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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My new pedometer arrived yesterday from Ebay land. It is rather snazzy and very easy to set up. You just enter your weight, age, height and step length and it calculates how many calories you are burning throughout the day. I wear it clipped to my belt to remind me to walk more. It's a good incentive to walk instead of catching the tram one stop - you get to thinking "maybe I could add another k to my total!" It becomes a bit of a competition (albeit against yourself!)

Yesterday's tally: 8539 steps, 3.71km and 165.4 calories! - and I wasn't feeling too well that day!

Today so far: 3118 steps, 1.34km, 60.4 calories.

Apparently there were 200 calories in my breakfast banana. And my breakfast tamarillo had 40 calories. There is no danger in my eating more than one tamarillo because they taste a little - how should I say... tangy. I think that's how they are supposed to taste. They make me do the "just sucked on a lemon" look.

I think I could make a million by creating the "Tamarillo Diet" - it goes something like this:

1 Tamarillo

2 Tamarillo

2 Tamarillo

1 Tamarillo

I can just see the testimonials:

"I lost 50kg in six months!! And I no longer have a vitamin C deficiency!!"

Important note: Please do not try this diet at home. It is a joke. Then again, so are many of the other diets floating around Hollywood. The "Cabbage Soup" diet, the "eat nothing and pretend you're just really busy" diet, the "eat and then spend an unnaturally long time in the bathroom" diet, and then there is the diet followed by many a Hollywood celebrity which basically involves looking in the mirror for long periods and pouting.

It's probably more sensible to just eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, pasta and rice. And make sure you cook with extra virgin olive oil. After all, millions of Mediterraneans can't be wrong.

Pedometer price $4.95 plus $6.00 postage.
Verdict - Success!!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The game was going so well. Elsternwick Golf Course, first nine holes. The sun was glinting from behind the clouds, my partner had just got his third ever birdie on the second hole and I was driving well. My short game was a bit sketchy but since this was our first game back after playing the Apollo Bay Golf Course, I wasn't too fazed.

Suddenly my scorecard showed consecutive bogeys. I was quite content. Another bogey on the seventh. Happy days.

We began the second nine with a relaxed and easy game.

And then it happened.

Before I go into the event in detail, I would like to make it clear that I am a normally well-adjusted person. I have been described as "even-tempered". Perhaps even "bubbly" at times.

Until my ball landed in the right side bunker at the 17th.

For some reason I had a feeling of dread as I approached the cavernous bunker. The lip seemed taller than me and for some reason I found this daunting.

"Remember the Jack Nicklaus book" A soothing voice said inside my head. I relaxed again. Then I seized up again. I couldn't remember. Whatever precious nuggets of genius Jack had imbued in my brain had somehow leaked out the other end, leaving a void of panic and terror.

I tried to remember as best I could - open the clubface, hit the sand behind the ball...

So far so good.

Then I struck the shot. My ball flew upwards, upwards and upwards.

Then it just stopped, cruelly wedging itself just below the lip of the bunker.

Something inside me snapped.

"Yaargh!" I ran up the side of the bunker and grunted, striking the ball hard enough to make it dribble back down into the position it had first landed.

"F@&#* ing sand!"

The ball repeated its journey back down to my feet, leaving a rather pretty little bubble-pattern behind it.

For some reason this really offended me.


"Arrgh!! Yah!"

In my mad fury of swinging and thwacking I realised that at least two of these particular shots were nowhere near the ball. They were aimed squarely at the sand for the sole purpose of revenge.

"Yiggh! Ack!! Raargh!!"

I could tell that my partner wanted to say something at this point but thought better of it.


Finally the ball came popping up out of the bunker and landed on the green, quite close to the pin. A lovely shot.

I took this as the final insult. I stormed out of the mangled bunker (apologies to the greenskeepers and other staff) and stood on the lip, panting maniacally.

I threw my cap down in disgust and stormed off to get my putter.

On this rather lonely walk back to my bag I was thinking "Wow... people actually do throw their hats down when they do a bad shot. Then I realised that I had done exactly fifteen bad shots and got mad again. I finished my putt and as we were walking to the next hole I muttered "What did you get?"

"A par." My partner replied. "You?"

I was almost immediately calm again. For some reason the sand was out of reach and so was my fury.

