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Archive for the ‘A day in the life of…’ Category

“Get it done Automagically” haha

My itunes is so unorganised and all over to place and like most I can’t be bothered spending the time to do it myself. I have over 200GB of music which would take a lifetime to sort and clean.

Check it out.

http://www.tuneupmedia.com/download.php

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1. Cordero a la cruz  (wood-fired Suffolk lamb) from Porteno, $42

One of the most eagerly awaited openings of 2010, Porteno was also the most eagerly awaited opening of 2009. Yes, folks, it took a while. And it still takes a while, to get a table – reservations are only for six or more and the place packs out early. But the rewards are there, crucified on the open grill for all to see.  Those Bodega boys, Ben and Elvis – along with Elvis’ dad, Adan – serve up the sizzlingest asado-grilled meats this side of Buenos Aires. Every day, whole suckling pigs and pure-bred Suffolk lambs cook merrily away for six to eight hours over the open barbecue pit. The pork is great, but the lamb is outrageous. The skin is crunchy, salty and gorgeous, the  meat is soft, sweet, and smoky, and the whole thing comes without embellishment or ceremony, plonked simply on a wooden board. Put in an order as soon as you get there, because they always run out – and they can’t exactly throw another one on the barbie and get it out the same night. Ask for warmed plates to eat it from, too, or it will cool too quickly. While there, have some fun with Argentinian wines as well.

Porteno, 358 Cleveland Street Surry Hills,  8399 1440

2. Prosciutto, stracchino and rocket piadina at La Piadina ($14)

It’s nowhere near the beach, there’s barely room to swing a kitten, and there’s not much variety. But La Piadina is one of the nicest places to eat in Bondi. It’s all about the piadina, the flat, unleavened bread of Italy’s Emilia Romagna region. Damiano and Fausto Zizioli roll out the circles of dough until parchment-thin, lay them on the hotplate and strew them with anything from mortadella to soft ‘nduja salami to Nutella, before folding them in half. My fave is the classic combo of sliced-to-order prosciutto San Daniele, light Stracchino cream and lightly bitter, softly wilted rocket leaves ($12) which merges into a scorchy, toasty, steamy combination of crispness and melting softness. Only one thing would make it more civilized: an icy cold Moretti or tinkling Campari. Done.

La Piadina. 108 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Phone 9300 0160

3. Chocolate Forest Floor from Sepia (Part of $140 degustation)

Where do I start? A smooth sour cherry sorbet sits on a bed of dark chocolate twigs, crystallised fennel fronds and cherry brandy jellies, on a ‘ground’ of chocolate soil crumb, aniseed praline and green tea moss, over a ‘sub-soil’ of lavender custard, praline and chestnut cream, and soft chocolate mousse. It’s like walking through a woodlands glade, snapping twigs underfoot – only in your mouth.

Sepia, Darling Park, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, Phone 9283 1990

4. Rich and noble lobster congee at Rockpool (Part of $145 four course dining menu)

In its 23 years, Rockpool has had its share of ups and downs, twist and turns, and the odd change of direction. But right now, it’s in a very good space, thanks to the synergy between Neil Perry and his gifted head chef, Phil Wood. Here they take rice congee, one of the humblest dishes in the Cantonese repertoire, and give it a complete makeover, lifting it effortlessly into the big time. With its combination of fresh local lobster, lobster stock, crunchy fried bread stick (yuo tiao), crisp-fried garlic, star anise-scented peanuts, and chilli oil, this is one of the true highpoints of a four-course tasting menu loaded with wows.

Rockpool, 107-109 George Street, The Rocks,  9252 1888

5. Pappardelle and boar ragu from Manly Pavilion $22

There are many variations of spag bol around town, but this is one of the most powerful combinations of pasta and ragu there is. Chef Jonathan Barthelmess learned a thing or two about Italian cooking during his days with Stefano Manfredi at Coast. He also learned not to do things by halves, so when he makes this rustic, stick to your ribs pasta dish, he starts by getting in a whole young wild boar to make the ragu, and, naturally, makes his own silky egg pasta from scratch. This gloriously restored thirties bathers pavilion also comes with spectacular water views right through to the heads. They’re going to have one huge summer.

