Diary of a geek

October 2014
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Andrew Pollock

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Day 268: Science Friday, TumbleTastics, haircuts and a big bike outing

I didn't realise how jam packed today was until we sat down at dinner time and recounted what we'd done today.

I started the day pretty early, because Anshu had to be up for an early flight. I pottered around at home cleaning up a bit until Sarah dropped Zoe off.

After Zoe had watched a bit of TV, I thought we'd try some bottle rocket launching for Science Friday. I'd impulse purchased an AquaPod at Jaycar last year, and haven't gotten around to using it yet.

We wandered down to Hawthorne Park with the AquaPod, an empty 2 litre Sprite bottle, the bicycle pump and a funnel.

My one complaint with the AquaPod would have to be that the feet are too smooth. If you don't tug the string strongly enough you end up just dragging the whole thing across the ground, which isn't really what you want to be doing. Once Zoe figured out how to yank the string the right way, we were all good.

We launched the bottle a few times, but I didn't want to waste a huge amount of water, so we stopped after about half a dozen launches. Zoe wanted to have a play in the playground, so we wandered over to that side of the park for a bit.

It was getting close to time for TumbleTastics, and we needed to go via home to get changed, so we started the longish walk back home. It was slow going in the mid-morning heat and no scooter, but we got there eventually. We had another mad rush to get to TumbleTastics on time, and miraculously managed to make it there just as they were calling her name.

Lachlan wasn't there today, and I was feeling lazy, and Zoe was keen for a milkshake, so we dropped into Ooniverse on the way home. Zoe had a great old time playing with everything there.

After we got home again, we biked down to the Bulimba post office to collect some mail, and then biked over for a haircut.

After our haircuts, Zoe wanted to play in Hardcastle Park, so we biked over there for a bit. I'd been wanting to go and check out the newly opened Riverwalk and try taking the bike and trailer on a CityCat. A CityCat just happened to be arriving when we got to the park, but Zoe wasn't initially up for it. As luck would have it, she changed her mind as the CityCat docked, but it was too late to try and get on that one. We got on the next one instead.

I wasn't sure how the bike and the trailer were going to work out on the CityCat, but it worked out pretty well going from Hawthorne to New Farm Park. We boarded at Hawthorne from the front left hand side, and disembarked at New Farm Park from the front right hand side, so I basically just rolled the bike on and off again, without needing to worry about turning it around. It was a bit tight cornering from the pontoon to the gangway, but the deckhand helped me manoeuvre the trailer.

It was quite a nice little ride through the back streets of New Farm to get to the start of the Riverwalk, and we had a nice quick ride into the city. We biked all the way along the riverside through to the Old Botanic Gardens. We stopped for a little play in the playground that Zoe had played in the other weekend when we were wandering around for Brisbane Open House, and then continued through the gardens, over the Goodwill Bridge, and the bottom of the Kangaroo Point cliffs.

We wound our way back home through Dockside, and Mowbray Park and along the bikeway alongside Wynnum Road. It was a pretty huge ride, and I'm excited that it's opened up an easy way to access Southbank by bicycle. I'm looking forward to some bigger forays in the near future.

[04:40] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day 267: An outing to the Valley for lunch, and swim class

I was supposed to go to yoga in the morning, but I just couldn't drag my sorry arse out of bed with my man cold.

Sarah dropped Zoe around, and she watched a bit of TV while we were waiting for a structural engineer to come and take a look at the building's movement-related issues.

While I was downstairs showing the engineer around, Zoe decided she'd watched enough TV and, remembering that I'd said we needed to tidy up her room the previous morning, but not had time to, took herself off to her room and tidied it up. I was so impressed.

After the engineer was finished, we walked to the ferry terminal to take the cross-river ferry over to Teneriffe, and catch the CityGlider bus to the Valley for another one of the group lunches I get invited to.

After lunch, we reversed our travel, dropping into the hairdresser on the way home to make an appointment for the next day. We grabbed a few things from the Hawthorne Garage on the way through.

We pottered around at home for a little bit before it was time to bike to swim class.

After swim class, we biked home, and Zoe watched some TV while I got organised for a demonstration that night.

Sarah picked up Zoe, and I headed out to my demo. Another full day.

[14:53] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Day 266: Prep play date, shopping and a play date

Zoe's sleep seems a bit messed up lately. She yelled out for me at 3:53am, and I resettled her, but she wound up in bed with me at 4:15am anyway. It took me a while to get back to sleep, maybe around 5am, but then we slept in until about 7:30am.

That made for a bit of a mad rush to get out the door to Zoe's primary school for her "Prep Play Date" orientation. We managed to make it out the door by a bit after 8:30am.

15 minutes is what it appears to take to scooter to school, which is okay. With local traffic being what it is, I think this will be a nice way to get to and from school next year, weather permitting.

We signed in, and Zoe got paired up with an existing (extremely tall) Prep student to be her buddy. The other girl was very keen to hold Zoe's hand, which Zoe was a bit dubious about at first, but they got there eventually.

The kids spent about 20 minutes rotating through the three classrooms, with a different buddy in each classroom. They were all given a 9 station name badge when they signed in, and they got a sticker for each station that they visited in each classroom.

It was a really nice morning, and I discovered there's one other girl from Zoe's Kindergarten going to her school, so I made a point of introducing myself to her mother.

I've got a really great vibe about the school, and Zoe enjoyed the morning. I'm looking forward to the next stage of her education.

We scootered home afterwards, and Zoe got the speed wobbles going down the hill and had a spectacular crash, luckily without any injuries thanks to all of her safety gear.

Once we got home, we headed out to the food wholesaler at West End to pick up a few bits and pieces, and then I had to get to Kindergarten to chair the monthly PAG meeting. I dropped Zoe at Megan's place for a play date while I was at the Kindergarten.

After the meeting, I picked up Zoe and we headed over to Westfield Carindale to buy a birthday present for Zoe's Kindergarten friend, Ivy, who is having a birthday party on Saturday.

We got home from Carindale with just enough time to spare before Sarah arrived to pick Zoe up.

I then headed over to Anshu's place for a Diwali dinner.

[16:22] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 265: Kindergarten and startup stuff

Zoe yelled out for me at 5:15am for some reason, but went back to sleep after I resettled her, and we had a slow start to the day a bit after 7am. I've got a mild version of whatever cold she's currently got, so I'm not feeling quite as chipper as usual.

We biked to Kindergarten, which was a bit of a slog up Hawthorne Road, given the aforementioned cold, but we got there in the end.

I left the trailer at the Kindergarten and biked home again.

I finally managed to get some more work done on my real estate course, and after a little more obsessing over one unit, got it into the post. I've almost got another unit finished as well. I'll try to get it finished in the evenings or something, because I'm feeling very behind, and I'd like to get it into the mail too. I'm due to get the second half of my course material, and I still have one more unit to do after this one I've almost finished.

I biked back to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe. She wanted to watch Megan's tennis class, but I needed to grab some stuff for dinner, so it took a bit of coaxing to get her to leave. I think she may have been a bit tired from her cold as well.

We biked home, and jumped in the car. I'd heard from Matthew's Dad that FoodWorks in Morningside had a good meat selection, so I wanted to check it out.

They had some good roasting meat, but that was about it. I gave up trying to mince my own pork and bought some pork mince instead.

We had a really nice dinner together, and I tried to get her to bed a little bit early. Every time I try to start the bed time routine early, the spare time manages to disappear anyway.

[03:03] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 20 October 2014

Day 264: Pupil Free Day means lots of park play

Today was a Kindergarten (and it seemed most of the schools in Brisbane) Pupil Free Day.

