Why waste your money on expensive cookware?

We have thousands of cookware shops in Australia. They sell every gadget and the most ridiculously overpriced cookware.

I say it’s ridiculous because it doesn’t cook any better, nor does it last longer. Some of the cookware has a lifetime guarantee and I’m always puzzled by that claim. What does that mean?

And there are caveats to the guarantee. You have to use the cookware for the purposes for which it was intended.

I guess that means cooking rather than digging for iron ore. And I do suspect that in about ten years’ time you would have difficulty finding the manufacturer of said cookware to return it. They also want it to be posted and the cost of that postage would be prohibitive. That’s if you can unearth the receipt.

In other words, the cookware lasts for as long as it lasts and not any longer. Can’t argue with that existential concept.

If you read the fine print, you should expect the saucepan to show scratches. This will look bad but will not affect your cooking results. You can machine wash the cookware but it’s better not to because it may spoil its appearance.

Although the cookware has been tested in laboratories by a million jackhammers drilling the amazing bullet-proof surface of the pan, it is suggested that you stir your cooking with a plastic or wooden utensil.

All this in spite of a rather pretentious and misleading name like Swiss Diamond which gives the impression of a very resilient and indestructible surface. Not true. I know because I invested in the brand. I use the term “invested” since it cost a fortune.

I was informed at the time that Swiss Diamond never go on sale, but they were 40% discounted at some stores last week. So “Never” must mean the same as “Lifetime Guarantee.”

I’m also the gullible owner of some Circulon cookware. This one scratches, sticks and has grooves which are hard to clean. Ironically, there is a big ad campaign on TV at the moment praising this brand’s ease of use. I scoff somewhat bitterly at its claims.

Anolon was no better but I managed to return it because it warped. I was in one of those “I’m fed up and I’m not taking it any more” moods.

As for cast iron cookware, it’s good for casseroles, but who can lift the ruddy things? If you really want a physical workout try to pick up some Staub cookware. Now if you dropped that on the floor it would result in a crater and the Staub cookware would emerge in China.

The astute reader of this blog might have worked out that I’m fed up with falling for the hype. Cookware is cookware and you are better off buying a brand new pan every year at $29.95 as I have done recently and in ten years you will still be ahead financially. The pan will be lighter. You can machine wash it or not. If it scratches you don’t mourn the damage to its perfect surface.

And believe me, life’s too short to be fooled by promises of everlasting service or surface (as the case may be).

I wonder how long my new penny-wise attitude will last? Probably for as long those guarantees, I guess.


Solution for our Australian growing population problem

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that she understands the concerns of folks living in South West Sydney. She understands that they are overcrowded there.

So what is it all about? Well, it’s not about immigration, says Julia. It’s not about birth rates, says Julia. And it’s definitely not about refugees and boat people. It’s about sustainability which at the moment is unsustainable, according to the majority of the electorate.

So if you can’t curb population growth by cutting immigration and reproduction, the solution has to come from the other end of the life cycle, the senior citizens. Isn’t that all that’s left?

Some form of compulsory elimination, perhaps, once Julia Gillard’s “working Australians” are no longer able to work. We already have an effective process in place for that policy. It’s called “Forget about nursing home provisions and improvements in health services for the elderly.” Surely we can move forward on that and get serious.

We could perhaps adopt a new slogan for the Labor Party based on “Moving Forward. ” How about “Moving On Permanently” or “Moving out of the Way” or “Moving Aside? ” Or how about “Stop Moving Altogether?” Now that would curb our population growth by about 25% by 2050.

So how can that brilliant policy be formalised? Well, when you hand in your driver’s licence you are handed your orders to move over for Australia. How you do that is up to you. After all, we live in a free country. Simple.

Being kind to Hamas will not work

Imagine you are the leader of a Hamas terrorist cell and your daughter has a tumour in her eye. An Israeli aid organisation funds her successful operation in Jerusalem. The tumour is removed.

You then go back to your village in the West Bank and two weeks later you arrange an attack on Israelis. Three Israelis are ambushed. One who was about to be married is killed while the other two are wounded.

No doubt you think that you are a hero, but in reality you are the lowest of the low.

There is no honour in your actions. You, who are prepared to accept help from Israeli doctors and at the same time stab them in the back.


Source for this article.

Myer plans to improve its service. About time!

During the past two weeks I have been to three different Myer department stores and they all have one thing in common. Lack of service.

There was simply no staff around. We scrounged around the stock, of which there is also very little. We wandered up and down the menswear department in search of help. But there was none.

I suspect that if I picked up a few items and walked out with them I wouldn’t even be stopped. Unfortunately, there was nothing worth stealing. At one stage we were so busy rummaging through some items that a customer mistook us for staff and asked us for help.

We shook our heads in sympathy with the fellow sufferer. “Sorry, mate” we shouted in the wilderness. “You have to fend for yourself!” Not many people are keen to do that, however, so it’s not surprising that sales in department stores are down by 5.8% in the year to May.

So when the CEO of Myer, Bernie Brookes, announced in the Weekend Australian newspaper that Myer was going to increase its staff by 10% I was nonplussed. 10% of nothing is not very much, is it?

Nor are things much better in “David Jones” department stores, but at least the Melbourne city store had more stock to choose from. There was no service either. Nevertheless, we put in the effort, found an item ourselves and took it to the cashier.

Oh how I miss the old days when someone would greet you as you walked into a department store and ask if you needed any help. From what I can see the only place that has service in a department store is the cosmetics and perfume section and I suspect that’s because the cosmetics companies supply their own staff.

Shopping has become a very daunting experience. Even when you really, really, need to buy something, and you stand there looking desperate, you often go home without a catch. Oh well, you did try to give the economy a bit of stimulus, but if they ain’t doin’ the sellin’ you can’t do the buyin’.

The Joke’s on us at ToysRUs

All we wanted to do was to purchase a toy for our little granddaughter who is currently living in the USA. “Anything from Toy Story 3 would be great” according to her dad, our son.

What better store than ToysRUs for a gift to be sent from that American store to an American address? Simple? Not exactly.

We looked up the website and selected a doll for her. Then we proceeded to order it online. Easy? Not exactly.

ToysRUs would not accept our credit card because we live overseas in Australia. Understandable? Perhaps. Amazon can do it but apparently ToysRUs can’t.

So credit card was out of the question.

How about money then? A cash transaction online?

The following is the reply we received from this company:-

Thank you for contacting RUs.com regarding transferring money to one of our bank accounts. I am sorry, but ethically we cannot do that. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

If you need any further assistance, please feel free to call us at either of the numbers listed below or just respond to this email. Thank you again for contacting RUs.com. We value your business and look forward to serving you in the future!


Melissa Green
Guest Service Team
http://www.ToysRUs.com (800) ToysRUs / (800) 869-7787
http://www.BabiesRUs.com (888) BabyRUs / (888) 222-9787
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!!

Yes, you read it correctly. ETHICALLY is the word Melissa Green used.

It’s comforting to know that ToysRUs value our business and look forward to serving us in the future. I wonder, though, in what capacity they intend to serve us 24 HOURS A DAY. 7 DAYS A WEEK if they won’t accept our money?

Perhaps we should offer some Dutch beads, buttons and other trinkets to Melissa and the Guest Service Team at ToysRUs.

Why be offended by the “I will survive” Holocaust video?

When I watched the video of a Jewish family from Australia dancing at various death camp sites in which Hitler and the Nazis tried to exterminate the Jews, I wept.

I only heard about this video tonight on the Channel Nine TV news. Some people are offended by it. Some Holocaust survivors don’t approve of Jews dancing at Auschwitz, but I take a different view.

