too many sneakers saturday shopping

sneaker boy
Today accidentally became about buying all the sneakers.

It started out fairly regularly, I got up, tidied the apartment, got ready, Ma arrived, we did the shopping... and I bought about a billion tons of vegetables so that I can make a gigantic stew tomorrow for lunch next week.

After the supermarket portion, we did a loop around Target and I finally got around to getting some new dress pants. I do wonder if I should have gotten the ones which were a thicker fabric, but we'll see how I go with these ones.

Then after we came back here, did the usual unpacking and decided on a quick trip to Arndale in search of a kettle. And of course, the order of the day was shiny and red... because red. And I've already tested it out this afternoon and it works pretty well.

There was also a brief detour to EB Games where I grabbed a couple more Adventure Time blind box tins... of course it turned out they they had a special deal on them, and I ended up with two for not that much more than the price of one. Also, I got a Finn and Jake to go with my Fionna and Cake (well, kind of, a Jake tin and Finn figure, whereas I have a Fionna tin, etc).

Anyway, by the time we were leaving Arndale it had started raining... but it was actually a pretty brief shower and by the time we got back to my place it had stopped.

We were going to call it a day there, but Ma realised she had a catalogue for Paul's Warehouse (of the shoes) in her bag, and very unhelpfully I then remembered that I'd seen an ad on TV last night for them and had though about heading over to see if they actually had stock in this time after the disaster of our last visit.

While I appreciate the whole "buy one, get one free" ethos of the place, it could seriously do with a serious bout of organisation. Like for example, I'd screw the whole "sorted by style" tables, and replace them with "sorted by size" which would be a lot more useful.

I'd rather look through one table full of the correct size than six different tables to try and find something in my size, especially because my size must either be a very popular or unpopular one, because there aren't really all that many to choose from.

Although I did end up with ten possible pairs to chose from... and that's not including the ones that were seriously too ugly to live.

all the shoes
What I did find was a new pair of my beloved red sneakers... yaaay! And then the grey and orange pair and the blue and grey pair... the slightly garish grey, red and yellow pair will be my morning walk pair, so they don't offend the general populace with their garishness.

Yes, it was excessive, but given that I got all four pairs for the same price that two full price pairs would have cost me, plus it means that it will be a while before I have to go back and look for more.

I also think I made the day of one of the wandering teenage boys employed by Paul's to wander around. I previously thought that they had to put a code on the shoeboxes so that you got the discount... but I realised what they're actually doing is putting their own code on their so that they get credited for the sale... which explains why, after we've had no actual assistance from them, they're always very happy to write the code on the boxes as we're heading to the checkout (and why they ask you if anybody helped you out I guess). But I think this particular wandering teen had only just rocked up for his shift and with my giant haul would have been something of a coup.

So that was it... although we did manage to kill about an hour all up... and Ma just dropped me off outside my apartment and went on her merry way since there wasn't any point for her to come all the way upstairs and then go all the way down again.

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photo friday: brick transport

lego icebreakerdo you wanna blow the deathstar?

by the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane? just because the instructions build a juice bar doesn't mean you can't do your own thing
It's been a somewhat intense week... or at least a busy one from a work perspective.

On Sunday I tried out my new teapot and teacup... the cup is great, the teapot looks like it will have a bad habit of dribbling tea all over the place unless you pour very quickly. But it took me until the second cup to really work that out... so essentially I got tea everywhere.

I also moved some stuff around so that I could find a spot for the giant Labyrinth framed poster... but it does mean that my IKEA lamp is now in a totally different spot (more in the corner) and not producing as much light. Which actually is possibly a good thing, but will just take a little while to get used to.

And I put a couple of other pieces up... and remembered another poster that I've had sitting around rolled up since I bought it several years back... not that I have the faintest idea where it could possibly go at this stage, but I wouldn't mind getting it flattened out in a frame if nothing else.

Then at the end of the day I made a gigantic pot of tomato (and potato and bacon) soup for lunch all week, and I still have a couple of containers of it left over. I must remember to post the recipe, because while there is some degree of hovering around the stove the whole time, it's actually a pretty damn simple soup, even though I tweaked the recipe with a little chilli and have spent the week wishing I hadn't used quite so much.