Grace, the head honcho of Thermomix in Australia, was supposed to be in town for a meet and greet, and a picnic in New Farm Park had been organised, but at the last minute she wasn't able to make it due to needing to be in Perth for a meeting. The plan changed and we had a Branch-level picnic meeting at the Colmslie Beach Reserve.

So after Sarah dropped Zoe off, I whipped up some red velvet cheesecake brownie, which seems to be my go to baked good when required to bring a plate (it's certainly popular) and I had some leftover sundried tomatoes, so I whipped up some sundried tomato dip as well.

The meet up in the park was great. My group leader's daughters were there, as were plenty of other consultant's kids due to the Pupile Free Day, and Zoe was happy to hang out and have a play. There was lots of yummy food, and we were able to graze and socialise a bit. We called it lunch.

After we got home, we had a bit of a clean up of the balcony, which had quite a lot of detritus from various play dates and craft activities. Once that was done, we had some nice down time in the hammock.

We then biked over to a park to catch up with Zoe's friend Mackensie for a play date. The girls had a really nice time, and I discovered that the missing link in the riverside bike path has been completed, which is rather nice for both cycling and running. (It goes to show how long it's been since I've gone for a run, I really need to fix that).

After that, we biked home, and I made dinner. We got through dinner pretty quickly, and so Zoe and I made a batch of ginger beer after dinner, since there was a Thermomix recipe for it. It was cloudy though, and Zoe was more used to the Bunderberg ginger beer, which is probably a bit better filtered, so she wasn't so keen on it.

All in all, it was a really lovely way to spend a Pupil Free Day.

[03:17] [life] [permalink]

Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 261: Lots of play dates with boys, TumbleTastics, and a fairy gathering

Today was a typical jam packed day. Zoe had a brief wake up at at some point overnight because she couldn't find Cowie, right next to her head, but that was it.

First up, the PAG fundraising committee come over for a quick (well, more like 2 hour) meeting at my place to discuss planning for the sausage sizzle tomorrow. Because I don't have Zoe, I've volunteered to do a lot of the running around, so I'm going to have a busy day.

Mel had brought Matthew and Olivia with her, so Zoe and Matthew had a good time playing, and Olivia kept trying to join in.

That meeting ran right up until I realised we had to head off for TumbleTastics, so Zoe got ready in record time and we scootered over and made it there just as her class was starting. I was sure we were going to be late, so I was happy we made it in time.

Lachlan and his Mum, Laura, and little sister came over for lunch again afterwards, and stayed for a little while.

After they left, we started getting ready for the Fairy Nook's attempt to break the Guiness Book of Records record for the most fairies in one place. We needed to get a wand, so once Zoe was appropriately attired, we walked around the corner to Crackerjack Toys and picked up a wand.

After that, I popped up to Mel's place to collect a whole bunch of eskies that the local councillor had lent us for the sausage sizzle. Mel had also picked up a tutu for Zoe from the local two dollar store in her travels.

We got home, and then walked to the Hawthorne AFL oval where the record attempt was. Initially there were like two other fairies there, but by 4:30pm, there was a pretty good turnout. I don't know what the numbers were, but I'm pretty sure they were well under the 872 they needed. There was a jumping castle and a few of Zoe's friends from Kindergarten, so it was all good.

Sarah arrived to pick up Zoe from there, and I walked home.

[01:02] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Day 260: Bedwetting, a morning tea play date, and swim class

Zoe woke up at something like 3:30am because she'd wet the bed. She hasn't wet the bed since before she turned 4. In fact, I bought a Connie pad and she promptly never wet the bed again. I was actually thinking about stopping using it just last night, so I obviously jinxed things.

Anyway, she woke up, announced she'd had an accident, and I smugly thought I'd have it all handled, but alas, the pad was too low down, so she'd still managed to wet the mattress, which was annoying. Plan B was to just switch her to the bottom bunk, which still worked out pretty well. I've learned an important lesson about the placement of the Connie pad now.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that if I get woken up after about 4am, I have a low probability of getting back to sleep, and I'd gotten to bed a bit late the night before, so I only wound up with about 5 hours and felt like crap all day.

Vaeda and her mum, Francesca came over for a morning tea play date. I'd been wanting an excuse to try out a new scone recipe that I'd discovered, so I cranked out some scones for morning tea.

Vaeda and Francesca couldn't stay for too long, but it was a nice morning nonetheless. Then we popped out to Woolworths to pick up a $30 gift card that the store had donated towards the weekend sausage sizzle. Not quite 70 kg of free sausages, but better than nothing.

After we got back, we had some lunch, and I tried to convince Zoe to have a nap with me, without success, but we did have a couple of hours of quietish time, and I got to squeeze in some reading.

We biked over to swim class and then biked home, and I made dinner. Zoe was pretty tired, so I got her to bed nice and easily. It'll be an early night for me too.

[02:39] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Day 259: Kindergarten, more demos and play dates

I was pretty exhausted after yesterday, so getting out of bed this morning took some serious effort. I started the day with a chiropractic adjustment and then got stuck into doing the obligatory "pre-cleaner clean" and preparing for my third Thermomix demonstration.

The cleaners arrived and I headed off around the corner. My host thought the demo was starting at 10:30am, so I again had a bit of extra time up my sleeve.

My Group Leader, Maria, came to observe this demo, and I thought she was just going to be incognito, but to my pleasant surprise, she actually helped out with some of the washing up throughout the demo, which made it easier.

The demo went really well, and I was happy with how it went, and Maria gave me really positive feedback as well, so I was really stoked.

I got home with enough time to collapse on the couch with a book for half an hour before I biked to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe.

As we were heading out, I realised I'd left her helmet at home on her scooter. That's what I get for not putting it back on her bike trailer. So I sent her to Megan's house and biked home to pick up the helmet and headed back again. Two runs up Hawthorne Road in the afternoon heat was a good bit of exercise.

After a brief play at Megan's, we headed home, and I started dinner. For some reason, I was super organised tonight and had dinner on the table nice and early, and everything cleaned up afterwards, so we had plenty of time to go out for a babyccino before bath time and bed time, and I still managed to get Zoe to bed a little early, and I didn't have any cleaning up to do afterwards.

It's been a good day.

[03:19] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Day 258: Kindergarten, demonstrations and play dates

I had my second Thermomix demonstration this morning. It was a decent drive from home away, and in my thoroughness to be properly prepared, I somehow managed to misjudge the time and arrived an hour earlier than I needed to. Oops.

It was good to have the additional time up my sleeves though, and I was happy with how the demonstration went, and it left me with a comfortable amount of time to get to Kindergarten to pick Zoe up. It did completely wipe out the day though.

Zoe wanted to watch Megan's tennis class, so I left her with Jason while I popped home to get changed, and then came back in time for the conclusion of tennis class.

Zoe wanted Megan to come over for a play date, so I took Megan back to our place, and the girls had a great afternoon on the balcony doing some self-directed craft. I used the time to play catch up and make a bunch of phone calls.

It wasn't until after Sarah picked up Zoe that I realised I'd barely interacted with her all afternoon though, which was a bit of a shame. I'll be happy once this sausage sizzle on Saturday is done, and the pace of life should slow down a bit more again.

It was a bit of a struggle to force myself to go to yoga class tonight, but I'm glad I did, because it was a really great class.

[04:10] [life] [permalink]

Day 257: Kindergarten, meetings, and scrounging for sausages

Zoe's Kindergarten has scored the fundraising sausage sizzle rights to the local Councillor's next Movies in the Park event. Since I've been the chairperson of the PAG, which doesn't seem to actually involve much other than being cheerleader in chief and chairing monthly meetings, I thought I'd lend the fundraising committee a hand with the organising of this event. The fundraising committee have worked their butts off this year.

