#PAXAUS – Day 1

I bought our tickets many many months ago. I think almost as soon as they became available. They are just too much of a bargain to take risks with how long they will be available.

If you want to ask me “What’s a Pax?” – go over to Penny Arcade, read some comics, and maybe watch a video or two. A PAX is essentially a glorious celebration of amalgamated nerd culture. Over a three day weekend, there are panels on many varied topics, a show floor for PC, console, handheld hardware and games, board games, and many places to play and try a little bit of everything.

All set on the south bank of Melbourne, with all the food, and entertainment, and gas torches.

We’re now at the end of day one, and it just doesn’t feel like there is enough time to get to everything. Too many sessions. I am on average triple-booked throughout the day. I need more time to see all the great cosplaying. I need more time to play all the games.

Or perhaps a better filter. As great as the event is overall, it is not all equally great. I’ve been in two panels that felt a bit under-prepared. Like the host had had a great idea for a session, suggested it, got accepted, and then didn’t do any work to put together a cohesive set of questions and a narrative digging into the material. Which is a shame, because I was looking forward to the sessions on diversity in games.

And although Mike didn’t manage to make it to Australia this year, Jerry (Holkins) is firing on all cylinders like always. I like his words. He puts them in order in the most fantastic way. I need to figure out if there is something I could ask him to sign on my pass. I am leaning towards “A Second Naked Kris Straub” at the moment for reasons I cannot adequately explain outside of the context of the game of Quiplash I witnessed. I could easily listen to him all day.

I had a specific request lined up for Mike as well. Something from First 15 that I thought would go well on a T-shirt, but I will have to forego that privilege for now.

Maybe that was more to assuage my guilt over not knowing what either Mike or Jerry looked like last year, and possibly accidentally snubbing Mike at the pin-trade. Which I have since learned would have been an even more severe snub for the fact that pin-trading came forth from his imagination.

It is a shame that all these cool people gathered here together disperse again in less than 48 hours.

3 days just feels too short.

It’s like… less than 1% of the year. Does that sound like enough to you? It doesn’t to me.

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 d├ęcor / 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 200 – Dan’s Party

Right now, I am frantically sorting through some 200 odd photos taken at Dan’s birthday party in the city. I want to cull it down to a decent 40-50 at most, post them to the proper place and then go sleep up for tomorrow at Wet’n’Wild.

Although the day started gloomy and threatened rain it ended as all Dan’s BBQs do… with a beautiful sunny day in the backyard. Alas for the last time, for everyone is moving. Sad times. But also glorious times, because now there will be new places to have BBQs.

I had a great time photographing, eating all the delicious foods people brought, and insulting and threatening the life of a garden gnome… twice. I must hasten to add that I had nothing against said gnome myself, but some of the house-mates were not so fond of it, and I was merely offering suggestions of suitable accidental disposal. You know… as good house guests do. I feel very misunderstood now.

Met some new interesting people too, which is good for at least one of my new years resolutions.

And now to get ready for my last day off before work comes crashing back onto my shoulders. I’m going to make the most of it by spending it in the sun and water. I intend to return to work a shell of my former self. What point in having a holiday only to return back to work relaxed and then waste it on the stress of catching back up? I have to burn all that off for my betterment before I go back.

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.

Day 168 – Cocktails for All!

It has been a while since there’s been a cocktail party at casa-de-Bronte, and although it’s a relatively modestly sized party for New Years’ Eve, it is hopefully a kick-start to slightly more frequent and larger gatherings through 2014.

All Stocked Up
All Stocked Up

Call it a trial balloon to check if the bar is sufficiently stocked.
To dust off the recipe books.
To enjoy together.

To that end, I already have some new years resolutions lined up:

  • Re-do the kitchen to be more crowd-friendly
  • Replace horrible carpet with wooden floors
  • Replace old lounge with something new
  • Paint, polish, de-clutter

I guess I should add this to my ever-growing projects list in the side-bar.

Day 95 – Party near the Flames

Today we partied.

Tomorrow I will do an extensive photo-rapportage.

I was the designated photographer for Margret’s 60th. Which she had 4 months ago… we had 3 tries at setting up the party, and events kept getting in the way each time. Which goes partway to explaining why mere bushfires could not deter us from celebrating this time around.

The theme for the party was the 50s; she has an affinity with the decade. So music playlists were constructed with music from the decade. Candy and toys were sourced on eBay. And everybody had to make an attempt at looking the period as well.

Tomorrow there will be evidence of how much effort (read: gel) I had to bring to bear on the task of slicking my hair down. It has a mind of its own, and I had to negotiate with it over the direction we were going to be taking.

I shot over 800 pictures, so tomorrow will be about sorting, collating and deleting all the inferior ones.

Tomorrow’s post will be the interesting one.

Right now… I get to have a shower, and then go sleep in the caravan on the driveway, because space in the house is limited due to some refugees from the fires. It has been an interesting, entertaining and worthwhile day.

But also exhausting. Again.

Also, I don’t care about all the passive voice in this post. Stuff it!