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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done early but those last few knick knacks are driving me up the wall. I am going mental trying to work out which Christmas presents to buy for those last few "hard to buy for" people. By the way, I think most people are hard to buy for, I mean how presumptuous are presents anyway? I think each year I get more and more confused about what people want for Christmas. I don't want to inconvenience anyone by getting something big and bulky they can't fit in their place. And I don't want to buy something they don't want. And how do you know if they don't already have it? Maybe next year I'll call up everyone and say:

"Right. Before I buy you any presents this year I want you to fax me a complete inventory of your entire house. Brands and everything." I mean if you want to buy an Itunes voucher for someone, you have to ask them if they have an Ipod. And if you ask them that they are going to have an idea of what you are getting. Argh!! So many decisions and I'm running out of days and hours. Eeek!! So I'm still no closer to buying those last few presents. Next year I'm going to move to Nepal and live in a cave for the month of December.

And I am definitely not going to go into the crush in the city wearing a massive football helmet and wearing boxing gloves, although if you are going to do this, this is what I advise you should wear. And keep some rescue remedy handy in case you have a panic attack.

It's hard to be of good cheer when you are gritting your teeth.

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It can be almost impossible to buy presents for some people. Perhaps they have everything. Perhaps they don't want another pair of socks (although if you ask me, you can never have too many socks, as long as they are black - but I digress). So perhaps you are looking for something really special. FreemanX has a whole range of gifts for all sorts of people. You can book in for skydiving, hot air ballooning, and various extreme activities. I liked the look of "Venice on the Yarra" - you get a gondola, champagne, cheeses, and the trip follows the Yarra through a scenic tour of Melbourne from the water. You can find activities throughout VIC, NSW and other states - from dinner cruises to rock climbing to day spas, you should find something for everyone.

This post was brought to you by FreemanX.

I am sorry for the lack of posts, I have been running around like the proverbial blue arsed fly. No, I hadn't heard of that saying until recently either, but I thought it was ridiculous enough to warrant a mention.

After living in a chrysalis all year I have suddenly unfurled into a social butterfly. Oh yes, that's me...booked up I'm afraid. Yes, I think I can fit you in on this date, oh no, actually I'm going to a meeting/business lunch/wedding/dinner. My little black book is smoking!

The list of things I have to do in the next few weeks (and months after) are massive. I have kicked into organised mode so I am ticking each item off the list and as soon as I have, another one pops up in its place. It's like the magic pudding!! (For those of you who don't know this children's story, go here.)

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It can be a bit tricky to find a good web host and if you don't want to get ripped off, you need to do some research. A visit to the site http://www.webhostingchoice.com provided a search and compare tool which allows you to specify the amount you are willing to pay for web hosting, the search engine then brings back a list of results for you to choose from. Some of the plans will be a small monthly fee (I tried $5 to see if such web hosting companies existed - they did). Some of the plans will be a yearly fee which I personally prefer. I was able to track down some very reasonable rates for web hosting. I would also recommend the next step of researching the individual companies for reviews and comments to make sure they're kosher (a simple Google search will do the trick).

This post was brought to you by Web Hosting Choice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I thought I'd show something amusing today, I need a bit of cheering up. Hope you enjoy it.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh. My. God. This offends my sensibilities. It's quite horrible. The shonky awards expose dodgy workmanship, questionable ethics and sneaky fine print.

The award itself: a mounted lemon. It says it all, really.

Here are the winners of the Choice 2007 Shonky Awards (which was presented very amusingly by Jean Kittson):

Nutella. The unhealthiest health food.
Strangely Nutella has taken to marketing itself as a low GI food suitable for children.

"Less fat than most peanut butters, less sugar than most jams', said one Nutella ad. This may be the case, but out of all these spreads it has the highest combination of both: it’s almost 85% fat and sugar, packing a whopping 2175kJ of energy into every 100g." (source: Choice Website)

I remember as a child, my mum used to equate Nutella with Satan. I don't think you could even mention the word in the house. So phew! Missed out on all that fat and sugar as my cells were growing. Dang.

