Blogs by Vena McGrath
Monday 24 November 2008 - 8.48 pm eastern standard daylight saving time Sydney Australia
11/24/2008 1:41:43 AM
A Bit of This and A Bit of That
A month from today will be Christmas Eve 2008 and I will be on my annual leave break which hopefully will stretch out to almost the end of January 2009. As I now work 4 days a week my leave accrues accordingly so it's a little slower to add up than it was. However I am fairly sure that I will have enough days clocked up by 19 December (when we shut up the office for a fortnight) to take off the time I would like to. Also because I work less days I can't accrue flex time anymore so that's 26 days a year leave I miss out on. Am I sorry I made the decision to cut my hours? No way! Having Monday off every week means more to me than flex time (which I had to work anyhow before I could take it off).
I made good use of my day off today by spending the day with my beautiful daughter. We set off at around 9.00 am, shopped for a new keyboard for my computer and a stand for my laptop, and then spent a couple of hours (enjoyably) lost in the world of James Bond - Quantum of Solace. It certainly is an action packed movie and I doubt anyone would nod off to sleep watching it. Daniel Craig plays an admirable 007 and although I have always maintained there was only one James Bond actor (Sean Connery) I have now allowed Daniel Craig to be bracketed with Sean Connery. He certainly has the demeanor and the appeal for the part and plays the game the way Sean did. Well worth paying $16 for the privilege of watching something worth watching.
I have two complaints about the Hoyts theatres at Penrith (not about the movie). Number 1 complaint is that when you arrive to purchase a ticket you have to do it via the snack bar! Hoyts are always pushing buying your tickets online and using the red carpet for quick service. What a joke! There is no red carpet service at Penrith unless of course the guys in the snack bar run around the front of the counter and roll it out if you arrive there as an online customer. There are no prices on any foodstuffs that they sell at the snack bar and if you do indulge then you are frightened out of your sneakers by the cost of an ice-cream and a drink and maybe some popcorn once it's gone through the cash register. Making patrons pay for their tickets at the snack bar is a blatant attempt by Hoyts to hopefully sell ripoff product along with the ticket. It has also cut down on staff. How low will they go while they keep raising the price of a ticket?
My second complaint was the incredible amount of ads that we had to sit through before the movie commenced. I object loudly to paying $16 to have to sit and have my senses bombarded by ad after rotten ad. Even between the shorts of movies that will soon be on the way to our screens there were more ads including about 4 for Smirnoff (tying in with James Bond's favorite drink - shaken not stirred). It's time someone stepped in and stopped this rort. Either bring down the price of a ticket to $10 or cease with the advertising! I won't be hurrying to go again and it will have to be a very good drawcard to get me to sit through all that garbage.
But do go and see the movie if you like James Bond.
I am much happier with this new keyboard that replaces an ergonomic keyboard I've had for a couple of years. I thought it would be great and worth trying out but I am sooooooo glad to be sending it into the cupboard as a spare (hopefully never needed). Both keyboards are Microsoft. This new one has a slightly curved keyboard but the number 6 key is where it should be for a touch typist ... where the right index finger can reach it! On the ergonomic keyboard it's on the left hand half of the keyboard and you would have to have a very long left index finger to reach it and an even longer right hand index finger. Someone must have had a bad night before they designed that keyboard and I am glad to see the rear end of it.
Does anyone else have the problem I have with the letters eventually wearing off the keyboards? It doesn't matter how much I pay for a keyboard they all end up the same way with the most used keys blank. I don't need to know where they are but other people (like family) who may from time to time use my computer, do need to know what the keys are. Most annoying. On the ergonomic for instance I have stuck glue on letters to the k, l, m, o, e, d, r keys because they were blank. I rang HP once because on the very first computer I bought the letters wore off the keys in less than a year and I thought the keyboard would be under warranty with the PC. No, that was wrong. Keyboards are not covered by warranty and the man on the other end of the phone was most disbelieving of what I described had happened to my keyboard and blamed it on hand cream! Only solution was glue on letters or a new keyboard.
I wrote an article earlier this year about petrol prices in Australia (Sydney) and said then that I didn't think we would see the price of petrol go under $1.20 a litre again. I'm glad I didn't make any promises about eating my hat or something worse because lo and behold it has gone below $1.20 a litre. Today I actually paid $1.08.9 a litre! Amazing. Mind you we have been ripped off for most of this year by the greed of the oil companies and it has brought many families to their knees and off the roads into buses and trains. And while you may say this is a good thing, think again. Our infrastructure is not built to cope with the influx of thousands of 'used to be drivers' joining those already crowded transport modes. Carparks at railway stations can't cope with the number of vehicles that need to be parked near the station. People are standing up for an hour or more each way daily to get to their jobs, crammed into compartments like cattle into the back of a truck. There is a lot of shame to be borne by the few greedy members of our society and by a Government that does little to try and solve the plight of the humble worker.
Work tomorrow so time to get off my blogging soapbox :) Havagooday. Until next time.
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