Archive for the ‘Random stuff’ Category

Make your home sound like a busy office

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Thriving Office CDThis is such a good idea, it’s a wonder no-one’s thought of it before.

If you work from home – as I do – and want to impress your clients, this could be just the thing you need. Thriving Office lets you give clients the impression of a hectic office environment in the background while talking on the phone. It’s a CD with two long tracks: “Busy” and “Very Busy”. Stick it on repeat when the clients call, and lull them into a sense of security as they imagine how successful you’ve become.

You’ll probably want to pause it once you’re off the phone, of course. (Although who knows – maybe industrious office sounds will make you more productive, too? I know it would drive me insane.)

[Via TechCrunch]

Book review: Almost French

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Almost French book coverI recently finished reading Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. It’s an Australian’s account of living in Paris for seven years.

I found it fascinating, for a few reasons. Firstly, its (sometimes terrifying) insight into the French – and, particularly, Parisian – mentality was somewhat of an eye-opener for me. Secondly, as it was written from the perspective of an Aussie – and one who hails from the very area I live in, at that – it gave me a fresh outlook on my adopted country. Thirdly, it was good to read about the feelings of a fellow expat, as she battles with the somewhat shaky concept of “home”.

Naturally, most of the book talks about the French, and Sarah’s life in France. To start with, her impressions are mainly negative. Being treated as a rival and a threat by Parisian women. Being ostracised by snobby Parisians in general. (She learns from a book that it’s best to pretend you’re a chair at social events. That way, “when no-one smiles at you or talks to you … you won’t be surprised.”) Rats scurrying around outside her apartment. (”VoilĂ  le vrai Paris!” exclaims her French boyfriend.) Having to dress up in posh togs just to go to the bakery, in order to avoid being frowned upon by the fashion-conscious French. The drab village where her boyfriend grew up – loved by him, detested by her.

However, as the book progresses, her outlook on her new home changes. She comes to accept – love, even – the Parisian way of life. She gets the hang of the complex etiquette that is often necessary for even the most casual French dinner party. Along the way, she learns just how serious the French are about their food and wine, and has a spectacular feast at Alain Ducasse’s restaurant. She buys a little West Highland terrier, which helps her blend right in with the locals in her district. In the end, she even falls in love with her boyfriend’s village.

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Do Not Call register – at last!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Finally, the Australian government has launched the national Do Not Call register. This might just save my sanity; we currently get plagued by telemarketers at least once every other day. It’s reached the point where we often don’t even bother answering the phone.

Signing up is, thankfully, fairly straightforward. I’ve added both my home and mobile numbers to the register today, so in 30 days’ time that should mean the end of all these nuisance calls. In theory.

Apparently so many people tried to sign up when it was launched that the system crashed. Gives you some idea of how annoying telemarketers are!

A useful pie-chart!!!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Finally…

Pie chart

(Found somewhere on the Innerweb)