Another bizarro product is a washer/dryer from LG that claims to save water. And it does. On the wash cycle.

However, what they don't tell you is on the DRY cycle it uses 74LITRES (!!?!?!?) of water to dry 5kg of washing. As Jean Kittson put it so wonderfully "Who would use water to dry clothes? It's a dryer, not a wetter...I haven't even got a degree and I know that's weird."

Check out this video from the awards ceremony:

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Phew!! I'm wearing myself out at the moment. Online shopping has left burn marks on my fingers and skid marks in my wallet.

I'll probably find out in a year or so that I had some sort of compulsive shopping disorder that I tried to sublimate by creating a shopping blog.

But it's just so easy....just one more...*click* $$$ *click*

Nevertheless I did actually find some snazzy bargains on Ebay (no...really? Go on!!!)

My second lot of exhibits for December are a Deborah Hutton Queen Flat Sheet valued around $40.00-$45.00

Cost: $17.00
Postage: $9.30
Total: $26.30

Score!! It's very soft and seems quite sturdy as well. It appears it will go the distance.

Not like that f@$^%#$ing Egyptian cotton sheet that I bought some months ago. The dang thing breaks up at the sight of a long toenail, 400 thread count or not! Ended up sleeping in a massive gap created by two toenail rips that met in the middle and created a kind of rip canyon. Ah, the feel of a scratchy mattress - nothing like it.

And the other bargain:

Himalayan Crystal Salt chunks for baths (and in my case, foot spas!)

Cost: $1.95
Postage: $8.19
Total: $12.75

Not bad for a purchase from a UK seller, considering the exchange rate!!
Himalayan crystal salt contains 84 trace elements and is good for detox baths. I could do with one of those at the moment considering the amount of tox I have been ingesting.

I'm pretty sure everyone remembers the Seinfeld episode where Elaine has the brilliant idea to send personalised Christmas cards instead of the usual boring generic card. Just make sure there are no untoward parts of your body showing when you get the photo taken and you won't suffer the same fate as Elaine. Personalised Christmas cards can be a special gift for family members and friends and this particular approach is popular with politicians as well. So it seems to work as a networking tool as well. You can create custom holiday cards using a photo of your choice - just upload the photo or collage, customise from a template or your own design and create your own personal touch to your cards this season.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yes, that's right. I have "taken leave of my senses" as they say in the classics. Not really, but I have bought yet another Baccarat stainless steel cookware item. I was very excited to receive the package today:

A 20cm stainless steel frypan with impact moulded copper base.
Price: $13.40
Postage: $6.95
Total: $20.35

Equivalent RRP - around $60

Tee hee!!

The frypan has never been used so I'll give it a good dishwash and off we go!!

I am in the process of perfecting my vegetarian farmer's omelette recipe (if that isn't the biggest oxymoron of them all!!)

Of course it contains Sanitarium Not Bacon which is now called something silly like "Vege delights bacon style rashers" I mean "not bacon" is a lot catchier!

I mean why don't they just call it vege soy style dead pig substitute delight choices?

Not Bacon. The original name was the best.

~end rant.

Aaaanyway, the farmer's omelette (or is it the farmer's wife omelette? I never know) will be made with fried onions, peas, fresh parsley, cheese and NOT BACON. If there is one thing I am supremely confident about, it is my ability to cook an omelette, omelettes being my signature dish.

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If you are frantically creating and destroying Christmas shopping lists (I may be speaking from experience here!) then here are some new ideas for gifts for those adventurous souls who enjoy high powered torches, night vision goggles and rifle sights.
Hmm, just make sure they are not nutty first before checking out the Gift Guide. You can find discounts and bargains on flashlights, microscopes, binoculars and astronomy gadgets. There is even a personal planetarium / GPS sky guide for identifying celestial objects.

