Sunday Selections Week 35

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It has been quite a rainy week here on the South Coast.

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That was our rain total on Wednesday afternoon. Monday we had 107.2mm – Tuesday 254.5 – Wednesday 45mm. I suspect on Tuesday quite a lot of rain ended up not being counted because we had strong winds as well and several times I looked out there to see that it was raining sideways instead of down. Our rain gauge is not equipped for such shenanigans.

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The stormwater drains were so full, the water was flowing out into the street rather than into the drains.

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The front yard had a swimming pool next to the rubbish bins.

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It is times like these I am really glad we put the chook coop and run up on stilts. We did that initially because of our drainage problem out there, but it has been a blessing in more ways than keeping their feet dry in wet weather.

The space underneath is on slightly higher ground and the chooks hang out down there in summer because it is super shady and cool. When it rains a little, it remains dry and they can dustbathe there. When it rains a lot like this, even that area gets soaked but it is from water running across not from being rained on. They still like to venture down there and chase bugs and worms swimming by and have another place to visit without getting rained on.

Their water bowls live under the coop partly to protect them from stuff being blown in when it is windy, partly to protect them from rain and also because they do spend so much time hanging out there, I really want their water to be where they are.

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The grassy area is a swimming pool when it rains a lot here. I am writing this on Saturday and all of this area is starting to dry out. When I visited the chooks this morning, I saw they’ve already made themselves a new dustbathing area in the slightly higher ground in the garden bed you can see in the very top left of this photo.

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I’m happy to say the concrete is doing very well and in particular the drain by the shed door did a lot of excellent work during these torrential rains. I’m very thankful we had it done before this happened because the driveway would be a soggy pothole covered mess by now.

We certainly did not have the same kind of issues that people in Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin, Shoalhaven Heads, Callala Bay and around some of the other areas near waterways. There was a lot of very bad flooding in those areas. Here are some pictures taken from a helicopter.

Snoskred Is Superstitious

The whole time my Aunt and Uncle were visiting, our cars needed washing but I was all.. no, lets not do that because it will rain. So I got the car washed, and then we have these huge rains.

And then, I think I jinxed Mr Robot, because leading up to the finale being aired this week I was so excited and the day before I said to The Other Half “This time tomorrow we will know more”. And then they postponed it due to the shooting. On the one hand, good on them.

On The Other Hand –

If television episodes with shootings in them were postponed regularly in the USA whenever there is a shooting, those episodes would never, ever be aired. Seriously, the second amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791. I think perhaps, back in those days, there might have been good reasons to be carrying a gun, like wild animals roaming and in order to hunt.

Wonkette wrote this great piece – Here’s How The Second Amendment Has Prevented Tyranny Lately – remember they are a sarcastic satire site however that article says everything that needs to be said.

Well, almost everything. How about the fact that so far this year, on average 35 Americans every single day have been killed by gun violence.

There is even a site that keeps count – Gun Violence Archive. But hey, it doesn’t matter what I think – I’m not American and there is nothing I can do other than feel deep sadness from afar.

Weekly Wrap Up –

This week I did a lot of writing for the blog. Posts are pre-scheduled into October, at this stage. I also did a lot of drafts – eg I did all my Sunday Selections drafts with the dates and categories for the rest of 2015, all ready for me to put the photos into.

Bloglovin

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This week I had set a goal of adding as many of the blogs on my blogroll into my Bloglovin’ as possible – most of them were already on there. If they were not already listed, I did not add them, though as a reader you always can do that. You can check out who I am following via this link or via my Blogroll page, plus new follows and blogs I am test driving get added at the end of each month in my new feeds post.

Have you claimed your blog over at Bloglovin’? I’m writing a post on how to do that, which I am hoping to schedule for Tuesday this week as all the other days are already taken.. :)

Rewatch Breaking Bad

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Also this week, I wrote the final posts for Rewatch Breaking Bad. I’ve given one post to Sephyroth who of course picked the best episode ever – Ozymandias – and once that is loaded in, the blog will be complete.

I do not think I anticipated the huge amount of work involved in putting those posts together when I started out. I figured it would be copy and paste the text in, add some screenshots, add a couple of links. The truth of the matter – each show had to be watched and screenshots taken which was quite time consuming.

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On average I took around 60 screenshots per episode though I did not use anywhere near that many. A 45 minute episode paused 60 times blows out to about an hour and a half. I know the commands to edit screenshots in Photoimpact off by heart now..

