. . .

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The period after Christmas is often the best time to buy gifts. A great way to save money is to buy next year's Christmas presents now. Personally, I am not that organised. But, given the recent economic crisis, the best thing for the economy right now is to spend money.

Bath spa gift baskets are convenient as they are a ready-made solution for birthdays and holiday celebrations. At Best Bath Store you can find gift baskets starting at $39.95 - the baskets range from smaller combinations of soaps and bath products, to deluxe dead sea mud packages.

Featured above is the Petite Deluxe Facial gift basket, including minerals and botanicals to care for acne prone skin. The package includes pore refining facial toner, an acne soap bar and acne treatment gel.

The site also features products for men, including shaving creams and gels, and a very cute "I am Smitten With Him" package. This features a bay lime shaving kit with aloe shea butter, vitamin e and soothing aloe vera for a closer and smoother shaving experience.

All products come attractively packaged in cute baskets and include free delivery within US and Canada for orders over $25. Perfect for that hard to buy person and the person who has everything.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...
and to all
a good night!



Monday, December 22, 2008

According to an article in The Age, a Galaxy poll revealed some surprising results.

After questioning 1242 people aged 13 years and older in October, the survey found the following 'best' gifts:

Best presents for women - Chanel No5 perfume

I disagree. I think Poison is much better and anyway, I'd rather get a new titanium driver. Perhaps I am atypical.

Best presents for men - iPod Nano
Hmmm. I know one man in particular who would scratch his head and give me a quizzical look if I bought him an iPod Nano. The most likely response would be "how do you turn the bloody thing on?"

Best presents for girls - Barbie and Baby alive

AAARRRRGHHH!!! My mum would have had a pink fit (literally) if I had been given such gifts. Barbie dolls are sexist and promote eating disorders. Baby alive prepares one for motherhood I suppose. Fine if you're into that sort of thing...

Best presents for boys - Lego and Transformers

Now you're talking. I got quite a few lego sets as a kid and I loved them. I think they are good for the imagination and also serve the purpose of keeping kids away from the XBox for a while. Transformers? Yeah, I used to like them...before the crap movie came out.

Now for the 'worst' list:

Worst presents for women - Kitchen appliances

I understand that the giving of a kitchen appliance to a woman can often be misinterpreted (or correctly interpreted) as "you woman, go cook!!" ...or words to that effect.
On the other hand if it's a rice cooker...well, they can come in handy.

Worst presents for men - the article didn't specify so I'll have to make up my own. From what I have heard, anything tie-dyed, clothing bought by grandma/aunties eg. green socks, more socks, colourful t-shirts that say something like "Brown Ferret Sports Club" with pictures of surfboards and volleyballs on it. Sweeping period romance novels are probably out, unless the male in question is a fan, or is named Gill Sanderson (romance author!). And perhaps the worst? Pongy aftershave that only goes with a backwards cap, a 6 cylinder car and an ear-splitting doof doof stereo.

Worst presents for teenage girls - Clothes bought by parents

Ok, I hear ya. Yep, yep. That polka dot cable knit jumper will sink to the bottom of the closet, only to be wheeled out on special occasions. Unless that is, it meets an unfortunate 'accident' along the way...

Worst present for teenage boys - Books

Whaat? What about Harry Potter? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Are we entering a new age of illiteracy? Whatever happened to The Famous 5? Boys Own? Sherlock Holmes? Nooo, it's all gadgets and gizmos now. Teenage boys probably learn how to read on Facebook.

I finished my Christmas shopping two days ago. Let's hope we all escape the 'worst' list!

You might also be interested in this offer, it seems that the guys at MyShoppingJobs.com are now paying people to go shopping and giving away a bunch of free stuff as well. The Free E-Guide "Get Your Purchases Free" is now available for download.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Here's your chance to get a huge 10-20% discount at Macy's. Between 10th and 15th December 2008 you can use this discount on various items throughout the store.

When shopping on macys.com
enter the promotional code: MACYSFRIEND to receive your discount

Click here for the printable PDF version:
Download the Macy's Friends and Family Coupon!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

For the home:

I love these. It's kind of bean bag meets The Flintstones.

For the designer freak (I mean aficionado!):

I understand and believe in the quest for short run items and handmade goods. Quality rather than quantity. I also believe that there is an upper limit for what things are actually worth. A reasonably priced designer item can last for decades and provide the wearer with much happiness during this time. I just wouldn't pay $700 for a handbag. Call me weird but I really don't think any handbag is worth that much. These cute canvas bags are selling for $58 and are made by Pedido Tabique.

For the dot com mogul:

This is sooo nerdy that I had to include it. Is it an icon? Is it a usb drive?

Or perhaps you're a sushi person...

Colourful, fun and best of all silly, these usb drives are both lunch and storage. What more could you need?

For the beauty product nut:

These lip gloss sliding lip tins come in seven flavours and fit neatly in a purse or handbag.

I hope these ideas are a starting point to get you inspired for the coming season of giving!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Picture this scene - you're at the 18th green, 5-10 metres away from the hole, holding on to the rope, watching Rod Pampling and Marcus Fraser battle out a sudden death playoff. The playoff results in a par for each player and they return to the 18th tee once more. Two more playoffs and holding your breath for around 20 minutes, Rod Pampling scores the winning shot. The crowd erupts into a colossal roar.

And some people say golf is boring.

The day was amazing, the food was incredibly expensive.

1 salad sandwich - $7.50

I ask you - it was two pieces of bread, a tiny bit of grated carrot, avocado dip and one small piece of lettuce. Was the bread gold plated?

The day was mind blowing, we were metres away from Robert Allenby, Rod Pampling and my partner nearly bumped into Peter Lonard as Lonard was coming out of the changing rooms. We watched Peter Senior (legend) putt on the 12th and Scott Hend tee off on the 13th.

Scott Hend hit the ball and we watched his long walk to his ball. Then we realised he wasn't stopping. He kept going, going and finally walked around to the back of the green, approximately 318 metres away. Holy crap, that's a long drive.

The realisation dawns when you actually watch these players in action. They-are-really-really-good. When you see it on TV, it doesn't quite have the same effect.

For the first time in my life I saw the presentation of the gold jacket and the trophy. If you love golf or are even just curious about golf, I suggest attending a tournament at least once.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's that time of year again. The standouts from Choice Magazine Shonky Awards are as follows: 

Airobe Body Dryer It's basically a huge hairdryer for your body. It also seems to claim that it's environmentally friendly due to no longer needing to launder towels. Excuse me but when I have a shower I don't like to parade around without a towel with decent coverage. Must be my little quirk. For those of you who like to dance around in the nud in front of a huge hairdryer I have only one thing to say to you: You're weird, pal. 

Coles Steam Iron The purpose of an iron as I understand it is to smooth out creases in your clothing, giving you that "just laundered" look. The Coles steam iron, according to the results of Choice testing, sticks to clothes, increases creases (snigger!), and makes a big ol' steamy, watery, burny mess. If I wanted to do that to my clothes I would hang out in a steel foundry.

  Premium Mobile Services Industry

I'm not sure if anyone has heard about that guy who downloaded one episode of Prison Break and a few songs overseas and ran up a bill for around 35,000 pounds (see story here). This is a good example of how much these companies can charge for what is essentially useless content. I mean I have a phone, it rings numbers and sends texts. I don't need Kanye West's latest song as my ringtone, I don't need phone bling and I'd feel a little silly with a Harry Potter theme for my menu. I ask you, who really wants to watch an episode of Prison Break that much? And who wants to sit through the latest episode of Lost on a tiny phone screen? Here's an idea: record it, get your friends to record it, buy the DVD box set! Surely it will cost a lot less than 35,000 pounds. And parents can guard against their teenagers doing such dastardly things like downloading hotBabes4U by only allowing them to have a prepaid phone and recharging in small amounts. The recurring charges on a post-paid account can be devastating to all involved. And shame on these evil wrongdoers by targeting a naive audience and making it almost impossible to unsubscribe. 

Glaceau Vitamin Water I am also a victim of this shonkiness. I have many times consumed this concoction, erroneously believing it to be providing me with some kind of health benefit. Now, through these awards I have discovered I have been consuming a third of the daily sugar requirement for an adult female. AND I've often been consuming one of these before my 1-2k walks. Talk about a false economy! I don't even have sugar in my dandelion coffee! Argh! I also discovered that these drinks contain less than 1% fruit juice and are packed with artificial colouring. Yet another product to drop from my list. *sigh* Thanks to Choice for exposing the shonkiness infiltrating our consumer goods. Keep up the good work!


technorati tags:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I was sorry to learn from Blogetiq that BlogMad is closing down on the 12th of December 2008.

It's a real pity because I know of many people (myself included!) who know and love the site and surf through blogs regularly to earn credits at a 1:1 ratio. I have noticed a number of sites are closing down including matched.co.uk and various others. I wonder if it is due in part to the credit crunch? Or credit splat more like it, since that's the noise it's going to make when it hits its rear end on the bottom of the ladder. Eeek! I hope this doesn't affect too many sites because the rise of interesting blogging resources is required more than ever. We need to know how screwed things are just as soon as events occur.

Fingers crossed we get ourselves out of this mess.

BlogMad - farewell old buddy, I'll miss the creds!! If I had a lazy bunch of US$ lying handy I'd buy the domain.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Me - olive skin, dark brown hair. The mission - to become a blonde. (play mission impossible music here)

Many say that us olive-skinned people should never go blonde. Hairdressers often get a look of fear and dread wash over their faces before hastily asking:

"How about some lowlights instead?"

Hmm. Lowlights eh?

When you were a kid, and you wanted fairy floss at the amusement park and your parents gave you a wholemeal peanut butter sandwich instead, were you satisfied?

I think that answers my question, whatever that was.

The point I'm trying to make is this - when you want to go blonde, there is no substitute. It's like some kind of weird addiction. Once the idea manifests, it germinates and grows and pretty soon you are thinking of nothing but achieving your goal of ultimate blondeness.

I go to a Korean hairdresser. The staff think I am amusing for some reason, I'm not sure why. I like going to them because they do weird punk haircuts and pretty much anything is fair game. I asked my hairdresser to give me a colour called "ash blonde" all over. She didn't even blink - just started mixing up all this weird purple stuff. She told me it was a bad thing to use bleach. I recalled many times sitting out in the sun, hair wrapped in glad wrap, 30 percent bleach burning my scalp. It didn't seem that bad to me. $15 and it worked.

So, $240 and three and a half hours later, I found myself with the same burning scalp, the same feeling of dread and excitement for the moment when they were washing and drying my hair for the third and last time. The first time had resulted in a "oops, not light enough" moment. Then the stuff was reapplied and left for long enough for me to read three tabloid magazines in their entirety.

I'm not sure if it was the hair dye, but I felt my brain melting after yet another Britney article.

Then I thought of bald Britney and got the fear. What if it vaporises my hair? What if they wash it off and it all disappears down the sink?

Get a grip, girl - this is 2008. They don't let things like that happen anymore. Do they?

Finally, the colour was revealed. Not bad at all. Very blonde, a little too yellowy for my liking. Still, I had to get out of there. I could not stand waiting for another hour while Britney and Angelina danced in my head. No more!

I asked my hairdresser to write down the colour and products, in case someone else (perhaps someone cheaper) had to do the regrowth. She wrote down a whole bunch of words on a card but only one word jumped out at me. Bleach. Which makes what she had said earlier kind of...wrong.

A strange thing happened in the next day or so. My hair started to morph into a strange brassy colour. My partner affectionately referred to me as "Violet Crumble".

For those of you who are not familiar with this tasty treat, honeycomb is nice for a chocky bar, not so much for a hair colour. My olive skin cannot tolerate any yellow or orange tones. Well, I had both. My partner wore sunglasses in reference to my hair. It wasn't even sunny! I had to do something, and fast.

I tried Decore Blonde Toner - it promised to tone down brassiness and cool the colour to a wearable shade.

Wrong!! It just made my hair a lovely shade of salmon.

So, panicked by my salmon hair and the prospect of going out in public, I made it my mission to visit as many chemists as possible to get the right product. "Magic Silver White" was always the best toner for blonde hair. Now the product had been discontinued I was becoming slightly worried.

Thankfully I found Roux Fanci-Full Rinse in "silver lining" - amazingly it worked just as well as Magic Silver White and the Violet Crumble er... crumbled into a memory.

Result: Success!!


I also found Magic Silver White on Ebay - it has been renamed "Brilliant Silver White". I ask you, a product is a favourite for years and they go and rename it so you can't find it easily! Anyway, the product is said to be true to the original formula and great for toning down brassiness. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas has come a little early for me this year. I was thrilled to get the email announcing I had won the Lenovo Laptop from the DealsDirect Blogging competition.

The laptop arrived complete with Windows Vista Business, 1.66Ghz, 1G ram and 142 GB storage. (happy dance!)

The prizes were as follows:

Winner - One Lenovo Laptop

Runner Up - One 22" Monitor

10 X Runners Up win a 10MP Web Cam

Here is the laptop in all its glory:

A big thank you to DealsDirect. I am now a mobile blogger.

You can read the winning entry here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What do you get for the blogger who has everything? I know:

Just imagine the reaction from people you speak to everyday.
"Is she really? Did I say anything stupid? Incriminating? Oh sh!t, I mentioned the election!! Whatever will she write?"

What they don't realise is that I will be thinking "relax, I'm not blogging about you. Not unless you do anything that is spectacularly amusing or ridiculously silly. In fact, you are usually safe if you're not a customer service representative from any shopping outlet and you're not likely to be incredibly unhelpful or rude. You can relax now."

This is possibly the nerdiest t-shirt I have ever seen. With the exception of a select few, perhaps. But I love it. Because I am a nerd.

80s movie tees are back apparently.
I remember when anything 80s was so... well... 80s.
Wargames - the classic unbelievable nerd film. Like a computer with a 16k RAM card has the power to take over nuclear facilities and interact in an artificial intelligence capacity. "Would you like to play a game?" Yes, it's called "spot the plot hole".

Did I mention the nerdiest t-shirt of all time? I was wrong. P.S. if you get this, you are a nerd. If you laugh at it, you are also a geek.

And my favourite game of all time: Lemmings! Yaaaay! Such a simple concept - save a mass of suicidal lemmings using creative means like bridge building, hole digging, bashing and blocking.

If you miss this game (as I do!), you can play Lemmings right here, right now on your PC using this link: Play Lemmings in Your Browser

Ah, the nostalgia, the green hair... the bit where you kill all of them by blowing them up because you made a mistake... the guilt, the joys, the triumph...

The t-shirts can be found at teenormous.com / thinkgeek.com /mrcloud.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recently I wrote about Freebies4Webmasters. I signed up, submitted 3 web pages for ad placement and gained approval. I was paid 10 pounds (around $20) after the first month and my blog post resulted in 10 referrals.

Then the problems started. My approved referrals should have earned me 100 pounds so far. Instead, my approved web pages mysteriously disappeared from the system around the time Freebies4Webmasters decided they were not accepting any new publishers.

I have been patient and tolerant up to this point but after 5 unanswered emails I am sensing a stone wall of scamminess.

I will keep the ads up for one more week, on the off chance I receive a reply. Kind of like Waiting for Godot. If I don't receive a response by then it will be bye bye Freebies4Webmasters. I feel quite cheated as I know many have received payments larger than the ones owed to me at this time. The exchange rate would have approximated to $233 plus around $10 per month as an automatic payment. Not happy. Needless to say I will not be recommending this site to fellow bloggers.


technorati tags:

Monday, November 10, 2008

I received a rather amusing email this morning - for a brief moment I thought it was for real. It is not unusual for me to get direct emails for various projects. However further reading exposed the extent of my wrongness:

I have a project I want you to run with us. It involves exportation of 100,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Kirkuk, Iraq.

If you are interested, email me.

Mr. Yan.

Hmm. Well thank you, Mr Yan, I appreciate your offer. As a humble blogger however, I do not happen to have room for 100,000 lazy barrels of crude oil in my garden shed. In fact, last time I checked I did not have room for a single barrel.

Why you would be still hoarding such a valuable resource is beyond me. You could have exported when oil prices were at their peak. I'm sorry, Mr Yan, you missed your chance. If you will just check the latest figures, the current price for oil is $61.04. What you should have done is tapped into your seemingly unlimited oil reserve in March 2008. $150 per barrel! Ah, the tragedy of hindsight.

Exporting from where? Iraq, you say. Gee, let me think...

Much as I would like to travel to a volatile region during wartime on the basis of a spam email, I think I'll pass. Thank you so much for your kind offer, not that I will respond because you are probably camping out in some evil hovel wherever on earth it is that spammers like to slither. But I can't help being a little disappointed. All my dreams of becoming an oil baroness. My backyard oil refinery will have to wait. *sigh*

Thus endeth my exploits at international business.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

If you are like me, ie. camped in front of the computer wide eyed and open mouthed, watching the pretty blue and red colours appear across the states, you might like to view the incoming results for the US Election 2008 on the following links:

BBC News US Election 2008 Results Map

This map requires Flash, but you will see the results as the votes are counted state by state.

SBS World News US Election Results 2008

The SBS World news map features a zoom to individual states to see the breakdown of votes by county.

CNN US Election Results 2008

Updated frequently, detailed information state by state.

Business Day NZ Latest US Election Results 2008

Updated less frequently, this coverage contains text updates and election results map.

P.S. I have no fingernails left.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake in fright after the most vivid nightmare you could possibly imagine, the water goes scalding hot in the shower and while you're in the shower the phone rings and then you get out because you're in a hurry and when you're doing your makeup a big blob of mascara gets on your lashes and you blink, sending the blob straight into your eyeball, and then the phone rings again and you're trying to talk while grasping for a tissue because you can't see anything except a big black blob and your eyes are watering and you're starving and you haven't even had a coffee yet?

Er...me neither.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HP 550 Business Notebook - FW384AT
Celeron T1400 / 1.73 GHz, RAM 1 GB, HDD 120 GB, CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo, Intel GMA X3100, WLAN : 802.11b/g, Vista Home Basic, 15.4" Widescreen TFT 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )

I'm amazed at how inexpensive HP notebooks are these days. Although it's not just HP, many other brands of notebooks are also bringing their prices down. The above model can be found for around $500 (US), whereas previously it may have been closer to $1000. But this is the beauty of technology, the prices continue to come down as the features go up. Perhaps a 256mb version two years ago was out of reach. I'm just waiting for that last little discount so I can get myself a roaring beast of a laptop. One that can launch shuttles and that sort of thing. Well, maybe not shuttles, I suppose Windows XP would do. Although I've been wanting to try Ubuntu since Windows hogs a lot of resources. I just need my favourite programs to create versions compatible with Ubuntu and I'll definitely give it a go.

Samsung CLP-315 Color Laser Printer
This model can now be found for under $200. However, the price of the printer is not the amount you should be focusing on.

When you are looking to buy portable printers, there are many factors to consider.
1. Size - is the footprint of your printer small enough to fit into your office/home office?

2. Consumables - some laser printers use an solid ink that sometimes can cost more than the printer itself. Make sure your needs are commensurate with the features and requirements of your printer. In other words, make sure you run the printer, not the other way around.

3. Electricity usage - unbeknownst to many people is that fact that some models of printer need to be left on all the time for different reasons including smoother running and ink conservation. In an era of global warming and financial crisis, this may not be the best investment. Make sure you find out these details before committing to a purchase.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Good

The Living End
The first mighty chords blasted through Acer Arena, blowing the Veronica's eye makeup off. It worked. Everyone was awake and alert and ready for a night of great music. The Living End finally received a well-deserved ARIA for Best Rock Album. The band set the bar high in terms of performance and unfortunately many of the acts that followed crashed into this bar like that drunk Russian high jumper.

Nick Cave
Best Male Artist. The quality of the songwriting, the musicianship, the brilliance, the...
*whack!* sorry, I got carried away there for a moment.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
A beautiful, moving performance. I got teary and I realised that I couldn't even understand the words. The beauty of his music transcends language.

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Keep on rattlin'!

The Bad

Gabriella Cilmi
It's dangerous to be carrying six pointy glass things while drunk and balancing on heels. Please stop talking.

Delta Goodrem
Highest selling album ARIA. This speaks volumes (literally!) of the state of the Australian Music Industry. There must be more Australian 12 year old girls than I thought.

The Veronicas
These miniature Elviras are giving me nightmares. Make the Leprechauns go away, mummy. I promise I'll be good.

The Ugly

The Presets
I can put on a dance beat and whine while holding my nose as well. I just don't make other people listen to it. Dressing up like a Muppet only makes it worse.

Surely this disturbing trend of bad music masquerading as something sophisticated must come to an end. It just requires a certain level of awareness from the general population. Perhaps the abomination of The Presets winning best album will be the last gasp of this rather tedious era. Prediction for ARIAs 2009 - more rock, less schlock.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My partner and I were shocked and saddened last night to learn that Seve Ballesteros has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He is true magician of the game, an inspiration to champion golfers and fans alike.

May you have the strength and support to make it through this difficult time. Here's to your speedy recovery, Seve. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Often when something happens in my life that I don't enjoy, I tend to make an amusing post about it. It's my way of making lemonade out of lemons. Sometimes however, you just get lemons.

I was listening to my headphones in front of the computer. The song had ended so I took the earphones off to put them away. Without looking I reached into the wires of an air purifier with my hand still holding the earphones. My middle finger was the entry point and the charge went right through my body and down to my toes. If I had to describe it I would call it "being bitten by an electric eel underwater".

For hours afterwards I was unable to speak faster than 30 bpm and tingles and pains surged randomly through different parts of my body. The next day I was still speaking slowly and had pains in different regions of my head.

The most frightening moment was when I tried to use a computer and spent around a whole minute trying to figure out where the "copy" button is in Ctrl + copy. I felt like a complete dork when I realised it was just the "c" button. Considering I have been using computers since I was a kid, this was cause for concern.

The doctor did a multitude of tests of my reflexes and coordination. He wasn't entirely convinced I was ok, but he didn't want to alarm me either. Little did he know that underneath my vague and slow exterior was already a lot of panic and alarm. He ordered me to rest for a few days and get an Ambulance subscription. That didn't really fill me with optimism.

The next few nights were frightening as my heart was beating quickly and tingles and pains kept their random patterns going well into the small hours of the morning.

After I regained my energy after a couple of days, I tried yoga to get my circulation moving and exercise my muscles. Amazingly it worked so well that by the next day I was feeling like a new person.

I am pleased to say I am feeling back to normal apart from the occasional pain manifesting throughout various areas of my head. This is the first day I have blogged since the incident and I am happy to say I know how to use Ctrl + C again.

technorati tags:

The weather is totally unpredictable at the moment. One moment you feel like you need an air conditioner, the next you are freezing and are considering installing Gas Fires or Electric Fires to keep your house warm. HotPrice have years of experience in the area of installing gas and electric fires and can offer design and technical advice for your specific needs. Depending on the size of the room you are heating, you can decide between LPG fires, freestanding fires, cast iron fireplaces, Hole in the Wall Fires and other otions too numerous to mention. The well-known brands featured include those from Dimplex to Kinder to Smeg. The site includes a "Jargon Buster" section, which for me was quite useful as I don't exactly know the difference between a balanced flue and a fanned flue. This section is quite detailed so if you've ever wanted to know what the distinction is between a radiant gas fire and an outset fire, this might be a good place to start. The section on installation information specifies that it is important to find a CORGI registered installer to install your fireplace. According to this information, a non-CORGI installer runs the risk of causing damage to your fireplace or invalidating your guarantee, which is an undesirable situation to say the least. Hotprice do not carry out installations, however there is a link in the site where you can find a CORGI registered installer in locations throughout the United Kingdom.

This post brought to you by HotPrice.