After I dropped Zoe at Kindergarten, I want to the home of one of the committee members and met with the committee to discuss logistics for the upcoming sausage sizzle. I'd previously volunteered to try and get a donation of sausages from a local butcher, but hadn't had a chance to do that yet.

After taking a bus into the city and back for a lunch meeting, and picking up Zoe from Kindergarten afterwards, we set out on a tour of all the local supermarkets and butchers, with an official letter in hand from the Kindergarten.

We were unlucky on all fronts, but Zoe did score a free cheerio at one butcher, so she was pretty happy. Driving all over the place ate up most of the afternoon.

Anshu dropped in after work not long after we got home, and then Sarah arrived not long after that to pick up Zoe.

[04:05] [life] [permalink]

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Day 254: TumbleTastics and opportunistic play dates

The problem with being too busy to blog on the day, is by the time I get around to it, I've forgotten half the details...

I can't remember what we did in the morning before TumbleTastics. I think Sarah dropped Zoe around a bit late because she wasn't going to work.

We popped down to the post office to collect some mail, and then the supermarket. After that, Zoe was a bit tired and grumpy (apparently she'd woken up early) and didn't really want to go to TumbleTastics, but after some morning tea, perked up and reconsidered.

We scootered to TumbleTastics, and discovered that one of the boys from Kindergarten, Lachlan, is in her class. She had another really good class, and I invited Lachie and his Mum and little sister over for lunch afterwards.

Lachie and Zoe had a great time playing together, before and after lunch. I think that was the extend of what happened on Friday that was memorable.

[03:26] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 09 October 2014

Day 253: Bike riding practice and swim class

It's been a while since we've done any bike riding practice, and as the day was a bit cooler and more overcast, I thought we could squeeze in a little bit first thing.

We went to the Minnippi Parklands again, and did a little bit of practise. Zoe actually (really briefly) rode her bike for the first time successfully, which was really exciting. We'll have to have another go next week.

After that, we dropped past the supermarket to get a few things for lunch, and then had lunch.

I've managed to forget what happened after lunch, so it can't have been particularly memorable. I miscalculated when swim class was by 30 minutes, and thought we were in more of a rush than we really were. We biked to the Post Office to mail off my US taxes, but I thought we didn't have time to do all the extra paperwork for the mailing, so I paid for the postage, but took all of the stuff with me to swim class to finish filling out. On the way there, I realised I had an extra 30 minutes up our sleeves, which was nice. It gave Zoe some time to have some fruit before class.

Sarah picked up Zoe from swim class, and I biked home to ditch the bike and meet Anshu at the movie theatre to watch Gone Girl. Hoo boy. Good movie.

[21:43] [life] [permalink]

Day 252: A poorly executed spontaneous outing to Wet and Wild

The forecast maximum was supposed to be 32°C, so I rather spontaneously decided to go for our first visit to Wet and Wild for the season.

I whipped up some lunch, and got our swim gear together, and after a quick phone call with my REIQ tutor to discuss some questions I had about the current unit, I grabbed our gear and we headed off.

I thought that because school had gone back this week, that Wet and Wild would be nice and quiet, but boy, did I miscalculate. I think the place was the busiest I've ever seen it, even on a weekend visit. It would appear that a lot of people have decided to just take an extra week off school with the Labour Day public holiday on Monday.

Once we arrived, I discovered that I'd left my hat on my bed at home, so I had to buy a hat from the gift shop while I was queuing up to pay for a locker. Then we went to get changed, and I discovered I'd also left my swimming stuff on my bed as well, so I had to line up again to purchase a pair of board shorts and a rashie. I was pretty annoyed with myself at all the unnecessary added expense, because I'd left in too much of a hurry.

After we'd got ourselves appropriately attired, we had a fantastic day. Zoe's now tall enough for a few of the "big kid" slides, so we went on them together as well. The first one just involved us sitting in a big inflatable tube going down a wide, curving slide, so that was pretty easy. The second one I wasn't sure about, because we had to go separately. I went first, and waited at the bottom to catch her. As I went down, I was a bit worried it was going to be too much for Zoe, but she came down fine, and once she surfaced, her first word was "Again!", so it was all good.

She napped on the way home, so I swung by the Valley to check my post office box, and then we got home and Sarah picked her up. In spite of the extra expense, it was a really good day out.

[21:33] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 07 October 2014

Day 251: Kindergarten, some more training and other general running around

Yesterday was the first day of Term 4. I can't believe we're at Term 4 already. This year has flown by.

I had a letter from the PAG to all of the Kindergarten parents to put into the notice pockets at Kindergarten first up, so I drove to the Kindergarten not long after opening time, and quickly put them in all the pockets.

Then I headed over to Beaurepaires for a free tyre checkup.

After that, I headed over to my Group Leader's house for some more practical training. I'm feeling pretty confident about my ability to conduct a Thermomix demonstration now, especially after having done my first "real" one on Sunday night.

After that, it was time to pick up Zoe from Kindergarten. It was wonderful to see her after a week away. She wanted to go to Megan's house for a play date, but Megan had tennis, so we went and did the grocery shopping first.

After the grocery shopping, we popped around the Megan's for a bit, and then went home.

I made dinner, and Zoe seemed pretty tired, so I got her to bed a little bit early.

[14:59] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 02 October 2014

On Islamaphobia

It's taken me a while to get sufficiently riled up about Australia's current Islamaphobia outbreak, but it's been brewing in me for a couple of weeks.

For the record, I'm an Atheist, but I'll defend your right to practise your religion, just don't go pushing it on me, thank you very much. I'm also not a huge fan of Islam, because it does seem to lend itself to more violent extremism than other religions, and ISIS/ISIL/IS (whatever you want to call them) aren't doing Islam any favours at the moment. I'm against extremism of any stripes though. The Westboro Baptists are Christian extremists. They just don't go around killing people. I'm also not a big fan of the burqa, but again, I'll defend a Muslim woman's right to choose to wear one. They key point here is choice.

I got my carpets cleaned yesterday by an ethnic couple. I like accents, and I was trying to pick theirs. I thought they may have been Turkish. It turned out they were Kurdish. Whenever I hear "Kurd" I habitually stick "Bosnian" in front of it after the Bosnian War that happened in my childhood. Turns out I wasn't listening properly, and that was actually "Serb". Now I feel dumb, but I digress.

I got chatting with the lady while her husband did the work. I got a refresher on where most Kurds are/were (Northern Iraq) and we talked about Sunni versus Shia Islam, and how they differed. I learned a bit yesterday, and I'll have to have a proper read of the Wikipedia article I just linked to, because I suspect I'll learn a lot more.

We briefly talked about burqas, and she said that because they were Sunni, they were given the choice, and they chose not to wear it. That's the sort of Islam that I support. I suspect a lot of the women running around in burqas don't get a lot of say in it, but I don't think banning it outright is the right solution to that. Those women need to feel empowered enough to be able to cast off their burqas if that's what they want to do.

I completely agree that a woman in a burqa entering a secure place (for example Parliament House) needs to be identifiable (assuming that identification is verified for all entrants to Parliament House). If it's not, and they're worried about security, that's what the metal detectors are for. I've been to Dubai. I've seen how they handle women in burqas at passport control. This is an easily solvable problem. You don't have to treat burqa-clad women as second class citizens and stick them in a glass box. Or exclude them entirely.

