Friday, January 30, 2009

still cooking

over 50C with the wind chill (so basically it "feels" like 50C outside). the air conditioning at work decided not to work properly the past 2 days. at least it worked a bit. it was still nicer than outside. after i got home this afternoon i bathed the dog (just a cool water, no soap bath) and then got in the shower myself while wombat banged around in her dog house outside, rubbing her face and body on her doona in there. as soon as i got out of the shower, the phone rang. i figured it was zac so i grabbed my towel and went into the laundry room to grab it. it was zac. while i was on the phone with him i glanced out the back door to see the dog was no longer in her house but was in the garden BEHIND the fence i put around the tomatoes, chewing on grass (i guess the grass was greener there then the part of the garden she's allowed in). i wasn't sure how she got back there and figured she'd need help getting out. i was standing in a towel with wet feet and talking on the phone. not really in a position to help. next thing i know she's rubbing her body along the twig-like fencing thing i've put up in front of the steel fence to try to keep some heat out of our yard. that thing is soooooo dusty. then she started rolling around in the grass and dirt in the garden (she was still wet from her bath too). i got off the phone so i could get sandals and try to rescue her. while i was getting my flip flops she just hopped the (fairly high) fence. i put her back in the tub and gave her another bath (with lots of scrubbing to get the dirt all out). by the time i finished her i was sweaty and sticky and the tub was filled with dirt so i decided i had to have another shower while rinsing the tub. when i got out i looked at the time and realized i'd just spent almost half an hour just getting ready to get comfortable and relax with the dog in front of the evapourative cooler.
public transport is free today (connex's way to try to make it up to the public after cancelling 200 trains the other day and over 300 yesterday). trams are doing ok but apparently running behind schedule. we may try to take our tram down to middle park or st. kilda for a swim tonite (only on an air conditioned tram though). or we may just use our $15 credit we have each month with flexicar and hire a car from 11 pm where it'll only cost us 1 hr ($13.95) to have it up til 7am.
tomorrow is only supposed to be 35C. i'm excited about that. nice and "cool" again.

ok. it took me 20 min to type this (i got distracted by the dog). a "cool" change has arrived again! now to get that air in the house:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

oh sooooo hot!

i've survived a good part of the first ridiculously hot day (although i think the next 15 hours are gonna be the worst of it, trying to sleep and live with no a/c in a very warm house-- at work at least we had a/c). check out that "wind chill" (49.4C)-- and that's after 6pm. fortunately they're now saying saturday is only getting to 35C instead of a 4th day of over 40. i'm still a little concerned about the dog in this heat though she's been coping with it fairly well. i won't be able to come home for lunch tomorrow because it'll probably be too warm to safely bike the 1.5km each way without pushing myself towards heat stroke so wombat will hopefully be ok without one of us wetting her down mid-day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

even more heat

i just looked at the forecast. it's been updated. (today is still gonna get to 38C)

wednesday: Min 25 Max 41

Min 26 Max 40

Min 24 Max 40

Min 24 Max 40

Min 23 Max 31

Min 23 Max 30

i don't mind the hot days (though 4 days in a row 40+ might be getting to be a little tooo much-- especially since the "wind chill" will make it even hotter). hot nites don't work for me. i don't sleep well. i may have to figure out how to put my inflatable mattress in the yard without it getting a hole from our mostly paved yard. i'd probably sleep better out there even if the sun gets me up at 7 or so.

Monday, January 26, 2009

nothing but hot

this weeks weather forecast looks like this:

Min 16 Max 38

Min 25 Max 39

Min 26 Max 40

Min 24 Max 35

Min 21 Max 34

tonite's the only nite it's gonna be below 20 until probably next sunday nite! not sure what to do with the dog. tomorrow and wednesday i will hopefully be done work just after lunch so i can be with her and cool her down. thursday and friday we start with kids. i think i'm gonna have to ride home in the heat at lunch to wet her down. hopefully that will be enough (both our house and yard are gonna be WAY too hot for her). maybe zac can take her into work with him (in a work car since she won't be able to walk home on the hot pavement in the afternoon).

Friday, January 23, 2009


i'm not sure why but i decided i wanted to bake even though it's 30C outside and more than that inside (before i turned the oven on). i really wanted to make these savory muffins. cheezly is kind of expensive so i decided to use some home-made vegan cheese for the cheese that goes in the batter and then use cheezly for the topping cheese. they are SOOOOO good. i could just eat the whole batch now (they haven't even cooled) so i'm hoping when zac gets home he'll eat a couple so i don't end up eating all of them.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


just after i typed the last post the cool change arrived!!!! (well it arrived while i typed-- i actually heard the wind change but i thought it had just picked up again but it was the change coming in!). it went from 40C to 28C in 15 min. i love that. all the windows and doors are wide open and the wind is blowing through. sooooooo nice. i will sleep good tonite!!

over 40

we've finally topped the 40C mark for this year (and if you notice the wind "chill" temp in the right column it's almost 47C!!!!). fortunately i only worked til 1 so i am home keeping the dog from getting heat stroke this afternoon. i wish she would sit in front of the evapourative cooler. even on the lowest setting it's soooo nice and then we'd be fine with leaving her home all day (although spending a lot on electricity for the dog). at work this morning i mentioned that riding a bike is actually kinda nice in heat because you do get a cool breeze. then i mentioned the one time i remember it not being nice (and of course i got lost that day too, making my ride even longer)-- new years eve a few years ago. it was a HOT wind and i could feel the heat coming off the cars and pavement. when i went to ride home today(having to make a slight detour to the shops) it felt like that new years eve (and after looking at the temperature, it actually is very similar)-- HOT wind blowing hard (in my face for the detour bit). i got home and was greeted by a panting dog. i could hear a noise and realized our central cooling was on. it doesn't actually cool the house but cold air blows out of the vents. i hope that wasn't on long because i'm sure it uses a lot of electricity (and doesn't really do a lot). we must have never turned off the central heating at its power point outside-- the cooling kicks in i think when the house gets over 35C or something but its useless so we just turn off the central heating until autumn and we quit getting super hot days.
the dog has now been soaked down and i'm sitting in front of the cooler moving away from it as little as possible until the cool change arrives.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


we were reading in bed last nite and i heard the dog stretch. i looked over and this is how she was sleeping (it's a bit hard to tell in the photo but her bed is about 15 cm high so her head was flopping down a fair bit). she stayed like that for 15 or 20 minutes (that's when i took the photo). she probably would have stayed like that for a lot longer but when the flash flickered multiple times to help the camera focus in the low lite she stretched and lifted her head so it was resting right on the edge of her bed.
her belly is sooooooo black too!!! somebody has been sun-baking a little too much (in winter it's pink). i don't know if we should maybe be putting sunscreen on her (she doesn't have fur on most of her ears and her belly and when it's not too hot she sprawls out on her side in the sun).
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


i just had the best vegan quesadilla. first i made this queso. the queso recipe calls for "rotel or other diced tomato and green chili mixture". we don't have that here on oz (i didn't look very hard but mexican type foods are pretty limited here). i ended up just blending up some tomato with a few pieces of pickled jalapeno pepper slices-- worked really nicely. then i spread some refried beans and a layer of queso on top of a tortilla. i placed another tortilla on top and put it in a hot fry pan (flipping once to brown both sides nicely and warm the inside up). i topped it with some homemade guacamole from the worst looking avocado (it was still hard and green when i cut it open and it stuck to the stone but tasted really nice once it was blended up with some garlic, lemon juice and a bit of dried chilli).
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the past 24+ hours i've had to try to control the temperature in our house (or at least keep the dog cool). our house is not heat friendly (also not cold friendly). yesterday morning we had to make sure all the windows and doors were shut (after leaving them open all nite to get the house nice and cool) and blinds down on the sunny side of the house. i took the dog for an early walk (zac takes her about 8 and then i took her again before 10 knowing there would be no chance for her to go out again cuz of the heat). the house managed to stay cooler than outside (i'm sure it was still over 30C in the house) until mid afternoon. then i had to open all the doors and windows and put the blinds down on the other side of the house to try to manage the heat. the dog got sprayed down a couple times to keep her from overheating (she was doing quite well most of the day though and didn't start panting while laying down until late afternoon and wetting her down repeatedly seemed to fix that). it didn't even get down to 30C overnite!! i actually slept better than i normally do during hot nites but the poor dog was restless (wouldn't sleep on her bed and just kept getting up and wandering around trying to find a cool spot). it was supposed to get up to 39C today but the cool change has come (the big drop at the end of the red temp graph above)!!!!!! the house is still ridiculously hot (even with all the windows and doors open to let the nice cool southerly wind blow thru) but it should all be good in a couple hours.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

