Friday, January 29, 2016

Anne's birthday plus two things that did not happen

Anne was deadset on going to the Hilton for her birthday so I took her there on Saturday.  I almost always find fancy places like that disappointing.  The food is often "innovative", which usually means "strange".  So I was not totally surprised at the strange dinner we did get.  I thought that ordering a mixed grill for the both of us would be pretty safe but it wasn't.  It allegedly included: "slow roasted pork belly. outside skirt. kangaroo fillet. lamb cutlet. duck breast. handmade italian sausage. lemon. salsa verde. micro greens."

That sounds OK on a quick glance but the "sausage" was just some sort of small rissole and the last two items were just some kind of sauce.  I am quite keen on mixed grills but I have never before come across one consisting of meat only.  No eggs, no bacon, no fried onions, no salad etc.  And I didn't even get a bread roll with it!  And the dessert I ordered again sounded good on paper but turned out to be tiny: Good for the waistline, I guess.  And the ambiance was non-existent.  We were seated facing a blank wall!  A very poor return for the nearly $200 I spent. No wonder they had so many empty tables on a Saturday night.  I didn't complain about it to Anne or any one else at the time but I will never set foot in that place again.  I often host family dinners at the Bollywood which cost me $300+ so I don't mind spending the money. I just like to get good food and good value for money.

Next morning was better.  Anne and I went along to a breakfast organized by her son Byron at "Lock & Load", a West End cafe we know well.  Byron has two little boys so I sat with them and had the sort of fun I always have with little kids. They amuse me and I amuse them.  The food was good as it always is there.  We had it in the back garden, which makes a pleasant venue.  A much better ambiance than at the Hilton.  If I were a Muslim I would say:  "Death to the Hilton".  Fortunately, my values are Christian.

The things that did not happen:  I have in past years put on a Burns night on 25th but that got a bit hectic for an old guy like me. With a birthday on 23rd and Australia day on 26th it was a lot of celebrating.  So I no longer do a Burns night.

But, as it happens, our usual family BBQ on Australia day was cancelled at the last minute so I had a quiet day.

That evening, however, Joe came in to help me set up a small computer museum.  So, in addition to my Windows 10 main computer and my notebook computer, I now have a DOS machine and an XP machine up and running.  Joe did all the work as he knows a lot about hardware as well as being a programmer. He told me recently that he is writing some firmware for his employers, which I found impressive -- though I suppose it is just another "C" exercise.

UPDATE:  Joe wrote the program using C#, which is blue, he tells me, in a rare burst of synaesthesia. C# is a Microsoft version of "C"

Friday, January 1, 2016

A quiet New Year

With Anne being away I spent my New Year's eve pretty much alone.  Joe came in however and connected the new DVD drive for my computer so that was good.  The new drive does work well.  I watched an operetta DVD on it and the new drive did not hang up on a bad patch where my other DVD players did.

And I decided to go shopping at Aldi to see what the latest of their ever-changing range was. I was rather pleased to see that Aldi do markdowns on slowly-moving stock too. I bought a few things, including an allegedly Angus beef family pie for $3.59.

That night I microwaved a frozen dinner of Gyoza plus Udon noodles that was quite good.  Frozen dinners have improved a lot these days.  I had it with leftover salad from Tuesday, a leftover bread roll and some leftover tomato juice.  It added up to a reasonable dinner.

Today I went in search of breakfast at the Buranda shopping center, as I often do.  As I expected, it was all closed up but as I also expected, the Pakistani kebab shop over the road was open.  They do quite a good kebab so I had that.  One of the sauces offered for the kebab was "chuckney" sauce.  I deduced that "chutney" was meant so ordered that.  It was nothing like any chutney I know but it was OK.

I then decided that I needed a treat so noted that the frozen yoghurt shop was open.  I went in and had a bowl of half mango and half chocolate flavour topped with mulberries.  A definite indulgence.

And for dinner I had the discounted pie that I bought from Aldi.  It was fine.