[16:45] [opinion] [permalink]

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 244: TumbleTastics, photo viewing, bulk goods and a play in the park

Yesterday was another really lovely day. Zoe had her free trial class with TumbleTastics at 10am, and Zoe was asking for a leotard for it, because that's what she was used to wearing when she went to Gold Star gymnastics in Mountain View. After Sarah dropped her off, we dashed out to Cannon Hill to go to K Mart in search of a leotard.

We found a leotard, and got home with enough time to scooter over to TumbleTastics for the class. Zoe had an absolute ball again, and the teacher was really impressed with her physical ability, and suggested for her regular classes that start next term, that she be slotted up a level. It sounds like her regularly scheduled class will have older kids and more boys, so that should be good. I just love that Zoe's so physically confident.

We scootered back home, and after lunch, drove back to see Hannah to view our photos from last week's photo shoot. There were some really beautiful photos in the set, so now I need to decide which one I want on a canvas.

Since we were already out, I thought we could go and check out the food wholesaler at West End that we'd failed to get to last week. I'm glad we did, because it was awesome. There was a coffee shop attached to the place, so we grabbed a coffee and a babyccino together after doing some shopping there.

While we were out, I thought it was a good opportunity check out a new park, and we drove down to what I guess was Orleigh Park, and had an absolutely fantastic afternoon down there by the river, the shade levels in the mid-afternoon were fantastic. I'd like to make an all day outing one day on the CityCat and CityGlider, and bus one way and take the ferry back the other way with a picnic lunch in the middle.

We headed home after about an hour playing in the park, and Zoe watched a little bit of TV before Sarah came to pick her up.

Zoe's spending the rest of the school holidays with Sarah, so I'm going to use the extra spare time to try and catch up on my taxes and my real estate licence training, which I've been neglecting.

[18:07] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 29 September 2014

Day 243: Day care for a day

I had to resort to using Zoe's old day care today so I could do some more Thermomix Consultant training. Zoe's asked me on and off if she could go back to her old day care to visit her friends and her old teachers, so she wasn't at all disappointed when she could today. Megan was even there as well, so it was a super easy drop off. She practically hugged me and sent me on my way.

When I came back at 3pm to pick her up, she wanted to stay longer, but wavered a bit when I offered to let her stay for another hour and ended up coming home with me.

We made a side trip to the Valley to check my post office box, and then came home.

Zoe watched a bit of TV, and then Sarah arrived to pick her up. After some navel gazing, I finished off the day with a very strenuous yoga class.

[04:14] [life] [permalink]

Friday, 26 September 2014

Day 240: A day of perfect scheduling

Today was a perfectly lovely day, the schedule just flowed so nicely.

I started the day making a second batch of pizza sauce for the Riverfire party I'm hosting tomorrow night. Once that was finished, we walked around the corner to my dentist for a check up.

Zoe was perfect during the check up, she just sat in the corner of the room and watched and also played on her phone. The dentist commented on how well behaved she was. It blew my mind to run into Tanya there for the second time in a row. We're obviously on the same schedules, but it's just crazy to always wind up with back to back appointments.

After the appointment, we pretty much walked onto a bus to the city, so we could meet Nana for lunch. While we were on the bus, I called up and managed to get haircut appointments for both of us at 3pm. I figured we could make the return trip via CityCat, and the walk home would take us right past the hairdresser.

The bus got us in about 45 minutes early, so we headed up to the Museum of Brisbane in City Hall to see if we could get into the clock tower. We got really lucky, and managed to get onto the 11:45am tour.

Things have changed since I was a kid and my Nana used to take me up the tower. They no longer let you be up there when the bells chime, which is a shame, but apparently it's very detrimental to your hearing.

Zoe liked the view, and then we went back down to King George Square to wait for Nana.

We went to Jo Jo's for lunch, and they somehow managed to lose Zoe and my lunch order, and after about 40 minutes of waiting, I chased it up, and it still took a while to sort out. Zoe was very patient waiting the whole time, despite being starving.

After lunch, she wanted to see Nana's work, so we went up there. On the way back out, she wanted to play with the Drovers statues on Ann Street for a bit. After that, we made our way to North Quay and got on a CityCat, which nicely got us to the hairdresser in time for our appointment.

After that, we walked home, and drove around to check out a few bulk food places that I've learned about from my Thermomix Consultant training. We checked out a couple in Woolloongabba, and they had some great stuff available to the public.

It was getting late, so after a failed attempt at finding one in West End, we returned home so I could put dinner on.

It was a smoothly flowing day today, and Zoe handled it so well.

[04:22] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 239: Cousin catch up, ice skating and a TM5 pickup

My sister, brother-in-law and niece are in town for a wedding on the weekend, so after collecting Zoe from the train station, we headed out to Mum and Dad's for the morning to see them all. My niece, Emma, has grown heaps since I last saw her. Her and Zoe had some nice cuddles and played together really well.

I'd also promised Zoe that I'd take her ice skating, so that dovetailed pretty well with the visit, as instead of going to Acacia Ridge, we went to Boondall after lunch and skated there.

Zoe was very confident this time on the ice. She spent more time without her penguin than with it, so I think next time she'll be fine without one at all. She only had a couple of falls, the first one I think was a bit painful for her and a shock, but after that she was skating around really well. I think she was quite proud of herself.

My new Thermomix had been delivered to my Group Leader's house, so after that, we drove over there so I could collect it and get walked through how I should handle deliveries for customers. Zoe napped in the car on the way, and woke up without incident, despite it being a short nap. She had a nice time playing with Maria's youngest daughter while Maria walked me through everything, which was really lovely.

Time got away on me a bit, and we hurried home so that Sarah could pick Zoe up. I then got stuck into making some pizza sauce for our Riverfire pizza party on Saturday night.

[15:46] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 238: Picnic play date in Roma Street Parklands with a side trip to the museum

School holidays are a good time for Zoe to have a weekday play date with my friend Kim's daughter Sarah, and we'd lined up a picnic in Roma Street Parklands today.

Zoe had woken up at about 1:30am with a nightmare, and subsequently slept in. It had taken me forever to get back to sleep, so I was pretty tired and slept a bit late too.

We got going eventually, and narrowly missed a train, so had to wait for the next one. We got into the Parklands pretty much on time, and despite the drizzly weather, had a nice morning making our way around the gardens.

The weather progressively improved by lunchtime, and after an early lunch, Kim and kids headed home, and we headed into the museum.

Unfortunately I was wrong about which station we had to get off to go to the museum, and we got off at Southbank rather than South Brisbane and had a long, slow walk of shame to get to the museum.

We used the freebie tickets I'd gotten to see the Deep Oceans exhibit, before heading home. I love the museum's free cloaking service, as it allowed me to divest myself of picnic blankets, my backpack and the Esky while we were at the museum.

While we were making the long walk of shame to the museum, I got a call from the car repairer to say that my car was ready, so after we returned to the rental car at the train station we drove directly to the repairer and collected the car, which involved a lot of shuffling of car contents and car seats. I then thought I'd lost my car key, and that involved an unnecessary second visit back to the car rental place on foot before I discovered it was in my pocket all along.

When we got home, Zoe wanted to play pirates again with our chocolate gold coins. What we wound up playing was a variant of "hide the thimble" in her bedroom, where she hid the chocolate gold coins all over the place, and then proceeded to show me where she'd hidden them all. It was very cute.

There was a tiny bit of TV before Sarah arrived to pick up Zoe.

[04:21] [life] [permalink]

Day 237: A day with the grandparents and a lot cooking

Yesterday was a pretty full on day. I had to drop the car off to get the rear bumper replaced, and I also had to get to my Thermomix Consultant practical training by 9:30am.

