Book Reads

books

Here are my thoughts on some of my recent non-fiction reads.

GameChange

I love the Game Change movie. I can watch that over and over again, it is one of those cannot flick past movies for me. I had never read the book before. The book actually talks more about the Obama and Clinton campaigns than the McCain/Palin campaign. This was a fascinating read, especially now with the US election stuff in full swing.

adam

Imagine your child is kidnapped and murdered. Imagine that a criminal confesses to the crime, but recants, then confesses, then recants. Imagine that the vehicle the criminal was driving at the time is found and fully examined forensically. Imagine 5 rolls of film are taken of various things. Imagine those rolls of film never being developed.

Several years later, they are developed, and all the proof anyone ever needed to say “yes, that criminal committed this crime” is right there on the film. This book provides a troubling insight into how NOT to be a homicide detective. You may have heard of the case because the father of this missing child went on to become the host of America’s Most Wanted – his name is John Walsh.

mlk

What can one say about this book? If you know nothing about the assassination of Martin Luther King, this is the best starting place to find out, well, pretty much everything. Incredibly well researched and beautifully written.

columbine

It turned out everything I had ever heard about Columbine was wrong. That might be the case for most people. I do recommend this book so you can know what really happened.

About Snoskred & Books –

I love to read books. I have always loved to read books since I was a child. As a teenager many nights when I would be told to go to bed, I would go with a book and read until 2am or so.

A tablet full of books is a blessing – and a curse. In the old days one had to get out of their warm bed and go to the book room to select another book to read, if one finished ones book. Now, one can just flick through a file menu and pick another book to read.

The blessing is that my tablet can hold thousands of books. A virtual library! But even virtual libraries can become difficult to navigate. At some point last year, I tried to sort out the books on my tablet and lost an entire directory of true crime books in the process.

No problem, I have a backup of all the files on the server.. But there was a problem, because those files are all together in big directories sorted by file type. I have 5711 epub files. I have 8268 mobi files. I have 2,361 pdf files.

To find those true crime books again I had to pick through each directory, book by book. Some of them were pretty obvious by the title, others not so much.

This is why a lot of my recent reads have been true crime books.

About Tablet Reading

I use Moonreader on my tablet. I love being able to see how long I spent reading a certain book and at what speed I read it, though the speed is slightly affected by my habit of using my tablet as a light when I need to go to the bathroom.

It is cumulative, too. Because all these books were just added back onto the reader, these numbers are for one read only. If I read the book again, it adds the time I spend reading the book onto these numbers. Since I installed Moonreader, I have spent 49.5 hours reading my trusty reliable Mansfield Park. That is the book I turn to when I have to get to sleep early, that night.

I have spent over 30 hours reading The Stand by Stephen King. I love that book. I would like to rewrite that book with just the world building and not so much good vs evil. ;)

book reviews

Thoughts On Things

bananas

The protein adventures continue. I find myself quite often considering whether I have enough bananas in the freezer. My daily protein shake is now my daily lunch and I have to be honest, I quite prefer it to any other food. The other half has gone out to get a gorgeous, locally made hamburger from the local takeaway shop and I have returned home to have my shake.

I tried putting a full frozen banana in there and it turned out like the most awesome – and coldest – thickshake I ever tasted. I could not even notice the texture of the protein. That is going to be a massive winner in summer. I’m loving it in winter too. I’m a bit of a weird one, though, winter is the time I use the most ice in my drinks.

I have progressed up to 30g of protein powder and I am loving it. I ran out of peanut butter powder this week and I have been doing a touch more cocoa powder with a touch more cinnamon, now I think I might alternate between the two flavours once I get some more PB powder.

This weekend is going to be a bit of a problem, though. Usually I do my exercise before lunch then have my protein shake after my shower. I’m working the election on Saturday so my entire routine will be thrown right out of whack. Luckily it is not too far from home, so I can still have my shake.