I've also been on a bit of an Adventure Time binge of late... which is a little odd, given that when I originally watched the first couple of episodes I just flat out didn't get it... but like with many things of a televisual nature, I was slightly worn down by Tumblr a little, as well as the fact that I kept catching the odd episode here and there and quite enjoying them. Once I kind of got into it and the show really started getting good, I pretty much got obsessed.

So I've now worked my way through the whole series to date. And then earlier this week I went in search of Adventure Time related tchotchkes... which resulted in a Fionna tin and Cake blindbox figure... and then after looking in three different stores for some AT playing cards, I ended up buying them online (and may or may not consider turning them some of them into more artwork if I can work out what the hell to do with them, along with a 350 page art book.

I do feel a little like every time I get one of my parcels in the mail, there's another thing being ordered to replace it... which makes it sound worse than it really is, but somebody really needs to take my ability to do online shopping away from me at certain times. Although my greatest addiction at the present is teeshirts.

Likewise I've had a slight obsession with getting my hands on some steel cut oats this week... and thankfully a Google search plus a trip to the supermarket turned up the fact that Uncle Tobys have them in their range now... so that's going to be breakfast on Sunday... and then possibly I may try making up a giant batch to portion out and have all week... maybe also with some chunky stewed apple if I'm feeling inspired.

It was also really, really good to get to see my chiro again this week... ever since a particularly... massage orientated date... just after my last appointment, my back has been a little problematic, but a quick session at the chiro and I was all good again.

Like I said at the top, this week has been somewhat intense work-wise... not necessarily difficult, although it's had it's moments (especially given that various people have been away at various points during the week, and often multiple people on the same day), it's just more been that there has been a steady stream of things that have required my full attention and also a number of things that I wish didn't require any of my attention. Fortunately I got through 99% of them, and that was with a meeting that seemed to take up most of the morning this morning.

I also discovered that while I tried making fried rice once before and did a hideous job, ending up with a giant pan full of gluggy mess, if I don't really think about it and just grab some thing at random from the supermarket, I can actually make a pretty damn kickass fried rice with prawns and fresh peas and bacon bits. I still haven't got the flavouring quite completely balanced yet (thankfully though I under-seasoned rather than over-seasoned).

Oh, and I booked tickets to the next Unseen Theatre Company production, Small Gods, which should be interesting as this will be the first Discworld play from them since the death of Terry Pratchett.

And here I was thinking that this was going to be a short post...

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surgical strike saturday shopping

spacegirl shopper
Today was the shopping equivalent of a surgical strike... if a surgical strike leads to buying a whole bunch of stuff.

I wasn't exactly running late this morning, but I did have to tidy up the kitchen before I could get ready myself, since it was a bit of a disaster area. So as usually happens, I was headed downstairs just as Ma got here.

The supermarket safari was much the same as usual... although maybe slightly more random things than usual.

And while our regular checkout girly was working, she had a line up by the time we were done, so we hit the other checkout instead... and the checkout girl asked if we were the ones who made the Christmas chocolates... which was totally out of left field, but it turned out that she was the older sister of our regular girly. It is indeed a small world. Also, bag packing skills are clearly hereditary in that family, because Big Sis packs a mean bag of groceries too.

We had a bit of a wander around Target... I still didn't find new pants. Well, to be honest, I didn't really look because I couldn't really be bothered trying them on and I hadn't remembered to check what size the old ones are. I also wanted some new slip on shoes, but the ones they had were either boring or not in my size.

I did discover that they had a big teacup and saucer as well as a teapot in the same range as the crockery I bought last year, so I snapped them up... because it really is a big ass teacup and perfect for Sunday breakfast tea.

Then it was back here for the usual unpacking before we headed off to Haighs to see what their post-Easter discounts looked like. Not too bad as it happens... they weren't flush with broken Easter eggs, which is usually what I'm looking for at this time of year, but they did have a lot of broken Easter ducks and some of the dark chocolate honeycomb eggs. Plus it's marshmallow season at Haighs, which is always a drawcard.

