New roof

We discovered earlier in the year that the roof on our house was fucked. We’d started to get leaks in the kitchen and dining area, had a guy come out to fix them, and it turned out that the tiles themselves were completely brittle and were cracking just from being walked on. D: The guy who came out said he’d never seen anything like it, and he guessed that it’d been a bad batch of tiles right from the beginning.

We ended up getting an entirely new metal roof, in dark grey, and it’s SO NICE. They put a layer of 50mm thick insulation directly underneath the metal so it’s not a standard “The rain comes and you can’t hear yourself think”-type of metal roof. I’m quite interested to see how much of a difference it makes in summer. It’s also steel rather than tin. It took four days and cost just shy of $14k, but there wasn’t really much of a choice. 🙁 At least the weather was nice while it was being done, anyway!

I took a couple of photos while it was being done.

And then the finished product!

We also went to Featherdale Wildlife Park for kungfupolarbear‘s birthday last week, to take photos and generally visit the animals which was pretty great as always.

New windows!

No, not that Windows.

The windows in our house are very thin glass so the place gets really cold in winter, which is also not helped by the big front window being drafty. We decided to go all-out and get double-glazed windows. kungfupolarbear did a bunch of research and found a place called Christoffel that does both the manufacturing and installation.

Because double-glazed windows are $$$ we’re just doing them a couple of windows at a time. The guy came this morning to do the bedroom and bathroom, and my god they’re solid. The frames are pretty sizeable, and it’s incredible just how much noise is blocked out. Next up is going to be the big front window, and we’re going to work our way around the house bit by bit. \o/

We also made the front of the house, outside, look quite a bit nicer back in April as well, with some additional plants. The trees on either side of the window were $30 for the both of them, including the pot and everything, from a garage sale a couple of suburbs over!

New computer!

I’d been looking to upgrade to a 27″ iMac from my mid-2010 MacBook Pro, and five years from a machine is not bad at all! I was hoping that the non-retina iMacs would get one last upgrade but it was not to be. I checked the Apple Store after the cheaper model of retina iMac was released last week, and they had in fact removed all of the custom options from it other than RAM and storage, so the only video card available was the base-level 1GB one. Bleh.

However! There was fortuitously an almost-maxed-out 27″ Late 2013 iMac available on the refurb store: 4GB Nvidia 780M GTX video card (top of the line), and 3TB Fusion Drive. Only 8GB RAM but it’s user-replaceable in this model anyway, so I have another 16GB on the way. The thing with the refurb machines is that what you see is what you get, there’s no upgrades or anything available, but that was okay. The only change I’d have made is a 1TB SSD (the Fusion Drive is a large hard disk combined with a relatively small SSD—128GB) but ah well. I saved probably more than a grand all up!

kungfupolarbear has inherited my old machine as it’s a decent step up from her MacBook Air, and we’re going to use the MacBook Air as a travel computer, and if I want to do some coding from the lounge or some such.

\o/

5 years!

It’s been five years since I started at Atlassian! That is completely ridiculous. I realise my LJ at this point is mostly me going, “It’s been x years since y, that’s crazy!” but it’s true. 😛 When you’ve been at Atlassian for three years you get an extra three days of bonus leave each year (it expires at the end of the year so you can’t just hoard it), and at five years they’ll pay $3200 for you to take a holiday somewhere! kungfupolarbear and I had already been looking at going to New Zealand, probably in spring, and so this is a nice extra. I definitely can’t imagine working anywhere else, that’s for sure. My Senior Support Engineer-ing is going very well, I play Magic: The Gathering with a bunch of people every day at work, and they put in what’s essentially an actual salad bar for grabbing stuff to put on sandwiches. So instead of the quick and lazy and very unhealthy peanut butter and honey sandwiches I was having, I have sandwiches with tomato, lettuce, capsicum, and salad dressing on them, and it barely takes more time than the previous unhealthy ones!

Also I’m 32 today! We went over to mum and dad’s yesterday for a birthday lunch, and my sister and her husband and two kids were there. We took Beanie over as well, which he always loves, and as always I took some photos.

\o/

Memories

I watched the movie Men in Black the other night on Netflix, before I went to bed. I’ve seen it so many times… I have a really vivid memory of going out to watch it in the lounge room at mum and dad’s place after everyone had gone to bed, back when I was working at Apple and finishing work at 9:00pm. I think I probably had a month or more of watching it at least a couple of times a week. There’s just something about it I really love; I think it’s the thought of there being a whole other unseen… civilisation? System of life? I don’t know what the best word for it is.

