Saturday, December 26, 2009
In the highly competitive world of neighbourhood xmass lights, these are the lights you have when the rest of your street put up xmass lights.
The local paper runs a best lights contest. I reckon these should win it, as the ones that usually win are so kitsch and over the top.
Of course, when it comes to Xmass lights, my favourite has to be this one from America, where Jesus shoots Santa.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It was not the fact that they had a setting for four on their web site, but when i was there before, i thought i had bought their last set, and if they had found another set, then what else did they find. I felt this was worth checking out.
So several weeks later Taph and i set off for Sydney. Our first stop was to the Tempe Salvos Store. It is a massive store, well by Canberra standards, and Taph and i left with armfuls of stuff.
Leaving the shop we saw the Google Streetview car going down the street on the opposite side of the road. so when Streetview comes out we will have to check and see if we can see ourselves in the photos.
Our next visit was to Sydenham. I wanted to visit the Wine Society shop there as i owe my father a couple bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label, and i wanted to see how much it was there. Taph wanted to visit the Bonds outlet shop, which is 50 meters away.
Walking back to where we had parked the car, we saw a sign for a garage sale. We had to visit it. as it was in the direction of our next stop, and we felt it would offend the op-shop gods if we did not. Taph had some luck and picked up several Storage bags.
Our next stop was at Victorias Basement in Alexandria. When i was in Sydney before they had some accessories in my Johnson Brothers patten, so i figured it was worth a visit.
From there we headed to Peters of Kensington. They had some stock, in the Regency White patten, but nothing that took my attention. However i figured i should not waste the trip and picked up four more coffee mugs. They also had some coffee mugs in my parents patten (Summer Chintz) so I made a quick phone call to them, but they said not to by any as they had enough coffee mugs.
As we drove away from Kensington, we saw a Vinnies Store in Kingsford that was open. We had to stop in and after parking the car, we walked past a Salvos family store around the corner from the Vinnies. When we got to the Vinnies we discovered that the Vinnies shops in that region were having a half price sale.
This resulted in us going to the Vinnies store at Maroubra. Needless to say after visiting that many op shops in one day, we returned home that evening with a boot.
We picked up many items that day. Some of the most notable were:
- Vintage sheets for fabric stash $4 at Salvos,
- 4 x Ikea storage bags $2 at garage sale, and
- several half price tops for Taphs Mum and myself at the various Vinnies we visited.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
My conversation with the sales staff there went something like this.
"damm, it does not have a price tag on it, how much do you want for it?"
Put my best poker face on, and count to five. "mmm, do you have any other matching pieces back there?"
She has a quick look, "Nope"
"Well i guess i will take it."
So i now have a Johnson Brothers Regency White Coffee Pot for my collection.
I have picked up some other bits, but i will talk about them in a later blog.
My Teapot (that i bought retail) and my Coffee Pot.
Monday, November 2, 2009
1. I passed the $10 mark for cans collected. In fact i am now approaching the $15 mark. I only need 65 cans and if i can keep my average of 10 cans a day going i will pass this total soon.
2 I passed the $60 total in my challenge.
I have decided to no longer keep the money as coins in my home. While Jars of 5 and 10 cent pieces made for a nice photo, i found the concept of keeping (and advertising) that i had that much money lying around my house to be a poor idea. While $60 is not much money (in the scale of things), if i can make $60 in four months, then by the end of this challenge i will have around $200 in small change at my house (and you would not want to go advertising that you had that much money in lying around).
I also have to come clean here. Not all the cans i get are ones i find lying in the street. A couple of friends drink large amounts of brown fizzy drink and they pass their empty cans on to me. I will not mention which makers of brown fizzy drink they drink, however if these fizzy drink makers want to sponsor me i will give them a plug.
But about half the cans in my totals ido find, so the search continues. And my dog enjoys the walks.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
- Dinner plates 27 cm 15
- Dinner Plates 22 cm 4
- Side plates 17 cm 17
- Side plates 18.5cm 4
- Cereal bowls 17
- Soup plates 3
- Soup Touraine 1
- Saucers 24
- Tea cups 25
- Coffee mugs 16
- Teapot 1
- Sugar bowl 2
- Milk jug 1
Of course the search continues for some other bits, like the serving platters etc, but the main search can now be scaled back into a watching brief.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Now i hear people saying that $50 over three months equals, not much money. But this is not much money that i would have missed out on, and it has cost me nothing to collect it.
A person i work with asked me if i was worried about disease? Well there are risks involved in picking up cans that are lying around, but there are also things you can do to minimise these risks.
