Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MegDay 2007

The toaster is nice and slim from this angle.

I think it might be Jacaranda season in Sydney.....

The Corso is rather nice.

The local rescue team decided to play with their toys.

We made a new friend on the way to Shelley's beach.

And Sydney does lovely sunsets.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beans lots of beans lots of beans lots of beans

Time to harvest the broadbeans!

Even after shelling them there was quite a bit of bean harvested. Weighed in at 1.1kg.

So how much plant was it for that much bean?

Everyone loves Magical Trevor!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lavender! And a bee!

Here's a photo of the lovely lavender growing in our backyard. It's being visited by the local bees. No I'm not procrastinating. At all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunar testing (of my aging camera)

Ok... so back yard. View of eclipse. 7 year old compact 4MP camera and full size tripod. What else is a boy supposed to do? Well... invest in a new camera at some point. Until then.....

These were taken in order, some time apart.... anyway.... the last one should have been a crescent but apparently my camera isn't up to it. Also, I think everyone is blogging at once because blogger is a little sluggish at the moment. Ok.... procrastination has been achieved!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Two more assignments down!

So some clever person chose his last two subjects for his degree to have coinciding assignment due dates for both of the assignments. Two were due today (and something has been submitted...) and another two are due in a few weeks. After that it's two exams then fun fun fun!

I'm trying to keep some semblance of social life. There's the Rowany 25 event I'll be going to, but in general I have cut down and have had to say no to a lot of things. Which was to be expected. After all, I'm doing two subjects to get this over with which was always going to be a little harsh. Anyway, enough rambling... I just wanted to say 'Hello, world!'

Monday, July 23, 2007

Man that time does fly....

So on Saturday I got to hand out with some friends, watching the Asian cup soccer match. Australia almost made it. We went to the Canterbury RSL... who else was going to show it????

On Sunday we got up early and went to the Coffee Festival at the Rocks. For an hour. Then back to fight in a tournament. Followed by shopping and so on... then exhausted by the end of the day. Monday is start of session again with two subjects this time around. Yes they will be the last too (hooray!) but it is still two. Yet to see if that is a good idea or not..... Also means that posting here is unlikely for the next 3 months, but you never know.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well pickle my cumquats and call me happy!

The crop was bountiful! (It's a small tree and I think it has done rather well). More to the point, it was ripe for the picking.

So time to turn them into something more interesting. All the recipes I found involved equal parts of cumquats and sugar (measured ever so accurately)

And then top up with suitable brandy....

So now we play the waiting game.

Six months according to the recipes. SIX MONTHS!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sunshine made me smile!

The sunshine this morning actually made me smile. Haven't had that experience for a while. Driving to work, the sunlight reflecting off the river, through the bridge railing and into my car somehow made me all happy and made the rest of the drive a mystical journey instead of just a drive to work on monday morning. I felt like I was on holiday. Apparently I like sunshine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's with the weather?

Wow. Washing hanging under the shelter in the back isn't drying. How long has it been since it's been too damp to have clothes dry, even under shelter?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bucking the trend

Don't despair! Get a repair! Or something like that...

I was just enjoying my newly repaired television playing audio through my newly repaired speakers. That's right. Repaired. Not replaced. Not chuck it out and buy a new one. Wasn't really that much for the TV, and the speakers did cost as much as replacing them but at least I get a better quality than I would have (and the right one for the box), and according to the guy at the speaker hospital it would last 15 years. So take that, advocates of disposable electronics! Anyway, I'm happy with them.

Yes I may need to eat my hat if the TV fails again within 6 months but I'm feeling all superior at the moment and I'm making the most of it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's cold.

Too cold. Far too freakin' cold. How do I know? Well, apart from the fact that I feel frozen, so does my home computer. I tried switching it on. A number of times. Wouldn't start up. Fan would whizz for a second or so (or 5 seconds sometimes!) and then it would give up. Too cold. How do I know it was the cold? I pointed a fan-forced heater at the inside of the box (i.e. at the motherboard) for about 15 minutes. Tried at about 5 mins, didn't make a difference, but by the time the case was hot to touch (on the other side of the motherboard) it started up just fine. By just fine I mean that it was complaining that the CPU and motherboard were too hot, but it booted perfectly. I'm a little worried about "fixing" my computer by heating it up, but hey it worked.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another one bites the dust!

