Dear Telstra

Dear Telstra,

  1. Calling to confirm an appointment is fine. What’s not fine is telling me the appointment is ‘anytime between 8am to 6pm’.

  2. Asking me if the equipment and MDF are there.

    1. If you don’t clarify what equipment you’re referring to, then I cannot tell you if they’re here or not.

    2. When I ask what an MDF is and I tell you I don’t know what it is after you de-acronymise it for me, asking me again if it exists is not particularly bright. If I don’t know what it is, how am I supposed to know if it exists?

  3. Calling to confirm everything yesterday? Fine. And then calling me again today to confirm the exact same thing? Where are your customer service records?

  4. Trying to tell me that you must’ve left a voicemail, rather than spoke to me yesterday. This is why it isn’t possible:

  5. I am the customer and I am not lying when I say I have already spoken to you and gone through this step-by-step process.

  6. We don’t have a voice mail function on our phones. If no one picks up, the phones ring out.

Totally uncool about your service,

Misfits: Robert Sheehan and Iwan Rheon

For those of you who have discovered the hilarity known as Misfits, I present to you this little gem:

Robert Sheehan, who's Irish (and plays Nathan) and Iwan Rheon, who's Welsh (and plays Simon) discuss the difficulties in learning English lines when you can only speak Welsh.

God, I love those guys. Iwan and Robert are so stupidly adorable.
  • Current Music
    Atlantis To Interzone [Klaxons]
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Gmarket Global Haul reveal v2.3

The seller 더미니스킨 tester samples. I picked up the:

  • Skin79 Super BB Cream Gold (code SS02) x20pc.

    Skin79 has 2 very popular blemish balms and there are reviews galore on both. Surprisingly I found most prefered the pink version, but the seller ran out of stock of that version. Nonetheless I found the fold version really smooth and a good match compared to the other BB creams I've tried.

  • Skin Food Agave Cactus Serum (SF48) x50pc.

    Skin Food's agave range capitalises on the anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties of the cactus. It's a little stickier than I expected, but it dries off clear - whereas if you tried to do the same with a stick of fresh aloe, your skin will be left with a green tinge.

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art: 21st century

Pascale Marthine Tayou's Plastic bags

We went to the 21st Century exhibition last weekend. It was so busy with familes out exploring the various interactive works. We had to opt not to join the queues.

Olafur Eliasson’s The cubic structural evolution project 2004

This is one of my favorite ones. Kids of all ages (and especially the big 'kids') were disassembling and creating all sorts of structures from the white lego pieces.

The exhibition is open till 26 April 2011, so there's still a little time left to go.


In last week's Food Connect order, I thought to try out the tempeh.

"What the hell is 'tempeh'?" you ask?

Tempeh is a naturally fermented soy bean product that originated from Indonesia. It's made from the whole soybean and contains a higher percentage of protein, fiber and vitamins than tofu. It is usually made and purchased as a block.

It looks and tastes nothing like tofu (豆腐) or natto (なっとう). On a scale of flavour, tofu is the weakest and natto is the strongest - tempeh is in between.

If you would like to learn more about tempeh, check out The Book of Tempeh by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi. I found this book in the public library and it's so full of information. William and Akiko have obviously really immersed themselves in the world of tempeh and researched this food, including its history and traditional recipes for preparing it.

If you don't like the soft silken texture of tofu, then perhaps you could try tempeh. The tempeh made by Ananda Palli is a little different from the tempeh in supermarkets. It has plenty of the white mycelia coating the soy beans, whereas many of the tempeh packets I've seen in supermarkets look very brown and unappetising.

I've been chopping this into cubes or strips, pan frying it in a little oil before adding to vegetable stir-fry (with a splash of soy sauce and chinese wine). Very very yum!
  • Current Music
    Steve Murano - Passion [Ministry Of Sound]
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This week's Food Connect mini box

Food Connect mini box

It's all looking good in this week's Food Connect mini box. No extras this week, but I don't think we need any. We still have heaps of apples left from last week's box, so maybe I'll make Jaime Oliver's tarte tartin for dessert this weekend.

And thank goodness we have a subscription to Food Connect. I needed a capsicum for a salad I was making and it cost me AUD$4.10. Ridiculous!

  • Corn x 1
  • Chinese veg x 1
  • Lettuce x 1
  • Pumpkin x a quarter
  • Mushrooms x 6
  • Zucchinni x 1
  • Sweet potato x 4
  • Potato x 4
  • Garlic x 2 massive cloves
  • Spring onion x 1
  • Apple x 5
  • Lemon x 1
  • Pear x 3

How much time do you spend online?

