Saturday, May 5, 2012

I feel like soup tonight---recipe in slow cooker

After I had sorted the Vodafone issue I decided to make a soup for dinner and lunches for the next few days. Here is my recipe, using a crockpot (like a slow cooker).
1)      4 beefy bones (I give my dog the same ones---nice and meaty)
2)    One and a half cups of any dried soup mix, or make your own mix using lentils, pearl barley and yellow split peas.
3)    A large onion
4)    Cup and a half of chopped butternut or pumpkin.
5)    Any other veggies left over in the fridge.
Brown the beefy bones in a pan, and add the chopped onion. When browned, throw in some garlic and ginger--- the stuff in little plastic jars in fine, but feel free to use fresh stuff. Add some chilli flakes too.
Combine all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for as long as it takes to break down the dried pulses--- it is not an exact science, using slow cookers. Add salt to taste.
I am going to have mine with freshly baked scones (My friends in the USA call them biscuits--- add a strong cheese to them and---oh yummy!) I hope there are some over for my lunches at school for a few days--- I will freeze them to keep them fresh.
This is a really cheap meal--- I often wonder at the way so many people have left their past behind or who have never learnt to cook this cheap nourishing and very tasty food-----oh the memories of coming home after school to such as meal. 
Thanks Mum!

Vodafone----did they listen this time? (part 2)

OK--- here I am again, after having lambasted you all about my less than satisfactory introduction to my new smartphone. Remember--- purchased the phone at a Vodafone shop and had left feeling that I should have been given more time to familiarize myself with some basic functions. I felt that they ‘had no time to help me.’
So, it all went to custard and before I knew it the phone had lost its charge and had basically signalled that I could only use it for emergencies. Stuff that!
Off I went down the Lynmall Vodafone shop in the big mall. I had to wait a few minutes while they were serving other customers--- that’s fine. I was served by a young lady, who must have sensed my displeasure about my past experience when I first got the phone. Well, of course she did, because I made sure she knew and that I was going to blog the experience. I am not sure if that did the trick, but she was all ears and she was very patient with me.
First off--- the old sim card just didn’t work properly and God alone knows what I had pressed, while I was trying to learn the system. She (not God) quickly stuck in a new sim card and exported the contacts and whatever else was needed and viola--- it started working. I also purchased a car charger, because she informed me that it is pretty normal for a phone to only keep its charge for a day, especially when there are multiple apps installed.  I bet you are thinking that I am using flash words and getting with the programme.  Hahaha--- Don’t be fooled because most of the things she told me have disappeared into the morass that passes for my brain.
Still, I will sit down after I have taken Perdy for another walk (she’s barking at one of the neighbours----probably the one who complained –the bit----oops---sorry). I shall get one of the kids at school to show me a few tricks in the morning. They seem to know everything I need and they enjoy helping me.
Now--- do I shout my tits off about the level of service I experienced--- well yes--- sort of--- it was friendly and useful and it did change my mind a bit. It’s not their fault that I take a while to learn about these new touch screens and all the services that come with it. I bet there will be a few stuff-ups over the next week or two. I shall keep you posted. Click on the ads!

Vodafone--- lets see how helpful they are?

I am one of those people who are struggling a bit with some new technology. Whether that is because I am in the plus 60 age group or that my brain is not well tuned for the ‘here’s another new phone, TV or God knows what,’ brigade is a moot point. Either way, I would have thought that I represent a rather large and growing demographic sector; one that the business’s selling all the latest fads, useful or just another ‘bling bling’ product, so they would be crazy to ignore us. Politicians also take note.
Given that we have power and money, then isn’t that a reason to go the extra mile for us? Let me give you a few examples. How many of my ‘senior’ friends have purchase a new product, and then carefully open the packaging (OK--- I rip the bugger open) only to find a ‘user guide’ (printed in many languages ---- good) that is barely readable? Don’t even attempt to try in less than extremely bright light. Come on you lot---at least print it so that the letters are visible to anyone other than a teenager, who probably won’t need to read the instructions anyway. You are neglecting the market I have described above.
You’ve got our money and signed us up, then you either just assume we’ll be OK or you don’t give a stuff.  ‘Oh--- but the product has a help number or it is on the menu’---- yeah, we have all seen and heard that. Right--- now for a more explicit example.
I have just purchased a Samsung Ace--- it was free if I extended my contract and will spend NZ$70 a month. I bet some of my friends reading this overseas are throwing up their hands (or the other way) in horror. How is it that NZers pay so much?  I suppose it is the small market here. We are after all, only a country of about 4.5 million people. Small market equals less competition. It is one of the prices we pay for living in paradise.
I chose Samsung, because I have developed a ‘trust’ in Korean products. My car is Korean (Hyundai) and my TV likewise--- no problems--- love them both. I am even thinking about getting other Samsung products---at the expense of a traditionally favoured local product. It’s OK Fisher and Paykel--- I won’t ditch you completely.
Back to the reason for this blog--- I purchase the phone and they were too busy to give me a quick tutorial. I once again assumed that the ‘instructions’ contained inside would be enough to get me going--- no such luck---the printing size to start. At that stage I started to develop that feeling that things were not going to be hunky-dory. Ooops--- that’s means---OK--- just teaching you a bit of Kiwi.
Eventually with a bit of help, I managed to get the phone to function for texting and ringing my mates. That was until this morning where the bloody thing will not connect to the local network and all I can do is ‘emergency calls.’ Yeah right--- everything will need to be an emergency--- I shall ask the 111 option (you may use different numbers) to order a pizza!
Is it just me who gets into these predicaments? Some of my friends will be laughing and if this doesn’t generate a few comments, I don’t know what will. I am wondering now if I should have stuck with the old phone or have purchased a lower-tech option—one that I can use, but no---- The way phones are going, it may not be possible to stay with the tried and true for much longer.
My solution--- I shall go to one of the Vodafone shops and ask for help. If I get anything other than excellent service I am going to ask for your support—Yes, I will blog my tits off and ask that you pass on the result! If things work out I will shout Vodafone's excellence from the highest hill---that will of course be Mt Roskill--- the same hill featured as the title to my book—‘ROSKILL (go and read it free online in my blogs and don’t forget to click on the adverts so that I can continue to release my books online--- free).
The main purpose of this blog again. Companies, firms, entrepreneurs, product designers and everyone else who has dealings with the 60 plus sector----DON’T BLOODY ASSUME THINGS ABOUT US AND NEVER IGNORE US!  You do so at your peril.