A quick #lunch at PappaRich after watching The Trip to Italy


Bron and I went to a movie this morning and saw The Trip to Italy. We really enjoyed it.

After the movie we enjoyed a quick lunch at PappaRich in the Canberra Centre.

I enjoyed a piece of Tandoori chicken and some chicken and beef satay sticks as well as a coffee milo drink 🙂

Chicken and beef satay with peanut sauce as well as Tandoori chicken.

Chicken and beef satay with peanut sauce as well as Tandoori chicken.

Coffee Milo hot drink at PappaRich

Coffee Milo hot drink at PappaRich

The coffee milo drink was an odd surprise. I really enjoyed it.

Anyway, just a quick post to share some food 😉

PappaRich on Urbanspoon

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A busy weekend in Brisbane and Yatala Pies


I’ve just got home (Canberra) after a busy weekend in Brisbane to see my daughters. May is a big month for us, my father’s birthday is in May, my eldest two daughters both share a birthday in May (two years apart), it’s mothers day in May and my birthday is in May.

I arrived late Friday night and the girls were already in ‘bed’ ready to sleep. They had a big Saturday ahead of them.

On Saturday we got out of bed at 5 am and ate a quick breakfast. I had peanut paste on toast (I didn’t have time for a low carbohydrate meal) while the two youngest ones had Mum’s lemon curd on toast. We had to be on the road by 6.30 am and on our way to Yatala for the QGSSSA Cross Country championships. Athletics is not the favourite sport for Miss13 and Miss17 however, as all rounders they compete in as many sports as possible. The meet is held at Rivermount College which isn’t part of the QGSSSA. The college is at Yatala near the Gold Coast.

Just thinking back a bit, when I arrived Friday night I discovered that a tube of moisturiser (yes I have Ichthyosis) had ‘exploded’ in my bag and the shirt I was going to wear had been ruined. Mum said I should wear one of Dad’s shirts. She also said it would be warm so short sleeves wouldn’t be a problem. I always listen to my mother.

So we arrive at Yatala and it’s cloudy and cold. I’m shivering. Thanks Mum 🙂

[To get more detail out of the images, click on them, they should open in a new window with a higher resolution. I’m happy to receive comments on the photography. Some images were captured with a Canon PowerShot G16 and the others with a Nikon D7100. I shoot in manual and capture RAW files to allow some post processing in Adobe Lightroom. ]

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

The girls run well and enjoy themselves. The next stop is the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler. We have to get Miss17 there for gymnastics training. Even though she didn’t make the Queensland team this year she’s allowed to compete at the national championships this week in Melbourne. She has to train at Gymnastics Queensland headquarters in Chandler. Before we get there though, Miss17 suggests a spot of morning tea at Yatala Pies.

Yatala Pies is a bit of an institution in South East Queensland. Their pies are known far and wide. Funnily enough I’ve never eaten in the Yatala Pies shop. This was a first.

The Famous Yatala Pies shop at Yatala near Queensland’s Gold Coast http://yatalapies.m2media.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/feature1.jpg

Yatala Pies on Urbanspoon

https://goo.gl/maps/e4YGs

Miss17 had a curry chicken and vegetable pie, Miss13 had a sausage roll and I elected to have a pasty. It’s been ages since I’ve had a good pasty. This one didn’t disappoint. I loved it.

 

Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies takeaway box.

Yatala pies takeaway box. You can see Miss13’s sausage roll in the background.

Now regulars readers know me so it shouldn’t be any surprise that when I saw Vanilla slice I had to have one. Yatala Pies sells French Vanilla slices with a whopping big layer of French vanilla cream. It was gorgeous.

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

After a lot of driving back and forth between Chandler and Chermside it was a long tiring day. After getting the kids back to my parents’ place it was time to cook our special May dinner to celebrate so many birthdays and mothers day.

I said to Mum that I wanted to cook salmon and would be wonderful is Miss17 could make a salad. I also made a pumpkin cauliflower mash which I used to smear the plate and perch the salmon on.

Salmon

Salmon

#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

For dessert, Miss17 had made an ice cream cake. The base was made with Ferrero Rocher, Chocolate Mint and Queensland nut (Macadamia) ice creams. The top had a combination of mixers added to make it a cake to remember.

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

After dinner we watched The Hunger Games on DVD. I’d never seen it before. It was good.

After a good night’s sleep Miss19 joined us after a busy weekend of working and studying. We had planned a special breakfast together. My daughters and me 🙂 We decided to head to Groove Train at Chermside because it was close and the last time we were there we enjoyed the food.

The Groove Train on Urbanspoon

https://goo.gl/maps/aebPU

I asked for poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushrooms. It was pretty good.

