Sunday, August 16, 2009

Free range money update – six weeks into the challenge.

Here we are six weeks into the free-range money challenge, and I seem to have hit a wall. Sure I am still finding cans around the place, but it seems to be getting harder to find shopping fuel dockets and trolleys.

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

Free Range Money - The July update

I have been collecting Free Range Money for a month now, and the amount collected is still growing. $21.38 in a month is good going and if i can keep this up i will make over $200 in this financial year.

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".

Out of bed early on a weekend - it had better involve Snow or Surf

It was a cold morning that required me to be out of bed on a Saturday well before Sparrows. In fact when i stopped for first breakfast at Marulan, it was still before Sparrows.

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.

Oh No

The Old Flame Junior (OFJ) managed to get her driving licence a couple of weeks ago, so i guess i should count myself lucky that she has not yet heard of the following Canberra driving rules. Eventually she will, as she is driving in Canberra.
In the mean time you can all consider the following the next time you come to the National Capital

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

My Johnson is Still Growing

It was a fortunate turn of events that saw me in Woden on Friday afternoon, with a few hours to kill. With this in mind I paid a visit to the local op-shops. My search of Salvos did not turn anything up.
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
saucers 16
cups 16
coffee mugs 4
Teapot 1
sugar bowl 1
milk jug 1

And I still have my pilgrimage to Peters of Kensington to go.

What I found at Vinnies Woden.