My partner sensed this was a good time to speak.
"Er, you know that thing... in the bunker?"


"Your left arm was bent."


Unfortunately I had managed to forget the most basic rule. "Keep your left arm as straight as you can". I must have looked like a deranged woodcutter.

I have learned so much from this experience. I have realised that you can't, simply can't lose your cool at any time on a golf course.

Not even to take out your revenge on an inanimate object.

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If you are anything like me, you probably have a multitude of books lying around. It may be that there are some that are taking up valuable shelf room.

There are a number of options, various places you can Sell TextBooks both in the real world and online. If you are looking to sell your books quickly and at a guaranteed price, you may want to check out SellBackYourBook.com

It works like this:

You enter the ISBN number of up to 20 books in the box and click "price books"

You will then see a list of books and the prices offered. If you are happy with the prices, you can reserve the price and sell your books. I think one of the advantages of a site such as this is the immediacy of the offers. If I were to sell by other means I may be waiting a week to find out if someone is remotely interested in the books I have to offer. For example, there may be a rush on "The Secret" and the demand for crime and thriller books is down. The only way to find out is to check for yourself. I was surprised at some of the books that were and weren't in demand. For example, the latest Harry Potter book was not in demand. Neither was War and Peace or The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Strange. However the latest book about Sarah Palin (titled "Sarah") is in demand, so is "Change We Can Believe In - Barack Obama". The demand appears to change from time to time, as various books wane in popularity and then come back in vogue.

This post brought to you by Sell Back Your Book
If you are like me, you may have a bunch of clothing you just bought on Ebay - perhaps it's not the right size, right colour, or maybe it just doesn't suit you. I usually resell the clothing or donate them to the Brotherhood / Red Cross bins.

A post by Megan at Imaginif brought my attention to fund raising needs in Mapoon's isolated Aboriginal community in Cape York (far North Queensland, Australia).

Nai-Beguta Agama Aboriginal Corporation in Mapoon urgently requires donations of clothing and accessories in order to extend their Community Building. This will include room for a youth worker, counselling rooms and training space.

I will now be donating my extraneous Ebay purchases to assist this fund raising effort. If 1,000,000 items of clothing were donated and sold for $1, the target of $1,000,000 would be reached. I hope we can all work together to assist this effort.

Send clothing and accessory donations to:

30 James St,
North Cairns,
QLD 4870.

The clothing will be transported approximately 800km from Cairns to New Mapoon via Sea Swift, a shipping company servicing remote areas.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My dream Sunday Bag had a conniption recently. I was walking from the 10th to the 11th hole (really the 1st and 2nd as it was a nine hole golf course!) and it happened.

My 7 club bag had six clubs in the main compartment and a water bottle in the zip pocket but nevertheless the strap decided to give way.


So all of a sudden I am walking on a forty-five degree angle trying to keep the bag upright.

My partner looked at me quizzically.

I muttered "don't ask", loping along on the same forty-five degree angle.

For the rest of the round I had to grip the top of the bag to stop the clubs from falling out. My hand started to cramp by time we finished playing.

So, I visited a sewing store and bought the tools I will be needing for my repair job.

A canvas needle:

And extremely heavy duty cotton from Russia.

I don't know why it specifically needs to be Russian cotton but the lady in the sewing store insisted it was the strongest and best quality. And I don't want to take any chances of this strap breaking free and the same thing happening during a round.

In the meantime, my partner repaired my bag with black gaffer tape - he reinforced it crossways on the inside of the bag, then wrapped one long piece around the edge of the lip. To date it has held quite well, it even survived a round in Apollo Bay.

But now the time has come to get the needle and thread out and sew the bag back together. I only hope I can remove the sticky residue from the top of the bag in time for my next round.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes I like to get ideas from online shopping outlets and use the pictures to piece together a room or an area. This way I can see if certain objects work with one another in a certain space (the magic of Photoshop!). It might be finding the right Living Room Furniture to go with your walls or rugs, it could be Bedroom Furniture to suit a certain size or shaped room, or it could be setting up the spare room with Office Furniture to create your own space.

While I'm shopping or browsing online, I usually go to the clearance section first in case a bargain is laying in wait for me. Sometimes you can save hundreds of dollars just by checking out the online bargain bins!