I'd arranged to drop the car off at 8am and then pick up a rental car, and Mum was coming to collect Zoe at 8:30am. Zoe woke up at a good time, and we managed to get going extra early, so I dropped the car off early and was picking up the rental car before 8am.

Mum also arrived extra early, so I used the additional time to swing by the Valley to check my PO box, as I had a suspicion my Thermomix Consultant kit might have arrived, and it had.

I then had to get over to my Group Leader's house to do the practical training, which consisted of watching and giving a demo, with a whole bunch of advice and feedback along the way. It was a long day of much cooking, but it was good to get all of the behind the scenes tricks on how to prepare for a demo, give the demo and have it all run smoothly and to schedule.

I then headed over to Mum and Dad's for dinner. Zoe had had a great day, and my Aunty Peggy was also down from Toowoomba. We stayed for dinner and then headed home. I managed to get Zoe to bed more or less on time.

[04:11] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 236: Groceries, a photo shoot, some piracy and a search for gold

I thought today was going to be relatively quiet, but it ended up being quite a full.

Sarah dropped Zoe around in the morning, and after some TV, we went out to do the grocery shopping, as I didn't get a chance to do it on the weekend because I was at my rock climbing course for the entirety of both days.

It was really nice doing the grocery shopping fresh on a Monday morning instead of towards the end of a Saturday or Sunday like we normally do. I love doing the grocery shopping with Zoe at the best of times, but this morning felt particularly wonderful. We always chat away about what we're buying, about how healthy stuff is, what's in stuff and that sort of thing. Zoe likes to help put stuff in the trolley and get it out and put it on the belt at the checkout.

After we got home, we made some lunch. I made a beetroot salad, which I needed to know how to make for Thermomix demonstrations, and Zoe helped. It was remarkably easy to make. I've not bothered with any of the salads in the Everyday Cookbook until today, not being a big salad eater.

Hannah Photography had had a promotional special at the Hawthorne Markets for an 11" x 11" photo on canvas, and I thought that was a great opportunity to get a nice photo with Zoe. Our shoot was booked for this afternoon, and Hannah was really keen for us to bring Smudge too. The old never work with children or animals quote immediately popped into my head, but I thought it'd be interesting to see what happened anyway.

Zoe was really excited as soon as we got to the studio, and Smudge was happy enough to go sniffing around. Pretty early into the shoot though, Smudge clawed Zoe in the leg rather badly as Zoe was trying to hold her, and I thought the whole thing was going to derail spectacularly, but Zoe recovered quickly. A packet of Jelly Belly jelly beans helped.

We had a really fun hour doing a lot of fooling around, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the results next week. Hannah sent through a sample photo later this afternoon, and she's captured a great shot of Zoe. Unfortunately, I look like I'm grimacing.

I made the most of having Smudge out in the car, and swung by the Bulimba Vet on the way home to get her microchip registered, which seemed to merely entail the vet scanning her chip (I already knew her chip ID) and writing it on a form and giving it to me to complete and lodge. I could have just got the form and done that myself. At least it only took 5 minutes, and I got to show Zoe what a pet microchip looked like.

After we got home, Zoe wanted to continue playing pirates from Friday, when it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I've got an eyepatch and earring that I use for such occasions. On Friday we'd made a raid on the corner store looking for chocolate gold coins, but had been unsuccessful, so today we headed out to Overflow to see if they had any. They didn't, and suggested we try K Mart. K Mart didn't either, so we had to go to Westfield Carindale to try the lolly shop there.

We finally got some at Carindale, which made the outing quite lengthy in the end and it was later than I'd have liked by the time we were heading home. We had a late dinner, but I managed to somehow make up the lost time and still get Zoe to bed a little early. She was certainly tired from the busy day, and nearly fell asleep on the way back from Carindale.

[04:13] [life] [permalink]

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 233: An abortive attempt at bowling and a vet visit

Taking Zoe bowling has been on my to do list for a while, and yesterday the schedule was pretty open, so I thought I'd try doing it first thing in the morning.

Who would have thought that a bowling alley would be booked solid with senior citizens from 9am onwards? I certainly didn't. So I was a bit disappointed when we rocked up at 9:30am and were told that there weren't any lanes available until 11am.

We stuck around and watched for a little bit anyway, so I could explain stuff to Zoe. There were three lanes that weren't in use the entire time we were there, so I don't know what was up with that.

We had to be home at 11am for a vet visit for Smudge, and so after a brief stop off at the Garage to grab some tomatoes for lunch, we got home just as the vet arrived.

Dr Anthony is the most lovely and charismatic vet you could ever hope to have in your home, and Zoe took to him straight away. She wanted to show him all sorts of random stuff, and had to show him her bedroom before he left. It was very cute, and he was very nice and played along.

I'd asked him to come out to take a look at Smudge because I'd noticed excessive fur missing on the insides of her back legs. Turns out she's just over-grooming, which is probably a stress reaction. Not sure if it's related to reducing her food portions or maybe some random construction in the neighbourhood. The prescription is some Feliway, which like everything else in Australia is exorbitantly expensive. $11.99 on Amazon, $56.70 at Petbarn. Absolutely outrageous.

After lunch, we returned to the bowling alley for our bowling game. Zoe found a 6 pound ball a bit heavy to swing, and didn't really have enough oompf to get it down the lane. We ended up with quite a few balls stuck in the gutter. She did much better with the ball ramp.

I was disappointed that the technician couldn't take us out the back to see the behind the scenes workings, as I thought Zoe would have liked seeing that. I also forgot to get a printout of our score.

She had a great time "playing" on all the car racing arcade games, and we had a game of air hockey, which she was a good height for playing before returning home.

I had a few things that I had to get done, so I let Zoe watch some TV while I did them, and then Sarah arrived to pick her up. I then spent the rest of the night furiously trying to finish off all the written exams I needed to do for my weekend rock climbing course.

[03:08] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day 232: Australia Zoo

Mum and Dad had gotten Zoe a family pass to Australia Zoo for her birthday, but we hadn't gotten around to being able to use it until today.

As the zoo opened at 9am, and we had to pick up Mum and Dad along the way, it was an exercise in getting going early. Much to my pleasant surprise, we managed to do it, and arrived at the zoo as they were throwing open the front doors.

Patronage levels were quite low, so it made for pretty easy getting around. As it was the shuttle that runs around the zoo was horribly backed up. It can't scale well at all when the zoo is actually busy.

We caught most of the timed shows, except for the koala one (because of the aforementioned shuttle, mostly). Zoe enjoyed the Wildlife Warriors show in the Crocoseum. It's been quite a few years since I've been to Australia Zoo, and that show in particular has only gotten better.

It's really funny the stuff that Zoe is brave about and afraid of. She'll happily climb all over crocodile sculptures, and touch any animal she can, and even ask questions of the zoo keepers during Q&A, but a fake cave with a dinosaur head baring teeth had her freaking out. To her credit, she wanted to come back later on to face her fears and see what it was she'd seen the first time.

It was a really good day out. The weather was about as good as yesterday, and Zoe handled all the walking around very well. As I predicted, she fell asleep in the car about 8 minutes after we departed, and stayed asleep while we dropped of Mum and Dad and until we arrived back at home. She was still pretty wrecked after that, and bedtime was a bit messy, but we got there in the end.

We decided to upgrade our tickets to an annual pass, as we completely failed to properly look at all the newer stuff on the other side of Zoo Road, so we'll come back again another time.

I've always been appalled at the price tag on entry to Australia Zoo. Zoos in the US are so cheap compared to zoos in Australia. I'll have to write a blog post some time comparing the prices. That said, Australia Zoo is a pretty good quality zoo, even if the range of animals isn't comparable. The Crocoseum is an amazing stadium. I'd hate to be there with all 5000 seats full. The Feeding Frenzy Food Court is also pretty impressive in its capacity. I'd just hate to be in the zoo when either of these were working to capacity, because of the rest of the zoo isn't that big, really.

