Entries from September 2010 ↓
September 28th, 2010 — Orange, Work
The room my team and I are in at work is often referred to as the Orange Room … for obvious reasons … my desk for starters. Other than my team of 2-3 as it has grown to in the last year, an extra can fit – and we’ve had a stream of them in that time. I’ve collected up a few Room Rules as we’ve cycled through people and got a reputation for being quite upfront about communicating them on someone’s first day sitting in the room! One poor guy ended up changing his eating habits to salad for fear of breaking the ‘smelly lunch’ rule … much to his partner’s delight.
So another new person arrived in the room this week – a Xero old-timer but has never shared a workspace with me. By now there were rumours of the rules being documented and the person vacating the desk next to me said he couldn’t get away fast enough. So I welcomed our new room buddy with an emailed copy of the rules, which I circulated around the whole office to show just how real they were, and so far so good. He’s been a very quiet and well-behaved neighbour and he’s had rather a lot of visitors and sympathy – people coming to see him to make sure he’s OK!
This morning I got to work and after him telling me yesterday that he could only abide by 2 of the 11 rules, I found that he’d printed them and stuck them up on the wall. Good man!
They are fairly unreasonable:
And a joke of course!!
September 28th, 2010 — Wannabe chef, Work
The Mister lost a bet at work and had to provide a cheesecake. He reckoned he’d build a feature with 10 bugs or less but Susanne from the Quality Assurance team had her doubts – 10 bugs or less and she would provide a cheesecake, more than 10 bugs, The Mister would. There were 11 bugs.
So we made cheesecake on Sunday. The Mister unveiled it for a dev team afternoon tea yesterday. Susanne was thrilled with it and The Mister received many compliments on how wonderful it was.
There were a couple of requests for the recipe so here you go.
10-12 plain digestive biscuits (of if you’re in the States, 15 graham crackers)
3 TBSP melted butter
900g cream cheese
1.5 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 TBSP vanilla essence
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 175C (or 350F). Grease a 24cm (9in) spring form tin
Crush the digestives finely in a food processor and mix with melted butter until they look like wet crumbs, but not clumping together. Press into the bottom of the tin with the back of a spoon.
In a large bowl (if your hand-held blender can cope with it!) or a food processor/mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in milk and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. (It’s at this time I pour everything out of the food processor into a bowl and use the hand-mixer because the processor is getting rather full and leaving unbeaten cream cheese on the bottom.) Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour (I sprinkle it from a little sieve) until smooth.
Pour filling onto the crust and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
After an hour turn the oven off and leave the cheese cake to cool in the oven without opening the door for 5 to 6 hours to prevent the top from cracking. Store in the fridge.
September 28th, 2010 — Random thoughts
First time I’ve seen this concept of a ‘flipper bridge’ joining 2 countries where each drives on a different side of the road. Have heard the terminology at work in terms of ‘flipper accounts’ which I guess is the same really – an account that changes between being a debit or credit account for reporting purposes – like a credit card.
Anyway, this pic of the proposed bridge between Hong Kong and China looks very cool and there’s a bit of a write up about in on the Fast Company website.
September 24th, 2010 — Orange, What I've been doing
Was rather excited on the way home today to see Rocktober posters pasted up on the poster poles in Cuba Mall – not long now until 1 October!
Here’s a photo from the latest band practice – now happening in a proper recording studio and not in a meeting room at one of the guys’ offices – very orange – might have to get down there for a look!
September 23rd, 2010 — Out and about
There’s no doubt Wellington has had a lot of rain this year, not that we were here for the start of winter! However, before we get fully into spring, we’re being treated to some gorgeous blue, albeit freezing, days. Hard to imagine that the rest of the country is having rain and wind that’s causing huge power outages in the north and so much snow roofs are collapsing in the south – for once Wellington is some kind of oasis instead of that narrow part of the weather funnel dealing with every kind of weather trying to escape through the gap between the north and south islands.
So there have been loads of photos posted on Twitter the last couple of days showing how blue and beautiful Wellington can be. I joined in. My photo from yesterday was this:
And today I went out with The Mister and friend to watch them play catch:
The psychology and pleasure of catch is somewhat unknown to me but it seemed that it boiled down to who could throw hardest. I was allowed to throw to Simon, sure it kind of plopped in front of him due to the distance between him and The Mister being so vast, but they said I didn’t throw that bad for a girl!
September 14th, 2010 — Wannabe chef
Home alone on nights The Mister is out at band practice means I can have whatever I want for dinner – haven’t yet given in to peanut butter on toast followed by ice-cream but there’s a few weeks left of band practice left!
Look what I made tonight! And it even stayed stuck together in it’s shape! We saw a little bit of a broccoli cous couse thing someone made on Top Chef last week, didn’t see how it was made, just their pile of fine broccoli shavings and the finished product. So I tried it.
I ‘shaved’ the broccoli flowerettes & grated the left-over stalks on the parmesan grater to get a pile of green ‘sprinkle’ that I left to soak with the cous cous so that it would cook a bit
Then added some chopped parsley and cooked garlic, pressed it into a non-stick pie mold and left it upside down for a while in the hope it would slip out – a couple of taps on the bottom and it did!
It tasted OK, although next time I might use more salt and garlic – you could taste the broccoli but the taste of cous cous was just a bit too prominent.
Still, healthier than peanut butter on toast I’m sure!
September 12th, 2010 — Out and about
Everywhere you go around central Wellington at the moment there are diggers and cones and holes and muddy patches – guess we’re sprucing up the town for the rugby world cup next year? Obviously there’s a lot of activity around Manners Street for the new bus route but I’ve notice work elsewhere as well. God I just hope they’re not putting more slippery cobbles everywhere – black asphalt may be ugly but so wonderfully practical.
September 10th, 2010 — What I've been doing
Before posting about my 4th stint on jury service this week I looked back at my last week of service – it’s all pretty much the same! I had to spend 2 mornings there this week – Monday and Thursday, both days was balloted into the jury room and on Thursday was called up to be juror no. 12. The closest seat, the shortest possible walk-time for the lawyers to scrabble through their lists to find my name then check me out. As I approached the jury box the lawyers were giving me the once-over as they normally do so I returned in kind: I made full, stony-faced eye-contact first with the defense lawyer, then with the crown lawyer before approaching the box and using an almost imperceptible shake of my head declined the bible being offered with as much disdain as was socially acceptable and then taking a step up to my seat. “Challenge defense!” Oh! Guess my stare-down worked. For whatever reason I reckon that put them off – probably thought I was some kind of staunch, no-nonsense ‘modern’ bitch of a woman who would have no mercy and no likelihood of wavering on a guilty verdict. Either that or they saw my Xero t-shirt and decided that I was a goody-goody brown-nosing my employer, eager to please and given the larger number of women on the jury already would be easily swayed to their way of thinking and would side with a guilty verdict no matter if I had my own doubts.
There was a massive wait on Thursday, over an hour, while a previous trial finished and the 40 of us waiting for the jury box ballot just had to sit in the waiting room and not leave the premises. Hmmm, right over morning tea time. Out came the milk arrowroots (plain cookies). I really wanted a coffee. So I tweeted thinking one of my followers might work nearby and could deliver a coffee. The Mister tweeted back that he’d do it! Couldn’t believe it and texted him not to as I was beginning to get nervous that we’d be called into the jury room while I was ‘illegally’ outside getting the coffee. However, next minute I got a text that he was outside! So I formed what I’d say in my head if the court attendant asked me where I was going when I got to the lift (cigarette break (those people were allowed outside!)) and also what I’d say if someone asked me if I went all the way around to Fuel to get it (was outside for a cigarette break when a friend walked by, we got chatting, I was lamenting the lack of good coffee so they offered me theirs, oh how nice!) braced myself, and set off downstairs. No-one stopped me, it was great to see The Mister unexpectedly, no-one asked me where I’d been when I got back and the coffee was goooooood. So I didn’t have to lie in court!
There was the same collection of people as previous visits, people who I’ve come to think of as those in our city who don’t have anywhere else to be or aren’t so important that they can’t give up a couple of mornings a week to sit around waiting. I know that’s a dreadful generalisation but that’s what it feels like. It’s totally different than any of the other ‘public’ activities and meetings/conferences I’ve been to lately – no tapping away on laptops (I think there was 1 in the group of 130-ish people) and a handful of iPhones. It struck me as rather ironic (if that’s the right way to use this word Castle (!)) that the jury attendance induction DVD had a whole section specifically on the importance of attending jury service, what you learn by taking part with testimonials from people who’ve done it and said it was interesting and an important part of keeping our democratic society going … they should put that online or send out the DVD to people with the summons! If we showed up to do jury service we probably already realise all that so the message is wasted on us! They need to get some fresh blood in there!
A couple of people of note – the 3 ladies that brought along knitting the second day and formed some kind of knitting club (am SO doing that next time) and the woman that sat near me very loudly sucking her way through an entire packet of Mentos lollies, bashing them against her teeth and slurping. I cannot believe she didn’t realise the sound was audible outside of her own head!
September 7th, 2010 — Orange, Urban family, Woollen things
Got this awesome series of pictures at the weekend of Aidan wearing the mittens I knitted him. Apparently he loves them. He wore them to bed the first night and when Dean got home, told him “They’re to keep my hands warm Daddy.” And showed them very proudly to Nana the next day “Cathy knitted them for me”. Awwww so cute!
September 7th, 2010 — Pussy cats
Matt’s partner is baking her way through hundred’s of cupcakes in order to find the perfect recipe for their wedding cupcake tower next year. Lucky for us, there are often cupcakes going spare and we’ve sampled some of the non-chocolate offerings – the latest raspberry ones are absolutely delicious and so soft! There’s nothing nicer than arriving at work to a cupcake on your desk … however this backfired the other day because Matt was testing something on Twitter and uploaded a cupcake photo – The Mister called out to me from reading Twitter “Ooooh, Lizzie is baking cupcakes again!” Next morning I was sent off to work with no morning tea in my lunch bag because he told me there was bound to be a cupcake on my desk … he had the most crest-fallen face when there wasn’t one. Supermarket biscuits are absolutely no substitute for a cupcake surprise. Matt felt pretty bad and said he’d take more care with his choice of ‘old’ photos to upload in future and I felt pretty embarrassed that The Mister had been that presumptuous – we don’t even know Lizzie that well!
Anyway, Lizzie’s batch this week caught the eye (and nose) of Scooby – Matt managed to get this great photo!