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Miss13 asked for pancakes

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

After breakfast I had to take Miss17 back to Chandler for more training. I said my goodbyes and then caught a flight back to Canberra.

Dinner while watching Master Chef Australia was a nude burger with tomato, bacon and Coon cheese.

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Bron rekindling holiday memories


Last night Bron invited me over for dinner and a movie.

We recently returned from Vietnam and have been craving the flavours we enjoyed.

Bron had a little bit of Wagyu beef in her freezer and suggested Pho Bo. Who am I to say no to Pho Bo 😉

Pho Bo

Pho Bo

Bron’s Pho Bo was just like being in Hanoi. I want this for breakfast.

For dessert Bron put together some odds and ends from her refrigerator. She poached some pears and made a tart.

Poached pear tart

Poached pear tart

This was amazing. Bron is about the best cook I know.

Afterwards we watched Argo. We enjoyed it.

ARGO go F&^k yourself (It’s a quote from the movie)

Taze Mediterranean Cuisine and The Wolverine


Last night after work Bron and I went into Civic for something to eat and a movie. With nothing planned as we approached the car park in the basement of the Canberra Centre I suggested Taze Mediterranean Cuisine on Genge Street. Bron was happy to have a look. At about 7 pm it didn’t look too busy and we were given a table near the main windows and asked if we could be out before 8.10 pm. Not a problem.

We agreed to share zucchini fritters for an entrée and for a main I asked for 300 g of Wagyu rump.

Zucchini fritters

Zucchini fritters

Wagyu rump steak

Wagyu rump steak

The fritters were light, fluffy and delicious. The steak was tender and tasty.

We’ve eaten at Taze before and enjoyed the experience. This was a more spontaneous venture and was very nice. For a Friday night I’d definitely eat here again if a table is available.

Between dining and movie watching we went for a look around the Canberra Centre and I bought the Captain Scarlet DVD box set.

Captain Scarlet DVD

Captain Scarlet DVD

We decided to watch The Wolverine at The Dendy in the Canberra Centre.

It was a good movie. A little out there for the X-men. If you like X-men then you need to watch it.

Wolverine

Wolverine

All in all a good night out.

Taze http://www.taze.com.au/

Taze Mediterranean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g255057-d2424925-Reviews-Taze-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html

Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/J7E8g

The Wolverine http://www.thewolverinemovie.com/

IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1430132/

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wolverine_%28film%29

Star Trek Into Darkness | #StarTrek #IntoDarkness | No spoilers


Background image from the official Star Trek website
http://www.startrekmovie.com/images/bg.jpg

Last night Bron took me to see Star Trek into Darkness. I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time.

Now if you don’t like science fiction I invite you to read on because at some stage I do get onto food 🙂

Okay, it’s time for confessions, well, not really confessions because if you’ve read my “about” page you’ll know that I do like all things Star Trek. I remember in the 1970s coming home from swimming club on a Friday night and after a shower I’d sit with Dad and watch Star Trek The Original Series (TOS). I loved it. I didn’t really understand the nuance of Kirk as a womaniser and risk taking leader, but I really liked Spock, Bones and Scotty. When Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) began I was an immediate fan. I’ve also enjoyed Star Trek Deep Space Nine (DS9) and Star Trek Voyager. My favourite series though has been Star Trek Enterprise (ENT) which was a prequel to the ST TOS era. I suppose it comes as no surprise I have a soft spot for Star Trek medical officers as well as science officers.

In 2009 when Star Trek http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/ was launched and we became aware of what Star Trek Canon describes as the Alternate Reality* a whole new vista of possibilities opened for Star Trek fans. Star Trek 2009 directed by JJ Abrams was a great movie. I really hoped Star Trek into Darkness http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1408101/ could be as good and not a disappointment.

Last night Bron bought tickets at the Dendy Canberra http://www.dendy.com.au/Page/Home and we got great seats in the middle. It was an interesting crowd sitting around us. As much as I love Star Trek I’ve never been inclined to dress up in Starfleet uniform or as a non-human Star Trek character. That didn’t stop some of other movie goers. I had a man next to me in an engineering tunic complete with com badge. About as far as I will go is holding up my right hand, palm anterior with third and fourth digits separated and occasionally saying “live long and prosper” Apparently this _\\// is the emoticon for live long and prosper.

