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Thursday, August 28, 2008

On a recent trip through a couple of train stations in Melbourne, I needed to visit the bathroom before the train arrived. I emerged from the cubicle to face the "mirror" which was, in this case a sheet of lumpy polished metal. I've never understood the purpose of those things. Why pretend it's a mirror? Why not just have no mirror at all? Perhaps they thought the wall looked bare, I don't know.

I mean, I look into this thing and I can tell yep, I'm still the same height.

And that pinky/yellow blob up the top - that's probably my face.

The halo of dark stuff is my hair I presume...

And that's pretty much all I can tell. It's probably me in the reflection but I'm not 100% sure.

I could have a streak of mascara running down the length of my face and have absolutely no chance of spotting it. The first I'd know about it would be if someone told me or conversely, if someone kept their mouth shut about it but sniggered uncontrollably every time I turned my back.

So, after NOT looking in the mirror I start to walk down the ramp near the platform, swinging my arms enthusiastically as it is known that swinging your arms while you walk burns more calories.

I'm swinging away happily and...


Oh no.

The back of my neck goes cold.

I've somehow managed to swing my hand smack bang into some poor guy's goolies.

Oh my God.

What does one do in this situation?

What's the etiquette?

This is the sort of thing they don't teach you at finishing school.

I can't say "sorry" because that would expose the fact that I am prepared to acknowledge that I've just swung my hand into his nuts.

God, how embarrassing.

Say something? What would I say anyway? Er...

"No, that wasn't your imagination. I truly did just whack you in the nuts just now...
But the good news is I wasn't carrying my umbrella in that hand. Oh, and by the way, I'm not some weird-ass girl who goes around randomly smacking people in the nads just so I can apologise... because that would make me really... um... worrying."

On second thoughts, don't say anything.

Keep walking. Oh, God, why does this have to happen to me? What was he doing walking that close and on that angle? He saw I was swinging my arms... didn't he? Don't make eye contact. I don't want a face to put to this excruciating episode. I don't want to know what he looks like.

Walk faster.

Stare straight ahead.

Act nonchalant and blend into the crowd quickly.

Maybe this is God's way of telling me not to use public transport.

I don't know about you but I find that surveillance and GPS tracking can be mighty useful. I just watched "Firewall" the other night. How does Harrison Ford find his kidnapped family? By following the dog's GPS collar microchip on his laptop screen.

Now, I'm not suggesting people should get themselves microchipped, but if your are wanting to track something (or someone! - ooo, play X-Files music here!), then this little device is quite nifty and could come in handy when you least expect it. Like when you're being pursued by aliens and you need to find the rendezvous hiding spot. Or if you are trying to find your dog because the end of the world is coming and you're in the car with Bruce Willis. Or any other situation far more plausible than the ones I just mentioned (but you never know!)

These easily concealed, pocket sized GPS Tracking devices get their signals from 24 Department of Defense GPS satellites and are accurate to 2.5 metres, updating every second (I told you this was X-Files-ish!!). Strong magnets inside make it possible to place underneath a car, and it is also water resistant. When you have the information you can turn on a computer (or laptop if you are speeding across the desert on a mission) - and plug in the tracking key into your USB port. You can then follow the progress in real time on your screen, using the existing technology of Google Earth.

This post brought to you by LandAirSea.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I have seen these t-shirts for sale previously - for those who want to wear their political affiliations on their sleeve (pun intended).

The donkey, symbol of the Democrats. The elephant, symbol of the Republicans. The t-shirts denote political leanings and separate the population into potential dates or...not.

Today I found this:

Perhaps its for swinging voters (haaaaaaaaaa!!!!)

It would be fun to wear this t-shirt just to confuse everybody. I guess it opens up the field a bit...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I recently joined Twitter and realised my background needed work. I designed my own and now I've been having some fun creating a bunch of free Twitter backgrounds for you to use.

Feel free to share, etc.

- Click on theme and open in new window
- Save to desktop (or wherever you like!)
- Go to Twitter account
- Choose "Settings"
- Choose "Design" tab
- Upload your image from your computer
- Save!