Myself, I can identify celestial objects just by drinking too many beers and looking up. My accuracy may be a bit off, though. Perhaps one of these gadgets could help. And a sky map. I don't think "that big squiggly bit there" really counts as identifying celestial objects.

I'm going to stop talking now.

This post brought to you by OpticsPlanet.com
IZEA Blogs describes in some detail how to get started with Real Rank. Well I'm confused as all get out. What does it all mean? There is this new ranking system that is supposed to rate blogs on actual traffic per day, and the rank can change with the fickle tide of readership numbers. Hmmm. This seems pretty straightforward but the actual numbers themselves give me a headache. The rank is from 1-9. And my rank was 2199 yesterday and 1915 today. So I must have done something right! But how does 1915 fit in a sliding scale of 1-9?? Does that mean I suck? I don't know. Somebody enlighten me here.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Being a blogger can be tough on your neck, back and shoulders. In fact, being in front of a computer is so common these days we need to whack our behinds back into shape at the end of each day. Enter the Human Touch - a zero gravity massage chair to soothe those tired muscles.

The chair reclines the body into a zero gravity position, which decompresses the spine, allowing the muscles to relax. I like the idea of a foot and calf massager that massages in a wave-like motion. This is a super indulgent Christmas purchase for yourself or a stressed-out relative!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I admit I have been a little remiss in my blogging of late but I have a good reason for doing so. I was hunting BARGAINS!!!

(insert maniacal laughter here)
(rub hands with glee)

I found what I consider to be possibly the best cookware you can use. A big call? Perhaps. I have been using a Baccarat 8Lt stockpot for just over a year now and the results have been phenomenal. Imagine using a pot that distributes heat evenly throughout the pot due to an impact moulded stainless steel + copper base. You don't have to stir every 2 seconds because the pot somehow doesn't seem to cook on (burn). Don't ask me how, it could be the stainless steel factor, could be the quality and thickness of the base, I just don't know. Whatever the reason, it makes for a much more pleasant cooking experience. You can cook almost eight litres of pasta sauce, curry, whatever you fancy, and freeze a whole bunch of containers for those nights you can't be bothered cooking. Which for me can be quite a few nights.

So here it is, my newest acquisition:

Baccarat Pinnacle 5.4Lt Stock Pot $34.95 from OO.com.au
The normal retail price is approximately $80.00, which is a pretty big saving!!

This size pot is better for reducing sauces in a quicker period of time. The 8Lt pot can take a long time to reduce so the 5.4Lt is the ideal choice for making sauces and casseroles.

I have already christened the pot with garlic, olive oil and onions, which became a pasta sauce that is out of this world (I followed my partner's secret recipe!)

In fact it's making me hungry...

It is about lunch time here...

er...signing off!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

OMG. I am totally blown away.

I received the rest of my prize from the competition mentioned in an earlier post. I really can't say enough nice things about E.L.F. Cosmetics (Eyes, Lips, Face) - they are a real find. Because they forgot to send three of my items, they generously threw in the following bonuses:

Therapeutic Conditioning Balm in "Strawberry Creme" - vitamins A & E with shea butter.

Hypershine Gloss in "Joy" - super shiny reflective gloss that stays on for ages.

Plus, (this is the best one!) an e.l.f. cosmetics bag, similar to the one pictured:

Plus my original prizes came through and I have tested each of them:

Natural Radiance Blusher in "Shy" - this is a beautiful shade, goes on smoothly and isn't too overbearing, just a nice hint of healthy colour.

Plumping Lip Glaze in "Plum Pout" - this is my favourite one, you apply the clear glaze first, then apply the colour on top. The thing that annoys me most about plumping lip glosses is that most of them taste like battery acid. This lip glaze smells subtly of strawberries and is very pleasant to apply. Stays on for ages and does just what it says.

Brightening Eye Colour in "Silver Lining" - I have generally found eyeshadow to be a difficult area - the texture can be cakey or the colour just not right, or they can get all gluggy and weigh down your eyelids!.

This one however, gets it just right - the colours are perfect and the consistency is light and smooth and it's easy to forget you are wearing it.

I have noticed they have a 30% off sale going at the moment and if you sign up you get a chance to win $100 worth of e.l.f. cosmetics.

They did an excellent job of looking after me so it's the least I can do to give them a bit of a plug!

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The following post is brought to you by Overstock Art...

Are you familiar with this picture? It's hard not to recognise Gustav Klimt's distinctive style of painting. Klimt was born the son of a gold and silver engraver in Vienna, which influenced his use of gold and silver in his paintings. It is also hard to ignore a painting that has graced many a lounge room, doctor's waiting room and office. I think I even used to own a poster version of this very picture. It is not very likely that you will be buying the original artwork, unless you are sitting on a lazy million or so. Klimt reproductions are highly sought after today, however you can get hand painted oil reproductions of Klimt Paintings to hang on your own wall, which can be a lot more elegant than a poster. You can also select various canvas sizes and it is possible to order framing as well. There is a nifty feature on the site that allows you to select from a variety of frames and visually preview the painting inside the frame itself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How exciting! Last month sometime I left a comment on The Bargain Queen's blog and recently found out I won a whole bunch of cosmetics from E.L.F. Tee hee!! Many thanks to the
Bargain Queen for running the contest.

So far I have received this nifty professional eye widener (the white eyeliner that makes your eyes stand out!), eyeliner in black and a blushing and bronzing brush.

I have tried out the two eye pencils and I was very impressed. Easy to use, good consistency and above all, they looks great on. I will try the brush and review the other products when they arrive.

I am waiting on a delivery of three more items that should be arriving tomorrow or the next day:

Plumping lip glaze in plum pout, natural radiance blusher in "Shy" and "Silver Lining" Brightening Eye Colour.

I am also very impressed with E.L.F.'s customer service. I called yesterday to say that only 3 out of the 6 items had arrived and they called back by the end of the day, organised to send the rest of the items, then decided to throw in some more cosmetics for my trouble. So in a way I won again! :-)

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I'm going to be honest here, termites really creep me out. In fact most tiny, multiple-legged creatures give me the willies. I have seen what termites can do to a weatherboard house and anyone who owns a piano strikes a chord of terror when termites are mentioned. If you want to deal with termites or get a termite inspection organised, you can check out this online guide to how to combat the little nasties.

This post was brought to you by Termites Guide.

I have been giggling all yesterday and today, remembering what possibly could have been the dumbest thing I have ever said in my life (big call!). Picture this, I'm cleaning out my cupboards, throwing out junk, when I uncover my favourite solar calculator. I can't remember who I said this to - might have been my mum or brother. Anyway, I held the calculator up and said:

"WOW! My old solar calculator..."

"...and it still works!"


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I write a lot of posts about shopping online. However I have often considered the kind of setup required to sell your own products. I know for a fact that shopping online is a volatile business at times. If I am visiting an online shopping site I will be very fickle when it comes to software glitches. If I don't feel 100% confident that the site is secure and able to process my order without incident, I will do what many online shoppers do when faced with this problem: log out, close the window and never come back. It's easy to work out how important this kind of software can be when rounding up new customers and making repeat sales. Personally, if I feel confident buying from a site I will be most likely to make repeat purchases. For this to happen on a large scale, the system must be reliable. I have tried out a number of Ecommerce Software packages - the best way to do this is to compare features, compare pricing and do your research before committing to any one package. Network Solutions E-commerce was developed by the developers of the former MonsterCommerce Ecommerce software. The important questions to ask - does it include Paypal? Many online shoppers swear by Paypal and if your Ecommerce package does not have this option for payment, shoppers may go elsewhere. It may be that the more options your Ecommerce software offers, the better. The choice is up to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Have you seen this cardigan?

I think gremlins have made their way into the system again. I bought a great cardigan on Ebay and it just refuses to arrive. The seller is very nice and said she posted it ages ago (and I believe her, you can usually tell if the person is a crook!) so the search continues. Last seen sometime in mid-October. Wearing...er

This post was brought to you by Cartridge Finder...

You may have found yourself in this situation before: You have an important report that is due RIGHT NOW. The client is tapping their feet, calling you every five minutes, it's time to print out all that hard work. And then the printer beeps at you these dreaded words "Out of Ink". That's when you may find yourself needing the services of Cartridge Finder to help locate your model and try to locate a competitive price for that cartridge. The site uses the comparison shopping site 'Pricegrabber' to compare prices and find the best deal.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This morning a fellow said "good morning" to me while I was downstairs gathering mugs for coffees. I was distracted for one second while opening the cupboard and whacked myself in the head. It still hurts and it happened one hour and twelve minutes ago. The corner of the cupboard got me right smack bang square in the temple. It was probably a sign I should not have gotten out of bed this morning.

I thought I was going to write something really profound today but I think my inspiration got socked out of me. So, with throbbing temple and mug of dandelion coffee, here are the latest spam emails to watch out for:

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As you know, I am a big fan of Patricia Cornwell. In fact I generally like books that involve mystery, death, intrigue and dark themes. That doesn't mean that I am unbreakable when it comes to Romance Novels. I have actually read some romance novels in my life, just not as many as books about forensics and serial killers. That aside, a good romance novel can be like chocolate without all the calories. A bit of escapism sitting alone on the beach, in a park, or in a cafe wistfully wondering about that someone special. I have encountered some people who are addicted to romance novels. Like I said, I am not one of these individuals but I remember seeing bookshelves lined with these titles at one of my relatives' place. I also remember sneaking a look at one of these books - I think it might have been written by Susan Meier, and (as kids always do) I found the rude part straight away. I think it was on page 112 or something. I remember chuckling and thinking how funny it was. I suppose when you are a kid you think a lot of things are funny that adults enjoy. It certainly can be nice to escape into a fictional world for a while, even if it is kind of unrealistic and fluffy, but it's all harmless fun.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Here are the shots from the Birthday round at Elsternwick. One of my favourite features of the course is the family of ducks that walk across the fairways and swim in the water hazard. They also fertilize the course!

The last photograph features a cockatoo of some description. I know it's not a sulphur-crested cocky because it has a few reddish-pink markings. Love to find out what it was exactly.

(Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 05, 2007

It was my birthday yesterday. My partner took me out to a lunch that ended up lasting all day and we had a brilliant time. We were planning to go to the Zoo but it got rained out. So we had to take a raincheck. (haaaaa!!) I had to make that joke, I'm afraid.

On my partner's birthday (last week), we went for a round of golf and found the most incredible bargain - A Greg Norman "Shark" Tiburon Titanium Driver for $40.00 The price sticker was still on the shaft reading "$249.00".

Incidentally, "Tiburon" means "Shark" in Spanish. Interesting bit of trivia. I couldn't find an exact photograph of this particular driver but here is a newer model:

For this particular round, the new balls of choice were Maxfli D-Tec (High Launch) - said to be the "longest and straightest" - I can confirm they are definitely straight. It is hard to compare these balls to the Srixon Distance (see Field of Dreams post). There doesn't seem to be a lot between them. I noticed the Maxfli D-Tec were especially good for putting. The prices are comparable so it's really down to personal choice. I'd recommend both balls for those who shoot in the 90s or 80s.

I will post a couple of pics from the course in 2 days, as soon as I get hold of the cable to download photos.
If you own a small business it can be difficult to take time out to set up an intranet system, in fact it can often be the thing that sits at the bottom of the "to do" list for time immemorial.

