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Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter

Charity and money

Years ago I decided I wanted to donate at least 0.7% of my income towards charity. Over the weekend I was doing my tax, and calculated it: for 2015-16 it’s 1.32%. Cool. About half the annual total is Oxfam. Other regulars include Greenpeace, The Salvos (though I mean to check their latest position on homosexuality,  ... [More]

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Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter

New umbrella (again)

Excuse the radio silence. I’ve had a really bad cold this week. In our last exciting installment of my quest for a durable, reliable, compact umbrella, I was on my third Senz Mini. The first had been replaced under warranty, the second lost, and the third… sadly, it has started to fail me. As did  ... [More]

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Consumerism Geek

I need a new phone

On Thursday night my phone, a Nexus 5 that I got about three years ago, finally started playing up. It would continually boot, with a buzz, and a proclamation on the screen of “Google”! Then repeat. Bzzt… Google! Over and over. Scouring online, I discovered this is a reasonably rare, but not unique, situation. The  ... [More]

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Consumerism music

Rickrolled in Bunnings

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Bentleigh Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter

The chains of Bentleigh

My local suburb is increasing in density, and (not entirely disconnected from that) it’s also interesting to see how the retail strip is doing. The shopping centre has grown around the railway station, which is still the epicentre, though the east side of the tracks is where most of the busiest shops are located. The  ... [More]

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Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter transport

Signs blocking bike lanes and footpaths

This is not the first time I’ve spotted something like this: real estate agent signs blocking bike lanes. I’m not sure why anybody who thought about it for more than a second would think it was a good idea to leave signs there. Cyclists would either be forced out into traffic, or if they didn’t  ... [More]

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Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter

The perfect, durable, compact umbrella

Melbourne’s rainy season is upon us. It’s been a few years since my blog post about good strong compact umbrellas, so here’s a quick update. A good umbrella is vital for a dedicated walking/PT person. The brief: an umbrella that, folded, can fit in my work bag (eg a maximum length of about 35cm) and  ... [More]

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Consumerism

Stamps going up to $1

What can you buy for $1? You certainly can’t buy a newspaper. The Herald Sun costs $1.40 on weekdays; The Age costs $2.50; The Australian is $2.70. So I’m finding it difficult to be too outraged at standard stamps going up to $1. In fact this letter in Saturday’s Age perfectly sums up how I  ... [More]

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Consumerism Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

How long does a dishwasher last?

Just on five years ago my dishwasher door spring broke. In that instance a secondary fault also affected the actual washing of dishes. Now another door spring has broken. It hasn’t affected the washing – it’s just the door is heavy, and needs to be opened very carefully. Repair from Fisher And Paykel is expected  ... [More]

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Consumerism Toxic Custard newsletter

Investments

Sorry, few updates this week due to general busy-ness and a web hosting issue that prevented posting. Last year I dipped my toe in the sharemarket: I bought shares in Xero, the cloud accounting service. They were about $25 at the time. Since then they have dropped in price by about half. If only I’d  ... [More]