Category Archives: General

Caught Out By International Date Formats

When I first registered in the early part of the 2000’s, I registered it via namescout who operated at the time and had the best pricing for domain names by a reasonable amount. The nice thing about dealing with namescout back then was that everything was localised, as I was dealing with an Australian business.

Fast forward to 2011 and they no longer bother having a website and service everyone via; same basic service just all via the one website. One significant change that appears to have happened with that is that they are no longer providing localised versions of their email notices, such as a domain renewal notice.

Last week I received an email stating that my domain was going to expire on 5/7/2011, fantastic. I dismissed it at the time and figured I’d deal with it next week – which sounded great until Belinda SMS’d Claire & I asking if we knew why her blog was down. After beginning to check a few things, I couldn’t see anything obviously wrong so emailed my Australian web hosting company to see if they could see anything and they let me know the domain had expired – didn’t I feel like a complete idiot.

This could have been avoided if they’d used my personal contact information to provide an domain expiry notice that provided an Australian date format of 7/5/2011, if they’d said 7 May 2011 or that somewhere in the email it said in 7 days time.

After a few hiccups getting it the domain renewed, everything eventually sorted itself out. However, it resulted in over 24 hours of website and email outage – which is frustrating.


On the way to work each morning, I regularly get held up in traffic on Days Road heading east towards the M1 going past the Coomera Anglican College. As I plod along in the traffic listening to Hot Tomato on the radio, I’m looking around at the volume of high end cars flowing in and out of the school and I’ve started to notice something about the kids – 2 or 3 out of 20 have energy drinks.

Just so I’m clear, it is 8:00AM and I’m driving to work and kids are throwing back cans of Red Bull and V like they are water. What I don’t understand is how their parents think that it’s acceptable for children as young as 12 to be drinking before going to school.

The next thing that stumped me about it – why do the kids want/need a drink like that in the morning in the first place? I know when I was at school, energy was certainly not something I was lacking. Is this a response to the fact that most kids don’t exercise anymore and their bodies are getting lazy – even when they are at school? Are they not getting enough sleep or has the average house holds food quality dropped compared to what I was eating at the same age?

I don’t have the answers but it sure is concerning.

Crude Measures Of Popularity

While there are far more sound and reliable ways of measuring the relative popularity of fast food outlets, like their financial performance – but I think I’ve found the simplest measure – the volume of rubbish generated.

If you assume that people are as equally likely to litter, regardless of the take-a-way food that they eat then the most littered product would be the most popular in the market place.

I see a lot more McDonalds rubbish floating around than any other fast food brands such as KFC or Subway. I know the fast food chains spend a lot of energy on keeping their stores clean, some more than others but I think McDonalds recognise that seeing their product littering a neighbourhood works against the image that they invest so heavily to create. To reduce that negative association, you’ll regularly see McDonalds staff picking up rubbish on or near their stores to make sure they are litter free – even though they didn’t litter and provided the consumer ample bins to do the right thing.

What other crude measures of popularity are there?

Fuel Price

I don’t understand how fuel is priced.

Last week I took a drive up to Toowoomba and before I left I grabbed some fuel on the Gold Coast at $1.42 for standard unleaded. As I drove towards Brisbane, the price remained fairly similar.

As soon as I got to the western side of the Logan Motorway, less than 100Km from the Gold Coast – the fuel price started to fluctuate by 2-3c per litre.

By the time I made my way into the Gatton area, the fuel price had dropped by a further 2-3c per litre. As I neared the bottom of the range at Toowoomba, the price continued to fall and when returning home I picked up fuel for $1.28 per litre, a whole $0.14 per litre cheaper than I paid on the Gold Coast a few hours earlier.

Now I’d assume that there is a cost to the fuel companies to distribute their fuel around the country. I also assume, though I could be completely wrong, that the fuel processing takes place in or near capital cities. As such, it would see logical to me that the price to distribute a litre of fuel to the Gold Coast would be less than trucking it approximately 200Km west to Toowoomba and climbing over 1000m mountain.

Today I got fuel at a BP service centre, one of the big ones that sits off to the side of a motorway. On a Saturday, surely one of their highest load days of the week – every tank and bowser was conveniently out of unleaded. The difference between 91RON and 95RON, a handy 14c per litre.

Just try and convince me that the oil companies aren’t gouging the Australian public for every dollar.

Affordable Fresh Flowers

Everyone likes fresh flowers, it doesn’t matter if they are in a garden or a vase. Unfortunately, most people don’t receive fresh flowers often enough, which is a shame since they look so spectacular and they smell beautiful.

When you visit your local florist and ask for a bunch of flowers, more often than not you won’t get change from $50 for the simplest flower arrangements and if you want something with a little more bling, $70-$120. Clearly at those prices, it isn’t something that you can typically have in your house every week.

It turns out that most people completely overlook one of the most obvious places in the world to buy fresh flowers, your local supermarket. Our nearest supermarket is the Woolworths in Upper Coomera and they regularly have an assortment of fresh flowers. Clearly they don’t stock the volume, have every flower that a normal florist might or offer gift wrapping – but they do have beautiful fresh flowers. If your intention is to buy them and put them straight into a vase, well you’re in luck – flowers from your local supermarket are just the ticket.

This week Claire picked up two bunches of lily flowers from Woolworths, with 7-8 unopened buds in each for $14 in total. The fragrance from the flowers is fantastic, they look spectacular once they open and a comparable bunch from an online retailer would set you back between $80-$100.

Next time you’re looking for some flowers for your house or apartment, make sure you keep your eyes open at your local grocery store or supermarket.