Then I would re-watch the episode to grab extra favourite lines. Then I would watch the episode with the commentary track if it had one, and listen to the podcast. Plus, Sephyroth was proof reading my work, so he’ll probably be glad to see an ending as well! ;)

Finishing that blog is a huge relief and there were times when I thought I would give up and quit. Today it is a year and one day since the first post was published there. This is a huge happy moment for me. :)

Mr Robot

For fans of Mr Robot, you might love this interview with hoodie tidbits and this interview. There is this SAG interview as well. And the people behind the Facebook page are *awesome*. You can get to know Rami Malek some more here, and did you know Rami has a twin brother?

If you can stand Chris Hardwick, there is the Nerdist podcast with Christian Slater and Rami Malek. The interview starts at 5:02 and the first five minutes was *more* annoying than I expected so trust me, skip ahead.

Apparently the finale will be 75 minutes long. It is important to keep watching till the end of the credits. I don’t know if it is apparent or noticeable :) but I am *obsessed* with this show. My apologies for writing about it so much! Never fear, one more episode and it is over for 2015.

Over To You –

Anything interesting happening in your world this week? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday Selections, weekly wrap up

Woolworths, We’re Breaking Up.

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Its not me, Woolworths, it’s you. It has been you for a while now. It began with stock I wanted to buy not being on the shelves even though there was a space and a price ticket for those items. It continued with mouldy fresh food – from the “fresh food people” that is especially disturbing.

Then, you never had enough staff on the checkouts, and after waiting more than 20 minutes to check out on several occasions even though I had less than 12 items each time, I was deeply annoyed.

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You kept sending me offers which clearly your marketing boffins are behind which were nowhere near as good as the offers that Coles were sending me – I was offered $50 credit at Coles in return for spending $70 a week for 4 weeks.. which = $280 -50 = $230 @Coles VS $300 -30 = $270 for 3 weeks @ Woolworths. A big splooshy raspberry to that!

At this point I was more than ready to break up with you. The one reason I went back – Coles only stock small Twisties packets and I wanted the larger packet.

But then, the final two straws.

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Did you know your catalog now sucks?

Each fortnight, when I shop, I look at the catalog for Coles, then the catalog for Woolworths. I do the main shop at Aldi and then visit Coles and Woolworths for items on special which cannot be purchased from Aldi. Woolworths decided to change the catalog.

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With this new catalog, to view *all* of each page, you have to use the scroll bar on the side.

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This is extremely annoying, especially when so often the bit you scroll down to see is boring advertising junk that has NOTHING to do with shopping! And then, they fill double page spreads with this junk!

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Well, Woolworths, I DECLINE THIS CONCEPT. Even so, I thought I would still give you a chance to earn some of my $$, by using the *paper* catalog which arrives in my letterbox. But no.

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You don’t want me reading your catalogs, online, or paper. You had to send me the clearest possible message.

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Message received. Content noted. We’re broken up, for good. KTHXBAI.

Annoyed Snoskred, bitches, country life

The Bolognese Of Snoskred

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Otherwise known in our household as “red sauce pasta” or even “awesome sauce”. I’ve mentioned it in the Fake Lasagne post but I have never posted how I make it here on the blog..

Over the years, I’ve made this sauce many different ways, chopping up the various vegetables and so forth. My most recent version involves blending carrot and zucchini in the blender and this makes the sauce extra awesome in my opinion, plus, it is a lot simpler vegetable preparation wise. I’m making it in quite large batches so I can make 3x dinners and 3-4 lunches out of one very large pot of sauce.

I don’t have a strict recipe or amounts, but here is what I usually put in it when making the large batch – I’ve put notes in for how much I use when making a smaller batch.

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2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped leeks – many spices eg paprika, cinnamon, basil, parsley, oregano – sweat these together for 5-10 minutes in olive oil then remove from pan. Remove 1 leek if making a small batch (eg using 500g mince instead of 1 Kilo)

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2 red capsicum (pepper) chopped – sweat this for 5-10 minutes in olive oil then remove from pan. (Use 1 if making a small batch)

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1kg mince – you can choose what kind of mince you prefer. I like beef and chicken or just beef. I place this in the pan, break it up, then cover with red wine plus a dash of white wine, then put on the lid and allow it to simmer well for 15 minutes. If you have used chicken mince you will find it takes on the colour of the red wine via this method. (500g for small batch)

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Add back in the capsicum, leek and onions. Stir well.

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Add in 4-5 large carrots and 3 small zucchini – this I puree well in the blender, but if you prefer it chopped you can do it that way. I just peel the carrots and chop them and the zucchini into large chunks and add a little water to make blending easier but if you don’t mind the skins on the carrots, that is your option and you can skip the peeling step.. 2 carrots, 1 small zucchini for small batch.

