Don’t be such a jerk – a rant

We were notified earlier in the week that there was a strike for garbage collectors and they wouldn’t be servicing our area on the normal day. There was a possibility that we would have to wait out the week for the pick up the following week. As such it was suggested that we minimise our waste as much as possible – you would think they would be trying to get everyone to do that all the time.

“By minimising the amount of waste created, people may be able to help their friends, family or neighbours by offering them any room they have in their bin to dispose of excess waste.”

image source: tams.act.gov.au

I know that some neighbours occasionally put a bag or two in our bin when we’ve put it out to the kerb for collection. We usually have space so I have no issue with that. I was pretty surprised however, to find that this week, when we may not have been getting our bins emptied at all, that a neighbour had filled our bin in it’s entirety before we had even had a chance to put anything in it. I can’t prove 100% who it was but given that our recycling bin was also half filled (on an off-week – our recycling is collected fortnightly) with a bunch of beer and other alcohol cans and bottles I have a pretty good idea. If you sit out in your garage every afternoon drinking and then put your empties into someone’s bin you become a fairly easy suspect.

I just don’t understand why someone would do that and think it is ok! I was pretty angry at the time while I tried to shove my rubbish bag into the bin and hoped that it would get collected this week. I would think twice before using someone else’s bin if it had been put out onto the kerb, let alone if it hadn’t and just wonder how much of a jerk you need to be to not give a shit about anyone else.

Fortunately, the bins were emptied a day later but, because of the material of the rubbish the neighbours had put in our bin (a bunch of plastic) and how much they (and probably partly me) had stuffed it into the bin it didn’t actually come out when the bin was emptied. So now we have to deal with their crap 2 weeks in a row, and hope it actually gets emptied properly next week. I will admit, I have considered dumping it into who I believe the culprits are bin and make them deal with their own rubbish.

My more rational self decided to move the bins into our backyard (previously they were sitting near the driveway) which is less convenient for us but it means they have to put in more effort if they use them. I highly doubt (but you never know) they would actually come into my back yard to dump some rubbish.

Have you ever had a situation where someone did something you considered incredibly inconsiderate, and what did you do about it?

Sarah

My Favourite Things – April 2016

Click to Join the Linkup
Click to Join the Linkup

It’s time for the April edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene where you post about something you enjoyed in the previous month. I meant to write my post nearly a week ago but kept forgetting! It’s finally here though.

This month is all about cross-stitch. Earlier this year I started playing Stardew Valley and one day I stumbled upon Siri’s (yes, I did join Twitch just for her channel) cross-stitch work of characters of the game and thought it looked awesome. Although pixelart is quite easy to replicate in cross stitch I never really considered that people were making cool cross-stitch work out of video game characters rather than flowers and mountains and the usual stuff that is associated with cross stitch.

Geometric squares cross stitch
Geometric squares cross stitch

I decided to look into patterns but didn’t want to start with something too difficult and I ended up on the work above. The completed work ended up being 64 squares with 8 different colours and many different patterns. While working on this I realised it might be my equivalent of adult colouring-in for relaxation and stress relief after work. I gave colouring a try and bought some pretty markers but I found it really frustrating and it sort of defeated the purpose. With cross-stitch you can’t really go outside of the lines and if you happen to stitch in the wrong spot you can just reverse what you did easily and quickly. The most frustrating thing with cross-stitch, to me, is when your needle becomes un-threaded. “that’s your home, are you too good for your home!

I also used the time I was cross-stitching to start listening to Welcome to Night Vale again and as I got faster at stitching I was able to complete one of the squares in the same time as an episode. Night Vale is so weird and crazy and Cecil’s voice is pretty awesome and I really enjoy it but I tend to have issues concentrating on podcasts because I start reading things at the same time. I don’t have that distraction where cross-stitch is concerned.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer cross-stitch
Buffy the Vampire Slayer cross-stitch

Once I had finished the square cross-stitch I decided to try something a little more geeky and slightly more complicated (mostly where stitch counting is concerned) and went for this cute Buffy pixel/sprite work. As it turns out it’s actually a lot faster and probably easier than the other one! I currently only have Xander, Willow and Giles (no Faith or Tara, maybe I could create them myself) to go and I started on this less than a week ago.

I think what I love most about cross-stitch is that it’s a creative outlet without having to need too much artistic skill. Sure, when I start making patterns of my own I’ll need to have a bit of skill but really this is just a bunch of coloured crosses on a piece of fabric, not dissimilar to count-by-number colouring.

If you’re interested in keeping up with what I’m doing in the world of cross stitch I have 2 hashtags I’m using on Instagram: #SarahsFirstCrossStitch and #SarahStitches (strangely, there is a model who goes by the name Sarah Stitches and she also uses that hashtag, she has some nice pin-up style photos and photos of tattoos!) or you could just follow me for all updates on Instagram.

Sarah

Watch this space

Normally today would have had a blog post of a restaurant or cafe that I’d been to recently with mouth watering photos and the promise of delicious shakes (probably) but I didn’t have anything written up and yesterday I just lost any motivation to do it. To the point where I’m contemplating what the future of the blog is overall.

When I started this blog I wanted it to be like blogging of old, more like chatting to a friend than just some blog you read on the internet. It hasn’t really turned out that way though and I started getting caught up in promotion of my blog and increased views rather than enjoying blogging for bloggings sake.

I’ve been blogging in one form or another now for more than 15 years, with my longest standing domain (lazily.org – no longer updated) turning 10 last month but maybe it’s something I’ve outgrown? Maybe seeing the polish of other blogs and, in some cases, the lack of personality makes me wonder if there is room for us random little lifestyle bloggers who don’t have posts with lists and life hacks and whatever else.

