Friday, March 25, 2011

I've calculated that you pay 28c more per serve for pre-made flavored milks

Hi everyone,

I'm hooked on coffee flavored milk at the moment. Anyhow it seems so much more expensive than plain old milk. Considering I was bored I decided to work out how much it costs to make coffee milk yourself by the use of coffee milk additives in plain milk.


I did not shop around for the best prices
Metric System used for measurements
No naming of the brands concerned


A 600ml bottle of flavoring costs $6.75 and the serving suggestion of 2 teaspoons (10ml) meaning you get 60 doses of flavoring from it. before you run out (or have a spill)

2 Liters of milk costs $2 and you get 8 250ml serves.

8 goes into 60 7.5 times, meaning if you were to want to make one big batch of coffee flavored milk using the whole bottle of flavoring in one go you would need 15L of milk for it to mix in.

If you were to do this you would need to buy 8 2 liter bottles of milk and have 1 liter left over.


Upfront cost of coffee flavor + 2 liter milk was $8.75 (8 serves), or 1.09375 per serve...but remember you'll still have left over coffee flavor; enough in fact for another 13 Liters of milk.

The pre-made coffee milk cost $5.28 for 2 liters (8 serves), or 66c per serve...once it's gone, it's all gone.


The total cost for 60 home mixed servings + 1 spare liter of milk                $22.75
The total cost for 60 pre-made coffee servings                                           $39.60

Earth Hour - NSW State Election

Well it's Earth Hour tonight, I'm not sure if it honestly achieves anything other than making people feel good for doing something "good" and "responsible", or perhaps "trendy" (Hey it is a top trend on Twitter).

I think most people know about this initiative by now by the saturation of the event in all forms of media.

I had the task of promoting this event, standard newspaper media release, a web entry and coverage on the radio wasn't "innovative", but it's what I did anyhow...

So I suggest that since the NSW voting population would be forced to vote...that, to get the best audience, information should be available at polling booths about Earth Hour. I wonder if anyone did this, I guess I thought of this too late to suggest it to coordinators :/ Ooops

I also have a picture, it's my own little nod to Earth Hour from last year at home (I did participate)

"Farmville for Dummies"

That's right, there is a "for dummies" book available for Facebook game 'Farmville'.

According to dummies dot com, this title

  • Serves as an ideal introductory guide to the wildly popular online game of FarmVille
  • Walks you through downloading the app either via Facebook, Yahoo!, or your mobile device
  • Details how to find neighbors and interact with them, purchase farm cash and coins, shop at the market, and choose a profession
  • Highlights ways to earn ribbons, construct buildings, and become a co-op farmer
  • Helps you deal with technical issues
  • Author is the founder and creator of the largest FarmVille fan site
"You can bet the farm that FarmVille For Dummies will help you take your gaming skills to the next level!"

Finally, a non-technical reference for the casual Farmville player. My only gripe is that perhaps the title is a little redundant ;)

Just got paid $3 equiv for during a survey on Alcohol

It was an online survey, but still it's a joke. If you aren't familiar with marketing surveys you generally get asked questions asking what words describe the "personality" of brands. For example say you drink Brand X they want to know your age, sex, income, level of formal education, martial status...then how often you buy it, what influences a purchase (i.e. birthday, sporting event, as a reward, etc), how it makes you feel, where you consume it, where you procure it and things like picking all the words that describe the brand.

This is happening in the State of New South Wales in Australia - Alcohol companies seeking to increase market share and profitability...whilst Governments won't even re-explore drug laws affecting recreational illicit substances.

This doesn't make sense to me. Most "respectable" officials that get their face in the papers and on the TV want to get rid of or change

- Binge drinking,
- Underage drinking,
- Excessive drinking;
- Drinking "culture

A few years ago an "alcopop" tax was imposed on ready to drink premixed alcoholic beverages. I don't know what the "official" findings have been, but from what I've seen it hasn't slowed people down...instead of a more expensive "prestige" brand you can go cheap, or you can buy a bottle of straight spirits and your mixer of choice.