I received this email from a staff member and thought I would share.

Is it just me or is this frequently-asked question on surveys increasingly meaningless?

The presumption is that “being online” is a specifically identifiable activity, like “brushing your teeth”, whose start and end points can be determined. Like most of you, I am “online” most of the time. Computers at home and at work, iPhone in between. But I don’t think I “go online”. Online is just a tool I use to do a range of things (communicate with people, find work-related information, pursue a hobby etc). It is these things on which I “spend time” not the nebulous “being online”.

Why doesn’t anyone ask the equivalent questions about “pre-Internet” activities? Like “how much time do you spend reading pieces of paper?” “how much time do you spend writing with a biro”? “how much time do you spend talking to people?”.

Gmarket Haul reveal v2.2

After my first foray into the paper facial mask, I went hunting on Gmarket Global for other sellers and brands. And there are heaps out there! It's a little overwhelming, but with a little time, it's not impossible to work out which is the best deal for you.

I found this seller 블루-1004 for Beauty Friends paper facial masks. The listing is for 100 sheets - 10 sheets of 10 types you get to select.

I chose:
  • Potato
  • Green tea
  • Lemon
  • Royal jelly
  • Vitamins
  • Pomegranate
  • Aloe
  • Collagen
  • Seaweed (marine algae)
  • Herb

I tried the vitamins one and while my skin felt really hydrated, there was a slight tackiness on my skin that I didn't feel with the Skinvitals mask I tried. It's not uncomfortable nor what might be considered sticky. Nonetheless at AUD$0.25 (includes international shipping) a sheet, this is a real bargain.

Oh, and they threw in 2 satchets of Porezone ver 2.3 manager up and down mask.

Yah, the name had me laughing too.
  • Current Music
    More Than Words Can Say [Alias]
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Gmarket Global Haul reveal v2.1

When I placed my 2nd Gmarket Global order, I didn't really pay too much attention to the weight of the resulting parcel.

So when it came time to pick up it up from the post office, I bulked slightly at the 8.5kg figure.

Naw, it'll be alright, I thought. I can still pick it up on the way into work and take it in with me. No problem!


The resulting box became up to my knee and I had to lug it back home. My arms were so sore, but this means I get to do a multi-post reveal!

First up are the items from ainead's part of the order.

ainead is a huge Jetroy fan. She found a seller 하루디자인문구 and wanted the Redhood Jetroy iPhone 4 case. It is so cute! And the seller threw in a sticker set and cork bookmark as freebies.

These Cook's Helloday stickers are from seller (주)올인마켓. The set comes with about 10 sheets of stickers, each one different from the next. And they included freebie candy!

Tempted yet? If you haven't already, check out my Gmarket Global tutorial.

Stay tuned for the rest of the haul! (^_~)-★
  • Current Music
    The Ballad Of Michael Valentine [The Killers]
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Our couchsurf hosting (mis)adventures thus far

Since joining Couchsurfing.org in October 2010:

  • Our profile has been viewed 321 times
  • We have received 38 couch requests and 49 unique messages.
  • We accepted 8 couchrequests and 1 maybe.
  • One cancelled in advance and one didn't show up at all.
  • We declined 32 couch requests, mostly on the grounds of not reading our profiles.
    Only about 5 declines were due to calendar clashes with already accepted requests or our own travel plans.

That's about a 20% success rate for couchsurfers requesting to stay with us.

I am surprised by how low that percentage is, since we really look forward to reading every request that comes through. So unfortunately when it's brief and there are no indications they've read our profile (calling us 'guys', 'maaaates' or 'couple' is a huge no-no for us), it's really disappointing. Wouldn't you read through a host's profile thoroughly before sending a request to ensure they're not madman/psychos/sexual predators/insert-any-type-of-psycho-movie-thriller-antagonist-here?

Funnily enough - and it's just an observation - 4 out of the 5 requests we receive are from Germans. German isn't listed as a language we know anything about, and yet we haven't hosted a single German.

But the SO and I have agreed that unless the request checks our boxes, rejections are sent within 12 hours of receiving it. Afterall this is our home and we want to ensure anyone entering is respectful of the sanctuary we are creating. It is definitely a fine balance between meeting new (possibly strange) people and ensuring our safety/comfort.

If you were to welcome strangers to your home, what precautions would you take?

And if you wouldn't admit strangers, how well would you have to know the person before you'd allow them to spend a night on your couch?