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Saturday, September 30 2006

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Watch

As usual, Yuko went away leaving me alone at Epitome. She came back with a watch, and it wasn't from Vinnies...

Watch

House Debacle

My childhood home at St. Leonards, where I lived until 1979 is still for sale and the sign out the front says that it's open for inspection on Saturdays at 2.15pm. As Mother and I spent many years there, we were both curious to see what it looks like now, so we decided to go.

But Mother was not feeling well and called me to say she would stay home. And as Yuko was not particularly interested, I went alone.

But when I arrived, there was nobody there! I knocked on the door, but there were no signs of life and no indication of the house being open.

I called the mobile number which was on the For Sale sign and spoke to a woman who confirmed that the house would not be open today! But she offered to show me the house on Tuesday instead.

An interesting piece of trivia is that my childhood home is located right next to the office of my former employer SALMAT. In fact, as a child I used to ride my bike in the carpark of that building (although it wasn't Salmat at the time).

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Friday, September 29 2006

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North Shore Firebug Strikes Again!

Usually I go walking in the direction of Tambourine Bay. But today I felt like a change, and instead went to Burns Bay where I saw a duck and the remains of the Sydney Uni boatshed which was burned in March.

Duck

Sydney Uni Boatshed

Had I gone on my usual route I would have seen that the boatshed at Tambourine Bay was also burned to the ground last night! I only found out when I saw it on the TV news later in the evening.

See: SMH Story

Broccoli

After watching the news about the boatshed, I ate a piece of Broccoli.

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Thursday, September 28 2006

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Gardening

Our gardener Vito came today and stayed for five hours. He cut the grass, cleared our clogged gutters and sprayed deadly chemicals all over the ground.

Loading van
Spraying deadly chemicals

Walking

Meanwhile, as I eschew gardening and manual labour, I went for a walk in the bush...

Walking in the bush
The pool contained some water

Shopping

In the afternoon, Yuko wanted to go looking at laptop computers as she wants one for blogging on the move.

We went to Chatswood, stopping first at the Grape Garden where Yuko bought some dumplings and photographed them being cooked. They smelled so nice that we ate them immediately.

The Grape Garden

Then we visited a number of retailers of computer equipment and identified several candidate machines. Yuko wants something small and simple with moderate specs. It seems that machines of this type cost around $1200 to $1400.

Eating

Yuko has been eager for some time to visit a Sushi Train while I have been reluctant. So after looking at laptops, we made our way to one of the several Sushi Train establishments at Chatswood. Unfortunately, most of the dishes were not to my liking as I'm not a raw-fish eater. I didn't mind as I had already eaten the dumplings we bought earlier. But Yuko liked the Sushi and ate a lot!

Sushi Train
I ate these Sushi Prawns

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Wednesday, September 27 2006

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Hair

Yuko had an appointment at the hairdresser in the afternoon, so before that she got me to cut her hair. She wanted about 5cm taken off. For this service I charged A$5.00 (which is still owing).

Before
After

Partial cut

Offcuts

Then Yuko went to the hairdresser to get her hair straightened and I went to Epitome where I did some work on ChesSOS.

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Tuesday, September 26 2006

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Breakfast

I have resumed making breakfast each morning while Yuko showers and watches her favourite Japanese soap on the satellite.

Breakfast - Croissants and coffee

Clean

Our woman came today to continue the mammoth task of cleaning our house. During that time I was sent out to do the shopping. While I was out, I saw a buggy...

Buggy

When I came home I was shocked to see how clean the kitchen was. I don't know if we can adapt to living in such a clean environment...

Gleaming clean kitchen

Prawns

Because our woman came today, we thought that tonight would be a good time to invite Mother for dinner (before the house gets filthy again).

Yuko cooked tempura prawns. Mother says you can't beat tempura prawns!

Tempura Prawns

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Monday, September 25 2006

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Cows

Forget global warming! The most serious problem the world now faces is the decimation of the bovine population which is causing burger prices to skyrocket. Please do what you can to help...

The Deck

We skipped breakfast today and went hungrily to Collaroy for lunch on The Deck. As we drove to Collaroy, Yuko examined her hair and concluded that she wants me to cut it. I should get $5 for that!

Yuko considers how much hair I should cut off

We arrived a tad early for lunch, so Yuko photographed surfers while I froze (it was cold!)

Yuko photographs surfers

The Deck is a deck which is an extension of the pub overlooking the beach. It's a nice location, but it was a tad cold and windy.