This also doesn’t help on the food side of things. My city isn’t overly big and there are quite a lot of food bloggers for its size and maybe there isn’t room for this little blog. I don’t know if I should just ignore what they’re doing and blog about food and restaurants because I like those things or just stop doing them altogether. I wonder though, would I stop trying new places if I didn’t have the blog to update? I don’t really want to stop going new places!

So I’m not really sure what is going to be happening here, maybe it stays the same, maybe it changes or maybe it lies dormant. I’m  not quite sure at this point.

Sarah

Adult Life: Banks

A lot of the time I think about all the great things you can do as an adult. I can eat chocolate icecream for dinner and there’s nothing anyone can do about it! It may be unhealthy for me but it’s my choice to make and that is something great about being an adult, you get to live life the way you want to. Based on that thinking I thought I might start a regular feature (not quite sure how regular) on my blog about the good and bad things about being an adult.

piggybank

Today’s post isn’t actually about icecream for dinner but about having to deal with banks as adults.

A few years back, Jarrod and I started looking into buying a home. One of the first things we did was investigate whether we could get approved to borrow money. As it turns out, we could! YAY! So off we went and bought a house – no, it wasn’t just as easy as that. At the time of choosing a loan the interest rates were pretty decent (the best they had been in a while) so we decided to get a 2 year fixed term to lock that rate in. This did place one, fairly important, restriction on the loan. We could only put up to an additional 5% of the total loan amount in repayments each year.

If we had known that interest rates were actually going to go down we would never have fixed the loan and just thrown as much money as we possibly could at it. Obviously, the bank wasn’t going to suggest that to us though! They make money out of all that extra interest we paid!

So 2 years have passed and we eagerly awaited being able to put a lot more extra money on the loan and also the decrease in our interest rate. The day came and I logged into the bank and… it had only decreased by .07%, not exactly the game changer we were hoping for.

I looked at the website and could see they were offering much lower interest rates and decided to investigate why this was. I sent a message off to the bank asking why ours was still so high and they got back to me to say they couldn’t definitely lower it if I wanted. I wondered why they were so willing to lower it and why I was given the choice, obviously I want to pay less interest!

As it turns out the rate it reverted to was the rate that we would have been paying if we had a variable rate in the beginning. Although interest rates have decreased substantially since that time they reverted ours back to what it would have been 2 years ago and, I assume, just hoped we wouldn’t care or notice (and I’m sure many people just assume they’re paying the right amount). It feels very dodgy to me and made me distrust the bank somewhat. I also wondered what would have happened had interest rates increased during those 2 years? I can pretty much guarantee the interest rate would automatically have been placed at the higher amount.

One positive is that the experience I had when contacting the bank was a good one. Everyone was helpful and happy to answer all of my questions (which there were a lot of) and we have come out of it with a lower interest rate. However, it does highlight that you always need to be watching and vigilant when it comes to banks to ensure you’re paying the best amount and not getting slogged with a bunch of unnecessary fees.

While I’m glad we have banks so that I had the opportunity of getting a home loan (and personal loans before that), the dodginess is just one part of adult life you have to be watching for.

Sarah

Review: 8bit., Melbourne CBD

In the week leading up to our Melbourne trip I started looking into good burger places in Melbourne. It turns out the city has exploded with fun burger places but through all my searches one place kept popping up and that was 8bit. A few days before we left I also asked The Drunken Bear team (food & travel vloggers) for the best shake place in Melbourne (something that appears to be lacking in Melbourne – my recommendation would be the Tim Tam Slam at Trunk) and they also mentioned 8bit so we definitely needed to give this place a try.

We went in search of it on for lunch on our first day in Melbourne and, although it was a Sunday (in my experience that means the CBD is dead but apparently not so much anymore) the place was packed! It is only very small with about 15 seats but they also do takeaway. In hindsight we probably could have ordered takeaway and eaten it on the grass at the beautiful State Library but we decided to come back another time… dinner that same night!

8bit. Burgers and drinks
8bit. Burgers and drinks

8bit is basically fastfood but the burgers are more like your local takeaway than McDonalds. With a name like 8bit you can guarantee that there is a old school game theme to the place from burgers named after video games to arcade machines in the stores. The website may also cause you to go blind.

I ordered an 8bit with Cheese ($9.50) which is basically a cheese burger, and Jarrod ordered the Double Dragon ($14.00) which is double everything. I love how they are presented. Initially, I thought it was weird to have burgers come out on their sides – wouldn’t all the ingredients slide down? – but everything stays in-tact and it’s actually really easy to pick them up and eat them when they’re like this.

The burgers were so good. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a burger that delicious and they were, comparatively, quite cheap and the service was quick even though the place was packed. I left wishing that they’d open a store in Canberra (hint hint).

They have some unusual flavoured shakes and in the end I opted for the Strawberry Cheesecake shake ($7.50). I was pretty scared about this as I don’t like strawberry milkshakes so it could have ended up terribly. In the end it was a good idea as it was like drinking a liquid cheesecake. Yum! Jarrod went with the Chocolate Bar shake ($7.50) which has a featured chocolate bar each week, at the time that was a Bounty bar. It was also very good. Not overpoweringly coconutty and nice and thick.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to fit in the chips and I completely forgot about the softserve! I was really looking forward to trying it, or at least checking out what the weekly flavours are. That just gives me motivation to go back there some time!

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8bit.- CBD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah