Thursday, 10 May 2007

a bit bitsy.

Fire training was fun. I still don't have a red hat, but I got to try out two fire extinguishers (a water one, and a CO2 one), and go into a smoke filled room. Being already paranoid about everything, I came out a bit freaked out by the whole thing, but at least the main points were basic and consistent enough that I'll remember them (as opposed to say, First Aid training where there was so much information that I felt like it went in one ear and out the other. Fyi - don't get hit by a bus near me). It seems to me the important information for dealing with fires is: 1. If it's small, put it out. 2. If it's not small, get away from it. 3. ALWAYS KEEP DOORS SHUT. I can remember that. Also, I now know that technically, the alarm in our building is 'your standard beep-beep whoop-whoop system'.

In the phonebook department, things are going wrong again. Mine hasn't changed again (yet), but my boss' entry seems to have disappeared entirely. He's been rationalised it seems, and the office ladies upstairs took a few days to realise they could come down and TALK to us about stuff, rather than just assume that no phone listing meant we'd stopped existing. This is a crazy place.

Apple are still stuffing me around re. the salary packaging saga. I'm very happy with this little laptop (sorry 'we don't call them laptops - they're personal computers'), but their customer service leaves a fair bit to be desired.

It seems most of the chocolate in the world is made from cocoa produced on the Ivory Coast, and most cocoa on the Ivory Coast is produced by child labourers. The large chocolate companies (M&M-Mars, Nestle, Hersheys etc.,) argue that even though they control most of the world's demand, they can't change things because they buy through middle-men. (Incidentally, this is the same reason that clothing manufacturers give for employing workers in sweatshop conditions IN AUSTRALIA). In the US, manufacturers promised to start eradicating child labour by 2005 - and it didn't happen. BBC stories on it here and here. How upsetting to find something as excellent as chocolate is tainted by the greed of big business! I'm really excited to make David Lebovitz's Chocolate Idiot Cake. His is my new favourite, blog, and the cake looks amazing (ingredients: chocolate, sugar, eggs, butter), but I think I will be shelling out the extra buying fair trade chocolate after finding out about this.

Ah, and this video has been languishing in my sidebar for a while now, and I thought I should mention it before it's forgotten forever. I randomly saw most of it when it was shown on TV a month or so ago, and it was completely hilarious. Everyone likes to make fun of science-fiction nerds, and some of these were extreme nerds (in some cases, to the point of having their ears surgically altered), which makes them easy targets. One of the great things about this doco though, was that it makes fun of these trekkies, but it's not in a mean way. All of the people are depicted to be nice, normal people (beyond the Trekkie thing at least), and the doco does show that the strength of the communities developed around this particular brand of fandom is quite extroadinary. To me, this film was one of the best comedies I've seen in ages, but I suspect to the Trekkies, this is a film about themselves that they can be proud of. And that's quite an achievement.

Adelaide Fresh Pasta makes a great eggplant-parmy, and I've been wanting to try making my own for ages now. Last night I made this one and it was pretty good! I'm not very adept at frying crumbed things (I think it's something you get a feel for over time), so I think it will only improve. I used the Sugo again from the fruit shop - I love that stuff. And there's leftovers. =)

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