2008 Beijing Olympics Theme

Golf Twitter Theme

A great way to design your own Twitter page is to start with free textures and go from there. Textures provided by:


Here are a couple to get you started:

Circuit Twitter Theme:

Smash Twitter Theme:

Have fun!


Follow me on Twitter:

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How to make money with Twitter - turn your tweets into profits. Free guide.

More Twitter Backgrounds

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The last 'leather' belt I purchased on Ebay turned out to be 100% real vinyl, which is why it broke within about 2 months.

I finally snagged the perfect leather belt on Ebay. After delivery, on close inspection I found it to be real leather - yippee!!

These belts can go for $20-$80, I'm sure there are more expensive versions around.

$1.99 + $7.00 postage.


...dig that funky bedspread!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Last night, I was standing on the tram, holding my umbrella in one hand and holding on to the pole with the other.

I noticed an intriguing pamphlet sticking out of a document holder on the pole near the door. It said in big letters "DID YOU KNOW?"

I let go of the pole with my hand and started to pull it out, trying to get a look at the words underneath.

Suddenly the tram lurched forwards, causing me to fall backwards and hit the glass divider behind me.

The tram stopped again and I gathered myself together. I looked at the pamphlet in my hand.

What was so important and intriguing, I wondered, that the action of reading it had caused me to let go of the pole and fall over?

I held on to the pole firmly and read:


...more people hurt themselves on trams than on a trapeze? But why?

...the answer is pretty simple - trapeze artists hold on.

...we care for your safety so


and stay safe on the tram.

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Owning your own home is just the beginning - you may find yourself up to your eyeballs in directories looking for general contractors such as flooring specialists, roofing specialists, tree loppers, heating specialists and plumbers. The question is, how do you know your expert will have the right qualifications?

The ClickSmart directory contains a listing for various contractors. The ClickSmart contractors are listed as certified experts and licensed in the state in which they do business. For example, the listing for Miami general contractors will be for contractors licensed in the state of Florida. The contractors are also required to be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, which makes for a better experience when choosing the right person for the job. Remember to do your research before you commit and you will save yourself a lot of difficulty in the long run.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The train was into the second stop on the line when she sat next to me.

I was secretly annoyed because I was talking on the phone. One minute I was in full flight in a conversation and two seconds later I had a stranger sitting next to me.

Staring right at my face.

Now, far be it from me to call "weirdbag alert" but the signs were not looking good. So, suddenly I had to get off the phone from a conversation I was enjoying because I didn't feel comfortable with this strange woman listening in.

Stop 3 - I'm off the phone and thinking "oh, she's probably not a weirdo. Look, she looks quite normal." And she did, maybe in her 30s or 40s, normal looking as far as I could tell.

Then the smell hits me. Ammonia. Cat's p!ss? Human? Eeek.

Out of everyone on the train I get the lucky seat. The insides of my nostrils stung.

"Tough it out." I said to myself. "Is it coming from her?" I sniffed again, nearly gagging.

Yes it was.

She then proceeded to put her feet on the seats in front of her. The smell got stronger. That meant one of two things. Either she had stepped in... or....I didn't want to think anymore.

Then I realise something. I'm trapped in. The seats are three on each side. I was seated near the window, she near the aisle (do you call it an aisle on a train? That makes it sound so much more exciting). She had placed her feet on the seat opposite her so I was trapped in. I had to get her to move her feet in order to get out.

Okay, I'm trapped in. I thought. No! Even better, I'm trapped in and now she's got her eyes closed.

Oh, crap.

So I can't signal that I want to get out because she can't see me. But I must get out because if I don't, my nostril hairs will never be the same again.

Stop 4 - I start taking shallow breaths.

Stop 5 - I think I can make it.


She coughed so loudly it made me jump. What the hell?

Lucky me, the cough had been coming my way without a courtesy cover. Sh!t, now her eyes were closed again. I'm not touching her leg. That's just it.

The smell got so strong I started to absorb it through my eyes, nose and ears.

"Wouhoughagh!" "Cack!"

I saw my chance! She had just opened her eyes momentarily to make that horrendous sound. Without a pause I leapt up and stood for a second, not breathing, while she slowly lowered her legs from the seat.