Back to the movie; I was not disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised. I did have some doubts at the beginning and now that I’ve seen it I wish I had taken the time to revisit some of the TOS movies plus some relevant episodes from ENT. The plot was great and the story unfolded nicely. I’m glad it wasn’t any longer than just over two hours. Too much longer would have been tedious. I really liked how a variety of concepts from various parts of Star Trek lore have been weaved in. I’d happily rate it between 9 and 9.5 out of 10. At the start I was worried that JJ Abrams had botched the job but he pulled it together at the end. The odd cameo was also appreciated. What I really enjoyed was seeing the return of an actor who played a part in ENT.

If you like Star Trek I don’t have to recommend this, you’ll go again and again like I will.
If you aren’t into Star Trek or science fiction but like a good movie, I recommend this movie as worthwhile. It would help if you watch Star Trek 2009 to get some of the background to the Alternate Reality.
If you don’t like Star Trek and if you don’t like science fiction, if you’re a hater, then I recommend watching something else. The win win will be you will free up a seat for fans to go again and again 🙂

So how did I prepare for Star Trek into Darkness? It all centred around Bron naturally. Saturday started with an excellent Bron breakfast of poached egg on a muffin with another muffin smeared with marmalade.

#breakfast Bron made poached egg on muffin #yummy

A post shared by Gary Lum (@garydlum) on

Sorry it’s a bit blurry. I was feeling very hungry.

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For lunch Bron and I went to Ricardo’s Cafe at Jamison.

Ricardo’S Cafe on Urbanspoon

I needed something refreshing and dairy

#lunch Caramel thick shake #yummy

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Caramel thick shake

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Bron and I shared the Wagyu steak and truffle sliders

#lunch Wagyu truffle sliders #superyummy

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These were delicious. I’d recommend them to anyone who likes a ham burger. The chips (French fries) were also very good.

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Bron and I shared a vanilla slice after the sliders

#lunch #yummy vanilla slice with Bron

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One of the layers was salted caramel between the pastry and custard

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I cannot say too often just how good Ricardo’s cafe is.

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At the movie (Dendy Canberra) Bron and I had a vanilla bean ice cream choc top http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choc-Top

At the movies with Bron. #StarTrek #ChocTop #yummy #excited _\\/// Live Long and Prosper

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The ice cream was very rich and creamy. I think Dendy get these specially made. It’s not clear if they’re made by The Choc Top Ice-Cream Company http://www.thechoctopicecreamcompany.com.au/

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After the movie Bron made me a Haigh’s spicy hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

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Marshmallows maketh the hot chocolate 🙂

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This morning Bron made us scrambled eggs and bacon on sourdough toast

#breakfast Bron made scrambled #eggs and #bacon #yummy

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Bron bought the streaky bacon at Elite Meats in Holt. It was very tasty bacon. While there appeared to be a good layer of fat, it didn’t taste fatty at all. Thank you Bron.

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*Alternate Reality—If there really is only the prime and alternate realities the word alternate as an adjective is acceptable. If there are however, infinite alternative realities, then I object to the adjective alternate in Star Trek Canon. How this interacts with the concept of parallel universes in Star Trek Canon is unclear in my puny mind.

For information about almost everything Star Trek it’s worth visiting the Memory Alpha site at http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main

Star Trek Into Darkness http://www.startrekmovie.com/
Memory Alpha http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Into_Darkness
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Into_Darkness
IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1408101/

Dendy Cinema http://www.dendy.com.au/Page/Home
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/ddJiU

Yikes! I’m 80.2 kg | How did that happen?


This morning I weighed myself. I haven’t done this for a couple of months. This morning standing naked I weighed 80.2 kg (or 176 lb for my friends in the USA). Since about Easter I’ve felt myself thickening a little. At the beginning of the year I was about 76 kg. At Easter I was suffering from ManFlu and then had an ankle problem which meant exercising was not a high priority for me. Coupled with some more extravagant eating it should come as no surprise that I’ve got over 80 kg.

I really need to stop eating so much, exercise more and watch what I’m eating. This last week has been a little out of control. Let’s take a look.

Now we need to remember I started the week with the ham hock (which was delicious). I also experienced my birthday (and much of Bron’s generosity). Finally I had one of the best quick meals I’ve ever had last night [click on the links for the images in the posts].

So in between I also ate pretty well.

Roast belly pork

#dinner belly pork #yummy

A post shared by Gary Lum (@garydlum) on

Yes, I ate all that to myself and there was nothing left over.

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Friday morning signalled my last Friday working in the department so I had my last Friday Mavi breakfast wrap.

This doesn’t mean my last Mavi breakfast wrap, just the last one on a Friday. From next Friday I start working as a Visiting Medical Officer in Pathology at The Canberra Hospital every Friday.

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On Friday night I was late at work and so that means takeaway

Hungry. Mmm… Char siu and roast duck. What will I buy for takeaway #dinner ?

