Day 323 – Perspective

43 – 100 Photo Tips

The hardest part I have found so far about photography is to stay patient and keep looking for the better angle on a subject. It is very tempting to just dash by, take a few shots and then move on. And when I say “take a few shots”, I already underplay the time it takes to do even that right.

So, I went on a quest to get some perspective.
Literally.
Continue reading Day 323 – Perspective

Day 316 – Party Reno

50 – 100 Quick and Easy Ways to Freshen Your Home

Sadly, doing the kitchen will only lead to more work though before we can have a party.

The rest of the house really needs ridding of the horrible carpet that I’ve tried to keep not-too-indecent for far too long. We intend to get bamboo flooring instead. Initially we were looking at carbonized bamboo cut along the grain for a nice dark coffee-tone floor that will be a hell of a lot easier to keep clean of hairballs and mishaps.
Continue reading Day 316 – Party Reno

Day 315 – Who Needs a Kitchen Anyway?

51 – 100 Kitchen Designs

…speaking of kitchen renovations…

100 décor / design ideas and not a single one really jumps out and grabs me. Not that I’ll let that stop me from a renovation; it just means I’ll have to make it all up as I go along instead.
Continue reading Day 315 – Who Needs a Kitchen Anyway?

Day 306 – Now We’re Cooking

60 – The 100 Best Cookbooks

Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of cookbooks. I know how to make a thing or two; my ice cream is a well-established tradition, as are my potato salads. And by request I do pizza-from-scratch at times.

There is however one cookbook that I must own someday. The One Book To Rule Them All. At 24kg and 2438 pages it is the kind of book that needs a lectern when used. And it is a glorious piece of art in its own right, even if I have some fundamental problems with the author’s other Ventures, so to speak.
Continue reading Day 306 – Now We’re Cooking

Day 300 – The Write Ambitions

66 – The Write Life Presents: The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014

So many links to follow. So many posts to read.
The links today had a lot to offer. I almost got lost in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

To continue writing after my challenge is over and to grow an audience from there, I’ll have to make a few changes to my routine and the way I write. I think it is abundantly clear that I need to come up with a properly focused scope for my blog. Or maybe I need to segment my blog between everyday ramblings, and my real writing. This challenge is just too disorganised to grow an audience on.

I am not a morning person, but Shanan at The Procrastiwriter makes a compelling argument for a morning writing routine. I know that some of my most rushed challenge-posts were written past midnight when I really just wanted to go to sleep. Writing in the morning, and not posting till it’s done would be a good foundation for consistent quality. It is also hard to use good judgement in a sleepy haze; “good enough” at midnight rarely still is at 9am.

And then there are 7 fixes to write better by Mary Jaksch at Write To Done that I might want to exercise as well. Which would involve leaving a post sitting for a day anyway so that I can somewhat objectively check my work. Again something that isn’t compatible with my challenge, but probably essential beyond it.

For anyone out there with a drive to write, I would recommend having a look at today’s link. The list of websites is well organised into topics and types of writing. There’s probably something useful there regardless of whether you want to blog, write novels or freelance.

Day 289 – From a List

77 – 100 Writing Topics

I don’t own a 100-sided die, so I cannot pick randomly… I’ll pick 40.
I may want to get back to this list because there are some great ideas on it.

Favourite Places to Visit

I like visiting the Gold Coast. I like being in one of the hotels over summer with the window open and the sound of the rushing waves in the background through the night. Whenever I am there, I try to visit the Zarraffa’s coffee place there. It’s more a ritual than anything else, because the ridiculously intense barista has long-since left the place. He made the cappuccino’s like he was putting the final flourishes on the Venus De Milo. I love walking along the beaches. I specifically love walking from Surfers to Broadbeach to get cake from Madison’s Cafe. It’s worth the 30 minute hike in the surf.

I like visiting the Hunter Valley. It’s been too long since I’ve been there. It is the perfect combination of wine-trial-and-error, chocolate and Smelly Cheese Shop. My favourite stay is still when my parents were over from Europe. We stayed in a bunch of converted train carriages. We made port pears. And then when we were sufficiently sozzled, we folded paper air-planes for flights across the Safari carriage. There are plenty of other interesting hotels, but this one had the major redeeming quality of being pet-friendly.

I live visiting the burger and fish shops down the end of the road. Of course, anyone would say the same, but these make some of the best fast/fried meals I’ve ever had. Right At The End Of The Road! I wish it had a nicer space to sit whilst sipping a coffee. So take-away it is.

