Dear Mr. Cadbury,
I’m writing regarding the updated flavours in your Roses line, which are disappointing.
A friend told me about a year ago that you had changed them, and that they were not very good, so I subsequently did not buy them again. However, they were on special this week, and I had forgotten about my friend’s warning, so bought a box.
The new flavours are indeed disappointing, and I am horrified to note that some of my old favourites are gone:Continue reading Cadbury Roses Sadness
All posts by Jen Cuthbert
As Van Badham wrote this week, the people who have gone plastic free have all had some breaking point. After months of trying to be mindful of our plastic use, but accepting that for some things, it was inescapable, I was finally pushed to the edge by an article which reported that micro-plastic had been found in ice in the Arctic. THE ARCTIC. That, and finally internalising that recycling isn’t really a thing – it is just a distraction from solving the real problem of masses and masses of plastic that doesn’t need to be made.
So, now our household doesn’t get to eat strawberries, or blueberries, because of the little plastic punnets that they come in.[Update: now growing our own plants] Polyester is out, natural fibres, bamboo in particular is in. Milk in plastic bottles is out, waxed cardboard is in. The roll of Glad wrap that we have in the drawer is the last one I’ll ever buy, ditto for the garbage bin liners. Pasta in a plastic package is out, cardboard boxes are in.
Lush have a good range of solid shampoos (this one is particularly good – makes my hair fresh, and scalp non-itchy), and I’ll try their face-wash this week.
I’m struggling with inescapables: toothpaste, medicine, bread and cheese packaging.
I know on some level that our small family isn’t going to make a huge amount of difference in the scheme of things. There is already too much plastic. Some companies are trying to do the right thing, by offering corn-based plastics, but, it seems like there are a lot of problems with that too.
Anyway, we will continue to minimise our plastic waste, and, in doing so, we get to create a whole new category of complaint letters – emails to companies to complain about their plastic use.
Here is our first, probably of many, to Carman’s. Well, many emails in general, not specifically to Carman’s.
mBox eFax – Just don’t.
I signed up to this company this afternoon, as I had to send a couple of faxes this month, and I didn’t want to go to the the post-office. They had a “1 month FREE use” thing, if you entered your financials, and agreed to have a monthly subscription for $9.95 afterwards – which you could cancel at anytime. Being that I would have paid to send the faxes, since it was not only saving me a trip out of the house, but to also, to Australia Post, I thought that this was fairly reasonable.
Buying shoes online – don’t do it to yourself
I have been banned from buying shoes online by the resident Frenchman. Why? Because I have had to return 5 pairs over the years, because they NEVER EVER FIT. And then I end up paying extra for postage and more recently, experience anxiety because I worry that they won’t fit.
Continue reading Buying shoes online – don’t do it to yourself
KitchenAid Food Chopper: This really should be called the “Pestomancer 3000”
Product: KitchenAid Food Chopper
I basically wanted something that made pesto but without the bulk of a food processor, mostly due to not wanting to lug something giant out of the cupboard every time I needed it. I came across the food chopper and thought I’d try it and for $139, it was more affordable than a lot of the bigger food processors.
Anyway, it does a great job with pesto, though, you should probably buy pre-grated Parmesan, and it wasn’t overly happy with the giant chunk that I put in there to begin with. I also tried grating cheddar in it, and it kind of turned it into a gross paste that might come out of a can in the US.
Update 2020-04-12: Despite great success using this device while it lasted, the blade’s socket, made of plastic, ultimately wore out, and started slipping in the driving socket. Or maybe it was the engine that lost its grunt. Anyway, it didn’t last the distance as much as we’d hoped. Removing the post from the “Good experience” category…
Continue reading KitchenAid Food Chopper: This really should be called the “Pestomancer 3000”
Stinky Storage Cube: Kmart
A couple of days ago, I bought a 3-pack of small, dark blue, collapsible storage cubes from the kid’s section at Ashfield Kmart. Since opening them, a god-awful smell has been emanating from them – stinking up the areas of the house where they are. Continue reading Stinky Storage Cube: Kmart
Bonds Wondersuits: Cotton/Polyester
Item: Bonds “Zippy” Wondersuits
Purpose: All-in-one pyjamas
Nuk Suction Baby Bowls
We have entered the world of baby paraphernalia, mostly because we managed to co-operate long enough to have a baby.
A thing to note is that new parents are taken advantage of by all of the baby supply people in two ways – first, the fear that your child will die or feel poor without some expensive bit of equipment; and second, if you don’t have some special bit of equipment, you will be massively inconvenienced.
Being mildly suspicious of the the whole industry, we did buy a lot of stuff secondhand before our baby was born. However, as time goes on, sometimes we need equipment (or so we think!) faster than we can source it, and some things are better off being bought new. Anyway, this flurry of spending has given birth (yes, I said it) to a whole new category on here: Baby Paraphernalia, in the hope that we can save unwitting new parents from wasting their money.
Our first review will be about the Nuk Suction Bowl.
Computer says no at Westpac
Dear Westpac Person,I am writing as I have been unable to resolve a matter with you over the phone.
To outline the problem for you, I have one recurring payment set up for my rent to be taken out fortnightly. I have had issues cancelling payments and setting new ones for some time – for example, when our rent increased in April, I set a new amount to $R2 to be taken out. For some reason, this payment did not stick and it reverted back to $R1 for a couple of weeks until I noticed it.I cancelled this payment, and set a new recurring payment. This seemed to work , and $R1 was taken out successfully last fortnight. This fortnight however, the $R1 recurring payment had resurrected itself, and both amounts were charged off my account.This has resulted in my account to be overdrawn by $XXX, and though it is a small amount ($YYY) that I would have had left for the fortnight, it pays for basic needs like fuel, food and so on.
Google Play Services
I used to like Google. A lot. They claimed not to be evil, and then frays started to appear, and then David Mitchell confirmed that they were probably evil.
As a proper beginning to this post though, let it be known that I am not an IT privacy or security expert, amateur or even that interested in the workings of such things. I am someone who feels a moral compulsion to complain about big-business and the government, and how they are invading my privacy and the privacy of everyone else. Trying desperately to avoid scoring a Godwin Point so early in the article, I would like you to imagine a point in not-too-distant history (I’m looking at you, 1930s–1940s) and how much worse this period could have been had the government in question had the amount of data about their people as our governments do on us. Imagine if their government had been able to purchase last weeks shopping list from a large company, that illustrated what kind of things you bought, consequently revealing all sorts of things about you.
I transgress though. Admittedly, it is a bit big-headed of me to think that a god-like entity like Google would be specifically interested in my data — they harvest it from everyone and sell the data, share the data, mix it into their favourite cocktails and generally use it for nefarious purposes. It’s like the Soylent Green of the past decade or so. There is always the counter argument: “I get Google for free and in return they get my browsing/life habits”. It makes me a bit uncomfortable — just because I have nothing to hide doesn’t mean that I don’t want it to be private anyway.
Moving on though, to Google Play Services. I have a Samsung phone, which has a model number. It might be an S-something-or-other, and that I don’t know what kind of phone I have seems to be indicative of a non-Apple user. Just saying. Anyway, I have had it for a year or two (again, indicative of an non-Apple user) and it works. Well, at least, it worked. I don’t have very many apps installed — weather, maps, a fitness tracker, eBay, a news website app and the Monty Python Silly Walk game — just basic stuff really — but my phone recently became constipated, like an old person missing out on their daily serving of prune juice. And the battery was lasting for less than 12 hours. So, while waiting a thousand years for my news app to open a couple of weeks ago, a warning thing popped up saying “Google Maps has stopped” — which was odd, since I didn’t have location services switched on, the global satellite thing was off, and I was also not using Maps. I ignored it, and assumed that maybe it hadn’t shut down properly the last time I used it.
In retrospect, this was an optimistic thought, and in subsequent weeks, this infuriating little message kept popping up. I checked the apps section of the phone several times – and not only after the message popped up, but at random, possibly surprising times for the phone and Maps was not running. A few things were running, but nothing that looked like maps, and in my frustration, I shut down Google Play Services. My phone instantly sped up, and the battery lasted quite a long time. Google Play Services is a bit like a zombie though, and kept restarting itself at random times, which I would mostly be made aware of because of the random message that “Maps had stopped”. Again.
This morning, I got fed up with the whole thing and turned to the Internet to find out if I really needed it on my phone.