From there it was off to the framing place to pick up both my framed Labyrinth 2 poster, the Joshua Smith flamenco dancer I got Ma for Christmas and a couple of other bits and pieces. The Labyrinth piece looks AMAZING. It is completely gigantic and I have absolutely no idea where the fuck I'm going to actually put the damn thing, but it was just too damn pretty to leave rolled up in the tube.

But it's decidedly the largest piece of artwork that I now own. And while I still think that the acid green colour would have been amazing, it looks fantastic with the black matt and the white frame.

Given that the car was now officially crammed full of chocolate and picture frames, we brought everything back here, before heading back out again.

Ma wanted to hit IKEA briefly for more frames... yes, we both have a serious problem... so we did the hit and run version of an IKEA trip... went in the exit, grabbed what we needed and then left. I also wanted some more Command hooks, and there's a new hardware store, Masters, that has opened next door to IKEA. Turns out that it's owned by Woolworths (or at least I was given some Woolies vouchers by the cute but dopey checkout boy) and essentially just like Bunnings, but blue and not green.

After a quick sausage sizzle break (because sausage sizzle), we then headed around to Harbourtown so I could look at the Bonds store and Ma could look at handbags (again). We actually got a car park right next to the entrance by the Bonds store and I did that while Ma went and looked at bags.

I came away with a striped knitted sweater, another pullover hoodie and a new pair of trackpants. And Ma found her bag. That was literally all we did... no detours, no additional little wanders. In and out, nice and clean.

So definitely a productive day.

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photo friday: flying glass

blue glassglass fleet

warm glasspurple glass
For a short week, this has been a very long week...

And while I've been pretty damn busy all week at work, a large chunk of it has ended up being outside of my regular stuff, so I feel a little like I've been chasing my tail.

On Tuesday I had to stop off at the Post Office on my way home to pick up a parcel I got a note in my letterbox about on Thursday, then when I got home there were four other packages waiting for me... plus, as I realised later, our tickets for Adam Hills in June were also in the box.

It turned out that two of my teeshirt orders, two different lots of underwear and my Hero Forge 3D printed minis. They ended up being smaller than I was expecting, but brilliantly detailed.

Now I just need to work out if I want to try and paint them or just leave them as they are.

Thursday was Haircut Day, so after dinner I took myself off to see Tink and get my hair did. The cut itself was a slight refinement of the cut I started off with the boy salon. It's still going to take a few months to get to the point where it's doing exactly what I want, but it's definitely a slightly sleeker version of my previous haircut. And of course, the blonde continues.

Tink and I talked about all the things as usual... the end of the Fringe, Stu's funeral, movies, Lego, to name just a few. And it was about 10:30 by the time I left. I'd also taken some Easter presents for the girls and Tink sent me an adorable video this afternoon with Tink Jr saying thank you for hers... so damn cute.

Annoyingly I'm still not over my cold/flu thing... I do feel better overall, but I'm still somewhat congested and whatnot, which just generally sucks.

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lego: emmet's construct-o-mech

emmet's construct-o-mech - box art pose not actually possibleemmet's construct-o-mech - emmet's new ride with angry kitty
Three weeks ago I bought myself Emmet's Construct-o-Mech from The Lego Movie range. I've actually been kind of obsessed with this model ever since I saw it in the movie. In fact I have a distinct memory of thinking "man that would make an awesome set" once the Construct-o-Mech appeared.

And while the set isn't exactly the same design as the movie, I've likewise been obsessed with this set since it came out (see my earlier confession about Lego mech obsession). So it seemed appropriate to get it as a birthday present to myself.

emmet's construct-o-mech - five bags one bookemmet's construct-o-mech - bag one contents
The set is five numbered bags and a big thick instruction book, plus the usual sheet of stickers. As always, I'll insert my general wish for the pieces to be printed rather than stickered, but in this instance they're actually not all that bad.

The first bag produces the basic frame of the Mech body, complete with custom license plate, along with all of the minifigs.

emmet's construct-o-mech - chest piecesemmet's construct-o-mech - coming together with angry kitty
One of the best things about this set is some of the interesting building techniques as well as the fact that the majority of the studs are hidden from view (in this particular instance, if I'd been playing attention, those yellow plates should have been folded down to hide the grey studs).