I like visiting my gym. I was perfectly happy with Fitness First for many years… and then I switched to Virgin Active. I had no idea. I apologise. You are clearly superior Virgin. I like nothing better than finishing my day at the gym and starting my evening after. I have a habit of taking my work home with me inside the back of my brain. The gym seems ideally suited to help me switch off. 30 minutes of intense cardio fogs up my brain enough to shut my background processing off.

I like visiting Wet’n’Wild. As is clear from past bloggings. I’ll miss it. It’ll be back in September… presumably. Another Gold Pass for me. I hadn’t been for 6 weeks or so before last weekend. I wasn’t sure it would be as much fun as I remembered. Oh, how wrong I was to think so. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to remember why I like going there.

I like visiting Featherdale as well, even though it’s less my thing than Abbey’s. I like taking the camera with me and trying to capture the animals in interesting ways.

I feel bad for all the places I’m missing, but now these are first in my mind.

I think it indicates I need to travel a bit more.

Day 285 – Artful Procrastination

81 – 100 of the Best Street Art Photos for 2013

I’m going to be lazy tonight. Last day of my holiday, and all I want to do is scroll through a page with pictures on it… so there it is. My favourites from the 100 below, but I urge you to have a look at them all in the link above; some really clever art.

1) Street Art in Olsztyn, Poland

Art doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective.

We all just want a hug sometimes

3) Chalk Art by David Zinn

It is better when it interacts with its surroundings.

Just sweep it under the rug

53) Street Art in Berlin, Germany

It re-defines something that already existed.

Titanic ahoi

66) Street Art by Pabi A – In Lund, Sweden

It pushes “outside the box”.

Taking another path

67) Another brick in the wall – In Gorzow, Poland

It can be subtle and easily overlooked.

I’ve got my eye on you

88) Lego house, Warsaw, Poland

It combines similar-yet-contrasting to mutually clarify.

The downstairs appartment

Day 222 – Carrot Cake!

I dozed my way through a large chunk of today. No idea what’s gotten over me.

I did manage more ice cream between naps. I really like how easy the new machine makes it to decide to do another experiment. Immediate gratification FTW.

Today’s recipe was an interpretation of “carrot cake ice cream” as suggested by Abbey. The frosting turned into the base, and the base into garnish.

First: bake 1 carrot cake, slice it into small pieces.

Proto-Ice-Cream
Proto-Ice-Cream

Next: mix 500ml cream cheese + 300ml cream + lots of Frangelico. Place into ice cream maker and run for 20 minutes. Add pieces of carrot cake into the mixture. Run for another 20 minutes.

Finally: decant into container, and decorate with walnuts on top. Freeze.

The mixture tasted okay, but I haven’t tried the finished product yet. Not the biggest fan of cream-cheese-based-desserts, but the Frangelico makes up for a lot. Tasting notes later.

More sleep now?

Day 199 – The Ice Man Cometh

Coffee/Ferrerro by request, and Banana-Choc-Chip for good measure.

I have a birthday party to attend tomorrow, and I had promised ice cream. My holiday has made me very disorganised though, so the cooling elements weren’t in the freezer yet as-at this morning.

In an up-to-that-point unrelated event, some money I wasn’t expecting had made its way into my account from the Netherlands. After about half an hour of research, I had figured out the best model, and I had found a vendor in Castle Hill with stock.

A short road-trip later…

Industrial looking box
Industrial looking box

I am now the proud slave to a 1.5l ice cream maker with compressor. Which means that I do not need to freeze elements ever again, and I can now make as many batches of ice cream in a row as I want/need to.

Russian Nesting Packaging
Russian Nesting Packaging

Apparently this model has been flying off the shelves; if the warehouse was to be believed they had just received a shipment of 200 to keep up with demand.

Square and Foreboding
Square and Foreboding

The machine itself looks very industrial with a minimum of moving/removable parts; it has already proven easy to clean. It also comes with separate paddles for ice cream and gelato, and the recipe booklet has a variety of ice cream recipes that do not even involve eggs, which could broaden my options for future ice-cream-making.

Old and New
Old and New

The new container doesn’t look that much larger than the old, but I used to only be able to make up to 1l at a time. This container should be good for up to 1.5l, but if nothing else it means I can put more solid ingredients into the mix without risk of overflow.

Time is Running Out
Time is Running Out

It took about 40 minutes per batch to cool sufficiently. It didn’t set as firm in the machine as I was used to, but it does seem better aerated. And once it goes through the actual freezer I expect it’ll be more than sufficiently solid. Also, these were lactose-free batches which always are harder to set, so this may actually have worked out perfectly.

I can’t wait to sample the results.

Now I just need to find new homes for the two old machines that are still taking up space. And I wonder how long before I get inundated with ice cream requests.