Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm in Auckland, and I'm stressing out.

There is really no good reason for this, as I have been to the simulator countless times, and I am pretty sure I will remember my sequences... But I'm still stressing out, because I am a stress pot, and that's what stress pots do.  

29 minutes until we gather downstairs to face our doom, and I'm stressing out.  i could spend this time studying, but what?  if I don't know it already, it's too late, and maybe it doesn't help my stress levels that I gave pre-sim study a week instead of my normal month... *cue evil laugh*

I also forgot to water my mangoes.  Must remember to ask my housemate to give them a good soaking.  Apparently mangoes should alternate between extreme dry and extreme wet, so I figured once weekly watering would work well - this is of course assuming that I remember to water them once a week... Heh heh.

Well, they're building a gallows outside my cell, and I've got 25 minutes to go... 
And the whole town's waiting to hear me yell, I've got 24 minutes to go...
Well they gave me some beans for my last meal, with 23 minutes to go
But nobody asks me how I feel, with 22 minutes to go

And so on...

A very sensible song to listen to on a day like this!!!

we who are about to die salute you, etc. ad infinitum.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The first mango

It's finally sprouted!  I have to say I forgot to check the pots these last few days, so I don't know exactly how long it took.  But there it is!  In all its splendour and glory, and the second pot - that I planted one day later - has one small sprout and a cracking mound of earth where the second seed was buried.  

The two Kensington Pride mangoes were planted a few days later, and they have yet to appear.  I'm still hopeful!  These first two mangoes are from mono-embryonic seed which means they will grow one tree each, and the KP seeds are poly-embryonic.  Apparently you are supposed to keep the weKest seedling from each seed as these are most likely to be clones of the 'mother tree' !  Weird, huh?

In other news, on Friday I go to Auckland for my six monthly Inquisition / sim check, and today I need to start studying.  Last time I gave it about a month, and this time I'm giving it five days, so either I have come on in leaps and bounds and amazing, or else I am demotivated and just don't care enough.  I figure I'm amazing.

My macbook pro has chosen this stressful week in my life to give up the ghost, so i can't access any of my updated manuals.  Thankfully I do have the old ones on my ipad, so hopefully not too much has changed...  I am waiting for the apple store to get in a new hard drive so that I can get this thing fixed!  My life is worthless without a laptop...haha

Right, I must stop procrastinating and get back to work... 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Now that we've started this LCHF diet, eating is getting so much more complicated, although with the ingredients becoming much more simple.  We started this a few months ago, around the August mark, feeling bloated and lacking energy, and wondering whether some sort of change would actually help.  At the end of August, during our week in Cairns, the guy running the B&B enthusiastically shared with us all of his LCHF ideas, which were actually pretty much what we had decided to do all off our own bat.

For those who don't know, LCHF is "low carb, high fat" basically a 180 degree turn from what the majority of the medical and health people recommend, which is high carb, low fat, because apparently fat is bad and will kill you, and carbs are amazing.  Except that carbs spike your blood sugar and give you insulin problems and make you fat and all sorts of other things that really I don't want to go in to because let's face it, they're really boring.

So.  We started doing low carb for six days a week and eating whatever we liked on the seventh day, because, it's the day of rest, isn't it?  And cooking is wrong when you can go to KFC, even when by the end of day seven you feel like you are completely going to die, and couldn't possibly feel more sicker and bloated and please, just take away the carbs, I hate them already.  Obviously, six days later, all that I want is a big bag of chips.  My mind is self-contradictory like that, it's very confusing.

December was a massive washout, because it was Christmas.  Yes, it was Christmas all month, and besides, we had visitors, and also, I really like pancakes, and roast potatoes, and desserts, and chips, and all the other things that make me feel so horrible - and worse, make me stack back on all the weight that I lost between the end of August and the beginning of December.  Very depressing.

January 1 it all started again, and almost the whole way through January, I am now fairly enjoying it.  I'm enjoying doing research online to see what healthy gourmet meal I could try to cook up next, or whether I can find some low carb substitute for a carbohydrate.  (This is where the cauliflower rice comes in)  Some things, work, and some things blatantly don't (the kale chips were horrible, why is everybody raving about them???)

My newest attempt I stole (and slightly adapted) from , which she adapted from The Healthy Chef.  It's a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and it goes like this:

150g almond meal (luckily, almond meal comes in 150g packets)
3 tablespoons coconut oil (which I filched off N, and having asked in retrospect, she didn't mind)
2 tablespoons honey (also filched off N, but she stole mine first, so it's only fair)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I left this out, because I ran out, I do have a vanilla pod but I don't know how to use it)
50g 80% dark chocolate, chopped (I used 85% Green & Blacks, because it's awesome)
1-2 tablespoons water (2)
I also added 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal.

Mix it all together and shove it in the oven in little pressed down balls (it's crumbly) for 20 - 25 minutes at 150C.

Hey presto, healthy chocolate chip cookies.  Although technicality the honey is a carb, so we're only using these as treats.