I have to wonder what it's like for the Irwin family, particularly the kids, growing up there with so much of Steve still front and centre. They had Bindi's songs, like My Daddy The Crocodile Hunter piped all over the place. My personal opinion of the man changed from disdain for someone who seemed so ocker and over the top, to admiration for his passion after watching his interview with Andrew Denton on Enough Rope. I remember where I was when I heard of his passing. He was a big man, who's left a big legacy. I think that's why I'm always happy to go to Australia Zoo, despite the price tag.

[03:47] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 231: Kindergarten, cleaning, administrivia, swim class and dinner out

Today was a glorious day, and the universe was very kind to me.

I couldn't quite get myself motivated to go for a run before my chiropractic adjustment, so I had a nice relaxed start to the day instead.

I decided to get the cleaners back for a regular clean, and it was such a much better use of my time. I used the time I recouped to clean out my email inbox, and sort out a whole bunch of things that had been piling up on my to do list.

I biked over for my massage, and my massage therapist said he'd book a Thermomix demo with me, that was pretty awesome of him. Biking home, I decided to phone in an order for a burger from Grill'D and just continue biking over to pick it up. On the way down Oxford Street, I found a $20 bill on the road, so that paid for lunch for me. I was pretty stoked.

On the way home, I ran into my yoga teacher. I love my little village.

I had a little bit of time before I had to head to Kindergarten early to chair the monthly PAG meeting. Because the weather was so nice, I decided to bike in for it. It's hard to believe that Term 3 has ended now. The year is flying by.

We biked home, and only had about 20 minutes before we had to turn around and bike to swim class. After swim class, on a whim, I decided we should go out for dinner, so we biked down to Oxford Street and had some gyoza for dinner and biked home.

Tomorrow's going to be an early start and a big day, and apparently Zoe woke up early this morning, so I got her to bed a little early tonight. It's pretty hot tonight, so hopefully she'll sleep okay.

[03:07] [life] [permalink]

Day 230: Kindergarten, training, tennis

Yesterday was a busy day, and it left me quite drained by the end of the day.

I had my first day of Thermomix Consultant training. It went fine. I learned that the TM31 has a retractable cord. Who knew?! All this time I've been wrapping it all over the place when I take it out of the house.

I had to leave a bit early to pick up Zoe from Kindergarten and take her to her final tennis lesson of the term. It was a pretty hot day, but it went well.

After that, we dropped into the local coffee shop for a milkshake and cookie with Megan and her Mum, before we headed home.

We didn't have a huge amount of time at home before we had to leave again to meet Sarah at the train station to drop Zoe off. I then jumped on a train to meet Anshu in the city for dinner, which was a nice way to unwind.

[03:00] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 15 September 2014

Day 229: Kindergarten, meetings, climbing course preparation and a car wash

Zoe slept well last night, and after helping make breakfast, which has become her new favourite thing, we biked to Kindergarten. The Kindergarten class photos had come back. Zoe took another very beautiful portrait photo this year.

I dropped by Jason's place to have a cup of tea and blow off some steam from a negative parent interaction I'd had the previous week, and then headed home to do some more preparation for next weekend's top rope climbing course.

I had a midday meeting with one of the Directors of Good Price Discount Pharmacy to bounce some ideas off him. I'm pretty much ready to abandon my home delivered prescription idea, as I don't think it's going to be viable. I'll have to do a post mortem write up of that little adventure later.

I did a bit more preparation for my climbing course after the meeting, and then biked to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe.

We biked home, and then grabbed the car and took it to the car wash to get it cleaned after Sunday's beach outing, and after a stop off at the health food shop to get some more kids' vitamins, we returned home again.

Zoe only got to watch a little bit of TV before Sarah arrived to pick her up.

I used the rest of the evening to get some housework done before going to yoga class.

[01:58] [life] [permalink]

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Day 226: Play date, Science Friday, more baking, a trip to the airport and a dinner play date

I'm so over baking. The pumpkin scones were a total fail. The dough was so sticky I couldn't work it, so it got consigned to the rubbish bin.

Matthew came around for another play date, this time with his mother, Mel and little sister, Olivia. I baked a couple of loaves of gluten free bread while chatting with Mel and the kids all had a good time, and then we had some lunch.

For Science Friday, I thought I'd get some dry ice and put it in water. I'd found a dry ice place over in Woolloongabba, and so I popped over there and grabbed a 5 kg block before Sarah dropped Zoe off in the morning. Matthew thought it was pretty cool too (no pun intended). Unfortunately, Zoe tried picking it up before I had a chance to tell her not to, and got a bit burned on her fingertips, but after 10 minutes under running water, she was okay. The block in the water did some interesting things. The water around the block froze, and so the reaction of the dry ice and water slowed down, but occasionally the ice would crack with a big pop and more vapour would escape. It was fun to have just bubbling away off to the side while the kids played.

After lunch, we all played with the kinetic sand for a bit before they went home, and then I headed over to Mum and Dad's to pick up some more baking that my Mum had made. As I hoped, Zoe fell asleep in the car on the way there, and I managed to do the pick up and return to drop all the baked goods off while Zoe napped.

Anshu's flight was delayed, which worked out well, meaning I could drop off the baked goods before picking her up from the airport, even if it did mean more criss-crossing around town. We still ended up with about an hour to kill at the airport, which was fine. We wandered up and down the terminals, and got to watch all the airport operations. A random old man gave me a CD of nursery rhymes, which I'll be examining before Zoe listens to them.

While we were at the airport, Eva and Layla's Mum invited us over for dinner, which suited me fine, since the house looked like a bomb had hit a Kindergarten/bakery combination, so we headed straight to their place for dinner after Anshu's flight got in.

We had a great dinner there, and the girls had lots of fun playing with each other. It ended up being quite the late night, so I was grateful that Zoe had had a bit of an afternoon nap.

[03:33] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Day 225: Baking, baking and more baking, with a spot of scootering thrown in

I've decided I really despise bake sales as a fund raising exercise. I actually totally hate fund raising that requires excessive parental input, and for me a bake sale is way over that threshold.

A bake sale to me is a double whammy. You donate your time to do the baking, and you donate your money on the ingredients. It would be more time efficient if I just donated a bunch of cash and skipped all the baking.

With that rant off my chest, I spent most of yesterday baking. I baked my late grandmother's traditional date roll, in some of her heirloom date roll tins (they're just old school tin cans that are taller than your contemporary tin cans). I baked some red velvet cheesecake brownie, and this time I made sure it set properly in the middle. I've made a massive batch of Quirky Cooking's gluten free bread dough, which I'll bake today, and I'm also going to bake some of Flo's pumpkin scones. I've deliberately tried to make some more uncommon stuff in the hope that it sells.

Zoe handled the inside day pretty well. She did a good job of entertaining herself for most of the morning. She helped me with the baking for a bit, but at the moment, the novelty value is washing up. She loves putting on my rubber gloves, and actually doesn't do too bad a job, considering the handicap of massive over sized gloves. I did need to mop the floor afterwards though.

I let her watch some bonus daytime TV after lunch, and by about 3 o'clock I was ready to get out of the house, so I suggested she scooter with me to the health food shop to get some ingredients for the bread. She wanted me to rollerblade with her, so I put on my rollerblades as well and that was a great way to kill the better part of an hour. It was a good bit of fresh air, sunshine and some exercise.