15 pages full of writing. 2 1/2 hours to do the exam. One very sore writing finger.... the only cure? Holding my poor writing finger next to an ice-cold beer. That was my Tuesday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Head to head

Here are the contestants. Brave, proud animals. Well... sheep are honorary rodent as far as Destructomeg is concerned due to their eating habits and intelligence.
As you can see, the sheep ale seems to have a bigger head than the ferret.
Note that for the taste test, we used a neutrally branded beer glass. The ales tasted are in fact English, so the James Boags glass shouldn't favour either of them ;-) Of course the tasting was so serious that we had to appropriately prepare our tastebuds:

As it happens, both ales tasted great. The sheep ale was in fact smokier. As you can see it is a little darker, which comes from a longer roasting. They were both simply delicious ales, so I'll just have to find more suppliers. Or more beers to try.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mmmm.... fashion and stuff

So how have I been procrastinating lately? Last night we went to the LunarMorph fashion show. Edge City has been replaced. It's now no longer part of Fashion Week, and isn't on the same weekend as Under the Blue Moon, but it's now part of Newtown's Fashion Week "Flaunt it".

It was awesome. It had motorbikes, extreme piercing with people suspended in interesting ways, someone tied up to the wall as a butterfly, quite some metres from the ground, people on stilts and rollerblades, some great clothing, an amusing compere, and was just a fantastic show all round. Only official media could take photos, but hopefully some will be posted up somewhere. Even the venue was great! It was held at CarriageWorks. I'll let the website speak for itself. **EDIT: Yes, we did get to drink a rather delightful glass of Abisinthe. Which is Absinthe. With the e. Being the French style, not the Bohemian style. It wasn't very green and was very anise flavoured, which seems to be the difference in style. Was mighty tasty and the company does sell the ice water fountain and spoons, so I might have to make an investment, but I think I prefer the taste of the Bohemian style since this one reminded me almost entirely of Sambuca. Not a bad thing, just a thing.

Afterwards, while lamenting the loss of some good bars in Newtown (not sure that The Bank will ever be the same), we ran into some friends in The Town Hall, who told us about Madame Fling Flong. Tiny bar with way too much furniture. We loved it! They also do movie nights which could be fun :)

Anyway.. that'll do for now. I might add more to this later when I next need to avoid studying!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Festival recap, or: Why haven't I posted the photos up already?

We camped at the festival site from the Saturday night before festival, all the way through to the Tuesday afterwards. Obviously this led to the need to wash some clothes during the week, which lead to a re-purposing of some finely crafted fire-implements.

The guild hall, although taking quite some time to build, is looking pretty good so far.

Mmmmm. Sunsets. Mmmmmm hammocks. When their powers combine:
Yay team Rowany! Alright so it looks like I'm just standing there but I'm sure I was doing something very, very important.

So how dusty was festival? This dusty:
Not sure you can quite make it out in the next photo, but we did get up to some attempts at glass-blowing at festival. Why? Ummm.... not quite sure why we did it but it amused us for hours. Unfortunately none of the "works" survived.

In my next exciting post I'll put up pictures of the Tuesday morning which was fantastically foggy. At least thats what I plan to do when I'm next avoiding doing my assignment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The taste test

Some time ago, Dr Nik made some pickled jalapenos and gave a jar to me. Since they were pickles, fresher wasn't better so it needed to sit around for a bit. Well... it was time for the taste test. Dr Nik's own versus the all Australian company made from imported ingredients off the shelf version.

So how do you compare them? Well... first you make the condiment...

Mmmmm. Excuse for Mexican food. Then you put it on some corn chips with some grated cheese on top, douse liberally in Tabasco sauce, and forget to take a photo. Then you try them side by side. Which was better? Dr Nik's by far! Why? The other one tasted a bit like jalapeno and a lot like vinegar. Dr Nik's tasted a lot like jalapeno with some nice spices added. When the jar is finished I'm going to keep the pickling rock just in case he decides to come back just to make another batch.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What price, victory?

On the weekend, I fought in the final tournament of a most noble series of tournaments for this:

That's right. It's an ounce of gold. Was I mighty?

Sometimes. Sometimes not.

So what price for victory? I don't know since I didn't win. Certainly not as much as the price for not having the victory. The winner well deserved the prize. I certainly earned my own prize of this and a few others just like it.

It was great fun, and certainly a noble contest. I am grateful to those who organised it and those who took part. There was something different about the tournament. Not the monetary value of the prize, but the idea behind it and the medieval and chivalric character created by a prize of refined precious metal which will hopefull now become a piece of jewellery or some other decoration. That ounce of gold now has a history which I hope will not be forgotten.

I would also like to thank the very lovely DestructoMeg for being the photographer extraordinaire.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Release Sarah Tonin!

On the way home today I was reminded of one of the reasons I study. I handed in my assignment earlier today, and about half an hour or so later, my brain decided that I needed some seratonin to celebrate. Yay! Possibly not the easiest way to feel good, but it worked. Hopefully the feeling lasts a bit longer when the marks come back!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

We've hit the society pages!

This morning I received an email inviting me and my partner to a premiere black-tie event. We were offered some spare tickets from a commercial vendor (which we do use). A fund raising charity event complete with celebrity host! It is also apparently a professional networking opportunity (wouldn't want it to just be about the charity would we?) Alas it was at short notice and we are already booked, but it's the thought that counts.

Look out trashy newspaper columns, here we come!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This "food" freaks me out

Yes that's right. Someone who voluntarily eats roast nori snacks and beef jerky has found an even more disturbing food. It's going too far when people come up with vegetarian jerky.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The sign says it all

Hopefully next year the crop will be a little bigger. And a little bigger.

Beef jerky vs roasted nori

Jalepeno flavoured beef jerky pitted against chilli roasted nori snack this afternoon as my snack food and although I suspect both of them are novelty items only and not real food, the jerky seemed slightly better. Just had to put that down in writing.

In unrelated news I now own one of those funky push-mowers (those unpowered ones with the rotating barel of blades). I didn't even know they made them anymore!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Femmes and thence to Shoalhaven!

Well that was a big weekend. A little tired now. Went to see Violent Femmes down at RWC on Friday night. They rocked. Hard. The audience didn't. Maybe the anti-mosh crowd has finally got it's way? Maybe the band is getting old? Maybe it's the audience (yes, including me....) anyway... loved it. Went nuts. Band rocked. Loved the range of instruments, including stuff I don't know name of. They used a conch shell, a stick with a single electric string, a bouzouki, some kind of wooden box thing which you sit on and hit with your hands... and to top it off, they all had a lot of energy. Especially the drummer.

After having been convinced by the delightful DV that it would be a good idea to go to Shoalhaven and drink wine, we did! It was great :-) We got to see the chickens at the Lyrebird organic vineyard (although they weren't in at the time because the fruit was ripe). That was fine though because that meant we got to taste the grapes!

The Chambourcin grapes tastes rather nice. A little in size, shape and taste like blueberries. There were also some "special" grapes there. You know how there's this artificial grape flavour that tastes nothing like grapes and tastes just disturbing? The one they use in bubblegum and some lollies? Well... it's real. And it occurs naturally. In this grape. Wrong I tells ya! We did have some very yummy wine at Two Figs and some others. Mmmmm.... wine stash :)

Great views all round...
...and I want one of thest for Christmas:
(yes, the whole thing).

Sunday involved a BBQ and Monday was just far too busy although I don't even remember why anymore... so now I'm looking at the fact that I'll be studying again soon! Eep! Next week is start of session....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another online timewaster :-)

I found this one on the livegerbil of her with a viking name.

A COPPER Dragon Lies Beneath!

My inner dragon color is COPPER. Click here to try the Quiz!

My inner dragon is the mighty warrior of dragon-kind. I don't play silly head-games or use fruity magic, I stick to the basics: big muscles and lots of flame. Wipe that smirk off your face, pal. Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.

Monday, February 05, 2007


What a weekend. We went on our last roadtrip for Aveline this weekend. It was a phenomenal experience. I was in very good company with DestructoMeg and Worldpeace_and_a_speedboat; we managed to keep the mood light the entire way and our time in Melbourne apart from the service itself. That was difficult.

We stopped in at Pheasant's Nest on the way down. We also stopped in at the Dog on the Tuckerbox, which just isn't the same anymore with the new petrol station nowhere near the dog. We also tried to get an international-roast-a-cino but they've renovated the Albury truck stop and have employed staff who seem to want to make marginally better coffee. Once again the coffee had great froth but the coffee itself was not so good. Not sure how they managed it this time but it still tasted like instant even though there was evidence of coffee grounds.

