Thursday, September 30, 2010

Upgrading your technology, not your stress levels

Tomorrow I'm going to become the proud owner of a new computer at work. One with really big screens and a level of performance that means I don't use bad words at least once a day.

However, being a nerdy-geeky sort of person I have a high level of customisation of my computer that I'm anxious to retain, so I've been documenting where all this stuff is stored.

This may be useful to anyone else upgrading from Windows XP and Office 2003 and any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Yeah, IT say they'll move everything across, but just in case...

Quick launch toolbar settings

These are the icons that appear to the right of the Start button. You can add frequently used applications here by dragging the item to the taskbar.

These settings are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\QuickLaunch.
Copy the QuickLaunch folder to an external drive so you can restore it later.

Office settings

If you make good use of autotext, keyboard shortcuts, macros and templates, check to make sure your templates are copied to an external drive or USB.

If you're not sure where your Word templates are, go to Tools, Options, choose the File Locations tab and look at the User Templates setting. Mine points to a folder called 'Templates' - very creative.

Macros are stored in templates. If you have a general macro that is available no matter which template you're using it's probably stored as part of the normal template ( This template also stores any keyboard shortcuts and autotext you've set up.

Make sure this template is in your templates folder and copy the whole folder to your external drive or USB.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY, to make sure all your office settings (including the location of the template folder) are stored, use this handy wizard to create a file that can be used to restore the settings after the upgrade:

Click on the Start button, choose All Programs, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office Tools, Microsoft 2003 Save My Settings Wizard
and follow the prompts, then make sure that you copy the resulting OPS file to your external drive.

You can use the same Wizard to restore the settings after upgrade.

Start menu settings

You may have added programs "above the line" on the Start Menu if they're things you use all the time.

You do this by right-clicking on a program name in the Start, All Programs list and choosing Pin to Start Menu.

I haven't been able to find where these settings are stored, but since there are probably only a couple of things it's just as easy to add them again.

May be useful to take a screenshot of your Start and Programs menus before the upgrade.

You may also have added applications that automatically launch at start up, like Outlook and IE.

These are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
Copy the folder onto your external drive just in case you need to restore it after the upgrade.


For Internet Explorer, copy the folder C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites

For Firefox, copy the folder: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\profilename\bookmarks.html

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vintage Czechoslovakian button earrings

Yesterday I bought a pair of vintage Czechoslovakian button earrings.

For the first time in weeks I had a decent sized gap between boys' soccer games and decided to investigate some shops in Sandy Bay Road that I regularly drive by en route to my son's piano lesson, but never have time to visit.

Fortuitous really because it was the one and only day that jewellery designer Renee Blackwell from Brisbane was visiting with her collection made from vintage buttons.

Harking back to my recent posting on my mother's button tin I was particularly intrigued with the story behind Renee's beautiful pieces.

She told me that these buttons were made in the 1940s, after the end of the war. During World War II only buttons for military uniforms were made so when the war ended, button manufacturers celebrated with a riot of colour and creativity. These buttons would probably have been made for a suit as they are too heavy for a blouse.

Renee makes regular visits to Paris where she buys the buttons from specialist collectors.
You can see more of Renee's beautiful designs on her website or visit Sirius 515 (surprisingly at 515 Sandy Bay Road, just before you get to Lipscombe Larder).

How much nicer to have these beautiful buttons made into wearable jewellery rather than languishing in a tin in the sewing drawer. I'm inspired to find out more about vintage buttons.

Hmmm. I wonder if my grandmother had a button tin? If so, it will still be there in the house where my uncle now lives. One day...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chocolate in my blood...

Last week I wrote about my mother's button tin. At the same time I was snapping her buttons (so to speak), I took a photo of the tin where she keeps other sewing bits and pieces.

This beautiful tin is probably also over 50 years old. If you look at the side, you'll see that it is a Nestle tin, so presumably in some distant past was full of chocolates.

And that brings me to an interesting point. Before my mother left work to have children, she worked for Nestle in Hobart. There were "seconds" of chocolates to bring home on a Friday afternoon and a general all-round chocolateyness in her day-to-day existence.

Is it any wonder that I feel the way I do about chocolate?