I will take some carrot sticks and cheese for morning and afternoon snacks, and chicken strips for dinner. Plus plenty of water and my soda water. I’m not going to be able to exercise – other than perhaps take a walk at lunch time, but it won’t be the kind of walk I am used to doing, not in the outfit I am planning to wear! ;)

I did not actually apply to work this election because I knew it is going to be one heck of a tough one, with the changes to voting. But once you are on the list, they will call you if they are running short on staff. I figured if they called me, I would say yes.

For the huge Senate ballot paper (which measures in at just over a metre!) you used to be able to say, very simply – Number one box above, or ALL the boxes below. Now, it is a minimum of 6 above, or 12 below.

Here is a great post from Antony Green about the new changes.

Working the election is a really long day – you start at 7 (booths do not open until 8am) and you finish when the votes are counted *and* fully accounted for. How long that takes depends on how good at maths your Polling Place Manager is. The second time I worked an election, we were delayed by an hour because someone had done some maths wrong. It was late in the very long day, everyone was tired and starting to get a bit snappy and jumpy.

It should tell you everything about how tired everyone was that *I* was the person who figured out what was going on with the maths. I failed maths in school, LOL! We finished that day around 11:30pm.

This also taught me to bring along a packet of chocolate biscuits to hand around for dessert, because by that time of day blood sugar can be running a bit low, so a little treat tends to perk people up a little.

You might be wondering, how do people count – and handle – those massive ballot papers? The first thing you have to do when you open the Senate ballot box is UNFOLD all those papers. This can take over an hour just by itself depending on how many people voted there and how many staff you have on hand. As you unfold, most people tend to pull out votes for the major parties and put them aside, just to make the sorting a little easier when the time comes.

You also put aside any “artistic” votes, completely blank papers, or clearly invalid votes. Listen, people. If you are going to draw genitalia on your ballot paper, USE THE WHOLE CANVAS if you want to impress the polling staff. Do not just draw genitals at the size you are used to seeing them, AKA the size of your parts. You have a metre. Make the most of it!

If you want to write a funny note, the polling place staff are the only people who will see it. Writing in Mickey Mouse does not make anyone laugh. We’ve seen that so many times before, but if that is how you want to waste your vote, totes fine with us.

The things I have seen, I really wished I could take photos of, but that is Not The Done Thing. I’m fine with that, though I feel like the AEC are really missing an opportunity to throw a huge art exhibition with some of the genitalia drawings. Last election there was one enterprising individual who drew a tiny male genitalia in every single box on the huge white ballot paper. Work like that should be appreciated, not just stored in a (large) plastic bag for all eternity.

elections

SILVER INC Job Scam

Here is yet another scam job email. It should be noted that these posts help thousands of people each week who arrive here on the blog after searching the web for email addresses, phone numbers, or text from these emails.

I know these posts are terribly boring for regular readers here but I hope you won’t mind – it is for a great cause.

Thank you to Michael, Diane and Maurice who sent me this email via my contact form, and to Monica, Alice & Michelle who commented with this email on the Platinum LLC post – these scammers are now using SILVER INC as their new name.

IF YOU RECEIVED THIS EMAIL – post a copy of it in the comments, with the email address you received it from, to help others who might be searching the web for words and text contained within the email. Thank you!
——————————————
Good morning,

After saw your profile we found it quite impressive and would like to offer you to take this role and be a part of innovative group.

This is Ricardo A Christian and I am HR Manager at organization named SILVER INC. At this time have a position for Part-time client assistant.

Salary: $2,500.00; $30,000 Annual Salary;
Bonuses: Available;
Career growth: Available;
Probation period: Yes, 30-Day;
Post schedule: 5 days a week on standard tasks; 3-4 hours a day;
Work type: based at home;

Please see below main job duties:
– Data entry and project research as needed using the Internet;
– Assist with corporate gifting including ideas, purchasing and delivering as needed;
– Do arrangements for VIP or out-of-town guests with research, scheduling, booking, communication and follow-up.

For you to fill this role you have to be at least 18 years old. We prefer you to have an experience in office equipment handling.

We expect you to start work shortly. Please reply to us back and we will get in touch with you shortly for a conversation.

