November 2010 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

Making a fool out of myself
Monday, 22 November 2010 1:43 am

As I just mentioned below I purchased an Xbox Kinect which is a camera controller that sits on your TV and lets you play games without needing to hold anything.

Well during games it also randomly takes pictures of you as you go. I will save you the images of me in my gym shorts, without a tshirt, sweating away but here's a sort of presentable one. I think I am currently jumping over a river ramp on an inflatable raft in this one.

Our legs hurt
Monday, 22 November 2010 1:35 am

A fantastic weekend with a nice ratio of social to housework that didn't seem excessive.

I also should mention that I purchased a Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensor last Thursday. It sits on top of your TV and allows you to control computer games without using an actual controller. You just wave at it and it works, seriously cool technology.

Along with that I also purchased an exercise game that watches what you do and suggests improvements. Part of the setup is to run through a fitness assessement with it. Let me tell you. At the end of the process I was absolutely exhusted. And now, days afterwards, both Deb and I are still feeling the burn in our thighs. But it is awsome and I am hoping that I can introduce at least some exercise back into my routine.

Anyway, Friday night I had a craving for Japanese but knowing that we were going out Saturday night I decided to cook at home instead. So by leaving work right on time I made it to the fish mongers and got a beautiful piece of salmon and tuna. After a quick shop we ended up having:

1. Seared tune sashimi
2. Salmon sashimi
3. Chicken yakitori
4. Teriaki beans
5. Miso soup
6. Rice

And it was yummy. Luckily Deb helped to keep the dish washer stacked so I didn't nuke the kitchen too badly.

Saturday morning we got the house cleaned and even mopped the floors. They do come up so well after a real good spit and polish. Deb scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom and then took pity on me and finished off the mopping. By that stage Serena had arrived so we got ready to see the latest Harry Potter movie with Janet. It was actually really good and afterwards we sat in the pub for a drink before dinner at the Cinema Cafe.

I have to say that seeing a movie at 2:45pm and then going for a drink before dinner makes for a wonderfully relaxed way to spend a Saturday night. It was lovely.

Sunday we had a late start but I still managed to get the lawn mowed and the outside of the car washed. We then headed down to the new Coopooroo markets to see what they looked like. It's in the old Myer building. Upstairs is like a flea market with tons of stuff and some pretty good items for secret santa ideas. Downstairs is food with a mix of cheap meat, fruit and veg and premium organic and specialty items. I had to drag Deb away from an entire leg of Jamon (Spanish cured ham) which I am sure she was contemplating buying as a christmas ham replacement.

Ironically on the way home we pulled into our local supermarket to buy groceries for dinner and then enjoyed a glass of bubbles with cheese on the deck. Deb then attacked the worst of the weeds in the back yard before we settled down to cook dinner and then watch a Harry Potter movie.

Not a bad weekend at all.

I'm only doing this for charity
Thursday, 18 November 2010 10:32 pm

Yes, I am doing 'Movember' again this year and would of course really appreciate you financial support. You can Donate through that link on the Movember site.

Through the Movember Foundation and its men's health partners, PCFA and beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Movember is funding world class research, educational and support programs which would otherwise not be possible.

Finally, some holiday pictures
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 12:52 am

Ok, before it becomes so late that there's not point at all I have finally posted up a few pictures of our Maldivian holiday.

Please excuse the spelling and the captions, I did it in a bit of a rush while I was thinking about it.

Picture Gallery: Maldives 2010

Battles with the council and great food
Monday, 15 November 2010 2:12 am

Ok, so we met with our builder mid-week and he explained that the council has required 200mm hardwood posts on the front deck as opposed to the 90mm ones we wanted to use. Now compared to normal sized posts 200mm is huge. And the builder would want to run them ground to roof in order to get the 'tie down' effect so that the roof stays on in high winds. This adds about $4000+ dollars to an already big quote.

We Deb and I spend Sunday wandering around our neighbourhood taking pictures of all the other houses that have 90mm posts. The decks look good, the building looks strong and we couldn't find a single house that used 200mm hardwood posts on the verandah. Not a one. Yes, some used concrete or CCA treated pine stumps but none used 200mm hardwood posts. So we packaged up all our pictures along with a nice letter and a note from the builder about structural integrity and I have just submitted it to council for the princely sum of $112.50. Really?!? This is just a revenue raising measure on the councils part, surely? Anyway we will have to wait a week or so for the application to be assessed and a decision to be made. If it isn't favourable then we are going to have to go back to the builder and get him to quote on using posts to the floor and then 90mm posts to the roof.

On the weekend front we had a pretty nice one really even with a little periodic rain. Saturday I got the yard mowed really quickly while Deb cleared the major destruction up stairs. She and Serena then headed off shopping and to pick-up groceries for dinner. Oh, and what a dinner it was...get this. Seared Queensland scollops on a pea and basil puree followed by tea leaf smoked duck across a dressed salad of beans, beetroot, rocket, fetta and pomegranate. It was absolutely outstanding. I couldn't come close to it with my attempt last night with saganaki and a celery and apple salad followed by lamb souvlaki skewers with minted tomatoes. No comparison at all...and I used all the nice serving platters too,

Oh, and the network at home is driving me crazy. Bits are periodically failing which is just starting to give me the complete crappers! I am about to go out and spend a long of money to consolidate all the devices I have back into one which was not the point in the first place of getting all the separate components. Sheesh!

Monday, 15 November 2010 8:26 am

$4000 extra to have the same deck but with 200mm posts. Get another builder/quote dude.

Sunday, 7 November 2010 10:39 pm

The week that was saw Deb working a 56 odd hour week as the contract she was on reached fever pitch. It makes the Maldives holiday fade pretty quickly.

We had an appointment with Mike to come around and get the paperwork for the front deck completed but after waiting 30+ minutes for him to arrive we called to find that a) He had been in hospital b) Had completely forgotten about coming around. Bugger. It would be good to get the front deck completed before Christmas which will make the front of the house much cooler and make an awesome space to entertain over Christmas. Let's hope the next appointment on Wednesday happens.

The weekend itself was pretty full-on in a laid back kind of way. Friday we grabbed a quick pizza down at Earth & Sea and then took it easy watching TV.

Saturday morning we went around to where Janet is staying at the moment for morning tea. She had found the awesome little muffin cake things that were absolutely wonderful. We then headed off to the Gold Coast to catch up with Libbette and Jarron. After a trip to a great market we came home loaded with beers and wine and just spent the afternoon hanging out in their apartment watching them prepare dinner. Oh, what a dinner it was. Asian duck salad with green paw paw & mango and then caramelised pork belly. One of the best things I have eaten.

We then kicked back to watch a movie. Sunday morning we went out for breakfast and then Deb and I dropped in to see Mum on the way back home.

Given the awesomeness of Libbette's food we ended up having duck breast poached in asian master stock with wok fried pak choy. No where near as good as Libbette's but my stock is getting better and better each time I use it.

Now into another week.