Some business owners prefer to work from home and to set up a system in one step would be a major boost for convenience for small business owners and employees. It would be handy to have secure file-sharing and on-line project collaboration, especially for those (I know!) who wish to spend more time in the country or combine work and various other activities.

Intranet Software UK provides the information necessary to set up an intranet system for your business. The site offers ongoing technical support and the pricing seems to be weighted based on the number of users who will be using the system. If you are interested in setting up this kind of system for your company, this may be an option for you.

This post brought to you by Intranet Software UK.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It started happening last week. A mysterious phenomenon in which I proceeded to go "beep" every time I passed through a security barrier. Supermarkets, Chemists, you name it, I went "beep".

I searched my mind for the cause of this sudden anomaly.

Well, I say searched...I actually spent a lot of time saying to suspicious checkout staff:

"It's okay! I went beep when I went in!"

Strangely, this has been quite sufficient as an explanation. Had I been an actual shoplifter this would have been quite a dastardly plan...

"I went beep when I went in! It's okay!" (with a bag stuffed full of...well...I'm not really sure what. Why would someone want to rob a supermarket? Unless you're really into groceries - perhaps extremely hungry?!?)

Another thing recently occurred to me - the security barriers don't seem to pick up on actual groceries. I know this beacuse I bought an item at one supermarket, then later in the day realised I needed something from another supermarket from the same chain (eg. Coles). I brought in that very bag with my item inside (with the receipt in the bag, of course!) - and nothing. The machine didn't go beep.

These machines are however brilliant at detecting people who have bought a C5 notebook and have forgotten to remove the packaging.

Yep, that's right - mystery solved. I forgot to take the plastic off my little notebook and it happened to contain something very similar to this:

I remember I went for an entire year going "beep" without realising that the nivea moisturiser in my bag had one of these silver microchip whatchamadoodles stuck to it.

It got me in quite a bit of bother when I tried to fly overseas. Luckily one of the security staff took pity on me. It was quite obvious that I was not armed and was quite clueless as to why I went "beep". I actually started to think that I may have swallowed something metal. Had I been a conspiracy theorist I would have thought aliens had given me an implant... or replaced my brain with liquid metal like that guy in Terminator 2...

Anyway, go figure. These supermarkets might want to recalibrate their machines.

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Watch out for this one. I clicked on it. It got me. Now I have probably given over my soul to the Evil God of Spam.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I think I'm getting back on track with my shopping exploits. After a number of weeks of nail-biting (being an Ebay seller is not for the faint of heart), the buyer responded that the item finally arrived. Phew! You know, I don't think I'll try that again for a while. Sometimes I think it's a good idea and I get all optimistic about selling stuff on Ebay, and then the reality hits when I have to buy stamps, postpacks, send stuff with the unpredictable Australia Post and... pray.

So I'm in the clear. Yippee!! Now I can get back to my "buy one item of clothing per week" plan. It's a great plan and it's been working really well so far. It also makes me more likely to eject clothing I have not worn for over 5 years. I think that's probably a sign.

You know, the dress you wore to that wedding and now don't have a use for? (is that bad English? I think SMS texting is messing with my syntax).

And the pair of shoes you wore to that job you hated (or is that just me? Sometimes I get the impression that everyone else is blissfully happy and 'okay' with stuff. They are best of friends with their ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. They still talk to their old bosses that used to treat them like sh!t. They love everyone they went to High School with. I've got one thing to say to them. Bollocks.) But I digress. Again. Where was I?

Oh yes, getting rid of old clothes and making room for the new.

I found this pair of corduroy pants for 0.99c! Hee hee! And the postage was $5.20 so the total of $6.19 (if my maths serves me correctly)...

They seriously arrived the day after I paid for them. So fast! I love it when that happens. It's like getting presents every week.

Can't wait to wash them and try them on... (always a good idea to wash these things - I tried on a top straight from the postpack and spent the rest of the afternoon sneezing with dust up my nose...)

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