Thank you for attention and have a bless day!

They are using the email addresses – pojha64@yahoo.com – josie_myra@yahoo.com – thyschauhan@yahoo.com – but there may be others they are using as well.
——————————————
Keep in mind the golden rule –

NO MONEY IS COMING TO YOU AS A SURPRISE VIA YOUR EMAIL INBOX.

I may update this post with further emails when I receive them. :)

What Should People Do Now?

If you are in contact with this company, stop emailing them. If they will not stop emailing you, try sending them this – just copy and paste it from here –

—————————
I am now aware that this is not a legitimate job and that you are trying to scam me.
Do not email me anymore – I have reported your emails to the local police and I will send any further emails directly to them. Do not mail me anything – I will not accept any deliveries that you send to me.

Leave me alone!
—————————

Be aware they may pass your email address onto other scammers, so you may see other scams coming to you via your inbox. There are so many different and varied scams, there is no way I can warn you about all the possibilities.

Just remember that golden rule above, and hit delete. If you think something might be legit, you can forward it on to me at snoskred {at} gmail {dot} com and I will check into it for you. If you receive too many scams, it might be worth changing your email account.

What If I Receive A Fake Check?

DO NOT BANK IT.

Please contact me in the event that this occurs, and I will advise you further. If possible I will ask you to send me a photo of the check so I can try and warn the company or people named on it, and I will contact the bank involved as well.

There are other versions of the email which look like this –

———————————————–
Good morning,

After saw your information we found it perfect and offer you to be a part of innovative group.

I am Ricardo A Christian and I am HR Manager at organization named SILVER INC. At this time have a post for Virtual Assistant.

Payment: $2,500.00; $30K/Year;
Extra bonuses: Yes, available;
Career growth: Yes;
Test period: Yes, one month;
Job schedule: 5 days a week on standard tasks; few hours per day;
Type of job: home-based;

Please see below key job responsibilities:
– Research for projects as needed using the Internet;
– Assist with corporate gifting including gift ideas, purchasing, wrapping and delivering as needed;
– Do arrangements for VIP or out-of-town guests with research, scheduling, booking, communication and follow-up.

For you to fill this position you have to be at least 18 y.o.. We prefer you to be experienced in office equipment handling.

We expect you to be ready to work immediately Please email us back and we will reach you shortly for a brief conversation.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!
———————————————–
Hi,

After reviewing your resume we found it perfect and would like to offer you to take this role and be a part of professional group.

I am Ricardo Christian and I work as a HR Manager at agency named SILVER INC. At this time have a position for Personal Virtual Assistant.

Pay rate: $2,500.00; $30,000 Annual Salary;
Extra bonuses: Yes;
Career opportunity: Yes;
Test period: Yes, 30-Day;
Work schedule: 5 days a week on standard tasks; few hours per day;
Work type: based at home;

Please see below basic job duties:
– Research for projects as needed using the Internet;
– Assist with corporate gifting including providing thoughtful ideas, locating and purchasing, wrapping and delivering as needed;
– Making arrangements for VIP or out-of-town guests with research, scheduling, booking, communication and follow-up.

To take this role you have to be at least 18 years old. It is a plus to be experienced in office equipment handling.

We expect you to be ready to work shortly. Please reply to us back and we will reach you shortly for a brief conversation.

Thank you for attention and have a great day!
———————————————–
Hello,

After reviewing your data we found it perfect and offer you to take this role and be a part of professional team.

My name is Ricardo A Christian and I am HR Manager at agency named SILVER INC. Now we have vacancy for Virtual Assistant.

Pay rate: $2,500.00; $30,000 Annual Salary;
Bonuses: Yes, available;
Career growth: Yes, available;
Probation period: Yes, one month;
Post schedule: 5 days a week on regular tasks; few hours a day;
Work type: mostly from home;

Please look below at main job duties:
– Data entry and project research as needed using the Internet;
– Assist with corporate gifting including gift ideas, purchasing, wrapping and delivering as needed;
– Do meetings for VIP or out-of-town customers with research, scheduling, booking, collaboration and follow-up.

For you to fill this role you need to be at least 18 y.o.. We prefer you to have an experience in office equipment handling.

We expect you to be ready to work ASAP. Please reply to us back and we will reach you shortly for a brief conversation.

Thank you and have a great day!
———————————————–

job scams

Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup

vegprep8

I have been making this soup since 1988, the year I first did home economics at school. They taught us how to make this quite simple but soooo delicious soup and in winter I could never get enough of it.

I have fine tuned the recipe over the years. I took out the cornflour fairly early on because I was not a great fan of the thickness that gave to the soup stock. If I want that kind of consistency I am much more likely to order it in a Chinese restaurant because they do it way better than I ever did. Here is a more traditional version.

vegprep1

This most recent version absolutely KILLS because of the addition of carrots and brussel sprouts. I know one reader of this blog – Dawn – is not a fan of the brussel sprout, but in this soup they mostly disappear and cannot be noticed. That is a bit of a shame for me, because I love the flavour of them. Anyway, added veg is always a bonus in my opinion. :)

For my current version – which makes about 10 servings – you will need – 

1 leek
1 onion
200g chopped carrots
200g chopped brussel sprouts
1 teaspoon coconut oil, dash extra virgin olive oil
Minced Garlic (I use 2 teaspoons worth, you can use more or less)
400g chicken breast
2 cans creamed corn
4 eggs
1.5 litres of chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Spices –

vegprep3

Black pepper, parsley, turmeric, white pepper, paprika, chives, cinnamon

Melt the coconut oil in your stock pot, add in a dash of extra virgin olive oil. Add in your garlic and allow to cook for a minute or so.

Add in the onion and leek – stir well. Add in your spices at this time.

vegprep7

Add the carrot and brussel sprouts – let the veg sweat for 5 minutes. here is where you might add extra vegies of your own – cabbage might work well in this soup, spinach or kale would be good additions too.

Meanwhile, prepare your chicken stock and chicken breast ready to add to the pan. I like to add my chicken breast in large steak pieces. This makes it easier to fish the chicken out once it is cooked, for shredding.

vegprep6

Once the 5 minutes are up, add your chicken stock and chicken breast. Put the pot on simmer, and walk away for a good 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes are up, your chicken should now be beautifully cooked. Your flavours will have co-mingled nicely. Take the chicken out and place on a chopping board, allow it to cool while you perform the next step.

vegprep5

Turn the heat up to get the soup boiling. Add the creamed corn. Crack your eggs and have them ready to add into the soup. Once the soup is boiling, pour the eggs slowly in while stirring the soup.

Shred or chop the chicken, add it back into the soup. Add in your soy sauce, allow to simmer for another 5 minutes, then serve with crackers, toast, whatever floats your boat. :)

vegprep4

The egg drop part is my favourite. I love getting that soup bubbling and then pouring the eggs in, and stirring, as the egg is quickly cooked and makes those streaky white lines. I believe the traditional recipe only puts in the whites. Me, I love putting in the whole egg. It is just a shame the yolk does not do that streaky thing, it kinda just vanishes into the soup.

recipes

Cup Clean Out

cupsbefore

Having cleaned out the mug cupboard, it felt like it was time to keep going with some decluttering and donating. I moved on down to the next cupboard – the cup cupboard.

supervisorbusy

Kitty supervisor was otherwise engaged and oddly chose not to wake up from her long sleep in front of the gas heater. It was a cold day so I understand, but I need to be supervised!

onthecounter

I took all the cups out and put them on the counter. Many of them are the IKEA Vaken which has been available in different colours (and names I think) over the years.

cups1

These cups above and below are from Costco – it was this set. My parents have the same set. The tall cups are favourites of The Other Half. To be specific, he loves the tall blue ones. He also has a tall blue acrylic cup not seen here and I have a matching pink one which can be seen in the overview shot above next to the purple travel coffee mug. He likes to use one cup a day. I’m more of a three cup a day person.

cups2

I like to use the small version of these cups when I visit my parents. At home I prefer the Vaken because they hold exactly 2 cups of liquid, it makes it easier to track my water intake.

