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Archive for the ‘Random musings’ Category

So here I am on a Thursday night updating my social media.

Logged into Twitter.

Added some connections on LinkedIn.

Reset the password on a Yahoo account that had 400+ unread messages…why do I have four email addresses again?

This blog in particular is long overdue for a post.

It’s not like I have been idle. I’ve had all the actual work writing to contend with…often requiring interviews at odd hours. Oh, and a family…kids parties…life…etc etc…

Anyways, here are some links to pre-written ready-made content and photos!

Recently I got the chance to chat to Daniel Dae Kim whose work I have been following since the days of Angel.

Read about his time on Hawaii Five-O here:

Earlier in the year when I was at the TCA Winter Press Tour in Los Angeles I attended the session for the new Shonda Rhimes drama Scandal starring Kerry Washington.

The lovely Annabel Crabb was happy  to chat about her new season of Kitchen Cabinet – she has high praise for the cooking skills of WA Senator Louise Pratt. Not so much so for poor Joe Hockey‘s barbecue prowess and the fact his oven still had plastic on it!

In an ideal world, I’d have posted the links to the kids’ movie reviews in the school holidays, not several days after they finished. Yes believe it or not, I watch TV every day and still go to the movies too!

Mwahahaha here’s Hotel Transylvania with the voice work of Adam Sandler “blah blah blah” , and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days with general silliness.

And let’s call it a wrap with Perth’s Mandy McElhinney aka Rhonda the safe driver soon to be known as Nene King.

 

 

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Well I survived my first week back in full-time employment.

Things that have changed since I left The West in 2007.

*The side gate I used to use as a shortcut to the foyer is now locked. Padlocked and covered in cobwebs, in fact. I felt pretty daft marching around to use it, then marching right back again.

*There’s still next to nowhere to eat. Maybe I should buy a Jiffy food van?

*Sky News has a reporter in residence. I wondered who the pretty girl was who was talking to herself; then I realised when I stuck my head past the partition she was doing a piece to camera. It’s amazing the set-up she has and apparently it doesn’t pick up all of our noise.

*For a whole day I wondered why they had only hand sanitiser in the toilets, the stuff you don’t use with water. Then I realised the soap dispensers were built-in next to the tap. Like they had always been.

*It’s not a good idea to go to the loo around lunchtime. That’s when they are closed for cleaning.

*The editorial computer system is far more user-friendly (though some users found it hard to believe I’d said that) and the internal message system has gone.

*You need to dial 0 to get an outside line, not 9. Or you end up ringing random people in sport by mistake. I think.

*That it’s a good idea to tell switchboard you’ve returned to work, or they accidentally tell people you don’t work there anymore.

*Home -baked goods are embraced and encouraged – although I was a bit shocked to overhear one colleague saying my Chocolate Crackle Top cookies looked like dog poo circa when dogs ate bones. She thinks I didn’t hear her because I was on the phone several rows away. Ha!

*Travelling reporters can borrow a Dell netbook and wireless USB modem. Amazing! I’m testing one out tomorrow.

*I received mail from a movie company on my third day, before I had changed my address with them. I realised that mail had probably been coming in and going in the bin since 2007. I hadn’t realised because I also get their mailouts by email.

*I could spend several weeks explaining how long I was gone for and why I am back.

There’s nothing quite like a newsroom, especially when you started working in one aged 17. Only newspaper people really understand newspapers and newspaper people  – to this day I’ m pretty sure 75 per cent of my non-media friends have no idea what I actually do. Actually some media people probably don’t either, since my round is TV but I’m not on it 🙂

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As promised, here’s an update on how my first online shopping experience went with Woolworths.  Unfortunately, not well.

Looking back at my order, it looks like I ordered about 52 items. Of those, one was out of stock and I got an email alert. No biggie. But there were about 10 other things that went wrong.

I got beans instead of bean sprouts. One can of tomatoes instead of two – but charged for both. Ice cream and sorbet that were both melted enough to be oozing out of their cartons (possibly because they were delivered about 9pm, the outer limit of the 7-9pm window I requested).

Let’s see what else? Caged eggs instead of free range, two small chickens instead of one, a small box of green tea instead of a large bog of chai tea.

Less bothersome were the bake at home bread rolls sent instead of bake at home baguettes and the three boxes of hash browns instead of the one kilo bag on sale.

So in some cases I was overcharged and in others, such as being charged for one free range chicken then getting two smaller ones at a higher price, I was under charged.

After unpacking and noting all the errors I called customer service and could not get through. At that time of night I suspected they weren’t actually there (there were conflicting hours on the website and the order confirmation email).

So I followed up with a polite and detailed email. When I got no response, I called late on Saturday afternoon and was told I could have the problem items re-delivered but not for a few days. Or I could get credit. I went with the latter for the four items that were the biggest mistakes – giving me a refund of about $14 (the order was about $174).

I had hoped for a reply to my email but a week on and I haven’t heard a word. The customer service representative I spoke to  said the service had been operating in my suburb for three weeks and would improve.  She didn’t sound terribly surprised by the mistakes nor terribly sorry.

Compare this with my first Coles delivery a year or so ago where I alerted them to the rather trivial matter of frozen spring onions. They credited my account without question and were pleased to have been notified.