She watched a bit more TV after that while I worked on the bread, and then Sarah arrived to pick her up.

[14:23] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Day 224: School information, play dates galore and swim class

Today was a very busy day. I think Zoe was pretty knackered by the end of it.

First up was the parent information session for kids starting at school next year. Jason had kindly agreed to look after Zoe for me, and even pick her up, so after a full night's sleep and a quick breakfast, she was picked up.

I then walked to the school in time for the information session to start. I'd already done a fair bit of research into the school, so most of the administrative stuff wasn't news for me. It was nice to get a bit more of an overview of the curriculum, though. I remain very happy with the school.

Next up was a play date at Vaeda's house. I picked Zoe and Megan up and we headed over there. I think that despite Zoe sleeping all night, her constant coughing had meant she hadn't had good quality of sleep, so she'd been a bit clumsy at Megan's house and hurt herself, and was generally a bit grumpy.

Zoe and Megan's friend Ivy was also at Vaeda's house, so the four girls were happy having a play together. They all got in the pool after lunch, but it was a bit cold. Zoe wasn't really keen on staying in, but the other girls were.

The trampoline was a big hit, as were all the dress ups. Unfortunately Zoe had a bit of a tumble in some high heels, and I briefly had visions of her splitting her head open on a wall corner again, but fortunately she didn't. She also narrowly managed to avoid losing an eye to a spinning fairy helicopter-like toy. Poor kid, it just wasn't her day today.

Vaeda had a tennis lesson to get to, so we headed off in time for her to get to that. As there was only about 45 minutes until Zoe's swim class, and Megan's was directly after Zoe's, I took the girls to the park for a bit, and then to the pool, and Jason met us there in for Megan's class.

Sarah finished work early, so picked up Zoe directly from the pool, and I headed home.

Somehow I managed to find enough fuel in the tank to do a 10 km run in the evening. The time was pretty dreadful, but I was happy I lasted the distance.

[04:35] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Day 223: Kindergarten, a lot of running around and some startup stuff

Yesterday was a very busy day. Zoe had a great night's sleep in the top bunk, despite a persistent cough. It rained early in the morning, but it cleared before I had to take Zoe to Kindergarten on the bike. I left the trailer at the Kindergarten, and then biked to Morningside station to collect the car, where Anshu had left it before taking the train to the airport.

I put the bike on the back of the car and drove home to unload it, and then turned around and drove to the Valley for a meeting.

After the meeting, I spent a few hours studying for the next module of my real estate license course, and then popped out to run some errands.

After that I briefly dropped into a "look and see" for the new Thermomix TM5 that came out on Friday. Due to unfortunate timing, I need to make a decision on if I want to continue with being a Thermomix Consultant (and purchase a TM5). The TM5 was impressive, but I'd be perfectly happy sticking with my TM31 if I weren't looking to become a Consultant. I'm still mulling it over.

I then drove to Kindergarten for pick up and Zoe's tennis lesson. I'd remembered to bring some zip ties with me to repair the shadecloth that wrapped around the outside of the viewing area. It was very satisfying fixing that, because it was really annoying last week when it was windy.

After tennis, I loaded the bike trailer into the back of the car and we went home.

Zoe wanted to play "run around the house like a mad thing" for a bit once we got home, so we did that, and then I started on dinner while she watched some TV.

Zoe wanted to sleep in the top bunk again. It's funny how she just decided with no prompting to swap bunks.

[15:19] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 08 September 2014

Day 222: Kindergarten, running, and a lot of knot tying

I had trouble motivating myself in the morning, but eventually got going an did an 8 km run. It was a real slog after the 5 km mark. My pace was pretty good, it was too bad I couldn't last the distance.

After that, I pretty much spent the rest of the day practising knots and making a start on my exam paper for my upcoming rock climbing course. Knots are not a speciality of mine, so it's taking some serious practice.

The weather was looking a bit dubious on the afternoon, so I drove to Kindergarten to pick Zoe up. She wanted to go to Megan's house for a play date, but Jason said the house was a bit of a construction site today, so Megan came back with us for a play date.

The girls did some painting and played dress ups and some Lego while I made a start on dinner. Then Anshu came over and Jason arrived to pick Megan up.

Zoe decided to sleep in the top bunk tonight, for the first time in ages.

[18:04] [life] [permalink]

Friday, 05 September 2014

Day 219: A big bike ride, a swim and a dash of Science Friday

Zoe had a bit of a sleep in this morning, which wasn't surprising. We had a slow start to the day.

It was a beautiful day, and Zoe was up for a bike ride, so I packed some morning tea and we biked along some bits of the Moreton Bay Cycleway to get underneath the Gateway Bridge, where we stopped for a late morning tea and Zoe had a bit of a run around.

She was very interested in a storm water drain, and when I found the other end of it, we used it for some an impromptu Science Friday physics lesson about how sound traveled, and used it to yell to each other. She thought that was pretty cool.

We ended up grabbing lunch out in a cafe off the bikeway in the middle of the Metroplex office park.

Zoe wanted to go to the pool again after lunch, so we biked home and drove back to Colmslie Pool for a swim. Zoe's so confident in the water now, it's really impressive. We borrowed a kickboard and a pool noodle from the lost property, and that added to the fun.

After that, I dropped into Bunnings to make a donation request on behalf of the Kindergarten, and then grabbed a copy of this month's Practical Parenting, which has a small article on me in it.

I decided to drop Zoe around to Sarah, since we were already out in the car, so after swinging by the Valley to check my post office box, I dropped Zoe off and then headed home. Zoe almost fell asleep on the way to Sarah's. She said she really enjoyed her bike ride today.

[04:56] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 04 September 2014

Day 218: Play date, Father's Day at Bunnings

Zoe slept well last night. I was a bit tired from a late night, so we had a slow start to the day.

Zoe wanted to go around to Megan's place, and I wanted to make some clam chowder with the leftover clams from a paella I made on the weekend, so I asked Jason if he liked clam chowder. After grabbing some ingredients from the Hawthorne Garage, we headed over to Megan's house via the bakery.

Long story short, the clam chowder was pretty watery by New England-style clam chowder standards, and the bread that I got was a far cry from a sourdough bread bowl, so I wasn't very satisfied with the result. It turns out that 800 grams of clams only yields about 100 grams of meat, and the recipe called for 400 grams of clam meat, so it was pretty light on in the clam department.

After we got back from Megan's place, we just bummed around at home doing nothing in particular for a few hours until it was time to go to Zoe's make up swim class for last week's canceled one. We had enough time up our sleeves, so Zoe scootered there. It took about 15 minutes to get there without too much mucking around.

By the time we got back home from swim class it was time to head out to Bunnings for their free family fun night for Father's Day. We had a really good night. They had some reptiles. Zoe got to hold a snake. They had some pirates. Zoe got a tattoo and got to have a sword fight. They had some mini golf. They had a clown that did a funny magic act and was doing balloons all night. They had a free sausage sizzle. It was a really fun night out and Zoe really enjoyed herself.

We got home well past her bedtime, so getting her settled and into bed quickly was a little bit of a challenge, but we got there eventually.

[04:12] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Day 217: Father's Day at Kindergarten, spring cleaning, and swim class

I managed to crank out a 10 km run this morning. I was even happy with the pace of it.

I had my chiropractic appointment, and then the cleaners that I'd booked for a deep spring clean of my apartment descended on the place to get to work. Not long after that, it was time to head to Kindergarten for their Father's Day morning tea extravaganza.

Because my baking hadn't turned out to my satisfaction, I had to swing by Brumby's on the way there to get some last minute stuff, which made me about 10 minutes late. I got a phone call from Jason as I was walking in asking how far away I was, because Zoe was worried about where I was.