I'm just saying...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This afternoon I've been playing with my mother's button tin.
I guess I haven't done this for a few decades but there's still something irresistible about sorting through the different shapes, colours and sizes and remembering the stories that go with them.

This particular button tin is at least 56 years old. My mother and her friends used to cut buttons off garments when they had finished with them, rather than throw them away.

This black button was from the coat my mother wore when she left Newcastle as a young bride to travel to Hobart. It was a coat with a single feature button - I suspect it would be very trendy today if she still had it.
The gold one is from another overcoat - I think I remember this one as a mustardy gold colour, and hairy! It's one of four.

These buttons were from my mother's wedding dress. She removed them before dyeing the dress pale green to use as a party dress - money was tight. When she wore her wedding dress in 1953 it caused a sensation, being made of the new fabric polyester!

Here are some other buttons that I particularly like:

I don't keep my buttons in a tin. They're in dozens of small plastic packets that have been attached to garments I've bought recently. I keep them in a plastic box, and on the bedside table, and in the bathroom cupboard - depending on where I happen to be when I remove the spare button.
I know that if I ever do need one of them it probably won't be in any of those places. 

And buttons in plastic packets are no substitute for rummaging through an old tin of buttons, history and memories.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Supermarket sorrows

So here's the scenario:
Friday night. No food left in the house. Boys home glued to the TV watching World Cup replays, so I decide to treat us to take away Bento boxes from the new Japanese place next to the supermarket.

I place the order but it's going to take 20 minutes, so I think I'll just pop into the supermarket and grab a few items since there's going to be precious little time to shop tomorrow with three games of soccer in a variety of locations.

But then - disaster! The first sign of something wrong is when I find the deodorant where the baked beans should be. Maybe an isolated incident? I'm in denial but when confronted with a further three aisles of goods that are IN THE WRONG PLACE, I am forced to face the cruel truth:
The supermarket is having another reshuffle.

A young female employee asks me if I'm looking for something. "Everything", I say. She offers to help me find things, but I have completely lost heart.

Luckily the freezer compartments are too securely installed to be involved in whimsical reorganisations.
I locate the milk and butter. And then I leave.

If I had time I would go to the other supermarket where things remain steadfastly in the safe and familiar locations. But the Bento boxes are nearly ready.

Dear Supermarket Manager, when you move things around, perhaps with the intention of surprising me with items I may never have otherwise noticed (and therefore would have saved money by not buying) you do nothing but alienate me and your other time-poor customers.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When too much is not enough...

Further to the Chocolate Crawl, thanks to Linda for drawing my attention to the Chocoholic Tours in Melbourne.

And here are the birthday spoils:
from Essenze Chocolate in Caringbah, NSW
The one in the top left hand corner was superb. White chocolate over strong strawberry filling.

And these from Norman and Dann in Salamanca, Hobart.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Iconic stationery

Further to my post about posting (!), I've just discovered this fun stationery which once again manages to combine the things I most enjoy with technology.
It's an envelope that looks like the letter icon which looks like an envelope....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Please Mr Postman, look and see...

I like letters. I particularly like receiving them but I also like writing them.

When I lived in the UK for nearly four years I used to write 10 pages home every week, as my mother did for over 37 years after moving from Newcastle to Hobart. It's actually easier to write every week than to write once every year when it seems necessary to only write about the important stuff. In a weekly letter, it's just like continuing a conversation and it's ok to include trivia.

Sadly, now I only seem to write proper letters when someone dies and email doesn't seem appropriate.
I do write frequent letters to the paper, but I think that comes under the category of Grumpy Old Woman Having a Rant.

Given how much I enjoy receiving letters, a couple of years ago I made a resolution to write more. I bought nice stationary (for my printer) and tracked down a font that looked like handwriting (only better and easier to read).

I think I've written two letters in the two years since.

But today I've been re-inspired by reading Love your letter box, or see it die. I can't be without my letterbox - where would my catalogues go? I must do my bit to keep Australia Post in business.

Also, thx to Leah Dieterich who makes it her business to write a thank you note every day.
I like this one:

And my mother's friend Mary who writes such beautiful letters and helped raise my mother's spirits when she was in hospital three years ago after a serious accident.

Finally, I have all those postage stamps in my wallet which I need to use before the price of stamps goes up in just a few weeks.