What seems most strange about this whole situation is Woolworths is playing catch-up in a market Coles has had to itself for about a year.

Why haven’t they done some homework and tried out the Coles service? Coles has better delivery windows for starters, not to mention giving customers an estimated price to take into account the final and actual weight of items like meat, whole chickens and fruit and veg.

Part of the problem is Woolworths appears to be giving its personal shoppers’ a computerised list of items to tick off with pencil but the final results, weights and prices are not being taken into account in the way Coles does.

It surely can’t be good business sense to give me two approx 1.2kilo chickens worth about $17  instead of one 1.7kilo chicken for $13.60 or  to charge me $9.27 for 450g chicken breast that actually turned out to be $7.55.

Unable to secure a delivery window and not really having the time to take the risk with Woolworths, this week I went back to Coles. My delivery for 6-8pm arrived at 6.05pm with everything itemised and in their bags in good condition. As has become Coles’ habit, I also received some free samples.

Now that’s service. I think I’ll give it another few weeks or even months before I try Woolworths again.

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While many Perth families have been obsessing over the MySchool website, this week I have been I’ve been concerned with the big issues.

Such as, what is it with Perth people and trolleys?

I hate having to pay to use a trolley at the airport but I am more and more inclined to support moves for a pay for use/deposit system at shopping centres.

Perhaps I am more sensitive than usual, having only picked my car up from the smash repairers last week, but it seems trolley laziness is at an all time high.

I have four shopping centres within a five to 10 minute drive. The closest is the one I favour the least because no one seems able to put a trolley away anywhere other than between parked cars.

On Thursday night I went to the centre that is furthest away, parked relatively close due to the time and moved a trolley from in front of my car to the return bay.

Half an hour later I emerged to find  another trolley stuck in front of the car.

But today’s incident takes the cake. I pulled into the busy car park at another shopping centre (not a major), spotted one free bay and as I indicated to pull in, a man with a trolley used the spare bay to park his groceries.

Noticing my plan to park, he moved the trolley a bit closer to his station wagon and continue to unpack. I got out of the car, said thanks and went to get my bag from the boot.

Then, the man moved the trolley up between our cars and went to get into his car to leave. I couldn’t believe it – the trolley return bay was directly opposite his car, about 5m away.

So I promptly walked back to my side of the car, grabbed the trolley and marched it to the bay, saying loudly I couldn’t believe how lazy he was.

To which he responded “maybe I shouldn’t have been so courteous earlier” (bearing in mind – he was actually hogging an entire car bay with his trolley during peak Saturday shopping hours). To which I responded “you win some, you lose some – that was going to blow into the car.”  To which he responded “it would have blown the other way”- as in, not into my car but whoever parked there next!

Our civilised exchange was observed by several people including a couple whose Hyundai Getz was parked in front of us and could just as easily have been damaged by said trolley.  But no one seemed to care.

I am thinking that from now on, I will park my car covered in bubble wrap.

Hoons, tailgaters, people who refuse to let you merge, people who don’t wave to say thanks when you let them in, people who don’t care if they hit your car with a trolley…Perth driver, you really are crap.

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Best laid plans

Okay, so it’s only January and already I have become a bit slack with the posts. I’m working on that.  It is my intention to write small posts more often rather than spewing forth a batch once a fortnight.

I’ve also become a bit slack posting the food photos to Flickr; perhaps that is because I continue to attract strange stares everywhere I go for obsessively photographing my food.

But I’m about to sort that out in the next few days, too.

In the meantime, here’s some satay from Friday poolside lunch with friends.

And lamb with cous cous (sorry no cous cous photo the tablecloth was too loud  to be shown twice)inspired by My Kitchen Rules.

 Nice segue to next post…(above)

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I haven’t taken the Christmas tree down yet or even had a chance to snap up any Christmas decorations at 50 per cent off.

Yet there they were staring at me in the supermarket today…

Hot Cross Buns! Seriously. On January 4!

I bet Easter eggs won’t be far behind. And Valentine’s Day Cards.

It’s starting to feel like

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

 one big consumer-oriented public holiday/religious event/sales opportunity.

I for one will not be indulging until at least autumn!

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Lamb Pide - dairy free

Lamb Pide

Okay, what happened to 2009? December flew by without a solitary post; not for the want of trying. A couple of quick posts ended up in drafts, and there they remained. 

If you’ve visited this site previously, you may have noticed my compulsion for almost obsessively photographing everything I cook or eat. 

For example, here’s the yummy lamb pide I made last week – a cheese free pizza that can be enjoyed by my daughter who has dairy allergies. 

And here’s an Indonesian fried chicken dish, also cooked for the first time last week. 

Indonesian Fried Chicken

Indonesian Fried Chicken

  

I  don’t make any claims about being a  great food photog but I snap away in the vague hope I’ll eventually get time to write something to go with the images. 

Yesterday I decided to force myself to do a bit of both – by starting a Project 365 revolving around food. Yes, I decided a day into the new year – but luckily, I had already taken photos on day 1. 

You can find the photos at my Flickr page categorised under Project 365. 

And of course I’ll continue to post here, too.

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