We arrived in Melbourne at ar0und 6am and wandered around Vic Markets. Amongst other things we bought some Chilli white port and had some doughnuts from the doughnut van. We had some lovely hosts who put up with us at the last minute and took us to a nice place for breakfast.

I won't write too much about the service here except to say it was remarkably unusual and very very appropriate.

In the afternoon we had a relaxing early dinner on Lygon street. Very much enjoyed. That night there was a wake in the local goth club which also seemed very appropriate. I got to meet a number of people whom Aveline had spoken highly of, and also see some faces I had not seen in years.

The next morning we had breakfast with Master Vladmir who was responsible for running the funeral, as well as Aveline's mum. It was nice to see the photos of Aveline from the birthday party she has been to not that long ago. I would also like to thank Master Vladmir for doing such an awesome job of organising as well as showing us a fabulous place for breakfast the next day. "The Illy Place" was great. Also many thanks to Kitling for more organising, Mistress LadyJane for being the MC, and to Worldpeace for letting me speak as well as doing most of the composition work, and finally to DestructoMeg for being a fabulous support for me. Don't know how well that would have gone without her there.

So that was the last road trip ever for Aveline... or was it? Stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where, oh where has our Aveline gone?

On the weekend, the world became a less rich place. Aveline passed away and we are the poorer for it. She gave so much, and had so much more to give.

I was honoured to have her as a part of my life for so long. She was at my 21st. She was at my 30th. She was the matriarch of my Household.

I will write more and link to a lot more once my brain is a little more in order... This post is a work in progress.

DestructoMeg and I were fortunate enough to spend some time with Aveline rummaging through Glebe Markets, and chatting around the BBQ on her last trip to Sydney. DestructoMeg summarised the whole thing really well last night.

I have been keeping up with the posts on ForBattle! and trying to keep up with everything else on Kitling's livejournal, let alone the collection of online tributes. I'm still finding it difficult to write.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A whisky tasting we did go!

Well... once again I've not blogged for a while. Got quite a few photos to go through and publish but no. Have other things to catch up on. Could do a recap of the year but hey... I could also just go back and read the blog which was the point in the first place. Enough self involved rant... this post is to publish the results of a whisky tasting as done by Mr Nw, Anti Ob and myself.

Ob had a box of 6 "classic malts" which are classic because they are representative of the 6 whisky regions of Scotland (editor's correction). Or they happen to be sold by the same parent company and can therefore be easily sold in the one box. Ob had already sampled one of them, but luckily I had a little of that very same whisky stashed away in my own whisky collection.

We selected stemmed tulip-shaped glasses since that was what we had on hand, and also since they are supposed to be better for the tasting with the open space around the liquid concentrating to a small opening to smell through. We took an initial taste and then added a tiny amount of water to "open out" the taste. We also left the previously tasted whisky glass around while tasting the next one so we could enjoy the aroma left behind a little later. This turned out to be surprisingly strong and sweet in most cases, and explains a lot about why you always want another glass when you've finished. In this way they were tasted pair-wise in the order below (which was the order in the box). So.... to the whiskies and their results:

Talisker Very peaty. Floral. Strong aroma. Rather impressive. (For some reason we didn't comment much on some of these. Possibly because we hadn't done this before).

Oban Smoother. Less peaty. Sweet. Very pleasant. Long finish. Strong aroma left behind in glass.

Glenkinchie Light aroma. Sweet caramel/oak (chardonnay like characteristic). Diluted made it more honey like although made it too subtle. According to the booklet, this is not just a lowlands whisky, but the driest and smokiest meaning that clearly the lowlanders don't like dry or smokey. After leaving it the aroma was still weak although it had become rather floral.

Dalwhinnie Low aroma. Malty. Honeyish. Water brings out the honey.

Lagavulin Darker colour. Peatiest of them all. Smokey aftertaste. Full of flavour. Sweetens with water. Afterwards smelled caramel-like and smokey.

Cragganmore Dry aroma. Smokey. Mellow. Easy to throw back (was difficult not to just drink it all in one go). Spicy-peppery aftertaste.

We seemed to agree that Talisker was the nicest, and Oban was not too far behind. After this tasting, we were also forutnate enough to compare the refular edition Talisker with the 1991 Distillers Edition Talisker. There was in fact enough difference to make it a different whisky. Not sure if I'd call either superior, just different enough that it's worth keeping a bottle of each, and that maybe I could collect a whisky from every year.....