It’s the same reason I always enjoyed being out and about in the city (way back when) in the really wee hours of the morning when all the garbage trucks and cleaning people were doing their thing, and nobody has any idea that they’re there. There was a book I bought for dad from the Harvard book store in Boston called The Works: Anatomy of a City, and it had a similar theme, all about the things that have to go on behind the scenes of a modern city to keep things running.

Maybe I just like feeling insignificant in the grand scheme of things? I certainly love that feeling when gazing up at the stars and looking at space and such.

New Year’s Eve

How is it now 2015?! I have no idea where last year went!

We went over to a friends’ place for New Year’s Eve, there were two fondue sets and a raclette grill plus the cheese of the same name. It was so. Good. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much cheese. kungfupolarbear made both a spinach dip and sweet potato pie, and both went over an absolute treat, they were delicious! Our friends’ live in an apartment, so unfortunately we couldn’t bring Beanie, and they don’t have air conditioning either, so it ended up being pretty toasty with all the dinner accoutrements that produce heat!

Next year is either going to be at ours, or at another couple’s place (they just bought a house, so we could bring Beanie and it has air conditioning).

Today has been a very lazy day consisting mostly of puttering around on the Internet, and playing Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Defeated

Remember our path?

We admitted defeat today and pulled it all up. Despite there being a weed mat underneath it, and having sprayed the fuck out of it with a vinegar and salt solution (we didn’t want to use hardcore weed killers because Beanie putters around in the backyard and occasionally eats grass), it kept getting overrun with grass, and it was a giant pain in the goddamn arse to pull up. Especially since it’d just spring right back through in another spot.

R.I.P. path, 5th August 2013 – 14th December 2014. Heh.

In amongst all that, I also mowed the front and back lawn, did the whippersnippering, sealed up a hole in a roof tile, and cleaned the hot plate from the barbecue.

::faceplant::

kungfupolarbear is in the US visiting her family, she left yesterday and arrives back in the country two weeks later. It’s weird not having her here, I feel like I’m just biding my time until she’s back.

The whole stereotype of “The wife is away, I’m going to do all of these things that she doesn’t let me do normally!” just doesn’t apply to us at all. We both will happily play video games or putter around on the computer or whatever. I’m having gypocalypse, wobin, and some other friends over on Saturday to play this Warhammer 40,000-themed D&D-type thing, and that wouldn’t matter if kungfupolarbear was here, she’d happily hang out despite having zero interest in actually playing it and would absolutely not begrudge us spending time playing it. Everything is just so totally effortless, it still amazes me. <3

I had yesterday and today off (yesterday because we woke up at 3:30am in order to get to the airport on time D: ), and am working from home the rest of the time she’s gone since Beanie needs looking after and obviously can’t be by himself for 11 hours a day.

In other news we bought an Xbox One, a colleague of mine was selling his as he’s moving to Paris. We’ve got Forza 5 (a racing game) to tide us over until the Diablo III expansion comes out, and man the graphics are nice. This is only a launch title too, so they’ll be even more impressive once developers get a handle on squeezing the most out of the system. One very slick thing is that you can have the Xbox turn the TV and amplifier on when it turns on, and it’ll turn them off when the Xbox turns off too.

Nanny’s funeral was yesterday. It was sad, of course, but mum made a really nice speech with lots of funny stories, and she was holding up really well. Several people commented that mum looked much more relaxed how — I can’t imagine how stressful the last few months had been for her. They had a slideshow of photos from Nanny’s life, and I was happy to see a number of my photos of Nanny from various Christmases being used. The music played as everyone was leaving the ceremony was Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, which everyone cracked up at.

There were quite a few relatives there that I’d never even laid on eyes before, apparently we have a number of them from Queensland. It was nice to catch up with some of my other relatives that we don’t see too often, too. We’ve never really been a family who had those stereotypical massive family gatherings, which I’m quite okay with, heh.

Today we’re off to see the Dogs on Show, well, show. It’s only purebred dogs, which is a bit annoying, but it’s great to wander around and see all the different breeds that you’ve never seen before. There will of course be lots of photos taken.