Manly Pavilion, West Esplanade,  Manly Cove, 9949 9011

6. The Lucio from Lucio Pizzeria, $18

The debate raged on long after the(sydney)magazine ran my list of 10 best pizze earlier this year, with everybody having very strong opinions as to which pizza was great, which was tragic, and how much of an idiot I was to choose this or that one or miss out on this or that one. To quote Kevin Rudd, ‘I don’t, frankly, give a damn’, and so cast my vote for best pizza to Lucio Pizzeria, its Naples-born pizzaiolo, Lucio de Falco and its raring-to-go, wood-fired oven, originally built by David Cowdrill of Pizza Mario. His pizze can sometimes be a little oily in the middle, but they smell and taste very close to the ones I loved in Naples – which were also often a little oily in the middle. The crust is always bubbly, not over-burdened, and supple enough to be folden and eaten in the hands.  The big order here is the Lucio, one half a traditional Margherita pizza topped with mozzarella, basil and tomato while the other is a folded -over calzone filled with ham and ricotta. Great for people who can’t decide what to order.

Lucio Pizzeria, Republic 2 Courtyard 248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, 9332 3766

7. Schnitzel Holstein from Ad Lib $29

When Dietmar Sawyere announced that he was going to open a simple French bistro, everyone wondered what the twist was going to be. The twist is there is no twist. His steak tartare is steak tartare, unreconstructed and un-messed–about-with. The same goes for the onion soup gratinee, the classic duck leg confit and the old-fashioned  chocolate mousse, brought to the table and served from a large bowl.  One of the stars on the menu is this clever, classic schnitzel Holstein ($27), with its golden, finely crumbed organic chicken escalope topped with a perfect fried egg (runny yolk) and buttery drizzle of anchovies and capers.

Ad Lib, 1047 Pacific Highway Pymble,  9988 0120. Also at 21 Bay Street, Double Bay, 9988 0120

8. Ginger-infused game consommé, beef tendon, savoy cabbage roll, black fungi, chives, from est. $41

Peter Doyle’s cooking isn’t flashy, or look-at-me, or dependent on high tech whiz-bangery. It’s all about getting the most flavour possible out of the best produce available. Case in point is this refined, aromatic consommé, with its gelatinous beef tendon, tiny cabbage roll and lightly crunchy black fungus, with every mouthful tasting intense but fresh.

est., Level 1, establishment, 252 George Street, 9240 3010

9. Sticky rice and salted duck egg cakes from Universal, $23

Surely this is the quintessential Sydney dining experience: you’re sitting in a courtyard, sun going down, cocktails shaken, walls aglow. Smart staff bring a zeitgeisty wine list and a spice-laden global snatch-and-grab menu that’s a great mix of the casual and the serious, from Spanish-influenced spiced duck sausage with seared scallops and morcilla; fragrant Korean-ish pork and kimchi consommé; or Japanese-inspired sansho venison tataki. All this and you’d expect a chopsticked, bare-tabled, mod-Asian, attitude, but Universal has the most exquisitely pressed-and-ironed tablecloths in town; a beautiful riposte to those who think they have to ditch tablecloths in order to be modern. This is modern. Top dish this year was this Thai-influenced dish of snappy, crackly, poppy, golden rice balls ($23), drowned in a mouth-tingling, wine-mugging, sour, sweet, hot, fragrant dressing.

Universal, Republic 2 Courtyard, Palmer Street, Darlinghurst . 9331 0709

10. Orange granita and sweetened cream from North Bondi Italian Food, $14

Happiness is sitting out on the front deck of NBIF (some things just don’t acronym well) on a summer’s day with a platter of multi-tasking chef/co-owner Robert Marchetti’s own freshly sliced salumi and some bread and maybe a salad or two, then following up with one of the most refreshing summer desserts ever invented. Think tangy orange granita on top and rich, creamy vanilla-scented zabaglione cream below. Tirami su is dead in the water.

North Bondi Italian Food, 118-120 Ramsgate Avenue North Bondi. 9300 4400

 

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Some people imagine psychologists to be mind readers, or to be mind controllers. However, most of what psychology teaches is just common sense. Scientific testing does, however, help them to eliminate some false assumptions and to stick with the parts of ‘common sense’ that work best. I have not bothered to comment much on things that I have learned from psychology. But there are a few lessons which have been particularly helpful, that many of you may not be aware of. So I’ll make mention of them in this article.

But first I will explain the title. There are different branches to psychology. In my article, The Id and the Superego, for example, we looked at something that comes from Freudian psychology. This branch has a lot to do with people’s emotions and their family relationships. In Media Interviews and Cognitive Dissonance I refer to concepts that come from cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology deals with the ways that we think, and how we learn.

Behavioural psychology is the branch that deals with training people (i.e. changing their behaviour), primarily through rewards and punishments. It is the branch of psychology which is most practical for parents and teachers. Much of what has been learned in that field has come through experiments with animals, who were rewarded with food or punished through such things as electric shocks, in order to work out what would be most effective in training them. The lessons learned have then been applied to training people.

Rewards vs Punishment

It is largely as a result of behavioural psychology that the world has tended to move away from threats and punishments as a means of changing people. Research has shown that more positive approaches are usually more effective. When you see a sign that says something like “Thank you for not smoking in this area”, it is reflecting what has been learned from behavioural psychology. “Thank you” is much more appealing than “Don’t!” and it is also more effective.

Even people working as prison wardens, police, or security guards have benefited from training in basic psychology. Threatening a rowdy drunk with imprisonment may only make him or her more aggressive, whereas chatting about how his or her day has been going, or even just telling a joke, can be more effective in settling the rowdy person down; and it can be less dangerous for the law enforcement officer as well!

This change in emphasis reflects the difference between the Old Testament approach (“Thou shalt not”) and the New Testament approach (“Thou art loved”) in changing people’s behaviour. For all of our criticisms of the perverted grace teaching in the churches, we must recognise that the teaching has been powerfully effective in changing people’s behaviour to make them conform with church tradition, even if it has not been used to get them to obey Jesus.

Instant Rewards

A simple lesson from psychology that is overlooked by many parents, teachers, and even businesses, schools, and government bodies, is the concept of instant rewards. The closer a reward (or punishment) is to the behaviour that you wish to reinforce (or stop), the more effective it will be. When a mother says, “Wait until your father gets home, and he will deal with you,” she is more or less guaranteeing that Daddy’s punishment will be ineffective. Her threat at the time of the misdeed will do more good than whatever punishment Daddy metes out several hours later, because little Johnny will have pretty much forgotten what it was that he is being punished for by the time Daddy gets home.

A similar problem happens when parents promise rewards, but then take days or weeks to come good on their promises. Remember: The closer the reward is to the behaviour that you want to encourage, the more effective it will be. And the same goes for punishments.

This same simple lesson is overlooked when universities mail out final exam results a month or more after the exam was taken. It is most surprising that this practice persists even in psychology classes, where the lecturers know better!

In Australia, motorists are sent fines in the mail for traffic offences which were spotted secretly by speed cameras. Many, if not most, of the offenders will not even be able to remember when the offence occurred by the time they receive the fine. How much more effective it is when a speeding motorist looks up and catches sight of a flashing light in the rear view mirror at the precise moment that they have committed the crime!

Delayed Gratification

The concept of delayed gratification is not so much a behavioural psychology concept. However, it deserves mention here, because it illustrates a benefit from not always giving instant rewards. (See Intermittent Rewards and Punishments below.)

