late start, a light breakfast and then a cruze back to Brisbane. We picked up a few groceries and then just took it very easy through the afternoon. Sitting on the back deck until the evening cool drove us indoors to watch the last in the LoTR set. It really is a very cool movie. You short of get to the end and think, 'Wow! What an amazing achievement!'.

Today is just as good but alas I am at work.

The greatest show on earth?
Sunday, 8 August 2010 10:57 pm

Friday night we had pizza again and tried to replicate two of our favourites from the local pizza place. They were good but with some practice I think could be amazing.

The weather on Saturday was spectacular so after a late start we got the yard cleaned up and then headed out to Manly for a late lunch at Cuttlefish. On the way home we picked up a whole snapper and then had BBQ fish with Deb's mexican rice and a cucumber salad. A bit of a weird mix I will admit but very good.

I should say that the back deck is now basically finished. We had to get the painter back again to finish off the job and 'technically' they are coming back again to finish off some touch-ups but it is now done. We can move our stuff back and re-cover our chairs.

The front deck is still a bit of a mystery. The builder is doing battle with the council over approvals which seems to be taking forever. On the up side that means we don't have to pay for it so swings and round abouts.

Back to our weekend. Sunday we headed into the Ekka for a look around. This is the second year in a row that we have been and it seems 'smaller' again this year if that is possible. Deb tells me the Adelaide show is better so one year we are going to have to fly down and check it out just to see if it really is.

We checked the cat judging area and it was so small that it was virtually impossible to be able to watch any judging. People were jostling through just trying to get a look at the cats while others were trying to see the judging. Given that the Dogs get a whole dedicated building it was a bit rough really. I would be surprised if it can keep going unless they get an upgrade to the facilities.

Overall it was nice just poking around and poking fun at the exhibitions. By about 4pm we felt that we had seen most things and didn't really feel like hanging around for the fireworks show so we just headed home and relaxed.

Deb and I still have these colds that just won't shift. I am still taking codral periodically when the sniffles get too bad and Deb has a cough and a sniffle that she has not been able to shift. The annoying thing is that they are just low level, not enough to actually stop us from doing things but enough to make you feel less that 100%.

But all of that doesn't seem so bad after such a beautiful weekend.

20 years
Friday, 6 August 2010 4:38 am

It was pointed out to me that today is my 20th year with the Firm that I work for.

In that time I have worked with in seven different buildings across three different states. I have managed teams of 25 people and had a chance to work from home for weeks on end.

I certainly wasn't planning to work for the same firm for this long, it just worked out that way.

Happy 20th year with the Firm to me!

Parma and chips
Sunday, 1 August 2010 6:59 am

Ok, everyone that reads the blog will know how obsessed with food I am. I found a recipe a few months back for making french fries, like proper shop-bought chips.

It is a bit of an insane labour of love in that you cook the potato chips three times, once in water and twice in oil. And when I say oil I mean insane 200 degree (400F) 'set the house on fire and remove your skin'-type hot oil. The thing is they are delicious. Really, really, really good. Maybe that is the delirium that comes at the end of a 2 hour process to produce a bowl of fries but then...they really are pretty good.

So, add to my fries addiction the fact that Deb likes a good parma. None of that shop-bought stuff. Hey, that would be too easy. Nope, none of that here. You need free range chicken breast pounded flat with home made fresh bread crumbs, tomato passata and good mozzarella cheese.

I was soooooo hungry by the time it was ready that we only took a couple of rather sad photos but I have tell you it was honestly one of the bestest parma and chips I have ever had. We had trashed the kitchen and nearly caused an oil fire but hey, the parma was excellent.

The final Christmas in July clean-up
Sunday, 1 August 2010 6:45 am

Well we have finally finished pulling down the last of the Christmas in July decorations and cleaning up the house. Deb is feeling a bit better thanks to the antibiotics and I think I have managed to shake my coldy flu'y kind of thing.

When I was cleaning up this morning I couldn't help but take a snap shot of the tags that we had hanging on the wine decanters. We got an invite this week to a Rockford wine dinner in the city for $150 dollars. I think our dinner was better.