. . .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas to everybody!! I hope this year brings peace, happiness and prosperity to all.

Thank you to those of you who left comments, sent emails etc. This has been a lot of fun - only beginning in June 2006 - and continuing hopefully for a long time to come!!

So...for the 25th...

Happy Birthday Jesus!

And a big Ho Ho Ho!!

I hope Santa is good to you this year.

I'll be back with my New Year shopping exploits!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Beer and HTML don't mix.

I tried today to have 3 stubbies (for those of you who are not Australian, that is quite a bit!) and then fix up the HTML in my blog.

Don't try this at home, kids.

Do not mess with your colour scheme, your layout or anything else under the influence of Victoria Bitter.

If you drink, then HTML, you're a bloody idiot.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try on as many lip balms as possible
and rate them out of 10.

I now have so many lip products that they are lying around everywhere. I have one for
each bag, each purse, each drawer.

Here is the verdict...

Model Secrets Lip Plump: 8/10

This stuff is fun!! It costs $3.95 and comes in a bizarre pack.

It won't make you look like Mick Jagger....

but this stuff is great - it gives your lips a boost and is a good base for lipstick.
Make sure you don't put too much on as it will start to peel off making you look
like the crypt monster.

It's a fun, inexpensive lip product with novelty value.

Nivea Lip Care Essential: 7/10

I love this one. It's a handy pack great for taking to the gym, for a walk etc.
Easy to use, no fuss. This was under $5.

Blistex Lip Ointment: 10/10

This is undoubtably the best lip balm ever. It has a minty kind of feel, sun protection and
definitely moisturises better than the others.

Every time I think I have found the best lip balm, I come back to this one and
realise it's better. RRP: $4.95

Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment: 7/10

This can be found in health food stores for around $6 and contains more natural
ingredients than those found in the other lip balms. The feel is great, it gives a nice
shine and can be used as a gloss on its own or with lipstick.

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation ($12 approx): 7/10

This stuff works - it's great in fact. However it is sticky and glue-like.
It's great for those who like hair sticking to their face every time the wind blows.

I like it, but I'll only use it when I am in a non-windy environment.

Vaseline Lip Therapy ( Under $5): 4/10

Not too impressed with this one. I don't like vaseline as an ingredient - it makes me
think of sump oil! This lip balm doesn't really absorb like other products do.

It just sort of sits on your lips and makes them greasy. Yuk!!

And the winner is....Blistex Lip Ointment! The best for sun protection,
consistency, frangrance and gloss factor!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's time for Christmas shopping. ARGH!!!!

Here are some nifty gadget gift ideas to consider:

Apple Ipod Shuffle (512MB) - RRP $69.00

This ipod shuffle is not the latest model so you can get a bargain here. I personally don't need more than 120 songs in an MP3 player because my walks don't go that far!!! I mean how many songs do you need?

It doesn't seem to be available on the Apple website anymore but I found it on the Dick Smith site. You might want to call first to see if they have it in stock.

Ipod Shuffle 1GB model - RRP $119

Okay, if you DO need 240 songs here is the brand spanking new 2nd Generation whiz bang Ipod shuffle. Its small. Apple calls it "The world's smallest digital music player". They have this feature called "Remix and Match" where they autofill songs for you.

That is...choose songs for you. Jazz and Rap. Wow. You know what? It might be a good idea to choose your own songs. Unless you are really easy about what you listen to. I couldn't think of anything worse than listening to "Cafe Del Mar Version 234" instead of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Hole, Cay, Foos and Garbage.

Ministry of Sound Stix Special Edition (256mb) - RRP $59 (Dick Smith), $89 from Ministry of Sound website

120 songs and voice recorder function. This is the budget model that comes complete with 10 preloaded Ministry of Sound "tracks". Like I said, unless you like this sort of thing, delete and load your own.

Ipod Nano (2GB) - RRP$219

This is the big one - it holds up to 500 songs, 6000 photos or a combination of the two. This is not the model I will be buying myself for Christmas. This is for the private school kids I share a train with. And next year it will be the 8GB model. Or the 200GB, depending on technology and the nag factor. Yeesh!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I bought this Audioline cordless phone for around $25.00

The phone looks good however it has a couple of problems with functionality.

