I hate my phone!

I’m putting it out there, I can’t stand my phone. It’s just over 2 years old now and it drives me insane! 

Going back a few years, I used to have a work provided iPhone4 which was ok, it was free.. I wasn’t going to complain. When I was made redundant from there they asked for it back and I was left my crappy old phone that didn’t even know what the internet was.

I decided being without a smart phone was just too difficult and went on a hunt for a new phone. At the time, as I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have much expendable income and I decided to go on a plan that came with a phone. I wanted an HTC and for some reason (I can’t remember now) I decided that it should be an HTC Sensation. In the beginning it was good, I liked the camera, it was easy to use and even though it didn’t have Instagram (it came out on Android a few weeks after I got the phone) I was still happy with it.

But then! It started to randomly crash and when it restarted itself, it would come back with up much less battery, it could have had 100% before it died and it restarted with 10% for example. This was highly frustrating, more so when it would repeatedly crash to the point where I had to take out the battery to get it to stop. It sometimes gets to the point where I just want to throw it on the ground, stomp on it a few times and then throw it in a fire, to see it burn a melty death.

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Battery usage comparison

Apparently this is a known issue with the HTC Sensation but if you take it to your carrier to get it replaced they blame water damage and make you pay for it.. so I’ve been stuck with this phone for 2 years now.

Finally, I’m out of contract on the phone and I’m going to do something about it! Yes, I’m buying a new phone but I’m not sure what to get. Currently, I’m thinking about either a Nexus 5 or a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.

What type of phone would you recommend? Do you own either the Nexus 5 or Xperia Z1 Compact and have a review on it?

Goodbye Feedly, Hello Bloglovin’

Ever since the unfortunate demise of Google Reader I’ve used Feedly as my reader of choice. I only use it on my iPad because it’s just so shiny and sleek and makes everyone’s posts look so pretty. Unfortunately, Feedly has a bunch of bugs though that have been slowly annoying me more and more.

It never seems to update properly. It tells me it’s updating my feed but I update it manually and suddenly there are hours of new posts appearing even though it refreshed itself 10 seconds beforehand. It also, for reasons unknown, would open up in one of my categories even though I have it set to show all unread posts not just certain categories. This really, really annoyed me and is the main reason I’ve decided to move onto Bloglovin’. It has taken a long time for me to do this though because well, mostly I just don’t like the name Bloglovin’ and didn’t want to use the site but after much frustration at the small, niggly issues with Feedly I’ve taken the plunge and am now using Bloglovin’ as my feed reader.

One thing I did have difficulty with though was finding out how to export my Feedly feeds over to Bloglovin, currently Bloglovin only links to a google site that now no longer exists and the internet wasn’t very helpful either and obviously Feedly don’t make it easy to find how to export all your information elsewhere.

Fortunately, it’s actually very easy to export your OPML file from Feedly over to Bloglovin, once you know how that is:

  1. Login to your Feedly account 
  2. Click on this link to export your OPML – http://feedly.com/index.html#opml – this will prompt you to save the file
  3. Login to Bloglovin’, hover over your profile image and choose Settings, there will be an option to Import Blogs
  4. Click on Choose File and navigate to where your saved your OPML above

And then you’re done! If you click on your feed after that it might show as empty/all read but on the right hand side it will list all of your subscriptions.

Of food and events

It’s strange that the days chosen  for the A day in the life project I pretty much lounge around the house doing a whole lot of nothing and then there are days like a few I’ve had this week where I do cool things nearly every day.

On Wednesday of this week a few girls and I from work were tasked with organising a work lunch for us and 3 other people of our choice. We had to choose the day, time, destination and get our unlikely guests (we were told to choose people that aren’t well known in the company and don’t socialise much) to attend our event. As this is the guinea pig lunch we chose something easy for lunch – Teppanyaki – so that at least the food would be entertaining if we turned out to be awkward and uncomfortable. 