This set also means that I now have three different Emmets (Construction Hat Emmet, Double Decker Couch Emmet and Construct-o-Emmet) and three UniKitties (Sad Couch Kitty, Super Angry Kitty and Angry Kitty).

emmet's construct-o-mech - back detailsemmet's construct-o-mech - end of bag two with skeletron
Just the tiniest bit of love for these four grey tiles on the back of the Mech... they're reverse tiles, and this is the first time I've come across them in a set... and I just like the way they work, and how they help to finish off the back of a set.

Likewise, the finishing details of the second bag with the control cage and roof... and it's hard to see from this angle, but there is something almost rabbit-like about the roof... with these two long yellow struts sticking out of the back. Yeah, I know, anthropomorphising my Lego sets again.

Interestingly, there's no fixed spot for the roof and cage to be folded down to... I wanted to keep the plate exposed, but you could cover it completely too.

emmet's construct-o-mech - right leg left legemmet's construct-o-mech - end of bag three
I'll say this about the legs... they're intricate and well engineered... but at the same time they kind of feel like they could be a little flimsy. And there is an extra little spur at the back that's used as a balance point to stop the model tipping over backwards.

And that pose on the box? I would even attempt that, because I'm pretty damn sure the model would just topple over sideways.

It was interesting, not just with the legs but also with both arms, to try and see where the various components in the model had come from... since the Mech itself is built by Emmet out of other construction vehicles, there are certain parts that make that very clear.

emmet's construct-o-mech - steamroller armemmet's construct-o-mech - one arm
The arms are also interesting... I always feel like the mech arms are missing a joint, and in this case, the fact that the "hand" comes sideways off the arm felt weird.

But one of my favourite bits of detail is the hydraulic rod on the sides of the arms.

emmet's construct-o-mech - bulldozer armemmet's construct-o-mech - end of bag four
The other arm, however, that one didn't exactly live up to my expectations...

Firstly the fact that it has the rubber band is going to end badly at some later stage when the band rots through... and then there's the fact that the two scoops don't fit together well. If you rotate them further so that the teeth touch, then they're not locked into place, but if they're locked in place, then they're open pretty much like they're show in the photo above. 

emmet's construct-o-mech - big yellow pauldronsemmet's construct-o-mech - shoulders in place
I love these shoulder pauldrons though... not least of all because the two little antennas are made out of the fencing swords from the minifig series.

And they're just these great little contained units that then get added to the model with a very simple set of parts.

emmet's construct-o-mech - back mixersemmet's construct-o-mech - and shoulder cranes
Likewise, the back mixers and the crane arms are fantastic... even more so because essentially the blue pieces are essentially used to hide all of the construction methods for the other pieces. And just that little bit of blue against all the yellow really makes them stand out.

And I will say that the crane arms really just finish off the model... they do make it incredibly tall, and fairly wide, but I don't think the piece would be the same without them.

emmet's construct-o-mech - emmet, angry kitty and skeletronsemmet's construct-o-mech - the finished piece
From start to finish, the whole thing took me around three hours to build.

All things considered, I'm pretty damn happy with the finished model though... now I just need to work out a way to arrange the other Lego Movie sets and minifigs around the Mech.

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brick and kite easter saturday

brick-a-laide welcomekite festival starburst kite
Today's been a very busy day... filled with walking and looking and photographing.

It all started out fairly ordinarily... I got ready and got to the bottom of the stairs when Ma appeared around the corner. We headed off to the supermarket and did a reasonably quick shopping trip... a combination of neither of us needing that much stuff and wanting to make sure that we had enough time to get to the Convention Centre.

brick-a-laide blacktronbrick-a-laide classic space
We even managed to sneak in a short look around Target so I could look for some new dress pants since I somehow got a giant rip in the inner thigh of my current ones this week. Sadly they didn't have much on offer, so I'll take a look in the city next week, or have another look next weekend.