cups3

These are the IKEA KALAS childrens cup. They are part of the Kalas range of childrens tableware. I have many MANY of the KALAS plates and bowls. These cups hold exactly 250mls so they are also great as a measuring cup. The whole range is microwave and dishwasher safe.

cupsafter

Here is the finished cupboard – much neater, and much easier to use. I’ve sorted it into sections, which will make life a lot easier for me. :)

goodbyecups

Goodbye cups! Thank you for everything. :)

Home

My Hawaiian Underwear

cmacys

I have not bought one single piece of underwear since November 2013. I have not bought underwear in Australia since 2010, which was my second ever trip to Oahu, the first being in the 1980’s..

Macys have these clearance racks where you can get underwear for $2-3 dollars. Underwear you would pay $15-20 a pair for in Australia. When I discovered this, I went on the largest underwear shopping spree of my lifetime.

crolled

You have to understand, I was not someone who buys underwear very often. I usually find something I like, and I buy that until it is no longer available. I will sometimes buy extra to put aside for later years, if I feel that my favourite item will suddenly cease to exist.

While I returned home with enough underwear to outfit a couple of netball teams, it has been a while and some of the underwear is starting to show their age. Not to mention, my recent weight loss is causing some fit issues.

coobies

Bra wise, I got a bunch of these Coobie bras so gorgeously displayed like a rainbow in a shop. They are my favourites for going out wear. I also bought several Genie Bras from the As Seen On TV shops over there. Those things are super comfortable, especially for around the house and workout wear.

It is really difficult to accept the fact of paying $15-20 for one pair of underwear, when you’ve bought so many for $2 and $3. I love the brands I found over there – Vanity Fair Illuminations being my favourites. Here I can buy 3 pair of those for $64 or so. When I was paying $2 a pair! NO WAY!

This post was inspired by a post from Beth at Almost Posh. There are a couple of bras to win, if you want to drop by over there!

Snoskred Faves

Mug Keepers

Continued from last week – we now have the mug keepers.

keepers1

These mugs come from Haven & Space in Berry. They are not very expensive – I think I paid $3.95 for them. There are three different sets – the emus seen here are part of a “hearts” set, and the beetles are part of a “bugs” set. I believe we did once have the four heart mugs, however, daredevil adventures killed them, and we only have this one left.

keepers6

These two sets have a small image on the inside of the mug.

keepers5

Dragonflies and bees!

keepers7

Beetles and butterflies!

keepers4

Then we have the Geisha set. Some of these mugs met with daredevil adventures. I went back to Haven and Space hoping to replace them and sadly they were all gone.. some months later on another Berry visit, they were back and I managed to replace the missing ones. Plus I bought a set for my Mother, who also has some of the mugs from the bugs and hearts sets.

keepers2

The two tall mugs on the outside were both Secret Santa gifts. They have gone a lot of places with me over the years, to several different work places. The stripey mug in the middle is my favourite cup of soup mug. I am not sure where the flower mug came from though I know it once had a partner. These are my sentimental keepers.

keepers3

These were a gift, there were two more but they met an untimely daredevil adventure death.

keepers8

These two were a gift, though I think there may have been 4 originally. They are a great size so they are definitely keepers.

keepers9

These mugs are all from IKEA. They are the workhorse of our mug collection, and you can kind of tell on the TILLBAKA mugs at the top there, they are getting old. The bottom mugs are called the IKEA 365+ mug.

nonmugs

These are the non-mugs – lids from my Nutri Ninja live within them.

And now to mention my most favourite mug of all. Most mornings this is the mug I drink my coffee from, but we only have the one gorgeously huge IKEA mug – I used to have two of them but one got broken. In fact I can even tell you when I bought these because I posted about it on the blog.

favemug

It isn’t looking too bad for nearly 9 years of constant, regular use. All the other mugs are lesser mugs compared to that one mug. And every time we go to IKEA, I have this tiny bean of hope in my heart, that I might find another one. But I never have. :(

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