You can also add other vegetables if you like – me personally I would add mushrooms and olives but the other half does not like them, so I tend to add those in when I am reheating a small serve of sauce for myself.

I find the puree adds extra awesomeness to the sauce. Stir well and allow all of the added ingredients to simmer together for 10 minutes.

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Now add –

1 x jar of tomato paste
1 x jar of Basilico pasta sauce
1 x jar of Passata – not for small batch
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes (today I used another jar of passata as we were out) – not for small batch
1 x jar of red peppers pesto – not for small batch

Stir well, then leave the sauce to simmer on a smaller burner for an hour or more, stirring occasionally..

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When the sauce is simmered together until it forms an awesome sauce, you can use it however you like.

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I will usually prepare this in the morning, have a little sauce over boiled and mashed potato for lunch, and put the rest of the sauce into containers and into the fridge for later use. We would usually have red sauce pasta for dinner that evening. I would also make Fake Lasagne with this sauce, and Ricotta, Spinach and Bacon cannelloni, which will appear here as a recipe at a future time. :)

cooking, recipes, things to remember

Sunday Selections Week 34

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Today I will like to share with you our lovely new vast vista of concrete. It will probably look a bit boring to you. I have to tell you, it is most definitely NOT boring to us. This has greatly improved our life. The area we got concreted was formerly gravel and potholes and one heck of a mess in wet weather.

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The concrete was done in 3 separate pours because there is a large rectangular area with a side triangle out the back which needed quite a bit of shaping and a drain put in. In the above photo you can see the triangle, and you can see the area which has some of our old gravel there. I am thinking this might be a great area for a cactus garden – inspired by River.

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This is the drain side and you can see my Polo is happily chilling out in her new and much improved home.

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There were also two pours for the driveway itself – one for the back half, and one for the front half. This photo shows where the first pour and second pour meet, taken from the laundry door facing the back of the property.

The laundry was a room where gravel regularly got tracked in. This meant doing the laundry 99% of the time you would step on a piece of gravel. I can tell you that stepping on one piece of gravel as a surprise to yourself is akin to stepping on a lego with bare feet, which I am sure has been declared a form of torture by multiple governments *and* is almost certainly used in some cultures as a replacement ritual for the ritual of stepping on hot coals..

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This view is taken from the laundry door and shows where the second and third pour meet. Our gates had to have some work done as one of the concrete trucks got bogged out there and ended up hitting the fence, sending everything out of square and the gates no longer met in the middle.

The laundry which opens onto this area is the entrance to the house which we use the most. This is the best place to bring in groceries without worrying about a cat escaping, plus, you can pull the car boot (trunk for our US friends) right up next to the door.

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Here you can see the concrete sealer shining in the sun. The driveway sparkles like a *Twilight vampire! YAY!

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This final shot shows where the new concrete and the old driveway at the front of the house meet. The old driveway is white concrete with one of those colour spray ons over the top. For the new driveway, the concretor suggested adding some grey colour into the concrete itself to match the spray on – it would last a lot longer and work better for everyone. I think it turned out much better than the original driveway.

Every day this week I have gone out to open the gate for the other half when it is his home time, and every single day, I have found myself trying to step *up* to the old concrete because I am so used to stepping up right there. When I go out the laundry door, I find myself hitting the concrete much earlier than my body expects the ground to be there. It is a massive change and it is taking some getting used to.

Would you like to join in? The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to River at Drifting Through Life, somewhere in your post
3. leave River a comment so that she knows you’ve joined in and can come over and see what you’ve posted.

* No Twilight vampires were harmed in the making of our concrete driveway. :)

Weekly Wrap Up –

This week I was quite determined to stay at home and go absolutely nowhere, after two weeks of “Toodling” and “Gallivanting” with holidays and my Aunt and Uncle visiting. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having them visit – it is just lovely to sit still in one place after so much travelling about.

Last Sunday we did the fortnightly shop, and I settled back in at home intending to write quite a few posts for the blog(s) and chill out with the kitties, some colouring in, NYPD Blue, a little Lumosity game I have become quite addicted to, and catching up on my reading.

The LCN Jig, It May Be Up.

I spotted this in my feedjit earlier today –

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I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they keep using the same name. That particular post continues to get a lot of views and comments here on the blog

Did you miss a post this week?

Monday – I told you about my holidays.

Wednesday – Sipowicz Says #1 – quotes from NYPD Blue will be a monthly feature here on the blog for the foreseeable future.

