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I ♥ vivofit

I know I have ranted about my vivofit on here before. I’ve also praised it, and that is not something I do lightly.

So on Monday evening, after I tested out my punching bag (finally, it was hung up again!), I realised that the vivofit had died. I was not upset though.

On the contrary, it had far surpassed its expected 1 year battery life. In fact, it lasted just over 2 years on its original batteries. This was after heavy usage during 2015 (during my original epic revamp), and some usage last year.

Either way, the only time I took it off between Jan 2015 and now was for my wedding day. That was literally the only day that I did not use it. As a result, my wrist has been feeling naked now for the last 3 days. I’ve been unable to get to a shop to buy a replacement battery due to exams, and my weak attempt yesterday (popped into Clicks super quickly) did not yield any results.

Frustratingly, looking online has not helped much either. Takealot, Clicks and Loot are out of stock. I can apparently replace the 1632 batteries with 1620s, which Dis-chem has in stock, but it won’t last as long. I may just drive around tomorrow after my last exam in search of the elusive 1632.

Either way, I guess I made a good choice back then.

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Trying out new things: Lindt

The experience: Lindt Chocolate Boutique

The location: Canal Walk, Cape Town

The situation: The title is a bit misleading, since of course I have had Lindt chocolate far too many times in my life. However, this was chocolate bought from the boutique, with the dude prancing around there in his chef hat. It was lunchtime and I was overwhelmed by the amount of chocolate.

The test: A mixed bag – Cappuccino, Almond, Citrus, Hazelnut

The analysis: The cappuccino tastes like cappuccino. The almond is wack – it tastes like almond essence, thrown in with a heavy hand. The hazelnut is nice. The citrus is ah-mazing.

The verdict: Of course I will go back, it’s chocolate. Also, since I can no longer stand the normal chocolate bars (things aren’t what they used to be…), when I do have chocolate once in a while, it will be a few Lindor balls and nothing else.

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Adjusting to a new job

After starting my new job last Friday, I’m in an orientation programme for this week. I already feel settled in, because my credentials were ready, I have my laptop and access card, and my desk is set up.

I’m ready to get stuck into the work, which I will be talking about more over at Everything is Spatial. That’s next week’s drama though, so I’m going to enjoy this week’s programme, learning more about the history of the company (which is genuinely quite interesting) and how things work around there.

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Super proud today

My fiancé graduated yesterday with a MSc in Plant Biotechnology. He didn’t attend the ceremony, in keeping with his tradition of not celebrating these things (he missed his undergrad and Hons ceremony as well). Nonetheless, it is a great achievement and I want to celebrate him today, particularly because he completed the thesis and a side project in two years.

Everybody else in his lab takes at least 3 years to finish. He started working last week, and his fellow scientists all took at least 3 (and these were full-time students). Some did it in 4, others still have to hand in…

He worked very hard to finish up, going back to the lab every night to work and set up his experiments, when they couldn’t be tampered with by the others during the day. It’s a very exciting time for us, what with him graduating and getting his first job immediately, me getting a new job and starting Hons.

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Apps I can’t live without: Zapper

I raved about Zapper a little while ago, even though I only used it once. A lot of the excitement was about the fact that it was even available for Windows Phone, but also the idea of being able to pay for a meal without taking out my credit card thrilled me.

I loved it so much, I was going to engage in some slacktivism and vote for the app in the #MtnBusinessApp awards, but unfortunately:

Since we’ve been cutting down on eating out (as in, we just stopped completely a few months ago), I haven’t had the opportunity to use the app again. On Saturday though, we decided we needed a treat, so we popped in at a tiny local eatery (which is now our favourite hangout, so I’m not going to talk about it here lest it become overrun by people).

After a lovely meal (the SO had the beef burger, I had the Cajun chicken, bacon, mozarella and avo on a multigrain baguette with sweet potato fries) at an outside table, I was pleased to discover that they were now using Zapper! I quickly whipped out my phone and paid. The app frowned when I removed the tip, but that’s because I still like to give my tips in cash. I always feel like maybe the waiters won’t get the tips if I do it electronically :-/

The fact that the transaction registers as an online shopping one is just the cherry on top. This way I feel a bit better about spending money on eating out, knowing that I can use the app, support local restaurateurs, and get back 3% in eBucks instead of 1.5%. I’d like to classify this as couponed as well.

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My experience with AliExpress: An analysis.

I’ve been very hesitant to jump into online shopping – I made my first online purchase at the end of 2012 from Takealot only after being reassured by colleagues over a period of a few weeks that, seriously, it’s fine, just do it.

I was even more hesitant to purchase goods from overseas, although Raru helped get me through that.

I still had one final hurdle though, which was to actually order something from overseas. A few weeks ago, a colleague spoke to me about ordering stuff off AliExpress. I knew that they are the biggest online shopping site in the world, but I also knew that they had a big problem with fake goods a while back.

As a seasoned customer of various Chinese shops since I was a kid, the fake goods part didn’t really bother me. After all, if I’m shopping in Chinatown, it’s not because I’m looking for fake brands, but because I need to get things I can’t get in a normal mall.

I was more concerned about customs ripping me off on taxes, and the SAPO stealing my stuff. I decided to start with a few small electronic gadgets, and staying out of the clothing section, because that 40% tax would destroy me.

I don’t think “overwhelmed” is an adequate word to describe the feeling whilst browsing the site. There are just so many things. So many. I had to whittle my cart down to $18 (~R255) of goods. I ended up ordering

  • A pink band replacement for my Vivofit
  • A pair of Bluetooth sport earphones for the SO
  • Some stickers
  • A phone cover
  • A Hello Kitty wireless mouse

Within an hour of placing the order, one of the sellers contacted me to confirm the size of my Vivofit band (it was past midnight on that side). Within a day, all my orders had gone through processing and been shipped. Within 2 days, all of them were “awaiting delivery” and the 60 day countdown had begun.

Yes, all the orders had a 15-60 day delivery time because they all had free shipping, but I figure if there’s going to be any delay, it’s going to happen when it arrives at customs. So now I wait with bated breath.

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A general post today.

The weather is nice and warm (though we do need that winter rain still…), so I’m feeling festive. I’ve been on a coding streak for the last three days, so I’m feeling more upbeat at work.

I’m also looking forward to the weekend, since it will be an awesome drive to Stellenbosch tomorrow morning. My epic revamp is picking up pace, somehow, but I’m not complaining.

Bella finally crossed 30 000km today, only 6 months late. Seriously, I need to sell this car and get a cheaper one, because about 27 000 of those km are to work and back only. Or I just need to drive around more, since I’m getting back 15% in eBucks.