The concept of a bargain bin is vastly different in an online context. At your standard city department stores you can fossick through the bargain bins and find a lot of junk for cheap prices. Very rarely have I found the item I want by sifting through a bargain bin. The online bargain bin is a different animal. You can fit a desk, a chair or even a bed in these virtual bargain bins. The concept of size is relinquished. Glass coffee tables can reside with wooden outdoor furniture and conference tables. The mind boggles. Sometimes bargain bin hunters can get free shipping or other deals. It just depends on when you look.
Dropper # of drops
cheapdanny 31
1993 Honda Civic Blog 17
Lap Band Progress 15
Free Printable Fun 14
The house that Koen & Claire (re)built.com 13
The Inspired Self 12
Monkey Fables And Tales 11
QShifter Hobbies 10
Theme lib dot com 9
Nice2All 8

Thanks to all droppers! I have enjoyed visiting your blogs too! I think Entrecard works when people actually read the articles and leave comments rather than dropping like a mad panda. I have found a lot of new bloggers that would otherwise have been undiscovered - hooray for the Monkey!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

I like sleep. Many people have told me I sleep a lot. That's true. In fact, I could probably sleep for my country. I don't know if there's some kind of worldwide sleep off - I think I could probably bring back the gold. According to statistics, the average human spends a third of their time in bed. For me it might be a bit longer. So it makes sense to buy the right mattress. You don't want to find yourself with a crick in your neck or a Quasimodo walk ("The Bells! The Bells!") when you rise and shine to greet the world in the morning. You want to smile and bound out of bed full of energy and ready to go on that 1km run. Or in my case, swear, mumble and whack the alarm clock until it stops bothering me. So my next mattress will be a super amazing one, a luxury mattress. Life's too short to settle for second (or third!) best when it comes to something as important as sleeping. While looking for an affordable luxury mattress, I checked off the important features - motion separation so your partner doesn't disturb you when they toss and turn all night, durable springs and beautiful materials like cashmere and wool. This collection features Advanced Pocketing Coil springs for durability and flexibility to contour to your shape. For more information click here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


This turned out to be a nice idea right up until the time they stopped paying me. The website stopped receiving applications, stopped paying people and generally started acting scammy. At the time they closed up shop, they owed me around $250.00 
Avoid like typhoid...

Recently I trialled a passive income stream called freebies4webmasters that seems to have turned out to be profitable. I was skeptical at first - actually, I was skeptical right up until the time that the payment appeared in my account. Now that the money is there I can't argue with it.

The process is simple - you put a code on your blog displaying a rather unobtrusive ad on 3 different pages. If you have a blog with more than 3 posts or a website with more than 3 pages this is very simple. Then the fun begins.

Firstly, you are paid 10 pounds (Oh joy for the exchange rate!) for signing up.

Secondly, you are paid 5 pounds per month for leaving the ad code on your site. You don't have to do anything else.

You can put the code on multiple sites if they are approved, thus doubling your income or tripling it or more!

You have nothing to lose so why not give it a try? It's a good place to start if you have never earned money from your site.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Despite initially making an initial amount money from this company, they have since shut down and hightailed it with around $200 still owed to me. Don't bother!!!

Buy Bitcoin at coinsmart.com
Do you know what I love best about online shopping? It's probably best if I explain what I don't like about on-footpath shopping (yes, I may have invented a new word - copyright dibs!!)

1. Crowds
2. People in general
3. Crowds containing people and possibly animals
3. Shop assistants who answer "huh?" with a glazed stare when you ask them where the electrical section is.
4. Shop assistants who say "nup" every time you ask them a question (see previous post here).
5. Prams that hit you in the shin when you are holding a priceless crystal object
6. "Hoooy, can oooy help yooo?" (hold your nose while saying this sentence and it will sound about right)
7. Queues - I recently left a Melbourne store because the queue had a wait time of about half an hour or more. I really did want that CD - but not that much!
8. Carrying bags on public transport - there will inevitably be a huge milkshake stain on the seat where you want to put your new dvd player box.
9. Crying children. Tantrums. Ear splitting blood curdling screams. It's hard to concentrate on shopping when you are taken by a bout of fight or flight syndrome.
10. Those horrible sales where everybody rushes in as soon as the store opens. It usually ends in broken bones, scrapes and bruises, angry exchanges and tug-of-war fights. It's hard to be proud of your new found bargains when you're walking out of the shop like Quasimodo.