1. When you put the phone back on the charger, it either goes "beep", which means yippee it's going to charge properly.... or it doesn't go beep, you don't notice, then you get an important call and all you can hear is "de de" - the dulcet tones of the battery warning feature.

2. And this is the really incredible one.... the "3" button doesn't work. Or it does work but then it registers twice. You practically need a hammer to make it register. So if you're trying to pay a bill via B-Pay it's white knuckle time.

Today I bought this Digitor corded phone for $19.95

It doesn't need recharging, it doesn't use electricity to maintain all the time, and....

The "3" button works.

I can now pay my bills in peace.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

While I was sitting on the train this morning, I saw an elderly Chinese woman jogging slowly backwards down the path alongside the railway line.

It confused the hell out of me. It made me wonder if the train was going forwards or backwards. Then I thought maybe this is one of those moments in The Matrix where you see the glitch in the program - like when Neo sees the cat walk by twice.

Was I really here? I started to wonder. I wondered if this was the part where Morpheus turns up and gives me the red pill.

I glanced back at the woman jogging slowly backwards in the distance.

I decided it was probably some form of Qigong that I'm not familiar with. Maybe someone should tell her not to do it so close to a train moving in the opposite direction, for fear of sparking existential questioning / brain melting.

I spotted a copy of MX Magazine on the seat in front of me. It got me thinking.

I remember a time when it was frowned upon to read the Herald Sun, the inferior sports-heavy tabloid to The Age's comprehensive broadsheet. The only acceptable excuse for buying it being that "The Age" was sold out at the newsstand.

Now people read it like it's "The News".

Andrew Bolt?

The man is a FOX News version of "Fair and Balanced".

So, now with people like Bolt slowly acclimatising Australia to the view that the ABC, The Age, Big Ted, Bananas in Pyjamas and maybe even The Wiggles favour left-wing political views, we are all in deep crap.

Again I return to the MX Magazine sitting in front of me. It seems compulsory to read it. It's free and provided in abundance at train stations. Everyone else is reading it. Everybody.

Join us!!!!!!!!! (sinister hissing)

I can't.
I can't do it.

MX Magazine is a dumbed down, Readers' Digest Condensed Book version of the already dumbed down Herald Sun. What's next? We are handed a paper at the station and instead of the headline reading:

"Victorian Bushfire Season Reaches New Heights"

we read


There is an alternative. Join your local (lefty, pinko, greenie) library, while we still have them - borrow some books and read them on the train. You can expand your mind instead of losing much needed brain cells on the rules of barbeque ettiquette.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I have added Link Referral in a category all on its own. Yes, it is a link exchange program - and a very effective one at that. The best feature are the reviews - you can review others for credit and you will receive reviews from other members. It is a great way to keep on top of your site - what works, what doesn't work.

I have taken a lot from advice from these reviews and it has helped to improve my site. Special thanks to the person who told me the text in my sidebars was microscopic.

Rating: Highly Recommended 9/10

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I have been trying out the following traffic exchange sites for around 4-6 months:

Traffic Swarm

The Winners and Losers:

Blog Soldiers 9/10

And the winner is...Blog Soldiers.
It is the easiest to use and the constant improvements are impressive.
The ratio used to be for every 2 blogs you visit, 1 will visit yours (surf ratio 0.5).
Now it has increased so for every blog you visit, your surf ratio is 0.75
My favourite thing about Blog Soldiers is the ease of use. And the pretty pictures you are required to click on to earn credits.

Blog Mad 8.5/10

Very close second is Blog Mad. The ratio is actually better than Blog Soldiers - 1:1
You can't get much better than that!! I just don't like the clicky thing as much. Isn't that silly? Well, no, not if you are sitting there like a zombie for hours on end surfing sites for credit!

Blog Explosion 8/10

Love Blog Explosion. I have got a lot of traffic from Blog Explosion, it's just not as intuitive to use as Blog Mad and Blog Soldiers. I had a bit of trouble working out how to get credits, the banner upload was ridiculous (it just didn't work. About 7 times - probably not their fault though!!)
Overall, Blog Explosion is definitely worth it. For a small amount of time surfing you seem to get quite a lot of traffic.

Traffic Swarm 7/10

Traffic Swarm is good too.
The main drawback for me is that this is not a "blog only" traffic site. So you get the inevitable "Click here we can make you rich ask me how and more importantly ask me why I'm here jumping up and down talking to you instead of sailing off in that yacht behind me in the picture..."
Apart from the get rich quick stuff, the traffic thing is good.

