This entry by: Katie 11 Aug 2009 10:40 pm

Sydney Weekender

We braved the Canberra cold early last Saturday morning and set off upto Sydney and warmer climes.  It’s amazing that a journey of 3 hours can bring a change in temperature of 18 Degrees (-1 when we left Canberra, to 17 in Sydney).

We started the weekend with a lunch at the Bavarian Beer Cafe in Manly – it seemed appropriate to take advantage of the opportunity to try beers that we can’t get in Canberra and catch up with good friends. 

Our next stop was King Street Wharf via the Manly Ferry.  I know that people wax lyrical about the beers at James Squire – and although I have always partaken in the beer, I have never been completed satisfied with all facets of the beer (taste, colour, smell and after taste) that is, until now… This weekend I discovered ‘The Highwayman’ – it must be new.  It was everything I was looking for – fresh, fruity, nice golden colour, and most importantly – tastes great.  If you are ever in James Squires, give it a try.

To top it off – we had dinner at Wagamamas (ok so that wasn’t really the highlight, but I thought it important to let you know we did eat!), and breakfast at Balmoral beach.  Balmoral is definately a view worth writing home about and worth returning back to Sydney for…

Sun, beer and good friends – got to put that in the top 10 things to focus your weekend.  Can’t wait ’til our next weekend adventure.

This entry by: Clayton 24 Jul 2009 08:41 pm

More on Katie’s cakes!

Katie did a post a while ago about her cakes.  We’ve managed to pull our collective fingers out, with Katie providing content while I worked on the presentational aspects.  So, the new “Katie’s Cakes” section is now available, you can get there from the link in the top right of the site.

The monsters are cool, but in my book Roddy and Alex’s wedding cake is the most impressive.

This entry by: Clayton 24 Jul 2009 08:22 pm

Gotta love the technology…

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  I don’t like things to go out “not right”.  Not good for blogging.  The number of drafts I have created which haven’t been posted because I’ve been waiting to add pictures, but need to wait until I convert them to the right size so they won’t take an age to download etc…

So I made a new (financial) years resolution:  To update the blog on a more frequent basis and sacrifice quality.  More volume, less perfection.  So far, I’ve failed on an epic scale.  Kind of.

While I’m comfortable with my “geek” label, people often don’t realise that there are many sub-classes of geek.  I’m in the Excel / Programming / Datamonkey sub-classes, and do alright out of it.  But when it comes to the web-hosting/web-administrator sub-classes, I’m still finding my feet.

So if you go to (haven’t linked it as you’ll just end up back here), it’s not showing the blog, it’s showing the above rant.  Hopefully the good folk at our web provider will be able to work their magic and sort thing out (they’ve been very good in the past).

This entry by: Katie 22 Apr 2009 11:39 pm

Katie’s Cakes…

I haven’t made a cake for quite a while, in fact I’ve only made one since we arrived in Australia in 2005. There are a number of reasons (excuses) for my lack of enthusiasm:

– the places we have stayed in have had pretty ordinary kitchens;

– I wasn’t sure where to buy the ingredients; and

– when we packed, I didn’t think to pack all my tins and things.

So, I haven’t resolved any of my issues (other than the kitchen), but decided none the less to get back into it after getting the opportunity to make an engagement cake.  While I haven’t done a cake for a while, it did remind me how much I enjoy it.  Spurred on, I have decided to create (or ask Clayton to create for me) a section within the site so you can all have a look at my creations to date.  They may not be perfect, but they all tell a story.  So once it is up and running, I hope you enjoy…

This entry by: Clayton 19 Apr 2009 08:57 pm

The Eagle Has Landed! (and promptly flown away…)

So I got an email from a good friend a couple of months back, saying that she was going to be in the land down under for a bit on a trip.  Never been to the Nation’s Capital, so was keen for a visit.  She’s American, but I get along with her because she has a passport, so she realises that there are places OUTSIDE of the US of A which are worth seeing.  Makes her alright in my books.

Easter Monday had us driving down to pick up Caz and her sister from the Jolimont Centre in Canberra, where all the interstate buses end up.  Except Caz’s sister was crook, so wasn’t able to make the Canberra leg.

The bus arrived late afternoon, so we went up to Telstra (Black Mountain) Tower to view Canberra.  Scoring this one off my “Places to take people” list.  It’s a good view of Canberra, but poorly placed – with Canberra being a planned city, the view from Black Mountain doesn’t do it justice.

What does do it justice is Mount Ainslie.  The view looks over the War Memorial, down ANZAC paraid, to Old Parliament House and New Parliament House.  If you stick that view into a photo with a born and bred Canberra boy and a LA based Lass you get this:

We spent the day going through the War Memorial, Blundell’s Cottage, the Carilion, Old Parly House, New Parly House, National Museum and KoKo Black (hot chocolate fix was apparently a neccessity.  Not for me – sweet enough as it stands…).  All good.

What can I say?  To catch up with close friends that you haven’t seen for a long time?  Fantastic.

‘Nuff said.

This entry by: Clayton 28 Jan 2009 12:29 am

“The one and only” Caz…

Subtitle:  My favourite American.  Actually, let’s call you “one of my top five Americans”.