So look out for a real old-fashioned letter coming to a letter box near you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chocolate crawl

I couldn't let the opportunity pass to write about my recent Chocolate Crawl around Melbourne.
What better way to spend a significant birthday?

First stop was the Lindt Cafe in Collins Street. Just looking.

A little later, Haigh's in the Block Arcade, reliving the memories of my visit to the Home of Haigh's in Adelaide, back in March. Again, just looking.

Finally, my destination: Koko Black in the Royal Arcade, to linger over a glass of hot chocolate affogato, to watch the chocolate being made, and to purchase a little something for the homeward journey.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Anyone else enjoy this game in the sixties? It promoted the idea that catching mice was fun.
Well it's not.

Many of my friends have a mouse story to tell at the moment. Here, we've seen - and caught - the occasional intruder since the first one was sighted on Christmas Day, usually by setting traps over night and disposing of the body the next morning.
On Mothers Day I was sitting in the Comfy Chair reading when one brazen rodent trotted happily past, just a couple of feet away, and disappeared under the fridge.
I found a trap, baited it with a choc bit (cooking chocolate for the uninitiated) and went back to my book. A short time later, the mouse ended up with its head clamped in the trap.

But it didn't die. And this was the worst part. I was alone without backup, and worried it was going to escape and crawl under the fridge to die a slow and odorous death. I once killed a rat with a broom handle (because my boys were at risk) and was not keen to repeat the experience. I debated using the dust pan and brush to move it, trap and all, outside, admittedly to avoid having to witness its demise, but even as I moved closer to consider this, the poor creature gave its final death throes and passed into the rodent afterlife.

I found this really disturbing, and it put me in mind of a conversation with a young lad at work a few weeks ago who it seems "loves his shooting". Nothing better than a weekend with a gun and a few roos for target practice. When I expressed distaste he immediately trotted out the arguments about them being vermin, providing food etc.

But my issue is that people who shoot have no problem watching animals die. It doesn't matter why they're shooting, but that moment of watching a living, breathing creature suffer and become still, is not something anyone should relish.

I kill mice because I will not have them in the house and they haven't left when I've asked them nicely.

But I do not enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mothers' Day Catalogues

I wrote this seven years ago. I'm pleased to note that as well as pink pajamas, Mothers' Day catalogues now feature pink digital cameras, Nintendo DS and pink toolkits.

Mother’s Day

I’m leafing through the latest Mother’s Day catalogues deciding which items to circle and leave lying around in strategic places should the family need a little help.
This is what I’ve discovered so far:
Four different brands of hair straightener and one curling iron
I didn’t know straight hair was so popular!
Ten pages of perfumes and beauty products
No four-year old boy (or husband for that matter) should be encouraged to buy these for you unless your tastes are very well-defined.
Fluffy slippers and pyjamas with bears
I read somewhere recently that adults with bears on their clothing is a sign of serious psychological disturbance. But I guess they’re ok on the PJs. Still, a bit mumsy. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean you’re condemned to a life of flannelette.
Electrical appliances
Do NOT give Mother an iron (except one of those $500 ones I saw advertised recently, and then, only if it’s accompanied by someone to actually DO the ironing.)
Would you buy your mother a bra for Mother’s Day? Should my four year old buy me one? No, no, no.
Well ok. I have no argument with this!
Exercise balls and get fit videos
You should tread very carefully here. This is a present that should not be given unless specifically requested!
And my own personal favourite:
Wind chimes that “simulate the randomness of natural wind”
Great – you can listen to irritating tinkling without the bother of actually going outside and getting your straight hair mussed up.
But of course all I really want for Mother’s Day is hugs from my special people.
Well ok, maybe hugs and chocolate.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grumpy over grammar

Me: "A flat white coffee, please"
Coffee Person: "Any sugars with that?"
Me: "If I'd wanted sugar I would have asked for sugar (singular)."

Check out Person: "Did you want a bag?"
Me: "Well I did, but now I don't."

Serving Person: "Is that all today?"
Me: "I don't know. I may come back this afternoon."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Red things

Every year I particularly enjoy the grape vine outside the kitchen window as it changes through the seasons. It will be spectacularly red for a short time before shedding all its leaves for winter. The vine is rumoured to be nearly as old as our house which was built in 1891. I like the way it intertwines with my tomato bush which is still covered with green tomatoes in April.