Meals, we have the inevitable meat & veg options, butter chicken, chicken curry, chicken in a red pepper sauce, mince, etc.  Still considering what to cook tonight - these blogs I'm reading are amazing, but do I really want to stick a bunch of pate on a portobello mushroom and cover it with cheese?  I didn't think so.  You'll thank me tonight, Kurt.  

And I just blogged about food.  Deal with it, because there is nothing else going on in my life except this annoying allergy which is still not going away, and I'm done blogging about that.

TTFN !!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I am about to cut my arms off at the elbows and throw them out to the dogs.  I could easily just type with my nose or my toes.  I could show you how amazing I am at typing with my toes, except Kurt would throw all his toys out of his pram at the idea of my toes having been on my laptop - I didn't, okay?  I just said I could.

I've never been allergic to anything except for light, and that's just weird.  I went to a family reunion in Scotland way back when I was fifteen, and apparently the light in Scotland is different from in Ireland (a slightly different level of dismal) and my body reacted to the change in light intensity and I came out in an awesome rash.   Awesome now, that is, and absolutely freaking terrible then, as in, cut my arms and legs off at the roots, please, and burn them.

So I stole mangoes off my neighbour's tree, which is a Long Story, and I didn't mean to steal them, although I did mean to take them, but I thought it was abandoned, and it wasn't, and I'm really very sorry but I don't know what to do about it now.  So I'm eating them, and that reminds me, the garage is full of mangoes which are probably rotten because I forgot about them.  Oops.

So I was at this neighbour's tree, and I stood on this waste pile, and I tried to dig up a baby mango tree to keep as my own, and I fell through the pile up to my knee, and I'm either attributing that, or the mango tree, or sucralose, to the fact that I would really like to cut my arms off and sell them on ebay.

I'm allergic, people.

I'm allergic to something, and I'm not sure what.  But I am allergic, and it's really really really really really really really really really annoying.  Really.  Really.

Anyway the doctor says it's definitely an allergy and I haven't got golden staph or rabies or anything that requires fumigating the house.

Did I mention that I'm going to grow a mango tree?  Or, at the minute, grow six, but I'm not going to keep them all.  I'm also not going to grow any more.  They also haven't germinated yet, which is really annoying, even though google does say 1 - 3 weeks, they've been planted a whole 4 days, so come up already ! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's been awhile, and I'm sorry.

I'm becoming one of those unreliable bloggers, whose blogs I check every day, and for nothing.  It's really annoying, and I'm sorry.

Life has finally returned to normal, and really not much has happened since Jon & Sarah left, as we've just been relaxing and taking it easy.  We have reverted back to our crazy food ways, carbs just one day a week, and eating clean the rest of the time.  Google has created a monster, and I'm even trying weird foods to see what they're like.  No seafood, though, I'm not that crazy.

The first thing we tried this week was cauliflower rice.  Believe it or not, this actually works.  Unlike some people, I refuse to claim that it actually tastes like rice - it doesn't, it's cauliflower, not rice.  However, well blended in a food processor or even grated, and then fried for a couple of minutes to help reduce the moisture levels, it makes a pretty good alternative.  The recipe?  Well, just take however much cauliflower you want, fry it for three or four minutes, and add salt and pepper to taste.  It worked incredibly well with chicken curry, so I think this is going to become a staple food.  The texture is quite similar to rice.

Today, I am baking kale chips.  I have purple curly kale, the leaves of which I have torn into bite-size pieces.  I then tossed them with a very small amount of olive oil, sprinkled on salt, and then baked for eight minutes.

Some people claim that this makes them taste "just like crisps".  It doesn't.   They taste like crispy (not crunchy) kale, with salt sprinkles.  They are not offensive in taste, so I may do them again.  Apparently they can become addictive - we shall see.

I have also decided to grow a mango tree.

Originally, I was going to take what looked like a healthy mango seedling from the neighbour's rubbish pile.  However, it appears that what I thought was a mango seedling was actually a young branch off a larger seedling growing from right at the bottom of the heap - so it is impossible to get.  So, I have resolved to start from seed.

Google suggests that I clean the pit, dry it overnight in a dark place, then take the pit husk off the seed, and plant the seed concave side down about an inch under soil, and it should germinate in one to three weeks.  Easy, right?

Well… the mango pulp does not like to come off the pit, the pit does not like to dry out, and the pit husk really does not like to come off the seed.  And to add to that, having fought with the pit husk until my fingers are sore and I very nearly cut myself several times with the gardening shears which are the only thing strong enough to cut the husk… I find that the majority of the seeds are infested with mango stone weevils.

SO ANNOYING.  Excuse the capitals, I can't help it.

Twelve seeds down, and nine are destroyed by mango stone weevils.  You can google them if you want to know more about them.  Now, the mango stone weevils are destroyed by me, but that won't bring my seeds back *sobs*.  Revenge is still sweet.

I want ten good seeds, so that hopefully a few will germinate, and I can choose two healthy seedlings.  I will then give them six months, after which I will choose which of the two seedlings to keep as my own.  Awwww.

Assuming any survive at all.

Now I must go back to processing mango flesh, and cleaning pulp off the pits…

TTFN !!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Brisbane airport, 3000m in smoke, due to North Stradbroke Island burning. 

Apparently they evac'd a whole load of people from the island, but I haven't looked that up, so it's really only gossip factor...

Everyone in Brisbane was having to do instrument approaches due to the smoke, breaking visual at less than 1000' to go - we saw the lights at 800'.

Had a long first day back at work after almost 2 weeks off!  Diverted back into Brisbane with an indication problem - wasn't affecting the flight but would have grounded us in Moranbah due to a lack of engineers there.  So then had to do lots of extra flight planning - and factor in lots of extra storms and added passengers from another flight, which respectively required extra fuel and made us overweight...  busy times.  So, I got home around midnight (instead of 20:00.

Tomorrow is Sarah and Jon's last day here, and hopefully we can do something fun, although right now our plans are in disarray due to brunch with friends being cancelled, and my late finish.  I figure I'll wake up at some stage when I've had enough sleep, and go from there :)

and now I must sleep because it is almost 0100...  


Friday, January 3, 2014

I don't like seafood.

So last night, we went to a seafood restaurant, in Redcliffe.  The rest of the group adore seafood, and I thought oh that's fine, I'll have a steak...

However, it really affects steak when you see evil crab eyes that are staring back at you, and many-legged prawns and Moreton bay bugs... and when you try a piece of mango and find a prawn antennae stuck in your mouth...


I really don't like seafood.

I don't know why, I mean, it's pretty irrational.  I don't actually know what most seafood tastes like, but it smells, and seriously, why would you want to eat something like that?

Sarah took endless photos of it all.  Like, really, why would you want a photograph of something that gross?

I did try the breaded barramundi, but it tasted fishy.  I only like fish that isn't fishy, and it didn't take long for me not to be hungry any more, while the crack-crack-crack of crab legs and the slurp of gooey oysters went on all around me.

But, apparently it was very enjoyable to Kurt, Sarah & Jon, so that's good.

Next time, I get to pick the venue.

The End.

PS  I might even attach a photo of the gruesomeness once Sarah uploads the pictures from her camera !

Thursday, January 2, 2014


It's 2014, folks.

Where did 2013 go?  It seems only yesterday that it was 2012.  Although, now that I say it, 2012 seems far away too...  but 2013.  Seriously?  Gone already?  I used to think that it was a ridiculous idea to say that time speeds up the older you get, but maybe it's true.

Because it's 2014.

And besides, I thought the world would have ended by now.

It hasn't.  Not in Australia, anyway.  Are the rest of you still here too?

My sick leave has officially expired, and I can go back to work.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing...  I'm on reserve today, and hoping that this means I get another day off.

Sarah & Jon have gone into the CBD (city) today on the train, to do what tourists do, and I am remaining at home.  I forget why, but I'm sure there was a good reason at the time.

Yesterday, we went to the Eumundi Markets, up by Noosa, and although I have been once before, it was still fun looking at all of the different stalls.  I bought a red leather bracelet for myself, and a lemongrass candle for Kurt.  Although technically he bought both of them, it's the thought that counts... *evil laugh*

Then we went to the beach, pausing on the way to help an old lady who fell over on the road.  We dropped her back at her hotel, which happened to be on the way to the beach, and had quite an interesting time in the car on the way.  She is over in Australia visiting her son (and his awful girlfriend)  who apparently dislikes her from a misunderstanding but she's just the worst woman in the world and I positively hate her... etc.  Apparently she is infamous in England (where she's from) for fighting for more pensions and stuff like that.  Who knows, anyway it was funny!

The beach was disgustingly hot.  As in, keep-your-flip-flops(ie jandals, thongs, etc.)-on hot because otherwise the soles of your feet will burn in seconds, and you will dance across the sand like you're on fire.  The sea was flat calm which was so nice for swimming, but sad at the same time because we wanted to use my new body board in the non-existent waves.

I managed to break one of my new years resolutions on day one, which made me very annoyed.  We're trying to eat clean again after a terrible month of stuffing our faces over the Christmas period, and so I was trying to search out a nice salad.  Managed to find one at an exorbitant price of 30 dollars, and finally decided just to eat it... only to find afterwards there was a 7 dollar service charge because it was a public holiday, and the sparkling water cost 7 dollars as well!  Quite disgusted by the whole thing, but oh well, I'm sure I will survive.  By the way, the new years resolution broken was not the clean eating, it was trying to budget.  Let's not go there.

My plans for the weekend have been spoilt by my housemate announcing that it is forecast 40 degrees with a low of 26 at night... ouch.

Tomorrow is a day off, as I may have mentioned before... haven't decided what we will do, but if we do anything I will try to remember to take photos!

Anyway, happy 2014 !!!