I say “Hitler tried to kill us all, but he is dead and we are still here. Let us rejoice.”

As a person who is involved in The Jewish Holocaust Centre I am well aware of sensitivities. We should respect and mourn what happened. We should never forget and personally I will never forgive.

But be damned if I don’t glory in the fact that all those Empires and civilisations which tried to destroy the Jews are dust.

So if 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, Adolek Kohn wants to dance at Auschwitz with his daughter and three grandchildren, good luck to him!

I’m sure he has shed enough tears in his lifetime and I would encourage him to celebrate to his heart’s content.

If you have not seen the video, here is the link:-

Grandpa Kohn’s words at the end of it are what made me cry.

Looks as if the video has actually been removed from Youtube.

Now it’s back again. I strongly recommend that you view Parts 2 and 3 of the video too. We’ll see how long this one lasts but just in case I’d better explain what I meant by “Grandpa Kohn’s words at the end of it made me cry.”

The family did some very simple unchoreographed dance steps at the various sites with their aged grandpa.

And then the mood changed and Mr Kohn reflected on his life to the music of Leonard Cohen’s “Dance me to the end of Love.”

“If you had told me 63 years ago,” Kohn says, ” that I would be here dancing with my family, I would have said what you talking about?…what you talking about?

Had Hilter achieved his aim then none of that delightful family would have been born. No wonder he marvels at being back where he could have perished. He considers himself blessed.

So many people did not survive, including many members of my family. I wept for them but I also wept with joy that Mr Kohn is alive.

More passport forgeries but this time it’s okay, isn’t it?

When Israel was accused of forging passports you would have thought that the world was about to explode. So much indignation! How could Israel commit such an outrage? Ireland was annoyed, the UK was annoyed, France was annoyed. And ex Prime Minister Rudd was annoyed.

Well, well, well, now that the spy saga in the U.S and Russia has come to light and spies have been returned to their state of origin, we discover that these spies held forged passports.

Dear me, they used Irish, British and Canadian false passports. So what’s the reaction of the world? Apparently, the rest of the world is amused. Joe Biden makes jokes on the Jay Leno Show. Not a whisper of outrage at the use of forged passports and spying that’s been going between two so-called friends.

It seems that it’s okay to forge identities and passports, but not if you are Israeli.

Talk about hypocrites!!!

Why the double standard is a compliment to Israel

Imagine you are sitting at prayers in your local mosque on a Friday when suddenly thirty of your fellow worshippers are shredded to bits by a bomb. This is a frequent occurrence in Pakistan and Iraq. The murderers are Muslims themselves and we in the rest of the world no longer bat an eyelid on hearing of such an event. Why is that? Continue reading

The Two Faces of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

I am astounded by the declaration this morning that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is proud of the actions of activist Peter Bethune. In fact, they will give him a hero’s welcome back home when he returns from Japan.

How can one believe anything that this organisation says when in June this is what they said?

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has cut its links with anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune after he carried a bow and arrows during confrontations with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.

Below is what they wrote on the Society’s website, according to the ABC report on June 9 of this year

The bow and arrows revealed to be on the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil, and in the possession of Captain Bethune on that ship, are absolutely not in line with Sea Shepherd’s policy,” the statement reads.

This morning on the ABC the spokesman for the Society revealed his forked tongue, when he admitted that the above statements were a ploy to get Bethune off. I can’t quite understand how that would work but they obviously are still trying to pretend that they are a peaceful organisation. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Suddenly they are proud to align themselves with a man who behaved like a pirate and threatened the crew of a boat he boarded illegally.

What sort of friends are these activists who are ready to distance themselves from one of their heroes when he’s in trouble? And yet when he gets off with a very lenient judgement, a suspended sentence, they pretend that they support him totally?

All better now?

I don’t think so. This organisation has blotted its reputation by admitting to lying.

It is thanks to the Japanese that Bethune is not in jail. No thanks to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, though, for abandoning him.