Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Eat cookies, not brains!

Hi everyone,

It's been a warm couple of days here.  The current weather system is making the days heat up - it should be 40°C/110°F by the weekend.  There was heavy cloud but no rain a few days ago, and now the clouds are only bits and pieces that give no rain.  Australian summer, I guess.

Tuesday night I was calling on my inner John Besh, making up a gumbo-esque stew out of some venison that had defrosted.  It was a bit of a hodge-podge of the venison, with some added bacon, roux mix, some not-very-good sundried tomatoes in oil, and a couple of strips of bacon.  Oddly, though, I might not get a chance to have any: it cooked all Tuesday evening, and Wednesday evening I was at a work dinner (of which more later).  Tonight is a stand-down/maintenance night at SES, which includes a barbeque.  Hopefully there'll be some I can try afterwards!

Yesterday was a kind of stop-and-start day.  Tuesday night I'd been to a COPS-style callout in Mooroopna (I can't give details because reasons), and so my car was a bit lower in fuel than planned.  The fuel light came on while I was driving to work yesterday, so I bit the bullet and stopped to fuel up at the general store at Toolamba.  The store itself is a genuine country store: the wooden floorboards and rustic style isn't for effect, and it's well suited to its town.

The reason I wasn't keen to stop was that we get gouged for fuel up here at the best of times (as a rule, $1.30-1.50 a litre, which is 20¢-50¢ per litre dearer than Melbourne), and at small outlets even more so.  Yesterday's fuel set me back $2.00 a litre.  The pain in my wallet was only very slightly assuaged by the old-fashioned mechanical dials of the bowser and the knowledge that it was saving me a long walk to Tatura.

I worked up to 2:30 yesterday and then went into Shepparton.  I had some Christmas shopping to do, and also needed to go to H&R Block to get my tax return drawn.  Both of those were accomplished with more or less success.  The town's dressing in holiday style seems a bit more understated this year.  Nice, though.

I had an appointment at the Blood Bank in the afternoon.  I'm oddly proud that my heart rate tested at 48 beats per minute.  I think that almost qualifies me as a zombie, right?  They let me donate anyway, which is probably a good thing because it meant I could sate my semi-undead hunger with a cookie rather than ... brains...

As I said before, we had my work unit's Christmas dinner in the evening.  I wasn't exactly surprised to see that the guy who's been ringing in sick all week managed to muster his energies sufficiently to come and have a good dinner at someone else's expenses.  And yet people wonder why I've become so cynical.  That aside, it was a good dinner and some of the best barramundi I've eaten in ages.

Today I'm light-on for work (again).  I'll duck out to an interview at the SES shed in the afternoon: I put in for the Unit Controller's position, mainly because I thought nobody had applied and felt that it was better that the job be done by someone in-house, rather than an outsider.  I've since heard that at least one other member really wants the job, so I may stand aside in their favour: I certainly don't want it at the cost of cheating one of my friends.  I'll make that clear at the interview and let the higher-ups decide what's best.  The important thing is what serves the unit.

Not much else to note.  I'm hoping I'll be able to squeeze in a run before training tonight.

Hope all's well with you.  More later.

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