Revenue to the Government...fair enough, but since it is (was) my money can you at least let me know exactly what it is used for and if you really need it?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Concept for removing batteries from the waste stream

Recently at work I was posed with a suggestion to provide a collection bin at waste facilities so people can responsibly dispose of discarded batteries. The problem is that wast facilities are located on the outer parts of towns and cities...who would drive out of their way to dispose of the batteries that went dead in the remote the other day?

I like the thought of keeping batteries and their toxins out of the ground from now on, I just couldn't think of a way to make something work without making it difficult or expensive.

Another thought was to put collection bins in places supermarkets where people go anyhow...but I feared that this could present a safety concern for these places and that they wouldn't be interested (although I didn't ask so it may be a possibility). The other issue in regards to this idea is that they still need to be collected and transported away, a cost.

Then it hit me, fire authorities always recommend changing batteries when it's daylight get everyone in the habit of checking their smoke alarms. What if we had a mass collection of batteries the day that daylight savings kicks in? Tell residents that this will be an annual thing and to put used batteries away for that day. This does sound like a bit of a hassle but I think it can be worked.

Ideally where this idea were to be implemented I would recommend running a campaign encouraging the use of rechargeable batteries, more ideally charged by renewable sources.

Please comment with your opinion on this concept.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Perhaps it's time to get a universal remote...

This is a photo of the remote controls I have laying around. The description of each remote follows.

1. USB TV Tuner
2. Surround Sound System
3. Digital Video Recorder
4. Stereo System
5. PC TV Tuner
6. VCR/DVD Combo
7. High Definition Set Top Box
8. Blu Ray Player
9. Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning
10. HD TV
11. DVD Recorder
12. Dual Deck VHS Duplicator
13. Analog TV (Large)
14. Analog TV (Small)

You'd think I'd never have to move...

Agricultural Simulator 2011

Just a quick post about something I discovered.

I haven't been a PC gamer for a long I have an XBOX360, that doesn't even get used much. Anyhow I've gotten the gaming itch back. So I went looking online at PC games because people are always telling me how they are better than console games and cheaper as well and online play is wicked.

So I get looking and search under simulators and what do I find? Agricultural Simulator 2011! Man this game looks awesome (too me, perhaps I'm a little strange). I used to enjoy SimFarm and this is everything I would have done to that game to bring it to speed with new technology and increased gamer expectations...I mean wow, driving machinery with meters telling you what's going on and even support for a steering wheel controller? Man, that's impressive.

I'm downloading the demo right now, I'll have to buy this thing online as I doubt anyone locally will stock know since First Person Shooters are the cash crops :P

There will most likely be a review of this (from the demo) on my blog soon. In the mean time do a Google search and check out the videos.

Finally I'll mention this is the first time I've heard of this title, and it's the 2011 edition?!? How far behind am I with PC gaming? This should be on consoles damn it! can you tell I had the original Sim City on SNES?

Jackass 3

Well I've been waiting to see this movie for quite awhile, I made the decision for some reason not to go see this at the movies, maybe because the 3D one is an hours drive away, or perhaps because of some other reason like it was shown during school holidays and I wasn't keen to be surrounded by kids with no movie theater etiquette.

Anyhow I waited for it to be released on disc and for some idiotic reason the local video place only got 2 copies in for DVD, of course there was hot competition to get hold of a copy, I think there was one copy for Blu Ray, also out. I finally got it today, I think one week after it came out.

I loved the show, the other 2 movies and other similar shows like CKY...but I was a teenager when I first saw and "grew up" watching the others, so I thought maybe I'd matured past enjoying it.

This was not the case. I really enjoyed this movie and laughed out loud countless times.

I'm glad the group got together and made this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ah McCain’s…you’ve done it for the last time

In the news today Australian potato farmers are protesting against the shabby treatment they are receiving by frozen food giant McCain’s by blocking the entrance to McCain’s property and giving away their yield for free to anyone but McCain’s.

Apparently “The Canadian food giant decided to reduce the farmers pay to $26.50 per tonne, which means they will receive $273.50 per tonne”

News stories tend to leave the amount of information at that, focusing instead on capturing a snapshot of the one farmer that decides to draw attention by taking his clothes off than commenting on what this means.

What this means is that farmers are expected to take an 8.8% price cut for their efforts, remembering farmers here have dealt with drought and recent flooding.

