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Thursday, June 26, 2008

I have been desperately searching for cherry tomatoes for a salad I am making. For some reason the tomato gods are against me this week - my first foray into cherry tomato picking at the local supermarket turned up blue molded, fuzzy, smelly, watery tomatoes. I understand that the US is going through a difficult time in terms of tomatoes - perhaps it's contagious!

Finally, after my efforts turned up nothing but mank, I decided to try the local greengrocer. Who better to guide me in the direction of crisp, ripe, fragrant tomatoes.

I reached the counter and there they were in front of me...cherry tomato heaven.

I looked up at the lady in the greengrocer for some kind of affirmation.

"Very good." She said. "Very fresh. Beautiful."

And they did look good under those fluorescent lights, all shiny and red.

When outside in the daylight, I noticed a strange phenomenon. Tiny hairs were growing from almost every pore of every tomato. (do tomatoes have pores?) Perhaps it's just lint, I thought. Then I took a closer look later on. It was definitely hair, not lint. I had just bought a bunch of hairy tomatoes. Perhaps they were ok, perhaps this stuff was external and would come off. So I opened the cling film wrapper.


If you know the smell of rotten tomatoes, you will know what I was smelling. No fresh tomato could smell like this. But still, I found myself vainly sniffing for a hint of freshness underneath the stink to no avail.

Rule #1 when buying tomatoes - Smell them. If they are covered with cling wrap, be suspicious, try and sniff them anyway. If you can't get in to smell them, move on. It is too easy to disguise stinky tomatoes under plastic.

Rule #2 - Check for hairs.

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Sometimes after one of those stressful weeks you just feel like relaxing in your very own bathroom. It's a retreat in which you can soak off the stresses of the day or rejuvenate yourself for a special night out. But there's only one problem. What if your bathroom sucks? I've seen my fair share of mouldy, ratty, leaky bathrooms and quite frankly they could have done with a little help from these guys.

Better Bathrooms has a range of Bathroom Suites for all kinds of bathrooms. The site features claw footed baths (my favourite!), spas/luxury baths, showers and bathroom furniture such as mirrors and basins, even bidets! They have a nationwide delivery service throughout the UK with 3-5 working days for standard delivery for stock items, 7-14 working days for out of stock items. Delivery charges are cheaper for combined orders and the delivery charge can vary between delivery destinations from mainland England to further afield. The delivery page explains in clear diagrams the process of ordering to the point of the item arriving on your doorstop. Better Bathrooms are open 9:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday in Wigan and Lancashire and you can purchase a 120-page full colour brochure from the website.

Many people have an idea of what they want their perfect bathroom to look like. Mine involves a freestanding bath, lots of storage space for towels and a large enclosed shower area. And lots of room for tealight candles! All that's needed now are the bath salts!

This post brought to you by BetterBathrooms

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I ordered this laptop stand somewhere around the 20th of May 2008. After much waiting, on the 24th June it finally arrived. It came from China and apparently the Olympics were holding up the postage?!

My favourite feature of this laptop stand is the wording on the packaging.

It sounds like some kind of poem or affirmation. It reminds me of the Irish blessing/saying:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

I love this blessing, it's very positive and uplifting.

I'm still trying to work out this one:

I think it means catch the screen before your hands get tired or you'll get a sore back.

Yes, I suppose some instructions can be convoluted.

No using beyond the purpose? It sounds like some sort of cult law.

Don't put the notebook down until you have assured it that everything will be ok.

I'd suggest not jamming the finger at any time, let alone when the angles are altered or adjusted.

Please shopping using? Er...Don't log on to Ebay unless the surface is stable. You could end up bidding on gold bullion by accident.

I'm getting a bit nervous about these unassured situations. You've already reassured the laptop and given it a hug. What more do they want? Also that falling part sounds a bit dangerous.

Long-time placing is prohibited? Who's going to arrest me? Now I'm really scared.

I promise I will not use in the airflow and dusty circumstance. As soon as I can figure out what that means.

Can't wait to see what happens when I open it.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The science of pinhole glasses as a way to improve your vision is debated in many circles, with advocates for and against the scientific merit of such a device. However the principle of a pinhole is solidly based. It is true that if you are without your glasses, you can make a hole in a piece of paper and look through it to see more clearly. The pinhole camera is based on a similar principle, using the pinhole as a lens to record an image.