We drank water

Due to the cow shortage mentioned above, we ate fish and leaves...

Non-cow Lunch

After lunch we watched the waves crashing into this concrete thingy...

Wave hits concrete thingy

Yuko walks into the sea to photograph the waves

3

Our mobile phones have been functionally defective for a long time. They behave as if they are out of range of the network when they're not. We have to turn them off and on to get them to work.

So today we went to the 3 shop where we bought them and Yuko demanded satisfaction!

They offered to send our phones for repair (which probably means a software upgrade) and to lend us replacement phones. They gave us a pair of LG flip phones which Yuko likes better than the phones we had.

Yuko plays with the computer in the 3 shop

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Sunday, September 24 2006

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Mole

In the morning we met Laughing Mole at Epitome. Coffee was drunk, photographic equipment was compared, and share prices were analysed...

Photographic Equipment

Mr Mole brought this graph for analysis

As we left the cafe, Yuko engaged this dog-toting resident in conversation, and then photographed her dog.

Radio Maintenance

Back in the 1970's a friend of Mother's gave her a battery operated transistor radio. The device had served her well for 30 years, but recently, it stopped working.

I took a look at it and found that the battery holder was beyond help. So today I made a trip to Jaycar and bought a new one for $1.20. After some soldering, the ancient device began once again to demodulate electromagnetic waves.

Radio with old and new battery holders
New battery holder installed

Radio

I then walked around to Mother's house to return the working device to her. On the way there, I saw a buggy...

Buggy

It had been windy all day, and I witnessed havoc and mayhem including this tree in the grounds of the College which had been violently ripped from its trunk...

Havoc and Mayhem

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Piker
26/09/2006
5541 Days Ago
You are still behind. That is a nice L series lens that Mr Mole has ....

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Saturday, September 23 2006

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Rotting

It was hot today, so we didn't do much today other than sit at home and rot. But I did go for a walk, and saw this bird...

When I got home from my walk, Yuko was outside talking with Mr. [Name Omitted] (our computer man). He was returning some DVDs Yuko had lent him and she returned his monopod.

Computer man

Today was also the day of the Indian Bazaar at the College. However, we didn't go - preferring to stay at home and rot. But I looked at the sign...

It's called the Indian Bazaar because the proceeds go to India

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Friday, September 22 2006

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XXXXXXXXX

XX XXXX X XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX X XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX

Then I had free time because Yuko had gone for a secret meeting at with Keiko at Yama. However, their secret meeting was disrupted when Edwin turned up - probably to check that they weren't getting out of control...

Keiko and Edwin at Yama (Q.V.B.)

Meanwhile, I saw a buggy...

...and water...

You can't beat that!

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Thursday, September 21 2006

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Boat Shed

I went walking and saw that the burned boat shed at Burns Bay has at last been cleared to its base.

Epitome

In the afternoon, Yuko sent me to Epitome to generate a click for her blog from another IP address. However, the network was down and I just worked on ChesSOS offline instead.

Dixie at Epitome

Katsura

Mother invited us to dinner at Katsura at Neutral Bay (based on our description of how nice it was).

Yuko ate sushi with hair...

As usual, I ate chicken and Mother ate prawns.

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Wednesday, September 20 2006

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Mystery Trail

In the morning I discovered a mysterious trail on the carpet. It was like a snail trail, but at the end of it was a cluster of dead worms!

Worms and trail

Staff

Now that I have no job, we have naturally decided to take on some more domestic staff. Today our new woman - Evonne - came to clean the house (including the worms). I didn't take a picture of her because I was at Epitome.

Battery Recall

I finally got around to checking whether my Dixie's battery is affected by the Dell Battery Recall. I took the battery out and compared its identifying numbers with those listed on Dell's website. I was disappointed to find that the battery is not one of those which can potentially burst into flames. I had been hoping to get a new battery for free!

Dixie's non-defective battery

ChesSOS

Today I got back to doing some serious development work on ChesSOS. I have a long list of bugs to fix and features to add. Today I started working on the problem of players adjourning their games for too long (because there's no time limit). People keep asking me to manually cancel long adjournments, so I'm going to give them a button to click so that they can do it themselves.

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Tuesday, September 19 2006

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Bag Scandal

A few days ago, Yuko persuaded me to swap bags with her. She wanted the expensive bag that Kazuki had given me, in exchange for one she got for $4 at Vinnies! She also offered me $5 cash as an added incentive.

