Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2016

Retirement property thinking

I don't know why but I always enjoy looking at property and questioning where I would want to live if I was unfettered by employment requirements (ie need a job -- more on this later)) and family/friends commitment. Somehow I've stumbled on a thought that won't let go.  Whilst previously I have thought about moving to a lower cost city or area in the future including Hobart, Tasmania or overseas such as Montreal, Canada I had an epiphany about a location where the weather is good, it has definite lifestyle benefits and is still in Australia. One of the big issues with Tasmania is that it has been off the mainland AND that I wouldn't have access to Chinese groceries and food easily.  And then there was the weather.  Whilst we like the cooler weather I think it may get to be too much.  Especially as we age and have arthritis problems.  In reality also do we want to be maintaining a property and yard as much?  Probably not. So where am I thinking?  The Gold Coast.  Y

Montreal trip and food

Our trip to Montreal has been great. We're already on a cruise ship to Quebec City and down to Boston. In the meantime here are some of the photo highlights Dunn's Famous Smoked meat window Dunn's Famous - Cake and dessert window Dunn's Famous Diner (not the one downtown) Half of what is left of Will's Smoked Meat sandwich (actually it was  Club Roll) I ordered the Smoked Meat Club sandwich-- yum!!  But I asked for a side of something 'else' other than fries and ended up with rice.  Which I didn't eat.  Lesson learned - just order the club sandwich with no sides.  The coleslaw and pickle weren't my thing although I ate most of the coleslaw. Carrot cake.  I wanted the carrot cheesecake but there was no way we'd fit it in.  This shared 4 ways was fine... after I took half my sandwich home in a doggy bag! The 3 day metro pass was $18 and a bargain allowing us to catch the bus and metro.  I used Google Maps and Tra

How to get your AT&T GoPhone at SFO airport

So can you get a SIM card at SFO to use in both Canada and USA?   I thought I'd share as after lots of searching I wasn't able to get a good answer. The answer is yes you can get a Prepaid SIM card kit in the international airport. Just after security there are two vending machines, one for BestBuy and the other AT&T. The AT&T one has GoPhone kits and recharge Top ups. We got two starter kits for $10.98 each after taxes. The kits cater for nano, micro and standard size SIM card requirements. We used the * and # type codes and the refill numbers we had organised previously. Had we not already has the recharge amounts the vending machine would have been good to use. The instructions are in the Getting Started guide otherwise just use: Use the phone dialler and dial *888* + Refill card PIN number + # (example: *888*1234567899874#) Press Send. To use the vending machines was just a matter of swiping a credit card so no need to get a US credit card. Here&

Low Sugar Almond croissants

Recently I've been really seeking out Almond Croissants.  It started with an almond croissant at Sonoma Cafe in Alexandria.  They had one in the glass cabinet and it was calling my name.  I don't think I have had one prior to that for years.  It was ah-mahzing!  Flakey, a bit gooey and with lots of almond flake goodness. Since then I've sought it out and had a mix of good and bad ones.  But then I had a thought to make it myself.  And so the internet uncovered a number of great looking recipes but I landed on one called  Almond Croissants Recipe (French Bakery Style) .  It was on Natasha's Kitchen's website (link to the actual recipe here ).  It's not a site I had frequented.  I don't tend to follow food bloggers but do recognise when I've been to a site after a few times. Whenever I follow a recipe I never follow it to a tee.  I tend to modify it and cook very much wha

Lenovo Yoga 900

Yep after 3 days of ownership, I had to return the HP Pavilion X360 to JB Hifi.  After praising the machine, somehow the speaker or audio hardware failed.  It would disappear from being available and I even got dreaded BSODs with the error message of APC Index Mismatch.  The BSODs are a lot prettier these days but just as unwelcome. Note the HP Support help I received was superb.  I had remote help from someone at the other end and they jumped in and helped to try and diagnose.  But in the end after doing a full factory reset the speakers were only sometimes activated and had awful crackly noises.  This morning it went all back into the original packaging and at lunch time I took it to JB Hifi (after doing a full reset and taking a few of my files off the machine). In store I compared the HP Spectre X360 and the Lenovo Yoga 900.  They were exactly the same price at $1613.  But side by side with a bit of music made the Yoga the choice.  Although as I was ringing up the difference I

HP Pavilion X360 13-U026TU Purchased

UPDATE: Laptop was returned to the shop today (3 days after purchase) due to faulty hardware - something wrong with the speakers/audio drivers.  I ended up upgrading to a different machine and brand. It was time for a new laptop.  My Sony Vaio was losing keys and the Wifi was stuffed.  I also wanted something less flimsy although generally it worked well. The things I wanted to improve on this time was: Not having keys that will fall off so easily A laptop that wasn't that flimsy (ie could use it as a 'lap' top rather than a portable notebook when typing A hinge that would let me increase the angle more... A less noisy fan That's about it.  Everything else was working pretty well really. So I looked at a couple at JB Hifi.  My price range was 'up to $2000' and I was planning to salary sacrifice it.  After looking at the Lenovo Yoga 710 14" and the HP Pavilion X360 13.3" I ended up with the HP. It wasn't just the price.  Ac

Cake in 60 seconds (review of Cake in a Cup)

Curious if the Cake in a Cup from White Wings is all it's cracked up to be?  A while back I bought a pack of the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip version of the cake mix whilst it was on an introductory special from a local Woolworths.  Each box has 4 satchels. I thought I'd pop up a few photos and my review of the process and taste in case you want to know a bit before you go and buy your own. This is my 3rd satchel.  I've made it pretty much to spec/ Step 1: Empty pack into mug.  Use a decent size mug but it doesn't need to be huge.  Just bigger than a teacup. Step 2: Add 40mL of milk.  (Two tablespoons).  And stir. Step 3: pop it into the microwave Step 4: Put in microwave for 1 minute.  I put in a little bit more thinking I could use the convection part of the oven (grill in this case) to give it a bit more of an oven feel).  But found that I had to buzz it for another 30 seconds to make it work because I did that.  So just stick to the inst