Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Living in crazy bizzarro world

We had a thunderstorm here last night.
That was pretty standard fare - for the past few weeks we've had one nearly every day.

This morning the weather forecast was for a top of 30C.
Again, nothing odd there - temperatures in Canberra have been consistantly around 30C all summer.

The bizzarro started as the bus drove into civic.

Which was white.

The few cracks of thunder we heard here last night had produced something a bit more tangible across the city centre - over 70mL of rain and up to a metre of hail!

The storm was at about 11pm yesterday, so it was pretty impressive to see so much ice still around under full sun, 15C conditions almost 10 hours later!

In fact, there was still so much hail around that they had brought in bobcats to clear it up.

Beyond the novelty of the city looking like it was snowed in, there was actually some really serious damage done.

Where the ground wasn't white with ice it was green with shredded leaves that had been torn from trees.

The Canberra Centre was flooded and closed for the day.

The ANU also closed its doors for the day, with 70 damaged buildings, including the skylight in the robotics lab being destroyed causing a the room to flood, and the 'recycled cardboard' of the library falling in.

Banks were closed, Dendy and Borders were closed, I even got a text message from the gym saying they would be closed on account of water damage!! (and just when I discovered we have a body jam class!)

Traffic was chaos, but that was probably the least of the car problems.

I think there were more than a couple of people who woke to find their roofs more dented and carpeted with leaves than the day before.

And then there was the other car thing...

As I was getting off the bus in the morning I bumped into a guy who works on my floor.

He offered me a lift, but I was pretty keen to take some pics, so declined.

About 15 minutes later, after a few snaps, I bumped into said guy again.
He had arrived at his car only to find it frozen to the curb.

Seriously. (that's not his up there, but you could see how it might happen...)
He said he got in, started it, and nothing happened - the wheels just span!

Eventually the temperature did reach 30C - there are some really cool shots on flickr taken throughout the day (that much ice melting to make way for 30C creates some great atmospheric mist)

The whole thing was beyond weird.
Welcome to crazy bizzaro world.....

besos =)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Suddenly Sunday

Woah, what happened to this week????

All I know is that, though it was a fast one, it was also a pretty good one! =)

Wednesday at work I was booked for orientation training.

This is great in theory - if I hadn't already been in the job for 10 months, anyway =S
(they do have free biscuits at the training rooms, though hehe)

Luckily I also had something exciting planned for Wednesday - dinner with Bertie and Liv at one of my new fave places - Wagamama.

This was an especially exciting evening on account of Liv and I have never actually met, despite each having heard Bertie talk about the other the past 7 years! (in fact, one day, not that long ago, Liv spotted me on the bus on account of her recognising my bag -how cool is that =))

We got caught in one of these crazy hail storms Canberra has been 'hosting' regularly for the past few weeks - I actually thought I would have bruises on my legs from the hail stones!

I'm very much looking forward to catching up with Liv again - she's even convinced me to come to stitch'n'bitch with her next time.

She's much braver than me - I was going to suggest we go and spy on the group a couple of times first (hey, I'm just not really much of a joiner, ok! =))
I'm sure it will be great fun =)

Speaking of stitching (and the other bit!) I'm thinking I need to start a new project - something exciting and quick that I can post photos of.
I'm still loving the rbpm and all, it's just that it's progressing really slowly, so even if I could post more ics then they would just look the same.
And the granny-squares, well you know, squares are squares, hey.
That said, what I have in mind is a little bit granny-ish too...
Hope to have a plan tomorrow. =)

BTW. I don't actually work in a casino or anthing - the pic up the top is the cupcake of the week - the texas hold'em cupcake - red velvet with cream cheese icing.
I made these to take to J-Mo's for a spot of poker on Saturday night (where for the second time in a row I was out after going all in on a full house only for someone else to have a better full house!!).

These came out of the oven as just the most perfect little cuppycakes I've ever seen, and they were lots of fun to make too!

Actually, the red batter probably entertained me far more than it should have.
I was like "but look, they're soooo red! I'm making red cupcakes and the batter is totally red!" I blame the food dye..... (the fact that I used an entire bottle of red food dye amused me too. And the bottle wasn't as much as the recipe asked for!)

Red velvet isn't super common here, in fact the only experience that most people I know have had with red velvet cake is the armadillo in Steel Magnolias. (which is all too amusing all over again!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Something new, something blue.

Determined not to let yesterday's little incident slow us down, the Boy and I tried something new for breakfast today - Crumpet toast.

This seemed like a kinda weird idea to me, since I've always thought that the best part of crumpets is that they're crunchy and flat underneath, lumpy and spongey on top.

The crumpet toast was really neither - it was mostly flatish but sort of holey.