Considering a kilogram of fresh brushed potatoes sends you back $2.98 here in a supermarket, offering the people that grew them 27c for the same kilogram seems, well a bit wrong. But that is for a kilogram of potatoes that have been brushed, moved around and dumped on a shelf. The frozen “super” fries McCain’s sell go for $3.79 per kilogram.

Everything’s tough? According to Wikipedia McCain’s revenue was up to a total of 6.5 BILLION Canadian Dollars in 2009

This story is not unlike others, this big company is playing hardball and it knows that they can get cheaper imports in if they are given no other option that doesn’t draw the picture on their balance sheets that they want to see.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What did they think was going to happen?

...When they introduced technology to replace employees.

In particular self serve checkouts - I mean these bays have four checkouts here in my little town in the supermarket. Take 4 check out staff and put the favorite as the "lookout" at these self service units and whoosh there goes three jobs...well not necessarily, they might put them elsewhere in the store, but ultimately they don't need to employ someone new, the machine has replaced them. Sure the machine needs maintenance but c'mon that's different.

Same as banks and paying bills...I used to hate going in to pay bills, and then I started to transfer funds more waiting in line, no more short staffed facilities because they're out at lunch (yeah, at the same time everyone else is off for lunch and want to pay their bills), no more business hours, no more cash handler mistakes (I hope!).

My local library now has these self checkout systems like the supermarkets, ebooks are becoming popular...have you seen those vending machines that have the DVD's inside? How about those paid services where you pay to rent a movie and it's delivered to your door then you forward it on. Everything anyone would want is pretty much on demand and less and less people are needed to do anything because the processes are so automated and efficient. I think it's great because I hate work, but people need money, and you have to work for that - So what's going to happen?

What happened when telephone switches became automated? When digital photos took over film?

The world sure is changing fast, I'm glad I'm up for the show...things are getting exciting.

I know there must be a lot more examples, feel free to put them in the comments section.

The Waste Stream: 'Junk Mail'

I have a lot of different responsibilities in my line of work. I studied in environment and my specialty is public health, although I personally like "waste management", it makes me sound like Tony Soprano...

In my past life I figured I'd be an accountant because "number crunching" was easy for me and there was plenty of that work, and I was interested in technology.

Mesh all three together and you have have me and you hear my thoughts...

Tonight I rediscovered some photographs I took a few years back. Below are pictures of the junk mail I accumulated over say a 6 month (approximate) period. I consider this in the ways that are predictable...resources...and I take it one step further and consider this to be another example of how the "system" works.

At this time I'll point out that I could put a "No Junk Mail" notice on my mailbox and by law I should not receive any more non-addressed mail.

What I don't like about this in particular is that I have to pay money for a recycling service. This quite literally means businesses pay for these catalogs to be produced and far as I am concerned this just adds to the cost of things people buy regardless. But a cost is relayed onto me, these take up recycling bin real estate, I'm paying for the disposal of their junk!

I looked online and the major retailers that can afford this dated means of communication have catalogs available online. With smart phones, tablets and high uptake of PC's...why don't people that care about prices look them up if they are so concerned? It's doubling up...tripling up really considering these places put out catalogs at the front of their stores...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

TV Today

Recently I have been thinking about television quite a bit. In my area (Australia) there are currently works underway to convert the analog television system over to digital television.

The blessing in all this is that additional channels are becoming available. For years if you did not subscribe to paid television you had access to around 5 channels which offered very hit and miss content – Face it 5 channels for a population of 20+ million made it hard to cater to everyone…

In a few small years that number has jumped from 5 to 15, subject to your area (where the signal can be received) which offers literally X3 the amount of channels.

In addition to many other hobbies/interests, A/V is amongst them. In a smallish 2 bedroom apartment housing just me I have 3 televisions and two computers with TV tuner devices…it’s my own little TV land.

Anyhow the newest two TV units include a HD flat screen plasma and a cheap USB stick TV Tuner that appears only to have the ability to receive digital channels and you can’t feed other equipment into such as a VCR (I guess that’s so you’re forced to buy the companies other product, the VHS to DVD gizmo).

Anyhow despite getting a good deal on the plasma television I couldn’t help but think “say this <$50 USB stick can pretty much do what the more expensive television does”

Well sure the USB stick is an add-on to a machine capable of running it which costs money…but that machine (the home PC if you hadn’t already guessed) has numerous functions. So I compared the two, and what it comes down to is that the difference is one is bigger, has A/V inputs, and is stand alone whilst the other is portable (put it in a laptop, take anywhere), can only tune digital channels and even if you wanted to hook up a Wii through it you are unable to.

For the money I spent on the TV could have bought a mid-tier laptop with a DVD drive, Wi-Fi, 250-500GB HDD, a USB TV Tuner and still had money left over. Throw in a decent data projector and some stereo speakers and that’s a home theatre setup right there…that and you could visit blogger on a massive screen!

I’m not suggesting this is the first time this sort of thing has been discussed, I am just sharing my thoughts and wondering why more people don’t opt for this over big flashy televisions…and don’t get me wrong, I love mine. 

Blogger kinda Guy

Greetings all,

I noticed something recently – The more time I spend on the blogger, the less time I spend on Facebook. For me this seems to me on par with my progression of technology and how I interact with it, and I regret nothing!

I joined Facebook back in 2008 sometime, like many I felt compelled to create a profile and be absorbed into what I consider social (or antisocial) networking 2.0.

I was always somewhat critical (it’s who I am!) of Facebook, it was nothing revolutionary to me, it had a squeaky clean image it desired to have/maintain and it seemed excessively commercial (i.e. “Liking” companies/brands/products), and much of it made little sense to me…yet people eat it up.

Like most people with a Facebook profile will understand, I had people I didn’t really know (or didn’t know at all) adding me as their “friend”. I’m a nice guy and if it didn’t appear to be a spam account, I would oblige. Out of my 300+ “friends” I believe I only sent friend requests approximately 20 people.

As time passed I found Facebook to make me a cynical person…more than usual.

I didn’t ‘like’ that people seemingly put so much emphasise on being popular, I mean people with 1000 friends? Really? Perhaps I think things through more than your average Joe but if someone with that many friends finally requests me to be a friend, I don’t feel particularly important…more like a figure to boost someone else’s ego – I get nothing out of this relationship.

I also don’t ‘like’ how certain people upload so many photos. Sure it’s a nice feature to have in order share tidbits of your life, but that should be all it is for. A certain friend of mine has 2000+ photos uploaded – is it just me or does that seem a bit excessive? I haven’t looked at all the pictures as I don’t want to dedicate my entire download limit to a bunch of vanity photos, but I would estimate that around 90% or more of these photos to be just that, vanity photos…photos to remind everyone how cute/fun loving/exciting that person is.

Speaking of not “liking” things on Facebook…I don’t like the “like” function. I mean on blogger you can’t (unless you have a special feature?) just give a approving little gesture to indicate that you aren’t opposed to one’s thoughts, ideas or opinions. I like real comments, I want to know what others think, their takes on things, that’s right - a simple “like” doesn’t sit well with me.

Once I began blogging and I decided to opt in to ‘monetize’ the page, I got thinking of the ads on Facebook. “Hey” I thought “you can’t opt in to profit share from the ads that quite literally litter up your profile”. As I see it on Facebook you create content, attract your peers to the site as a whole like moths to the flame and it makes them money, and them only.

Another thing about Facebook and its users is the little “notes” application. I used this a few times, nobody took any notice despite my using it to express feelings, share ideas and so on in more words than the update feature allows for. On blogger I can write, people read it, comment it and appreciate it. Facebook is restrictive (which isn’t all bad, as I consider twitter to be a good thing) and its users have come accustom to this. They don’t care that I am capable of real thought, they just want to approve of where and what I had for lunch!

I feel more a part of something real and of a true community here on blogger.

My followers on blogger are people I’ve never met, they aren’t just co-workers, people I went to school with 10 years ago and have little to nothing to do with anymore, and they aren’t family that could call me whenever they wanted…they are real people, genuine, intelligent, funny, friendly, thought provoking and honest. And most of all they are appreciated, by me…and I hope by the rest of this great community.

Don’t ever change blogger :)