bit of spice

i discovered a great thing a couple weeks ago: chilli beer. when we drove back from paynesville we finally remembered to actually stop at this beer store in some small town that has a big sign out front advertising that they sell over 100 different beers. we picked up a couple raspberry ones (which were no where near as good as the berry ones we had in canada) and a couple chilli ones. the first chilli beer i had made me just wanna eat corn chips (and unfortunately the 7-11 down the road doesn't sell plain doritos so i just had to finish the beer on its own). the other chilli beer was supposed to be zac's but i told him if he couldn't appreciate it that he needed to give it to me. he didn't really like it so i got it (and we had doritos already opened for me to use). i emailed the company to find out where in melbourne we could get more chilli beer. their response wasn't very helpful (just gave me the name of their main distributor here but i couldn't find out which stores that it was actually in). i tried to do a search and found a lot of beer review websites where people said how horrible the chilli beer was (a few said it was drinkable but not great). i really like it. zac managed to find some in melbourne for me-- the bottle shop in st. kilda that specializes in their HUGE international beer range (i can't remember what the shop is called). they also have a small australian micro brew range which includes the sunshine coast brewery's chilli beer!!
i'm actually gonna try making some with my next batch of beer. i think i just need to get some little red chillis, cut a slit in them and put 1 per bottle (i'll only make a half dozen as a trial). i should probably look up info on making chilli beer but i'm pretty sure that's all that they do. it's not an everyday (or multiple beer/day) sort of drink but its a good beer to go with a salty snack.
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it can be a bit frustrating trying to use north american (or any other country/region) cookbooks in oz because not all the ingredients are available here. i have learned to omit things or alter recipes to fix this problem but sometimes it would be nice to just be able to get what i need.
i decided to make a stir fry for dinner last nite using a teriyaki sauce in one of my cookbooks (eat, drink and be vegan). the sauce called for molasses. i went up to the supermarket to get a few things including the molasses. i assumed the molasses would be in the baking isle since the only times i've ever used it was for pumpkin pies and cookies. i searched the entire isle. no molasses. then i thought maybe the sauce isle. not there either. then i wandered the store trying to find an employee. that took a while. i found 2 employees together and asked them. the guy just looked at me blankly. the woman thought about it for a few seconds then said "i know i've heard of it. what do you usually use it for?". when i said baking she said to try that isle. i told her i did. i decided just to give up. i knew i'd seen it somewhere in oz (and zac's mum uses it when she makes vegan pumpkin pie) but obviously not at safeway. i decided to try pedimonte's since i needed to go that way to return a library book anyway. i found it!! and they had 2 or 3 brands!! it was in the sugar area of the baking isle (i also learned that molasses is made from sugarcane). i might just have to re-check safeway near the sugar to see if it is actually there (not that i'll need any more for a LONG time).

Monday, January 12, 2009

another festival

within hours after i missed out on meredith tickets zac found out about all tomorrow's parties. and the most exciting part (for him anyway) was that it was being curated by nick cave (one of zac's favourite artists). i'm pretty happy we went to this over meredith this year (with 54 hours of non-stop rain and COLD weather, i don't think i would have enjoyed meredith much). atp was great-- and it was on mt buller (i'd never been to the mountains in victoria before). the only problem with atp was that the music was set between 2 stages and the band's time-slots overlapped slightly (and you had to go up and down a hill to go back and forth) but after looking at how atp was lined up for the cockatoo island and brisbane shows, victoria definitely had the best one. it was tricky trying to figure out when to eat and go back to the room for more layers in the evening though.
we only brought our semi-working point and shoot camera (which was probably a good thing cuz security was VERY strict on EVERYTHING and i think i would have been told i couldn't use my slr without a permit). the pictures weren't great (and we gave up on taking band pictures after trying a few with grinderman-the mystery act).

zac's attempt at taking photos while the screen on the camera isn't working:
the amphitheatre stage: the main stage (as seen from the chair lift):

almost all the bands were really good to amazing. i really liked f**k buttons and the dirty 3 but almost everything was good.

one of the views (near our accommodation):
before we left, we decided to take one of the really long chair lift rides just to see the view (we were gonna go on a short hike that morning but it was quite foggy and didn't clear up until just as we were leaving):

Friday, January 02, 2009

it's not just me

i have been freezing a good part of this year (i think there was about 6 hours yesterday afternoon where i was ok. i thought it was just me but it actually is pretty cold (i know its not cold compared to canada right now but its cold for me here). 10 degrees early this morning!!! fortunately its gonna warm starting tomorrow and be near 30 the next couple days after that. i think this summer is gonna be "cold" like my first summer here unless it starts warming up in the next couple weeks and we have a really hot february.
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my 100

the 100 list (or 99 sometimes) has been making its rounds on several blogs. here's my 100 (bold are things i've done, italicized are things i'd like to do)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea. (over a lake, yes)
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Visited Statue of Liberty
19. Seen the Mona Lisa
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (I saw the people from the community at a mcdonalds….but not the actual community they live in)
36. Taught myself a new language (want to teach myself Spanish, I have cds. And a Colombian co-worker who teaches us a few words and songs)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (I will only do the YMCA song and only with a large group though. And pretty much exclusively when I worked for the YMCA)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – not a meal in a restaurant but sandwiches and things
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (I’ve had a cheque bounce when I’ve tried to cash it though)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades (possibly when I was almost 1 year old but I don’t remember)
75. Been fired from a job (been layed off because of lack of funding)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed an animal and ate it.
88. Had chickenpox (on Halloween when I was 5)
89. Saved someone’s life
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant