. . .

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kelly has been kind enough to host $$$ The Bestest Blog Finance Carnival $$$ on her blog "A Girl Worth Saving".

I have my own entry in the Carnival "FOAD: Don't Buy Britney's Hair on Ebay" in which I rant about financial injustices in the world, amongst other things. I am thoroughly enjoying all the posts in the blog carnival - make sure you check it out....

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Monday, February 26, 2007

You may remember my post "AVIS Messes With Family Catch-Up". This was a ranting piece (most of my posts are rants - I can't help it) on the difficulties I encountered while trying to book a few days car rental. It is really not that difficult for most people. I know this to be true because people give me strange looks when I explain the ridiculous situations I have been faced with. I shall prevail. I know this because I watched Rocky about 10 times.
Okay, so if you have the background on the AVIS story, I vowed never to use them again even though they had given me pretty good service in the past. So I decide to try their competitors, Budget Rent-A-Car. Yippee! I thought. This will be easy. I went to Budget's website and that's where the fun started. Is it just me? Or does the website not work in either Internet Explorer, Firefox OR Opera? I mean, they are the main ones, aren't they? It doesn't say in fine print at the bottom "this site will only work with Obscura Minimus v2.7"....or does it?
I wouldn't know because I can't get in to the fricken' website!!! I'm still on the first page, pulling my hair out and saying:

But no. Sadly it will not yield to my dulcet tones. I have to try other methods. So I did. Somehow I guessed the URL of the contact page and managed to slip in the back way. Then I wrote a detailed comment pointing out the fact that their website does not work. At all. On the three main internet browsers. (Unless you have Safari, yes I know but I can't afford a Mac at this time so jolly well done for those who have one...)
So, I submit my comment. No response for days. So I write an email detailing the same points and send it. No response again. Is it still there? Did Budget close down when I wasn't looking? I suppose at this stage you are saying "listen Nerd Girl, just get off the dang computer and use the phone...you know, the little white thing with the handle and the twirly cord..."
Yes, I know. But...you can't get the internet specials unless you use the internet. If you call them you don't get $5 off per day or whatever the deal is supposed to be. Again, I wouldn't know.....because THEY WON'T LET ME IN!!!

I will call them, however. This can't go on forever. Perhaps there is some funny setting that I haven't tweaked on my internet browser. It keeps on telling me JAVASCRIPT (Void). I am pretty sure this means one of two things. Either I am a luddite or their website has got mistakes in it.

I'm not going to call them yet because I'm still grumpy. If I call when I'm grumpy, I'm likely to get a brick-wall officious *^%#@^*%&*&#^I'm not going to call them yet because I'm still grumpy. If I call when I'm grumpy, I'm likely to get a brick-wall officious *^%#@^*%&*&#^$&*#$ person on the other end of the phone. I think that's how the universe works. If you put out anger you get a%$%#@^holes in return. The laws of the universe should take into account that sometimes when you are in a hurry to book a holiday you are likely to be stressed and people should just jolly well be nice to you anyway because you are under a lot of pressure.
amp;*#$ person on the other end of the phone. I think that's how the universe works. If you put out anger you get a%$%#@^holes in return. The laws of the universe should take into account that sometimes when you are in a hurry to book a holiday you are likely to be stressed and people should just jolly well be nice to you anyway because you are under a lot of pressure.

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Perhaps you missed out on a Valentine's day card this year. Or perhaps you're just looking for lurrrve.

Free Online Dating is a truly 100% free dating site. This means you don't need to give over your credit card details. The features are the same as you would get from a paid dating site, with the added bonus of no cost to you! Creating a profile includes describing yourself, filling out your interests and specifying your geographical region (U.S. & Canada). You can also include all the information you wish to include about yourself, add a photo, which obviously enhances your chances of meeting someone, and you are ready to go. Spread the love!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Zlist was started at Viral Garden. It is a simple way to get links from other bloggers and also improve technorati ratings.

What do you have to do to join? Just copy the links below to a new post, making sure you add to the list the last site you got the Zlist from (that would be me!! SAVESAVESAVE). Then sit back and relax as people copy the list from your blog and pass it on. And on. And on. And on....