It was really more like one of those grain-free gluten-free rice flour based breads than crumpets. Which is ok, since I like all those kinds of breads anyway.

I guess it tasted a bit crumpety, and was totally delish with vegemite and coffee. Over all, a winner, however I just don't think crumpet toast is an appropriate name since it was neither crumpety or toasty. Croast perhaps? =)

I finally have some progress shots on the "monster granny blanket", which is now looking like it will be about 96 squares (according to my 'kwack-a-lations').

Unfortunately the pic to the left there isn't showing true colours, even though I took it outside in natural light - the really dark yarn is actually purple, not blue, then there are three lighter purples and three blues - all different - and the cream.

The plan is to have a set of 6 squares in each of the possible blue/purple combination (of which you can see six there), with no two squares being the same. There will be a blue to match that dark purple too, hopefully another dark like that will bring back some balance, since I'm worried that it doesn't quite fit, with the other colours being so pale.

Also fitting the new and blue theme tonght was tv - with the Australia premier of Ugly Betty, and the first new season 3 episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Hmm, I'm not quite sure about Betty yet. I had a definate cheesy movie feel to it, and to be honest I was a bit disappointed.

As for Grey's, well... I'm fairly newly converted, since about the last five episodes of last season (having only seen little bit and pieces before that). When season 1 was on sale I decided to get it and catch up and really enjoyed it. (I bought season 2 last week - so I still have about 15 episodes worth of catching up to do!)

But I have to admit that I find watching it can be pretty emotional (hence the blue).
You know, all these bad things happen to the characters and even though they're doctors there's nothing they can do to stop it. I guess having lost the Boy's mum so recently really highlights the reality of that fact - that sometimes bad stuff happens to people you really care about and its not 'going to be ok', and there's just nothing you can do to fix it for them.

Anyway, I do enjoy Grey's - it also makes me laugh. Seriously, for a main character Meredith totally gets the lamest, cheesiest story lines! (well, except the stuff about her mum) - everyone else seems to be dealing with these super deep issues, but for Meredith after two years it's still about whether she should be on or off with McDreamy!

The past week or so have been kind of weird weather-wise in Canberra.
We seem to have this constant threat of storm, thunder rumbling and all, with very little actual action. (check out some of the impressive storm clouds gathering pics Bertie has captured throughout the week!)

The combination of seeing other people's gorgeous photos, and the feed-back on what I've posted on flickr has got me quite inspired to work on my photographic technique.

So when we actually saw a few sprinkles of rain today I took advantage of the chance to practise some out-door photography, as you can see there.

Looking at those rain-drops makes me feel kind of refreshed.
Hope your weekend has been refreshing too!

besos =)

btw, that other pic is progress on the red and blue project of mystery. I know it's still top secret and all, but I'm just so pleased with how the pattern is coming out I couldn't resist sharing =)

its a great big world

I saw a link to this on anither blog today, and thought it might be fun.

You check boxes to say which countries in the world you have visited, and it colours them in on the map.
Here's my map:

create your own visited countries map

I guess the problem with Europhilia is the teeny tiny little countries (ehm, Denmark hehe) =)

So much to see!!!


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Brush with death

Tonight the Boy and I are having a 'gratitude Saturday evening' on account a little close call we had here today.

The Boy and I went on our usual Saturday afternoon shopping expedition (oh yes, you had better believe there's no off position on the weekend excitement switch around here. No sireee!)
We make a kind of list, then don't really refer to it once we enter the supermarket, and I like to go up every aisle anyway - just to see if there's anything new.

Today the Boy spotted an exciting new product - Nachos to Go.

Him: "Hey look, Nachos to Go. That sounds cool. Can we get some?"
(He always asked if its ok before he adds anything to the trolley - even when he's paying!),

Me: "Sure, if you want?"

Him: "Well ok. Actually, no - nachos are pretty easy to make anyway, huh"

Me: "Ok. Maybe we'll get some next week."

Fast-forward to later this evening, the Boy is checking the latest on the ABC news website when he comes across this (as a headline!!)

Nachos health scare prompts interstate probe

"Hehe, hey, Kuka, how's this for a good headline!"

The news snippet continues:

"Health authorities in two states are investigating a life-threatening case of botulism that has left a 26-year-old man in intensive care after he ate a pre-packaged nachos meal."

-You guessed it, Nachos to go!!

thank goodness we'd already decided on the prepackaged steamed pork buns to theme dinner around!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

be mine....

Happy Valentine's day everyone!!!

I have had a fab day - new Jamie Oliver cookbook this morning (I love Jamie!)

Then a funnish day at work - I have one of those relationships with my work whereby while I'm doing the work I may complain, but I'm actually really enjoying it and learning so much =)

Then there was the true love - I totally want to get married... to these rasperry choc cupcakes! (the Boy isn't happy - he wants them all to himself!!!)

I made the cupcakes last night from the Women's Weekly Cupcakes book.
It was kind weird, since there were so many things I thought were strange about the recipe (like rather than creaming the butter and sugar together you beat sugar, butter and egg til just combined, and you melt the chocolate in water -!!) but they turned out so well!

And the smell of warm chocolate and raspberries when I opened the oven was divine!
Definately making these babies again! I'm not sure whether it was the frozen raspberries or the almond meal, but they were so moist and delish!

I decorated them with little pink tinted white choc hearts that I piped on the weekend (whilst watching heart surgery on Grey's, I think hehe) and choc butter icing.

Then, tonight we went to Lemon Grass for dinner.

It was sooooo gooooood!!!!!

The restaurant was decorated with rose shaped lights in the window and little hearts and angel wings stuck on the walls. It was full of couples (naturally, I guess since its Valentines day).

I love people watching couples - is it a first date, is she too dressed up, too much make-up (not enough make-up!), mail order bride etc. Its fun =)

We had our favourite usuals -treasure bags, phad thai and penang chicken mmmmmmmmmm..

All the tables were set with a little pink bag with chocolate heart in under each serviette =)

And since I love Lemon Grass, and we go there so often, as we were leaving my favourite waitress approached us with a gift - special chopsticks! Look, they're so cute with the carved elephants and embroidered fabric cases =) oooh I heart Lemon Grass!

Hope everyone had a fab day too =)


BTW: Bertie posted some impressive pics of some stormy weather. Here's what I saw when I left the office:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Project Spectrum Mach II

Wow, February seems to be getting away from me - here it's the 11th already and I haven't posted about

Feb probably has my favourite colour combination of all the months - blue silver and white - just about all of my projects have blue in them any way!

This month I am working on two projects in particular:

  • rbpm

  • granny squares

and so since these both are blue already, which makes me feel a bit like I'm cheating, I decided to get into the spectrum spirit today with some baking - cupcakes of course!!!

These guys are from the Australian Women's Weekly Cupcakes book - coconut white chocolate mud cupcake (I think they're called Coconut Kisses in the book), which I have iced with a kind of coconutty butter icing in project spectrum blue with silver.

I have to say the recipe wasn't as good as the ones I have been using in that other fab book - the mix seemed pretty sloppy and I'm not sure if you can see in the picture but their middles sunk =(

Despite this small detail they tasted pretty fab (and after all, we're probably all a little sunk in the middle, if we're going to be completely honest! =))

Now I have to run off and find some tissues before I sit down to watch the final episode of season 2 Grey's Anatomy - seven are showing it tonight and I still tear up thinking about it!!!
(If you thought my 'friendship' with Veronica was weird, wait til I tell you about Izzie and I. Not that kind of weird, if that's what you were thinking. Not that there's anything wrong with that though....)

Besos =)

btw. has anyone else downloaded the Internet Explorer update and found it has stuffed things up? (ok, as I type this I realise I may be the only person in the blogging world using explorer, please don't throw rotten fruit)
Mine has been loading really slowly, and I'm getting a 'cannot display that page' type error way more than I would like.
Seriously software guys - if its not broke....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

sleep working

There's no real post today - just a hi =)

I arrived home from Melbourne on Wednesday evening, after a huge three days of work meetings in a row (that's just about 2.5 too many!)
Its not that I don't like the meetings - they're actually super interesting - its just a really long time to spend concentrating, especially since it was only my second time.
The days were massive - I worked 10 extra hours over the 3 days!

The next couple of days back in the office won't be much better, heavy wise, since we have until Wednesday to write up the meeting! =S

Despite the long days and too-extended periods of concentration, we also had a lot of fun.

Melbourne was divine (as always) and I had a beautiful time wandering the city on Sunday afternoon/evening.
And it looks like our next meeting (in June) will also be held in Melbourne!

On Monday night J-Mo and I ordered room service to my room and watched some Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs.

I got a bit of knitting and crochet done - I took the rbpm with me, as well as the good old granny squares =)

I also did some reading - especially on the plane - on Friday I picked up "the Friday Night Knitting Club" at Borders (aaah Borders!).
I think it was just released here last week, and I saw it all over the place in Melbourne.

Is it really Friday already tomorrow?


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I heart Melbourne

I'm heading to Melbourne today for work, until Wednesday.
My flight gets in just after lunch so I'll have the afternoon free in the city.
Yay =)

(the pics are from when mum and I were there in September)