. . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

At this time in Australia and New Zealand, labelling palm oil on food products is not a requirement. It will appear on labels as "vegetable oil" in food items and Elaeis guineensis in cosmetic items.

The problem with palm oil is that forests are being destroyed to make way for palm plantations. This practice destroys the natural habitat of the endangered Orang-utan.

Please watch the video and sign the Zoos Victoria petition calling for palm oil labelling to be included in the nutritional information chart on food products.

Don't Palm Us Off from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

How to identify palm oil in products: Shopping Guide

Resources and more information on palm oil:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I was making myself a sprouted spelt toastie with fetta and avocado. I never thought I'd actually admit to eating that. Anyway, I had just read an article describing how it is a good idea to spear an avocado in the pip and twist it out.

What the article should have also mentioned is to put the avocado on a flat surface, not to hold it in your hand. But the writer didn't count on someone like me reading his article and doing something quite so spectacularly stupid.

Half an avocado in my left hand, a knife in my right, I had speared the pip to a certain extent but I needed to push harder. So of course I pushed harder.

Without warning the knife slipped off the pip, the pip went flying over my head, the knife shot through the outside of the avocado and stabbed straight into the base of my second finger. It stopped suddenly, perhaps because it hit the bone. I pulled the knife firstly out of my finger and then out of the avocado.

I calmly held my finger without looking as a few thoughts coalesced in my mind:

"Wow. This is going to hurt."
"I'm not sure I'm quite ready to look at it yet."
"Damn, I've got to stop making my sandwich, I'm so hungry."

I got a tissue, wrapped it around the base of my finger without a sound or a word. I walked out and casually said to my partner.

"Ah. Just stabbed my finger."
He looked concerned but I told him it was ok.

I finally looked at it - the shallow part of the cut was about a centimetre and the deep part is about half the size. The cut was shallow on the edges and deep in the middle. It also had a gross bit sticking out of it. It wasn't really that bad, it was just a surprise. One minute you're making a feta and avocado toastie, the next: "surprise"!! You've got a knife is sticking out of your finger.

Here's the weird thing though, it didn't really hurt, just a dull sting. I followed my somewhat modified version of:


It went something like:

Squeeze tissue around finger
Finish making toastie
Nip of cider

My finger is looking much better now and I have resolved in future to remove avocado pips by cutting around the pip and flicking it out.

Its safer that way.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's face it. Social networking is taking over the world. People seem to love the format, the feel, the connection with other people. Unfortunately, many online shopping sites are going to start looking like dinosaurs as technology moves faster than the people who run the sites.

Thankfully, there are a few sites that are stepping up to the online shopping/social networking fusion. I like to call it Shopping 2.0!

One of these notable sites is Canadian deal hunting site, Wishabi.ca

The design is cute, the interface is friendly, and you can even sign in with Facebook. Canadians who once had trouble finding products to ship to Canada from the US can now band together and feature deals specifically for those living in Canada. The site also promotes cross-border shopping in which you can find the best deals from the US and Canada and compare/rate to find the best deals. This feature also calculates the hidden fees associated with shopping across the border such as cross-border fees and exchange rates so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to checkout time.

Each merchant has a ranking determined by Wishabi members so you can research a store's performance before committing to buy. If you find a great deal, you can share it with your online shopping friends and gain points depending on the popularity of your chosen item. I did a search for "canvas messenger bag", as I am considering adding yet another bag to my growing collection. The deals were excellent. I found quite a few bags for under $40 Canadian dollars. I was able to filter the results by price, and deal rating points. Deal ratings are calculated using feedback from the Wishabi community and statistical analysis to allow users to make informed decisions on price trends and the right time to buy. Members are also rewarded in cash by finding a better deal than the current Wishabi deals. The minimum payout is $20 CAD and payment is made by PayPal. I predict that community-driven sites are the future of online shopping, with the power ultimately resting in the hands of the consumer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Googled "Boyfirned" just to see what it was. Evidently it's how much of the world's population spell "Boyfriend".

And apparently a lot of people trawling on the net are seeking a boyfirned of their own. Good luck to them, I say. Hopefully when they meet them they'll spell their name correctly.

I'm not sure what it has to do with jeans exactly, maybe that "I look good in my boyfriend's jeans type thing."

Some hail them as the new 'it' jeans right now.
Some call them the answer to skinny jeans.
Others go so far as to call them "forgiving".

Forgiving eh? If you threw a rock at your sister when you were seven, the jeans aren't going to be your salvation. They are just comfy and probably allow you to eat periodically.

The name could be hybrid thing, like rom-com. Perhaps boyfirned is some kind of spurned boyfriend.
Or an exotic bird. A type of chemical wash for jeans? A fireplace?

Regardless, I do like 'em.

technorati tags:
This estate wine opener adds a touch of class to any bench or bar. The style is reminiscent of the 1890s - probably older than most of your wines. These ornate wine openers are hand polished and feature intricate designs:

Estate Wine Opener

This champion wine opener features polished hardwood for an elegant finish. These beauties are designed to cork and re-cork wine bottles (flange top and standard wine bottles). They provide ease of use and look beautiful as a feature in your kitchen or bar. You can also find Rogar Corkscrews and various accessories for the wine connoisseur.