One year to the day

One year to the day since we moved into our house! It astonishes me that it’s gone by that quickly, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been a year.

This is the first place I’ll have lived in for more than a year since moving out of my parents’ place back in 2007. …actually that’s not quite true, now that I think about it. I was in the unit in Dee Why for probably 18 months or so, but that record will soon be eclipsed.

And kungfupolarbear informs me that this will be the first place she’s lived in for more than a year since 2002!

Eeeee!

Productivity!

We had quite the productive weekend this weekend!

This is how the front garden looked back in December.

The two ground-cover plants in the front there ended up being a bit ugly, and the left-most one had all but died. I pulled them out, put a weed mat down (including cutting out slits to go around the daisies’ stems), and finally put to use the enormous bag of mulch we’d bought a number of months ago.

I am exceedingly pleased with my efforts. We also put up a shelf in the office to put all of kungfupolarbear‘s stuffed animals on, as they’d previously been sitting in amongst the books on the bookshelves. It looks rather snazzy.

Being able to just decide to do this stuff is SO GOOD!

My grandma (my mum’s mum, who’s my sole remaining grandparent, known as “Nanny”) has been in and out of hospital a fair bit in recent years. She’s turning 90 at the end of this year and has been having heart troubles for a while, though her mind is still sharp as a tack.

I got a call from mum on Monday night saying that Nanny had decided that she was sick of hospital, wanted to be discharged, wasn’t going to be taking any medicine anymore, and was just going to let nature take its course. She was going to have to take thirteen tablets in one hit, which is astonishing (and horrible, and I can see why she decided to do what she did). I said we could come to visit on Saturday, and mum said that she wasn’t sure Nanny would still be around by then. Naturally there was a whole lot of sadness and tears. Nanny had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, so I took the day off work today and kungfupolarbear and I went over to visit today.

It was actually quite a happy visit, Nanny was in really good spirits, much better than I’ve seen her for a while. Mum was there, my sister had driven up from Nowra, and my uncle was up too. We had a good chat for a couple of hours, filled Nanny in on all Beanie’s latest happenings (she’d been absolutely delighted by him when she came over a month or so ago), and griped about the state of politics, hehe.

Both kungfupolarbear and I feel a lot better about things now, and who knows, now that Nanny’s not on a heap of medicines she may last another number of months. Either way, she was really happy to see the both of us, which was nice.

Untitled

Nanna Win

Nanny

Finally

We bought a desk last weekend, and it was delivered on Friday. It’s gone into the back room, along with the chair we bought at the same time, and I FINALLY have a place to both paint my miniatures and to leave them out rather than having to pack them away. I’m unreasonably happy about that, as I’ve not had such a thing since I moved out of mum and dad’s house seven years ago!

I still have a few unfinished Imperial Guard but my current project is the Skaven side of the Warhammer starter game (the other side is the High Elves). They’re all glued together and base-coated, and I’ve just started to do the skin tones on the rank and file troops.

\o/

In other news, kungfupolarbear is going back to the US in July to visit her family, and wanted to get a camera that was good but smaller than our 7D+35mm combo. We’d been wondering what to get ourselves as a 5th wedding anniversary present, and I had the brilliant idea to get a Fuji X100S! It’s small and extremely well regarded, and should be arriving tomorrow! Very excite.

Five years!

Not quite five years marriage yet (that’s next month), but kungfupolarbear and I arrived back in the country five years ago to the day today! So many changes since then (we have our own house and little doggie!), but everything is still so effortless. <3

We’re heading up to Newcastle tomorrow for gypocalypse‘s wedding! Should be nice, we have enough spare time that we’ll do some wandering around and photo-taking too (the rehearsal is tomorrow, but the actual wedding isn’t until Sunday).

In the fitness news, I just tonight did a full five kilometres! That was including the warm-up and cool-down, so it wasn’t actually 5km of running, but still. Definitely glad we bought the treadmill.

Holy crap!

I just jogged for 20 minutes straight! \o/

I’ve been doing the Couch to 5K (the goal at the end is to be able to jog for 5km) on our treadmill, and the day I just completed was just purely “jog for 20 minutes”. And I did it! It got slightly rough towards the end, but nothing terrible.

Pretty happy right now. 🙂

DIY, and some not so DIY

No posts for the last month, mostly because there’s not been anything of note happening. Yesterday, though… phew!

So, the path to the back room was pretty bloody awful.

kungfupolarbear had found a photo of a nice path design, so we decided to go to Bunnings and get the supplies for it. Long story short, about five hours and many sore muscles later, we have a new path!

As per pretty much everything so far, it took more work than expected.

And today we had an electrician come to replace the god-awful ceiling lights that were in the lounge room and kitchen, and to wire up some ethernet for us too. It’s so nice being able to put our own little touches on things now!

In other news, our annual bonus ended up being 12.5%! \o/ Of course, 45.6 cents in the dollar of that went to tax, but that was still a nice chunk of change. So I’ve ordered a NinjaBlock. Should be fun to play around with.

Productivity!

Oh man. What a productive weekend!

We did some shopping yesterday prior to going over to gypocalypse‘s place and then the Bavarian for dinner. Sadly we had to leave at about 9:30 since I was starting work at 5am today (yes, it’s bullshit. Fortunately they’re going to be changing it, but apparently it’s taking a while for some reason). At least I was working from home anyway.

Also, I didn’t actually do too much working as such. 😛 It was pretty quiet so I spent the time tweaking my Magic decks and ordered some new cards (I’m currently completely obsessed with the Innistrad block of cards — think really grim dark gothic horror. So awesome).

At the start of the shift I was definitely thinking I’d need to take a nap after I’d finished, but apparently I got a second wind (and possibly third and fourth). We went to Bunnings, bought a nice powerful drill (we’d tried with our little one and it just didn’t have enough grunt to drill the screws into the wood) and some other bits and pieces, then wall-mounted the dryer and then proceeded to re-mount the cupboard that we’d taken off the wall in order to put the dryer on it. I actually ended up using several pieces of wood left over from when we turned the garage back from an office into a garage (they’re still sitting in what is going to become the games room, since the council won’t take building waste as part of the regular clean-ups).

kungfupolarbear was busy as well, she helped with the manoeuvring of the dryer up onto the mount, made an EPIC amount of gumbo, a slow-cooked beef stew, and also tidied up the hedge out the front.

It’s now 10:19pm and I have absolutely no idea how I’m still awake. I have tomorrow off due to working today, so I plan on playing video games mostly. 😛

Also, I decided to buy the books that Game of Thrones is based off (A Song of Fire and Ice), mostly because I can’t be bothered watching it and I prefer reading. HOLY SHIT IT’S SO GOOD! Wow. I’ve been reading it on the train to and from work, which is a good two hours solid of reading per day, so I’m ploughing through the first book. Man. I’m vaguely annoyed that I’d never read them up until now!

…I should probably stop typing and go to bed now.

PS: Have I mentioned how much I love our new house? Because it’s really really a lot. Just being able to do all these things to it as we want. So good!

Housewarming.

We had our housewarming last Sunday, and it was fantastic. It wasn’t huge, there were nine of us all together, but it was just so nice being able to actually have people over again. We had a barbecue for lunch then played about three hours of Cards Against Humanity, everyone was impressed with the house, and we got $150 worth of Bunnings gift cards as housewarming gifts!

YOU GUYS, WE CAN ACTUALLY INVITE PEOPLE OVER TO OUR HOUSE. It’s so good! 😀

Squee!

kungfupolarbear and I have been married four years today! And this is the first of many anniversaries from our new house. 😀 Like last year, it fell on a Lily weekend, but I mum and dad looked after Lily tonight so we could go have a nice anniversary dinner.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but srsly, our marriage has just been effortless… I can’t imagine anyone else being even a tenth as perfect for me as kungfupolarbear is. We’re completely on the same wavelength for basically everything, it’s amazing.

PS SQUEE

Oh man

We went out to get some stuff at the shops, came back to the house and as I was opening up the garage I realised the air had that wonderful earthy smell you only get out in the country. It’s absolutely glorious here, still totally quiet at night, and the air is crisp and clean.

We’re making pretty good progress towards getting everything unpacked, and it actually looks like a house that we live in, as opposed to a house filled with boxes and crap.

Eeeee!

The move

We’re all moved in! \o/

We moved on Tuesday last week (the 28th), and it was surprisingly pain-free. The removalists we used were a pair of exceedingly Kiwi guys, who were “choice”, “broo”, and “cuz”-ing all over the place, it was hilarious. They’d done moves from our building before and knew how utterly retarded the layout was, and the removalist company suggested we get a guy in a ute as well so we could just load up the ute and ferry it out to the truck.