What ensued was a lovely morning. Zoe dragged me all over the playground, despite me being quite familiar with the Kindergarten, and then we played some group games and had morning tea. Dad arrived just in time for morning tea.

After that, we made pin-on paper neck ties (apparently Father's Day is all about the neck tie) and then it was time to go.

I got back just as the cleaners were finishing up, and used the remaining couple of hours to do some emails and phone calls before biking back to Kindergarten to pick Zoe up.

We had some time to kill before her swim class, so we went to the park near the pool, and Zoe did some more monkey bar practice.

After swim class we biked home, and had a nice dinner.

[05:33] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Day 216: Kindergarten, startup stuff, tennis and baking

I wanted to do a run this morning, but the flesh was weak, so it didn't happen.

I was a bit late getting away to pick up Zoe from Sarah's place, and the traffic was pretty bad again. I got to Kindergarten a bit later than I'd have liked.

I had a meeting with an accountant to discuss some stuff at 9:30am, which I managed to comfortably make. I even got the 30 minute consult for free, which was pretty awesome. I'm pretty close to shelving this particular startup idea, because I can structure it in a way that I'd like, but I can possibly pivot slightly and still solve the overall problem I'm trying to solve. I have some more research to do before I can make a final decision.

After I got home, I procrastinated for a bit and went and had a cup of tea with my neighbour, before finishing off the assessment for the unit of my real estate course that I've been making slow progress on. It finally went into the mail today, so I'm happy about that.

I drove to Kindergarten to take Zoe to tennis class. After tennis class, she wanted Megan to come back for a play date, and Laura had some errands to run, so that worked out well. I had some baking to do for the Father's Day thing at Kindergarten tomorrow, and Megan was keen to help. Zoe was more interested in playing dress ups. Ultimately all they wanted to do was lick the spatulas anyway.

I made my favourite red velvet cheesecake brownie, and tried milling some whole wheat down into flour. The texture was a bit gritty like cornmeal, but it seemed to turn out okay. I've been having problems with it not setting properly in the middle the last few times I've made it, and this time was no different, so I'll have to try making another batch in the morning.

Anshu dropped in after work, and then Laura got back to pick up Megan just before Sarah arrived to pick up Zoe. An easy afternoon.

[04:14] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 01 September 2014

Day 215: Kindergarten, tinkering, massage and some shopping

Zoe was yelling out for me at 1:30am because her polar bear had fallen out of bed. She then proceeded to have a massive sleep in until 7:30am, so the morning was a little bit rushed.

That said, she took it upon herself to make breakfast while I was in the shower, which was pretty impressive.

Being the first day of Spring and a nice day at that, I wanted to get back into the habit of biking to Kindergarten, so despite it being a bit late, even though we did a very good job of getting ready in a hurry, we biked to Kindergarten. Zoe was singing all the way there, it was very cute.

I got home and spent the day getting Puppet to manage my BeagleBone Black, since I'd had to reinstall it as it had semi-died over the weekend.

I'd moved my massage from Wednesday to today, since there's a Father's Day thing on at Kindergarten on Wednesday, so I had a massage, and then went directly to pick up Zoe.

We went out to Westfield Carindale after pick up, to try and get some digital cameras donated to the Kindergarten to replace the ones they've got, which have died. I wasn't successful on the spot. Then we dropped past the pet shop to get some more kitty litter for Smudge, and then got home.

We'd barely gotten home and then Sarah arrived to pick Zoe up.

[00:17] [life] [permalink]

Day 212: A trip to the pool

This is what I get for not blogging on the day of, I can't clearly remember what we did on Friday now...

I had the plumber out in the morning, and then some cleaners to give a quote. I can't remember what we did after that.

After lunch we biked to Colmslie Pool and swam for a bit, I remember that much, and then I had some friends join Anshu and us for dinner, but the rest is coming up blank.

[00:05] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Day 211: A trip to the museum with Megan and a swim assessment

Today was a nice full day. It was go go go from the moment my feet hit the floor, though

I had a magnificent 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep courtesy of a sleeping pill, some pseudoephedrine and a decongestant spray.

I started off with a great yoga class, and then headed over to Sarah's to pick up Zoe. The traffic was phenomenally bad on the way there, and I got there quite late, so I offered to drop Sarah at work on the way back to my place, since I had no particular schedule.

After I'd dropped Sarah off, I was pondering what to do today, as the weather looked a bit dubious. I asked Zoe if she wanted to go to the museum. She was keen for that, and asked if Megan could come too, so I called up Jason on the way home to see she wanted to come with us, and directly picked her up on the way home.

We briefly stopped at home to grab my Dad Bag and some snacks, and headed to the bus stop. We managed to walk (well, make a run for) straight onto the bus and headed into the museum.

The Museum and the Sciencecentre are synonymous to Zoe, despite the latter requiring admission (we've got an annual membership). In trying to use my membership to get a discounted Sciencecentre ticket for Megan, I managed to score a free family pass instead, which I was pretty happy about.

We got into the Sciencecentre, which was pretty busy with a school excursion, and girls started checking it out. The problem was they both wanted to call the shots on what they did and didn't like not getting their way. Once I instituted some turn-taking, everything went much more smoothly, and they had a great time.

We had some lunch in the cafe and then spent some more time in the museum itself before heading for the bus. We narrowly missed the bus 30 minutes earlier than I was aiming for, so I asked the girls if they wanted to take the CityCat instead. Megan was very keen for that, so we walked over to Southbank and caught the CityCat instead.

I was half expecting Zoe to want to be carried back from the CityCat stop, but she was good with walking back. Again, some turn taking as to who was the "leader" walking back helped keep the peace.

I had to get over to Chandler for Zoe's new potential swim school to assess her for level placement, so I dropped Megan off on the way, and we got to the pool just in time.

Zoe did me very proud and did a fantastic job of swimming, and was placed in the second-highest level of their learn to swim program. We also ran into her friend from Kindergarten, Vaeda, who was killing time while her brother had a swim class. So Zoe and Vaeda ended up splashing around in the splash pool for a while after her assessment.

Once I'd managed to extract Zoe from the splash pool, and got her changed, we headed straight back to Sarah's place to drop her off. So we pretty much spent the entire day out of the house. Zoe and Megan had a good day together, and I managed to figure out pretty quickly how to keep the peace.

[04:06] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Day 210: Running and a picnic, with a play date and some rain

I had a rotten night's sleep last night. Zoe woke up briefly around midnight wanting a cuddle, and then I woke up again at around 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. I surprised I'm not more trashed, really.

It was a nice day today, so I made a picnic lunch, and we headed out to Minnippi Parklands to do a run with Zoe in the jogging stroller. It was around 10am by the time we arrived, and I had grand plans of running 10 km. I ran out of steam after about 3.5 km, conveniently at the "Rocket Park" at Carindale, which Zoe's been to a few times before.

So we stopped there for a bit of a breather, and then I ran back again for another 3 km or so, in a slightly different route, before I again ran out of puff, and walked the rest of the way back.

We then proceeded to have our picnic lunch and a bit of a play, before I dropped her off at Megan's house for a play while I chaired the PAG meeting at Kindergarten.

After that, and extracting Zoe, which is never a quick task, we headed home to get ready for swim class. It started to rain and look a bit thundery, and as we arrived at swim class we were informed that lessons were canceled, so we turned around and headed back home.

Zoe watched a bit of TV and then Sarah arrived to pick her up. I'm going to knock myself out with a variety of drugs tonight and hope I get a good night's sleep with minimum of cold symptoms.

[00:50] [life] [permalink]