Although this seemed like I was being riped-off, I accepted the deal. I soon realised that I preferred the cheaper bag. It has more space and it's easier to access stuff inside it.

But today, Yuko took the bag back like an Indian-giver! At least I got to keep the $5.

Expensive bag on the left - Cheap bag on the right

Mother

I dropped in at Mother's house to remove her old rego sticker, which she had tried to remove with only limited success. I took to it with a knife and steel wool and got most of it off.

Plumbing

Our kitchen tap has been leaking for a while. We have worked around the problem by making sure we always leave the lever in the "cold" position, where it tends not to leak (much).

But today we decided to take action and actually get it fixed so I called a plumber! He came over and replaced the tap with a shiny new one. It makes us feel rich to operate the lever without fear of flooding...

Old leaky tap
Shiny new tap

Last Drive to Edge of Civilisation

In the afternoon I had to go to SALMAT (my former employer) to sign some papers, return some items, and to pay back portion of my salary which had been paid to me in advance before I resigned. I also had to pick up some garments from the local dry-cleaner which I'd dropped there last week.

I took the long drive for the last time, and saw a buggy on the M5...

Last drive on the M5
Buggy

At SALMAT I had a very friendly meeting with the head of HR. I am grateful to SALMAT for their generosity in not taking any of my salary in lieu of notice, despite being entitled to it. In fact, they even paid me by accrued leave, which I had offered them in lieu of notice! This meant that the amount I had to pay back was much less than I expected.

Thank you SALMAT!

After the formalities, I left the building and then called two of my former co-workers who came outside for a chat.

Co-worker asks - "What the **** happened?"
Co-worker who will be burdened with my work

From Message
Piker
25/09/2006
5542 Days Ago
IS Salmat at Liverpool ? Dumping them was justified in that case. How do you get decent coffee out there ? Isn't Salmat also at North Sydney ?

From Message
Webslave
25/09/2006
5542 Days Ago
Technically Moorebank, but just a short walk from Liverpool station. There was reasonable coffee available from a cafe in the building. They also have an office at St. Leonards.

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Monday, September 18 2006

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Resignation

After careful consideration over the weekend, and after discussing it with Yuko and Mother, today I resigned from my job at SALMAT.

Although I liked many aspects of the job and the company, the job was one of high stress, and I decided that I could no longer continue. I therefore resigned without giving notice.

Then, Yuko made crepes for breakfast...

Walk not Work

So... instead of going to work, I strolled along the quiet leafy streets and beaches of Riverview and Longueville. You can't beat that!

And I saw a buggy...

Buggy

Lizard

While working at my computer, I heard a sound coming from just outside the sliding flyscreen doors. I looked out and saw a huge reptile crawling over my thongs...

Lizard seen through flyscreen

I called Yuko who went out with her camera to get some pictures of the beast. However it crawled under an artificial rock before she was able to take any pictures.

But some time later, the errant reptile re-appeared and I snapped some close-up pictures with Yuko's camera. Yuko also stalked the animal like paparazzi.

Eden

After shooting the lizard, I drove Yuko to Eden Gardens to buy some seedling soil.

Eden Apple

From Message
Laughing Mole
19/09/2006
5548 Days Ago
Congratulations and/or commiserations.

Nice lizard pic.

Coffee?

From Message
Webslave
20/09/2006
5547 Days Ago
Thank you Mr. Mole.

The lizard pic shows the difference between a "real" camera and my "toy" camera.

It is indeed time for coffee!

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8/11/2006
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Sunday, September 17 2006

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Pipe Band

There was a pipe band at Lane Cove this morning. "Pipe" in the sense that they were using water pipes as instruments. They also played plastic bottles are car wheels!

Water Pipe Band

It was warm enough to sit outside on the balcony...

View from the Epitome balcony

Movie

In the afternoon Mother and I went to a movie at Cremorne. Yuko stayed home because she didn't want to see An Inconvenient Truth. She only likes movies with lots of violence.

It's the story of the end of civilisation as we know it caused by the evil prime minister of a little known country called Australia. When his friend George refuses to sign a piece of Japanese paper, John decides not to sign it either and the world becomes a rice steamer and everyone dies.

Then we went home in our fossil fuel burning vehicle, and Yuko cooked crepes for us..

Mother

Crepe

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Saturday, September 16 2006

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Statue Incident

I did something unusual, and something unusual happened! The unusual thing I did was to go for a walk in the morning before breakfast rather than in the afternoon.