- If you have a grabber use it, if you do not, then pick up the cans by their base only (and not the bit you drink from). This way there is less chance of touching the drinkers saliva.
- Always carry plastic bags and put cans in the plastic bag. If I do not have a plastic bag, i will squash the can, and leave it there until i can come back with a plastic bag.
- There are three ways to squash a can. One was is stand the can on end and step on it. Only do this if you are certain the can is empty, and if you are wearing heavy boots. Otherwise squash the can lengthwise.
- Finally, get used to not touching your face/ eating unless you have just washed your hands. It takes a little while to get used to doing this, but it can be done. If you are the sort of person who when handling raw meat in the kitchen and not scratch your nose when it itches then you will know what i mean. I also carry a little bottle of antibacterial hand wash, but i will only use it if i need to wash my hands and have no other options for washing them.
Anyway, my tally's for Free Range money stand at:
- Trolleys Returned $12.00
- Cans found $8.93
- Petrol dockets $30.00
- Money found $5.50
- Free range money total $56.43
Friday, September 11, 2009
There are four or six whisky distilling areas in Scotland (depending on who you ask).
After it has been Distilled, all whisky has to be matured for at least three years in Oak Barrels, some will be matured for much longer.
If a blended whisky has an age statement on it, that is the age of the youngest whisky in that blend.
A Blend Whisky will usually have a mixture of Grain (Distilled in a continuous "patent" or "Coffey" still) and Malt Whisky (distilled in an onion-shaped "pot" still).
A Pure Malt Whisky will only use Malted Whiskey.
Blend and pure Malt whisky will mix whiskies from several different Distilleries until the blender achieves the taste and smell they want.
A Single Malt Whisky will mix a number of different whiskies, that have been produced from the one distillery, until the blender achieves the taste and smell they want.
Most of these whiskies will add colouring (usually Caramel) so every bottle produced is identical. If the bottle says nothing about colouring not being added, then it has been artificially coloured.
As the whisky is matured in oak casks, the whisky will sometimes have fats and or oils from the wood in it. When ice is added to the whisky, these fats can go cloudy, so they are removed from mass produced whiskies (usually by a cold filtering process). The problem is fats contain flavour.
A single cask whiskey that has not been cold filtered or had colouring added, is the best to aim for. The problem is quality costs and you will be lucky if you can find a bottle of this whisky for under $100 a bottle.
But they taste divine.
took a Ferry around to Circular Quay.
and jumped on a Manly Ferry. I had first lunch at Manly.
I did not eat at the bald mans chocolate shop, but i wish i had seen it earlier. I was so tempted to pick up the dish of chocolate and see how much i could drink before they caught me. It was sitting righ there, on the bench, and it was so tempting
Took the Ferry back to Circular Quay, And wandered up into town, for second lunch at Harrys Cafe.
I only remembered to take the photo of the pie at this stage of eating it, and i did not think that i could eat a second pie, so i could not stage that photo either.
The Whiskey show was at the Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, and i got there to discover tables and tables of whiskys and whiskeys.
My pick of the evening would have to be the Limeburners from Western Australia.
Although the Amrut from India
and Edradour from Scotland were also worth noting.
We ran into some other whiskey lovers from Canberra.
Yes that is right, Brendan Smyth loves a wee drop of the Dram too
And had a wonderful time. If Whiskey live in on again next year, I will be going.
We arrived at our motel with 30 minutes to spare before our first masterclass was due to begin. Luckily our digs were only 10 minutes walk for where the masterclasses were being held, so we were able to get there on time.
Our First masterclass was about the Whiskies of Islay. It was presented by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and was well worth the trip. Six whiskies were presented in the masterclass, five were single case bottlings, and the sixth was a commercial whiskey from the same distillery as whiskey number four (the Laphroaig 10 year old).
The evening session was a Journey Around Scotland and was presented by a Brand Ambassador from Diageo Brands. This meant we spent the night being shown only brands from the Diageo stable.
But it was not that bad. We had eight whiskies. The first six was one whisky from each of the whisky areas in Scotland, and then we did a vertical tasting of the Talisker, as we tasted the 10, 18 and 25 year olds. He also produced a bottle of pure grain whisky, and i had a sample of it, but as i had spent the day drinking heavy peaty scotches, the pure grain had no taste whatsoever.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is either because the credit crisis is biting harder and people are being more frugal, and either keeping their dockets or competing with me for dockets, or they are buying less and not getting fuel dockets to start with.