After the usual unpacking, we headed off to the Convention Centre, found a park by the Parade Grounds and walked along the Torrens to Brick-a-laide.

brick-a-laide from one side it's the wicked queenbrick-a-laide from the other side snow white
Thankfully unlike last year's Bricktopia, everything this year was inside, including the spot for waiting to go into the exhibition... although weirdly, no actual queue... just a large open area for people to sit around on the floor in (they really could have done with some more chairs).

I think possibly next year, if it's on the Easter weekend again, we may need to go on the Friday... or if we do go on Saturday, we actually go to the very first session and do the shopping later.

brick-a-laide alien ice worldbrick-a-laide chima guy
It was just insanely crowded, even more so than Bricktopia was, and much, much more so than the Sydney Brick Show. And I know that the primary audience is kids, and all of the displays are down at a height for kids to be able to see them, but just the fact that they stick their heads clear into the displays and don't move, or are completely spatially unaware, was a little frustrating.

And at a certain point I realised that I actually wasn't really in the moment... I was viewing everything through the camera and not really seeing it properly. But then it was also kind of hard to see a lot of things due to the sheer crush of people.

brick-a-laide sheeps everywherebrick-a-laide big yellow bridge
Also due to the lighting in the Convention Centre plus the fact that I was using my telephoto lens to even be able to get anywhere near some of the models, a bunch of the photos I took ended up a little bit soft.

One of the seemingly unofficial mascots for Brick-a-laide were these Lego sheep... they seemed to be everywhere, not least of all in this big display of dozens and dozens of them, even if most of them were these weird yellow zombie sheep.

brick-a-laide riding the rapidsbrick-a-laide attack on laketown
There were a lot of cool displays, although a bunch of them were things that were at Bricktopia last year.

Among my favourites were the two Hobbit displays (Laketown and the Barrel Escape), the giant red bridge complete with lights and the airport setup. Oh and a number of the brick portrait pieces, particularly Wonder Woman.

brick-a-laide bridge monsterbrick-a-laide slightly creepy giant emmet
All things considered, it was a pretty good venue, although for some reason I kind of expected there to be more displays... and I'm not sure if there was any possible layout that would have allowed for a better flow of people... because, well, people.

When we'd done all of the main area, we wandered into the secondary area which held all the retail stalls. There was also a little stand selling Brick-a-laide printed bricks with the name and date and whatnot on them... and I could resist getting one.

brick-a-laide lego skellingtonbrick-a-laide wonder woman portrait
The other thing I couldn't resist was the life size version of the Lego mug that was released a couple of weeks back. And getting one from Brick-a-laide saved me at least $10 on what it would have been if I'd ordered one from the Lego website.

We called it quits at about that point... we stopped off for something to drink and then headed off... doing our best to avoid the bogan, racist, xenophobic parade of morons that was leaving the banks of the Torrens at the same time we were leaving the Convention Centre.

basington islamic mosaic kitesrainbow arrow kite
Since we didn't have any other plans for the rest of the day... and it looked like avoiding the city was the better option, we figured we might as well head down to Semaphore and check out the kite exhibition.

We weren't expecting a lot, since there didn't seem to be any wind, but once we got down to the beach there was actually a decent display on.

One of the interesting things this year though was that we just happened to be there at the same time that the announcer guy was talking to one of the kite flyers, Robert Brasington, who also happened to have a ton of kites up in the air (and given what I now know, he's usually had the kites we really liked each year as well).

Specifically, the ones in the photos above, but also the one at the very top of the post, as well as the other mosaic ones above (and the bird-like kite below). He seriously does a good kite. And it turns out that my Angel's Play kite is by him as well.

pegasus kitedancing kite pair
Even so, we didn't stick around too long... there was only so much stuff to photograph, and since we were there later than we've been in previous years, the place was packed with people. Plus, I didn't have a hat with me, and the morning which had started out very grey and overcast had become decidedly sunny.

So we headed over to the Palais Hotel to grab some lunch.

baby turtle kitefirebird kite
And I will say that they do a decent chicken schnitzel at the Palais.

But that was pretty much it... after lunch we had another quick look at the kites and then headed back here and called it a day.

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