I walked calmly, very quickly away from the area, stopping at the other end of the carriage. I will never forget that smell as long as I live.

When I got off the platform for some reason someone was smoking some green stuff at this very busy, very popular Melbourne station.

I stood with my nose in the air, taking very deep breaths.

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An article has been brought to my attention - tips for protecting yourself while shopping online. I found the article to have a number of good points, many of which could be elaborated.

I agree that the most important thing to notice is the URL bar and whether or not it says "https". Some commenters made additions to the shopping security checklist. For example, don't enter your credit card details from a public computer (ie. internet cafe). To add my own points to the article, don't send your credit card details through email - email is notoriously unsafe for this kind of information. Make sure you enter these details on a trusted, secure site.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

This latest purchase from an overstock outlet is testament to my rabid addiction to quality cookware. 18cm, 16/18 stainless steel and copper base for even and rapid heat distribution. And a lifetime guarantee.

It's perfect for such gourmet delights as macaroni and cheese and two-minute noodles. The first dish I cooked in it was macaroni and cheese. Since then, I haven't cooked anything else of note, I generally use it for heating sauces made in the larger pots. One of these days I'm going to cook something extremely nutritious - every pot needs a christening and in my mind, macaroni and cheese doesn't count. It really needs to be something home cooked. Fresh ingredients. That is, something that doesn't require the use of a noodle packet and a can of cheese goo.

retail price:$69.95
my price: $44.95 (hee hee!!)

Embarking on my cooking exploits I will need some inspiration. French onion soup is the one foremost in my mind. It's very easy - you basically need garlic, herbs, a bag of onions, vegetable stock and some bread. Perhaps some gruyere cheese. I can't stop thinking about food because I am really hungry. Here's a picture to prolong the torture.

I think I'll go trolling for recipes, see what I can dig up. I'd like to try an asian soup as well, maybe udon noodles or crazy mushroom dish. I'm fascinated by Chinese mushrooms - they're dried, weird and I'm terrified of them. But I am determined to use them. I once tried wood-ear fungus and seriously could have eaten the whole plate had politeness not been a concern. I will become proficient with the mushroom, no matter how long it takes!!

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let me firstly say one thing. I hate packing. So I have to be anal-retentive about it. I write a list of things to pack, then on the other side of the page I write a list of things that are packed in the suitcase. That way I can't forget anything because its either on the list or in the bag. Clever eh?
Somehow I still manage to forget something vitally important like toothpaste.

The things I hate packing the most:

Shoes - why oh why are shoes so bulky? And why can you only fit one pair of shoes in your suitcase no matter how hard you whack everything into the corners? I always thought I was a minimal shoe person. When I pack, I find out that I have dress shoes, runners (for golf!!) and even my Maseur sandals need to follow me everywhere I go. Especially if the hotel has a communal bathroom. There's nothing worse than looking down at your feet and seeing someone else's hair or worse. Eeek! Thongs or sandals - mandatory.

Vitamins - for some reason when I go away I get the fear that I will die of malnutrition in the 4 or 5 days I will be gone. So I pack vitamins. B Complex, Ginkgo and Brahmi Complex, Women's Multivitamins, Ferro Grad-C, various protein supplements and Growling Dog energy bars. By the time I have packed all this I have room for about 3 socks.

Electronics/gadgets - my mp3 player, mp3 fold-out speakers, 2 small headlamps for reading/mood lighting, digital camera, batteries, batteries and more batteries. I end up with about 12 AAAs and 12AAs for the trip. Last trip even included a small 2000W fan heater my partner and I dubbed "Picachu". Why? Because its fins are reminiscent of Picachu, the cute little Pokemon character.

See the resemblance?

The upshot of all this packing drama is that I had to buy myself a new Skyway tote bag (shown above). The normal price was $59.95 but I happened to find it when it was on special for $39.00 at Strandbags. It fits my shoes, vitamins, toiletries and everything else I could possibly think of. It also fits nicely over my matching Skyway in-flight luggage by slipping the tote bag over the handle. Just don't change direction suddenly while you're wheeling it or you might find yourself walking like Quasimodo.

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