Pinhole glasses are said to clear vision by reducing refractive errors. There are a number of claims on the site regarding myopia and various other conditions. It must be made clear that the glasses are generally designed for people with low refractory errors, that is those with lens requirements of less than 6 diopters. For those with lens requirements greater than 6 diopters, it is important to check with your specialist.

The pinholes in these glasses are said to act like a lens, bringing fuzzy images into focus. These pinhole glasses, also known as stenopeic glasses are made to be used while reading or working at a computer to clear vision and reduce eye strain.

These are glasses promoted to be worn in place of prescription glasses, while reading or doing stationary tasks. The glasses also shield peripheral vision quite dramatically so these glasses should not be used while driving a car or operating machinery. The glasses are for stationary viewing only.

In reviewing a site featuring pinhole glasses as their main product, I was able to investigate the possible benefits of using such a device in place of regular prescription glasses. It appears that the greatest benefit to the eye while wearing pinhole glasses is the relaxation of the eye, said to benefit eye health.

The site was clear and easy to navigate, however some minor improvements could be made. In order for a website to effectively display and sell pinhole eyeglasses, I would suggest that the scans of the actual eyeglasses are made larger and clearer. Similarly, the text could be a little larger for ease of readability. It would be quite difficult for potential customers to see the image of the product, the target audience being characterized as people with eyesight problems.

Pinhole glasses are marketed as an alternative to prescription glasses, which can be expensive. The price of the glasses is $14.95 plus free shipping so the possibility to test such a product is made more accessible. As with all matters related to the medical field, if you are unsure, check with your health provider.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, it finally arrived. The cute newsboy cap from Ebay. Judging by the time of delivery I think it probably came from Krasnoyarsk.

It's funny, it seemed like a good idea at the time but now I have the cap I keep looking in the mirror thinking "er... does this work?" I think, judging by the amount of times I looked in the mirror over the days, the answer is probably no. It's not that I'm not a hat person, it's just that the hat is all wrong for me. You see how it looks in the picture on this mannequin? Good, yes?

I thought so. But for some strange reason in Krasnoyarsk they all have smaller heads and therefore their mannequins are smaller.

In fact this hat was so small it was sitting tightly around my head, quietly cutting off the circulation. Not only that, but the hat is asymmetrical. The left side is pinned up with a button. Cute idea, yes?


Because the hat is completely black and the button is also black, it makes me look like I have it on crooked. And no matter which angle I try, it still looks like I can't centre my own cap. Imagine a baseball cap facing not forwards, not backwards, but at a 45 degree angle. I might as well leave half of my shirt untucked to match. I'll wear different socks too, while I'm at it.

Similarly, because the hat is so small (built for strange small-headed people), it rides up in the middle, making me look Scottish.

The entire hat is black, so you can't tell if there is a bobble or not. Either way, I might as well be carrying a haggis. Or a golf club...actually that doesn't sound so bad. Hmmm.. St Andrews?

Anyway, I think I'll try to locate another newsboy cap and make doubly sure this time that it doesn't have any hidden eccentricities.

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In relation to my earlier post, It may be that you can't afford a new car at present. I personally would be buying a used car but it is important to learn as much as you can and research the car before buying. In my earlier post I referred to new Cadillacs and the evolution of the Cadillac as an American Icon. If you are wanting to purchase a Cadillac but don't want to buy a brand new model, Used Cadillacs Harrisburg PA also sells pre-owned Cadillacs. The dealership offers a Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Program with 110+ points of inspection and the warranty covers up to 6 years or 100,000 miles from when the car was brand new. Many of the used Cadillacs on the site are from 2007 and 2006 models, the oldest models I could find were the 2004 and 2003 models. The prices range from around $9,000 to around $60,000 for the newer, AWD and more exotic models.

If you are unsure or have never bought a used car previously, the site is giving away a free report called the "Used Car Buying Guide". It is always a good idea to gather as much information as possible so you are well equipped when it comes to the time when you may wish to purchase.