All three guys were really nice, and we got the moving-out part done in only three and a half hours. The moving in at the other end was obvious even faster, because they pulled right up into the driveway and just went straight in.

We’ve not unpacked everything yet, but we’re getting there. The house is great, and the whole area is dead quiet at night, and even during the day there’s not much noise. It hasn’t sunken in yet that this is our house, and that we don’t have to move again in a year or whatever. Not sure when exactly that’s going to hit, heh.

Unfortunately we’re still having to deal with the old real estate, bunch of arseholes that they are, as we’re waiting for them to pull their damn finger out and do the final inspection so we can get our bond back.

We’ve already done some stuff to the house… the garage had been converted into an office, so with the help of my parents and some power tools, we demolished the false wall (after having had to get a friend who is an electrician in to disconnect all the power from it) and pulled up the carpet and converted it back into a garage. The wall had been massively over-engineered, there were far too many screws and bits in for what it was.

The previous owners don’t seem to have taken too much care with some of the plumbing, and there were some leaks under the sink in both the kitchen and the bathroom which I’ve managed to fix with some teflon tape. There’s a structure out the back that we’re going to use as a games room, where I’ll be able to actually have space to lay out my miniatures to paint them, but currently it’s filled with the detritus from the false wall in the garage.

We’ve also spent a horrifying amount of money at both Bunnings and Ikea, but at least it’s a once-off thing and the stuff we bought will last us for years.

So in short, YAY HOUSE!

Settlement!

The settlement is booked for this Wednesday at 3pm! \o/

The bank continued their streak of being bloody useless, this time they managed to misread the title transfer document that had been sent. One of the seller’s names is “Louise”, and the bank came back saying that they’d need a new document because they thought it’d be written “Louisc”. It looks like what had happened was that they didn’t actually bother to view the PDF at full-size, because both kungfupolarbear and our mortgage broker zoomed it into 100% and it clearly said “Louise”. Unbelievable.

ANYWAY. That’s all past us now! We’re going to pick up the keys on Saturday and go over there and generally inspect things. The previous owner had converted the garage into an office and had put carpet and false walls up and such. That would have been fine and we’d have been able to pull it all down ourselves except that it turns out the false wall that was put up in behind of the garage door actually has a bunch of power points on the other side of it, so we’re going to need to get an electrician in to disconnect all that first.

In the grand scheme of things it’s really not a major bother though.

\o/

Tea!

If you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be regularly drinking tea, I’d have laughed!

I still don’t care about it during the day, but I’m really liking my nighttime cuppa, there’s something wonderfully soothing about it. I’ve been having Celestial Seasonings “Sleepytime” herbal tea. It’ll be even better once we’re in our new place and it’s quiet and crisp and cold outside.

Only twenty-two more sleeps. This is going to be the longest twenty two days ever.

Woah

Today is Lily’s sixth birthday! That’s crazy!

This weekend isn’t our weekend with her, so we’re going to do a birthday thing next Saturday and will then go over to mum and dad’s for a birthday dinner on Sunday. Should be good!

I took this photo of Lily last weekend.

Smile!

Speaking of photos, Lily’s been running around with our old point-and-shoot camera, I’d gone through all the photos and picked out the good ones, and we sat down last weekend and actually edited them together, and here they are! Quite funny. 🙂

Eeeeeeeee!

So we’ve now paid the stamp duty (all $16,435 of it, ouch) and pretty much everything is all set for the final settlement, which is on Monday the 13th of this month.

YOU GUYS, WE’RE GOING TO OWN OUR OWN HOUSE!

I can’t emphasise how much we’re looking forward to NOT LIVING IN THIS GODDAMN AREA ANYMORE, holy shit. We’re booked in with the removalists for the 28th of this month, which is a Tuesday. kungfupolarbear is taking the 27th, 28th, and 29th off work, and I’m taking the whole week off, mostly because I have a heap of annual leave and hey, why not!

The move from here is going to be horrible, given how incredibly idiotically it’s laid out, but it ought to be far faster at the other end. We’re planning on giving this current place only the most cursory of cleans because fuck the current real estate, and whatever we get back from our bond we’ll just take as a bonus.

To sum up: EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!