The ability to wait for rewards is a classic characteristic of anyone who is going to be successful. Because rewards do not always come instantly, people who learn to patiently wait for payment, recognition, or some other form of ‘gratification’ are the ones who will achieve the most in life.

A casual worker who spends the day’s pay getting too drunk to return to work the next day will never become a doctor or lawyer. Waiting till the end of the week to be paid, or the end of the month, or the end of medical school represents longer and longer periods of delay before a person gets to collect a reward for hard work.

For us as Christians, the ultimate reward (eternal life) does not come until the end of a lifetime of faithfulness. So at the same time that we strive to reward followers instantly, we also need to use those rewards in such a way as to increase their ability to wait longer and longer before they give in and revert to the bad behaviour that existed before the rewards started.

The most important thing for parents or leaders in this area is vigilance. You need to consciously and constantly observe the behaviour of your children or followers, so that you know how long you can wait before producing the reward.

City planners often do this with pedestrian crossings. They install cameras in areas (like crossings in the middle of a block) where walk signals are not linked to traffic signals, and then they watch to see how long pedestrians will wait for the walk signal to change before they give in and cross the street without it changing. They use that information to set the delay timer on the button that people press. In this way, the traffic flow is not hindered immediately each time someone presses the button, and a build-up of pedestrians forms before the signal actually changes.

Parents who want their children to be successful need to make similar observations with their children, and act accordingly.

Intermittent Rewards and Punishments

Experiments were done with birds in cages. At first, the birds would receive a grain of food each time they rang a bell with their beak, and then the rewards would stop. When the rewards stopped coming, the birds would give up after a few rings of the bell.

However, another group of birds went through a period after the initial training, during which they received rewards intermittently, e.g. only after the second, third, or fourth ring of the bell. When the rewards stopped coming altogether, the researchers were amazed to discover that these birds would often continue ringing the bell for hundreds, if not thousands, of times in the hope of getting the reward.

What this revealed was that, after you have succeeded in getting someone to respond to a reward on a regular basis, if you will gradually ease off on giving the rewards, they will continue with the behaviour for such a long time that it may become a lifelong habit. If, for example, you use this system with a child who wets the bed, it will soon be unnecessary to continue giving any reward. The behaviour will continue long enough to last throughout life.

Perhaps the most significant application of this principle relates more to the area of unpunished misbehaviour. I will explain.

Suppose someone steals a lolly from the corner shop. The lolly is that person’s ‘reward’ for the stealing behaviour. If they get away with it, they will steal again. The fact that the person is occasionally caught and punished does not over-rule the intermittent reward that comes with the many times that he or she gets away with stealing. In the end, the stealing will continue throughout life, even if they are caught and punished dozens of times.

Now for a family illustration: A child nags or throws a temper tantrum to get his or her way. If the parent gives in, the nagging or temper tantrums have been rewarded. The fact that parents later see the error of giving in and try to say no, fails to deter a child who has been intermittently rewarded for such naughty behaviour, and so they will continue with nagging and demanding, sometimes for the rest of their life… simply because it worked a few times when they were young.

The punishment, too, is intermittent. However, it is not as strong as the ‘reward’, and it was the rewarded behaviour that first set the pattern. If punishment was consistent right from the start, then the punishment could have set the standard and have achieved the desired effect.

So the lesson is to be consistent right from the start with not rewarding bad behaviour, and particularly vigilant about detecting and punishing bad behaviour in early childhood if you want to have a well behaved older child.

Behaviour and Belief

Now we come to an area of behavioural psychology which deals more specifically with what people actually believe. As Christian missionaries, we are more concerned with what people actually believe than we are with their outward behaviour.

Tests have shown that people tend to form their beliefs in such a way as to conform with their behaviour. It is precisely because of this that beliefs are so hard to change in the first place. If someone smokes, they will resist accepting evidence that smoking is bad for their health. In other words, they want to believe that smoking is not hurting them. The same is true if someone attends a church which teaches a particular doctrine. They will resist any teaching which challenges their behaviour. (See also In-Groups vs Out-Groups.)