As I walked past a house which was being renovated, I saw the odd sight of this statue on the patio of the house. I stopped to gawk at it...

Statue on patio

As I was gawking I realised that I was being gawked at by a guy in the yard of the house. Not wanting to be mistaken for a peeping tom, I explained that I was interested in the statue.

The guy seemed quite friendly and told me that it was from Indonesia. I therefore asked him if I could take a picture of it. He surprised me by offering to pass the object to me over the high wire fence - which he did. I was then able to place it on the footpath and take the picture below. However he declined to be photographed with the object.

Statue on path

Watch

When we go to Epitome (which is moderately often), Yuko nearly always leaves me there while she goes shopping at the St. Vincent De Paul shop. Today she returned with this watch, which she picked up for $8.

Beach

The weather was too nice to go to a movie, so we went to Collaroy beach (see second coffee picture above).

We wanted to eat something at the Ettamogah Pub, but we were shocked to see that it has closed! Instead we had coffee on The Deck which is an extension of the real pub.

Bizarro Pontocho

Some time ago our favourite Japanese restaurant (Pontocho) closed, leaving a serious gap in our restaurant list. But recently we noticed that a new Japanese restaurant has opened in Pontocho's old location at Neutral Bay. It's called Katsura (which is a type of tree), and tonight we tried it for the first time.

Stairway to Katsura

It has been nicely renovated and the interior looks much nicer than Pontocho used to.

Inside

We found it to be very nice, and the prices were quite low. However, it should be noted that unlike the old Pontocho, Katsura is not a genuine Japanese restaurant. It is owned by a Korean gentleman (whom we spoke to), and most of the staff are also Korean. This is not a bad thing, but it meant that Yuko had to order in English, and it's worth knowing if you're a stickler for authenticity.

We ate this
We didn't eat this

From Message
Piker Blogger
19/09/2006
5548 Days Ago
Come on! It is Tuesday here, nearly Wed, and you're now up to Sat ?

From Message
Webslave
19/09/2006
5548 Days Ago
I'm catching up...

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Friday, September 15 2006

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Salmat
Yellow

Taiki

We don't normally go out for dinner on a Friday because it tends to be too crowded, but as we had run out of days in the week, we made an exception tonight.

But when I got home from work, Yuko was nowhere to be seen, although it was only ten minutes until we were supposed to pick Mother up!

Then she appeared walking up the driveway in a blur...

Yuko walks up the driveway in a blur

Mother at Taiki

Food

After dinner at Taiki, we went next door for coffee at Yellow. Every other time we've been to Yellow it's been almost deserted, but tonight there was a moderate crowd.

Yellow

Unfortunately, the coffee at Yellow (see picture at top) is of a low standard.

Yuko at Yellow

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23/05/2008
4936 Days Ago
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Thursday, September 14 2006

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Crepe

We don't normally eat dessert at home, but tonight after dinner, Yuko made a crepe. After pouring it into the pan (below) she realised that turning it over was going to be a problem. The solution was to flip it into a second pan! It worked, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the flipping act.

Making a crepe

Simple crepe

From Message
The Piker
18/09/2006
5549 Days Ago
You're up to Thursday and it is now Monday! Did nothing good happen Friday ? Or the rest of the weekend ? I think you need to reprioritorise your life to keep the blog more up to date. Just think, the less you do, the less you have to blog about.

From Message
Webslave
18/09/2006
5549 Days Ago
You're absolutely right!

But if you stay tuned for Monday's blog entry (which is under development as we speak), you'll see that I have indeed reprioritised.

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Wednesday, September 13 2006

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Driving

Still not much happening, and my picture-taking has been reduced in the last few days due to lack of time to press the shutter button.

This is me driving home in a daze after a hard day's work...

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Tuesday, September 12 2006

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Non-Buggy

This is not a buggy. However, Yuko often sees this type of vehicle, mistakes it for a buggy and punches me!

Not legal for punching

Orange

You can tell there's not a lot to write about in the lives of the Noswonkys when I post a picture of an orange...

Orange

From Message
Matthew Wadwell
18/09/2006
5549 Days Ago
G'Day Peter,

Are you sure that it is an orange - from here it looks like a mandarin.....

From Message
Webslave
19/09/2006
5548 Days Ago
It's orange, and I heard someone call it an orange, so I believed it - even though I also thought it looked like a mandarin.

