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Posted on September 15, 2010 in Uncategorized by Jay20 Comments »

And what shall I do for ABC Wednesday this week? Well, since we’re on the letter ‘I‘ and there are precious few shops around here beginning with that awkward letter, I’m taking you internet shopping with me!

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That’s my iGoogle page. I like iGoogle. You can set up the widgets that you intend to use, and I do use them, especially the Google Translator (which, while by no means foolproof, is reckoned to be one of the best free translators), and the Italian word of the day. As you see, Google Talk hasn’t opened properly, and I have no idea what’s wrong with it!

Anyway, as I was saying, internet shopping. It isn’t just about groceries, as you all know.

Oh, you can do your grocery shopping online, and for that, I invariably use Ocado.

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They give good incentives, have a great inventory of products (including some wonderful fresh lemon and almond pesto), and even provide you with an ‘Ideas‘ section just in case you can’t remember what you need. Oh, and you can pick a very accurate delivery slot so you’ll know when your groceries will arrive, within the hour. Mine was ‘between noon and one’ last time.

You can also shop for your veterinary supplies.

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VetUK.co.uk gets most of my business. Again, they’re well stocked (including prescription only medications), and delivery quickly – and I get an email letting me know when my package will arrive, if it needs a signature.

I order joint supplements from them for Sid, and also his flea stuff. Program is a drug which is non-toxic to mammals but acts like a birth control pill for fleas. It’s not an insecticide, so it won’t kill the fleas on your dog (or cat) but it will prevent them breeding. If Sid picks up any little passengers, we bring out the Capstar. Again, non-toxic to mammals, it targets the insects‘ neurological system and kills them within 15 minutes of the bite. Pretty good, huh?

But for treats, I have discovered a wonderful new site – Zooplus!

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If, like me, you want to feed your dog natural, unadulterated stuff, or you have a dog with a sensitive stomach or IBD, or allergies, and you need to know exactly what the ingredients are, look no further. At Zooplus, you can choose from a range of 100% meat products with absolutely nothing added, from pig ears to ostrich innards. From duck fillets to Icelandic fish bites.

And when one of my distant friends has a birthday or perhaps isn’t feeling so good, I can sit here on the couch with my credit card and send them flowers.

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Interflora is a very old company which has moved with the times and is now successful and competitive online as well as in the High Street. Good for them, say I! I have to admit that for USA and Canada deliveries, I tend to pick a local florist if I can, but many of the US companies seem to forget there are other countries out here and only give you a ‘which state are you in’ option which requires a zip code to be inserted, so I can’t use them.

Birthday gift for that difficult-to-please person? No problem. Try iWoot!

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iWoot has something interesting for everyone. Incredible gadgets, many of them beginning with ‘i‘, like accessories for your iPhone or your iPod. Actually, they do an unbelievable amount of stuff and you can shop by price so you spend incalculable happy (or dazed) hours browsing their catalogue, marvelling at the incomprehensible things you had no idea you wanted – infrared micro tanks??

Now I’m going to tell you why I’ve been slacking lately. I’ve been trying to teach myself Italian for nearly a year now, but with a two week holiday in Tuscany looming, I’ve been intensifying my studies. And I’ve been using internet resources for that, too.

The first site I found was this one – Byki.

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If you want to try learning a new language, but really can’t imagine yourself in an evening class sitting round a table with ten perfect strangers and poring over instruction books, go take a look at this one. Byki is like a rough and ready ‘Rosetta Stone’ in that it teaches using the same methods. Flash cards, dialogues, reading practice, videos, tests and games – it’s fun! And amazingly, you do learn, and quickly. And yes, it is too shopping, because while Byki can be used completely free, I did buy the upgrade for the princely sum of $50 USD or so.

Then I discovered LearnItalianPod.com and I love this one.

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It’s a little more traditional, though there are flash cards and tests too. Learn Italian Pod uses podcasts which (in the premium, subscription, format) include the chance to practice repeating sentences and filling in the blanks. You also get PDF transcripts if you subscribe – which I decided to do after using it for several months, and I think I’m getting my money’s worth.

Enough study. What about play? To be precise, play.com.

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Where else would I go for my Johnny Depp movies? Play is a tad more reliable than Amazon and I just like it better. And look! They have that classic episode of ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ – you know, the one every Depp fan knows and loves; the one with Johnny Depp in the spotlight, answering questions in his inimitable style. Intelligent, endearing, hugely talented and incredibly good-looking … it’s compulsive viewing.

Ah, you knew I’d sneak him in here somewhere, didn’t you? Tee hee.

Posted on September 8, 2010 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay36 Comments »

Good heavens above! I can’t believe it’s time for ABC Wednesday already! I’ve been slacking, haven’t I? No Macro Monday this week, and in fact, nothing since the last ABC Wednesday at all! Well, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s get going with the letter ‘H‘, shall we?

True to my theme of shops for this round, I bring you the exotic location of Hollywood!

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Yeah, yeah. Looks like pretty much any old city mall, doesn’t it? But this is Hollywood and Highland, the Mall of America, on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, LA.

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And this is not. This is Rodeo Drive.

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This was the first holiday I took with my Depp friends in LA and we all had such a great time. Our hostess took us on a tour of the celebrity spots, and of course, we had to see this famous shopping street. I took this from the car – we didn’t get out and walk – and I can’t read all the names but I know one of the shops in that high facade is Jimmy CHoos.

Then there was this one -

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CHanel. Who would have thought that one of the biggest names in fashion would have such a boring looking shop? In fact, to this Englishwoman, Rodeo Drive looked most unexciting all round. Dare I say ‘humdrum‘? I mean, where are the humungous window displays, with all the horribly expensive clothes and stuff? Where are the hotshot stars? And there’s something else …

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The weather was blazing hot, and yet nobody was wearing a hat? What’s up with that? Whenever I’m in LA, or Utah, or one of those other hot places, I have to wear a hat or I burn up and think I’m going to die of heatstroke. But apart from that one guy in the baseball hat I see no headgear here at all!

It’s kind of a graceful street though, in a hedonistic kind of way.

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Just look at that. What would you call that architectural style? Modern hacienda? Whatever it is, no expense has been spared – heaps of money must go into just keeping it the way it is. There are even small trees growing up at the top there, for goodness’ sake!

Oh well. We didn’t meet up for the shopping anyway. We were on a mission! We visited anything Depp we could find, and of course, one of the most famous places in town had something for us – the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Not everyone can say they’ve sat on Johnny Depp, can they? Tee hee.