So if we want to change these people’s beliefs, it may help to make very slight changes in their behaviour. You do not need to make the changes all at once. If a person who smokes did something as innocent as picking up some anti-smoking leaflets for a friend who is interested in stopping smoking, that action weakens the smoker’s belief system. Similarly, if we can get church-goers to have anything to do with us (whether or not they accept what we teach), it becomes easier for them to eventually accept the truth in what we are saying.

Sometimes we meet friendly people on the streets who want to talk to us. We may ask them to hand out a couple of our tracts while they are waiting for us to have time for a longer conversation. The mere fact that they handed out a couple of our tracts (even if they did not read a word of what was written on it), makes them more open to hear what is written in it later, and more inclined toward accepting the truth in it.

Something similar happens when we ask people to give us a few cents in payment for the tracts that we hand out. Even if they give us one cent it has the effect of committing them to a more positive approach to what we have to say. This is one reason why it is good to encourage friends and relatives to help us out in any way that they can. Even if their help may inconvenience us at times, it is worthwhile because it forms a bond with them which will make them more open to hearing the rest of what we have to say.

Over-Rewarding

Another interesting lesson from behavioural psychology is that people will not change their beliefs to conform with behaviours that they have been over-rewarded for. It is because of this principle that so many people hate their jobs. They do not see any inconsistency in hating something that they do, because they know that they only do it for the money. This lesson is particularly important for parents who lavish gifts on their children in order to get them to behave in the way that they want them to behave. What we really want is for people to internalise beliefs, so that they will do them with or without rewards; unfortunately, over-rewarding will defeat that purpose.

Churches that give away tons of free literature actually defeat their own cause, because people do not feel so strongly inclined to agree with something that they received for free, as what they do when they have paid even one cent for it. The same applies to churches that offer loaves and fishes to get people to attend meetings. The Salvation Army may win a few members through their charity work, but for the most part, dedicated believers will come from those who are not there for the handouts.

Of course there is no clear line between over-rewarding and rewarding sufficiently, and most behaviours are so complex that several different factors will come into play. People may still read (and then respond to) material that they received for free, and people who join a group for a selfish reason to begin with can gradually shift over to a more genuine motive. But the overall principle of over-rewarding is one that we need to be aware of.

In conclusion, we should say that psychology can never take the place of genuine love, honesty, and faith. At best, it just describes things that we may have already been doing in our efforts to obey God and to love others. Nevertheless, a little background with regard to which behaviours on our part are most effective in helping others to grow in faith can be quite helpful at times.

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Awesome! 🙂
Some great tips here. lol I like the Benny Hill theme song to it also tehehe

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Pack your camper with every dish, pot, and pan you can think of with the GSI Pinnacle Camper Set ($120). This complete set includes Teflon with Radiance-coated non-stick pots, a frying pan, insulated mugs, plates, bowls, a pot grip, and a welded sink, all of which you may or may not need depending on if you’re camping in your own backyard or so deep back in the woods that your GPS unit gives up hope of finding its way home.

Check it out – here

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Heirloom Bed

Snooze your troubles away in the luxurious leather arms of the Heirloom Bed ($2,000). Covered in brown, full aniline leather that features slightly darker seams for a vintage look, the Heirloom also offers self-welt detail on the rails and footboard, hardwood legs, a clear protective topcoat, and a slat system with support legs that lets you ditch the box spring in favor of a simple mattress and foundation system.

Check it out – here

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I recently had to renew my rego for my car and after speaking to my insurance company they advised that the best site to get comparative offers across ALL CTP Greenslip providers is at http://www.greenslips.com.au/web-links/19-greenslips/8-maa.html (This is only for Australia)

I did this and managed to get the price on greenslips for all the providers and saved myself about $80!!
I’ve bookmarked this site for future reference.
The main website is http://www.greenslips.com.au/green-slips-cost-comparison.html
Check it out.

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