JCM's blog & updates
the 15,000-dollar mission
612 to apocalypse
JCM´s RPG art
Connected Internet
Can I Make Big Money Online
Flee the Cube
Blogging to Fame
Million Dollar Experiment heads Down Under
Kumiko's Cash Quest
Calico Monkey
Internet Bazaar
JCM´s blog
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Customers Rock!
Being Peter Kim
Pow! Right Between The Eyes!
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Two Hat Marketing
The Emerging Brand
The Branding Blog
Drew's Marketing Minute
Golden Practices
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett's Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos
Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained
Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly

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I have been messing with my template again. It's making me cross-eyed. I think I have to compulsively change my blog template for some reason, the way some people always have to change the colour of their hair. Now I have migrated to the new Blogger (not BETA anymore), I have found it's even harder to get blog templates. I have found some good sites for new Blogger templates but I think there are already too many of those "red lipped woman" blogs floating around and I don't want to just be another identical one. Anyway, the woman looks like she is dribbling. Am I the only person who has noticed this? If I could only be bothered designing my own blog templates...it's a thought...
Actually, writing this has made my mind up. I will just use this template and mess with it when I feel like it. I suppose it's better to have a design that is unique - even if some other blogs make you go "Wow! How the $%&$ did they do that?"

And even though I have lost a whopping 9 "Battle of the Blogs Challenges" and won exactly zero, I am starting to wonder about whether anyone reads the posts when they vote or whether my blog just sucks! I mean, do people go "I don't like the colour scheme" and vote for the other one? Or do they go "Oooo nice pictures" and forget to read the words? Or am I a bitter and twisted person damaged beyond repair by consecutive defeats? Only time will tell. Incidentally, I have just thrown down the gauntlet again (albeit foolishly) on the Battle of the Blogs on Blog Explosion.

This is not a desperate plea for you to vote for me, by the way.
*pant* *pant*
Case dismissed.

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The following is a Pay Per Post advertisement....
I love widgets. Ever since I first tried out a weather widget I have been going widget mad. Before I went widget mad I didn't even know what a widget was. Heck, a year ago I didn't even know what a blog was!!! (strange but true) But I digress.
Box.net Widget is a flash player that you can use to stream files. You choose which files to upload from your hard drive (up to 1GB) - these can include podcasts, photographs, videos, whatever you like. I tried it out myself and it's pretty easy to use - took me all of 2 seconds to figure it out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I saw a girl wearing the best T-shirt today...It will be mine....

Oh yeah! The Empire Strikes Back. I'd probably rather have a "Star Wars - A New Hope" T-shirt because otherwise people might think I'm evil.

Speaking of evil empires...now I'm going all Empire Strikes Back mad on Ebay.

Stormtrooper Figurine. I had heaps of these. Don't know what happened to them. I know that I lost one or two on a beach in Santa Monica when Mum took me and my brother on holiday. It was probably my fault because I was playing at burying them in the sand and pretending the beach was the ice planet Hoth. I had the supreme confidence that I would remember where I buried them but it turned out that all of the beach looked the same and Han Solo in antarctic gear and Luke Skywalker with his lightsaber were gone forever.

Comics. What more need I say? Brilliant. Oh, dang, I said something.

I love these 'books of the movie' type things. At the moment there aren't enough of these around. Maybe they will make a comeback. When the "Return of the Jedi" books and tape sets came out, I listened to them so many times I can recite the bulk of the entire movie. Oh my God. I just wrote that down. I am such a geek. I might as well accept that and be comfortable with it.

(say the first line while holding your nose)
DEATH STAR CONTROLLER: "The security deflector shield will be deactivated when we have confirmation of your code transmission. Stand by... You are clear to proceed."

SHUTTLE CAPTAIN: "We're starting our approach."

OFFICER: "Inform the commander that Lord Vader's shuttle has arrived"

OPERATOR: "Yes sir"

MOFF JERJERROD: "Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure, we are honoured by your presence..."

VADER: "You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander, I'm here to put you back on schedule..."

That's it. I'm getting a trenchcoat and growing a beard. Hang on, I'm not a guy. Um....
20GB hard drive? 1GB ram? Maybe I'm already on my way to using my powers. I must.... complete.... my training......

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Re: People bidding over $1 million dollars for Britney Spears hair on Ebay

Okay. I've had it. I don't know if this is FOAD Monday, Tuesday or whatever. For me, today is FOAD day. So there.

Please, fellow humans, do not be a sheep and follow the megalomaniacal (is that a word?) media in their bloodthirsty and vulturous (I think I made up another word - being angry does that to a person!) quest for sensationalism out of complete triviality.

If aliens came to our planet and found out that various members of humanity had decided to spend $1M upwards (yes, that's right, 1 million dollars or more) on a pile of human hair, they would decide we are either insane, very simple or that humans in general possessed the same intellectual and spiritual capacity of pond scum and single-celled amoeba.

It's HAIR. I don't care whose hair it is. It's HAIR. You know? The stuff that gets clogged in the drain when you are having a shower. The stuff you clean off your hairbrush. The bits you sweep off the floor and vaccum off the carpet.

Ooo but it's Britney's Spears' hair! Britney! Britney! Britney! WGAF (hey wow, I think I made up a new nerdism. Try and work it out...)

I don't care if it's the Czar, the Queen, Britney Spears or hair from someone's dog. It's hair and a can of Red Bull you can get for $2.40 from a vending machine.

People who have $1 million dollars to spend and want to spend it on such trivial rubbish should be tied up with string and made to donate the money to Oxfam or something.

In fact, dammit, if you are one of these incredibly stupid, incredibly rich people with a penchant for sweepings from the floor of a hair salon (and by the way, how do people this stupid get this rich? Clearly wealth is not a measure of intellectual capacity) then why don't you do the following:

1. Go to local hair salon, ask very nicely for sweepings off floor (I'm sure they will oblige!!)
2. Go to a vending machine, buy a Red Bull for $2.40, put on some lipstick, take a few sips and make a clear lipstick mark on the can.
3. Donate $1M to Oxfam or the Red Cross.
4. Put stupid hairy stuff and Red Bull in a cabinet. Okay it didn't belong to Britney Spears, but are you beginning to see how ridiculous this is?
5. Stop watching sillly entertainment shows promoting insignificant garbage.

You will feel better knowing that an entire village can build a well, build a school, get vaccinated against disease and grow crops.

Or you can say, "stuff the rest of the world, I want my hair and Red Bull from Britney"

The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm not sure if it's my phone - if it's everyone else's phone, if it's Optus or if it's Nokia 2600s in general. I've checked with other people using Optus and they don't
seem to have the same problem so it is probably a problem with the phone itself.

This strange phenomenon seems to happen every time I make an important call...

I call, get talking, then there is a drop out around the most important words in the conversation.
The words you can't hear when talking on the Nokia 2600 are shown in red.
...A completely fictional example:

Person A: What time is this dinner party?
Person B: It's at six-thirty
Person A: Ok, what do I need to bring?
Person B: Bring cheese, wine, nothing with wheat in it because Jenny is allergic...and dessert
Person A: What do I need to wear? Is it still fancy dress?
Person B: No Jenny and Mark decided against fancy dress - that's the latest.
Person A: And that speech I had made up. What did you think? Should I speak about the war?
Person B: It might be a sensitive subject to have you speak about the war.
Person A: Ok, I'll see you at six-thirty then.

You can see just from this brief example the endless possibilities for misunderstandings, mixups, and in this case, flat-out disaster!

The problem seems to get even worse if you put the phone on loudspeaker - it cuts out both what you are saying and what the other person is saying. And if you both say a word at the same time, you can't hear anything.

I'm either going to get a new phone or I'm going to go back to basics.

Verdict - What good is a phone if you can't use it to communicate? I ask you!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

I love postcards. I have a small collection on my fridge - the more colourful, the better.
I particularly like the old / antique / vintage postcards that can be found by scouring the internet on sites such as Ebay, Amazon and the like. These cards can be tourist cards, art deco cards (my personal favourites!), military and propaganda, and various other subjects.

I read up on how to care for antique postcards, as little is known on this topic in the general population. According to Vintage Postcards it is easy to damage a postcard by keeping it in an album sleeve that is identical in size to the postcard itself. Inserting and removing the card from such an album can in itself damage the card. The album sleeve / holder should be larger than the postcard itself. Some storage holders can also contain damaging chemicals that break down and form acidic oil which damages the cards. The albums / holders that are free from these compounds are triacetate, polyethylene, polyester or Mylar, polypropylene or uPVC (unplasticized polyvinylchloride). For more information, visit Vintage Postcards - they have the care instructions covered.

I love postcards of landmarks - especially of my town, Melbourne.

It has been a long time since Flinders Street Station looked like this. For one, it didn't have that monstrosity Federation Square clashing styles hideously on the opposite corner. Don't get me started...grrrrrrrrrrr. Okay, I'm fine now.

I especially liked this one of Benny Leonard, lightweight champion of the world (1920s). It reminds me of the picture of Rocky Marciano (who of course was the world heavyweight champion 1952-1956) in the movie Rocky I.

My favourite cards would have to be the Art Deco postcards.

There is something about this style that makes everything seem kind of magical. And it always makes me want to travel. Especially on planes and trains. Not so easy to travel on ships these days, unless you want to be caught with a bunch of B&S Ball weirdos who are into wife-swapping!

Damn. I brought the tone down again. Where was I? Ah, yes, the magical, wonderful world of antique postcards. *sigh*.

Happy Valentine's Day to all (for the 14th)!! I submitted my Great Expectations post for the Valentine's Day blog carnival. For some reason it hasn't made it into the carnival, but obviously you can read it here. I am not one to hold a grudge (*sniff* *sniff*) so here it is - the Bestest Blog Valentine's Day Carnival hosted by Cathy:

I really enjoy Blog Carnivals. In this Valentine's Day Carnival There are a lot of funny and touching stories - I don't know about anyone else but I can spend all day reading these posts. So, spread love to the world and read all about luuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrvvvvvvvvvvvvvve.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

This relates back to my earlier post "Gadget Gift Ideas!" After careful deliberation, weighing
up all the options and going to numerous online and real stores, I decided on....(drumroll):

Isn't it cute? The Creative MuVo TX FM 1GB Mp3 Player. (RRP$128.00)

The thing I like best about it is this - you don't have to possess a degree in advanced
electronics to use it. In fact, I pretty much worked it out in 2 minutes flat!!
All you have to remember is press the wheelie thing IN to select something, and
FLICK the wheelie thing to the right or left to scroll through stuff.
Transferring songs and podcasts to the player is easier than I thought it would be.
On your computer, make a couple of folders, (name them "Nirvana" or "The Clash" etc.
- and don't pirate the songs!! Buy the CD.) then put the songs in the folder and you are
ready for the MP3 Player.

Turn the player OFF.

Pull the player apart (see diagram above) so you have a USB plug showing. Plug the
USB into your computer's USB port, if it's Windows XP, it will automatically install the
drivers - otherwise you can use the installer CD that comes with the player), then open
the player (it will show up as a removable disk).

Copy the folders + songs to the player.

In XP right click the "Safely remove hardware" button at the bottom right of your taskbar.
(see diagram below)

For those of you who know CSS, think people are stupid when they put a space instead of a slash
or a <>....

I apologise. These instructions must seem slightly cave-man-like. Uh.

(hehehe...I'm pretty happy with this one!!)

However, there are some of us (even some nerds!!) that find using some machines could be
so much easier if someone just spelled it out. I mean, think of the time it would save!!!
Yes, you can work stuff out, but if you can get the answers straight away it makes things
that much simpler. Well, that's what I think, anyway.

But I digress. The point is, I like taking this little player on my walks, I made a folder called
"Walking", filled it with a lot of up-tempo songs (so I won't slack off on the pace!!) and
I just choose "Shuffle folder" and I'm away.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sometimes you can find bargains in the most unexpected of places. Determined to find a new pair of tracksuit pants
that didn't look excruciatingly daggy, I scoured Ebay for ages, searched Rebel Sport and all the usual suspects.

I wasn't having much luck unless I really wanted tracksuit pants similar
to the ones pictured:

Sexy, no?
Okay, tracky dacks are not the high point of fashion.
But I'm not wearing them for a fashion statement - I am wearing them to go running. If I start to go out on the town
wearing clothes like this, you have permission to shoot me!

But, back to my search. By chance, I happened to be in Mount Waverley walking towards the station
when something caught my eye. On a rack outside a small local shop I saw the holy grail of tracksuit pants:
(insert Hallelujah chorus here)

Slender lines, delicate piping, flared boot leg style. I grabbed the tag - it read "$10.00"

I didn't even try them on (they only had S, M and L and if you don't know where you fit in here then you need
some scales and a measuring tape!!). I paid the money and walked towards the station on a shopping Cloud 9.

It just goes to show that synchronicity can apply to shopping as well as other matters!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I always find this a difficult one - what do you get your partner / love of your life / penguin
for Valentine's day?

It is a day of ridiculously high expectations fraught with danger and innuendo.

I mean for example, if you get the person a nice bunch of flowers, there are all these
bizarre rules.

Don't get them yellow roses because that means "I like you, but not in THAT way"

And forget pink camellias because that is deemed to mean "I am longing for a man"
and you don't want to appear desperate.

Striped carnations mean "rejection" and "sorry I can't be with you"
(where do you even get striped carnations anyway?)

Thankfully, red roses mean "I Love You"

But what happens when the roses start to wither? People get awfully superstitious
about such things and a nice gift can turn into a weird bouquet like those flowers
in "Supernatural" in the bit where the zombie is making the ground unholy.

There I go on the unholy ground rave again. I am trying to write about Valentine's Day.
That's what you get for being born a Scorpio.

So forget flowers. Then you have the gift section. Teddy bears. I don't know.
What does a grown woman / man do with a teddy bear? And if you get one every
year it turns into "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" and people get freaked out.
That was the problem with that play, the guy should never have bought her dolls
in the first place. Dolls are in Stephen King novels, in Chucky movies, but I'm steering
clear of them for Valentine's Day. Did I mention dolls really creep me out?

I can't imagine why.

No dolls.


Okay, what have we got left? Oh yeah, all those weird tacky presents like the
elephant underpants and shiny silk boxers with little hearts on them.
You know what?
You might want to give these a miss. They could backfire on you and make you look
like a weird pervert. I mean those edible undergarments are just hideous. If you want
your partner to think you are weird, cheap, pervy and tacky, then go right ahead.

Hmmm. I'm running out of options. There are those "Romantic Adventures for Two"
things on those corporate entertainment (isn't that an oxymoron?) websites. So if you
really wanted to, you could risk both your life and the life of your loved one in a tandem
jump coordinated by a man who takes far too many steroids. It's totally up to you.

So then there are the romantic getaways in Balinese-style huts that look incredible until
you realise you can't smoke in the huts OR on the grounds, you can't light tealight candles
or any other sort of candle so the atmosphere is severely lacking, you are surrounded by
other stressed-out couples trying desperately to relax while dealing with nicotine
withdrawal and rampant boredom. There are only so many times you can sigh and say
"isn't this nice" before you want to kill somebody.

So what can you do? Lock yourself away in a room with all the windows boarded up until
the daylight rises over February 15th? Perhaps. Or you could get a nice card, write a
message that actually means something, buy some choccies, get a nice bottle of wine and
go out to dinner.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I don't know what it is. Perhaps the stars were out of alignment. Perhaps Mercury was in retrograde. Perhaps something was in the water.

The fact is, the Ebay Jinx has not been put to rest. See "The Dreaded Ebay Jinx!" post.

It makes me think of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors where Amanda Krueger
(Sister Mary Helena) says:

"The unquiet spirit must be laid to rest. It is an abomination to God and to man."

I must defeat the Ebay demon before it is too late.

There is only one way to start.

I'll be going to Ebay now and you know what I'll be shopping for...

So as I venture off to parts unknown I will leave you with these words:

"You are about to attend a funeral...one that's long overdue"
(Nightmare on Elm St 3 - Dream Warriors.)