Last week my sister came back from a holiday in Japan and brought me this beautiful red lacquer tray. Will have to find something very special to put in it.

I used to have a lot of exciting shoes. People meeting me in the street often looked first at my feet. Since giving away all my high heels I've struggled to maintain my standards.
I found these this week for $45. I'd just been to visit my sister's sister-in-law who was in the neurosurgery ward after falling off her horse. Whilst there I talked to the Lord Mayor who had fallen off his motorcycle. He told me someone I'd worked with was also on the ward. In the last week she'd had surgery, lost the ability to read and been given 18 months to live. I spoke to her briefly. What do you say? She said at least it was 18 months rather than one day. A chance to do all those things you've always wanted to do, I suggested (but couldn't because you were being sensible, or waiting until it was convenient).
I'll think of her every time I wear these shoes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Junkmail Junkie

My name is Beth and I'm a junkmail junkie. A closet catalogue collector.

Every week at least a truckload of catalogues get shoved into our letterbox. I rescue them, smooth them out, then sit down with a nice cup of coffee and enjoy leafing through.

My boys give me a really hard time because they say it's a huge waste of paper and hypocritical given my views on sustainable resources.

So I wonder, would I enjoy catalogues as much if they came by email? I already get a few that way, various things that I've subscribed to including retailers that I've handed my details over to because they shamelessly promised me discounts and frequent shopper points.

And yes, I quite like them, though I tend to read them in a hurry, while I'm sitting at the computer doing other things.

So I don't think they give me quite the same buzz as free, unsolicited catalogues in my letterbox. There's something about the unknown, and the unexpected that surpasses things you've chosen to have delivered. You never know just what might be lurking in the pile (it was a huntsman once, but even that didn't deter me).

And they're useful when there's a birthday coming up, because you can circle something and leave it lying around in the hope that someone will get the hint.

So I keep resisting the calls for a "No junk mail" sticker on the letter box, and any day now the Mothers Day catalogues will start arriving. These are not just fun to read, but make some interesting statements about society's view of mothers.

But that's for another day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I am woman, hear me roar, if that's convenient

I'd heard a rumour that there's a generation of women out there who think that feminism is a dirty word, and that it was all very well in its time, but that time is over and done with.

I'd never met any of these women until today when I found myself involved in an online "robust discussion" after I'd expressed surprise at a young man referring to his wife as "the wifey". Wifey I find old-fashioned and irritating, but THE wifey I find dehumanising.

Apparently this expression is now viewed as "cute and ironic".
How views have changed in the space of one generation. Yes, I'm old enough to be these girls' mother, even though my sons are only 10 and 14 (I was a late starter).

I missed by just a few years being part of the generation of women working for the public service who immediately went from Permanent to Temporary when they married and then had to resign as soon as they became pregnant, but I am old enough to have experienced overt and direct discrimination.

When I first started teaching, women only had to contribute 2.5% of their salary to superannuation. For men, it was a compulsory 5%. At 21, retirement seemed a long way off, so I opted for more take-home pay.
Now, those men who started at the same time as me are planning their retirements soon with a very healthy retirement benefit. Not so the women of the same generation, particularly since they probably had broken service to produce and raise the offspring.
I started saving for retirement seriously at age 31 which means I've still got a few more years to work.

Another event happened when I was working in the UK in the late 80s. I was told I could not wear trousers to work. Didn't matter if I had to routinely crawl under desks to plug in computer outlets, Women Did Not Wear Trousers. If I hadn't been on 3 months probation at the time I wouldn't have taken that one lying down.

And there are countless other examples of much more subtle discrimination. It still goes on, and anyone who says otherwise just hasn't been around the traps long enough.
I've worked for some fabulous bosses where everyone was equal, and I've worked for one or two where this was not the case.

My sister who is a senior IT manager in a company in Sydney comments that in order to stay up to date with all the company gossip routinely exchanged between other managers, she would have to play golf or hang out at cigar bars. Very much a boys' club.

So the glass ceiling may come as a surprise to the new generation who still believe in their invincibility.
Or maybe they will just refuse to accept that such a thing is possible and thus shatter it once and for all.
If that is to happen, it will the require the new generation of men to also refuse to accept any form of discrimination.