My Traffic Blast 4/10

Okay, somebody enlighten me here. I have no idea what to do with this one. It confuses the heck out of me. I managed to navigate through the "click here" stuff to the members area, only to be confronted by a dog's breakfast of information. I have no idea what this site is doing for me (if anything). I have no idea how to earn credits, except for buying them.
However I did check my stats and I got a heap of people from My Traffic Blast. So it must be doing something. I just don't know what.

Click Thru 2/10

Hmmm. This was an easy decision for me, might not be for others. I got a large amount of traffic from Click Thru. The reason why I have rated it so poorly? The "tasks" section made me encounter a horrible sight that took days to get out of my system. I still get a cold chill thinking about it. Click Thru's policy allows illegal and offensive material. This was both. I don't even know if the person in the picture was still alive. All I know is I won't forget it. I have since deleted my account and taken the links off my site.

There is also an unknown quantity lurking in the background. It's called ExLinks.

Just another traffic program? Nobody knows. But everybody who's anybody seems to want to sign up. A good start for a traffic program, I think.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Firstly, I want to pause for a second to reflect on the exorbitant cost of universal remote controls.


Now, here is the One For All Universal Remote Control I bought for $59.95 (!?!?!?!?!?)

Note that the catchphrase of this remote is "keeping it simple..."

At the time I found that statement reassuring.

And they are simple.

If you categorise simple as straining your eyes for 30 minutes trying to read the multitude of codes listed for your brand of television. And trying to keep the murder out of your voice when you say "Nope. Must be the next one."

If you have a Teac TV, for example, and you don't have an owners manual - you are pretty much stuffed.

Oh, the simplicity of leafing through what looks like 500 4-digit codes, diligently programming each one in, clutching to the vain hope that THIS one might be "the one"....

And finally, the magic code clicked into place. But instead solving a rubix cube, I ended up opening the box from "Hellraiser".

You see, if in a moment of distraction, you don't press the button marked "TV", you can make the video recorder go crazy.

I remember looking up to see something like "ARGH19273" flashing in the display panel.

So then you finally get it back on "TV" and the mute button doesn't work.

The most important button on a TV remote control is the mute button, so you can block out the ads. Now I was at the mercy of advertisers.

"How do I know if my health insurance is right for me?"
"Incontinence is a problem that is often hidden..."
"Kids love the goodness of sugar cream fizz puff breakfast cereal..."


But this is all easily fixed of course.

All you have to do is find some toll-free number (I think it is in the manual
but it could be on the packet?!?!), call them up and tell them the code that you used
(er...I can't remember!) to activate the control and they will tell you the code for the
mute button.

So now I have a $59.95 TV ornament. Or a paperweight.

The solution is simple.

Don't lose / break / let your dog eat your remote. Then you won't need to buy one of these contraptions.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Panasonic DVD Player
(Model No: DVD-S32)
RRP $139 AUD

I got this DVD Player for $128.00 at Dick Smith Electronics. It’s pretty lightweight so I decided to carry it disguised in a large plastic bag for a nervous peak-hour journey on the train.

Here are my thoughts on the features:

Multi Format Playback: DVD +R?RW,-R?RW, CD-R?RW, MP3,WMA & JPEG
It does have its limitations – it won’t play DVD-Rs recorded on a computer, just DVDCamcorder recordings

Easy to Operate
I can attest to this. It was amazing. This DVD player works the way all electronic appliances should work. You plug it in, turn it on, and it works!!

Honestly, in the past I have needed some kind of post-graduate degree in advanced electronics to tune in the video player, or get the dang thing to record! @$#^%#$%!

108MHz?12-bit Video DAC & PAL Progressive
Ok, I don’t know what this means, but I know progressive scan is good.

High quality picture
The picture is crystal clear!

Increased functionality through revised remote control
It’s great. I like the way you can switch from letterbox format, zoom in. It’s pretty cool.

Dimensions (WxHxD): 430mm x 43mm x 248mm
Yep, it’s thin and unobtrusive. I was worried about how it would look because it was competing for space with a video recorder and a PlayStation 2. Don’t know why I worried because you can hardly tell it’s there.

Colour: Silver
Hi-yo Silver away!!

...sorry about that last one.