No more sticking the bottle between your legs Basil Fawlty-style and whacking yourself in the forehead. This is the way to open wine.

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm a Scorpio but I just love these things. They make me think of open fireplaces, Sherlock Holmes desks and smoking jackets. These wine openers are a nifty way of simultaneously providing decoration and function.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doggie Bag

Yuk yuk. I Love it. *snicker*

You could... take it home with you!! (I am sincerely sorry about that, I couldn't resist!)

Rocket Alarm Clock

This thing actually goes through a countdown and launches the rocket across the room. There’s something so amazingly cool about that...

Yes, it does keep the alarm sounding until you fossick about on your hands and knees trying to replace the rocket to its holder. That almost qualifies it for the sadistic gift file. But it does have a snooze button and it simulates launch off. What more do you want?

And of course...

Monty Python Killer Rabbit Stapler

Death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

It's the most foul, bad tempered rodent you ever set eyes on. Raaa!!! A tad unnerving for everyday stapling - kind of like having a Hannibal Lecter dinner set.

I can just see numerous idiots holding this up to their neck going "Aaargh!! Get the holy hand grenade of Antioch!!"


"Oh sh!t."

"Uh... anyone got a band-aid?"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Don't shout so loud, everyone will want one. *bdum cha* (drum crash) 

 As I write this I am rather rapidly making my way through an entire pack of Mentos chewy dragees.

I ordered cream of mushroom soup today. The soup was nice, the usual standard I have come to expect from this establishment. Until that moment. It wasn't hard to find. The thing about cream of mushroom soup is that it's kind of white. And the thing about this hair was that it was kinda black. And short. And er... curly. Note: In this restaurant none of the staff appeared to have curly hair. Not on their heads, anyway. 

My face froze as I found the offending item, fished it out and put it on a napkin. It was at that same moment I lost my appetite. Perhaps permanently. 

This would make a great diet plan - I could call it the "Hairy Soup" diet. Guaranteed to put people off food forever. I do sometimes wonder if I have a sign above my head saying "Do something unspeakably gross in my food please". The fact that it was cream of mushroom soup doesn't bear thinking about.

BLAAAHHAAHHAA!!!!!! (Eats another Mentos) 

I told the waitress about the hair. She smiled at me as if to say "oh good". I suspect she did not have the faintest clue about what it was I had just told her. 

To quote John McClane (Bruce Willis) from the Die Hard quadrilogy: "How can the same sh!t happen to the same guy twice?" Or girl in this case. Please refer to previous post 'Waiter There's A Pubic Hair In My Tofu'. 

 I may never eat again.

Sometimes being a blogger isn't easy. I know that in the course of a week I will find myself tinkering with html, css and various other bits and scripts to develop my blog and explore new possibilities for marketing.

The problem with this approach is that you cannot do everything yourself. There aren't enough hours in the day and logically, it isn't an effective use of your time. You can't be expected to learn flash, html, css and javascript just so you can insert one element into your blog. Something I have learned in the last few years of blogging is that it's quicker and easier to hire someone else to do some code, a presentation or a flash element that will come out looking professional. This will also free you up to do what it is you do best - blogging. If you spend all your time coding and tinkering, you won't be focusing your time on writing quality blog posts.

The consensus among the blogosphere's notable bloggers is that video is the big selling point. If you are marketing your own or affiliate products and wish to capture the reader's attention, video is often the most effective way to communicate your ideas.

Whether you are branching out into Corporate Video, DVD production or creating a sales pitch to present to visitors to your blog or site, you can create a much better impression with a professional touch. You wouldn't run a real estate website and feature a youtube bumpy, fuzzy amateur video as your selling point. You can make your site instantly interactive and create a deeper interest as well as standing out from the rest of the websites. Richter Studios have been creating corporate videos for over 10 years and have a proven record for making sales for their clients.

Brought to you by Richter Studios.

Monday, August 03, 2009

What is it with womens' clothing sizes? I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" last night, an enjoyable film that pokes fun at the fashion industry. Despite the obvious satire, I was still appalled at the main character being ridiculed for her "large" dress size. The "offending" size was 6. As far as I can tell, the Australian equivalent to a 6 is a 10 or perhaps an 8. The average size of a model in Australia is size 8-10. They are often 5' 8" to 6' however there is no way on God's Green Earth that a size 10 or a size 8 is "big". Not even a little bit. Unless perhaps you are three foot nothing.

Later on in the film the main character is applauded for her "weight" loss to a size 4. She was small at the beginning of the film. The man who applauded her weight loss was not slim, nor did he have any hair of note. Again, the film uncovers rather than celebrates this obvious double standard, but it does make me wonder when things are going to change.

This begs the question: Why is it that women are applauded for getting smaller? The sizes in the US are insane. In Australia, sizes 0 and 00 are the sizes you buy for your newborn baby. In the US, these are the sizes that women must aspire to for their adult lives. It makes no sense. Are we to be the incredible shrinking women? Will we get approval only when we resemble little girls? Or is the size 0 more sinister, indicating that women will get the ultimate approval when they disappear altogether?