Now, for the positives. I love online shopping because you can click on say, "exercise equipment" and it takes you right to the correct department. So much easier than trying to follow some harried shop assistant's directions. The items are delivered to your door and all you have to do is click a few buttons.

Exercise equipment is next on my online shopping list. I need to turbo charge my exercise routine because some truths have become apparent to me:

1. Beer is not a vegetable

2. Watching the Olympics does not count as exercise (although I did lose 5cm from my waist during this time - explain that one!!)

3. Getting up to adjust the aerial does not count, nor does going to the fridge.

4. The weather is getting better and the days are getting longer - there is now no excuse.

5. I actually like exercising - it's kind of fun when you get into a routine.

So I visited DealsDirect and went straight to their Exercise and Fitness Equipment section (no harried shop assistants here!) In previous posts I have delved into my exercise routine involving weights and walking briskly (and not just to escape rather large dogs!). Recently I have been considering the benefits of expanding my weights collection.

What I found was perfect for me:

Set of 3 Mini Dumbbell Set With Stand - 9kg Total

Today's DealsDirect Deal: $24.95
(RRP: $59.95)

The beauty of this contraption is that you can choose which weights to use, depending on the exercise and how you are feeling on a particular day. For example, I will start off the Spring exercise routine slowly so I will be using the smaller 1kg weights to begin with. I will then work up to 1.5kg and then 2kg after a few weeks or months of strength building.

I can also use the smaller weights for my some of my Pilates exercises. I can even use it as a small pommel horse. Perhaps I could use it as a newspaper and magazine holder. Or a wine rack. Whatever I do end up deciding to do with it, it will certainly be a good incentive to rediscover exercise and get ready for summer!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Have you noticed that you can buy, say, 5 pairs of jeans - all of a certain size and when you try them on you find that a size 10 or a size 12 (Australian size) is not the same from one item to another? For example, I have purchased 3 new pairs of jeans:

The first pair is the perfect size, the jeans fit easily and comfortably.

The second is just big enough to get over my knees - perhaps.

And the third pair - well, I could go camping in them. Campfire and all. They are taller than me and many times bigger. Perhaps I could fit into one leg, I may try that - it could start an interesting trend. Or perhaps not.

The point is, they are all marked the same size. And I've checked that they weren't children's sizes or doll sizes or anything like that. So, this begs the question - shouldn't there be some sort of regulating body for the use of clothing sizes?

Otherwise people could get depressed by buying small versions of the next size up, not knowing that their actual size is the same and the clothing manufacturer has gotten a little creative.

Conversely, you could give yourself a confidence boost by buying a larger version of the next size down. Ooh, look, I dropped a size and I didn't even do anything! Again, this is false advertising - the person will remain the same size, they will now just happily leave the jeans lying around so people can see the size on the tag.

There needs to be some universal governing body that regulates clothing sizes. I have tried on a Korean made dress only to suffocate dramatically like a heroine in an old horror movie. Yes, I understand I am tall and perhaps the target market for this dress was short but there should be warnings on the label.

So, with my new found knowledge, I shall be referring to tape measurements only when I buy clothing to avoid any unfortunate mishaps in the future.

I'm sure a lot of people have experienced something similar when it comes to contractors. You call them, they say they'll be there. They don't turn up, you call again. Then you call again and find out that they won't be there for another three weeks. Meanwhile your tap is dripping, your roof is leaking or your toilet is overflowing. Unfortunately, when you need a contractor, it is often for a problem that cannot wait three weeks let alone three days. That's why you need a bit more assurance that something will be done quickly and properly. Again, guarantees are difficult to come by in this sphere - certainly in my experience the answer has been "she'll be right mate" and of course, it isn't.
You may be standing in your living room, avoiding a live wire, waiting for Electric Contractors to arrive. You may be clinging to your grand piano, praying that the Home Pest Control arrives before the termites reach that priceless heirloom. And you can just imagine the wait for the Plumbing Repair people to arrive. Very uncomfortable!
It would be nice for once to have some sort of a guarantee that the job will be done and done properly. This is the claim offered by DoneRight Home Improvement professionals. The contractors bearing this special DoneRight logo are screened tested for proficiency. Please note you must use the online form to register for this guarantee before engaging a contractor for work.