Actually, I might extend that to top ten.  But you’re still tops, don’t get me wrong…

An “American” (who will remain nameless) remided me that I hadn’t updated the site for a while, which I can’t really argue with that.  So this is a very short, and public, post, to quiet your criticisms and hopefully give you more incentive to come and visit now that you have a “warm fuzzy” from having a post dedicated entirely to you.


Safe travels, can’t wait to see ya…

This entry by: Katie and Clayton 27 Jun 2008 11:00 pm

Dusting off the cobwebs…

Ok. So things have moved on slightly since the last post. Funny how that happens when you don’t do anything to the site for six months…

So the move happened. The advice for anyone considering moving is – don’t underestimate the time that it takes to pack a two bedroom apartment into a van or else you too may find yourself unpacking by the light of the local restaurant (until they close and leave you completely in the dark!).

The new apartment was smaller than we remembered. We’re taking an interesting spin on life, in that while we keep acculuating more and more stuff, we keep moving into smaller and smaller places. Our latest would result to a severe concussion to a cat on the swing. But location is good, a stone’s throw from restaurants and shops.

It has more rooms than we do, but otherwise the size is pretty much bang on…

Once settled in to the apartment, it began to shrink, which spurred us on to give up our weekends, and join the trail of people tramping through houses in the hope that we may land our ideal property, in a nice location at the right price. Once we had given up about 8 weekends (although it felt longer), we began to wonder about the sanity of some people – for example: Why would you spend money renovating your ensuite and not put a shower in it? Or if you only had one bathroom, why would you put it in the centre of the house with no windows? And are the only ones who think you shouldn’t have more bathrooms than you do bedrooms?

Eventually though, we found a fantastic house and decided to participate in our first auction. A stressful experience for Katie, and Clayton (who was the one holding the number and therefore responsible for the bidding) was a nervous wreck by the end. We had read all the advice on the internet, spoken to everyone we know who had bought a house, and watched a couple of auctions. The advice was great – it basically said that as soon as someone bid, immediatly raise it without hesitation. This will scare them into thinking that YOU ARE SERIOUS, and not to be messed with. The only problem was that the our main competition had obviously read the same advice and was raising at an alarming rate. Clayton therefore ditched the advice and took an alternate tack – let them think they’ve got it and at “Going for the third and final time…”, raise his hand and take the wind out of their sails. This course of action began to annoy Katie, although not as much as the opposition who were gradually beaten into submission. So we will very shortly be picking up the keys to our very own digs!

We can’t wait for the move – to be able to unpack all of our belongings will be fantastic, and finally we will have room for guests. So, now you have no excuse not to visit us in sunny Canberra!

This entry by: Clayton 29 Jan 2008 06:55 pm

The big move is on!

So tonight we say goodbye to Woollahra. Well, actually that’s not quite true, but it is the night we say goodbye to having a functioning internet connection in Sydney, given that the PC is about to be packed away.

So… how long would you think it would take to connect a phone line and broadband into a brand new building?

It’s not a riddle. It’s just what we spent half the day doing. Apparently the answer is 10-15 working days. My best man Gordon (I hate having to call him that) has a phrase that he uses in software development to describe behind-the-scenes processing. It’s “jiggery-pokery”. Used in context: “So a form comes up asking for the users first name, last name, and year of birth, they click on Ok, then after a bit of jiggery-pokery it informs them that their whether or not there spouse is sleeping with the milkman and if they need to get new fire insurance.”

Not being in telecommunications, I’m not sure exactly what jiggery-pokery is required to connect a phone and broadband, but I would have thought it couldn’t take more than a few hours of jiggering and/or pokering to get things up and running. 10-15 working days seems excessive, although one lot we contacted said up to four weeks, at which point they may discover that no, the infrastructure isn’t actually there for them to connect me.

Puts an interesting spin on the term “service provider”. I have an “internet service provider”. They should change the term to “dude”. I have an internet “dude”. Then you’d know where you stand. After all, “service provider” insinuates that your service will be provided, whereas “dude” insinuates nothing more than “Your call is important to me, dude. I like, love you and all, but, y’know, chillax dude. What’s the rush? It’s not like you, like, need to talk to people or email things like CVs… I’ll get to your connection, just got to punch a few cones first… where are the tim tams?”

Rant ended. Normal programming will be resuming once we are reconnected.

This entry by: Clayton 25 Jan 2008 09:08 am

Recipes up and running!

As I’m currently a man of leisure (1 more week to go!), I thought I’d do something fun. Or, at least, fun for me (being a bit of a tech geek).

I had a number of recipes on my old site which was given to me as a gift by some mates on my 26th birthday (the site, not the recipes…). I had written them up in static HTML – SO last millenium.

Well, yesterday, I created a new WP blog and migrated them all over. Found a nice theme to use as a base, then customised it. I’m particularly pleased with the index of recipes on the sidebar – a PHP guru could probably knock together an alphabetised list of post in a few seconds, but I’m not one, so I was pretty chuffed to have got it to work.

The new recipes section can be viewed through the link at the top right of the blog, or here…

This entry by: Clayton 01 Dec 2007 11:54 am

Brad’s Bucks Night…

…hasn’t happened yet, but I figured that I’m in much better condition to write something before the event than I will be in after. We’re heading out to bowl a few frames at Strike Bowling in Darling Harbour, before heading to the Rocks for some food and bev. From there… who knows?

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