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I wanted something yummy from 2YUMMY

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I chose a laksa of course

#dinner my char siu laksa #yummy I drank the liquid straight from the bowl 😃

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My char siu laksa.

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My breakfast on Saturday wasn’t sensible.

#breakfast #tart #yummy

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It was a lemon meringue tart from Elk and Pea

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Before I went to see GI Joe Retaliation I needed lunch. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone. I loved the movie. It’s well worth watching if you like ninja action, guns, heavy machines and very athletic looking actors. I will definitely purchase the DVD when its available.

#lunch beef horseradish hot dog #yummy Ping @snagstand @jacquimkane @kecozanat @jesskirkham08

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My Snag Stand Beef Horseradish hot dog

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A movie isn’t a movie without, you guessed it

Time for GI Joe #movies

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Popcorn

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For breakfast this morning I splurged and had some toast

#breakfast #avocado and poached #eggs on toast

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Not just toast but half an avocado plus two poached eggs

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For dinner I braised some gravy steak with vegetables

My #dinner tonight. Braised beef and vegetables with brown rice #yummy

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This was pretty nice and it was lean

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I’ve included the rest of my week in instagram

If you click on any image in this post you’ll see the IG comments made by my IG friends. Some are pretty funny.

#autumn

A post shared by Gary Lum (@garydlum) on

It’s autumn

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Good morning Mr Owl

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Mr Owl

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I really do not like speed dampening "cushions"

A post shared by Gary Lum (@garydlum) on

New speed dampening cushions have been installed on local streets. I’m not a fan of them. I am a supporter of better road safety.

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Good morning. #clouds

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Saturday’s early morning clouds

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Good morning Mr Owl. Beautiful blue background

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Mr Owl this morning. Beautiful blue sky. 

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This car has been here for weeks

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An abandoned car outside the local cop shop

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On a depressing note, my footy teams have not done so well this weekend. The Brisbane Broncos were defeated by South Sydney. The Reds drew their game. The Melbourne Storm were defeated by the Canberra Raiders. So very very sad…

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Elk and Pea http://elkandpea.com.au/
http://goo.gl/maps/6LtA6

Snag stand http://snagstand.com.au/

100—Random9 Art exhibition | Black Pepper | Oblivion | #bestblogs13


On Friday evening Bron invited me to an art exhibition opening. The art was created by Randon9 which is a Canberra-based artists’ collective. 100 examines Canberra in a historical, political and cultural context. The exhibition is being held at the Belconnen Arts Centre at 118 Emu Bank.

It was an interesting exhibition. The BAC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. The Patron is Mr Jon Stanhope the former ACT Chief Minister. If you like art, it’s worth going to see and experience.

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Okay just a little rant here. One of the disappointing things about the BAC is the recent poor maintenance of its outside appearance. The yellow straw bundles each have a pavement embedded spot light shining up. Of the five or six bundles and lights only one works.

Yellow “straw” bundles at the Belconnen Arts Centre are street lights at night, although not now with only one working

This has been a deteriorating situation for nearly a year. They have evening exhibitions so I assume the managers are aware. Perhaps there is a conflict between the BAC and territory and municipal services (TAMS) It would be good if it could get fixed. Rant over 🙂

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After taking a look at the art we walked around to Black Pepper for dinner. We hadn’t booked but given it was around 6.30 pm we figured we had a good chance to score a table. When we arrived the restaurant was pretty bare and we got a nice table in the corner by a window.

The day in Canberra had been very cold and windy. We’ve really changed from summer-autumn to autumn-winter. It wasn’t quite bone chilling but the wind chill was very unpleasant. Inside the restaurant was cosy and warm even though it didn’t start to fill with customers until after about 7 pm.

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The dinner menu is relatively new and looked pretty good. It can be downloaded from the Out in Canberra site.

For an entrée we chose to share the Panko crumbed brie cheese for $13. It consisted of Japanese crumbed and fried brie cheese with orange and fennel salad.

Brie cheese

#dinner panko crumbed fried Brie #yummy

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This was delicious and sharing half each was more than sufficient

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For mains, Bron chose the Swiss potato roesti stack for $15.50. It was layered with Napoli sauce, Swiss cheese and grilled eggplant, served with broccolini and gazpacho vinaigrette. I didn’t capture an image of it.

I chose the Scotch fillet and horseradish for $26.50. The Scotch fillet was served with garlic mash, horseradish cream, red wine jus, greens and game chips.

Scotch fillet

#dinner Scotch fillet steak (rare) really #yummy

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I like my meat rare. The beans were really squeaky on my teeth so I swapped them with Bron’s broccolini.

