Monday, December 28, 2009

give a chicken for Christmas

there are a still a few days left to act on the ‘Old Phones for Chickens’ campaign being run by mobile muster (the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry) in support of the work of oxfam. nice way to clear out three old phones sitting around in my home.

to take part, gather your old mobile phones (and any accessories like batteries, chargers and hands free units), put them in a box/envelope, send it off using the mailing label you can download and print off (postage is free), and mobile muster will donate one chicken for every mobile phone that is posted by 31/12/2009. too easy yeah?

looks like they've been doing this for a few years now, so if you miss out this year (or have more old phones by next Christmas) maybe there'll be another opportunity to give in this way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

union shopper - united we save (money)

i've mentioned the union shopper in passing in a few (much) older posts, but never blogged about it. it's a shopping service for members of (most) unions which
strive[s] to save members as much as [they] can through sheer buying power. That's either through direct dollar savings or matching up members to our preferred suppliers so you get what you want, with great value and without the hassles or headache.
it's pretty easy:
  1. shop around for the product you wish to purchase and be ready to buy.
  2. call them with your Union membership details, product brand name, model number and description of the item, and your best price including delivery and extended warranty details, if required. There is also the option of doing this online (once you register).
  3. Union Shopper will respond with a price in approximately 2-3 business hours.If they can better the best price
if they can give you a better price (and they usually can), you place your order with Union Shopper, and their preferred supplier will contact you to arrange payment and pick-up or delivery terms.

the service is great for bigger ticket electrical items, and can also be used for a whole range of other products like motor vehicles, theme park discounts, accommodation and travel etc. i've only really used them to buy whitegoods and other electrical goods myself.

so what sort of savings can you get? well here's an example of some items i helped a friend to buy for his new home.
  • FRIDGE - fisher & paykel E522BRX stainless steel. the best price he found was $18xx from a Good Guys store. union shopper got it for $176 less.
  • WASHING MACHINE - fisher & paykel GW712. the best price he found was $8xx from Good Guys. union shopper got it for $146 less.
  • MICROWAVE - samsung ME6124ST stainless steel. the best price he found was $2xx from Good Guys. union shopper got it for $53 less.
total saving $375. not something to be sneezed at, huh? not for the likes of me anyway. and pretty good return for a few minutes' work to submit the enquiry.

if you're not a union member and would be interested in potentially saving some money on a purchase, drop me a line. members can use the service to buy stuff for family & friends, but the order needs to be placed by the member and in come cases the paperwork needs to be in the member's name.

christmas lights videos

and speaking of christmas light, here are some nice setups you can enjoy without needing to go for a drive. these are houses rigged with a variety of lights that are set to music. enjoy :) you might want to watch them on youtube rather than the via the embedded link - my blog layout is a bit narrow for the clips.

this is from a house not too far from my place... maybe i should go see this live.

another one from the same house.

this is a place in perth. i think it's the best of the lot (at least within this post :p)

and the one that started it all for me, which i first came across in this gizmodo post.

and a PS if you're interested: another gizmodo post on Christmas Lights, The Brief and Strangely Interesting History Of

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related posts: christmas lights tour

google maps fail

for the past few years, i've made some effort to see displays in the 4KQ Christmas Lights competition. last night i thought i'd hit up google maps to navigate my way around some eastern suburb displays, as i was going to be in the area but didn't know the streets well.

this is where the map tried to get me to go - down castlerea st, left to marwood st, and right to dairy swamp rd)
and this is how the satellite view of the area actually looks like. see the bunch of green stuff (ie trees) in the middle? no road there...
having found myself at an unexpected dead end, i turned to my street directory which showed me something along the lines of what whereis shows - quite a few stretches of road that don't actually exist.
that's a big fail for google maps in my books!