The six week total is $32.94, and the jar of coins is starting to get full. I will obviously have to move them into a bigger jar for the next update.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Some people who i work with think i am a little strange, stopping and picking up cans all the time, but I Guess this proves the old adage of "count your pennies and pounds look after themselves".
My quick trip to Sydney was to pick up some stuff for my parents. While searching for bits for my Johnson I found bits for their Johnson . If you know my parents, then please do not mention this to them. One piece is being held for my mothers birthday, the other for mothers day. However, they already know about the teapot as i had to find out if they wanted a second teapot, but they do not know about the other bits.
After picking up this stuff i went over to Victoria's Basement at Alburn (due to a major stuff up i did not have a Sydney street directory in the car and the Alburn shop was the only one i could find without using a map and that had free parking), When i got there, all they had was five tea sets. I figured i did not need another tea set.
Following Parramatta road into the city, i passed this Salvos (which i later found was at Ashfield), and i figured i would offend the op shop gods if i did not stop in.
It was a good litle shop. For $6 i got a Bodum coffee plunger and four tulip shaped wine tasting glasses.
I continued to Peters of Kensington, I figured the op shop gods were smiling on me as the Mitsubishi-Zero got Rock star parking at the door.
I got inside and discovered they had one dinner setting left in my style. I also grabbed six coffee mugs, and the assistant asked if I did not want the last four mugs, So i grabbed them too. All in all a good shopping day in Sydney.
Finally, I had a prophecy to keep. I told Taph ages ago that the only thing to get me out of bed early on a weekend had better involve Surf or Snow, So i went to Bondi for a late lunch.
In the mean time you can all consider the following the next time you come to the National Capital
BASIC RULES FOR DRIVING IN CANBERRA
1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Canberra driver never uses them.
2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or somebody else will fill in that space, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is considered "going with the flow."
4. The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.
5. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. The other guy doesn't have anything to lose.
6. Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.
7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.
8. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic in Canberra.
9. Always slow down and rubber-neck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tyre.
10. Everybody thinks their vehicle is better than yours, especially 4WD drivers.
11. Learn to swerve abruptly. Canberra is the home of High-Speed Slalom Driving thanks to the Urban services, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes, not forgetting the 'Test your skill' chicanes in suburbs.
12. It is traditional in Canberra to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
13. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.
14. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
15. Remember that the goal of every Sydney driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
16. Real Canberra women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup at 75 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
17. Real Canberra men drivers can remove pantyhose and a bra at 95 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
18. Heavy fog and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's way ensuring a natural selection process for body shops, junkyards, and new vehicle sales. It is an acceptable practise to increase your speed in comparison to the rate of rain fall, ie: the harder it rains, the faster you go.
19. There is a commonly held belief in Canberra that highspeed tailgating in heavy traffic reduces petrol consumption as you get sucked along in the slipstream of the car in front.
20. It's OK to cut off fully loaded semi-trailers, road trains and buses because, hell - they have brakes.
21. It is an essential duty of the driver to preserve the life of his passengers. Hence no matter how much of an inconvenience it may be, always find a detour around The Causeway, Lower Kambah, Scullin, Area's of Ainslie, Queanbeyan and Oaks Estate.
22. Always anticipate oncoming traffic while driving down a one way street.
23. It's O.K when driving in Tuggeranong's suburbs to air your grievances at bad drivers by giving the "one finger salute" while screaming out "ar#ehole". But it is imperative you are driving at least a 5 litre V8 with a crow bar in your lap.
24. Canberra drivers are experts at merging, when in two or more lanes travelling in the same direction, ensure that if you see someone politely indicating, waiting slowly trying to merge into your lane, show them that they must 'Wait their turn' to use your lane. Speed up, try to cut them off, should they succeed and get into your lane never mind that it was actually legal for them to do that, ensure that your flash your lights, honk your horn, use extreme hand gestures, even tailgate them, just to let them know, IT WAS YOUR LANE.
25. Ensure that when merging into traffic travelling at any more than 40kph that you stop in the merging lane, backing up traffic for miles behind you, ensuring that you have given yourself or no-one else that opportunity to merge. Again forget that the traffic hand book states that you should speed up to meet traffic speed then merge. If you are travelling in a lane near a merge lane, don't changes lanes to make it easy for them, instead see rule 24. After all they deserve it.
26. While using Canberra roundabouts, particularly two lane roundabouts, ENSURE that you are in the left lane to turn right, or the right to turn left, hell lets keep those people in those other lanes on their toes.
27. If you are an ACTION bus driver, you must win at all costs, getting to your destination prior to any other driver is life and death. Never worry about your passengers bouncing round in the back like tennis balls, hell it's a cheap form of theme park, in fact Canberra's very own.
28. Canberra Cabs, see rule 27, except you are now qualifying for the GMC 400.
29. Pedestrian crossings - What are they?
30. If you are a cyclist, remember YOU ARE INVINCIBLE, you are stronger than ANY vehicle travelling at speed, MAKE SURE you take the whole lane for yourself, and at night NEVER use lights, remember They Will See You.
Finally, remember in the A.C.T. you get 10 points for every motorcyclist that you hit.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
However, when I visited Vinnies, it was as if the op-shop gods were smiling on me. For there, sitting on the table out back was a Johnson Brothers Regency White dinner setting. It was complete setting for five and had eight cup and saucers. It must have began life as a setting for eight and after some pieces were broken the owners decided to retire it. I was lucky to find it before someone else found it.
And I got it at a price that brings the project back on budget.
This bring the Johnson collection up to:
Dinner plates 9
side plates 17 cm 10
side plates 18.5cm 4
cerial bowl 7
coffee mugs 4
sugar bowl 1
milk jug 1
And I still have my pilgrimage to Peters of Kensington to go.
What I found at Vinnies Woden.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
...if you are only going to the shops for some tobacco.
Monday, July 13, 2009
On their own the "Sheffield Bone White" looks like a "Johnson Brothers Regency White", but when you put them side by side you can see they are very different.
The plates at Salvos jammo
- Vinnies Gungahlin have a setting for four (well they did last week),
- Salvos Jamison have 7 dinner plates (but one is very chipped),
- Salvos Phillip have a dessert fruit plate,
- as does Aussie Junk in Mitchell.
A quick update. Here is a photo of two plates found at Aussie junk.
And Salvos Belconnon have two cups and saucers.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Cans collected 131 or $1.31
Shopping trolley returned $1
Petrol dockets $7.50
Money found/given $0.20
This gives me a total free range money for the two weeks of $8.91. The recent federal government tax cut gave me an extra $8.40 a week.
I have also decided to impose some rules on myself. As this is a self imposed challenge, I can make and change rules as I please.
- I cannot beg. These first two sound obvious but I have to put it on the record. I cannot beg for your money, cans or shopping dockets, however, if you decide to give them to me, then that is ok.
- I cannot steal. In the same vain, taking something from private property is wrong, but taking it from a public place is ok.
- I cannot go through recycling bins for cans, however if cans are obviously put into the normal garbage, then they are fair game. But it must be obvious. I do not want to go digging around in peoples garbage.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I stumbled over a Johnson Brothers dinner setting (well a nearly complete setting for four) in the Regency White patten.
I am now looking for the pieces to make a setting for 12, along with the other table setting bits (gravy boats, soup tureens, serving platters, etc) and I want to do this for around $2 a piece (well, i may pay a bit more for soup tureens and serving platters), so dear readers, if you see something, let me know.
As I find pieces I will post photos and the cost. The 14 pieces found today cost $25, and I got 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, 2 cereal bowls, 2 cups and saucers.
*This is not to be confused with a “Johnson and Johnson Challenge”.
Well a new financial year is approaching, and it is time to start a new challenge for blog posts.
The Quest for free range money.
Aka, how much money can I find in a year just lying around. I can see four main sources for this income.
- shopping trolley deposits – Several supermarkets near I frequent require deposits for the use of their shopping trolleys. Some people do not return them, so these I will take back and collect the money.
- Can collecting – Aluminium cans currently have a scrap value of 92 cents per kilo, or about 1c per can.
- A great man said “a penny saved is a penny earned” so any shopping fuel discount dockets found, and used (however, not the dockets I get for my shopping) can be considered free range money.
- Any coinage (or notes) found in the street are to be included. This also included gifts of money (but not birthday, xmas presents money).
The goal is to prove in these tight financial times, and also that people are wasteful of the recourses around them.
I will report at least monthly on this blog, and more often if I feel like it.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
On Sunday Taph and myself headed off to Dan Murphies for their Shiraz expo. There were nearly 70 different reds on offer and I gave it a good attempt at trying them all. The high-light of the tasting was the 2004 Penfolds Grange, but my pick was the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge shiraz. But it was too much for our budgets, however we were tempted to buy a mixed case of Grant Burge Winemakers and the Kirrihill Clare Valley Shiraz .
We heard rumours that Stuart MacGill (from the Uncorked TV show) was there, but we could not find him and kinnear him, so we had to settle with a bottle of Grange instead.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
When Taph and I saw it on our recent Goulburn – Yass opp shopping trip, and we could not resist taking this photo.
Monday, April 27, 2009
First, The previous attempt of wine seems to have failed, but instead we think we have a vinegar mother growing.
Second, TSS got me a half box of white wine grapes. These were squashed and put into a separate container and are currently fermenting in the Bathroom.
And what a wonderful day it was too. I picked up a number of CDs (and after listening to some of them I can see why they were being given away).
A barrel vacuum cleaner .
A carry tray with some gardening tools
Taph also picked up some stuff too
11 eleven champagne flutes1 Bodum plunger
And we picked up some stuff that we thought other people might be interested in. We got:
A CD rack (for TSS)
A large collection of plastic pots (which I passed on to a friend who I work with).
Two camp stretchers (for Taph’s brother). An antique sewing machine (for Taph’s sewing machine collecting friend)Baby toys for puppies (for Taph’s friend the Westie breeder)
Magazines for Taph’s mum
Golf buggy for transformation into a beach-going oxygen bottle carrier (For a friend who is on oxygen)
Monday, April 13, 2009
5 tupperware containers
Big sipper bottle
Polar bear sipper
4 old data cds
1 cane basket
1 wad of paperwork
3 old bodysplash bottles (the present you give, when you have no idea what to give)
1 camera tripod
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
- 2 shirts
- 2 tupperware jugs
- 3 DVDs
- 1 champaine stopper
- 1 plastic container
- 1 shirt
- 1 belt
- 1 glass jar
- 2 backpack water containers (cheap camelpack ripoffs)
- 2 Coathangers
- 1 picture hanger
- 1 jacket
- 1 pair pants
- 3 bags
- 1 packpack
- 2 pair shoes
- 2 pair sandels
Total for 2009
I was a little slack with my outs last week, but with my hand bandaged up i did not feel like doing much. This is the final part of the cupboard of shame. At some point over the Easter weekend i will start in the room of shame.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
On Sunday morning Taph and I went for a drive through North Watson, and we found this little possum sitting, in a daze on the front step of a house that was being built.
We decided to try and move him, but our attempt with towels did not work so well. Taph was left with a couple of scratch and bite marks. I was sporting a several horrible gashes on the hand. We finally managed to secure him in a towel, and took him over to some trees near by. He took one look at the trees and went and curled up in the towel again.
At his point we figured, Vet, but how should we get him there. Without a box to put him in it was going to be a risky trip, but wrapping him up tightly in a towel, we set off (we figured if we keep the windows open if he starts to get agitated, we could throw him out the window.
The trip to the vet's was uneventful, but when we pulled up in the car park, he went out the window and under the car.
With help from the Staff at the Vet's, we tried to get him out from under the car, but he bolted up the nearest tree. The vet staff said they would keep an eye on him throughout the day. They also said that if we were able to catch him, then something was up with him.
This other possum is just one I found and photographed one day in Commonwealth Park. I went into these toilets and while doing my business I felt some one was watching me. I turned around to find it was this fellow.
So do not be confused, They may look cute, but possums are vicious creatures and perverts to boot.
1 Shirt - a brand new (still had the labels on it) Ralph Lauren shirt from vinnies.
1 pair jeans
4 Video tapes (or 1 packet of video tapes)
8 CD covers (or 1 packet of CD covers)
5 Dvd covers (or 1 packet of DVD covers
In - 73
Out - 198
The big question i faced this week is how to count in the 1 packet of videos(which contained 4 videos) the one packet of CD covers, etc. I figured, that if i would count such things "Out" individually, then i should count them in the same way.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
shirt - green, bought for St Patricks Day.
books - 2
Tupperware jug and storage container.
Orphan lids - 6
Plastic containers - 10
Total for 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Some times, i am looking for nothing special, other times i have a focus and a specific mission. While on these shopping forays, Taph has given me "Standing Orders" that if i spy a perticilar make / brand wool for under a specific price, then i have to grab it.
Well in K-Mart i spied a few balls of "Holiday" 8 ply wool blend marked down to 80c a ball. A quick phone call to Taph confirmed the buy option on these. Well i grabbed the balls i originally spied, and then noticed a few other balls in other colours. And then other balls in other spots.
It was only when i got to the checkout i realised i had a shopping trolley full of wool balls, and it was only after going through the checkout i realised the size of the stash. All 116 balls worth, but at 80 cents a ball, it was not all that expensive.
As i was leaving a little old lady asked how much the balls were?
"80 cents each" was my reply.
"is there any left" she asked.
I said back to her, "I think i found it all", but she still disappeared back into the shop.