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The dinner menu was pretty good. I think Bron’s potato roesti was good value for money. My steak was nice but I’m not sure it was worth $26.50. It’s certainly better than what I’d get at a pub or bar but I would think between $18 and $22 is how I’d price it. The entrée was good but I’d probably be happier if it was priced at around $12.

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Afterwards we watched the ANZAC test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis. I was so happy to see military bands used to play the national anthems. One of my pet peeves (well it’s more than a peeve it’s a hatred) is the use of pop stars to sing our national anthem. More often than not (I kid you not) they mangle the anthem into their individual interpretation as part of their artistic expression. I can’t stand it. Not only is it painful on my ears, it’s disrespectful to our nation. Apart from a military band, my preference would be for a school choir to sing the national anthem. Channel Nine offers excellent coverage of Rugby League matches in Australia. Before the match a minute’s silence was observed for the death of Ross Livermore. Mr Livermore was the heart and soul of Queensland Rugby League (QRL) for 31 years. Queenslanders, especially lovers of the XXXX Maroons owe so much to Mr Livermore and what he did for Rugby League in Queensland and Australia. Needless to say it is very sad when such a great person dies. The Australian Kangaroos wore black arm bands in memory. It was shocking to hear louts in the crowd disrupt the silence with jeers and noises as a sign of disrespect. It’s a pity the ACT Police were not called in to remove the louts and cowards. Rest in peace Mr Ross Livermore. The game ended in an Australian victory.

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So this morning we needed breakfast. Out of convenience we ventured back to Black Pepper. I couldn’t help but notice a patron sitting near us.

My daughters tell me Crocs are a crime against fashion, I think mismatched socks do not help in the fashion stakes.

Fashion Fail

Crocs and non matching socks #FashionFail 😃

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There’s a hole in the right heel too 🙂

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I didn’t want a huge breakfast but I did want something that would keep me going all day.

Poached eggs and a side of hollandaise sauce

#breakfast Poached eggs with a side of Hollandaise Ping @mitchsquires #breakfastforwoojm

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The Black Pepper hollandaise is to die for

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This afternoon after a trip to Costco (optometry appointment for me) we went to see Oblivion IMDB and Google+. We’d seen the shorts for this movie while watching Top Gun at the Darling Harbour IMAX theatre over Easter.

I won’t be a spoiler for this movie suffice to say I enjoyed it. I’m a fan of a lot of science fiction, especially simple action genre science fiction. I’m a huge Star Trek fan and am eagerly awaiting the new Star Trek movie. I know Tom Cruise cops a lot of flack as an actor. I haven’t watched all his movies and probably won’t. I really enjoyed Top Gun, I enjoyed the Mission Impossible franchise and recently on a flight to the USA I watched Jack Reacher and enjoyed it. A Few Good Men and Taps are also favourites. I know there was a lot of controversy about Tom Cruise in the starring role for Jack Reacher. I understand Jack Reacher is portrayed as a giant of a man which Tom Cruise isn’t. Without having read the books, I can’t really criticise. I did enjoy the movie.

I would recommend Oblivion to anyone who likes science fiction that doesn’t require a lot of thought. There were a couple of question marks for me in terms of inconsistency but not enough to put me off. We also saw this movie at Hoyts Belconnen in their Xtremescreen cinema. The experience was really very good. Watching an action movie in the Xtremescreen cinema is very worthwhile.

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Tonight Bron is cooking up a storm, I’ll blog about that tomorrow. If you want a sneak peek though, follow me on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter for a glimpse of what she is cooking tonight.

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One last thing, I’m thinking of a rating system for restaurants based on two non-food criteria. If I remember I will offer a dunny rating and a napkin rating. I believe a good rest room (toilet or dunny) should be specific for gender (preferably not unisex), have urinals set at adult height and not just pædiatric height, pedestals with out swinging doors (for emergency situations), have paper towel (cloth for the really posh ones) and/or a Dyson air blade or XLERATOR™ air dryer. I’ll elaborate on this in future posts. For Black Pepper it gets a four out of five dunny score. For napkins I prefer cloth napkins over paper. My ranking would be fail | pass| excellent. My napkin ranking for Black Pepper is fail.

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Black Pepper on Urbanspoon

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Belconnen Arts Centre http://www.belconnenartscentre.com.au/
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/dxrLf

Black Pepper http://www.outincanberra.com.au/blackpepper
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/2uxsW
The marker is in the wrong position. I’ve moved it and Google is reviewing my suggested move. If they agree the marker will show the correct placement in the future.

Costco http://www.costco.com.au/index.shtml
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/NtGyt