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Trying out new things: Pizza Hut

The experience: Pizza Hut

The location: Zevenwacht Mall, Cape Town

The situation: A week and a half ago we were picking up someone at the mall and I was like, huh, there’s a Pizza Hut. We found out that they would be opening the following Tuesday and after a false start (the oven wouldn’t work or something?), they opened last Wednesday.

The test: The Triple threat – any two medium pizzas (we took the sweet chilli chicken feta and some meat thing with olives because that is what happens when you let the husband choose flavours) and a chocolate dessert pizza.

The analysis: So I know this series of posts is about trying out new things, but it is not going well. The pizzas were OK. The ratio of filling to base to sauce was good, there was minimal oil and the crust was fine. The taste? Meh. It just tasted OK. Certainly not worth “I’m bookmarking some calories especially for this”.

The chocolate pizza was the best out of the batch, but, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, it had too much chocolate spread. We had to split it across 3 days. I should never have to do that with chocolate anything.

The verdict: Similar to my Dunkin’ Donuts verdict, this also isn’t our scene. We have pizza so rarely that if we do have it, we want to go all the way. By that, I mean go all the way to Stellenbosch because the Dominos there is the best.

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Trying out new things: Dunkin’ Donuts

This is the first part in a series of posts I will entitle “Trying out new things”.

The experience: Dunkin’ Donuts

The location: N1 City, Cape Town

The situation: Two weeks ago on a Friday I stood in a relatively short line – 25 minutes – to buy a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts. While that would normally violate two of my rules (“I don’t waste time on bullshit” and “No processed food. At all.”), I had time to kill waiting for the SO to finish work, so why not?

The test: A dozen mixed donuts – star with chocolate inside, red iced, blue iced, lemon iced, chocolate, some other stuff

The analysis: A doughnut is a doughnut. I was never a particularly huge fan of these deep fried lumps, and I still am not. If I’m going to throw away calories on something, it will be sushi. I feel that the R6 chocolate doughnuts I bought at our local Kwikspar one Saturday before the SO left for late shift was better than these R14 ones.

I will give them this though – those doughnuts were consistent. Each one was perfectly formed, with no extra visible fat on the box, unlike your typical supermarket fare.

The verdict: While the doughnuts are good, it’s not our scene. In line with our personal lifestyle choices, we won’t be back.

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The Lumia 950 range is here!

I haven’t made much (any?) noise about the new flagship Lumias, but local pricing has been announced. Of course, the prices are far too high for what anyone would be willing to pay for a Microsoft phone, but that’s neither here nor there since these are for the fans anyway. Everyone is saying so.

On a more interesting note, Microsoft launched their local store. No Surface yet though, so what’s the point? Also, the 950 range is quite a bit cheaper on Orange, but doesn’t include the “free” Fitbit Flex. Here I was, hoping they would bundle it with a Display Dock :-/

At least Cell C is giving a free Xbox 360 with their package (to the first 1000 customers).

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Finance tracking – manual vs automagic

I’ve been using 22seven for about a year now. While it is an excellent service, and the automatic classification of transactions helps, I am still not comfortable with the service having access to my accounts.

I do not relish the idea of manually tracking transactions in a spreadsheet. Every few weeks, I consider dropping all my account statement csvs into a folder and throwing some Python at it as a semi-automated compromise, but I get tired just thinking about it.

It will be fairly easy to write a script to sort all of this out for me (sounds like a perfect task for my Raspberry Pi when I eventually get it), but I can’t seem to gather the energy to really dig into this now.

In theory, once a month on a set date, I would login to all my accounts, download the csv files into some folder structure I’ve set up, and run the script to analyse the contents. Setting up the classifications will be tedious, but once it’s done, I’ll only ever have to add to it for new stores.

Splitting transactions will be a pain though. 22seven makes that part easy.

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This is the one: UPS edition (review)

I’ve been using a UPS on Tangytop and my router for a while now, so it’s about time I reviewed it.

I set up the UPS by completely ignoring the instructions and just putting plugs in. I didn’t bother making it neat either.

ups

That’s the router plug, power source for Tangytop and the phone line. Yes, I don’t think that looks safe either.

After taking out the CD to install the monitoring software, I remembered I didn’t build an optical drive into Tangytop because seriously, do I need to explain that?

To my chagrin, I had to Google how to access the optical drive in my laptop from the server. To my immense embarassment, it was as simple as sharing the DVD drive, like one would share any network drive. I just assumed it would be difficult, because Microsoft.

Once I had the software installed (Java based SMH), I opened it up. It uses a browser based interface, which is slightly irritating. I created a login and fiddled with the settings a bit, but I didn’t really change much (only turned the beeping noise off). The diagram indicated the UPS was at 6% load, which did seem a bit low, but I don’t have much going on in Tangytop, and the router doesn’t draw much power either. The screen is connected, but it’s off most of the time anyway.

Naturally, now that everything was set up, we didn’t have load shedding for another week. When the power went off, I eagerly went to check on my contraption, only to find it was completely dead. It just went off, taking my server and router with it. Some strong words crossed my mind as I brooded over the next 2 hours.

Fortunately (unfortunately?), load shedding hit again 2 days later, so I could my second test. Only the router was on at the time, and it lasted for the entire session. Annoyingly, because it had died completely the first time, it reset all the changes I made, so it beeped for 2 and a half hours. I didn’t care that much though, because INTERNET.

For the third test, I had Tangytop switched on as well. This time, the UPS lasted 1 hour 15 minutes. By my totally unscientific calculations (based on how long other people said their stuff lasted on this UPS), I figured that it should last the whole session with the server and the router on. Clearly, I was mistaken.

Again, I didn’t really care that much, because as long as the router can stay on and I can actually use the ADSL cap that I pay for, I’m happy. I also forgot the password I set for the monitoring software, so I’m going to have to reinstall that at some point. I don’t particularly want to, because Java hogs the CPU like it’s the only thing in the world. I’m just ignoring the beeping in the meantime.

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Forever: Ioan Gruffudd, and that’s enough for me

I haven’t given an opinion on some entertainment for a while, so I thought I’d do a post today about a freshman show on ABC, Forever. My stance towards American shows still stands (wait until 2 seasons have passed before throwing myself in), but I of course make exceptions.

These exceptions can be in one of two forms: I reeeeeeeeeally like the premise of the show, or I got mad love for someone on it. In this case, I was intrigued by the plot (immortal medical examiner trying to figure out how he got that way), the format (police procedural), and the setting (New York, always good). This was not enough to tempt me though. I then noticed that the star was Ioan Gruffudd.

Now, I’ve enjoyed Mr Gruffudd since 102 Dalmatians:

Where he met his wife, how adorable is that??

And through the whole Mr Fantastic thing:

I don’t think I have an appropriate caption for this.

And I guess through whatever is happening here:

Trying to pass as a Kdrama star?

Wait for it…

So after 15 episodes aired, I caved and started watching. What I would like to know is, who on earth are the writers on this show? Seriously, are they fresh graduates from the University of Cliché with a major in Obvious Punning?

I know I’m not the best writer around (see: previous sentence), but I have watched enough series to know that a hallmark of a good show is where I can’t predict what the lead character is going to say next. Stop going for the obvious puns guys. Come on.

He’s supposed to be this suave, world-weary immortal dude, trying to keep his secret. Stop giving him such cringeworthy lines. Everyone else around him is fairly normal (for characters on a police procedural). It’s like Ioan is trying not to laugh through the nonsense he has to spout. So why am I still watching the show? Exception #2 of course.

My fave part of Horrible Bosses: The 2 mins that Ioan Gruffudd is in it. Wet work.