The chef was very good and entertaining, he obviously was very experienced because the food all tasted delicious, plus none of us got hit in the face with anything he was throwing around so there is that. We had fried omelette pieces thrown at us and also a bowl of fried egg which everyone did really well in catching and not much food ended up on the floor. I was a bit concerned by the fish and beef because I don’t really eat much of either but wow, it was cooked perfectly and I just wanted more! At the end the chef left us a ‘thank you’ written in salt which he did upside down and backwards. It was better than I can write normally.

A teppanyaki thank you

A teppanyaki thank you

My boss had been down all week and for the first time ever (I’ve been at work nearly 2 years) she took the team leaders out to dinner. Our newest team leader chose the restaurant, which was way to fancy for my liking. If it had been up to me I would never have chosen it. It was very much a high service, small serves kind of place. We shared  an entree that was quite nice and I sort of wish I’d had it as main, in the end I chose a Duck dish for main which looked nothing like how I expected, it has also been a long time since I’ve eaten duck. I could probably lived with not trying it again. The highlight for me (other than the vodka) was a chocolate torte that had some berries and icecream with it. So, good! Unfortunately, I have no photos as I devoured it too fast.

After dinner we convinced the boss to take us to a nearby bar – although based on all the complaining from everyone it wasn’t nearby enough, it was about 500m.. not a big deal really – for cocktails! The place was small and quirky and ONLY HAD ONE TOILET… I can’t imagine what it must be like late on a Friday or Saturday night. Apparently they sell churros too, I nearly bought some but was too full from dinner. In the end I went with a Chocolate Freckle and I liked it so much I bought another one. 

Chocolate Freckle Cocktail

Chocolate Freckle Cocktail

I’m not sure how much alcohol this had (I know it was creme de cacao and Kahlua though) but it basically just tasted like a delicious chocolate drink which isn’t surprising considering about 1/3 of it was chocolate syrup.

On Friday night many of my colleagues tried to convince me to attend a poker night but I really couldn’t be bothered doing anything else work related and well, it was Veronica Mars movie release day! I was one of the backers and have been waiting forever for it to happen and finally, on Friday morning I had the email saying I could get my digital download of the movie. I had to wait until I finished work but I really wanted to get it downloaded and be watching it on Friday night. If you are a part of any sort of social media you probably know how annoyed everyone is with Warner’s choice of using Flixster for the downloads and how it just doesn’t work. I had to download the desktop software twice before it was successful and even then it still wouldn’t let me log in. Not only that, but the 16mb file became 23mb and ended up as 38mb before deciding it was done.. it also took 20mins to download. Basically, it is a buggy piece of crap.

In the end, after trying for at least an hour to get the damn software to work, we found a torrent and downloaded it instead. It took about 30mins and I could watch it on whatever device I wanted (with flixster we were going to resort to hooking up my laptop with HDMI to the tv) and it was fast, easy and the quality is good. It’s disappointing that we had to do it and that it was so much easier than the legitimate way although I don’t feel like I did something dodgy considering it is something I have paid for.

Oh, did I mention that Jarrod went and bought surprise icecream to have with the movie, to make it just that little bit more worthwhile? It was delicious and the movie was better than I was expecting, I was pretty scared leading up to it that it was just going to be terrible and endlessly disappointing. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Today, we had a spontaneous lunch (at 3:30) at a local cafe we like. The owner does AMAZING chocolate thick shakes, I don’t know how she makes them (other than lots of icecream) but they’re so good every single time. Each time I usually try something different from the menu to eat, although initially I nearly gave up on the food because I didn’t have many successes. This time I went with a Chorizo and Mushroom Melt which was so big! I didn’t expect so much, it was also cheesy delicious.

Chorizo and Mushroom Melt

Chorizo and Mushroom Melt

Lastly, Jarrod and I decided to go to Skyfire, which is an annual event here that includes many, many fireworks going off on one of the lakes. It’s meant to be synced to the music but it never really seems to happen so well. Rather than sit with thousands of people on the lake we decided to go to the roof of a pretty tall building and watch from there. It’s much nicer with just the two of us, even if you can only see the fireworks that go higher into the sky. We sat, with hot chocolate, waiting for it to begin and just enjoyed the view and each others company.