And that includes language.

Chocolate and technology

I love my new blog image. I think I'll use it for Chocolate Before Breakfast (the novel) as well. Nothing says chocolate and technology like a milk chocolate keyboard!
But to correctly attribute its source, I found it at and it was designed by Russian Michael Sholk, who apparently lives in St Petersburg. The link to his website is broken so I'll have to do some research if I want to get his permission to use it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vengeful Hedgehogs and other sharp pointy things

Today I was queuing to get onto the highway and for a split second my eyes misread the bumper sticker on the ute in front as Vengeful Hedgehogs.

I don't even remember what it did say because I immediately wanted to start a rock band and call it Vengeful Hedgehogs.

But I'm too old to do that, so then I thought I'd like to write a story and call it Vengeful Hedgehogs. Couldn't quite figure out a plot line.
But then my friend Helen suggested I should write a story about a band called Vengeful Hedgehogs.
I like the sound of that.

On the subject of sharp, pointy things, today I did the usual seasonal hunt for boys' pyjamas and once again struggled to find any without skull and crossbones. Is it just me, or is this a completely inappropriate design to have on every single t-shirt, pyjama top and pair of jocks for boys aged 8-14? Out of cartoon characters and cute bears and wham! - straight into the symbol for death.

Another alternative were those featuring wrestlers. Slightly less offensive were all the AFL football colours and logos. My boys don't particularly follow AFL having an English father and a love of soccer, so that's not going to wash either.

I'm wondering too if it's a class thing. I usually buy pyjamas in the cheap stores like KMart and Big W. I wonder if I was prepared to pay more whether there would be a wider choice of design, or just a more expensive skull and crossbone?

So what sort of design would I like to see?

Actually I still like the cuddly bears but the 14-year-old won't come at that.

I know - how about something PLAIN??? I'd pay good money for decent pyjamas in a nice colour with NO stupid design on them.

How's that for a novel idea?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chocolate before breakfast - the novel

On Sunday, 19 May 2002 at 10:46:12 PM I started writing a novel. The working title was "Chocolate Before Breakfast". Working on the advice that you write about what you know, it's about a smart-mouthed girl with red hair who eats a lot of chocolate and likes to muck around with computers. Not autobiographical at all.

Over the next three years I added bits to it, rewrote others, went to some writing courses, and if anyone asked (and even if they didn't) I'd say "Oh yes, I'm writing a book".

I still thought I was writing that book until I dug it out over Easter and discovered it was five years since I last wrote a word.

And yes, Chapter One still needs rewriting, but it's not too bad after that. Maybe there should be a "Note from Author:" on the back page saying "If you can just get through Chapter One, this book is ok". I wonder if that would help it sell.

Anyway, what I found most interesting was discovering how much of what I'd written had become outdated in the five or more years since I last dabbled.
Of course when you're writing about technology that's always going to be a problem and I'll now have to go back and replace e-mail, e-government and e-commerce with iPhones, iPods and iPads.
I also mentioned items currently in the news: priests behaving badly, asylum seekers in detention centres and the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole.

And now, in 2010, two of those items are still very much in the news, but concern about the ozone layer has now been replaced by concern about climate change. Five years ago people were only just starting to talk about that and George Bush and Johnny Howard were telling us there wasn't a problem.

Turns out the problem was with George and Johnny.

So, on the off-chance that it's going to be at least another five years before I finish this book, I'm going to have to either be a lot less specific about any references I make, or hope that I can forecast the future.

I wonder what will be in the news in 2015?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things that go click

Here's the thing about me and technology: I've been hooked since I wrote my first computer program in high school, in BASIC and stored it on punched paper tape (yes, I am THAT old!).

The whole idea of getting a machine to do stuff for me appeals enormously. Especially if it's something boring and repetitive that I have to do lots of times. I'd much rather spend 3 hours teaching the computer how to do a 3 minute task than have to do it myself 60 times. Does that make me lazy, or just efficient?

Anyway I've been mucking around with computers ever since that first program when the computers were BIG and the programs were small. Now I get excited as the programs get BIGGER and the computers get smaller. I fully intend to have a whole handbag full of computers by the end of the year: iPhone, netbook, camera and any other small sexy gadget that comes out between now and then.