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Monday, September 11 2006

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Coffee
Feet

Buggy

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Sunday, September 10 2006

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Fish Market

In the afternoon, Yuko wanted to go to the Fish Market. So we took Mother and went. It was raining moderately and we wondered why we were going out in such weather. But Yuko's theory was that the Fish Market would not be crowded because people would be staying home. She was wrong! It was more crowded than usual.

Fish Market

Mother buys fish at Peter's

Walking

Later it stopped raining and I went for a walk. The creek at TamBayRes was a torrent...

Torrent

And it appears that work has re-started on the Lane Cove Ghost House...

Ghost House (which has been under construction for at least 10 years)

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23/05/2008
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Saturday, September 9 2006

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Epitome
Peppercorn

Rain

It rained.

Movie

In the afternoon, we went to see the movie 49 Up at Cremorne. Mother had already seen it with her friend Jan, so Yuko and I went alone.

The movie was at 6.30pm, so we first had an early dinner at Peppercorn@Cremorne.

Peppercorn

The movie was good. It's the story of a dozen people who have spent the last 42 years complaining about being in this film. One of them turns into a loony and pursues the only career available to him - politics.

Blackout

It was a dark and stormy night, and late in the evening, we had a blackout. The main effect of this was that Yuko had to stop blogging.

Lighting candles

Cooking by candlelight

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Friday, September 8 2006

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As can be seen from the picture above, today's coffee drinking did not go to plan.

Crikey!!

Today was Crikey Day...

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Thursday, September 7 2006

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Wednesday, September 6 2006

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Buggy

I saw anther buggy...

Buggy

Birthday II

Yesterday's birthday celebrations were so hectic that we didn't have time to drink the sparkling wine I had bought for the occasion. So we drank it tonight while watching a western.

Strawberry wine

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Tuesday, September 5 2006

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Happy Birthday Yuko!

Today was Yuko's birthday. I said "Happy Birthday!" Before leaving for work I asked Yuko if she wanted to open her present, or wait until the evening. She said she'd wait, so I left her present on the table.

I didn't believe she could wait all day without opening it, and my doubts were bolstered when I spoke to her on the phone at lunchtime. She was feeling it and speculating about what it might be. I was therefore surprised to find it still unopened when I arrived home.

We took Mother and went out to celebrate Yuko's birthday at a restaurant of Yuko's choosing - the Chinese place at Willoughby where they specialise in Peking Duck. We couldn't remember its name, and Mother was adamant that it was just called Peking Duck. I bet her $1.00 that this was not correct. I won the bet!

Mother pays up

The restaurant is actually called Grape Garden Peking Restaurant.

The Grape Garden

We didn't have the Peking Duck. Instead, Yuko wanted to order the hotpot - half spicy and half non-spicy. The spicy half was too spicy for Mother and me, although I tried a little of it.

Hot Pot

Then we went home and ate cake, and Yuko finally opened her presents.

Cake and presents

Mother insisted on taking some cake home because she didn't want us to get too fat.

Cake for Mother to take home

Buggy

Also today, I saw a buggy...

Buggy

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Monday, September 4 2006

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Free Stuff

Free to a good home...

Two lamps. Just pick them up from outside the Noswonky residence...

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Sunday, September 3 2006

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Rotting

Because today was Father's day, we decided not to go to Epitome or Bardeli's. In the past we have found that the cafes are too crowded on Mother's/Father's day.

Instead, we stayed home most of the day rotting, but we did have a nice breakfast. Yuko has a Tako Ball Maker (Octopus balls) and she used it to make non-Tako balls - basically pancakes in the shape of a ball...

Preparations
I helped with the pouring
When they were turned over, they were golden brown
Adding lemon

Walking

I went walking in the afternoon and saw that the Sydney Uni boat-shed, which was burned a few months ago, is at last being dismantled.

And I was at peace with the river...

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Saturday, September 2 2006

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Morning

In the morning, Belinda met a friend...

At Epitome, the weather was warm enough to sit outside. The balcony was closed so we sat in the plaza.

Yuko took pictures of me taking the coffee picture!

Taking the coffee picture.

Afternoon

Yuko suggested that we go to Lane Cove River Park to relax on the grass. But I suggested that we just go 50 metres down the road to TamBayRes - so we did.

Yuko in the park

I took my guitar and did some practice - something I don't get around to often enough. Yuko took a couple of hundred pictures of me!

Then we read books until sunset.

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Friday, September 1 2006

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River

Being one with the peace of the river...

...and fishing...

...are things I didn't do today.

Fat Oos

But I did see FATOOS...

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