Thursday, June 28, 2007

My First FreeCycle Experience 

This is kinda weird for me, as I launched FreeCycle in Australia, and ran the Melbourne group single-handed for a couple of years. There are now something like 60,000 members in Australia!

As the first ever member, it's odd that I have never particpated in any of the giving & receiving until today. Well, not that odd. I barely owned a thing when I began the group, and almost everything I have bought since has been new, and well needed.

So today I gathered up a few items (mobile phone, microwave, game console, books, software) and offered them. Within minutes I have several people replying who just say "can I have it?", without any reason for wanting it - reeking of greed.

Then, fortunately a mum-to-be from a neighouring suburb explained her needs and very politely asked for the heaters. Already I'm feeling positive about the experience! On the off chance than someone reads this post one day - no matter what your circumstances, I strongly suggest that you consider using the Freecycle in your area, and save things from going to the dump.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

XBox Failures in Australia 

I'm in the process of getting mine fixed by Microsoft, so I was surprised to learn that approx. 30% of XBoxes in Australia have been returned under warranty (that's just since the March launch) - they may have sold more than Sony has PS3, but all those repair costs could negate any sales advantage...

Disturbing is the reported supply of refurbished XBoxes - ie you send yours in to be fixed, and they send back one that used to belong to someone else. This is apparantly illegal...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

86 Rules of Boozing 

Well worth a read, if you are into drinking. These stood out for me:

6. Buying a strange woman a drink is still cool. Buying all her drinks is dumb.

20. Drink one girly drink in public and you will forever be known as the guy who drinks girly drinks.

29. If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer.

31. If you have been roommates with someone more than six months, you may drink all their beer, even if it's hidden, as long as you leave them one.

34. If you bring Old Milwaukee to a party, you must drink at least two cans before you start drinking the imported beer in the fridge.

46. After three drinks, you will forget a woman's name two seconds after she tells you. The rest of the night you will call her “baby” or “darling”.

50. Never brood in a dance bar. Never dance in a dive bar.

55. If you think you might be slurring a little, then you are slurring a lot. If you think you are slurring a lot, then you are not speaking English

57. For every drink, there is a five percent better chance you will get in a fight. There is also a three percent better chance you will lose the fight.

61. Never rest your head on a table or bar top. It is the equivalent of voluntarily putting your head on a chopping block.

66. Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I'm an idiot.”

69. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours.

71. It's acceptable, traditional in fact, to disappear during a night of hard drinking. You will appear mysterious and your friends will understand. If they even notice.

73. If you bring booze to a party, you must drink it or leave it.

74. If you hesitate more than three seconds after the bartender looks at you, you do not deserve a drink.

81. If you’re going to drink on the job, drink vodka. It’s the no-tell liquor.

82. There’s nothing wrong with drinking before noon. Especially if you’re supposed to be at work.

83. The bar clock moves twice as fast from midnight to last call.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Miracle Discovery.... Alcohol Powder! 

Just add water and you have an alcoholic drink. Shame that the motivation was to provide grog to under-age drinkers.
The latest innovation in inebriation, called Booz2Go, is available in 20-gramme packets that cost 1-1.5 euros ($1.35-$2).

Top it up with water and you have a bubbly, lime-colored and -flavored drink with just 3 percent alcohol content.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Telstra Responds 

Well, it took many weeks, and nobody seemed to know what they were doing, but I have received my refund!

Today's customer service guy had to read the Customer Service Guarantee while I was on the phone, so he knew about as much about it as I did. I guess he is required to "offer to negotiate", but I declined negotiations and simply asked for the amount that Telstra promise to give. I think he mis-calculated and gave me a few more days compensation than I was due, but I'm not about to complain.

The bad news is that the ~$800 can only be credited to my account, so my planned ditching of Telstra as my phone provider will be delayed by a year or more...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Entire Town Goes Solar-Powered 

"The town of Dania, Florida has taken a page from Treehugger, and decided that solar-powered street lights would be a good investment, considering the threat of hurricane-caused power outages. Dania will invest $1 million in the improvements, and city officials believe that's money well-spent after the power outages caused by 2005's Hurricane Wilma"
Basically, if a hurricane knocks out the electricity, solar powered street lights will still work (unless the hurricane was all dark and cloudy...). More at TreeHugger

Friday, June 01, 2007

Plan B / Ding Dong Lounge - Bad luck if you missed him 

The well-known (in the UK) rapper Plan B, not dis-similar to an English Eminem, played at Ding Dong last week to about 200 people. It was quite a strange gig!

Why was it strange? Well firstly it only cost $15 to get in. Secondly, for someone who is surely a great-white-hope of his record company, there is ZERO in the way of publicity, advertising or promotion. With only 2 gigs in Australia, there'd unlikely be enough ticket sales to cover expenses - so why do this unless you're after some publicity to boost record sales? Everyone at the gig would've already owned his CD.

Anyway, great gig, enjoyable. He has a variety of talents, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him drifting from rapping into a different genre if the next rap album fails to win a bigger audience.

Nice guy, and the beers were cheap 'n all!

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