Computers have become so ubiquitous that people take them for granted. The news recently focussed on yet another multi-million dollar system that doesn't quite, you know,work!

The tax-paying public are cross about this. My reaction is more along the lines of "thank goodness it wasn't my project". It is incredibly difficult to design and implement a new system. Ones that focus on the software and not on the people and processes that surround the system are doomed to fail. And there are a lot of those.

But it's really, really hard to find out exactly what ALL the things are that people do and why they do them, and what are all the things that they might conceivably do in the future, and what the system should do for each one of those.

Mostly the people writing the programs are really good at making the computer do what they've been asked to make it do. The problem is often that we've asked them to do the wrong thing.

A bit like getting the answer 42. A perfectly valid answer given all the information. It was just that it was the wrong information.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

And here is the news...

I've been a bit disturbed by the news lately, in particular, the lack of actual news in the newspaper, and the tendency of commercial newsreaders to present the news like a bedtime story with all the appropriate voices for sad, happy, scary.

Only a week ago we had a State Election with a strong likelihood of a change of government. Newsworthy indeed. But within 6 days, the headlines of the local newspaper had reverted to the more usual "scoop" of an armful of playful puppies. The next day it was a cuddly alpaca. Today it was what the political leaders' wives wore on election night.

I note this week that the UK Times (now there's a proper paper) is planning to charge for its online news coverage. Of course I already pay for the local paper and wade through the drivel to sometimes find some half-decent coverage round about page 5. Maybe I could pay per article and make a saving.

At least when I read a newspaper I get to choose my own emotions. The current weekend newsreader on the commercial station likes to do that for me, in case I'm not sure how I should react to a story. I was brought up in a culture where newsreading was a profession with strict guidelines including delivery, pronunciation and presentation. Oh and decent journalists writing the content.

Even if the presenter was reading about an event that had deep personal significance the tone should still be neutral.

Last night I heard the newsreader say "In what can only be described as heart-breaking.." with a slight catch in her voice. What could this be? A terrible tragedy befalling a child? The destruction of a work of art that had taken hundreds of hours to create?

No, it was a bunch of water skiers failing to make a world record. Well boo hoo. And they succeeded today so it was hardly a life or death matter.

So here's my plea to newspaper editors: Can I have some news with my newspaper, please?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Haiku

At work we have a Haiku word of the week. Of the regular contributors, two are lawyers and two have science degrees.

Poetry and Justice? A theme for another day.

In the meantime, here's my haiku for the word "Balance":

Two short working weeks
With chocolate in between
Good work-life balance!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Cometh

The chocoholic's favourite time of year is fast approaching.
My nephew who's a philosopher-in-training, reckons we should just get over the whole religious thing and recognise it for what it is: Chocolate Weekend.

Last week I was at a seminar where the presenter said "What does YOUR Easter Bunny look like?" When we looked a little confused, she clarified: "Is it a small furry Easter Bunny or a large man in a rabbit suit? Everyone's Easter Bunny is different isn't it?"

Well duh, my Easter Bunny is chocolate. With maybe the ears missing. But the foil carefully rewrapped to try to hide the fact.

And the man in the rabbit suit is just creepy anyway.

But back to my point about Easter: at the last count 19% of Australians specified that they were non-religious and that's up from the previous census. If you then look at all the people who specify a religion but haven't been near a church since baptism, I'm sure it would be a lot higher.

But if you asked how many people believe in chocolate....

I rest my case.

Introducing Chocolate Before Breakfast

A good friend once said to me: "When I get up in the morning, I eat chocolate, and then if I'm still hungry I have breakfast."
This works for me.

This philosophy has inspired the title of my blog, and while I can't promise there'll always be mention of chocolate, I think the likelihood is high.

I should say up front that I'm a bit of a cheap date when it comes to chocolate. Cadbury Dairy Milk (from the Tasmania, Australia factory, not the UK) works just fine for me. I can take or leave dark chocolate unless there's no other type of chocolate in the house, and I'm with Sandra Boynton regarding white chocolate. Looks like paper, smells like paper, tastes like paper.

I've had some traumatic chocolate experiences that caused me to develop a close personal relationship with Swiss chocolate, but I'll tell you about that later.