The fireworks were quite nice this year and I wish I had some good photos but we were too far and I only had my phone camera so they didn’t turn out.

Basically, it’s been a few busy, delicious and decent days. The next Day in the life is in 3 days, I hope it can be at least half as interesting as some of these days for you.

An adventure to Eden

A few months ago Jarrod and I decided it was time to take a holiday (our first together) and get away from work and Canberra. After a bit of indecision we finally decided on going down to a little coastal town called Eden and that we were going to stay in a B&B for the first time. Whale Cove B&B had great reviews on Trip Advisor and we liked that they only had 2 rooms for guests so we wouldn’t have too many problems with other people, plus the reviews all said they did an amazing breakfast so there is that.

The drive took us through a lot of open land and tiny one street towns and then down Brown Mountain, which was dry and hot on one side and then lush and cooler on the other side. It was sort of amazing what change a mountain could make to the weather. Jarrod did an awesome job getting us there and I like to think I did a good job navigating.. we didn’t end up lost after all.

For much of the trip we’d seen nothing but land and cows and a few houses dotted here and there but finally as we drove into town, there was the coast. A few turns later and a wrong turn down the tiniest street ever we ended up at a nice little beach, which as it turns out was only a short walk to where we were staying.

Cocora Beach looking out into Snug Cove

Cocora Beach looking out into Snug Cove

Not a lot of waves but that was ok with me, I’m not much of a beach fan and it’s been about a decade since I’ve been to one so I was happy with a nice calm beach with soft sand. There also weren’t many people which was a plus. After 10 mins or so we decided to drive up to the B&B and check in, we were greeted by our very welcoming host who wouldn’t let us do anything until we’d tried the cake he had baked. So cake it was, with the other couple who happened to be staying for the same days as us. They were quite a bit older than us and appeared to mostly be country hopping and didn’t seem overly impressed with our choices of, well, pretty much anything. They were a bit to snobby and posh for our liking so needless to say we didn’t spend a whole lot of time with them.

The first night we didn’t really want to do much of anything so went and got some takeaway pizza and brought it back to the B&B, it was AMAZING! One of the best pizza’s I’ve eaten in a long time and we teamed it up with excellent Chocolate thick shakes from a different takeaway. We badgered the girl to make them for us nearly every day of our stay because they were so good. The other couple seemed somewhat shocked at our choice of pizza in a coastal town, why weren’t we eating seafood? *gasp* Mostly because we didn’t want to. In fact, we had the pizza again the night before we left, fresh seafood be damned! – we did actually go to the local Fish and Chips place too, which was also very good.

On our first full day we decided to go down to the Green Cape Lighthouse, there were good reviews for it but the road might have been a bit understated. We turned off onto Green Cape Rd and were presented with a sign that advised that we had 27km (16mi) of bumpy, dusty road ahead of us. I wondered whether our little hatchback could make it and if we’d ever get back from this trip. Jarrod did a good job of driving and avoiding obstacles (mostly 4WD drivers who sped around corners and didn’t seem to care less about anyone else sharing the road with them). After much bumping around we saw a sign for Disaster Bay Lookout which was meant to be beautiful so we turned into there for a break from the constant vibrations in the car.

Disaster Bay Lookout

Disaster Bay Lookout

Obviously, it was a beautiful bay, but apparently treacherous for ships and was named for all the shipwrecks that have occurred there. Unfortunately, there is no road access to the bay so we didn’t get to see any closer than this but it was beautiful to look out over.

Back in the car and off to the light house we went! I can’t imagine what it would have been like for the first people to get down there or explore the area, even now it’s covered in shrubs and trees that seem near impossible to get through. It must have been a long and arduous task to cut through it all on the first ventures down there. Apparently, the people who were stationed in the lighthouse also didn’t like this or the seclusion and it wasn’t a very popular place for a lighthouse.