This post brought to you by Used Cadillacs Harrisburg PA
On shopping at the supermarket yesterday, I discovered a disturbing number of Ardmona cans all displaying the same characteristics:

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Have you noticed this? Of all the cars, there are a disproportionate number of songs written about the Cadillac. Artists from Elvis to Bo Diddley, Bruce Springsteen to Neil Young and Blondie to AC/DC have immortalised the famous car in their music. Perhaps it is because there is something inherently rock n' roll about this particular car. The Cadillac became an American icon with its famous fins, and has appeared in films such as Batman, Driving Miss Daisy, Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas and Matrix Reloaded.

If you are a Cadillac afficionado or just want to browse around, check out the new range at New Cadillacs Harrisburg PA.

The site currently has new vehicle specials including discounts and rebates on 2007 models. The site is easy to navigate and provides useful tips and information on buying a new car. A free quick quote feature simplifies the process of estimating costs and budgeting for a new car purchase. You can also research the vehicle you choose with a nifty 360 degree interior and exterior view - this feature was my favourite! You can also customise your chosen car with a range of colours and trim. It seems the new Cadillac has evolved in recent years - the fins are gone, but the icon still lives.

This post brought to you by Used Cadillacs Harrisburg PA

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The crowds that gathered at Torrey Pines from 6am received more than just a playoff. In the words of Rocco Mediate, "they wanted a show, they got a show". The 18 hole playoff ended in a cliffhanger, forcing play to continue to the 7th hole. At the end of the first nine, Tiger was out in 35, Rocco in 37. It seemed Tiger would lead this playoff to its conclusion. At the end of the 18th, Tiger had made a 36 and Rocco had made 34. Both scores were fixed at 71, even par on this course. It seemed par was the score to beat and sure enough, par was the score that finally won, Tiger shooting 4 to Rocco's 5 on the par 4 7th hole.

When asked about his injury, Tiger simply said "I'm glad I'm done." The world's number one golfer deserves some ice and some well-earned rest. Rocco Mediate has gained a whole new legion of fans and it is likely we will see more of him after this tournament.

Meanwhile, the coverage by Ten and TenHD in Australia was truncated at best. It is not enough for golf fans to see the last putt roll to the hole. Australian viewers missed out on seeing Tiger meeting his family on the green, missing out also on the presentation and the raising of the trophy. If this were the tennis and Roger Federer was not seen holding the trophy and making a speech, there would be widespread outrage. A subtle message needs to be sent to Channel 10, ie. get your act together! If people are so desperate to see the finance report and the 78th episode of "Totally Wild", the programmers could show them on Ten Digital, while continuing the uninterrupted US Open coverage on Ten HD. It's a wonder that nobody has thought of that before. Perhaps I am a genius. More likely, golf has been largely overlooked in favour of football, rugby and cricket. It is sloppy and shows a lack of respect. Australia has a multitude of golf fans, Channel 10. Be prepared to look after them. After all, we stayed awake from 6am, 5am and 2am respectively so a few more minutes of coverage is hardly too much to ask.

~end rant.

P.S. The odd hours have messed up my circadian rhythms for at least a week now, I recall the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the golf to begin. I remember looking at my partner and giggling while he laughed back, his rabid devotion to golf mirrored in my own bloodshot eyes. It was worth every second.

Putting To Win - Tour Pro Reveals Easiest Way To Lower Scores. The Culmination Of Seven Years Work, This E-book Is Packed With Information, For Anyone Who Seriously Wants To Improve Their Golf Scores.

Monday, June 16, 2008

After catching our collective breaths from one of the most exciting golf tournaments in recent history, an incredible feat by Tiger Woods ensures that the story is not yet over for the US Open 2008.

At the beginning of the 18th hole of Round 4, Tiger's score was at even par and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to catch Rocco Mediate's score of 1 under par. Woods began with a double bogey on the 1st and a bogey on the 2nd, upsetting the momentum gained in Round 3. He went on to bogey the 13th and 15th and it was becoming apparent he was fast running out of holes. However there was no doubt in many people's minds that Tiger would endeavor to do something special. Tiger was recovering from surgery on his left knee and the pain was visible after every swing, making it difficult to watch without wincing along with him. Tiger, however pressed on and at the 18th green holed a 12 foot putt to make an essential birdie. Now Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods are tied for the lead at the end of Round 4, forcing a playoff to decide the winner.

The unmissable 18 hole playoff will be screened tomorrow so check your local guides, these times for Australia (VIC) only:

Tuesday 17 June
Ten & Ten HD: 2 am (EST) 18 hole playoff

There seems to be no personal rivalry between the two - Tiger refers to Rocco as the "nicest guy" and Rocco has made similar comments about Tiger. Rocco is a jovial fellow, when speaking on the subject of maintaining concentration he conceded it "...was a little difficult with nutto (Tiger Woods) in front of me doing all this crazy stuff." The crazy stuff being two incredible eagles and an outrageous chip in for birdie during Round 3.

The rivalry that exists between the two must therefore be simply the desire to win. Both will try their best to take the glory, knowing that the other will pounce in the event of any mistakes made during the playoff. With history in the making and the excitement levels rising even higher, there is no more to say other than this: may the best man win.

If you missed Round 4 or wish to catch up on the highlights, check out the latest videos here:
US Open Wrapup Show

Putting To Win - Tour Pro Reveals Easiest Way To Lower Scores. The Culmination Of Seven Years Work, This E-book Is Packed With Information, For Anyone Who Seriously Wants To Improve Their Golf Scores.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is it!!

The US Open at Torrey Pines 2008, San Diego, CA.

Finally I will see in High Definition what I have only seen previously on Playstation 2's Tiger Woods 2003! The real course at Torrey Pines.

As for those of you who live near the course, you lucky lucky ba...

The US Open will be hosted at the South Course of Torrey Pines (courtesy of Torrey Pines' official website):

This is what the players will be faced with right from the start. Here is the layout of the first hole:

Easy no? I'm completely sure of my ability to play this hole with no problems... as long as it's on Playstation!

It would be truly amazing to be there to watch the world's #1, #2 and #3 golfers all in the same championship. According to PGA's website, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott will be playing together in the same group on the Thursday and Friday.

My pick? I would actually love Tiger to win it but to see an Australian win the US Open would be a treat! Adam Scott is yet to smash through that glass ceiling. And let's not forget Phil Mickelson and Trevor Immelman and all the other incredible players in the field.

Most of the time I'm just happy to be watching golf, regardless who wins. But.. GO TIGER!!!

Here are the broadcast times as of Thursday 12th June 2008. Be sure to check your local guides - these times are for Australia (VIC) only!:

Friday 13 June

Ten: 6am - 12pm (EST)
TenHD: 6am - 12pm(EST)

Saturday 14 June

Ten: 6am - 12pm (EST)
TenHD: 6am - 12pm(EST)

Sunday 15 June

Ten: 6am - 12pm (EST)
TenHD: 6am - 12pm(EST)

Monday 16 June

Ten: 6am - 11am (EST)
TenHD: 6am - 11am(EST)

If you are without a HD set top box, perhaps now would be a good time to purchase one. In the magic that is High Definition TV you can almost see the players' eyebrow hairs blowing in the breeze.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes waiting for my items to arrive is like the play by Samuel Beckett, "Waiting For Godot". Except in the play he never turned up. Oops! Sorry - I hope I didn't spoil it for anyone.

Here is my wonderful (but still missing) newsboy cap:

It had better arrive or I will have to do an exorcism on the Ebay demon again. (see previous post)

Which will be painful.

And messy.

Speaking of Ebay, I wish to introduce a feature to the "My Ebay" section. While it is very convenient while browsing items to "Watch" an item in My Ebay, it is more complicated to stop watching the item when you decide you're not interested or the price is too high.

I suggest that Ebay introduce an "unwatch" button, a simple button that will sit next to the "watch" button in the area circled. This way you could weed out your watched items (mine often contains over 20!) and narrow them down quickly so you can do some serious bidding.

I hope Ebay decides to take this on board. One click and people could be "watching", "unwatching" and "rewatching" in seconds. It could revolutionise Ebay! Or at least make it a bit easier for buyers to navigate in My Ebay!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's coming up to that time of year when we think of shopping around for fathers day gifts. In fact, there are only a few days to go! It's pretty accepted that Dad's often like beer. It's not being stereotypical, they just seem to like it. How many of your Dads drink spritzers or cosmopolitans? Hmm? Not many, I bet. I found a Beer of the month club which sounds rather exciting. Did I say it was for me or for a present? Oops. There you have it. I have a confession to make. Yes, I like beer as well. This monthly beer club offers memberships ranging from 1 month to 12 months or ongoing. You can pay by the month ($21.95) or in full, providing you with a 12-pack of 4 distinctly different beers to try. The selection of beer is screened by a panel of beer tasters to make sure you get the best tasting beer. The various types of beer sound intriguing, too. Included in the selection have weird and wonderful names like Snake River's Lager and Devil's Elbow. If you purchase a 12 month membership you will receive a $25 bonus to use for further membership or merchandise.

Mmmm. Beer. The gift that keeps on giving!

This post brought to you by GreatClubs.com

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hee hee. Ho ho. Hoo hoo!

Following are my most recent golf purchases. I have my Wilson Sunday Bag (update: the strap broke on the first round so my partner neatly fixed it up with black gaffer tape!)

The Elsternwick On Course Golf Shop just happened to have a sale on when I needed to buy a set of clubs. The discounts are incredible.

Precept 9 Iron - $10
This is my Stuart Appleby club. Why you ask? Because he wears that Precept cap, even in Playstation games! Maybe this club will help me play like him (hee hee!)

Greg Norman 5 Iron - $5
I've always wanted a Greg Norman club. My partner has a Greg Norman SW ($3 at an op-shop!). I am a big fan of Greg Norman, he is an Australian (more of an international citizen now!) and a living legend. I hope to see him play more tournaments in the near future.

PGF Spectrum Pitching Wedge - $10
This is so far my most versatile club. I use it for everything! Shots around the green, short approach shots, but I don't putt with it! Jack Nicklaus, in his book "The Best Way to Better Golf" refers to one golfer that became an expert with the Pitching Wedge almost exclusively. Perhaps I can learn from that.

Taylor Made 6 Iron - $5

What a bargain! I know you can't normally find Taylor Made clubs for under $10 so I was extremely lucky here. Many of these clubs were recommended to me by the golf Professional from South Africa. This particular one I chose on my own. Why? I liked the heaviness of the clubhead.

PGF Spectrum 7 Wood - $15
My saviour. If you are not quite so confident with your 3-iron, I recommend you try one of these. I used this for most of my second shots throughout the round. The distance is exciting and it is a little easier to hit than a long iron. It's also easy to for me hit a straight shot and it's nice to have the hole shortened a little bit!

PGF Spectrum 3 Wood - $15
My other saviour. I loved using my partner's "Shark" driver but this club seems to fit me better. The length is great and it is so easy to hit the ball long and straight. It's almost as if the club was fitted for me before I bought it! (Note: I recognise the importance of club fitting and finding a club like this off the rack is no substitute for good advice from a golf professional). This club helps me to hit more fairways and get closer for my second shot. I remember searching for my ball in the fairway about a third of the distance to the hole. I heard my partner calling "it's over here!" I looked up and saw the ball over half way to the green. I had to stand back when I got to my ball just to marvel at how far I had actually hit it!!

Wilson Green Machine
This is my ideal putter, and the one I am using at the moment - Wilson Green Machine. It is simple and easy to use. Recently I have begun to hanker for a Golden Bear putter because it is very similar. My lucky ball is a Golden Bear and I have achieved around 4 bogeys so far!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

If anybody has watched "Red Dwarf", you will understand the significance of this little hand puppet from Series V episode "Quarantine".

It looks cute, yes? The hand puppet is said to be exact in every way to the original. Except the original Mr Flibble was a homicidal killer penguin hand puppet with hex vision. A small detail!

The main thing to remember is that you do not argue with Mr Flibble.

"Who'd clear up the mess?"


If you haven't seen the episode, here is the Mr Flibble scene from "Red Dwarf V - Quarantine". This my favourite Red Dwarf scene from my favourite Red Dwarf episode.

Find Red Dwarf and other sci-fi merchandise at the BBC Shop.