UBER n00b

UBER n00b
I did it, I signed up to be an UBER driver. Why? Just for something to do, because I could, why the heck not! Pick one. 
Today I had to attend the UBER office in Port Melbourne to have the car inspected as the final step in my account activation.
At the office there were heaps, and heaps, of people going through the whole process, even though you can do most of it online and save yourself a bunch of time. Thankfully it seems they have a queuing system that means I didn’t have to sit for hours while they went through their signup to get to mine.
After the car passed its inspection (as a new car should) I waited in the office for about 20 minutes before my name was called and my account was activated.
I’ve been booked into the next available UBER 101 class on a Wednesday Night (this one or next) to go through the best practises for an UBER Driver.
After leaving the office I threw the app into “Online” mode and bam, there was a ride nearby and I accepted.
My first ever UBER ride was a lovely lady named Helen, she needed to go from Albert Park to Docklands. I let her know she was my first, she was excited for me.
Helen was a chatter, and she said that’s what she likes in a driver. She asked why I was doing UBER and I said, “Just to give it a go and try it out.” I asked why she chooses to take UBER and Helen replied that she finds UBER drivers nicer, she believes it has to do with folks who choose to work when they want to, rather than those who are on a clock.” She did say that she finds herself reverting to taxis when UBER is surging too high (UBER charges 1.2x to 3+x pricing during peak times) or if there is a cab right there when she needs one (they are easier to spot on the street).
I’m looking forward to doing more trips, not for the money, but for the experience of doing it and interacting with people I’ve never met and will likely never see beyond these brief trips. Dipping in and out of their lives and they into and out of mine.

A Guest Post on Toy Photographers Blog

Why I shoot Lego

“Why do you photograph Lego?”, “What’s with all the toy photos?”, “Your little men are funny… what got you into photographing them?” – Questions I’m asked all the time.

You can find out the answer to that question over at Toy Photographers where I answer “Why?”.

It was a great honour to be asked to submit an article to the site. The Toy Photographer community is a great one. All very supporting of each other and sharing their where, how and whys with each other and the world.

DJI Phantom 4 Battery DOA

DJI Phantom 4

Boy was I about to make an idiot of myself.

I contacted DJI the day I received my new batteries for my Phantom 4 from them and let them know I had received a DOA (Dead on Arrival). I was requesting info about where I could get support in Australia as I didn’t want to have to send the battery back to Hong Kong.

You may not know, but it’s a pain in the ass to send a lithium battery anywhere, especially when it’s not installed in a device. They are considered a dangerous good and can’t be sent via regular post… though they can magically be delivered by regular post.

The cost to send it back to Hong Kong for service would have been around $90 which would have pretty much negated my whole reason for buying it from there in the first place (cost saving).

On my first contact with DJI they said Nope, we can’t help you, you bought it out of your region so you can’t get support for the battery in Australia, nor directly from DJI, you need to go back to your dealer to get support. They don’t have global support for their products. 

On that advice I wrote them a semi-heated note the next morning saying how bad their service was and how I’d expect more from a global company, and how even had I bought it from DJI directly it would have come to me from Hong Kong because that’s where they are for our region.

And then I didn’t hear anything more. I was annoyed and saddened that I’d have to send this unit back to Hong Kong, at my expense because it had arrived DOA.

This morning I was ready to rail on them because of their lack of response. I was going to go full social media blast angry.

Then I clicked on a link in the original reply saying they couldn’t help, it lead to their support ticket site. I didn’t know my login, and requested a password reset.

Logged in and saw a bunch of replies from Alice, who was my rep at DJI… there was even one five minutes after her initial email saying “nope we’re not going to help” this new reply said… “We’d love to help you, checked it out, the dealer you bought from does have a presence in Australia and our Australian support team will come and collect the unit, test it and send you a replacement.”

I never received the notice via email… her other correspondence, which I also didn’t get, was basically her reiterating that reply and asking when they can come and get the faulty battery.

So while I do have to apologise to DJI for all the bad things I have been thinking bout them for the last few days… I would like to say, something in their system is broken.

Long story short, I bought from http://www.e-infin.com/au/ their prices were almost a third less the cost of a battery directly from DJI and DJI are supporting the replacement… YAY.

Of course some folks have said that DJI take around 6 weeks to get you your replacement item, they insist on testing the returned item first. So I’m still in for a bit of a wait for the battery to come back.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit…

For those who want to know… yes the move away from pure potatoes to incorporating other grains and beans has had an effect on the intestinal instrumentation. 

But I’m assured it is a temporary thing and eventually the gut and intestine work it out. It’s about the gut sorting out it’s biome to deal with the foods going in now.

On the plus side, my diet for the past week has been almost completely vegan and I’m down 4.9kg.

The recipes I’m using don’t even use oil, it was weird to me to use water to cook the onion, garlic and capsicum rather than the oil one might usually use, but it works fine.

Potatoes for Days

So my potato diet, or starch-based diet, is kicking itself up in the new year.

For those playing along at home, I tried just potatoes towards the end of last year, it was fantastic, I shouldn’t have stopped, but I did. I successfully at nothing but potatoes for three weeks straight. Didn’t crave anything else by the end of it. But caved in the end because it can become boring, plus Christmas was approaching and it was definitely going to be untenable over the the Christmas period.

For about two weeks before the Christmas break I flipped it up and went to the protein-based diet… amazing, bacon and eggs for breakfast… yes please. I continued to lose weight on this diet, but found myself a little more sluggish and muddleheaded than I did on the potatoes. It also give me a constant coating in my mouth and a “mouthfeel” that wasn’t awesome.

Then came Christmas… well that was just a free-for-all time. Chocolate, breads, ham, more chocolate (I’m craving chocolate just writing the word) and of course fizzy drink with an abundance of sugar. I stacked the weight on easily.

Now we’re into the new year, and I’m already kicking goals, just 1kg to go to get back to the weight I was when I derailed myself. But I’m not going to be as restrictive this time around.

Potatoes are good and all, but you can get tired of them, you can dread the next meal so I’m going to where it all started for me… this quest began after watching some videos featuring Dr John McDougall talking about his starch-based diet. So I’m checking out some of his recipes to get me going this time around.

Dr McDougall has a lot of recipes and information available for free at https://www.drmcdougall.com/…/educa…/free-mcdougall-program/ where he and his wife detail the foods to eat, not to eat and all the other information you’ll need to get you going.

I feel, in my uneducated opinion, like both diets (low carb OR starch-based) because they are both focusing on “mono-diet” type things, where you’re only really putting one type of food into your system at a time, be it protein OR carbohydrates. So folks even say they have similar results just eating one type of food per meal rather than cutting out one or the other.

I guess I like Dr McDougall’s plan because it is also vegetarian at it’s core and if I can go plant-based then yay for me.

Straight Outta Oz

Todrick Hall is a rockstar, well, sadly he’s not yet, but he should be, and his latest work, “Straight Outta Oz” proves it.

Taking inspiration from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Todrick has made a masterpiece of a concept album married beautifully with gorgeous visuals and shared with us all on YouTube.

Running at 57 minutes “Straight Outta Oz” is conceived, written, produced and directed by Todrick, this masterpiece is one not to be missed. It serves fans of Oz and musical theatre well.