Green Cape Lighthouse

Green Cape Lighthouse

A short walk down from the lighthouse was the end of the coast and then there was nothing but water and sky as far as you can see. It was quite windy and choppy and the waves were slamming up against the rocks with so much force. I was glad for our barrier and that we weren’t standing to close. Looking out into the ocean makes you feel a bit small in comparison to the world, Jarrod and I were trying to work out where the closest land was from us and how far that actually was. 

View from the Lighthouse

View from the Lighthouse

After a while of looking out into the nothing we decided to make our way back to town, but not before a toilet break. We followed the sign to the toilets and found the little green tin shack that was the toilet. It was my first experience using a drop/pit toilet and felt weird not flushing once I was finished. 

On our way back into town we saw a few hitch hikers and realised they were guys dressed up in singlets and with women’s wigs. I’d seen this stuff in TV and movies but didn’t think people actually did it! Granted, they weren’t doing a very good job because we could tell, even while driving at 100km/hr, that they were definitely guys. I wonder if they fooled anyone. There were actually quite a few hitch hikers, I haven’t seen people do that in a long time and didn’t think it was something people still did because of how dangerous it can be. When we were leaving we drove past some and then we saw them later on as well, they’d beaten us to the next town somehow.

While we were down in Eden we ended up with a routine of waking up, having breakfast (this was at 8:30, when the host told us she looked at me concerned and asked “Oh, is that too late?” which no, we had to set an alarm to make sure we didn’t miss it), going on an adventure, having lunch and then napping out the afternoon. It was a pretty decent way to spend the days.

On our second day we went down to a different beach – Aslings Beach, the main beach for Eden during summer and more popular for surfing (it actually had some waves, unlike Cocora beach). I somehow ended up with one sunburnt foot and patchy leg sunburn at this beach but that didn’t matter, it was nice to walk along. When we got to the end we noticed a concrete structure, which turned out to be an Ocean Bath or Rock Pool. Apparently these are common down the NSW coast (but no where else in Australia) and are used for safer swimming from rip tides and large sharks. I didn’t go in, at the time I had nothing to swim in.

Aslings Beach Ocean Bath

Aslings Beach Ocean Bath

After going to Aslings beach Jarrod and I decided we needed some clothes to swim in, we were to lazy to do this at home so ended up with nothing and just walked in the shallow parts of the beach with shorts on for much of the time. There aren’t many clothing stores in Eden but they do have a surf place. After seeing their prices and determining we’d have to spend about $100 each just to go swimming we decided against buying there. However, as we walked away I thought we should give the Op Shop a try and see if they had anything. So, we walked past the Discount store on the way and bought $3 pairs of thongs and went to the OpShop where we found some shorts that were, mostly, our size and cost $3 each. So, instead of spending around $200, we spent $12. Not a bad deal. That being said, my shorts were see through but I didn’t much care.

 

Sunset on Cocora Beach

Sunset on Cocora Beach

Later that night, once it wasn’t quite so sunny, we put on our shorts and thongs and walked down to the beach. The hill from the B&B to the beach was incredibly steep, which didn’t matter much until we were walking back up it. It took about 5 minutes but I don’t think my legs have recovered yet. Once at the beach we decided not to go in to deep but far enough that we could see what was in the water around us without being disturbed by sand or waves, there were a bunch of crabs in the water burying themselves in the sand. Fortunately, they were quite small and not interested in attacking our toes. The next morning our host informed us that there were a lot of sharks out at the moment and many people weren’t going out into the ocean.. so we’re lucky we decided not to go out to far and didn’t encounter any sharks.

After that we spent our last night there listening to the crickets and the waves hitting the shore and enjoyed how quiet it was in comparison to at home. 