Thursday – I mentioned that 7 would be airing the first episode of Mr Robot. You might want to circle back and read my angry comments that I left on Friday while waiting for the show to actually air, for your own amusement. :) Can you guess how many minutes it was delayed by? Did you catch the show? If yes, leave a comment over there, I would love to know what you thought of it.

Friday – we revisited the Six Feet Under finale.

Over to you –

Did you get up to anything interesting this past week? :)

Aussie Culture, Happy Snoskred, Home

Ten Years Ago Today

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The TV show Six Feet Under aired their final episode.

Even ten years later, with a multitude of shows that have since ended, I still believe that Six Feet Under has one of the best ever endings to a show.

The show was uniquely placed to create an amazing ending because it was a show about a funeral home and it had a certain style, each episode began with a death and the show was essentially about the funeral of that person. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure we will ever see anything like it again.

You can read the oral history of the ending here – ‘Breathe Me’: The Oral History of the Six Feet Under Finale’s Death Montage

If you never saw it or you want to revisit it, here is a link to the youtube video. I do warn you, BYO tissues, even if you don’t know these characters.. it is so sad and yet beautiful at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNwARV9tPUw

looking back, television shows

Mr Robot First Episode airs on 7 this Friday

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Another quick heads up re Mr Robot, which I have previously written about here and here.

Seven will air the first episode tomorrow – Friday 21 August – sometime after the AFL game finishes. Click here for more info.

Yes, I know, you cannot trust the free to air channels in Australia to air something on time, when planned, or when they say they will air it. I would rarely recommend viewing something via free to air tv, purely because they shaft their viewers on a regular basis.

And they wonder why people torrent and pirate?

However, I love this show so much – in particular the first episode and that amazing ferris wheel scene – that I am telling you about this, so you can attempt to see the first episode and decide if you like it enough to *ahem* source it via alternate means. Whether that be via Presto, or other means, that is down to you. :)

When it will appear, nobody could actually tell you. Unfortunately you can’t rely on your episode guide to tell you. Shows routinely begin 15-30 minutes before or after they are scheduled to begin. Usually after.

Check your local guide, then tune in half an hour before that says it will air just in case they start it early which does occasionally happen just to mess with the viewers minds, and plan to see it about half an hour to an hour after the guide says it will start.

If you are going to try and record it, record the entire football match and the rest of the scheduled shows that evening. Hopefully somewhere in there, you may catch the show.

The good news is, they are only showing the first episode, so no need to try and rely on them to show you the same show in order during the same time-slot for 10 weeks running, which they almost *never* do.

If you catch it, drop back and let me know what you thought in the comments on this post. :)

Mr Robot

Snoskred Holidays

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So, will you like to know what Snoskred got up to on her holidays? I can tell you more about this now!

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We got a new oven installed. We turned the old one on once when we first moved in here, and the amount of stinky smoke which bellowed forth stopped us ever wanting to use it again. We were not bothered, because we had our LG solardom convection oven, grill and microwave. But recently that unit has begun to misbehave, and it was time to replace the oven.

There was quite a bit of writing blog posts – taking a break inspired some new posts.

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There was some fun with ice spheres but that is a post in itself.

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There was some colouring in.

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There was some shopping and eating of baked goods. There was some purchasing of chicken in bulk – 11 chicken roasters, plus a bunch of filos and kievs. Lenards have some new items available none of which we purchased this time but I wouldn’t mind trying the Chicken Cobs.

There was plenty of cooking, and some recipe posts will be coming to you as a surprise soonest!

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The Villains were seen and greatly enjoyed. There was dancing, singing, and much fun had by all.

I did not take very many photos, preferring to live in the moment and enjoy each moment when it was happening rather than try to capture moments to share here later.

The concreting was completed and sealed and the cars were finally put away safely. We deeply appreciate the vast vista of concrete we now have to enjoy. :)

What have you been up to?

Anything interesting? Let me know in the comments!

country life, Happy Snoskred, shopping

Sunday Selections Week 33

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Ilikai Hotel & Condos – where we stayed on our last visit to Oahu in 2013.

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A beach photo from our last visit in 2013.

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A rainbow over the same beach.

Would you like to join in? The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to River at Drifting Through Life, somewhere in your post
3. leave River a comment so that she knows you’ve joined in and can come over and see what you’ve posted.

Snoskred Returns Tomorrow

Snoskred returns from her holidays with a new post tomorrow. Comments are turned off for this post but tomorrow they will be back on and Snoskred will be keen to hear from you..

Sunday Selections, weekly wrap up