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.


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.



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.


We just got home from our Christmas lunch at my parents’ place. Haven’t heard a peep from Lily’s mother, so this is the first Christmas in a very long time (possibly ever) that we’ve not seen Lily. It’d definitely be nice to see her, but avoiding all the obnoxiousness that comes with having to deal with her mother is also nice, heh.

My sister, her husband, and their two kids came up from Nowra which was nice, as they don’t normally make it up here for Christmas. It was also our first Christmas since Nanny died, so that was a bit sad. Mum had a photo book printed with a bunch of photos from Nanny’s life, so that was lovely. 🙂

I got a heap of books (six Discworld novels—all of which I’ve read but never actually owned—, three Warhammer 40,000 novels, and Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”), plus a tabletop game called X-Wing. Think Warhammer 40,000 but with Star Wars ships instead! I’ve never played it before but have heard good things and am excited to try it out!


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.



I’ve been acting-senior support engineer at work since the guy who used to do it moved to another team, but I’m now OFFICIALLY the senior support engineer. 😀 \o/


We had Lily for a week from Saturday the 27th to yesterday (it was school holidays). It was great to see her again, despite her mother being totally useless Lily seems to be a nice kid still, heh. Though she does have dreadlocks, ugh. Not over her entire head, but still. She was totally plastered to my side for the first couple of days, which was exhausting, but after that she’d calmed down and we got into the groove of things.

We went to the beach with mum, dad, my sister, and nieces (obligatory photos here), which was really nice, and mum and dad came to visit for lunch on Friday.

Lily’s reading is pretty incredible, she’s got a big book “Encyclopaedia of World Wildlife” that has whole pages of text about all these different animals, and she can totally read it all! She was playing a game on the Xbox where there’s lots of text that scrolls in fairly quickly and she was able to read that too.

Beanie was very excited to meet a new person, and was so devastated when I came back from dropping her off and she didn’t follow me out from the garage! He kept looking back and forth between me and the garage and wagging, as if to say “You’ve forgotten her!”