Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!* (*financial new year)

So I woke up all excited this morning - the end of the financial year has snuck up again, which means spending hours sifting through receipts, itemising invoices and payments, figuring out how much I'm going to get screwed on tax once more.

But it's not all bad news - EOFYS usually brings on a few good sales, if you're prepared beforehand, know what you want and how much it should cost. My favourite purchase most recently was another PS3 with a game from BigW - $256 delivered. Should've been $248 delivered, but I got charged $8 for "registered" post. Apparently now the game bundles have sold out, but you can still get a bare PS3 for the same price. Target have a similar game bundle deal, but Kmart have an even cheaper PS3 only price, though I suspect they sold out in minutes.

And if you're wonding what game console to buy your kids - DON'T buy an xbox, because they're crap.

For the record, I've had nearly every console release since the 8 bit NES and the Xbox has been the worst of the lot. I have 2 xboxes, because I "had" to buy another one when the first one experienced general hardware failure.... 3 times. Now have two PS3s, because they're excellent - they play BluRay, have free online gaming, can record things off TV, free online apps, you can freely upgrade the hard drives to any size, and they don't explode at random moments like xboxes.

Anyway, another thing we picked up the other week was a nice new commercial style kitchen mixer tap from Recollections, of all places.

Normally we don't go into Recollections, as their furniture is more rustic than modern, but they have some surprisingly nice wall mirrors and modern bar stools (which Tina won't let me get since we have too much furniture, apparently).... and this kitchen mixer currently at half price, which makes it equivalent to online/eBay prices. We paid more for the crappy Dorf mixer tap "downgrade" from the builder, so yet again, another reminder to early players to NOT upgrade anything through the builder that you can do yourself, later.

I have yet to email Dorf to complain about their rubbish product, but I don't expect any resolution, since they only offer 1 year parts/labour on their products - and since their taps are designed to last a year and a day, there's no point in buying them in the first place.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

We're Back!

So we haven't been posting on the blog for a couple of months - reason is, after all that time time planning and building the house, then getting married, then working madly to put a dent in the mortgage, we haven't had much time to get away on a proper holiday for years! So we decided to take some time off, and we're back!

Here's some holiday snaps;

 View from the top of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore at sunset.

Well, most people would know what this is, and where it is!

Mountain town of Chefchaouen, Morocco
The Mezquita, Cordoba
 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Plus some time in Hong Kong on the way home. People keep asking me what camera I used for these photos... seems like I buy a new digital camera every year and this year was no exception. Was going to travel with my old Canon 450D and some lenses, but I get so weary of carrying around a kilo of massive camera gear. Picked up an Olympus E-PM1, which is one of the new "Micro Four Thirds" range - much smaller than an SLR, but with a sensor almost as large. Result is a tiny camera, almost the size of a point&shoot compact, with incredible performance - I don't use my SLR as much anymore!  I did use a couple of in-built filters in the Olympus for these photos, otherwise no retouching or adjustments used. You can also get the usual range of lenses for Micro Four Thirds, from fisheye, wide angle to tele and macro.

Today we're going out shopping to replace our kitchen tap. We "upgraded" our standard tap to some Dorf pullout kitchen mixer/spray for a couple of hundred bucks, and that turned out to be a piece of crap, with all the braided lines coming apart with less than a year's worth of use. Of course, our standard advice to anyone building a house now is - "Whatever you can upgrade yourself later, don't upgrade through the builder". Something like a tap is easy to DIY upgrade yourself later, and you can pick from a huge range of products, at a better price. Anyway, once we find a nice commercial style kitchen tap, I'll write up a DIY to change it over.



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