View from the deck while eating breakfast

View from the deck while eating breakfast

On our last morning we went down stairs for yet another excellent breakfast, this one involved half a mango, a passionfruit, strawberries, kiwi fruit and some delicious yoghurt. Followed by Bacon and Eggs with Mushroom and Sausages. It was delicious and lovely to eat while looking out to this amazing view. We were told it was going to be another hot day at around 28° C (82°F) which we basically laughed at because when we got home it was going to be 38°C (100°F) which was actual hot and made us want to stay a bit longer.

It was a lovely little trip and pretty successful as far as holidays go. 

A Day in the Life: January 2014

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the SkyLast night I stumbled upon Manda’s ‘A Day in the Life’ project where you document what you did on a specific day each month and see other people doing the same. It seemed like a fun project.. Assuming all of my days aren’t just the same, so I thought I’d give it a try. Take a look at Manda’s site if you’re interested in joining in as well.

For January, the day was meant to be the 14th but I only found this on the 15th and decided to use that day instead and will continue on the specified days in the future. I also hope to have more photos next time, as I didn’t know about it this time around I didn’t have any.

And now, my day:

7:50 – Alarm goes off and I try to forget I have to go to work, it usually doesn’t work. I grab my iPad to check twitter and instagram while Jarrod, reluctantly, gets up for a shower. This is the only advantage of starting work at 9:30

9:00 – I’ve had breakfast, showered and made lunch and it’s about time to get walking to work. I’m lucky enough to be able to walk to work. I’m unlucky enough that today it’s 20°C/68°F by 9AM and we’re expecting close to 40°C/104°F.

10:30 – I’ve recovered from the fairly warm walk to work, caught up on email and now waiting, not so patiently, for the real estate agent to call. We put in an offer on a beautiful place on Tuesday and are waiting to know if the owners have accepted. He said he would let us know by lunch time.

The place we anxiously wait to hear about

The place we anxiously wait to hear about

13:00 – Jarrod and I decided that before 1PM is probably what is considered before lunch and yet he hasn’t called yet. what does that mean?!? I continue, anxiously, waiting for the call and getting mostly distracted from work.

14:00 – He hasn’t called yet and I start considering that nothing this agent has said to me has been true and that he’s mostly just out for his commission. I went outside to take a break from my desk.. it’s 38 degrees! Oh man, that was probably a mistake.

14:35 – FINALLY he has called.. to find out how much more we’re willing to pay because someone else with some free-ed up cash is making a similar offer. I’m not sure what relevance the cash has to do with anything but the only reason he called was to see if we could up his commission a bit. We do, a bit.

15:00 – Time to get back to work and worry about what is happening a bit more, so you know, not a lot work and a little bit of frantic emails to Jarrod about WHAT DO WE DO???

15:50 – CALL! But not to say we have a house, but that this other party has offered more than us and do we want to continue?

15:55 – I call Jarrod, on the phone.. the last time that happened was months ago. You know it just got serious when we actually speak to each other, with our voices, on our phones.

16:00 – We decide not to proceed and the house isn’t ours. I’m sure this will be a story we tell of the ‘one that got away’ into the future because we’re both pretty disappointed.. hopefully we tell that story because we found an amazing place to replace it though.

17:00 – Spent the time actually working, well for some of the time, because I didn’t have to worry anymore. Even though I’m sad about the outcome we were feeling a but pushed and rushed and stressed so now we have a bit of breathing space.

18:00 – Time to go home! My computer is getting upgraded to windows 7! My work is currently transitioning from XP so it’s sort of a big deal.. unfortunately it boots us all out before everyone can save everything.. oh well.

20:00 – We have burgers for dinner and talk about places and watch Community and start moving on from that place and enjoy the night instead.

22:00 – I read Georgie’s post about this very link up and realise I only missed it by a day so I should definitely get in on that! But so sleepy, so not tonight.

23:30 – Listen to welcome to Night Vale before bed and enjoy going to sleep with a bit less stress on my mind.

And that was my day, fortunately it was a more eventful one.